The Big Bad Wolf, built by Arrow Dynamics and designed by Ron Toomer, closed today to see possibly meet it’s maker. This suspended steel marvel served at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, for twenty five years, terrifying riders with it’s twists and turns. The ride opened in 1984 in the Oktoberfest section of the park and has carried over 29 million guests (number may not be accurate). On this day, Monday, September 7, 2009, it carried it’s final load of 24, which were auctioned seats. However, the Big Bad Wolf will terrify, twist, or turn no more.
I stand behind Busch Gardens one hundred percent in the removal of this ride, though I will miss it and think about it often when I remember defunct rides on my coaster credit list. The park has their reasons and I hope in the future we will see something great replace such a piece of coaster history (I’m in no way saying that something WILL replace it, so stop reading between the lines!). Coaster Enthusiasts like myself will talk about this coaster for ages, sharing the great experiences we had in the twenty five years this coaster operated. This ride will indeed go down in history as one of the greatest innovations of it’s time, but will be missed dearly by millions – adult and child alike.
I remember the Big Bad Wolf from the time I was a small child. My parents tried to talk me into the ride and explained that it wasn’t scary and didn’t go upside down, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have it in me. I’d always sit just outside of the exit across the gift shop and wait with my grandmother. When I finally worked up the courage to ride a coaster, the Wolf was my third. It was the most amazing experience in my entire life and will be something that I will never forget. I sat where my grandmother and I sat when I was a child, remembering each and every time I rode, on August 6th, 2009, where I would take my final ride. After I sat and watched all the guests exiting the ride, who were having so much fun, I decided it was time to take my final ride as in just a few hours, I would be packing up and heading to the Sunshine State. A few friends toasted a beer to the ride, and off we went. The wind whipped against my cheeks as the ride twisted and turned me through the darkness – A moment I will never forget. I was lucky enough to be one of the 29 million riders it carried along it’s course, screaming through the twists and turns.
I remember the day I heard the news and watched my aunt tell my niece. I remember the look of horror on her face, and the tears that soaked her cheeks. Her favorite ride would soon be dragged off against it’s will to a barren land, never to be seen or heard from again. Her favorite ride. Gone. I feel her pain. The Big Bad Wolf may be gone, but will not be forgotten.
I took a few photos of the ride in past visits to the park, including the time Erik and I visited the park in April. Please enjoy these wondrous shots and keep this coaster close to your hearts forever.
Cheers, to the Big Bad Wolf, for sending us “at the speed of fright” for 25 amazing years.
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I also found some good videos on YouTube. These videos were not shot or edited by anyone on the Behind the Thrills Staff. These videos were filmed by some random people we don’t know!