For diehard fans of rollercoasters -- specifically wooden rollercoasters -- today is a bittersweet day.

A legendary wooden rollercoaster in the heart of Pennsylvania will be closing for good when the sun sets in just a few hours.

Call me old-school, but there's something very special about a wooden rollercoaster. Sure, the steel giants that soar hundreds of feet into the air as they do countless loops are terrific to ride on, but a great wooden rollercoaster offers such a unique ride.

The clicks and clacks of the chain as it pulls you up the first hill, the flashing lights that chase you around the track, and the screams that you hear as you get tossed around on a rough ride are a quintessential part of a day at any amusement park.

But today, one ride will sail into history: the Wildcat at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA.

Named after the park's first rollercoaster in 1925, the (new) Wildcat opened in May, 1996, at a cost of $5 million.

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At 106 feet high, riders drop 85 feet down the first hill, reaching speeds of 50 MPH and 3.5 Gs. In total, the Wildcat is 3,183-feet long.

Rough ride

Over the years, the Wildcat earned a reputation for having a bit of a rough ride. Some riders have commented,

We were just there and decided to ride the wildcat. It is fun but it beats you up.

WORST ROLLER COASTER EVER! its so shaky and rough! will never ride again!

Visited Hersheypark on 6/1/21. I did not have an enjoyable experience on this ride. Not just rough but freakishly so. I’ve been on quite a few wooden coasters but this is the worst.

Good Layout, Speed, and Airtime. But the roughness makes all these things very uncomfortable and I am left with headaches every time I ride.

The Wildcat at Hersheypark in Hershey PA - Photo: Google Maps
The Wildcat at Hersheypark in Hershey PA - Photo: Google Maps

What's next?

As for what's next, Hersheypark hasn't said much. They haven't announced if they will be reworking this ride into a new attraction or demolishing it for something totally new, although they did recently ask if anyone had suggestions for what to do with 3,100 feet of track.

For those looking to ride the Wildcat one last time, Hersheypark is about 2-1/2 hours west of Atlantic City, located just outside of Harrisburg, PA.

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