Wildcat, Hersheypark's wooden roller coaster, is retiring: How to ride

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Fans of old-fashioned wooden roller coasters have until July 31 to ride Hersheypark's landmark Wildcat coaster.

Wildcat, which opened in 1996, has 3,100 feet of track with a top speed of 48 mph over the course of a roughly one-minute ride. The coaster, one of 15 at Hersheypark, also boasts an 85-foot drop.

Hersheypark announced its closing Friday on social media, promising more details to come.

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"Any suggestions on what we could do with 3,100 feet of wooden track," the park asked.

"We have a couple of ideas," said one commenter, Rocky Mountain Construction. The roller coaster manufacturer is known for coasters all over the country, including some that might be a model for the closing Wildcat.

Wildcat, opened in 1996 at HersheyPark, is closing later this month.

The Wicked Cyclone, at Six Flags New England in Massachusetts, is a steel roller coaster that initially opened as a wooden coaster in 1983 before being retracked by RMC and reopening in 2015.

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In addition, Twisted Timbers at King's Dominion in Virginia is another wooden coaster that was retracked by RMC into its current form in 2018, Twisted Colossus at California's Six Flags Magic Mountain was retracked into a steel coaster in 2015 and Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reopened earlier this year after converting into a steel-tracked coaster.

Hersheypark is owned and operated by the Hershey Trust Co. In existence since 1906, the park includes multiple roller coasters and other rides. Its 2022 season began in April.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.