Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City's $10 million hybrid wood-steel coaster, opens to the public Friday, March 15. It is in many ways a major step forward in roller coaster technology.
The wooden coaster is said to be making history by sporting three inversions, including a 720-degree, double-barrel roll at the end of the 1-minute, 27-second ride. Not only that, but the 16-story-tall lift plummets riders into a tree-lined valley at an 81-degree drop, which is just nine degrees shy of straight down. According to Silver Dollar City officials, this is the world's steepest drop ever built on a wooden coaster.
Members of the Herschend family, which owns the theme park, were the first guests to ride Outlaw Run during media day on March 13, other than those who had worked on the ride or trained to operate it.
The ride has 2,937 feet of track made of laminated wood layers with a steel "topper" track. It also uses steel wheels, not the normal polyurethane wheels. This creates a ride that looks and rides like a traditional wooden coaster but runs as smooth and fast as one of its steel cousins.
According to Brad Thomas, senior vice president of Silver Dollar City, it is a ride like no other found in the world. He said Outlaw Run "has all (those) thrilling components — but is still a ride that mom and dad can enjoy."