Hersheypark 2023 – Wildcat’s Revenge


James Gummel, EHS class of 2025, contributor

If you’ve ever been to the “Sweetest Place on Earth”, you might remember the Wildcat. Being the oldest roller coaster in the park with 15 total, the age was beginning to show in form of a rough ride. Instead of scrapping it, Hersheypark has decided to revamp it in the from of “Wildcat’s Revenge”, opening Summer 2023.

So, what is this new ride and how is it still the same thing? If you’re wondering just that, look no further than Rocky Mountain Construction, or RMC for short. This roller coaster manufacturer built it’s brand off of turning old wooden coasters into new and improved ones labled “hybrids”. While appearing wooden based on the support structure, the track is all steel which solidifies it as a steel coaster instead. The hybrid name simply comes from the fact the old wooden supports are reused.

When a park like Hershey calls up RMC asking for a hybrid conversion, they will survey the current ride and brainstorm ideas for a new and improved layout. The track will follow roughly the same path with new elements added along the way. The steel track design allows for things a wooden coaster could never imagine to do, including go upside down in new and unique ways.

The most notable changes made to Wildcat after the conversion include rising the inital drop from 85 to 140 feet, and adding 4 inversions (upside down moments) through the ride. The original Wildcat slowly descended down the widely curved hill, whereas Revenge will drop straight down at an 82° angle, not giving you any time to catch your breath before you’re thrusted into an unrelenting upward roll, and then descending once again at a greatly banked angle.

“Based on our guest feedback, we know coaster fans would love a hybrid at Hersheypark”

The other three inversions include one reversing downhill roll, one zero-g roll, and one zero-g stall. The revamp will also offer a considerable amount of air-time (which is the feeling you get on a roller coaster when you either float or are thrusted from your seat, or in better terms, negative g-force) compared to the original. Some moments will be considerably aggressive (in a good way, of course), keeping a fast pace through the entire ride.

Iron Gwazi, another hybrid which opened March 11, 2022 contains a very similar layout, only being much larger. RMC appears to be taking a new approach with their new wildly fast-paced layouts, as other recent conversions within the last few years bare a resemblence to eachother. You can find POV videos online of these, some examples being Iron Gwazi, Untamed, and Zadra.

Wildcat’s Revenge should rank among the top coasters at Hersheypark when it opens, along with “Skyrush” and “Candymonium”, if not being at the #1 spot. It’s a much needed addition to the lineup at the park and a great use of something old that needed change.