Mystic Timbers, the 2017 Kings Island hit, is as smooth as wooden coasters come. The ride delivers plenty of airtime, and not the painful kind like most wooden coasters, such as The Racer at the opposite end of the park. That one leaves you banged and bruised after flying out of your seat at the top of each hill…
Although this is not a review of The Racer, it is not bad a coaster. It’s just rough and not too re-rideable. That’s where Great Coasters International, or simply GCI, comes in.
It’s no secret that the wooden roller coaster has gone out of style in recent years with the innovation of steel giants created by Intamin, B&M, Vekoma, and others. Then, Rocky Mountain Construction burst onto the scene when they innovatively began to refurbish the rickety old wooden coasters into thrilling steel monsters. Coaster enthusiasts want taller, faster, more inversions, and smooth, and as we learned from Son of Beast, wooden roller coasters have a certain limit.
GCI, however, have made their mark as one of today’s most popular wooden roller coaster manufacturers. They recognize the wooden coaster’s limitation, and instead of maximizing on it, they have created their own thrilling, unique elements, such as the “S-curve” that make the coasters thrilling in their own way. They also specialize in creating a smoother wooden track, which they have used to refurbish old, rough coasters such as GhostRider at Knott’s Berry Farm. Usually, however, they create their own rides such as Mystic Timbers.
Like said previously, Mystic Timbers is a wooden coaster, so it’s not the tallest and fastest out there. It stands at 109 ft., drops riders at 98 ft., and sends them flying at 53 mph. However, the elements are outstanding, mixing the GCI touch with a terrain-hugging layout that mirrors its bigger nearby brother, The Beast.
The drop is curved, there are a grand total of 16 airtime hills, a tunnel near the S-curve, and the whole thing is as smooth as floating on air, which is extremely refreshing coming from a wooden coaster. This coaster is a hit and is here to stay for a long time, understandably winning Amusement Today’s “Best New Ride” for 2017.
“It’s everything a modern-day wooden roller coaster should be, and more.” -Mike Koontz, VP and General Manager of Kings Island on Mystic Timbers
Unfortunately, like many other wooden roller coasters, Mystic Timbers can be described in terms of the “good, the bad, and the ugly.” It’s a shame, because the “bad and ugly” have nothing to do with the ride itself.
When Mystic Timbers arrives to its final brake run, you have adrenaline pumping through you and satisfaction of just having ridden a great coaster. But then…you go into “the shed” at the end of the ride.
When Mystic Timbers was first announced, Kings Island made a huge deal about what was in the shed, leaving it a boggling mystery to coaster enthusiasts. It was quite the hype, using the hashtag #whatsintheshed for many months until the coaster was ready to make its big debut.
So what is in the shed? First, you roll into it and stop. It is dark, and small lights flicker above you. In front of you, there is a digital projection with the doors to the other side of the shed open. You sit there for a very long time while the old song Man-eater by Hall & Oats plays. You sit there for so long that you get it in your head.
Oh, here she comes!
Then, she comes. The shed goes completely dark except for the projection, there are bats with red eyes staring at you, and the train moves forward farther into the shed. On the right, there are digital snakes and an old vending machine. Then, as you turn out of the shed back toward the station, a giant snake pops through the projection’s shed doors and pretends to eat you. That’s it.
The ride’s theming itself is great. It’s themed to the Cincinnati area with the ruins of an old Miami Valley lumber company in the woods. The shed, however, is a huge, unnecessary let-down. It could even be worse than the second, anticlimactic lift hill on Adventure Express.
To read more about the shed, what it is, and what it should have been, click here: https://themeparkdoctor.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/top-10-things-that-could-have-been-in-the-shed/
What do you think of the Mystic Timbers ride experience and the shed itself?