A Wild Mouse roller coaster (or Wildemous, Mad Mouse or Rat Run) is a type of roller coaster characterized by small cars that seat four people or fewer and ride on top of the track, taking tight, flat turns (without cant) at modest speeds, yet producing high lateral G-forces. The track work is characterized by many turns and bunny hops, the latter producing abrupt negative vertical G forces. When approaching a turn from a straight section the intended impression is that one will simply continue straight, and thus plunge off of the device, this since there are no transition sections as are in a conventional high speed coaster track and the turn itself is obscured upon close approach. Almost all Wild Mice feature "switchback" sections, consisting of several of these unbanked turns, separated by straight sections Usually, the turns on the switchback section are 180°, but some coasters feature 90° turns as well, and more rarely steep runs with loops (for example Crazy Mouse at Tobu Zoo in Japan).
The feeling of a Wild Mouse coaster is amplified by using cars that are wider than the track itself, giving the impression that the riders are hanging off the side or that they might fly out, thus giving it the name "wild".
Some may include trick-track — a "straight" piece of track banked slightly side to side designed to throw the rider left to right. Some wild mouse coasters, such as Primeval Whirl, also have spinning cars.
The modern Wild Mouse was invented by German designer Franz Mack. In the original wooden Wild Mouse coasters of the 1960s and 1970s, the cars were so small that they could only fit two adults in close contact. While the low capacity of these rides led to long lines, the cars were small by design.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the Wild Mouse type coaster was nearly extinct. However, beginning in the mid-1990s, Wild Mouse-style rides made a comeback for two reasons: First, they were cheaper than larger, conventional coasters; second, they added to a park's "coaster count" with minimal impact on cost and square footage.
Examples of Wild Mouse roller coasters
- Bug Out at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia
- Cheetah Chase at Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Florida
- Cyclone at Wonderland Amusement Park
- The Dark Knight Coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ
- The Exterminator at Kennywood, in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
- Galaxy Spin at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida
- Lego Technic Test Track at Legoland California, California
- Wild Mouse at Joyland Amusement Park in Lubbock, Texas
- Mad Mouse at Michigan's Adventure, Muskegon, Michigan
- Mad Mouse at Myrtle Beach Pavilion in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Mad Mouse at Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minnesota
- Mad Mouse at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut
- Monster Mouse at the Puyallup Fair in Puyallup, Washington
- Mulholland Madness at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, California
- Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida
- OPA Roller Coaster at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
- Psycho Mouse at Great America in Santa Clara, California
- Rajun' Cajun at Six Flags Great America
- Ricochet at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia
- Ricochet at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Road Runner Express at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
- Steel Dragon at Waldameer in Erie, Pennsylvania
- WildCat at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
- Wild Chipmunk at Lakeside Amusement Park in Lakeside, Colorado
- Wild Mouse at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Wild Mouse at Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania
- Wild Mouse at Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah
- Crazy Mouse at Rye Playland in Rye, New York
- Spinning Dragons at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri
- Wild Mouse at Idlewild and Soak Zone in Ligonier, Pennsylvania
- Wild Mouse at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
- Twenty-year-old Gemma Savage died on 21 June 2001 following an accident the previous day when two carriages collided on the Treetop Twister at Lightwater Valley, Ripon, England. Police decided not to prosecute a maintenance worker, who claimed that he had only received an hour's training on the ride and had not seen its manual. Faulty wiring had also caused a malfunction on the ride. . In October 2004 Deputy Coroner John Sleightholme at Skipton Magistrates' Court ruled death by misadventure.
- In December 2005, two sisters, 11 and 9, fell 10 feet (three meters) off Alpha 8, a wild mouse ride at Escape Theme Park, Singapore, and sustained back injuries. They were rushed to hospital, in critical but stable condition. The cause could be a faulty car restraint. The ride has been closed since.
- At the 2006 Indiana State Fair, a 24 year old woman was thrown out of the ride's car and sustained minor injuries. The cause has been determined operator error.
- At the 2006 South Carolina State Fair, a boy, (estimated at the age 12) whose name has not yet been released (as of October 25, 2006), was thrown out of the ride's car and suffered a fractured femur on Saturday, October 21, 2006. The ride was the same one responsible for the injuries in Indiana (see above).
- In early 2007, when Legoland Billund had only been open for a short time, a female employee was hit by a Test Track (similar to Jungle Coaster at Legoland Windsor) car and died immediately. The cause was her attempting to retrieve a guest's dropped purse; she crossed the restricted area, was hit by a rushing car, and lost consciousness. Inspectors found that the ride was operating correctly and claimed that the accident was due to the employee's own negligence.
- In late 2007, 63 year old Karen Price, a ride attendant for the Primeval Whirl at Walt Disney World in Florida died after being hit by one of the moving vehicles and falling from a platform and hitting her head. Price was conscious, alert, and talking at the time of the injury, but her condition deteriorated several days later, sheriff spokesman Jim Solomons said. Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said the ride was operating normally at the time of the accident. The ride was closed for the remainder of the day and reopened the following day. Disney has since added clear warning signs and safeguards to prevent employees from being in restricted areas while the ride is in operation.