Wild Thing, located at the Valleyfair amusement park in Shakopee, Minnesota, is a steel out-and-back roller coaster with more than one mile (1.6 km) of track. Its first hill, measuring at 206 feet with a 60 degree drop, is home to the one of the longest low-gravity zones of any coaster in the world. It reaches a top speed of 74 mph, making it one of the fastest roller coasters in the world. Wild Thing's height was set by the FAA, due to the nearby presence of Flying Cloud Airport.
Wild Thing has been the main challenge for a local radio station's Survive it and Drive It Game. Listeners of 101.3 KDWB who call in and win are challenged, along with approximately 20 other winners, to be the last one riding continuously for days upon end. The winner gets a new car from a local car dealer. In 2005, the contest lasted for seventeen days. Due to the unbelievable stamina and willpower of the final two contestants, they were each awarded a car.
Designed and manufactured by Chance-Morgan, it was the first "hypercoaster" to be built by the company, opening in 1996. It was the 5th tallest coaster in the world when it opened. The ride's success led to the construction of Steel Force at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1997 and Mamba at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri the next year.
Contrary to widespread rumors, neither the train, the car, nor any of the riders fell from the track. All riders were wearing their required seat belts and lap bars, preventing them from being ejected from their car. The sixth car did not completely derail from the track, rather settling in a leaning position on its right side.
Wild Thing reopened on June 1, 2006, after being judged safe by inspectors.
WILD Thing; Valleyfair's Wild Thing, opening next weekend, one of the five tallest roller coasters anywhere, comes with a wild price tag: $10 million. Its owners are banking on the 200-foot-tall ride to deliver in a big way.(ENTERTAINMENT)
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