I have loved roller coasters ever since my first ride on Valleyfair's oldest coaster, built back in 1976 called The High Roller. It's a wooden coaster that goes up to 50 miles per hour and was a pure thrill for me the first time I had the opportunity to ride.

Over the years I've visited many different locations since my first ride on The High Roller, and there's nothing like climbing high into the sky and getting to the top for that super dip down to the bottom.


My kids grew up in Kentucky, so when we started coming back to Minnesota, I wanted them to have the same great experience that I had as a child. Of course, by this time, they were already in love with coasters, but The Wild Thing was something I had never been on, and they were excited to make that the first ride of the day. I was SO excited to get on that coaster.

'The Wild Thing' opened on May 11th, 1996. The coaster reaches a high of 207 feet and reaches speeds up to 75 miles per hour. It's a thrill...maybe too much for me.

I totally wasn't prepared for this experience. I thought it would be like most coasters. The rise to the top, then the exciting dip to the bottom; but no. This coaster just kept going and going and going. I literally thought I wouldn't survive the drop.  My biggest fear was my son realizing that his Mom had passed away while sitting next to him. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the long drop came to an end, and I grabbed my heart and put it back in my chest just in time. The Wild Thing' lived up to its name and although I still like riding more 'mellow' coasters; The Wild Thing kicked my butt.

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