Last weekend, I attended Silver Dollar City’s Outlaw Run “Drop in the Dark” event.
There, around 50 coaster enthusiasts were some of the first to ride the park’s new Rocky Mountain Construction wooden coaster in the dark.
In true Silver Dollar City fashion, the area surrounding Outlaw Run is beautifully themed. I felt as though I had left Silver Dollar City and had traveled to the Wild, Wild West.
The queue gives oncoming riders a glimpse at the ride’s thrilling finale.
This concoction of clocks inside the loading station was fascinating. They all chime as a train prepares to leave the station.
Though the coaster’s surroundings were beautiful, I was more interested in riding the coaster itself, especially in pitch darkness.
Editor’s note: Outlaw Run is a difficult coaster to photograph, especially in the dark, so please excuse the following daytime photos scattered throughout this review.
The trains are comfortable, but don’t expect to have much wiggle room (you will appreciate the tight fit once the coaster leaves the lift hill).
The lift hill was dimly lit. The rapid ascent gave me little time to fathom what was ahead. The twinkling of lights from distant hotels, homes and other structures was all that I could see. I knew that we were far from the ground.
The post-lift dip lurches the entire train towards the 162-foot, 81-degree first drop. The train plunges toward the earth at 68 mph.
The next element, a 153-degree, outside-banked turn, is unlike anything that I have ever experienced on a roller coaster. That element alone left me bewildered for much of my first ride on the coaster. I did not realize how “upside down” 153-degrees really is. The double down that follows was airtime inducing, although due to the tightness of the restraints you may miss the pops of air.
The train twists and plunges under the lift hill. At this point riders are at the mercy of Outlaw Run. The “wave turn” element is another that I have never experienced on a roller coaster. Roller coasters are not supposed to bank out as they make a turn. It’s all very strange—but in a good way.
The train flies over another low-to-the-ground bunny hill before entering the last stunt: a double barrel roll. The train roars through the two rolls at a fast speed. The final roll into the brake run was also unusual, as the train completes the roll as it makes a 90-degree turn into the brake run. It’s a strange sensation, especially if you are sitting on the right side of the train.
The first few times of riding Outlaw Run in the dark, I could not find the words to describe the experience. I was speechless. The double barrel roll will leave your head spinning. I had to take a few moments to regain my bearings each time I rode the coaster.
The sound that radiates from Outlaw Run’s trains is remarkable and unlike any roller coaster sound that I have ever heard. The train’s steel wheels (a rarity for coaster trains) roaring over the steel track meshes to create a distinctive sound that I will forever associate with Outlaw Run.
Videos of Outlaw Run do not do the ride experience justice. Reviews of Outlaw Run (like this one) do not do the ride experience justice. The only way to truly experience this intense, bizarre and incredibly fun wooden coaster is take a trip to Silver Dollar City and ride it yourself.
I have never ridden any coaster like it.
I would like to thank the great team at Silver Dollar City staff for organizing a terrific event for the coaster enthusiast community. Ride Outlaw Run in the dark from now until August 4, 2013.
Have you ridden Outlaw Run yet? Share your thoughts about the ride in the comments section below.