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Wild Mouse Roller Coaster At Luna Park Sydney

By on 01/17/2014

Taking a trip to Australia has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I was finally able to scratch that item off my list thanks to a recent business trip. One of our offices is located in Sydney and I got to fly down and spend an entire week there. Unfortunately, because I was working the entire time, I didn’t have much free time to play. However, I did manage to spend a full day at Luna Park Sydney and I had a great time!

When I first heard I was heading down to Sydney, I got really excited and immediately went to the Roller Coaster Database (RCDB) to see how many parks were in the area and how many new roller coasters I would be able to tackle over the course of a week. Imagine my surprise to find out that there is only one roller coaster in all of Sydney, Australia, and that’s a wooden wild mouse coaster called, appropriately enough, Wild Mouse.

I landed early on a Sunday morning, feeling refreshed from sleeping most of the 15 hour flight through the night. As soon as I landed, I checked into my hotel, dropped my bags off, and headed out. My hotel was right next to the world-famous Sydney Opera House and the main ferry terminal known as Circular Quay. From the Opera House, I could see Luna Park across the water, just underneath the Sydney Harbor Bridge:

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The main entrance is situated so that it faces across the harbor, providing a great view for all the tourists coming in on the cruise ships, water ferries, or even those crossing the bridge by car or train. This was an awesome site at night when all their lights came on, but I didn’t have a tripod with me so I couldn’t get a stable enough shot while zoomed in at night:

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That is a ferry terminal right in front of the entrance in the above shot. I could have taken a direct ferry over from Circular Quay and been there in minutes, but I decided to walk across the bridge. Other than the locals, how often does one get to do that? It was a great walk with even better views!

Once I got to the park and bought my ride wristband, I set out to find their one and only roller coaster. This little guy helped me find it quick enough:

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The entrance is where these people are walking in. The exit is a bit further down on the right, underneath the Flying Saucer painting with the big yellow star on it:

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I really like their 3D entrance façade. It’s very realistic looking:

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The entrance has all the warning signs and a flight of stairs up to the loading area:

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There was hardly anyone there when I arrived. Unlike many of the Wild Mouse coasters that people are familiar with in the US, this one is actually a wood coaster, as you’ll see in many of these photos. Part of the track goes right overhead as you’re waiting in the queue:

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I don’t even think it took me 5 minutes to get on for my very first ride:

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According to RCDB, this coaster was built in 1995. However, I could tell it was much older than that and the park did confirm that it was originally built in 1962. RCDB lists another wooden wild mouse that was at the park from 1959-1970. I suspect it’s probably the same coaster. The track is 1,312′ long and the entire ride lasts for about a minute.

It’s a standard layout. The lift hill is along the lefthand side with a series of track switchbacks across the top. After a couple of drops and sharp turns, the cars head back towards the front of the coaster, swing around the top of the loading area, then make a final run towards the back and turn into the final brake run:

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I’m guessing this is the storage track right behind the ride operators. I see a section of transfer track, but I can’t figure out how it works because there doesn’t appear to be room for the track to slide in either direction:

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After the cars are unloaded, a ride op pushes it around the corner to the loading area. Check out how short that wheelbase is. It made for a very “loose” feeling car:

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This is the ride op that stops the cars on the final brake run using, from what I could tell, a good old-fashioned handbrake. Once unloaded, he then pushes the car around the corner and awaits the next incoming car. The stairs you see going down across the track is the exit path:

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The loading ride ops catch the empty car and help the next riders get loaded up:

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These two young thrill seekers are in the car and waiting to be dispatched:

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Each car can seat one or two people. Once you sit down, each rider gets their own seatbelt, attached by the ride op. They were very loose fitting and not restrictive at all. Once loaded, the car heads around the corner where it connects with the lift hill chain. Here you can also see where the main ride op station is, as well as a car that just passed over the queue line and has a couple of more small hills before turning into the final brake run:

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Here is a car that has just reached the top of the coaster and is starting through the series of track switchbacks. As you can see by the girl’s hair, the turns are quite forceful. Much more than I’ve experienced on US-based wild mouse coasters. In fact, they even have signs before some of the turns that say “Brace Yourself.” That, combined with how loose the cars were on the track, made for a very wild ride indeed. I honestly felt like I was going to topple right off the edge as I rounded every corner:

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The only thing that separates this roller coaster from the water is a small walkway. This park has an awesome location with a great view of several famous Sydney landmarks, including the bridge:

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Although considered a bit small by some, the drops and hills can pack quite a punch:

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This ride op is waiting for the next car to return. Notice the manual handbrake he’s holding onto:

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The exit path is next to, but separate from, the main queue:

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I was surprised to see that this ride does have an on-ride photography system. The exit path takes you down and past the photo booth where you can see your picture:

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I couldn’t go all the way to Sydney and not have my picture taken on their only roller coaster:

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From the Ferris Wheel you can get a pretty good look at the entire layout. The guy in the red shirt is coming up the entrance stairs, just to the right of the yellow awning over the queue. The final ramp up to the loading area is just above the yellow awning. The lift hill is on the left and the final brake run is on the right, just underneath that grey awning. The exit stairs are just to the right of that, over the top of the entrance stairs:

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I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much knowing that the only coaster there was a wild mouse. However, after riding it, I can honestly say that it was really fun! And, as a bonus, I get to say that I’ve been on a wooden wild mouse roller coaster. According to RCDB, there are only five in the entire world, and none of them are located in the US. Have any of you ever been on a wooden wild mouse roller coaster?

Look for my overview of all of Luna Park Sydney in the very near future.

7 Comments

  1. Dane. P

    01/17/2014 at 10:29 pm

    wow went to look for the most recent post and as I scrolled through this came up lol

  2. Candice Hargrove

    01/17/2014 at 10:53 pm

    This is so cool! I’ve always wanted to go the Australia! I had no idea there are only 5 wooden wild mouse coasters and none of them are in the US, haha! Imagine that! The only wild mouse coasters I remember going on is “Crazy Mouse” at the San Diego Fairgrounds and the one at California Adventures. Can’t wait to see the rest of the park! 🙂

  3. James I

    01/18/2014 at 12:24 pm

    I have been on the one at Luna Park too.

    At Blackpool Pleasure Beach (UK) they have a wooden Wild Mouse which is the best.

    Most Wild Mouse rides are mild and not very thrilling, but this one in Blackpool is fast, the cars jump off the tracks and you tip onto two wheels around the corners….

    Here is a review if you are interested.. http://www.s104638357.websitehome.co.uk/html/wildmouse_main.htm

    If you ever get the chance to go to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, you have to go on it.

  4. Eric

    01/18/2014 at 7:01 pm

    Back in the early/mid-’70s, there was a wooden Wild Maus at what was known as “Queen’s Pike” in Long Beach. It was on the site of the old park that once had the famous Cyclone Racer. I went to the park once, but for some reason didn’t ride the Maus. Thinking back, I sure wish I had. They also had a steel Zyklon coaster, which I also didn’t ride.

  5. Pingback: Luna Park Sydney - The Coaster Guy - The Coaster Guy

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