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It's a shame that the ride isn't as wooded as the image shows anymore. Hurler, Hypersonic, and Dinos Alive all have taken away at the serenity of the ride. It's still a whole lot of fun either way, might be a little rough but if you can bear it Grizzly gives one of the best rides of any wooden coaster on the east coast.
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So I made a startling realization this evening. Grizzly is not unique to Kings Dominion, some may have already known this, but Grizzly has such a reputation with any KDFan that I always thought it was a unique design to KD. That being said, I was also surprised to find out it is not the first of its kind either. KECO built four of these coasters total. I'll detail them in the order they were opened below along with year and a link to it on RCDB.

1) 1981 - Wild Beast Canada's Wonderland

2) 1982 - Grizzly Kings Dominion

3) 1985 - Bush Beast Wonderland - Sydney (Formerly Australia's Wonderland)

4) 1986 - Grizzly California's Great America
This Grizzly is a mirror image of the other "Grizzly Clones"

This doesn't seem to be a well known fact, but KECO built four parks from scratch: Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Canada's Wonderland, and Australia's Wonderland. They bought the already built Carowinds, and the already built Marriott's Great America. When Paramount bought the KECO chain they did not purchase Australia's Wonderland, it was sold off to a different company and closed down entirely in the early 2000s. That being said, the Australia park still had a Grizzly and Ghoster Coaster Clone.

Lastly all of these "Grizzly Clones" are copies of the the orginal Coney Island Wildcat.

Did any of you already know all of these facts? I found it all very interesting.
Knew about it for a while but no one bothered to ask.

Also CGA's Grizzly is a more tame version with looser hills and they run the less than stellar Morgan trains. It also has the honor of being one of the worst woodies ever according to the mitch hawker wood coaster polls.
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Here's the results for the Hawker wood coaster polls over the last 20 years, for the worst woodies in the world. CGA's Grizz has consistently been voted in the bottom 10 since 1994.
Mazakman said:
The airtime inside of the tunnel on KD's Grizzly makes it worth riding.(as well as unique)

If Grizzly used the PTC buzzbars instead of the ratchets you'd be hopping the seat divider on that hill, it's that insane. The only other ride I know that has done that to me is Phoenix at Knoebels.
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b.mac said:
Mazakman said:
The airtime inside of the tunnel on KD's Grizzly makes it worth riding.(as well as unique)

If Grizzly used the PTC buzzbars instead of the ratchets you'd be hopping the seat divider on that hill, it's that insane. The only other ride I know that has done that to me is Phoenix at Knoebels.

Canobie Lake Park's Yankee Cannonball also has the old school buzz bars. It's the older brother of the phoenix.
In defense of Grizzly


Not so that you would know by reading this thread, but lately I have not been feeling the love for Grizzly.
This weekend PK, Luke, Evan and I were at KD and all of us, besides Evan rode Grizzly. Luke and I went back later and at his insistence rode it 3 times in a row. I was reminded why, when I was a kid this was one of my favorite coasters and why we would repeatedly walk quickly off of it, sprint down the long path and jump back in line to ride it again!

“It must be smooth as glass,” you say!
Chaos no!
“The inverts must make your head spin!” You quip.
It is an old woodie, so no.
“Well then the cultural significance must rival BGW’s Nessie!” you retort.
Probably not.
“So why do you like it?” You ask accusingly!

When she is running at speed, it is a complete sprint from start to finish. In most modern coasters I feel like I am there for the ride in a figurative sense. It is more or less a passive experience. You are just sitting there pinned down by they restraint system and the park's legal and insurance teams. Not so on this Coney Island throw back.
Maybe it is partly due to my size but I have to really hold myself in place, it is an active thing. My muscles are tense the whole time. I make it worse as I am an Arms-up-no-matter-what-moron. (Yup, even in the tunnels) The harness pins me down to a certain extent, but after that drop and camel hump I come way out of my seat, Each and Every Time! I search the car for toe holds, lips, anything to help pin me in. The pace never lets up, the cars rattle and it thunders down the track. Finally as if it is taking a gasp of breath it breaks at the ends, and you can still here wheels spinning away.

So let me address the nay sayer questions directly.

I personally think "smoothness" is over-rated. Certainly there is a point where a coaster goes from "rattle your teeth" to break your ribs, and that is No beano. But maybe because I grew up on coasters from the 70s and 80s "smoothness" just is not a thing for me.

Inverts bore me. There I said it. Throw all the rotten veggies you like!

I do appreciate "cultural significance" but to me that is over-shadowed by a coasters "personality." I do not need to tell y’all how I feel about My Lady, Loch Ness, but she has the same thing, a personality unto herself. This is something, I cannot say form B&Ms. They are like Toyotas, Exceptionally well-engineered and smooth as glass, and never break down, etc. etc. Also like Toyotas, they seem to have no personality and are often very much all alike.

I digress as this is not my planned "Why I do not like B&M coasters" post.

Simply put, Grizzly, like Nessie, is alive, she is an angry mamma bear and she lets you know it.

Now, proceed with the vitriol.
I love woodies, there's just something about being 'out of control,' that makes me want to ride again and again. I usually never scream on roller coasters, I just like to sit and enjoy the ride. But on woodies they're so out of control that I have to let out a couple screams even if I don't intend to. However there's two woodies I will never ride again, Hurler, and Gwazi(which is actually worse than Hurler, IMO).

Today, I rode both Rebel Yell, and Grizzly twice and I just wanted to ride them again, and again, because they're so un-predictable and fun, that every ride is a different experience.

I'm afraid you are right about B&M, they design great coasters, but there is this perfectionist image that the rest of the coaster manufacturers are trying to adopt, which is ultimately limiting the diversity in the new coaster world. One perfectly manufactured B&M is great to have and everything, but everything in your park doesn't need to be like that.

However, on the contrary to that, I actually believe Apollo's Chariot is one of the only B&M's to have a big 'spirit.' Alpie and Griffon are just another perfect thing off the B&M line, and they have no personality, just like the others. But Apollo's Chariot is the only B&M that I've actually felt to have a personality, and I have no idea why.

You are hardly the only one who thinks inverts are not impressive. My whole family preaches that Alpie is nothing but an oversized swing if you're not sitting in the front row. I can't say I completely agree with them, but their description of the ride which can only be experienced in person is pretty valid, yet hilarious.
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