Prowler (#1499) is one of three wood coasters built by Great Coasters International last year. It was a ride that I'd been particularly looking forward to, especially given the standard set by the other two. I'm delighted to report that it lived up to all its hype, and more. It is simply not possible to describe the ride layout in words, which in this case is a very good thing. The train negotiates the tangled mess with a furiousness that somehow remains comfortable, the only jarring being in the tiny dip before the train engages the lift hill. Over the course of the day we completed a number of laps in different positions. In my opinion front has the edge over the back, but there's really not much in it. Meow.
On my first visit to Worlds of Fun, just under seven years ago, I spent quite a lot of my day riding Mamba. Sadly there's no way that I'd be able to do that now. Time has not been kind to this ride, and while it still has superb airtime the rest of the experience is fairly punishing. The bottom of every drop now features a nasty crunching sensation, and the mid-course helix involves some substantial bumps at every track join. On the other hand, the formerly horrible Timber Wolf proved a much better ride than I remembered despite the ride operator stapling my lap bar to a point that was one notch too tight.
There was a spare seat in the back row of the Patriot, which I climbed into while listening to the profoundly nationalistic theme tune from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It would appear that even ride operators become tired of the star strangled spanner over time. As it stands this ride is undisputedly the best steel coaster in the park, with the zero gravity roll mid course being a particular highlight. The condition of Mamba today was sufficiently bad that I'm inclined to award the second best steel coaster accolade to Spinning Dragons, which says it all really.