Rising above Wisconsin Dells at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park 136 feet is the monster named “Hades”. This coaster exploded onto the scene in 2005 and quickly was ranked one of the top 10 wooden coasters in the world. It was also the first coaster built by The Gravity Group, the builders of the #1 wooden coaster “The Voyage” at Holiday World, and the first wooden coaster in China, “Fireball” at Happy Valley. Unlike most coasters that stay above the ground the whole time, Hades takes it to the next level. It features the longest underground tunnel in the world on any coaster, both wooden or steel. What you get is a coaster that is both fast, intense, and in the dark!
The ride starts off nearly 50 feet at the station. It’s a long climb, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve boarded the train and you are cleared, you drop down nearly 40 feet. Yes that’s right: no slow little turn to the lift. You are thrown down and taken through a beautiful array of turns that is just a slow sampling of what Hades has to offer. To make it even more enjoyable, the track has not been banked that much, so you get some very nice laterals.
You then start the ascent into heaven, or so it seems. But as soon as you reach the top, you are looking down into a little hole on the side of the parking lot. The concept of this blew me away. You can see where the tunnel exits all the way on the other side of the parking lot. The first thing you think is, “How are we going to get all the way over there?” Well, you must go through hell. Hell with a 90 degree turn.
When you drop, you quickly pick up speed. By the time you reach the bottom, you’re speeding at nearly 60 mph. You are thrown into the tunnel where you immediately hit a turn. There is not a single straight piece of track in the tunnel. You are constantly twisting and turning left and right, up and down. There is not another coaster like this. You could have gone on every coaster in the world, but there’s not another one that offers a tunnel this insane and long.
After your journey, you emerge on the other side of the parking lot, way away from the rest of the park. You crest the hill very slowly, but you’re back up to speed in no time. With blazing speed, you hit a nice little hill that gives you some airtime, and then you plummet back under the ruins into the tunnel. This element gives great suspense when you enter the park or even drive by it. You suddenly see this train pop out from underground, from what seems like hell. It makes you want to ride it and see what it’s really like.
The return trip in the tunnel is just as insane as the first one. It’s less banked, so you’re thrown side to side and hit some great airtime too. I personally liked the return trip more than the first one. It was more intense for some reason or another.
The ride is not over once you leave that tunnel. As you go over another hill with great airtime, you launch back down and go into a nice collection of smooth turns. It’s not as intense as the tunnel, but it’s still fun. One little section is a bit bumpy, which the park knows, but I didn’t notice it too much. It did not take any fun away from the ride. I thought it was something to make the ride even more enjoyable!
Before you know it, you come around the last turn into the brakes and the ride is over. I’m usually not a big fan of wooden coasters, but I loved this one. It is #2 on my list of best coasters.
If you’re ever in or by Wisconsin Dells, I recommend you stop by Mt. Olympus. Not only do they have Hades, they also have a great collection of 3 other wooden coasters that are just as equally great. The only problem about the park seems to be the management. I will post all my thoughts about the park in general later on.
Thanks for reading!