Mt. Olympus: Success over Saftey

Posted on June 18, 2009 in Reviews by

Recently on the way down to Chicago, I stopped at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Mt. Olympus is the largest park in Wisconsin Dells featuring 4 huge wooden coasters and 2 smaller steel coasters. The top dog of their coasters is Hades, which has been ranked one of the top 10 the past 4 years. The park features a huge selection of go-kart tracks too. It also includes the old Family Land Water Park, plus their own wave pool and slide complex.


From first impressions, the park looked good. After I entered the gates, there were some definite flaws. First off, there was no fencing around Cyclops’ first drop. All they had up to stop you was a silly sign. What drunk idiot is going to stop at a sign? Second, there was enough room to stick your hand in and almost touch the rail. You may have not been able to touch the rail, but your hand would have been decapitated by a speeding train.

Sign and Track

Hand and Track

Operations were also horrible. Since the park wasn’t all that full, the employees were not running the rides that much. Twice I sat in the Hades train for 5 minutes waiting to be dispatched. I overheard someone saying that they had to wait for the on-ride photo computer. They hold the whole train in the station just for a stupid on-ride photo computer! For me, a coaster fan, that is just a waste of time. I will never buy one of those overpriced on-ride photos. I’m just there to ride the coasters and enjoy what I can’t do at home. I can sit at home anytime I want to.

Talking about employees, this is even scarier…. Most of the employees were from Greece and didn’t know proper English. This is a huge issue. How are they supposed to tell people to get off a ride? Every time I rode Hades, the operators just walked slowly down the train checking restraints while chatting in some language I couldn’t understand. Another time on the go-karts, a man walked in with a lit cigarette. What could go wrong? Lets see… Fire, 20+ go-karts with gasoline, possibly those go-karts are leaking… Go figure. I also asked to speak to a park manager, and none of them could give me the right directions! Now, I’m not one of those die-hard “Keep America America!” conservative people, but I felt like if something ever went wrong, I wouldn’t be able to communicate. If they’re going to hire employees, they need to be able to speak the language here in America. This isn’t Greece, this is America where we speak English (radical thought, huh?).

After speaking to one of the park managers (he arrived on a motorized scooter, obviously since no one knew how to give the right directions), I was still not impressed. Mt. Olympus has not just failed with park operations, it has also failed in safety. I have never felt that unsafe in an Amusement Park before.

If you’re ever in Wisconsin Dells and happen to go there, be sure it’s just for the credits. I will never go back there until I here that they’ve changed management so I can feel like I’m safe to ride. Their goal is success over safety it seems. I’m now awaiting the day to hear someone has gotten hit by Cyclops.

Hades (Mt. Olympus) Review

Posted on June 16, 2009 in Reviews by

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!

Source: The Gravity Group

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.

Source: The Gravity Group

Source: The Gravity Group

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!