Raptor Review

We're here at Gardaland. Today's ride we'll be reviewing for you is Raptor. This is the first B&M Wing Rider ever built and the first one I ever rode. Yeah, weird that a dude from Southern California's first Wing Rider is in Italy. But here I am. Let's go for a ride. We get in the cars, pull down on the rubber vests (watch out, they're going to tighten and it's not going to be pleasent), and away we go. We roll around a turn and climb the lifthill. It's not very big, but we still get a nice view of Gardaland and of Lake Garda, which is absolutely just beautiful. Have I mentioned that I love the setting of this park? Oh wait. Yes, I have. Anyways, we reach the top and head down the first drop. It's not an amazing first drop or anything, but it's fun and gives us some nice speed. There's even a tiny little pop of airtime in the back. It's not insane or anything, but it's fun and the only airtime you're going to be experiencing on this ride. Sorry to burst your bubble. Don't worry. It's still a fun ride though. We then go around this sort of turnaround. Ok. Fun, I guess. There's a little bit of laterals, but so far, this is nothing to go crazy over. Anyways, we drop back down and go into our first inversion. A sort of really big, floaty, corkscrew. It's very much like the corkscrew on Tatsu. Hey, it's fun and we do get some hangtime. And now, our view has changed. Initially, it was a scenic foresty view with trees and Lake Garda near us. Now, we're above the line and there's this techno-apocolypse theming that we're flying above. A big plus about the Wing Riders. You really get a nice sense of atmosphere. Anyways, we get some headchoppers thanks to some cool theming and we head up a small hill before we head down a slightly bigger drop to the ground. Oops, I lied. There's a little bit of weak floater air here too. Hey, it's fun. Don't complain about it. We rip through a tight low to the ground turn. And warning, if you're on the side that's really by the ground, you're going to get wet. Not super wet or anything, but more wet than on the water rides here. And there are some laterals here. It's all fun. We immedietly roar from that into a Zero G Roll. And trust me, this thing actually makes you feel zero Gs. You literally just feel weightless as the world flips around you. You know what this ride reminds me of in a really weird way? Hydra from Dorney Park. Seriously. They both have a small straight drop, people claim they're both forceless, they're not insane, but they're fun, and they have some forces, and their primary focus is incredibly slow and floaty inversions. And after that, we head down another sort of half helix, getting some more fun laterals as we head down towards the ground again. And warning. More water effects. Another bit of fun for riders to deal with. Except if you were spared last time, this time, it's gonna get you. Anyways, we head from that into another turnaround. Meh, fun. This leads us into an inline twist that is just chock-full of hangtime. Love this element. And of course, it goes through a plastic tree keyhole when you're sideways and coming out of the inline twist for the off-ride illusion, because the key-hole gimmick is extremely popular on these rides and why not. After that, we head around a dip, and into the brake run. And yeah. It's not an amazing ride by any means, but you know what? I had fun. It's got some fun forces, a lot of floaty inversions, and it's just an overall fun ride. Certainly the best at Gardaland (until that Dive Machine opens). And yeah, it's definetly worth a ride.


Location: Gardaland

Opened: 2011

Built by: B&M

Last Ridden: June 22, 2012

Here's my raw footage video of Raptor.

Raptor Photos