Facing Outlaw Run

Enjoy Outlaw Run ... it's a scream.

Enjoy Outlaw Run … it’s a scream.

Missouri Division of Tourism staff photographer @Ben2Mo recently returned from Silver Dollar City in Branson, where he was among the first to ride the theme park’s new Outlaw Run roller coaster.

To see how he experienced the coaster, watch the video and pay close attention to his facial expressions.

When Ben regained full use of his faculties, we sat down for a quick Q&A about his experience on the second-fastest wooden coaster in the world – one that has a 16-story drop at an 81-degree pitch, plus a double barrel roll.

@Ben2MO is a bit of roller-coaster junkie, so riding Outlaw Run was akin to sending an Elvis fan to Graceland. By his count, he’s ridden 15 different coasters, including those found at Missouri’s major theme/amusement parks (Silver Dollar City, Six Flags, Worlds of Fun) and a couple down south, where a mouse with Missouri ties runs the show.

Q: What are the most thrilling, or scariest rides you previously have ridden?

A: This is probably a tossup between Six Flags – St. Louis’ “The Batman” and the ride home from Six Flags on Highway 50 after riding “The Ninja” 12 times back-to-back.

Q: Outlaw Run is a wood coaster. What makes wood coasters different from their steel counterparts?

A: Wood coasters are inherently a little bumpier ride, which adds to the fun and excitement. Though, I have to say that Outlaw Run is probably the smoothest wooden coaster I have ever ridden.

Outlaw Run ... that's pretty much all that needs to be said.

Outlaw Run … that’s pretty much all that needs to be said.

Q: What was your thought process as you slowly inched up the incline, then sped through some of the drops, twists and turns?

A: My initial thought after leaving the station was just amazement at being one of the first people to ride a coaster that holds so many titles, like having the steepest drop in the world for a wooden coaster.

In the video, you can even notice me mouthing “How is this my job?” during the climb to the peak. I liked how the ride designer teased a little bit with that first mini-drop, only to have the bottom drop out a moment later.

Right about the first inversion, I was definitely freaked out a bit by the fact that my backside wasn’t actually touching the seat. Thank goodness for solid lap restraints.

Between the drops, the banks and just the speed of the ride, there were several points of “airtime” which probably explains all of my strange facial expressions. And there really isn’t a good way to describe that double barrel roll at the end, knowing it’s happening on a wooden coaster.

Q: Outlaw Run reaches 68 mph; what about the speed?

A: The speed is a good and a bad thing, all at the same time. It makes for the most intense ride experience I’ve ever had, but also means the ride is over sooner than I wanted, like any ride. Though I will say, it definitely feels plenty long right after you are finished.

Q: Would you recommend Outlaw Run to a friend?

A: Absolutely! I have already been telling people about how awesome this ride is and we are actually planning a family vacation to Branson this summer. I am definitely looking forward to being the expert in the family about this particular ride.

There you have it; a first-hand account of Outlaw Run. After you ride, share your thoughts in the comments section below. And be sure to watch the video anytime you need a laugh – our staff sure has enjoyed it – and Ben’s been a great sport!

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