Is there any US park with a worse reputation than Mt. Olympus? From brutally rough woodies to piss poor operations to lackadaisical employees to questionable safety practices, I never hear anything good about this park.
How can a park that costs $20 with four wooden coasters suck so bad? I decided I had to experience Mt. Olympus for myself. And I’m proud to say I made it out alive.
Mt. Olympus is awful…awfully decent! Keep in mind, I went in with the lowest of expectation. I expected Clementon Park levels of badness with the dispatch speed of Fuji-Q Highland. It wasn’t hard to top that!
Before I even entered the park, Mt. Olympus kicked me in the nuts. For years I always heard how cheap this place was. For that reason, I wasn’t expecting it to cost $20 to park. At least it was worth it for the views of Hades 360.
Before I touch on the rides, I want to discuss some generalities about the park.
Dispatches- They were slow, but not legendarily slow. I found them on par with most Six Flags parks. The lone issue was the one train ops on a ride as long as Hades.
Employees- None of the employees were rude or mean. They were just sort of there.
Bathrooms- The one by Pegasus was perfectly fine.
Atmosphere- The park had a really odd feel. It felt like a mash-up of a FEC and a water park with a bunch of random wooden coasters slapped onto a hillside. But it was clean.
Safety- I never felt unsafe, but I also know not to stick my hand in front of a moving roller coaster. Honestly, the minimalistic fencing allowed for some amazing coaster shots so I’m not complaining.
Clientele- It was mostly families. I did witness a lot of line jumping and unfortunately the employees didn’t do anything about it.
If you’ve read any of my reports, you know I have a pretty high tolerance for rough rides. For that reason, I was really intrigued by Hades 360. The layout is universally praised, but people say it tracks like Hell.
Going into my visit, I was sort of nervous Hades 360 would be closed. The fact that it needed a full train to dispatch makes it a gamble on a lighter day. For that reason, I was never so glad to see a 30-45 minute wait. For reference, the other coasters maxed out at a 15 minute wait.
Even by my standards, Hades 360 was rough. However, I found it quite ridable thanks to the Timberliners. Those trains are absolute godsends. The cushioning allowed me to absorb every shock without any pain. I shudder to think what this coaster was like with the PTCs.
Hades 360 begins with a sizable (50 foot?) plunge out of the station. Kennywood’s Thunderbolt does the same thing, but it doesn’t offer the ejector air of Hades 360. That’s immediately followed by a small twister section with three other pops of airtime. The last in particular is very strong. The pre-lift of Hades 360 alone is better than a good chunk of the wood coasters I’ve ridden.
After a long climb, riders plunge into the depths of Hell. That first drop is incredible. It has some wonderfully sustained airtime and it leads into the famous underground tunnel. What happens in the tunnel, stays in the tunnel. It’s pitch black and a complete WTF. One moment I was out of my seat. Another I was sideways. Yes it battered you around, but I thought it added to the intensity.
You then see light at the end of the tunnel and rocket through the inversion. And it took me by surprise. The inversions on most wooden coasters are heavy on hangtime. The corkscrew on Hades 360 was not. Honestly, that was my lone disappointment with the ride.
Then there’s another sizable drop back underground. It’s one of my favorite parts on the ride, as this drop has some really strong and sustained airtime. The return trip through the tunnel is almost identical to the first. I had no idea what it was doing to me, but I liked it.
When you emerge, you go down this funky double down, again getting some good air. That leads into a finale that admittedly isn’t the best. I now understand why it needs a full train. Remember how you start off with a big drop? You need to work back up to the station. There are a few pops of air along the way, but they’re pretty weak compared to everything else on the ride.
Hades 360 is basically a ghetto version of the Voyage. Yes it beats you up a bit, but I’m willing to forgive it because of the ambitious layout and comfortable Timberliners. Without a doubt, this is a back row coaster for me. The yank on the drops back there is simply superb. 8.5 out of 10
Since I survived Hades, I decided to test my luck with Zeus. This is unanimously considered one of the roughest wooden coasters in existence. So I started with the shallow end and boarded the front row.
Did I ride the same Zeus as everyone else?
I found the coaster (dare I say) smooth outside of the first bunny hill on the return trip. I know they did some trackwork this offseason, but I only spotted fresh wood on the turnaround. As a result, I liked Zeus. It was a fast-paced out-and-back coaster with pops of air on pretty much every hill.
Like a moron, I decided to test my luck towards the back. It was the equivalent of giving the finger to a police officer. You’re just asking for trouble. I braced for impact at the bottom of the first drop, but guess what? It never happened. Zeus was smooth even towards the back. It just had less air on the return leg.
For anyone who rode Zeus pre-2019 and this year, I’d love to know if you think the ride improved. If it hasn’t, please never trust my judgment if a ride is smooth or rough ever again. 7 out of 10
It was now time to experience the “drop of death” on Cyclops. I know it was reprofiled, but I was still expecting Raven 5th drop levels of airtime with buzz bars.
Needless to stay, I was a bit dismayed to find individual ratcheting lap bars. However, the employees barely lowered the restraints, so it was pretty much a non-factor!
I know everyone talks about the famous drop, but how come no one talks about the first or second drops? Both those drops gave crazy standing ejector air as well. In fact, I’d say they gave as much air as the drop of death.
Cyclops is short, but those three moments of airtime are incredible. Plus, it tracked as well as the Raven (I know that’s a pro for some and a con for others) and mixed in a pinch of laterals. 8 out of 10
The final coaster was Pegasus. I was expecting a snooze-fest, but I should have known better. This is Mt. Olympus after all.
There’s no airtime, but there are turns. There are tight, unbanked turns everywhere on this ride. I rode in the front, so I appreciated the violent laterals. However, I heard a choir of profanities behind me. 5 out of 10
Since I needed to make it back to Minneapolis for my flight home, I only had time for the coasters. Even if I had a full day, it’s debatable if I would have done anything else. I really liked the woodies.
Would I return to Mt. Olympus? Believe it or not, but yes I would. Again, I went in expecting the worst. So it would have taken a true dumpster fire to fail to exceed those expectations.
Mt. Olympus felt like what would happen if Six Flags bought a FEC. The coaster lineup felt like a bizarre Holiday World. For me, that’s far from the worst park in the world and it’s a place I can enjoy.