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New Mexico Rattler
Website: Cliffs Amusement Park Homepage
Ride Type: Wooden Coaster
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 4.3333
TPC Overall Rank: Rides need more than 25 reviews to be ranked.
Reviews: 11
Last Review: 8/8/2008 6:56:00 PM
In User Top 10: 8 times.
User Tracker Count: 9 times.

Me on the Rattler
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4 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Timberman on 8/8/2008 6:56:00 PM - User's Top Ride #8
Now this is what I&#39.m talking about. I&#39.ve had this coaster in my sights ever since I read Big John WC&#39.s 2002 review, which put New Mexico Rattler in the same category as the CCI standouts Cornball Express, Legend, and Raven. New Mexico Rattler easily holds it own not just among that distinguished trio but against just about any mid-sized wooden roller coaster operating today. It is scandalously underrated and well worth seeking out, especially for those who appreciate the classic wooden roller coaster experience. Diamonds in the rough like this are what keep my love for roller coasters alive.

Having ridden most of the major GCI installations and found them wanting, I have often wondered if I could ever love a twister. I can. This is it. If Raven and Thunderhead produced a love child, it would probably be something like New Mexico Rattler. The ride rarely tracks in a straight line, but when it does, it&#39.s plunging down sharp, air-time producing drops. Coupled with a layout that winds in and around itself and the park, the coaster delivers a ride that, unlike the GCI lookers, provides a complete roller coaster experience in 2,700 short feet. While you&#39.ll want to ride again and again, the circuits seem surprisingly long and will never leave you feeling cheated.

Along with its welll-conceived layout, New Mexico Rattler has an assertiveness just shy of aggression. None of my dozen or so rides delivered the all-out insanity necessary to push this coaster into the rarified 10 category, but New Mexico Rattler was consistently and satisfyingly intense. Nearly as important, it was never abusive or grueling. Instead, it achieves an almost Pheonix-like combination of rideability and non-stop action. Perhaps, like Raven, it kicks into another gear after dark. If so, a perfect score might be within reach. I unfortunately was only able to ride New Mexico Rattler doing the day, however, and while it never went totally berserk, the ride dynamics still beat the best of the GCIs. PTCs remain the standard in my book, both for ride characteristics and restraint systems (even with the unfortunate individual-ratcheting lap bars). Something about the PTCs&#39. interaction with the track just imparts more excitement. What the Millennium Flyers gain in &quot.tracking,&quot. they seem to loose in momentum. I also experienced serious ejector air in the back right seat of New Mexico Rattler, something that is impossible with Millennium Flyers&#39. boat anchor restraints.

The era when I would travel long distances specifically to visit a large corporate park with a dozen or more roller coasters is more or less behind me now. These days only a handful of artisanal destination coasters, usually at small, out-of-the-way parks, still prompt me to study maps, travel websites, and gas prices. When I finally get to the 10 or so of this species that I have yet to ride, I will either have to venture overseas or wait for the next Gravity Group project to spark my wanderlust. Hopefully Cliff&#39.s will continue to maintain this little wonder in its present excellent condition to serve as a beacon for those still willing to seek out thrills in far flung places.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up T-Rex on 12/15/2007 12:35:00 PM
This was a very good wooden coaster that is worth visiting Cliffs for. The first, curving drop into the tunnel was excellent as it provided some amazing laterals and decent air. Afterwards was a hill with some great air time, and then a turnaround hill with more great laterals. Then there was a great drop into another tunnel that ejected me from my seat. Next was a hill that provided laterals and a little air time, followed by an air-time producing bunny hill. Lastly there was a great helix that combined insane laterals with a little air.

4 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up shag9004 on 7/20/2007 5:07:00 PM
Date Ridden 7-8-2007 Times ridden - 2 (3rd from the back and middle of the train).

Following our day out at Lagoon, I was excited to be heading to a small park with a coaster that I had planned our trip around. I was looking for another Ozark Wildcat and was slightly disappointed. While not as smooth, the massive laterals made this wood hybrid (wooden track and steel supports) a fun ride. I was surprised at the intensity this little coaster packed. It was so much that my riding partner/GF would not ride again. After hitting this when we got in, we rode everything else in the park and I rode this one again before we left. We did the entire park in a little over two hours. Kudos also to the ride ops who handled a line cutting incident by some teenagers with quick consequences. As we were waiting for our first ride, four people (two boys and their girlfriends I guess) came from one stall and two of them jumped in front of us. I pointed this fact out to the ops and they immediately led all four line jumpers out of the station. I am not sure if they were removed from the park but thanks to the lady who LOUDLY and FORCEFULLY made them get up and had them taken out.

Now about the ride. First the line is much different. There are actually three lines which go into the station. The line on the far right is for the front two cars only. The line on the far left is for the back two cars only. The middle line is for the rest of the train. Amazingly, all three lines are normally equal which means the middle line moves MUCH faster. The Rattler only has one train, so wait times can get very lengthy for the front or the back...especially since most people just jump in whatever line looks the shortest. If it is absolutely necessary that you ride a front or back seat (and on some rides I am that way....I only like inverts on the front and usually woodies on the back) then prepare for a longer wait. Otherwise, just jump in the middle line and prepare to ride after a 1 or 2 train cycle. I do feel like my ride in the third from the back was my best ride so it may be necessary to wait the extra time. I was personally short on time and was not willing to wait. Highlights of the coaster include the twisting drop, the lengthy tunnel, and like I said earlier, the massive laterals. The trains are very comfortable so being pummelled from side to side is a pleasant sensation. There are a number of pops of air on a few of the hills but nothing like El Toro or Kennywoods Jack Rabbit. The Rattler is a fast little coaster which makes Cliffs a destination for coaster enthusiasts. I pre-judged this ride as a 9 based on its looks and specs but after riding have decided it is more of an 8.......more along the lines of the Thunderbolt at Kennywood or Rampage at Alabamas Adventure than the Raven or Dollys Thunderhead which are solid 9s. Still a fun ride.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up spartanfan on 5/23/2007 9:45:00 PM
Kinda small and cant compete with other woodies around the US.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up TPChampion on 12/31/2005 2:51:00 AM
Good little coaster and pretty fast, but not up to my expectations

5 Rating
-2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up crispy on 1/16/2005 8:30:00 AM - User's Top Ride #1
What a GREAT coaster. Worth the stop in Albuquerque for the ride. If you live east and are planning a trip to CA, stop in Albuquerque for a day and ride the NM Rattler, you wont be sorry

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up SFOTrocks on 12/18/2004 7:56:00 PM - User's Top Ride #7
Great medium-sized coaster, not THE BEST, but a fun enjoyable ride. The airtime is GREAT, and the layout is Awesome. This ride is alot of fun, but it is not intense like the big coasters, like Texas Giant.

5 Rating
-1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Bagosav on 8/11/2004 11:00:00 PM
The rattler is one of the best wooden rollercoasters that I have been on. The climb to the top is fast and smooth, and when you drop you drop at a curve and head straight down. I like the fact that it goes around the whole park and passes other rides. I also like the tunnel tat you go through, it sounds like a loud scream as you go through it. I would have to say that it is a good coaster for a small park, and would recommend riding it if you ever het the chance.

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coasterkid on 9/21/2003 6:13:00 PM
Rode it the last saturday, first ride in the back wasnt the greatest. The airtime was really only ok. But if you ride it in the front it shall blow you away. Not only is there 4 great moments of airtime, but the lateral gs are the most intense on any coaster Ive been on. There is a turning bunny hop that throws you out of your seat and throws you to the left, omg! It was so fun, the lats are very intense and I would without a doubt give it higher than the Legend, but it doesnt have the umpf that Raven or Cornball does. It is small, and really fun. The line construction sucks becuase the line will be the same for the front back and middle, but the middle will get you through the line 4 times faster. Ride at the front of the second car for less wait and as good as a ride. I have to say that i hope Cliffs loves this, because it will need TLC to maintain smoothness, otherwise in a year it will get a tad rough.

5 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up pit77 on 1/6/2003 5:11:00 AM - User's Top Ride #17
Excellent addition to this family park. Road The Rattler three times during the first week it opened. It is fast for this size coaster, and I love the way it was made to go around the other rides in the park. I will be better next season when the tunnel is finished!

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