Texas Wildcat

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Texas Wildcat
The ride's entrance at Lightwater Valley
Location Austin, Texas, USA
Status Operating since December 24, 2021
Lightwater Valley
Name Raptor Attack
Location Ripon, Yorkshire, England, UK
Operated 1987 to 2019
Cost £500,000
Manning's Amusement Park
Name Wildcat
Location Felixstowe, West Sussex, UK
Operated 1983 to 1986
Replaced Mad Mouse
Location In storage
Location Lichtaart, Antwerp, Flemish Region, Belgium
Operated 1976 to 1981
Replaced by Wervelwind
Manufacturer Schwarzkopf
Product Wildcat - 45m
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Type Steel
Riders per train 4
Hourly capacity 900
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Area 150 feet × 62 feet
Height 35 feet
Top speed 30 mph
Length 1378 feet
Inversions 0

Texas Wildcat is a steel roller coaster located at Cotaland in Austin, Texas, USA.


Texas Wildcat first operated at Bobbejaanland in 1976. It operated at Bobbejaanland from 1976 to 1981, and was traded in to Vekoma for Wervelwind in 1982. It was damaged by a fire in 1982 during the dismantling. Vekoma would later sold this coaster to Manning's Amusement Park.

The coaster would reopen at Manning's Amusement Park in 1983 as Wild Cat.[1] It replaced Mad Mouse, which has closed the year before, and operated there for 3 years, closing in 1986. Lightwater Valley would purchase Wild Cat from Manning's Amusement Park in 1987.

When the ride opened at Lightwater Valley, it was an enclosed roller coaster named Rat Ride and themed around sewer rats.[2] Prior to its opening, the park was criticized by the RSPCA for reportedly offering a reward to the person who sent them the largest dead rat.[3] The entry and exit corridors accurately replicated a real sewer and the ride vehicles were shaped as giant rats (unlike the usual muscle-car theme on Wildcat models).

Rat Ride closed in October 2009 at the end of the season. It reopened on 3 April 2010 as Raptor Attack. Along with the new theme, the braking system was also updated, allowing for a better capacity.

Raptor Attack did not operate during 2020 as the park decided to focus on younger children for the season.[4] On 1 February 2021, the park announced that Raptor Attack would be removed, along with other larger attractions, as the park repositioned itself as an attraction for young families.[5]

The ride was quickly shipped to the US after closing at Lightwater Valley, arriving at Cotaland in Austin, Texas, USA. The supports were repainted white and the track red.



When at Lightwater Valley, the ride was contained within a warehouse-type building. It was hidden by trees and embankments. This gave the illusion that the ride was actually underground. The ride took place in complete darkness. This would be proven a challenge when the ride was being relocated to Cotaland.[6]

Colour scheme

Texas Wildcat

Black track and white supports.

Raptor Attack

Black track and supports.


A car on Raptor Attack before and after its renovation.

8 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 4 riders per car. Before its re-theme, Raptor Attack's cars resembled rats. Now, they look like mine-carts.

Raptor Attack's experience

The ride was themed on an old abandoned mine shaft and riders queue at the entry point of this shaft. In the queue, giant newspaper clips are printed on the walls, which talk about the mine. Guests are sent in in groups of eight. The entrance is very small, meaning guests must get on to their knees to get in. After this, riders walk through a series of tunnels and descend down a spiraling staircase between which water is falling from overhead.

An abandoned office features blood-spattered equipment including a monitor which shows footage of a distressed miner. This footage originally had sound, with the miner calling out a warning that there is something moving down there and not to send anyone else down the mine. However, the sound was removed partway through the season, as younger children thought that the footage was real and were becoming distressed.

Guests then reach the station and are seated in a four-seater mine-cart. Ride operators are dressed in themed miner clothing with hard hats and fluorescent jackets.

The car leaves the station into an area of total darkness and ascends a chain-driven climb. A series of drops follows interlinked between sudden appearances of animatronic velociraptors and sound effects designed to startle the riders. The roller coaster system and layout remain the same as the original 'Rat Ride' but the appearances of the dinosaurs and the rides revamped theming add refreshing new elements to the ride.

When the car returns to the station and riders disembark, they pass a steel door from behind which something begins to suddenly bang very loudly. This is another feature designed to startle departing riders and is activated via motion sensor.

Riders then continue on through the tunnels, passing a hydraulic piston in a pool of water and human bones. The piston suddenly discharges a blast of air from beneath the water, creating a loud noise and splash designed to startle the exiting riders. A staircase is then ascended, another tunnel passed during which sound effects of dinosaur roars and groans play and the surface is reached.

In the immediate area outside the ride exit is the raptor paintball range and riders leave via a merchandise shop which also sold on-ride photographs.



  1. "Wildcat to replace Mad Mouse at Felixstowe park". World's Fair. No. 4073. 30 October 1982. p. 2.
  2. Official Rat Ride page - Wayback archive
  3. "Rat reward under fire". The Guardian.
  4. "We are reopening!". Lightwater Valley.
  5. "Lightwater Valley set to broaden offering for young families in 2021". Lightwater Valley. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  6. "Relocating a Roller Coaster Demands Careful Consideration". iaapa.org. July 5, 2022. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2023.

External links

Articles on Lightwater Valley