Mystic Timbers Roller Coaster Review

Mystic Timbers - What's In The Shed?

The Phantom of the Ville has faced the twisted terrors of Mystic Timbers at Kings Island and knows what lurks in the mysterious shed!

Kings Island’s legendary history of roller coasters is revered in the amusement park industry and its’ rogues’ gallery of namesake thrill rides have sent chills up the spines of coaster enthusiasts for decades: The Beast, The Bat, The Screamin’ Demon, The Banshee, Diamondback. The Mason, Ohio theme park has always employed creative scare tactics by coming up with names for its’ most terrifying rides that sound like monster movies, and they continue to introduce new nightmares this summer with the unveiling of Mystic Timbers!

Kings Island invited the Louisville Halloween crew to be among the first mortals to experience their latest monstrosity and get answers to the question that has haunted horror fans and coaster enthusiasts for months: “What’s in the Shed?,”.

A warning to our readers that want to discover the secrets of Mystic Timbers completely cold: There are SPOILERS ahead, but I’ll clearly post a SPOILER WARNING before I reveal anything about what awaits at the end of this ride’s winding track.

SMystic TImbers

Mystic Timbers is the newest creation of Great Coasters International, Inc., which also designed and built the Kentucky Rumbler for Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, KY back in 2006. This new wooden coaster is themed around an abandoned logging company, Miami River Lumber, whose entire crew has apparently disappeared while harvesting timber in the wooded region surrounding Kings Island’s Rivertown area. Since the company mysteriously shut down, strange vines and unnatural weeds have overtaken the entire site and you’ve decided to take a rusty pickup truck into the woods surrounding the company’s work shed to investigate.

The ride’s queue line is themed around the logging company’s base of operations. Throughout the line you’ll see security videos that have been set up in an attempt to catch a glimpse of whatever is causing the mysterious crew disappearances. When you reach the loading station, you’ll be seated in a 24 passenger train with the grill of a rusty pickup truck on the front car.

You’ll then climb the 109 ft. lift hill before careening into the woods of Rivertown through numerous banked turns and sixteen hills at speeds of up to 53 miles per hour. Mystic Timbers propels riders over repeated, high speed bunny hills that really deliver that weightless feeling of being pulled out of your seat that coaster enthusiasts refer to as “air time.” The ride captures that out-of-control, threatening-to-fly-off-the-tracks vibe that the midsection of The Beast is infamous for and even includes a roaring timber tunnel that recalls some of The Beast’s most memorable thrills.

Hugging the rugged terrain and bolting across running creek beds, I really enjoyed the unique visual scenery along the journey to the dreaded shed which often passes directly over other guests in rafts racing down White Water Canyon. It’s a wild ride worthy of some of the best wooden coasters I’ve ever experienced, including the aforementioned Beast and The Voyage at Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN.

Finally, after a heart pounding nearly two minutes of wooded chaos, your ride vehicle comes to a screeching halt just outside of a ramshackle, vine covered shed.

SPOILERS AHEAD! If you want to remain completely in the dark regarding what happens in the much hyped and mysterious shed, STOP READING NOW!

Seriously, go away!

You still there? Are you sure you want to know what’s in the shed?

Last chance.


Your ride car pulls slowly into the grungy, dark shed. There are rusty saw blades hanging from the walls, but other than a thirty year old radio sitting on a shelf to your right, the shed appears pretty sparse. The car stops and the dim lights hanging from the ceiling begin to flicker. As the lights flicker, writing scrawled on the walls appears with ominous warnings like, “IT is in the shed.”

Suddenly the radio sputters to life and a song from the 1980’s with “unintentionally” creepy lyrics begins playing. There are several potential tracks including Hall & Oates’Maneater,” Bonnie Tyler’sTotal Eclipse of the Heart” and Gary Numan’sCars.” Then the car begins moving forward slowly as the lighting morphs into a creepy blue hue and you’ll notice the sounds of “something” scratching around the outer walls.

Your car turns a corner and the finale happens very quickly. On our ride, we were attacked by the evil tree with glowing green eyes portrayed on the Mystic Timbers logo, but there are apparently three different creatures riders might encounter, including a giant vampire bat and a giant snake, which allows for slightly different experiences each time you ride.

Great Coasters International could probably have benefited from consulting the haunted attraction industry with regards to the spooky sets and special effects employed in Mystic Timbers’ finale. Technology created for the haunt business has advanced significantly in just the last ten years and now rivals the innovations guests see in major theme parks across the country. The creatures that threaten riders in the shed are simple CGI projections that might underwhelm some guests who’ve fallen prey to the hype generated by Kings Islands’ extremely effective “What’s in the Shed?” marketing campaign.

The concept is great and the ride is amazing, but the spook house climax doesn’t quite live up to the incredible, heart-pounding journey through the woods of Rivertown that leads up to it.  However, I applaud Kings Island for its use of theming and storytelling on Mystic Timbers which adds a whole extra level of fun and engagement to what would be just another wooden coaster in a lesser park.

Shiver me Timbers, I want to ride again!

The Phantom of The Ville

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