Boulder Dash is undoubtedly a legendary experience, but I must urge all who read this review that one must ride the Dash repeatedly to get the full effect of this masterpiece of wooden coaster construction.
Our first ride on Boulder Dash just as the park opened was subpar to put it lightly. My friend and I were pretty disappointed, although we did not really admit it at the time. We had such high expectations for Boulder Dash, and it seemed to fall severely short. I would have ranked it as maybe a 7.5 after this initial ride. Nonetheless (and thankfully), our disheartening first spin did not deter us from hopping right back in line.
Now, I had read some reviews warning of the bizarre yet glorious phenomenon that Boulder Dash undergoes each day as the ride begins to heat up, but nothing truly prepared us for our second ride on this beauty. The wooden coaster gods must have flipped some switch, because our second ride on Boulder Dash was a completely different experience altogether than the first. The airtime seemed so much more forceful, the laterals were brutally enjoyable, and the ride was overall much more intense.
Something truly magical happens as Boulder Dash warms up. What begins as a slightly-above-average-woodie-in-a-spiffy-setting at park opening rapidly transforms into an epic experience worthy of world-wide recognition. Indeed, Boulder Dash progressively got better with each of our rides, culminating in our 7th and final ride which essentially altered our very perception of what a world class roller coaster consists of.
There isnt much use in describing Boulder Dashs layout in detail, because its nearly impossible to translate the Dash-experience into a coherent paragraph. Suffice to say, Boulder Dash is a turbulent skid down Compounce Mountain, rich with airtime, solid lateral gs, and thrilling close calls with intimidating boulders, topped off with a frantic series of bunny hills before slamming into the final brakes.
I would venture to say that Boulder Dash is the most complete coaster I have ridden to date:
1. It has an unmatched setting, lurking ominously in the shadows of Compounce Mountains dense foliage
2. Top notch airtime, and lots of it
3. A sustained level of intensity
4. Character, and soul
While I still find rides like El Toro, Maverick, and Phoenix "better" than Boulder Dash, I still hold firmly that Boulder Dash is a more complete experience when viewed from all possible angles.
I thoroughly enjoyed Boulder Dash, and I would credit it as the reason I am now decidedly a wood-advocate when it comes to coasters!