Manufactured By: Mack Rides – Waldkirch, Germany
Ride Model: Wilde Maus
Location: North of Julian Bamberger Fountain, North Midway
The first of Lagoon’s three wild mice had wood supports painted white with cars that seated two riders each, tandem style. It was about half the height of the current steel Wild Mouse at the park.
AT THE WORLD’S FAIR
A few years after German designer, Franz Mack introduced the first Wild Mouse in 1957¹, a model was showcased at the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. Microsoft founder and Seattle native, Bill Gates, was a child at the time and considered the Wild Mouse and the monorail his favorite memories of the fair. When the fair closed, the amusement park section remained open. The Wild Mouse continued operating there until Lagoon bought it in 1964 and it was replaced with another Wild Mouse.
It had been 44 years since the last roller coaster was installed at Lagoon (aside from Kiddie Coaster) when the Wild Mouse opened in 1965. As part of a major expansion on the north end of the Midway, the Wild Mouse stood just north of the new Bamberger Fountain with the Ferris Wheel on one side and Space Scrambler on the other.
In 1971, the ride had mechanical problems and was dismantled “to make room for a new ride”.
1. It was in Seattle where Ted Hopkins, manager of Australia’s Luna Park, saw the Wild Mouse in operation and bought a license to build his own version in Australia. His version (shown in this video) is still running today and has a lot of similarities to the Mack design.
Cotter, Bill. Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 2010.
Lagoon ’65. Deseret News, 26 May 1965.
Soon…Lagoon can turn a frown upside down. Deseret News, 5 Apr 1975.
Arave, Lynn. Take a wild ride at Lagoon on new Wild Mouse in ’98. Deseret News, 5 Dec 1997.
Wild Mouse. Roller Coasters of the Pacific Northwest, accessed 13 Jan 2011.
Mad Mouse. Amusement Ride Extravaganza, accessed 13 Jan 2011.
North American Wild Mouse. Roller Coaster and Amusement Ride Home Page, accessed 13 Jan 2011.
Top 10 Bill Gates anecdotes from his early days. Instant Seattle, accessed 13 Jan 2011.