This could be considered a "hybrid coaster," even though it has an all traditional wooden track with metal running strips, yet the superstructure is built with galvanized steel for durability. The ride also features a New Mexico style Western themed entrance built into the park's original performance amphitheater.
This coaster was the final coaster designed by Custom Coasters International, which filed for bankruptcy midway through its construction. Cliff's took over construction on the less than half-completed ride, and finished building the roller coaster just before the end of the 2002 season.
The ride's entrance and queue are built into the park's older performance amphitheatre and features a building style reminiscent of New Mexico's Pueblo Revival and Territorial Revival architecture.
The renovated building is topped with paintings of the namesake southwestern rattle snake next to prickly pear cactus, above a wood and steel awning that covers three Western-style wooden doors, with a broader door at center for the main entrance. The queue itself features a waiting area with rails to guide patrons through many switchbacks where the amphitheater seating used to be. There are then stairs leading up to a rebuilt stage area with a wood and steel western style load/unload station for the single 6 car train.
Once the train departs the station, there is a right-handed dip into the 25-degree chain lift hill with red, white, and blue flags on both sides as you ascend 100 feet. At its peak, with the Flag of the United States to the left and the Flag of New Mexico to the right and a view of the Sandia Mountains in front, the track curves into the first drop. A right-handed 75 foot dive into a small metal tunnel that speeds along to climb into its first turnaround section.
The track leads the train left around a wide 270 degree curvature that features a couple of high speed banked rises and dips. After turning, the coaster then dives down the second drop into and out of another small metal tunnel that disguises a Double Up that curves left to bring the train parallel to the lift hill. Riders take the third drop back down and over a few small camelback humps and dips that fly past the station and under the later helix exit.
The track veers up to the right, then curves left and over the corner of the station roof. The next course dips a bit then banks up and to the right while underneath a black canvas awning and begins a large wide 200 degree turn, whisking the train around to a raised level. Immediately after this turn, the track enters a right-handed dive down the fourth drop into a large wood/concrete tunnel that goes underground beneath a walking path and the previous large banked turn. Continuing the curve, the train pulls up -exiting the tunnel- bringing it to the top of a second banked hill where we find our fifth drop, down and to the right running along the backside of the large curve that lead to the tunnel.
The banked tracks continue the speed around the outside and then sends the train up over a walking path via a double camelback hill after which it then turns left under itself through a massive canvas covered banked helix that rises and dips once more, before climbing up and over: the helix entrance, mid-run dips, and the lift hill. The train turns right and enters the covered brake run (above the queue) before slowly turning a tight right-handed 180 degrees back into the station.
The train is glossy black with 6 individual cars that seat two riders to a row, two rows per car. Restraints use a lap bar and a cloth belt with a clip on the side. The sides have paintings of a rattlesnake body and the front bears "The Rattler" logo from the front sign. The train was built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters.
Awards and reception
According to Cliff's, The Rattler was voted as one of the top 25 wooden coasters in the world.
Golden Ticket Awards: Top Wooden Roller Coasters