It starts out rather pleasantly–a relaxing ride up the mountain as you cross a stream, see the Ozarks’ beautiful foliage (autumn is especially striking) and listen to birds and crickets chirping. But then, at the top, all that is forgotten as you’re sent flying 3,000 feet down the hill, twisting and turning as you zigzag your way through the forest in a 330-foot vertical drop. Luckily, The Runaway Mountain Coaster is a traditional alpine experience lets you control your own speed, so it doesn’t have to seem life-threatening. There are two-seaters for smaller people and a parent with a kid (the combined weight has to be less than 300 pounds), and to ride by yourself you have to be 9 years old and at least 52 inches tall.
I really enjoyed this ride and if time had permitted, would have ridden it again. Only the second time, I wouldn’t have been so cautious. You can go up to 25 miles an hour.
There’s another roller coaster on Highway 76 called Branson Coaster, which sends riders up and down twice on two different routes, with loops and twists along the way. If I were to choose one, however, I’d do the Runaway.