Thunderbolt (2014 roller coaster)

Last updated

Thunderbolt Coney Island 2.jpg
The completed Thunderbolt
Luna Park
Location Luna Park
Coordinates 40°34′25″N73°58′57″W / 40.573487°N 73.982551°W / 40.573487; -73.982551 Coordinates: 40°34′25″N73°58′57″W / 40.573487°N 73.982551°W / 40.573487; -73.982551
Opening dateJune 14, 2014 (2014-06-14)
CostUS$9 million
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Zamperla
Lift/launch systemVertical chain lift
Height115 ft (35 m)
Drop112 ft (34 m)
Length2,234 ft (681 m)
Speed56 mph (90 km/h)
Inversions 4
G-force 4.3
Height restriction50 in (127 cm)
Thunderbolt at RCDB

Thunderbolt is a steel roller coaster at Luna Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. It is located near Surf Avenue and West 15th Street, on the Riegelmann Boardwalk next to the B&B Carousell.



Under construction Thunderbolt Roller Coaster - Coney Island - Under Construction - 2014-05-26.jpg
Under construction

A wooden roller coaster named the Thunderbolt was originally operated by George Moran on Coney Island from 1925 to 1982. It was demolished in 2000 due to neglect. [1] [2]

In June 2013, it was announced that the operators of Luna Park at Coney Island, Zamperla, would construct a new steel roller coaster which would use the Thunderbolt name. [2] [3] Due to the small footprint required for the coaster, the original plans called for the coaster to use an elevator instead of a lift hill. [4] The ride's manufacturer Zamperla announced further details in November 2013, which showed that the ride would have a vertical lift hill. [5]

Published reports stated that Thunderbolt was expected to be completed and opened by Memorial Day 2014, [3] [6] but construction delays pushed the opening date back. [7] On Memorial Day, which fell on May 25, 2014, the opening was delayed to early June [8] [9] and revised to open by June 6. [10] [11] Just before the scheduled opening on June 6, the opening date was once again delayed. [12] Thunderbolt finally opened on June 14, 2014. [13]


Thunderbolt viewed from the west, June 2016 Thunderbolt roller coaster, Coney Island (June 2016).jpg
Thunderbolt viewed from the west, June 2016

Thunderbolt was manufactured by Zamperla at a cost of US$9 million [14] and has a 90-degree vertical drop and four inversions. [15] [16] [17] [18] From the beginning of the initial drop, to the end of ride, it takes 38 seconds. The ride features 2,234 feet (681 m) of track and runs at a top speed of 56 miles per hour (90 km/h). [19] Thunderbolt is a pay-per-use attraction, as guests must pay $10 for each time they ride on the coaster. [7]

After leaving the station, the train turns 180 degrees to the left and enters a 90-degree, 125-foot (38 m) lift hill. It immediately descends 90 degrees and enters a vertical loop, followed by a Zero-G Roll to the left. After the second inversion, the train enters a leftward-sloping Stengel dive, followed by an Immelmann loop to the right. The train goes over two camelback hills before entering a right-hand corkscrew. After the corkscrew, the train enters another camelback hill before hitting the brake run and entering the station. [4] [20]

Each train consists of a single car with nine seats, arranged in three rows of three. This is different from conventional coaster trains, which are usually arranged in rows of two or four across. [7]

Other installations

Coney Island's Thunderbolt is the first of five Zamperla coasters manufactured under the "Thunderbolt" brand as of 2019. [21] [22] There are three possible layouts for the Thunderbolt coaster model. The first version is 2,234 feet (681 m) long. [23] This layout is used by Coney Island's Thunderbolt and two other coasters: Rapid Train at Gyeongnam Mason Robotland in Gyeongnam, South Korea; and Rollin' Thunder at the Park at OWA in Foley, Alabama. [24] The second version is 2,215 feet (675 m) long while the third version is 1,230 feet (375 m) long. Both alternate versions are meant to operate on wider lots with a shorter depth. [23]

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