Thunderbolt (Dreamworld)

Last updated

Thunderbolt (Dreamworld).jpg
One of the Thunderbolt's trains passing through the second vertical loop.
Location Dreamworld
Park section Country Fair
Coordinates 27°51′54.5″S153°18′59.5″E / 27.865139°S 153.316528°E / -27.865139; 153.316528 Coordinates: 27°51′54.5″S153°18′59.5″E / 27.865139°S 153.316528°E / -27.865139; 153.316528
Opening dateApril 1982 (1982-04)
Closing date8 August 2003 (2003-08-08)
CostA$3.3 million
Replaced by FlowRider
WhiteWater World
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Sanoyas Hishino Meisho
ModelSitdown Looper
Lift/launch system Chain Lift Hill
Height31 m (102 ft)
Length1,207 m (3,960 ft)
Speed87 km/h (54 mph)
Inversions 2
Capacity960 riders per hour
Acceleration0 to 87 km/h (0 to 54 mph) in 4 seconds
Height restriction120 cm (3 ft 11 in)
Trains2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Loop Heights21 m (69 ft)
Thunderbolt at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderbolt at RCDB

The Thunderbolt was a steel roller coaster located at the Dreamworld theme park in Gold Coast, Australia. The roller coaster opened with the park in April 1982 and operated until 8 August 2003. It was demolished the following year.



On 15 December 1981, Dreamworld officially opened to the public. [1] In April 1982, the park opened its first roller coaster, the Thunderbolt. [1] It was the first roller coaster in Australia to feature vertical loops. [2] Originally painted completely white, the Thunderbolt was repainted around 1990 to feature golden loops. [2] In 1995, a new train was purchased for half a million dollars in an attempt to make the ride more comfortable. [2]

In 2002, Dreamworld conducted a feasibility study into the possibility of redeveloping the attraction. [2] The park approached Arrow Dynamics, Kumbak and Vekoma, however, it was determined that the redevelopment was unfeasible due to the ride's condition. [2]

On 8 August 2003, the ride was closed, [3] and it remained closed while attempts were made to sell it. [2] It was removed in March 2004 in such a way that it was clear it was not going to operate again. [4] Dreamworld retained a section of track and one train, both of which reside in the park's back-of-house areas. [2]

The land where Thunderbolt stood is partly occupied by Dreamworld's FlowRider installation. Future expansions of the WhiteWater World water park will use the rest of the Thunderbolt's former footprint. [5] The station building is now used for the internal entry to WhiteWater World and the FlowRider shop. [6]


Built by Japanese firm Sanoyas Hishino Meisho, the Thunderbolt measured 1,207 metres (3,960 ft) in length making it the longest roller coaster in Australia. [3] [7] Even after the ride's closure, it remained the longest Australian roller coaster until the opening of DC Rivals Hypercoaster at Movie World Gold Coast in September 2017. [8] It was capable of reaching speeds of up to 87 km/h (54 mph). [3] The ride, which stood 31 metres (102 ft) off the ground, featured two vertical loops standing at 21 metres (69 ft) each. [3]

Related Research Articles

Steel roller coaster Roller coaster that is defined by having a track made of steel

A steel roller coaster is a roller coaster that is defined by having a track made of steel. Steel coasters have earned immense popularity in the past 50 years throughout the world. Incorporating tubular steel track and polyurethane-coated wheels, the steel roller coasters can provide a taller, smoother, and faster ride with more inversions than a traditional wooden roller coaster.

Dreamworld (Australia) Theme park in Queensland, Australia

Dreamworld is a theme park and zoo situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It is Australia's biggest theme park with over 40 rides and attractions.

Hypercoaster Height class for roller coasters

A hypercoaster is any complete-circuit roller coaster with a height or drop between 200 and 299 feet The term was first coined by Arrow Dynamics and Cedar Point in 1989 with the release of the world's first hypercoaster, Magnum XL-200 featuring a height of 205 feet. It was followed by Pepsi Max Big One five years later featuring a height of 213 feet (65 m). Other roller coaster manufacturers developed models with custom names, including Mega Coasters from Intamin, Hyper Coasters from Bolliger & Mabillard, and Hyper-Hybrid Coasters from Rocky Mountain Construction. The competition between amusement parks to build increasingly taller roller coasters eventually led to giga coasters, which is a roller coaster with a height or drop between 300 and 399 feet, and strata coasters, which is a roller coaster with a height or drop between 400 and 499 feet.

Superman: Escape from Krypton Shuttle roller coaster at Magic Mountain

Superman: Escape from Krypton is a steel shuttle roller coaster located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. When it opened in 1997, it was the tallest roller coaster in the world, and its speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) was tied for the fastest with Tower of Terror II, a similar roller coaster which opened two months earlier at Dreamworld in Australia. These two coasters were the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) technology to propel vehicles to top speed. To date, it is the only reverse freefall coaster left in existence after the dismantling of Tower of Terror II.

TOGO Former Japanese amusement ride company

TOGO was a Japanese amusement ride company that built roller coasters, giant wheels, carousels, flumes, dark rides, sky cycles and other amusement rides.

Tower of Terror II Roller coaster

The Tower of Terror II was a steel shuttle roller coaster located at the Dreamworld amusement park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. When the Tower of Terror opened on 23 January 1997, it was the first roller coaster in the world to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), making it the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world of its time. The ride was situated on the Dreamworld Tower, which also houses The Giant Drop free fall ride. The ride was originally known as the Tower of Terror until it was modified and relaunched in September 2010 as Tower of Terror II.

The Gold Coaster Steel roller coaster at Dreamworld

The Gold Coaster is a steel roller coaster operating at Dreamworld. The roller coaster is one of the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere, after originally being the tallest when it was first built. Designed by Arrow Dynamics, built in Melbourne by Able Leisure Pty. Ltd the ride was originally installed at Luna Park Sydney in 1995 as the Big Dipper before being sold and relocated to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in 2001. When it was brought to Dreamworld, the ride was the first roller coaster to be opened on the Gold Coast since 1997. The roller coaster was named Cyclone from 2001 until 2015 when it was refurbished and named Hot Wheels SideWinder as part of the new Motorsport Experience themed land from 2015 to 2020.

Escape from Madagascar Roller coaster

Escape from Madagascar is a suspended family roller coaster at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Jet Rescue Amusement ride

Jet Rescue is a steel launched jet ski roller coaster made by Intamin that opened on 26 December 2008 at Sea World on the Gold Coast, Australia. The ride has a very twisted and banked layout with several fast directional changes. Unlike other family launch roller coasters, Jet Rescue features two launches. The ride features a unique jet ski style of seating with lap bar restraints. The ride is based upon Sea World's Research and Rescue Foundation performing the rescue of a sea lion.

Gold Rush Country Themed land at the Dreamworld theme park

The Gold Rush Country is a themed land at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

FlowRider (Dreamworld) Sheet wave FlowRider attraction

FlowRider is a sheet wave FlowRider attraction at the Dreamworld amusement park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

BuzzSaw (roller coaster) Steel roller coaster in Australia

BuzzSaw was a Maurer AG SkyLoop roller coaster located within the Gold Rush Country section of the Dreamworld amusement park on the Gold Coast of Australia. The ride began operation on 17 September 2011 as part of Dreamworld's 30th birthday celebrations. The ride was permanently closed on 31 August 2021, due to Dreamworld prioritising future development plans.

This is a list of events and openings related to amusement parks that occurred in 2011. These various lists are not exhaustive.

History of Dreamworld Aspect of history

The history of Dreamworld dates back to the mid-1970s when John Longhurst envisioned the future theme park. After a seven-year construction period, Dreamworld officially opened to the public on 15 December 1981. Now owned by publicly listed Ardent Leisure, the park has seen many expansions, closures and replacements over its 30-year history.

Shambhala (roller coaster) Steel hyper coaster

Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya is a steel hypercoaster roller coaster located at PortAventura Park in Salou and Vilaseca, Spain. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, it was the tallest and fastest coaster in Europe at the time of its opening. The height and speed records were beaten in April 2017 by Red Force, which was also opened in PortAventura World in its new theme park Ferrari Land. Among coasters with a lift hill, the height and speed records were beaten in July 2018, when Hyperion opened at Energylandia in Poland. Shambhala is named and themed after the inaccessible land in the Himalayas: Shambhala. The coaster was announced on 24 October 2011, and opened to the public on 12 May 2012.

SkyLoop Steel roller coaster

SkyLoop is a type of steel roller coaster manufactured by Maurer Söhne. There are currently 10 SkyLoops operating worldwide, nine of which are identical XT 150 models, and one of which is an extended XT 450 model. The first SkyLoop to open was Sky Wheel in 2004 while the sole XT 450, Abismo, opened in 2006. There are also three other models available—XT 900, Custom, and Launch—which have not seen any installations as of 2021.

<i>Storm Coaster</i> Roller coaster

Storm Coaster is a Water Coaster located at the Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast, Australia. The ride is designed by Mack Rides of Germany and combines the flume and splashdown elements of a log flume, with the chain lift hill and drops of a steel roller coaster.

Abyss (roller coaster) Steel roller coaster in Adventure World

Abyss is a steel roller coaster located at the Adventure World amusement park in Perth, Western Australia. The $12-million attraction was announced in April 2013, and construction began the following month. It opened to the general public six months later on 1 November 2013.

DC Rivals HyperCoaster Roller coaster in Queensland, Australia

DC Rivals HyperCoaster is a steel hypercoaster at Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Manufactured by Mack Rides, it is the longest, fastest, and tallest hypercoaster in the Southern Hemisphere. It officially opened on 22 September 2017, becoming the newest attraction added to Warner Bros. Movie World since Doomsday Destroyer in 2016 and the latest roller coaster addition since Green Lantern Coaster in 2011. The roller coaster reaches a height of 61.6 metres (202 ft) with a maximum speed of 115.1 kilometres per hour (71.5 mph) and has a total track length of 1.4 kilometres (4,593.2 ft).


  1. 1 2 "The Gold Coast finds a reply to Disneyland". The Age. 19 April 1982. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Thunderbolt (Dreamworld)". Parkz. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Marden, Duane. "Thunderbolt  (Dreamworld)". Roller Coaster DataBase . Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  4. Ellem, Ryan (4 March 2004). "Flame goes out on Thunderbolt". The Gold Coast Bulletin . p. 7.
  5. "Development Application Tracking - Application: MCU2700970". Gold Coast City Council. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  6. "Dreamworld and WhiteWater World Map" (PDF). Dreamworld. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  7. Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results". Roller Coaster DataBase . Retrieved 17 February 2012.