This article needs additional citations for verification . (July 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Previously known as "The Coaster"|
Thunderhawk's lift hill and station
|Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom|
|Opening date||March 30, 1924|
|Manufacturer||Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters|
|Designer||Herbert Paul Schmeck|
|Track layout||Out and Back / Twister|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift hill|
|Height||80 ft (24 m)|
|Drop||65 ft (20 m)|
|Length||2,767 ft (843 m)|
|Speed||45 mph (72 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||45°|
|Height restriction||48 in (122 cm)|
|Trains||2 trains with 4 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.|
| Thunderhawk at RCDB |
Pictures of Thunderhawk at RCDB
Thunderhawk is a wooden roller coaster with an out-and-back layout located at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Originally opening as The Coaster in 1924, Thunderhawk is the oldest operating roller coaster in the Cedar Fair chain and one of the oldest in the world still in operation. It was manufactured by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters and designed by Herbert Paul Schmeck, who studied under the legendary John A. Miller and went on to mentor another well-renowned designer, John C. Allen.
Thunderhawk was designed by Herbert Paul Schmeck and built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters. When Thunderhawk opened on March 30,1924 and for many years after the ride was known simply as the Coaster. The Coaster was renamed Thunderhawk with the addition of the Hercules roller coaster to the park in 1989.
Originally, the Coaster was built as an out-and-back coaster, meaning it went straight out from the first drop, turned around and came straight back. The ride was reconfigured in 1930 to its present design with a figure-eight twister section in the middle of the ride. Over the years, the ride has seen many cosmetic changes. At one point the ride featured a bright yellow paint job, which has since been painted over with an off-white color.
The original station pavilion featured a separate bumper car ride, around which wrapped the line for the Coaster, providing some entertainment to those waiting in line. Originally, the ride began with a tunneled section and ended with another tunneled section, as the train went under the portion of the pavilion devoted to the bumper cars. However, the bumper cars were removed following Cedar Fair's purchase of the park in 1993, leaving the tunnel that began the ride as an open concrete trench. In addition, a set of brakes was placed in the middle of the return bunny hills causing the train to slow down and lose much of its trademark airtime.
The Thunderhawk structure was maintained by carpenter Paul Hottenstein, nicknamed "Shorty" from 1961 until his sudden death in the winter of 2001. A plaque in the ride's station honors him and his work on the ride.
Thunderhawk continues to be one of the park's most popular and beloved rides. To this day, it remains a classic example of an early American wooden roller coaster.
For 2016, Dorney Park announced major renovations to Thunderhawk. Among the changes were new trains designed by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters,featuring an open-air design, with individual ratcheting lap bars (as opposed to the previous "buzz bars"). The ride also received a new white coat of paint, reminiscent of the coaster's original color and a new white lighting package to outline the entire ride.
A roller coaster is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions. People ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world. LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained one of the first known patents for a roller coaster design in 1885, related to the Switchback Railway that opened a year earlier at Coney Island. The track in a coaster design does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.
A wooden roller coaster is most often classified as a roller coaster with running rails made of flattened steel strips mounted on laminated wooden track. Occasionally, the support structure may be made out of a steel lattice or truss, but the ride remains classified as a wooden roller coaster due to the track design. The type of wood typically used in the construction of wooden coasters is Southern Yellow Pine, usually grown in the US and the rest of North America.
Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, commonly referred to as PTC, is one of the oldest existing roller coaster manufacturing companies in the world. Based in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, it was established in 1904 by Henry Auchey and Chester Albright under the name Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The company manufactured carousels, wooden roller coasters, toboggans and later, roller coaster trains.
Wilde Beast is a wooden roller coaster located at Canada's Wonderland, in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. It was originally named "Wilde Beast", from 1981-1996, when it was renamed to "Wild Beast" in 1997. The ride was reverted to its original name in 2019. It is one of the four roller coasters that debuted with the park in 1981, and is one of two wooden coasters at Canada's Wonderland modelled after a ride at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio ; the other is the Mighty Canadian Minebuster. The ride's fan curve was rebuilt in 1998.
Michigan's Adventure is a 250-acre (1.0 km2) amusement park in Muskegon County, Michigan, about halfway between Muskegon and Whitehall. It is the largest amusement park in the state and has been owned and operated by Cedar Fair since 2001. As of 2019, Michigan's Adventure has 52 rides, more than any other park in the state.
Seabreeze Amusement Park, known locally as Seabreeze, is a historic amusement park in Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester, New York. It is one of only thirteen trolley parks still operating in the United States.
Elitch Gardens was a family-owned seasonal amusement park, theater, and botanic garden in the West Highland neighborhood in northwest Denver, Colorado, United States, at 38th and Tennyson streets. For more than a century Elitch's was one of the most popular entertainment destinations in Colorado. It was nationally known for its luscious gardens, the Trocadero Ballroom, the Theatre at the Gardens and the premier wooden roller coaster, Mister Twister. The park moved to downtown Denver in 1994 and later became Six Flags Elitch Gardens. The former location has been redeveloped.
Thunder Road was a wooden roller coaster located at Carowinds amusement park on the border between Fort Mill, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Opened in 1976 and built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, the racing roller coaster cost $1.6 million to construct and featured two identical tracks that paralleled each other. The design of the ride was based on Rebel Yell, a wooden racing coaster at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Thunder Road was closed on July 26, 2015, to make room for expansion at the park. On August 27, 2015, Carowinds announced that the Boomerang Bay waterpark would be expanded and renamed Carolina Harbor. The expansion resulted in the removal of Thunder Road.
The Wild One is a wooden roller coaster at Six Flags America in Prince George's County, Maryland. It features a 450° spiral helix and a series of bunny hills that produce a significant amount of air time. The wooden coaster was previously known as Giant Coaster when it was located at Paragon Park in Hull, Massachusetts. It operated there from 1917 to 1984.
The Wild Cat, originally named The Joy Ride, was a wooden roller coaster located at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The roller coaster was constructed in 1923 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC). Under an agreement between Hersheypark and PTC, Hersheypark leased the land the coaster occupied, while PTC owned and operated the coaster. The agreement was for 15 years, at which point they had the option to extend the contract. The contract was ultimately extended to 1945. The roller coaster operated from June 16, 1923, through September 1945. PTC and Hershey Park elected to close The Wild Cat and construct a new roller coaster in 1946.
Herbert Paul Schmeck was an American roller coaster designer. From 1923 to 1955, Schmeck designed 84 coasters for the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. As a designer and president, the company became the most prominent manufacturer of roller coasters in the United States.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is an American amusement and water park owned and operated by Cedar Fair and located in between Allentown, Pennsylvania and Emmaus, Pennsylvania. The park features seven roller coasters, other adult and children's rides, and a waterpark, Wildwater Kingdom.
Woodstock Express is a wooden roller coaster located at Kings Island designed by John C. Allen. It is located in the children's rides area of the park known as Planet Snoopy. The coaster has undergone four different name changes as the children's area in which it resides has been renamed and rethemed multiple times since the park opened. It has also been painted a number of different color schemes since its debut.
Wildcat is a wooden roller coaster located at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut. It was built in 1927 and is the park's centerpiece. It is one of the world's oldest roller coasters still in operation at the same location. It greatly resembles the now-defunct Wildcat roller coaster at Elitch Gardens Theme Park in Denver. Wildcat has received the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Coaster Landmark Award for its historical significance.
Joyland Amusement Park was an amusement park in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It was in continuous operation for 55 years, from June 12, 1949 to 2004, closing permanently in 2006. It was once the largest theme park in central Kansas and featured a wooden roller coaster and 24 other rides. With its closing, the only remaining amusement park in Kansas is Schlitterbahn Kansas City.
Roseland Park is a now defunct amusement park previously located at 169 Lake Shore Drive in the city of Canandaigua, New York, along the north shore of Canandaigua Lake. Roseland started operation in 1925 under its founder and original owner, William Muar. It continued to operate for 60 years until its closure on Labor Day September 2, 1985.
The Yankee Cannonball is a wooden out-and-back roller coaster built in 1930 at Lakewood Park and relocated in 1936 to Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire.
Sea Dragon is a junior wooden roller coaster located at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio. The ride is in the Jungle Jack's Landing section of the zoo. Built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC) under famed designer John C. Allen, the roller coaster opened in 1956 as Jet Flyer. It was one of three junior wooden coasters that Allen designed shortly after becoming president of PTC in 1954 – the other two were Flyer at Hunt's Pier and Valley Volcano at Angela Park. They were based on earlier designs developed by another legendary coaster architect Herbert Schmeck, who was Allen's mentor. Following the dismantling of the other two coasters in the late 1980s, Sea Dragon became the oldest roller coaster from John Allen to remain in operation.
Invertigo is a type of shuttle roller coaster manufactured by Dutch company Vekoma. It is a variation on their traditional Boomerang design.
Comet is a wooden roller coaster that is located at Waldameer Park in Erie, Pennsylvania, United States. It was designed by Herbert Schmeck and built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1951. It is similar to other Schmeck-designed PTC junior wooden coasters which feature a layered, figure-8/oval layout. However, Comet is taller than the previous junior wooden coaster designs. Comet is an ACE Coaster Classic.