Thunderhawk (Michigan's Adventure)

Last updated
Previously known as Serial Thriller (1998–2003)
Thunderhawk Michigan's Adventure.jpg
Michigan's Adventure
Park section Timbertown
Coordinates 43°20′43″N86°22′12″W / 43.345208°N 86.37°W / 43.345208; -86.37
Opening dateMay 17, 2008 (2008-05-17)
Cost$10 million
Geauga Lake
Coordinates 41°21′00″N86°16′37″W / 41.35°N 86.276975°W / 41.35; -86.276975
Opening dateMay 9, 1998 (1998-05-09)
Closing dateSeptember 16, 2007 (2007-09-16)
General statistics
Type Steel  Inverted
Manufacturer Vekoma
DesignerPeter Clerx
Model Suspended Looping Coaster (689m Standard)
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height109.3 ft (33.3 m)
Length2,260.5 ft (689.0 m)
Speed49.7 mph (80.0 km/h)
Inversions 5
Capacity1,040 riders per hour
Height restriction52–78 in (132–198 cm)
Trains2 trains with 10 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 20 riders per train.
Cedar Fair Fast Lane availibility.svg Fast Lane available
Thunderhawk at RCDB

Thunderhawk is an inverted roller coaster located at Michigan's Adventure amusement park in Muskegon, Michigan. Designed and built by Vekoma, the roller coaster originally debuted in 1998 as Serial Thriller at Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio. It was renamed Thunderhawk in 2004 following Cedar Fair's acquisition of the park. After Geauga Lake's permanent closure in 2007, Thunderhawk was dismantled and moved to Michigan's Adventure, where it reopened in 2008.



Thunderhawk in 2006 at Geauga Lake in Ohio Thunderhawk06.png
Thunderhawk in 2006 at Geauga Lake in Ohio

The ride originally opened at Geauga Lake as Serial Thriller on May 9, 1998. [1] It was constructed over what was previously marshland along the shores of Geauga Lake. A small, man-made island was constructed, and to keep it dry, a pump was installed near the ride's entrance. Much of the track and its supports were built over water. The track was originally red and the supports were originally green.

Serial Thriller was kept in operation following the park's ownership changes over the years involving Six Flags and Cedar Fair. After Cedar Fair purchased the park in 2004, the ride's name was changed to Thunderhawk. The following year, the track was repainted orange while the supports were repainted yellow. [2]

On September 21, 2007, Cedar Fair announced that the amusement park side of Geauga Lake would close, leaving only the water park, Wildwater Kingdom, in operation. [3] On October 2, 2007, it was announced that Thunderhawk would be relocated to Michigan's Adventure under the same name. [4]

The ride's structure began to be reconstructed in January 2008. [5] During construction of Thunderhawk, the roller coaster was repainted with red track and the supports remained yellow. Its padding and restraints on the trains were replaced as well in accordance with the new color scheme, as well as to improve the ride experience. Michigan's Adventure also made full-length ride DVDs available for purchase by riders. [6] Thunderhawk opened at its current location on May 17, 2008. [7]

For the 2021 season the supports were repainted dark brown, while the track remained red.

Ride experience

After riders board the train, they are pulled up the 109-foot (33 m) lift hill. After cresting its highest point, it turns right and drops 85 feet (26 m), reaching speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h). The train then ascends into a roll over, in which the train goes through an Immelmann immediately followed by a dive loop. This element inverts riders twice and is shaped like a heart. Next, the train travels through a banked hill and into a sidewinder, followed by a 270 degree downward helix into a double inline twist that features multiple footchopper effects. The train curves again, dips, and rises up into the final brake run. As the train returns to the station, it curves to the right passing by its maintenance track.


On May 29, 2017, passengers were trapped on Thunderhawk for 90 minutes after a lift motor malfunction. One train was in the station while the other was on the lift hill. The ride was closed for the remainder of the day. [8]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geauga Lake</span> Defunct amusement park in Ohio

Geauga Lake was an amusement park in Bainbridge Township and Aurora, Ohio. It was established in 1887, in what had been a local recreation area adjacent to a lake of the same name. The first amusement ride was added in 1889, and the park's first roller coaster – the Big Dipper – was built in 1925. The park was sold to Funtime, Inc., in 1969 and was expanded over the years with additional rides and amenities. Funtime was acquired by Premier Parks in 1995, and for the 2000 season, they re-branded Geauga Lake as Six Flags Ohio, adding four new roller coasters. The following year, Six Flags bought the adjacent SeaWorld Ohio and combined the two parks under the name Six Flags Worlds of Adventure.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inverted roller coaster</span> Type of roller coaster

An inverted roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster in which the train runs under the track with the seats directly attached to the wheel carriage. Riders are seated in open cars, letting their feet swing freely. The inverted coaster was pioneered by Swiss roller coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard in the early 1990s with the development of Batman: The Ride, which opened at Six Flags Great America on May 9, 1992.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arrow Dynamics</span> Defunct American roller coaster manufacturer

Arrow Dynamics was an American manufacturing and engineering company that specialized in designing and building amusement park rides, especially roller coasters. Based in Clearfield, Utah, the company was the successor to Arrow Development (1946–1981) and Arrow Huss (1981–1986), which were responsible for several influential advancements in the amusement and theme park industries. Among the most significant was tubular steel track, which provided a smoother ride than the railroad style rails commonly used prior to the 1960s on wooden roller coasters. The Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, built in 1959, was Arrow's first roller coaster project.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michigan's Adventure</span> Amusement park in Muskegon, Michigan

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 2022, Michigan's Adventure has 37 rides, more than any other park in the state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raptor (Cedar Point)</span> Inverted roller coaster

Raptor is a steel inverted roller coaster designed by Bolliger & Mabillard at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, United States. The coaster, which broke many records upon its opening in 1994, differs from previous inverted coasters. Instead of having a short layout designed to fit into a compact area like Batman: The Ride, Raptor was designed with a larger, 3,790-foot (1,160 m) layout, making it the tallest, fastest and longest inverted roller coaster in the world when it opened. It features six inversions, including a cobra roll, a first for inverted roller coasters. The ride is themed as a bird of prey.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dominator (roller coaster)</span> Floorless roller coaster

Dominator is a floorless roller coaster located at Kings Dominion amusement park in Doswell, Virginia. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, it originally opened in 2000 as Batman: Knight Flight at Six Flags Ohio, in Aurora, Ohio. It was given its current name when Cedar Fair purchased the Ohio park in 2004. However, following Six Flags Ohio ’s eventual permanent closure in 2007, the coaster was relocated to Kings Dominion, where it reopened on May 24, 2008. Dominator is located fairly close to the park’s main entry plaza, in the area known as International Street.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Suspended Looping Coaster</span> Type of roller coaster

The Suspended Looping Coaster is a model of steel inverted roller coaster built by Vekoma. There are at least 39 different installations across the world. The minimum rider height requirement is 130 centimetres. Vekoma is now marketing a Suspended Thrill Coaster as a successor to the Suspended Looping Coaster. The Odyssey is the largest, fastest and tallest SLC ever built at Fantasy Island in the UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nighthawk (roller coaster)</span> Steel roller coaster

Nighthawk is a steel flying roller coaster from Vekoma located at Carowinds amusement park. The roller coaster is located in the Celebration Plaza section of the park. The roller coaster originally opened as Stealth at California's Great America on April 1, 2000. In 2003, Paramount Parks decided to relocate the roller coaster to Carowinds. It reopened as Borg Assimilator – the first coaster in the world to be themed to Star Trek – on March 20, 2004. After Cedar Fair purchased Carowinds in 2006, Paramount themes were soon removed from the park, and the ride was renamed Nighthawk. It is one of only two Flying Dutchman models still in existence from Vekoma.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Flash: Vertical Velocity (Six Flags Great America)</span> Inverted steel roller coaster

The Flash: Vertical Velocity is an inverted steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. The roller coaster is themed to the DC Comics character, The Flash. Originally named Vertical Velocity, the ride received a re-theme in 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Big Dipper (Geauga Lake)</span> Rollercoaster

Big Dipper was a wooden roller coaster located at the defunct Geauga Lake amusement park in Bainbridge Township, Ohio. Originally opened in 1925 as Sky Rocket, it was renamed Clipper in the late 1940s, and eventually Big Dipper in 1969. It was the oldest operating roller coaster in Ohio and seventh-oldest in the United States when it closed in 2007. Designed by John A. Miller, the Big Dipper was also one of the last remaining roller coasters in the world from the designer. American Coaster Enthusiasts awarded the coaster its ACE Coaster Classic and ACE Coaster Landmark designations. Efforts to sell, preserve, and restore the ride were unsuccessful. The ride was demolished on October 17, 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Double Loop (Geauga Lake)</span> Defunct steel roller coaster

Double Loop was a steel roller coaster located at Geauga Lake amusement park in Bainbridge Township and Aurora, Ohio. Built by Arrow Dynamics, it opened in 1977 as the first roller coaster in the world to feature two consecutive vertical loops. The roller coaster operated until the park closed permanently in 2007, and it was later sold for scrap at an auction a year later.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Villain (roller coaster)</span> Defunct wooden roller coaster

Villain was a wooden roller coaster at the Geauga Lake amusement park in Aurora, Ohio. It was designed by Custom Coasters International (CCI), and built by Rocky Mountain Construction. The ride opened as part of the four-coaster expansion Six Flags brought to Geauga Lake between 1999 and 2000. It was a wooden hybrid, with steel supports and wood track. When it originally opened, the ride was moderately smooth, but by 2001 it had deteriorated and was re-tracked during the off-season by Martin & Vleminckx. This was the second CCI coaster to feature a "trick track" element, where the track banks from one side to another while staying on an otherwise straight path. On June 17, 2008, Villain was sold for scrap to Cleveland Scrap for $2,500 following the closure of Geauga Lake in 2007. The ride has since been demolished.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raging Wolf Bobs</span> Defunct wooden roller coaster

Raging Wolf Bobs was a wooden roller coaster located at Geauga Lake amusement park in Ohio. Designed by Curtis D. Summers to resemble Bobs, a popular roller coaster at the defunct Riverview Park in Chicago, Raging Wolf Bobs was constructed by the Dinn Corporation and opened to the public in 1988. It operated until June 16, 2007, following an accident involving the derailing of a train that unexpectedly rolled backward on one of the track's hills. After remaining closed for the rest of that season, park owners Cedar Fair announced the permanent closure of Geauga Lake, sealing the fate of Raging Wolf Bobs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Firehawk (roller coaster)</span> Former roller coaster at Kings Island

Firehawk was a flying roller coaster located at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. Manufactured by Vekoma, it originally opened as X-Flight at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure on May 26, 2001, billed as the Midwest's first and only flying roller coaster. Cedar Fair purchased Worlds of Adventure in 2004 and began efforts to downsize the park. X-Flight was relocated to Kings Island following the 2006 season, where it reopened as Firehawk on May 26, 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Possessed (roller coaster)</span> Launched roller coaster at Dorney Park

Possessed is an inverted impulse launched roller coaster located at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Manufactured by Intamin and designed by Werner Stengel, the roller coaster originally debuted at Six Flags Ohio amusement park as Superman: Ultimate Escape on May 5, 2000. After Cedar Fair purchased the park and restored its Geauga Lake name in early 2004, the coaster was immediately renamed Steel Venom. The ride closed in 2006 and was moved to Dorney Park. It reopened in 2008 briefly under the name Voodoo, and was renamed Possessed for the 2009 season. The model is identical to five other impulse coaster installations at other amusement parks. A larger version called Wicked Twister was located at Cedar Point until its closure in September 2021.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corkscrew (Michigan's Adventure)</span> Steel roller coaster in Michigan

Corkscrew is a steel roller coaster at Michigan's Adventure in Muskegon, Michigan. It was manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. Corkscrew was the park's first roller coaster during the Deer Park days.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wolverine Wildcat</span> Wooden roller coaster in Michigan

Wolverine Wildcat is a wooden roller coaster at Michigan's Adventure, an amusement park near Muskegon, Michigan. It first opened in 1988 before Cedar Fair purchased the park. It is located in Timbertown, near the Timbertown Railway Station. It was the commonly referred to as the most thrilling ride at Michigan's Adventure until Shivering Timbers was built in 1998. The ride has a double out and back layout that is loosely based on the former Wildcat at Coney Island. Wolverine Wildcat celebrated its 30th year at Michigan's Adventure in 2018, which was also Shivering Timbers' 20th anniversary and Thunderhawk's 10th anniversary.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Flying Cobras</span> Roller coaster at Carowinds

The Flying Cobras is a steel boomerang roller coaster manufactured by Vekoma. It is located at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the County Fair section of the park. The Flying Cobras was the first roller coaster addition to Carowinds following the park's purchase by Cedar Fair in 2006. It originally debuted in 1996 at Geauga Lake in Ohio as The Mind Eraser, and was later known as Head Spin from 2004 to 2007 after Geauga Lake was purchased by Cedar Fair. After Geauga Lake closed in 2007, the coaster was relocated to Carowinds in 2009 and renamed Carolina Cobra. Following the 2016 season, the roller coaster was refurbished and renamed again in 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Impulse roller coaster</span>

An Impulse roller coaster is a form of a launched inverted roller coaster manufactured by Intamin. The first Impulse roller coaster appeared in Japan, and the ride type has since evolved to include four specific layouts, three of these varieties being built in the United States. It uses LIMs to launch a train out of the station and up a vertical spiral. The train then falls backward, is powered again through the station, and heads up a back tower. The train then falls forward, and continues in this fashion for a total of 2½ cycles per ride. On the final forward launch, with a slightly reduced speed, the train is sent up the front tower, and brakes then deploy on the launch track. The train then slows down and heads back into the station.

Serial Thriller was a roller coaster at two former Six Flags amusement parks:


  1. Whitmire, Lou (May 14, 1998). "Serial Thriller waiting for you". The Times Recorder. Thomson News Service. Retrieved November 28, 2020 via
  2. "GL's Thunderhawk to be repainted yellow and orange".
  3. "Geauga Lake silences rides; water park remains".
  4. Alexander, Dave (2007-10-02). "New roller coaster will be park's most expensive ride". Muskegon Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
  5. "Thunderhawk @ MiA Goes Vertical!". NewsPlusNotes. 24 January 2008.
  6. Construction Photos, accessed on 1-29-2008
  7. Marden, Duane. "Thunderhawk  (Michigan's Adventure)". Roller Coaster DataBase . Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  8. Mcguire, Justine (2017-05-30). "Michigan's Adventure's Thunderhawk traps riders for 90 minutes". Retrieved 2019-04-08.