Thunderhead (roller coaster)

Last updated
Thunderhead
Thunderhead (Dollywood) 01.JPG
Thunderhead's logo and two Golden Tickets for the Best Wooden Roller Coaster
Dollywood
Location Dollywood
Park section Timber Canyon
Coordinates 35°47′48″N83°31′55″W / 35.79667°N 83.53194°W / 35.79667; -83.53194 Coordinates: 35°47′48″N83°31′55″W / 35.79667°N 83.53194°W / 35.79667; -83.53194
StatusOperating
Opening dateApril 3, 2004 (2004-04-03)
Cost$7 million
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Great Coasters International
DesignerMike Boodley
Track layout Twister roller coaster
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height100.4 ft (30.6 m)
Drop100 ft (30 m)
Length3,230 ft (980 m)
Speed53.7 mph (86.4 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration2:30
Max vertical angle60°
Height restriction48–76 in (122–193 cm)
Trains12 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 24 riders per train.
TimeSaver Pass available
Attraction transfer icon.svg Must transfer from wheelchair
Thunderhead at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderhead at RCDB

Thunderhead is a wooden roller coaster located at Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Manufactured by Great Coasters International, the ride opened on April 3, 2004, as the anchor attraction of a new section added to the park that season called Thunderhead Gap. Thunderhead features 22 turns and 32 crossovers, [1] and utilizes GCI's Millennium Flyer trains, which have been used on all GCI coasters since 1999.

Contents

History

On June 26, 2003, Dollywood unveiled plans for a third coaster addition to the park called Thunderhead for the 2004 season, following Tennessee Tornado, which opened in 1999. [2] Thunderhead officially opened to the public on April 3, 2004. [3]

The ride was named after Thunderhead Mountain, a peak within the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park that was heavily logged during the early 19th century.[ citation needed ] Thunderhead is a slang term in the American South for Cumulonimbus clouds.[ citation needed ]

Ride experience

The train exits the station and turns right. From there, it makes its way through a left turn and climbs the 100.4-foot (30.6 m) chain lift hill. Upon reaching the top, the train drops 100 feet (30 m) to the right at 53.7 miles per hour (86.4 km/h). Riders go through a right-handed banked turn after the drop. This is followed by a left-handed curve. Next, the train approaches a right turn, heading towards an on-ride camera, which takes photos of the riders. After a 180-degree right turn, riders go through a fly-through station element while traveling 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). The train makes a loud noise as it travels 8 feet (2.4 m) above the station. It then goes through a left-handed curve. A smaller airtime hill leads to a 270-degree helix. Riders then go through a right turn and a left turn before hitting the brakes. The train slowly turns 90 degrees to the right, passing by the transfer track. This is followed by a 180-degree left turn that leads back to the station, where riders exit the train.

Construction data

Rankings

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year20042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192021
Ranking6 [5] 1 [6] 1 [7] 2 [8] 2 [9] 5 [10] 5 [11] 5 [12] 4 [13] 5 [14] 5 [15] 5 [16] 7 [17] 8 [18] 10 [19] 11 [20] 10 [21]
NAPHA Survey: Favorite Wood Roller Coaster [22]
Year200420052006200720082009
Ranking
-
4
4
3
3
3

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References

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