Carowinds plans to retire Thunder Road on July 26

Posted Monday, May 25, 2015 7:16 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Thunder Road, a classic Carowinds roller coaster, is gearing up for its final ride. The wooden roller coaster will carry its last guest on July 26 after 39 years and nearly 40 million rides, according to a Carowinds news release.

Read more from WSCO/Charlotte.

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Monday, May 25, 2015 9:19 PM
CarolinaNick15's avatar

I find it funny that they would close it a year before its 40th anniversary. Maybe Iron Horse for its fortieth birthday? That would be cool.

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Monday, May 25, 2015 10:08 PM

Are you operating on the idea that, if you keep saying it, the extremely unlikely will actually happen?


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Monday, May 25, 2015 10:22 PM

Nick seems to have a lot of big ideas for Carowinds, each one different, even though he spoke to a park man who supposedly told him what was really happening. So it seems he's here to awe us with his hopes, wishes, and vivid imagination.

And it's fun to speculate, but around here opinions about items we know to be fact carry more weight.

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Monday, May 25, 2015 10:41 PM
sws's avatar

I'm particularly interested when Tyler happened to move to the Carolinas. I didn't even get a change-of-address notification.

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Monday, May 25, 2015 11:35 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Thank goodness Cedar Fair bases decisions on sentiment, not pragmatic business choices..... :-)


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 12:46 AM

Why tear it down they can put a path thru Thunder Road. They can have a roller coaster going thru the middle of a water park. Didn't they retrack TR last few years?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 12:59 AM
sws's avatar

By retracking T-R, do you mean the time he got a clean pair of tighty whities?

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 6:51 AM
CarolinaNick15's avatar

RCMAC said:
Nick seems to have a lot of big ideas for Carowinds, each one different, even though he spoke to a park man who supposedly told him what was really happening. So it seems he's here to awe us with his hopes, wishes, and vivid imagination.

And it's fun to speculate, but around here opinions about items we know to be fact carry more weight.

I don't know what will replace it. It's probably just waterpark stuff. I don't understand myself sometimes.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:35 AM

And who hasn't said that from time to time?
Sometimes it's best to join in a conversation rather than trying to make one all the time.

twj makes an interesting point, and I believe it's Canada's Wonderland where they intertwined their out and back, Mighty Canadian Minebuster, with water slides from an encroaching waterpark. Coaster riders go under slides and stairs and there's a bridge they duck under as well. I can't speak to how successful that is for them, it seems to me it may cause certain hassles in regard to maintenance of all those structures.
However, isn't Thunder Road the ride at Carowinds that crosses the state line then returns to cross it again? I've always thought having a ride in two states would be a nightmare, if for no other reason than inspections might get tricky. And they have spent time and money on rehabbing the track, over several seasons, so maybe in the end it's just a dog and they want rid of it. I don't get there enough to say whether the ride is better or worse for it, but as I said somewhere else, I rode it when I went for Fury and pretty much hated it for its roughness.

Thunder Road is one of the three racing coasters built by the Taft folks when they owned the parks. So nostalgics may be sad over that fact, as that ride is the first from that era to go away.

But let's hope for the best here, and I don't mean by wishing for an Aquatrax. Somewhere, some time ago, didn't Cedar Fair make mention that Carowinds would be the park where they would concentrate a lot of money and attention in order to turn it into the premier regional theme park of the south? They have a plan, some of it implemented quite successfully already, and I expect we'll see them utilize that land and beyond for good things. An expanded water park, for sure, but probably some noteworthy rides as well.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:45 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I'm sure ridership numbers played a role in this decision, too. But its really hard to ride a coaster when its a pain to find the entrance.

Thunder Road isn't the only coaster to cross state lines at the park. Even Fury 325 crosses state lines. I think its a shame they will lose a coaster, even if its not the best in the world. But the dynamics of the park is changing and I can see why its going away. If they plan on expanding Soak City that's really the only place they can go with it.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:56 AM

Oops, that absolutely true about Fury. I never thought about it.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 3:43 PM
CarolinaNick15's avatar

Why not just take out their Shoot the Rapids ride. It feels like you're on the San Andreas Falt on the lift hill. It's really just boring. All it does is get you soaked in brown, dirty water, and that is if you can even find the entrance path.They could fit 1 or 2 slides there.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 4:12 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I'd guess doing so wouldn't work with the multi-year plan they have in place for the park.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 5:12 PM
bjames's avatar

It's just a shame to see all these classic wooden racing coasters go. Rolling Thunder, Colossus, and now Thunder Road? I just don't feel like they're building these things any more, or any wooden coasters at all for that matter, and they're losing something unique.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 6:13 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I agree. The pragmatic part of me understands that these are businesses making business decisions... and the enthusiast part of me laments losing them.

Bjames: your signature is most logical. :-)


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:23 PM
CarolinaNick15's avatar

The problem is that T Roads maintenance costs are rediculously high. Like 500 grand/year high.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:43 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Source?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 9:10 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Come now, don't be rediclous.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 9:25 PM

Hey now, it's not his falt.

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