DW 6/11/04 - Aerial Thunderhead pics trip report!! :)

Associated parks:
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 5:36 PM
Hey all...here's a taste of the good stuff that's coming soon....

On mission for S&D Greetings I got a chopper and flew over Dollywood.

(For those who missed...I did aerial pics of Ozark WIldcat last year)

We got the bird and took the beautiful 7 minute trip to get to the park. The strip full of tourist trap crap sure looks nicer from the air!

Before going on, please do not post, alter, etc. these pics in any way, commercial or not.....save them for your own use, wallpaper, etc. If you have any questions, see the image use policy on www.coastergallery.com. Sorry to waste space on here posting that, but I've seen my pics show up on too many sites without permission!

Anyway, soon after spottng DOllywood:

THERE IT WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so beautiful I wanted to stare at it and not take pictures :)

Now I thought that Lightning Racer, Ozark Wildcat were very "twisty" but this takes the cake.

Mike Boodley has really outdone himself this time!

And one last pic.

I took two whole rolls of Thunderhead, so look for more soon, and the best shot of all will show up in S&D's 2005 calender. (In the future it will also be on my site)

We did a quick pass over Tenesee Tornado as well. #2 #3

After that it was another 7 minutes back to the pad, then a 15 min drive to the park.

I was with a church group of 40 kids (they can be seen waving to me in the queues while I was in the chopper). They had already ridden, and my dad, a veteran of around 300 different coasters confessed to me that Thunderhead might be his new #1. I met up with him for a ride....and at 60 years, he still ended up riding more than me by the end of the day!

What can I say about the ride other than "WOW". It's near impossible to describe. In the front there are at elast a dozen pops of air, some rather lengthy, and the lateral assaults are relentless. The crew (retirement age folks) were about the best I've seen anywhere. Amazingly efficient (even always filling empty seats), and nice beyond belief. (Of course, the same can be said for almost all employees in the park!)

After a few spins I went to check out Tornado. I had ridden it a few years back and enjoyed it. It was still fun, but had aged a bit since I was there. Now it's no Shockwave, but it could have used some new wheels to get rid of the bumpyness that myself and the kids I was with noticed. All in all, a nice ride, and a wonderful addition to the park.

The rest of the park was great...I loved it despite hating country music and not being a fan of Dolly :) Great rides, great (cheap!) food, and some really unique attractions (love that Bald Eagle habitat).

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 6:27 PM
Just beautiful. :)

To think this will be my new homepark... :)

-Dawn (moving to western North Carolina in one week)

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 6:40 PM
Great TR, Peabody.

Shameless Plug: if you think those pics are beautiful wait until you see the ones we're saving for the calendar ;)

Details on the other coasters featured plus how to order will be released soon!

mOOSH

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 6:41 PM
Having never seen the entire layout before, my jaw just hit the floor! Simply amazing! Beautiful pix Peabody, thanks for sharing.
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 6:42 PM
Thanks for sharing these awesome pics. Tennesse Tornado is hecka short. I thought there was more after the butterfly.
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 6:56 PM
Those're beautiful. I want a helicopter.
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 9:40 PM
Amazing! Great Pics!
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:03 PM
So glad you enjoyed our park. Did you get to make it down to Country Fair? (that is my area) =O)

Char

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:05 PM
By the way.....Awesome Pics!!
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:05 PM
Sweet Pics.

You may want to give Jeff Pike credit along with Mike Boodley. Thunderhead is both of their creations.

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:11 PM
I give everyone credit....all at GCI and all who worrked on the coaster :) (Didn't mean to offend by only mentioning Boodley....he's the only one I know)
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:48 PM
You forgot that CPunk built the trains too... ;)
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:58 PM
Incredible views Peabody. Would you consider selling copies? I'd love a framed 11x14 of my new favorite woodie.

Thanks for sharing those!

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:59 PM
Marimba:

Yep...forgot that, that's why I added "all who worked on the coaster). Cpunk...those are the best darn trains anywhere....can you please build them for all woodies? :) *** Edited 6/25/2004 2:59:46 AM UTC by Peabody***

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 11:00 PM
HarryTraver....I'll let you know. Let's talk about that over email though and not clog up Jeff's site :)
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Thursday, June 24, 2004 11:21 PM
Darn my cover was blown!

I wish I could build more. I know alot of coasters that would benefit from the Flyers. For now I'd be happy to build them for Wildcat, Roar East, and a 4 trains for Gwazi. There's more to it than just throwing a set of new trains on the coaster though. The brakes are in differant spots and i'm sure other things would need to be altered too.

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Friday, June 25, 2004 12:13 AM
Jeff.....

BEAUTIFUL PICS!!!

I got all warm and fuzzy just looking at them and thinking "yep.....that's my Thunderhead".

Thanks for posting those! They are just........WOW!

I have the first one as my desktop pic now.......SWEET!

-Tina *** Edited 6/25/2004 4:28:02 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Friday, June 25, 2004 1:28 AM
AWESOME pics! Nice to see you on board for this year's calendar. Thanks for taking those of Tornado. What an awesome perspective. I am so thrilled to see more and more peeps making the trek to Dolly this year. It is such a fantastic park, and has two perfect coasters. Sad indeed that Tornado was Arrow's last standard looper, because it clearly proved that they were capable of doing amazing things (That's a completely un-biased opinion! Trust me, after nearly 400 coasters you get a feel for what is good and what isn't). As for the layout, it's short and sweet. Fits perfectly in the given space.

Thunderhead seems to have more air than the typical GCI's from what I hear. I've read numerous reviews and my anticipation grows with each one. My brother (B&M Guy) and I will be hitting this park in July. It's been 3 years and I can't wait to get back there.

Speaking of S&D, I'm done with "mini- Raptor" (for now) and ready to get back to work on those pics for ya Moosh!

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Friday, June 25, 2004 11:27 AM
Brad - Peabody was onboard for the 2004 calendar as well along with you...he took the Oz Wildcat aerial ;) Have fun at PKI...I know you'll do me proud!

mOOSHIE [t-minus 11 hours until GID]

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Friday, June 25, 2004 2:08 PM
BEAUTIFUL work, Jeff (as always).

Your dad done did good, you're a great guy...and it's good to know he's pretty hardcore himself...:)

Mooshie, can't wait for the upcoming calendar...

Thunderhead is *intensity throughout*...don't know that I'd say it features that much airtime, but what it does, it does AMAZINGLY well. Kudos to the entire GCII crew....

C-punk had *better* get working on some new trains soon, LOTS of great coasters could be SO much better with those trains....but Gwazi really wouldn't need 4 MF trains, they rarely run both sides at once anyway...;)

TT is short, but oh-so-sweet...I've never been on a coaster that spent 50% of the ride upside down....they shoulda called it "Hillside Hangtime", LOL...

Finally, a *holler out*(;)) to those folks from Dollywood, they also have that "these employees are too good to be true" feeling...:)

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