Is Rolling Thunder History?

Monday, July 4, 2005 2:13 PM
Just wanted to get everyone's opinions. I have a hunch that SFGA's Rolling Thunder will be done either as soon as this Fall (unlikely) or soon after the new woodie is built. I just believe its time has come. I love woodies, I love the wild ones but RT appears in particularly poor working condition and it's about the only one out there that I really don't enjoy riding and I'm wondering what the general public thinks. Painting the ride was part of the makeup done for Kingda Ka so I don't believe that is a reason this won't happen and two-train operation is another customer service item that I don't believe means anything.

Possible reasons why it may go. It's right smack in the middle of the Golden Kingdom which includes the new woodie and I believe they would use that area for further GK expansion. That section with RT and outside the station look a little dated and they obviously know that because they are taking out trees and "possibly" buildings right in front of RT. It did seem odd that after 30 years they'd build the new woodie right next to the old one. I don't believe a park like SFGA needs more than one woodie, if RT goes by-by, will many people miss it, I don't think so? I used to love RT when I was younger so this isn't meant to be a bash of the ride, just how the park may be looking at its future. Thoughts?

Monday, July 4, 2005 2:26 PM
It's days may be numbered, but not this year, and not the next year or likely the year after that.

A paintjob is a very expensive task, and never just for "makeup" to make another coaster look good.

I agree with you that if the plug-n-play works out nicely for GrAdv... as it should, that RTs days might be numbered.

On the flipside, I wouldn't care if they rip out RT BEFORE they even complete the new woodie. It's actually worse than Villain, and that's saying something! :)

Monday, July 4, 2005 2:30 PM
I never rode RT until last year for the first time...and it was really rought...the only time I liked it was one time earlier this year (or was it late last year) when it was not too rought...but every other time, I haven't liked it. So I really hope they do get rid of RT...and I'd love it if SFGAdv had two woodies (a newer one after the new know what I mean).
Monday, July 4, 2005 2:51 PM
Maybe in 5 or 6 years it maybe gone. But not before then. I heard they have had both sides running this year and with a new paint job and Q line being cleaned up I think its still got a few more year under its belt to go.
Monday, July 4, 2005 3:32 PM
Not entirely sure of their intention here myself. Two woodies in such close proximity, plus rumblings on suggest they will not disturb the surrounding vegetation. And with RT sporting the fresh paint . . . and racing even. I'm stumped.
Monday, July 4, 2005 3:48 PM
In regards to the paint job....well, I must be an expensive task, however, Orient Express at WOF was painted only 2 years before it was removed.

I hate to see any coaster go. I hope SF keeps RT around for a while, but, I haven't been on it in about a dozen years or so...

Monday, July 4, 2005 3:49 PM
As I think more about this, I understand that the structure of OE is much smaller in comparison to RT, but, I don't think a paint job is a guarantee that a coaster will be around for an extended period of time.
Monday, July 4, 2005 3:49 PM
Fever, I really could be talking out of my posterior here, but it seems to me that repainting a wooden coaster would take 2, maybe 3 times as much paint for all that lumber. But you could be right.

Frankly, I've stated earlier of my disdain for RT, so it's a win-win for me.

Monday, July 4, 2005 4:55 PM
RT is not going anywere. I think they need to update the ride. Get rid of the skids, and get new trains. 2 wooden coasters next to each other will not look bad. RT is white and the new coaster will probably be a natural wood color.
Monday, July 4, 2005 11:28 PM
I'm glad everyone had constructive thoughts. I agree I am open here and it may be a few years but I just see the new woodie spelling the end for it. I consider myself fairly objective and highly tolerable for even the bumpiest of rides but if RT seems out of whack for me, I figure much of the public "may" agree. I also agree that if the new one is a hit and RT ridership decreases because of it, because people would have such a nice, bigger, smoother woodie as an option, RT will be gone. Despite what us enthusiasts feel about wooden coasters, I believe that park managements for the big chains could care less half the time especially with all of the steel options out there with new technology. Notice the traditional parks, the smaller ones are the ones we can really depend on to keep the wooden roller coaster alive for a long time. But they have a different mentality altogether.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005 1:27 AM
Could RT be retracked with Plug-n-Play? If that is possible, would it help?

It will be odd to see a natural colored woodie intersecting with a white woodie. Has that ever been done before?

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 8:22 AM
If they are going to keep RT around they need to do something about the roughness the only place this ride is bearable is in seat 2 of any car. If you sit over the wheels your get shaken like a rag doll. I am glad to see they did some work to it. But it still needs help to save it from me saying I could care less if they remove it.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005 9:18 AM
Regardless if it stays or goes, as far as "racing" coasters go that is one of the poorest designs ever. The trains hardly interact at all with the alternating hill sizes and the general 8 layout of the ride.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005 12:32 PM
Actually, the racing is what makes the ride worth riding. The interaction is awesome because sometimes you are above the other train and sometimes below. What matters more is that the ops dispatch correctly to make the race interesting. (and they have been pumping the brakes to slow down one train or the other on my recent visits to make the race fun) And the left side is running amazingly well this season ever since it reopened from the track work they did. Its also been racing more than it hasn't been as well.

Getting rid of the skids would allow for some grease so skid brake replacement and maybe rehabbed/new trains wouldn't hurt but the ride is still running better these last couple of weeks than it has in many years.

Trust me, it isn't going anywhere.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 12:15 AM
Why wouldn't some plain ole' regular retracking work on RT? Is it in that bad of shape???

Now I am wondering...can someone site an example or two of two wooden coasters being in very close (or even interactive) proximity with each other?

(Intentionally designed interactive coasters such as Lightning Racer or Gwazi excluded of course)

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 12:25 AM

can someone site an example or two of two wooden coasters being in very close (or even interactive) proximity with each other?

Zeus and Hades.

*** Edited 7/6/2005 4:29:21 AM UTC by MrX***

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 12:53 AM
^^ Well, considering that RT is one of the lowest rated wooden coasters in Mitch Hawker's yearly poll...and having ridden it myself, I'd definitely say yes to major re-tracking...I only one time rode and didn't feel hurt afterwards.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005 1:13 AM
Who says you can't have two wooden coasters near each other?

Many smaller parks have 2 wooden coasters near each other or interacting with each other. Parks like Mt. Olympus, Indiana Beach, Holiday World and MIA all have more wooden coasters then steel coasters and it works. People don't care or look at them as the same ride.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 1:26 AM
"...can someone site an example or two of two wooden coasters being in very close (or even interactive) proximity with each other?"


Zeus interacts with both Hades and Cyclops. Hoosier Hurricane and Cornball Express share structure. The original Mr Twister @ Elitch Gardens interacted with the parks other woodie, Wildcat. Stampida and Tomahawk are about as close as two coasters can get.
Close proximity:

Timber Terror and Tremors are on either side of Coaster Alley. Boulder Dash and Wildcat are across the midway from each other. Jack Rabbit and Racer are pretty close to each other. Twisted Twins and Thunder Run are on opposite sides of a walkway [although their entrances are not]. And while I have not seen a park map I'd think Blackpool would be a good candidate for a park with woodies that are at least very close in proximity. Heck, even Raven and Legend aren't that far from each other.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 12:43 PM
PKD's Hurler and Grizzly come awfully close to each other as well. Plus, Rebel Yell is in pretty close proximity to the other side of Hurler. That's three of the park's four woodies.

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