Is Thunderhead a top GCI coaster?

Saturday, July 24, 2004 7:58 PM
I was wondering how the new coaster at Dollywood ranked with other coasters GCI built. Doubt it matches the magnitude of the Lightning Racers, yet is Thunderhead a top three CGI ride?
Saturday, July 24, 2004 8:29 PM
While I don't like to rate or compare coasters, I will say that Thunderhead is the most impressive GCI I have ridden to date.

As a matter of fact, Thunderhead is one of the most amazing wooden coasters I have ridden period. I can't wait to get back to Dollywood in just a month.


Saturday, July 24, 2004 8:33 PM
Agreed...I've ridden tham all and it's the best.

(SHameless plug) For aerial photos, check here :)

Saturday, July 24, 2004 8:37 PM
And you'll find a bunch of TR's at Coasterbuzz that agree with these guys.
Saturday, July 24, 2004 8:38 PM
It's one of my favorite woodies and is an all around fun ride with a little bit of everything. Not one dull spot from the lift to the brake run. :)

*** Edited 7/25/2004 12:38:53 AM UTC by Dukeis#1***

Saturday, July 24, 2004 9:11 PM
In a word........Yes. I can't stress enough how much Thunderhead, um, rocks! ;-)

I am all out of words to describe it. Talk is cheap, just get down to Pigeon Forge and find out for yourself. :-D


Saturday, July 24, 2004 9:18 PM
Is Thunderhead a top GCI coaster? No, as many would agree- it's THE top GCI coaster.

IMO, Thunderhead is a top 5 woody and my #1.

Saturday, July 24, 2004 11:02 PM
I've never been on Lightning Racer, but I have been on Raven, Legend, Shivering Timbers, Cornball, Phoenix, Beast etc and I like Thunderhead the best. It is amazing. Also, another surprise this year is Avalanche which is also top 5 for me.
Saturday, July 24, 2004 11:16 PM
I personally preferred the Ozark Wildcat and it's forces a little more than Thunderhead but Thunderhead still has a lot (like the fly-through and extreme banking) going for it. I'm going back in September and again later in the fall (for night rides, which it seems really elevates it's awesomeness) so who knows, it may jump back on top for me. *** Edited 7/25/2004 3:16:53 AM UTC by Pale Rider***
Sunday, July 25, 2004 12:40 AM
Thunderhead would probably be my favorite wooden coaster if it had trees and woods intertwined with the layout. It's a shame the location has been stripped of all the trees. As it stands, TH is amazing but could've been so much better if the ride's twists, turns, and drops were hidden amongst trees ala Raven and Legend.
Sunday, July 25, 2004 12:54 AM
Due to TH being designed by GPS (First to have been, from my understanding) The trees had to be removed for the Satelites to focus on the site for them to design the ride.

Tenn Tornado was empty too, 5 years later, it looks like a forest.

Sunday, July 25, 2004 3:23 AM
Also, the front half of Thunderhead was built on the site of a warehouse, so the area was already pretty open to start with. I'm sure they'll cover the back area with trees during the 2005 winter off season.
Sunday, July 25, 2004 1:02 PM
Grass is already regrowing around the coaster. Except in the area for 2005's new ride, which theyre leaving bare for now.
Sunday, July 25, 2004 2:41 PM
Wow, to say that Thunderhead ranks up there with the Legend, Shivering Timbers, Lightning Racer and the Beast is a bold statement. It is nice to hear Herschend Family Entertainment has found their crown jewel, and that Tennessee now has something to brag about. It is just what Dollywood needs to establish itself as a thrill-park destination. Sounds like GCI put some extra work into this one, or maybe this is signs of things to come? Those are some nice aerial shots Coaster Gallery! Wish I had a helicopter.
Sunday, July 25, 2004 2:52 PM
Actually, HFE wants to do the opposite of establishing any of it's parks as a thrill-park destination. It's not their thing, they will add thrill rides, but they want to be known as 'Entertainment' Parks.

This is partly the reason we don't have more coasters than we do, a new one will come in a few years.

2005: S&S/ Intamin Tower

2006: New Area And/or Ride Complex

2007: Maybe a flat, possibly nothing.

2008: Can You say Beeemer?

Can't wait til then. HFE demands quality coasters, such can be seen from Tenn Tornado and Thunderhead at Dollywood. Their B&M Coaster will probably be one of the best when it opens.

Come and See us at Dollywood! 'Your Smoky Mountain Family Adventure!"

Monday, July 26, 2004 6:47 PM
I don't know about the GPS thing CoastermanX. I know GCII got topography maps of the entire area. Dollwood found a place where they wanted to put the ride and and went from there. After looking at that area GCII found the valley near where Dollywood originally wanted the ride. Since the new area had more potential for a wooden coaster the rest is history.

All the trees were removed for construction purposes. Trees would get in the way of construction. Sure you can leave them but it would make setting the bents and other things alot more difficult.

Monday, July 26, 2004 7:08 PM
"...Doubt it matches the magnitude of the Lightning Racers..."

What magnitude? Lightning Racers is fun but has no extreme forces what-so-ever.

Monday, July 26, 2004 7:23 PM
Wow Moosh, just how much *extreme force* does take for you? ;-)

I will keep LR for myself. ;-)


Monday, July 26, 2004 7:40 PM
Hey Moosh, what happened to July? Now it's just very soon. This isn't going to be like nasai's trip reports is it? :)
Monday, July 26, 2004 8:55 PM
Blame it on the lawyers...they took longer to come up with contest rules than I'd anticipated. We're targeting Aug 1st ;)

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