Wednesday, August 8, 2001 1:07 PM
I didn't submit this for news because I haven't actually seen it in writing yet with my own eyes, but according to locals, Race World will be closing for good Sunday and it has already removed the trains from the coaster track. Race World is home to the Thunder Eagle, a 1 year old wooden coaster, which also was The CoasterWorks! first coaster. I can see why they are closing, as when I went on Friday of 4th of July weekend, the park was empty and I was almost alone on Thunder Eagle, not to mention I was riding with a free ride pass that could be found in basically any brochure stand. I hope the coaster will not be abandoned.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 1:15 PM
I was there during Memorial Day weekend this year and was very disappointed when I went on a Tuesday and was told Thunder Eagle wasn't open. The parking lot was practically empty while the rest of the town was moderately busy. When I turned to leave after realizing that Thunder Eagle wasn't open they practically begged me to stay. I think location is one thing that hurt them. You can barely see the coaster from the main strip, and its also difficult to find how to get to it.
Hopefully someone else will buy the place and continue to operate the coaster.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 1:26 PM
Is the Thunder Eagle any good? I've never heard of it and I was just there last spring?
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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 1:36 PM
You are dead right about the location. It seems to be right past the busy part of the strip. Basically, people pass at least 10 busy looking go-cart and ride places and never make it down to Race World. And, about the coaster. In the thrill department, the rating is probably a 0. If I gave this coaster a rating, it would probably be my least favorite woodie. HOWEVER, it is probably the smoothest roller coaster I have ever ridden. It is very very tame with no airtime or forces whatsoever, but it is insanely smooth :)
Top Gun: The Jet Coaster Flights in 2001: 66
Coaster Tracks Ridden: 55 www.starcoasters.com
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 1:37 PM
it took us a few drive-bys before we found the entrance!
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 2:20 PM
I'm a bit disappointed to hear that Race World is closing.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to ride the Thunder Eagle early in July. The place looked like it was hurting though. $5 a ride is rough. Instead, I just invested the $15 in a POP ride bracelet and rode the coaster 40 times. The place was completely empty, though.
It's a tame coaster by anyone's standards, but it's still sad to see it go SBNO.
~ Michael ~
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 2:46 PM
It was easy to see it was hurting, as they were giving out the free ride passes at basically every brochure stand in the town. Most of the people who WERE riding the ride, were riding it free. Since its such a new coaster, it will probably be bought if Race World puts it up for sale.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 4:01 PM
Thunder Eagle is listed in the SBNO area on the ACE web page http://www.aceonline.org/preserv.htm
I thought it was a mistake, so i called Race World and noone was in the office to handle my call. Guess I will stop by there on my trip this saturday between Lake Winnie and Dollywood.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 4:27 PM
Advertisement could be a large thing in this to. I haven't even heard of race world until now. I hate to see any park go even if it is small like that. There is always room for small home parks.
Sheik al Squeak
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 4:43 PM
john peck said:
"it took us a few drive-bys before we found the entrance!
So did I!!! I went down in March of this yr and it had not opened for the season yet. I visted the gift shop and indoor park and it was quite dead. I think it's just in a bad location. A hotel sits in front of it and some strip-mall shops block it's view from the main drag. Hopefully "The Track" go-cart complex would buy this and add it to it's offerings.
"Somebody help me!!! I'm being spontaneous!!! --Truman Burbank
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 4:52 PM
Wow, this comes as a surprise as i was just went to Raceworld and Dollywood on the way to Myrtle Beach a week ago.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:06 PM
I'll buy it and put it up in my backyard!!! j/k, but I do hope somebody buys it, I hate to see woodies going to waste.
Friday, August 17, 2001 4:24 PM
Just wanted to bump this up and ask if anyone has heard any updates?
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Friday, August 17, 2001 4:37 PM
No, but my friend Darren Mullins supposedly holds the record of 43 laps on Thunder Eagle in an afternoon! As john peck said (he was with me) this place is nearly impossible to get to. There are NO signs anywhere and it took several attempts to finally find the "alley" that lead to it. The coaster is easily seen from various areas around it, but you have a heck of a time getting to it. And a HOT ROD SHOW didn't help!!!
It is a decent ride, and thought it is no Screechin' Eagle it deserves attention and is worth the trouble, esp. for your track record!!
Thanks for riding Tidal Wave and enjoy your day here at Marriott's Great America!! www.angelfire.com/oh4/tk173
Friday, August 17, 2001 6:24 PM
Does anybody know the asking price of Thunder Eagle or about how much it might go for? I know a nice small amusement park thats in planning that could use a small woodie.
Favorite Wood: Viper at SFGAM, Shivering Timbers
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Saturday, August 18, 2001 7:48 AM
That is a shame, but I have to agree with everybody on the location. We drove all around the park, I mean I can see the coaster, but I can't get to it.
Even bigger than that, I think they priced themselves out of the market. But those tourist trap towns like that are a dog eat dog world, it can only be hoped that someone else needs a nice tame family coaster for their park.
Sunday, August 19, 2001 8:22 AM
I stopped by Race World this past Saturday on my way home and I can confirm that Race World is closed for good. I noticed that the coaster trains were no were to be soon, though I might add that I only stayed about five minutes and did not explore around the area to look for anything.
Guess we have a SBNO coaster that will either find a new home, just stand there and gather dust, or will reach its demise by vandalism.
Monday, August 20, 2001 5:21 AM
Seriously, i do not think the park should move or be closed, there is enough trafffic down, that with the right amount advertising, the park can succeed. What I would do, since moving the park would not be an option, is to get another "high" ride. Whether it be a 100' S&S or a large Ferris wheel. Then, I would make the entrance sign 3 times the size and put up a billboard along the way somewhere. i would also put more lights on the coaster at night.
I still think the park can succeed.
Monday, August 20, 2001 9:36 AM
I have another possible reason why people didn't go to Race World: It wasn't air conditioned! At least the day I went it wasn't. It was 95 degrees out and probably 105 inside. There wasn't a single soul there but my wife and I.
Personally, I won't mourn the loss of this coaster, even though it looked pretty from the outlet malls behind it, it was not much fun. I agree that The Track should build a coaster; that seems to be the only area go-cart place that does everything right. A Thrust Air seems to fit the frentic pace of Pigeon Forge and would go with all the bungee towers, skyscraper rides, etc.