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Apr 1, 2010
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This has been rumored for some time. However, all the money and time put into re-traking the last five years made it undoubtedly only a rumor.

Well it wasn't.

Thunder Road, one of the classic Carowind’s roller coasters, is gearing up for its final ride.

After 39 years and nearly 40 million scream-filled rides, the wooden racer will carry its last guests July 26. The ride is being retired to make room for future growth, park officials said. The expansion is part of a more than $50 million multi-year investment plan that included the new Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, which opened this season.

The classic ride was named after the 1958 movie, “Thunder Road,” which featured Robert Mitchum.

The roller coaster has twin, parallel racing trains that reach speeds of up to 45 mph. The coaster races in and out of North and South Carolina.

Guests have until July 26 at 10 p.m. to take part in the Thunder Road celebration.

This thing is rough as all get out these days, but this makes me terrible sad.

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Mushroom

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Feb 12, 2011
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Makes me thankful for KD's revived interest in Rebel Yell.

...I hope...
 
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Shane

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I am sad to see it go. I'm always disappointed to see a classic retired.

That being said after I saw this diagram NewsPlusNotes put together it makes strategic sense for the park to remove it: http://newsplusnotes.blogspot.com/2015/05/end-of-road-for-thunder-road-at.html

It really is taking up prime real estate for a Soak City conversation to come to Carowinds. When I thought about it at first I wondered why they couldn't just build behind it like KD did with Rebel Yell, but there really isn't much space on the other side; all the space is where the coaster is actually sitting.

I will still be sad to see it go, I enjoyed riding it. It'll be interesting to see what Caro has in store.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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I personally can't see the logic in taking out a recently refurbished, classic woodie to make way for a water slide. And I like good water parks.
 
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Aug 17, 2010
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My last ride on Thunder Road was a surprisingly great one. They did a good job with the refurbs, and though this was expected, I wasn't willing to believe that Carowinds would knock this down to expand their water park. I still don't love the idea.
 
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May 19, 2015
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Wright Patt AFB, OH
As much as it pains me to see a classic coaster removed, especially the smoothest of the Racer clones I've ridden, I understand the logic behind it's removal to an extent.

If they're willing to remove a coaster, albeit a classic and popular one, they have big plans. This isn't a decision anyone in the park will take lightly, no doubt. Plus, who says this is all they're removing. The parking lot next to the ride barely sees use now with the parking lot recently upgraded and changed with the addition of Fury. What if the park branches out even further than just where Thunder Road is? Even if it's just the ride's footprint being removed, that's an awful lot of land to be used. The turnaround alone is large enough for a wave pool if they wanted another. Then flats or other slide complexes could easily also fit in that footprint.

The only conclusion I hope doesn't happen is an RMC. I will give the park much grief if an RMC finally hits a FUN park.
 
May 19, 2015
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Wright Patt AFB, OH
It's not a bad wood. The ride runs pretty good, not great, but it's marathonable.

It's not nostalgia, it's just keeping it alive. There's a reason there's ACE Coaster Classics & stuff. It preserves a great but slowly dying breed of coasters. Plus it keeps old thrills alive. A wooden coaster won't do what Twister Colossus is doing.

The main problem is now seeing how RMC claims to be a wooden coaster. See Goliath's recent record holding status. That leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
 

Shane

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In this particular instance, I have to agree. RMC does make two distinctly different models of Roller Coaster, their Iron Horse Steel Hybrids and then the new Topper Track wood coasters, like Outlaw Run and Goliath. They are still traditional wood coasters with an innovative way of building the track versus the steel stripping that wears out so quickly on other wood coasters. Just my two cents. The Iron Horses are not.
 
May 19, 2015
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Wright Patt AFB, OH
In that case Villain at Geauga Lake should have been viewed as a wooden coaster. I'm ok saying it's the fastest Hybrid or whatever, get records for those, it's a niche market. But wood to me is wood on wood. Anything else has been listed as a hybrid for years since Arrow & the lot started it way back when.

Plus again, I don't want to see Iron Horse hit the parks. If that happens here how many other fantastic rides do you think CF wouldn't mind redoing? Racer, Blue Streak, Beast? If one classic is up for grabs then they all are. I'm all for a reprofile or retrack when it's needed (see Mean Streak) but not to turn it into something it never was (inversions, crazy overbanks, etc.)
 
Nov 1, 2012
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thedevarious said:
As much as it pains me to see a classic coaster removed, especially the smoothest of the Racer clones I've ridden, I understand the logic behind it's removal to an extent.

If they're willing to remove a coaster, albeit a classic and popular one, they have big plans. This isn't a decision anyone in the park will take lightly, no doubt. Plus, who says this is all they're removing. The parking lot next to the ride barely sees use now with the parking lot recently upgraded and changed with the addition of Fury. What if the park branches out even further than just where Thunder Road is? Even if it's just the ride's footprint being removed, that's an awful lot of land to be used. The turnaround alone is large enough for a wave pool if they wanted another. Then flats or other slide complexes could easily also fit in that footprint.

The only conclusion I hope doesn't happen is an RMC. I will give the park much grief if an RMC finally hits a FUN park.

Well, Carowinds already has 2 wave pools. Not counting the one slide complex installed in 2013 or 2014, the last major water park addition was a 2nd wave pool (next to TR).

I do find it strange, with all the money spent to completely rebuild Thunder Road, to tear it down 2-3 years later. Either Carowinds will let the land set idle for a season or they plan to re-configure that whole area for the water related attraction(s) the park admin hinted at during Fury's announcement. I wonder if Carowinds will be the first Cedar Fair park to get a water coaster in their water park (a la Holiday World's Wildebeast or Mammoth water coaster attractions).
 
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