I took this shot back in 1999 in the pre-digital camera era. Well, it was well before I had my own digital camera at least. It was on this trip to Kennywood early in my theme park travel adventures that I gained a newfound respect for woodies. Before Kennywood’s still electrifying Thunderbolt, I only had woodies from Kings Dominion and Adventure World (the precursor to Six Flags America) under my belt.
Thunderbolt’s totally unique layout with a drop right out of the station and it’s largest drop toward the end of the ride, blew me away. I need to take another spin on the coaster so that I can give it a proper review, but I remember being really impressed. It’s obvious the kinds of elements and experiences that steel coasters can provide, but less so the kinds of tricks and interesting twists that you can find on some of the exceptional woodies out there. Even geriatric woodies like Thunderbolt. Kennywood is a great example of older interesting woodies with Jack Rabbit and it’s terrain hugging double dip and Racer a single track racing coaster (thanks to its rare mobius loop).
Read more about Thunderbolt, its previous life as Pippin, and its rendezvous with Phantom’s Revenge here.
What’s Your Take?
What are some of your favorite older wooden roller coasters? Leave a comment below.
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