Yesterday, Carowinds announced that they will be closing Thunder Road. It is one of the few remaining wooden twin track racing roller coasters.
After 39 wonderful years and nearly 40 million scream-filled rides, Thunder Road will give its last race on July 26. The ride is being retired to make room for future family-fun attractions. Please join us this summer as we say good-bye to this iconic coaster.
Thunder Road Will Be Missed
While I didn’t grow up in the area, I do know that Thunder Road will be missed. The ride opened in 1976 only a few years after the park opened. It’s been a staple for Carolinians who’ve grown up in the area. It was a first full-sized roller coaster for many locals that I’ve met.
Thunder Road’s claim to fame of crossing the North Carolina-South Carolina state border was a well-known fact even outside of the area. I don’t think we’ll see “Save Thunder Road” campaigns like we did with rides like Cedar Point’s Disaster Transport, but I may be surprised. You never know how people will react when you remove something that so many experienced for nearly 40 years.
What Could “Future Attractions” Mean?
Is it too soon to talk about what’s next? We’ve known for a while about the $50 million investment plan, but aside from a massive new roller coaster (Fury 325) we weren’t sure exactly what that would include. There were rumors that the plan could include expanding the water park which Thunder Road boarders.
I didn’t think the park would remove Thunder Road in order to expand the water park. I thought they might take a cue from sister park Kings Dominion and simply have a walking path under Thunder Road as KD created with Rebel Yell and their water park expansion. But at this point I would assume that the ride will demolished and not upgraded like Twisted Colossus.
For now, aside from “future family-fun attractions” in the statement and a hint at the park making a “big splash” next year during the Fury 325 press event, that’s all we really know. We’ll have to watch the park’s activity after July and hope for an announcement in the fall like we typically get from theme parks about their future attractions. Fans have until 10 PM on July 26th to ride this classic roller coaster.
What’s Your Take?
Are you sad to see Thunder Road go? Or, are you more excited to see what the “future growth” will be? Vote in the poll below. Also you can read about other defunct roller coasters.[poll id=”107″]