Thunderhawk (Michigan's Adventure)

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For the wooden roller coaster of the same name at Dorney Park, see Thunderhawk (Dorney Park). For other uses, see Thunderhawk (disambiguation).
Thunderhawk
Thunderhawk Michigan's Adventure.jpg
Previously known as Serial Thriller at Geauga Lake
Michigan's Adventure
Park section Timbertown
Coordinates 43°20′43″N 86°16′37″W / 43.345208°N 86.276975°W / 43.345208; -86.276975Coordinates: 43°20′43″N 86°16′37″W / 43.345208°N 86.276975°W / 43.345208; -86.276975
Status Operating
Opening date May 17, 2008 (2008-05-17)
Cost $8,000,000
Geauga Lake
Status Relocated to Michigan's Adventure
Opening date 1998 (1998)
Closing date September 16, 2007 (2007-09-16)
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted
Manufacturer Vekoma
Designer Vekoma
Model Suspended Looping Coaster (689m Standard)
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 109.3 ft (33.3 m)
Drop 85 ft (26 m)
Length 2,260.5 ft (689.0 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions 5
Duration 1:36
Max vertical angle 60°
Capacity 1,040 riders per hour
G-force 3.6
Height restriction 52–78 in (132–198 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 10 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 20 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Thunderhawk at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderhawk at RCDB

Thunderhawk (formerly Serial Thriller) is an inverted steel roller coaster at Michigan's Adventure amusement park in Muskegon, Michigan, United States designed by Vekoma of The Netherlands. It is the first suspended looping roller coaster to ever be built in Michigan. Thunderhawk has a maximum height limit of 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m). The ride is built on top of man-made land that is right on Adventure Lake.

History[edit]

Thunderhawk in 2006 at its previous location at Geauga Lake in Ohio

Thunderhawk opened in 1998 at the pre-Six Flags Geauga Lake amusement park under the name Serial Thriller and had an on-ride photo camera. The ride was constructed over what was previously marshland along the shores of Geauga Lake and sat on a small man-made island. To keep this small island dry, a pump was built near the ride's entrance. Much of the track and supports were built right over the water.

The Serial Thriller was kept through the Six Flags era until Cedar Fair Entertainment Company purchased Geauga Lake in 2004. The ride's name was changed to Thunderhawk and the on-ride photo camera was removed. In 2007, on-ride video cameras were installed on the ride.

On September 21, 2007, Cedar Fair announced that Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom would no longer operate as a traditional amusement park, and instead become solely a waterpark, Wildwater Kingdom. On October 2, 2007, Michigan's Adventure announced that Thunderhawk would be relocated to its park under the same name.[1]

During construction of Thunderhawk in January, Michigan's Adventure repainted the track red in order to differentiate the ride from its previous home, and to ensure that it looked new. The park also replaced all of the padding and restraints on Thunderhawk's trains in order to maintain the new color scheme and improve the ride experience. Michigan's Adventure also added full length ride DVDs available for purchase by riders.[2]

Ride layout and experience[edit]

After riders board the train, they are pulled up the 109-foot (33 m) lift hill. After the ride reaches its highest point, it turns right and drops 85 feet (26 m), and hits its maximum speed of about 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). The train then pulls up into a sidewinder roll, in which the train goes through half a loop, a barrel roll, and another half loop. The element includes two inversions and is shaped like a heart. After the sidewinder roll the train travels through a bank hill and pulls up again into a roll-over element. After the roll-over, the train curves around and heads into the double inline twist, where riders are disoriented by the spinning, and experience multiple footchopper effects. After the double inline twist, the train curves again, dips, and rises up again to hit the final brake run. After the train is stopped, the brakes release, and the train curves to the right, travels past the maintenance track, and curves right again into the station.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alexander, Dave (2007-10-02). "New roller coaster will be park's most expensive ride.". Muskegon Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  2. ^ http://www.miadventure.com/th_con_jan.shtml Construction Photos, accessed on 1-29-2008

External links[edit]