Tsunami (roller coaster)

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Montaña Rusa Tsunami.png
Up-close shot of Tsunami going through the loops
Previously known as Thriller at Gröna Lund, Taz's Texas Tornado and Texas Tornado at Six Flags AstroWorld and Zonga at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Isla San Marcos
Coordinates 21°51′34″N 102°19′11″W / 21.8595°N 102.3197°W / 21.8595; -102.3197Coordinates: 21°51′34″N 102°19′11″W / 21.8595°N 102.3197°W / 21.8595; -102.3197
Status Operating
Opening date April 27, 2008 (2008-04-27)
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Coordinates 38°08′19″N 122°13′52″W / 38.1386°N 122.2310°W / 38.1386; -122.2310
Status Relocated to Isla San Marcos
Opening date April 25, 2003 (2003-04-25)
Closing date 2005 (2005)
Replaced by Pandemonium
Six Flags AstroWorld
Coordinates 29°40′30″N 95°24′24″W / 29.6750°N 95.4068°W / 29.6750; -95.4068
Status Relocated to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Opening date March 14, 1998 (1998-03-14)
Closing date 2001 (2001)
Replaced by Swat
Gröna Lund
Coordinates 59°19′22″N 18°05′46″E / 59.3227°N 18.0961°E / 59.3227; 18.0961
Status Relocated to Six Flags AstroWorld
Opening date 1996 (1996)
Closing date 1996 (1996)
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Anton Schwarzkopf
Designer Werner Stengel
Height 112 ft (34 m)
Drop 89 ft (27 m)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Height restriction 56 in (142 cm)
Tsunami at RCDB
Pictures of Tsunami at RCDB

Tsunami is a steel tracked looping roller coaster at the San Marcos National Fair. It was designed by Anton Schwarzkopf. The coaster was previously at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom as Zonga, Six Flags Astroworld as "Texas Tornado", and before that operated for 10 years on the German travelling funfair circuit as "Thriller", including a brief spell on loan to Grona Lund in Sweden.[1] After its time at Marine World, it was sold to the San Marcos National Fair in Mexico, where it now operates.[2]


This coaster debuted as "Thriller" on the German funfair circuit in 1986, under the ownership of Oscar Bruch and toured the country until 1997, with a short spell on loan to the Grona Lund amusement park for the 1996 season. Its last fair was the Hamburg WinterDOM of November/December 1997, after which it was taken to the now-defunct Six Flags Astroworld in Houston, Texas.

It was assembled at Six Flags Astroworld in Houston late in 1997. The roller coaster opened at Six Flags Astroworld on March 14, 1998 and was renamed Texas Tornado. This coaster had very positive reviews from guests but when summer hit, the heat and humidity seemed to disrupt operation. On very hot days the coaster suffered a lot of downtime. "Texas Tornado" continued to operate there in the 1999 and 2000 seasons with a lot of downtime on the hotter days. It seemed to run decently on milder and cooler days. At the end of the 2000 season, Six Flags decided to remove the ride but it stayed at Astroworld in 2001 but did not operate that season. Early in 2002, it was moved out of Six Flags Astroworld and into storage.

In 2003, Texas Tornado was moved to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and some track modifications were made by Premier Rides. The most significant was increasing the elevation of the first two loops. The effect of this change would be reducing the Thriller's top speed and lowering the g-forces during the first two loops. It was assumed that the mild weather would enable the coaster to run better. It was then renamed Zonga.

Zonga then operated for two years at Marine World. Unfortunately, operation continued to be inconsistent. Zonga regularly opened about two hours after the park and had frequent breakdowns. The ride wasn't very attractive because of its location (in a distant corner and hidden behind Roar) and appearance. There have been many malfunctions, which eventually led to Six Flags again closing down the ride. There have also been many complaints about the ride being "bumpy". The ride ran for much of the 2004 season but stood silent for the 2005 season and was removed at the beginning of the 2006 season, leaving a large empty concrete area at the front of the park. Zonga was disassembled and moved to the Discovery Kingdom parking lot where it sat throughout the 2006 season. The new coaster for 2008—Tony Hawk's Big Spin, now known as Pandemonium since 2011. Pandemonium erected on the pad that Zonga used to occupy. Now since 2012 another new ride has been established Superman: Ultimate Flight (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) [3]

Tsunami at Isla San Marcos

Zonga was then bought in 2008 by the Aguascalientes State government in Mexico, for its use in the famous San Marcos National Fair, where it has been renamed "Tsunami".[4]

Future Speculation[edit]

From a news article on 23 October 2013, published by the local newspaper of Bad Wörishofen, Ausburger Allgemeine,[5] it was announced Tsunami would no longer operate in Mexico, after La Feria de San Marcos ended in 2014. However, according to Michael Pantenburg (2014),[6] it seems that the plan has been abandoned, given unfortunate high costs. What would have happened is that, after being transported in numerous containers, this legendary roller coaster would have been constructed within the local park of Bad Wörishofen, "Skyline Park", for the 2016 season. The lateness was due to the fact that the theme park owner needed to have the ride refurbished at a factory, which coincidentally he is also the owner of, which would have made logical sense as it is nearly 30 years old, before being constructed at the park. The specifications mentioned in the original article ("The ride will be 40 metres high and 1400 metres long") were slightly different to those mentioned on RCDB (2014),[7] but this could have been due to fact that the ride was altered between its relocation from Six Flags AstroWorld to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. However, at this moment in time, it is unclear whether Tsunami will stay at La Feria de San Marcos after May 2014, according the Fan Page of the ride on Facebook (2014).[8]


  1. ^ http://www.rcdb.com/3150.htm
  2. ^ http://www.oem.com.mx/esto/notas/n678785.htm
  3. ^ http://schwarzkopf.coaster.net/ESthrillerGF.htm
  4. ^ http://www.aguascalientes.gob.mx/temas/turismo/atractivos/parquestematicos/islasanmarcos.aspx
  5. ^ AUSBERGER ALLGEMEIGNE,2013. Ausburger Allgemeine [online]. Available from: http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/mindelheim/Skyline-Park-wird-erweitert-Wasserpark-mit-hoechster-Rutsche-id27470217.html [Accessed 3 May 2014] German Language.
  6. ^ PANTENBERG,2014. Schwarzkopf Coaster Net [online]. Available from: http://www.schwarzkopf-coaster.net/a-zGF.htm [Accessed 4 May 2014].
  7. ^ RCDB, 2014. Roller Coaster Database [online]. Available from: http://rcdb.com/4214.htm [Accessed 3 May 2014].
  8. ^ FACEBOOK, 2014. Facebook Page: (Montaña Rusa Tsunami) [online]. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/TsunamiCoaster?fref=ts [Accessed 5 May 2014].