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29yrswithaGApass

Rolling Thunder

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Nice Spotlight. I take it all the pics. from the park came from your work on the book?

 

Yes, from working on the book and also from digitizing their archive photo collection.

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There were so many great pictures, I never knew single riders weren't allowed at one point. I'm glad that rule is no longer in effect.

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Best. Spotlight. EVER!

 

Rolling Thunder holds a very special place in my heart. It's the first wooden roller coaster I've ever ridden, and was also the first "big" roller coaster I ever rode in GA. It was always my favorite coaster in the park, and it still is. Also, it's the first ride I ever worked at in my life ;)

 

This ride holds a lot of life-long memories =)

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A round of thanks for putting up pictures of one of my all-time favorite wooden coasters. Remember getting a T-shirt after riding it the first time in 1979 with my father, who went on despite having some minor back problems at the time. Ironically, we were supposed to go to GA the day after the accident in 1981, but we waited until we knew the ride would be reopened. Thanks for all of those great pictures. I needed that!!! :D

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Great Spotlight! I had the opportunity to participate in a backstage guided tour at Coaster Celebration and chose the RT/GASM tour instead of the popular Medusa tour. A couple of quick questions that I didn't see addressed that perhaps you could answer. My apologies if they were answered in the spotlight and I missed them....

1. Do you know if the ride was constructed with the lumber pre-painted or was it painted after assembly?

2. Do you know why the train was reduced from 5 cars to 4? The spotlight just mentions that it was reduced to four. Was it due to a weight issue?

 

Again, great spotlight! Loved all of the different pictures!

 

Pete

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I must say, I really enjoyed the Rolling Thunder spotlight. You guys really do a great job with this site, and your recollection and attention to detail is awesome. How in the world did you have the foresight to take all your pictures and make mental notes about everything? Well done.

 

It's funny how RT went from a big scary ride to an entry level coaster. I refused to ride it as a kid, fearing that "terrifying" first drop. My dad rode it once and said that it nearly rattled the fillings right out of his teeth, which scared me even more! Times sure do change. A friend just went to GA for the first time this summer and mentioned how they didn't have time to ride "the little one" near El Toro. Blasphemy! "You mean the classic one," I said.

 

By the way, talk about assuming an unauthorized riding position (upper left):

Rolling%20Thunder%202%20copy.jpg

 

 

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^ I have Costco to thank for my extensive photo collection. Up until I first joined Costco (then The Price Club) in the '80s, I only took a limited number of photos because film was pretty expensive - especially on a paperboy's salary. Once they opened up, I was able to buy six-pack rolls of film for much cheaper and that made taking a lot of pictures much more of a reality. Now that it is digital, there is no limit!

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Great Spotlight! I had the opportunity to participate in a backstage guided tour at Coaster Celebration and chose the RT/GASM tour instead of the popular Medusa tour. A couple of quick questions that I didn't see addressed that perhaps you could answer. My apologies if they were answered in the spotlight and I missed them....

1. Do you know if the ride was constructed with the lumber pre-painted or was it painted after assembly?

2. Do you know why the train was reduced from 5 cars to 4? The spotlight just mentions that it was reduced to four. Was it due to a weight issue?

 

Again, great spotlight! Loved all of the different pictures!

 

Pete

 

I know that the last car of each train made the first train on Judge Roy Scream at Six Flags Over Georgia. Also, I believe the wood was pre-painted ;)

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Hey, that's me!

No, just kidding.

 

GREAT, GREAT, GREAT spotlight. What I'd really like to see would be a new GCI woodie on the other side of the park, and new trains for both that ride and for Rolling Thunder. It's still a great ride, even if it is a little rough.

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Do you know if the ride was constructed with the lumber pre-painted or was it painted after assembly?

 

Good question Pete! I've always believed that the wood was painted before it was assembled. That was the common practice at the time. I'll try to find a color construction shot to verify this.

 

 

 

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Excellent spotlight. Even though the ride is in deperate need of a retracking, it's still an enjoyable and sentimental favorite.

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Nice spotlight as usually, I remember that they left the old no longer used air compressor for the brakes by the queue for years.

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Two thumbs up for this spotlight. It was a long wait but a worthwhile one.

Great pictures, great reading about the history of a legendary roller coaster.

If I could, I'd buy you guys a drink so we could sit and chat more about this and the other rides that made the park great.

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After Rolling Thunder first opened, actor John Houseman filmed a Smith Barney commercial going up the lift of the ride. Just before getting to the top of the ride the train stopped, he exited the train, and he delivered the famous line "Smith Barney makes money the old fashioned way - they EARN it.". The train then proceeded down the tracks.

 

If anyone has a copy of this commercial we would love to see it again.

 

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"Buy low, sell high..." was his opening line as the train came to a stop at the top of the lift, and RMT was running off in the distance behind him. That commercial used to run every morning during Good Morning America while I was getting ready for school. I always watched it and wondered if he walked down the lift hill or if they sent another train up to take him the through the whole ride since after he got to the top the train stopped and then restarted once he got off.

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Id love to see Thunder get a Rehab, would be a great 2012 attration, new up to date trains and a smooth ride like when it opened, maybe even a texas giant stlye rehab, making it a steel track system

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Hey has anyone noticed that Red Train is seriously slow? Even with a few seconds of a head start, the train is really lagging behind. It seems like there is an issue with the friction or a few wheels popped down.

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