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June 27, 2003

New Wooden Coaster To Roll Into Dollywood For 2004 Season

Article written by:
Eric Gieszl, Editor

Pigeon Forge, TN -- Dollywood and Great Coasters International are teaming up to build Dollywood's first wooden roller coaster in 2004. The new coaster called Thunderhead will feature the world's only "fly-through" station in addition to a maximum drop of 100 feet and a top speed of 55 mph.

"Thunderhead will provide thrills for folks of all ages with drops, twists and turns, plus for parents and grandparents, memories of some of the great old wooden coasters will come thundering back," Ken Bell, Dollywood Sr. Vice-President said. "This entirely new area to Dollywood, named Thunderhead Gap, will also tell the special story of the Smoky Mountains and its history as a major logging center."

Great Coasters is calling Thunderhead a "new generation" wooden coaster featuring an intertwining smooth ride, tighter curves and extreme banking made possible by Great Coasters Millennium Flyer Trains. Thunderhead will have a maximum speed of 55 mph and will thrill riders with a first drop of 100 feet swooping into a high-speed S-curve. Furthermore, it will feature the world's only "fly-through" station.

Thunderhead will be constructed from of more than 700,000 FBM of lumber and will cover nearly five acres when completed. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2004.

Thunderhead and Thunderhead Gap are registered trademarks of Dollywood.