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#92890
I have a completely random coaster question. Race World in Pigeon Forge closed in 2001. This is after spending, I assume, millions of dollars on a new wooden coaster just one year earlier (Thunder Eagle).

I came across this coaster and park because one of my favorite wood coasters was the now defunct Dania Beach Hurricane. It was built by Coaster Works, Inc., a company that only built two coasters... Dania Beach Hurricane and Thunder Eagle. We know (source: rcdb.com) that Dania Beach Hurricane cost $4.5 million. It was 100 feet tall and 3,200 feet long. Thunder Eagle was only 70 feet tall and 2,500 feet long. I am going to give a completely uneducated guess and say that Thunder Eagle cost Race World at least $3 million.

The million dollar question: Did Thunder Eagle bankrupt Race World? What happened here? Does anyone know anything further about this park or coaster? And follow-up question: Is this the shortest lived wooden coaster in modern day history (Wildfire jokes, aside)?


Side note: After doing some research online, I came across a user who posted on a forum in 2001 (9 years before our hyper) that the ride was going to be called Intimidator, but they were sued by the Earnhardt family. Was this the spark that eventually led to the two Intimidator names?
Last edited by Chris on March 16th, 2017, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#92892
I think Race World gambled big (and probably foolishly) and it did not work out. It was a large investment for such a small place. I guess they thought having a big coaster would set them apart from all of the competition on the Pigeon Forge strip. When I rode it I was the only one on the ride (this was also the case with the Dania Beach Hurricane, so I'm not too surprised to see both gone), which I recall being fairly expensive (I only did it once). I'm not sure how they thought they would get a return on their investment.

While the Dania Beach Hurricane was a brilliant ride and one of my favorite woodies, Thunder Eagle was a complete bore when I rode it. Smooth as glass but totally forceless.
#92899
Edwardo wrote:I never got the credit.


The saddest part of the story. :lol:
#92920
Jonathan wrote:I think Race World gambled big (and probably foolishly) and it did not work out. It was a large investment for such a small place. I guess they thought having a big coaster would set them apart from all of the competition on the Pigeon Forge strip. When I rode it I was the only one on the ride (this was also the case with the Dania Beach Hurricane, so I'm not too surprised to see both gone), which I recall being fairly expensive (I only did it once). I'm not sure how they thought they would get a return on their investment.

While the Dania Beach Hurricane was a brilliant ride and one of my favorite woodies, Thunder Eagle was a complete bore when I rode it. Smooth as glass but totally forceless.

Wow, that's crazy to think that anyone thought that was a good idea. And it sounds like we had the same opinions on Dania Beach Hurricane. It was great! Actually, I only made a point to ride that coaster while I was already on the way to Miami based on a TR you posted on here. So, thanks for that! :thumbup:

Edwardo, I saw that somewhere. Crazy!

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