The Rolling Thunder roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson has given more than 42-million rides since it opened in 1979.
Rolling Thunder will close on September 8. It will be replaced by “Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, said to be the tallest drop-tower ride in the world at 415 feet high.
People associated with Six Flags had reasons for dismantling their popular 35-year old attraction.
1.) The roller coaster’s popularity was slipping. Park officials said waning interest in Rolling Thunder was part of the reason for closing the coaster, according to an Asbury Park Press story in USA Today.
2.) You have to keep updating nowadays. “Advances in technology have led to a new generation of rides with the sleek intensity of El Toro, the world’s No. 1 wooden coaster,” said Six Flags park president John Fitzgerald, according to NJ.com.
3.) The ride replacing Rolling Thunder will be a world record holder. Zumanjaro is connected to the 456 foot Kingda Ka roller coaster- the tallest and fastest in North America. Park historian Harry Applegate said, according to sixflags.com, “You could stack the tallest major attractions from Great Adventure's opening season on top of one another and you would still be more than 50 feet shy of Zumanjaro."
The USA Today story reported that American Coaster Enthusiasts have already approached Six Flags officials about saving pieces of Rolling Thunder for a museum that is in the works.
The 41-story Zumanjaro is expected to open in 2014.