Home > Pennsylvania > Kennywood > Pippen/Thunderbolt

Website: Kennywood Homepage
Ride Type: Wooden Coaster
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 4.2540
TPC Overall Rank: #99 out of 2933 rides.
Reviews: 71
Last Review: 12/11/2011 6:36:00 PM
In User Top 10: 56 times.
User Tracker Count: 203 times.


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5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up molemaster43 on 12/11/2011 6:36:00 PM - User's Top Ride #4
Holy cow! What a rush! This ride is so fun! Instead of going up a chain first, it goes down a drop and has such a unique style. I like the reverse L track design. When on its signature turns near the Potato Patch, there is a bunch of squishing and a bunch of airtime when you go up on the hill on the rotunda turn. Then, one of the last drops is the highest, 90 ft. downwards. My third favorite woodie, and a really good one too.

4 Rating
-1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Park on 7/30/2008 1:11:00 AM
Very nice woodie. Nice hills and the twists were good. It did not die out at any point. It is dumb that you can&#39.t ride alone.

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up ads102 on 6/29/2008 5:35:00 PM
One of the most unique coasters (probably the MOST unique wooden coaster) I've ever been on. From the drop out of the station, to the mid-course lift hill, to the helix, to the climactic big hill at the end, this coaster has one thrill after another.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Rockies on 5/11/2008 9:54:00 AM
I really liked the Thunderbolt. The drop out of the station and the lateral crazy part was pretty darn intense. Also, that final drop really is a doozy and gives great air.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up T-Rex on 12/21/2007 1:43:00 PM
Unique wooden coaster that was very good as well. The first two drops before the lift hill gave good air for back seat riders and then the drop right after the lift hill gave good air as well for backseat riders. Afterwards came tons of laterals and that was followed by the rides biggest drop and it gave great air for back seat riders and then the final drop gave good air as well. Excellent back seat coaster, but the front seat gives no air at all.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coasterf42 on 10/21/2007 6:09:00 PM
One of the few rides in America that I had no idea of what to expect before riding. It gets mixed reviews, has a crazy layout, and Id never seen a POV. Mix in the fact that it has no seat dividers, buzzbars, and my first ride was at night, and I was very excited about Thunderbolt. The drop out of the station was totally unexpected. The first part was okay, but nothing special. The best part of the ride was the jump onto the lifthill, which provided almost Phoenix-like airtime. Weird, but really, really unique and good. The big drop (the one after the lift, not technically the first) was okay, followed by a fabulous un-banked turn. This was so much better than Hurler or Thunder Run as it was completely COMFORTABLE, plus no seat dividers. The rest of the ride was full of these un-banked lateral-crazy turns, and some okay air. That combo. made for a really fun ride, but it lacked any true airtime accept for the one pre-lift hop. I am just amazed at how well this has kept up over time. The ride is still very popular, and after all these years is very smooth for such a lateral-packed layout. Just hoped for some more airtime, but it really is a fun wooden I could ride again and again.

3 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up BobFunland on 8/27/2007 7:02:00 PM
A fun woodie, but not what Id call a great one. I liked the unique design, other than Jack Rabbit across the park, I cant think of anything close to the Thunderbolt. Going up to the lift brought one of the biggest surprises I have ever gotten on a roller coaster. The airtime was pretty good and the ride is lateral-heavy, but neither is among the best. I certainly enjoyed the ride, but didnt feel inclined to ride more than once. Loved the terrain and the views (even if its ugly-ass southwest PA) but the ride wasnt a big deal to me. The second best coaster in the park is merely in the middle of the pack as far as wood coasters go.

5 Rating
-1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Woodiefan on 8/4/2007 10:49:00 PM - User's Top Ride #3
How can you not instantly fall in love with the Thunderbolt? Hands down, the best wooden coaster ever! It is a perfect combo of the out-and-back and twister coaster types. Also, it is still incredibly smooth after all these years.

4 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up ginzo on 5/29/2007 4:29:00 PM
Thunderbolt is my favorite coaster at Kennywood, and one of the finest ancient woodies still chugging out cycles today. First off, I give Kennywood major credit for running this coaster with a buzzbar and no seat belts. Contemporary restrains would ruin this ingenius little coaster. Furthermore, the sign stating that any would-be Tamar Fellners will be prosecuted is just awesome. Idiots should not, but usually do ruin the fun for everyone.
The Thunderbolt, as others have said, is like no other woodie you have experienced. The layout confounded me as I studied it while waiting in line for the Phantoms Revenge. I really thought little of the ride before I got the pleasure of riding it. Thunderbolt excels at two things: dropping and turning. The drops hit harder than nearly anything out there, especially when taken from the back seat with your hands in the air. A few of the drops gave me that awesome "Oh crap, Im going to fall out and die" sensation that I just love. So, ride in the back and dont hold on during the drops. The unbanked curves on this ride force the rider on the right side of the train into the left side rider. This is why the smaller rider enters first; to avoid crushing the small person in the turns. This probably sounds painful, but its more wild and fun than anything else.
Thunderbolt also features some of the most attractive trains I have ever laid eyes upon. Theyre rare 4-car NAD trains with a retro futuristic theme that I just love. Think 1950s cartoons about the wonderful automated future and youre close to the conception of these trains.
In closing Thunderbolt is easily the best retro woodie that I have experienced. I dont think its quite a 10-level ride because it could use some airtime hills. This isnt a huge deal because the ride experience is excellent, but it does rule a perfect score out for me.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up thare on 5/23/2007 6:46:00 PM
Awesome wooden coaster. This is a beautiful old coaster that sits on a hill. It is a must do at Kennywood. The best part is the first drop out of the station. Nice piece of Kennywood history!

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