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Step back in time on the Thunderbolt
Are you a fan of classic coasters? You will not be disappointed with the iconic Thunderbolt! Jump into a 1950s- era Century Flyer train and experience what a world-class coaster is all about – a ride full of surprises! As soon as you leave the station, you'll plunge immediately into a deep ravine. Catch your breath fast because it’s only the first of many and Thunderbolt saves the best and largest for last. With a maximum drop of 90 feet and reaching 55 miles per hour, thrills are guaranteed.
Designed by master coaster builder John Miller, the original ride opened in 1924 as the Pippin and was one of the first rollercoasters at Kennywood. We introduced the name Thunderbolt with its make-over in 1968. At that time, park management extended the Pippin by adding a thrilling bowl section in the middle, while keeping the fan-favorite drops into the ravine. Several generations have grown up with Thunderbolt as an icon of fun and one of the best wooden rollercoasters in the country. Dubbed the Ultimate Roller Coaster and King of Coasters by the New York Times in 1974, it remains near the top of everyone’s “top wooden coasters” list. It also received the honor of being named a Landmark Ride by the American Coaster Enthusiasts, along with Jack Rabbit and Racer.
You can find this legendary rollercoaster in the Kennyville section of the park, next door to the iconic Turtle and Raging Rapids – a “get you wet” white-water rafting ride. While in the area, don’t miss your chance to try our signature fries from The Potato Patch and watch as Thunderbolt riders speed by.
Riders must be at least 52” and have a partner to ride.