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[RCT3] Tennessee's Great America

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May 1999




Hey, It's me, Debra Caldwell! This will be my absolute last time I'll ever enter Tennessee's Great America as a member of team Cedar Fair, so I decided to take my PR trip on opening day to display this park's huge sucsess!



The park was so crowded today, all three trains were running on Steel Savage yet there was still a 30 minute wait to get on the ride!



Sadly as I expected, Rage is not open. It is currently listed as "SBNO" which is an acronym for Standing But Not Operating on the Roller Coaster Database website. There are hopes and rumors that the new coaster will be open late in the season but there is no way I can confirm. There is a large sign underneath the supports of Steel Savage's "bridge" that says "RAGE: COMING SOON".



The park quickly became crowded as soon as the day camps arrived with busloads of young kids!



Sadly, the time has come at last to bid my final "adieu" and "arrevaderchi" to Cedar Fair and Tennessee's Great America. I will miss you so much!!!



(This is not the end of my park, there will be more updates!)

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May, 2000



Welcome to Kelly's Coasters! a blog about......well, ROLLER COASTERS!!



Post 1




Hello fellow coaster freaks! My name is Kelly Ducharme and welcome to my blog! I'm 13 years old and I just LOOOOOVE roller coasters!!! I don't know how anyone can be afraid of coasters because they are just too darn awesome! I recently joined a roller coaster forum called Coasters4U.com and there you can find me under the name KellyCoasterGurl!!!

I live near Knoxville, Tennessee and me and my family take occasional family outings to a theme park named Dollywood and Dollywood just built a totally rad steel looping coaster called Tennessee Tornado which was built by Arrow Dynamics! (I know a thing or two about roller coasters, believe me.) They also have a cool indoor roller coaster called Blazing Fury and Thunder Express which was a mine train coaster that was removed last year, unfortunatley.

However, there is a park in Lynchburg that I have been just DYING to go to!



Tennessee's Great America! A large theme park with nine (count 'em) NINE! roller coasters! Including two state of the art Top 10 steel roller coasters named Vampyre and Steel Savage! For weeks, I have been persuading my parents to take a short trip to Tennesee's Great America this summer!



Especially now that RAGE is open!



However, if my parents say yes, I'll be forced against my will to bring my little sister, Sara. She's currently six years old and currently scared of roller coasters, in fact Thunder Express before it got taken out was the only one she'd ride. Mabye if we go to TGA over the summer, we can help her conquer her fear of coasters!



My parents, Daniel and Maria have done plenty of X-Treme things in their lifetime such as motocross and skydiving. I highly doubt that they would be bothered by roller coasters.

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Kelly's Coasters: Post 2





I DID IT!!!! I convinced my Mom and Dad to take us to Tennessee's Great America for a few days! Today, we spent our first day in the park! The drive was not that bad leaving Knoxville and entering Lynchburg, only about 3 hours and there wasn't much traffic either. Now lets skip the boring stuff and get to the good part of my trip!


The park was mildly crowded when we came, but it wasn't too bad, waits for rides were 30 minutes or less.


The first roller coaster we went on was the Screamin' Eagle wooden out-and-back coaster! It looked like a ton of fun!!


However, no sooner do we reach the loading dock after waiting 20 minutes, Sara starts to have second thoughts. Dad took her off the ride and comforted her.


Sara didn't know what she was missing! Me and my Mom thought that Screamin' Eagle was a TON of fun!!!


Surprisingly, Sara apologized to us because she freaked out on the coaster! Something I didn't expect a 6 year old (that can be a bit of a spoiled brat at times) to do. It seems like now she wants to put on a brave face and try some bigger roller coasters.


The next roller coaster was Steel Savage, an absolutley MASSIVE Bolliger & Mabillard Inverted coaster! I've never been on a B&M roller coaster before but the people over at Coasters4U.com said that B&Ms and Intamins are the best kind, so why not give it a try!?


This time, Sara WANTED to go on with me, but lo and behold, she wasn't tall enough to ride. It's weird, she freaked out about a medium sized out-and-back woodie, but a menacing B&M invert with many inversions? She was willing to tough it out. Kids, am I right? Mom vouched not to ride and waited at the exit with my sister.


They were right, those guys at Coasters4U, Steel Savage is AWESOME!!! Smooth, exciting, forceful....an all around good ride!


Mom found a good roller coaster for Sara to ride. Super Looper, a smallish Schwarzkopf looping coaster. An interesting fact about this ride is that it was Anton Schwarzkopf's FIRST portable looping coaster built in 1977. It was a precursor to the Looping Star and SliverArrow model, but despite it's portability, it managed to make TGA it's permanent home. However, the one loop was kind of bothering Sara.


But she ended up loving Super Looper! So thank you Mr. Anton Schwarzkopf for making Sara realize that roller coasters are nothing to fear!


But you're never gonna guess what her favorite ride is.



Twister, the park's Vekoma Boomerang. I don't know HOW she loves this ride so much because it absolutley beat the hell out of me and my parents.



The Hampton Inn we're staying at is very close to the park and we had a beautiful view of Tennessee's Great America from our room!

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July, 2000



Kelly's Coasters: Post 3





Me and my family entered the park rather early today, just a few minutes after the Star Spangled Banner signaled the opening of the park. My little sister Sara discovered the perfect little roller coaster for her, the Vermont Maple Train! It really reminded her of the Thunder Express coaster that was removed from Dollywood last year.



After riding several different rides and coasters that we didn't ride yesterday, we stopped to eat at the park's plaza!



After lunch, we walked over to the edge of the park grounds where Vampyre, one of the most high-rated steel roller coasters in America lies. This coaster constantly makes top-ten lists almost every year since 1984 when it opened! Of course, I just HAD to go on!



Hands down, the most insane roller coaster I have EVER been on. It puts Steel Savage and any other coaster in this park to shame. I actually greyed out during the unique "triple loop" element!



But the BEST part is the second lift hill and the steep, swooping drop into Elmwood Lake! I actually greyed out a second time on that turn! Overall from where I stand, this is the best roller coaster in the world. Period, the end.



The last ride of our trip was the newest roller coaster, Rage, technically the first Bolliger and Mabillard floorless coaster. It was a very short, but sweet ride. The inversions are very intense and thrilling, but I feel like they're too close to each other and after the Mid-Course Brake Run, there really isn't much left of a ride other than a helix.



We're going home tommorrow, unfortunatley. I wish we could stay another day, but Dad can't really miss any more days of work. I'll end this Trip Report with an interesting rumor I heard from Coasters4U.com. Apparrently, there are plans for a new roller coaster next year, but there is no signs pointing to what kind of coaster. My gut tells me that it's going to be a hypercoaster and it's going to be built by either D.H Morgan, Intamin AG, or B&M. Currently, no roller coaster in the park is over 200 feet tall which means that a hypercoaster will be a boon to get extra foot traffic in the park. However, a lot of people at Coasters4U think it could be a new wooden coaster, probably built by GCI or CCI. Screamin' Eagle is the only woodie in the park so it would make sense for TGA to build a second one.


There is going to be a press conference at the park in October to celebrate the soon-to-be 30th anniversary of Tennessee's Great America, to me that's the perfect place to announce a new coaster for next year! We're just going to have to wait an see!


Bye for now!

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November, 2000


Kelly’s Coasters: Post 3





(Stage contains large sign that is covered by a black tarp. PR manager Wendy Collins is the first to speak)



Wendy Collins: “Hello! In about a year’s time, we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of an amusement park named Elmwood Lake Park. We know Elmwood Lake Park today as Tennessee’s Great America! Since 1971, this park has been famous for it’s mind bending thrill rides, exhilarating roller coaster rides, and family friendly atmosphere! And now, it is time to focus on the future of Tennessee’s Great America! With the addition of yet another thrilling attraction for 2001! Joining me now is Mr. Jason Walker who is the current General Manager of Tennessee’s Great America talking briefly about his personal history with park and what is to come next year!









Jason Walker: "Good, good. It’s so nice to see so many thrill seekers like me here today celebrating TGA’s early birthday, of course the park doesn’t officially turn 30 until next year! But before we move on with the celebration, I’d like to take you back to my experience with this wonderful amusement park. In 1984, I was a young kid, still in high school. And I and my buddies took a trip to a park called “Elmwood Lake Park” and I remember being absolutely captivated by the sights, the sounds, and the smells of a true-blue American amusement park! That’s why it was such an honor to join their team as a ride operator and then slowly rise through the ranks up to the position of General Manager where I am today!"




Jason Walker: "And now.....it is time.........it is time to reveal just what we have been hiding behind this black tarp. But be fore we unveil this, I must ask you people, what does a grizzly bear do in the woods? This is the birthday present that we present to the park for its thirtieth birthday......CUE THE MUSIC!!!!!"


(epic fanfare blares over the PA system that resembles the intro music that KISS used on the Hot In The Shade tour)



(Pyrotechnics erupt from the sides of the stage as the tarp is blown off via a small explosive and reveals what was underneath.)




(rapturous applause)



Jason Walker: Well there you have it folks, what we've been hiding all this time! Now, here are some facts about this absolute behemoth of a roller coaster. When Roar opens, it will break two world records! It will be the tallest AND fastest wooden roller coaster on the planet reaching heights of approximately TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY feet! 230! It will also reach speeds of EIGHTY-SIX MILES AN HOUR! Roar will also be the tallest attraction in the entire park, beating Vertigo, the slingshot ride by five feet! It is also the only wooden roller coaster in the entire United States that is manufactured by Vekoma Rides of Holland! Yes, the builder of Twister and Fireball Jr. is the builder of this collossal wood coaster! Vekoma built three other wooden roller coasters in Europe. Robin Hood at Six Flags Holland, Loup-Garou at Six Flags Belgium, and Thunder Coaster at TusenFryd! Roar is slated to open to the public in May of 2001! Be there!



(Close up image of Intraxx's CGI render of Roar)


(Stats of Roar)




Wow........I just can't believe this....I already figured out that TGA was getting a brand new roller coaster, and I was expecting it to be either a hypercoaster built by Morgan, Intamin, or B&M or a medium sized wooden coaster built by GCI or CCI. NEVER EVER EVER in a million years would I expect the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world to come to Tennessee's Great America! Also, I never knew Vekoma made wooden coasters, I always thought that Robin Hood and Loup-Garou were CCI coasters! Not frikkin' VEKOMAS! And to see that Roar is a Vekoma wooden coaster is just more surprising! Can't wait until this opens! I'll be there!



Kelly OUT!

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February, 2001


Kelly's Coasters:Post 4



Recently, Coasters4U posted pics on their forum tracking Roar's construction progress. I decided to keep you guys updated by posting these pics on my blog!



12/9/2000: Here, you see that the gigantic man-made mountain constructed mostly out of hardened polystyrene and rebars has been completed as well as the coaster's station! Roar will be located across from Vampyre and ajacent to Twister.


1/3/2001: The ride is slowly but surely going up! Here, the massive 225 foot lift hill is being constructed. It might not look like much now, but Cedar Fair says that by the time the park opens in April, Roar will be in it's final stages of preparation and in May, Roar will be open to the public!



Bye for now!

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March, 2001


Kelly's Coasters:Post 5



I can't beleive how fast this ride went up! This photograph was taken a few weeks ago when the construction for the "Oval" section of the coaster was taking place!



And just YESTERDAY, the final peice of track was put into place! As of today, the tallest and fasterst wooden roller coaster in the world is complete and ready to open in a month! My Mom and Dad already agreed to take me and Sara to Tennessee's Great America again! Sadly, she's still just under 54 inches so she still can't ride on the two B&Ms yet. I doubt Sara will want to ride Roar, but who knows?



I just can't get over just how friggin' MASSIVE Roar is compared to the other coasters in the park. Even though theres the Stratosphere Towers and the Vertigo slingshot ride, Roar's first hill and the manmade mountain just seems to lord over the entire park!

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Kelly's Coasters: Post 6


Review of ROAR!!!



In case you were wondering why I took so long to update this blog, me and my family were at Tennesee's Great America for a day trip, just because my parents knew how much I wanted to ride Roar! Aren't they sweet? I'm not gonna give much away right now, but my Roar experience was....not really what I expected.



As me and my family entered the park, I was taken aback at just how HUGE and intimidating Roar is.



We followed the crowd of people going to ride the new coaster and I was completley shocked to see how much it just overshadows the other rides in that area.



Well, this was the moment I was waiting months for....Sara, quite predictably didn't want to go on even though she was 50'' and you only had to be 48'' to ride Roar. She was willing to ride everything else, though....Me and Dad went on while Sara stayed with Mom.



"Dispatch, enjoy your ride." The uninterested ride-op said. This is it!! HERE WE GO!!!



Overall.......I really, really, really, REALLY wanted to love this ride. I had VERY high expectations for it, but I think the ride was very sub-par. The best part of the whole ride was the first drop, I LOVED the free-fall sensation of plunging 220 feet on a woodie! But after that, My head literally slammed so hard on the headrest, that I was seeing stars. The swooping drop inside the mountain was very jerky, and my head slammed into the headrest again coming out! Then came the mid course brake run into another steep, swooping drop. Then came the ONLY pop of air-time on the ride, because after that, during the Figure 8/Oval section they added TRIM BRAKES before the ride even opened! And they slowed the train to an absolute CRAWL. I personally thought we were going to roll back!


It wasn't a complete peice of crap, but it could have been MUCH better.


I give Roar a 5.5/10, and that's me being generous.



On the upside, lines for Vampyre were litereally non-existent! And Guess what, Sara loved Vampyre and it's her new favorite roller coaster!



For lunch, I had a nice big plate of buffalo chicken which led to a very funny scene!



Dad: Then stop eating it!

Me: Can't.....too delicious...ow...so GOOD!!

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July, 2001


Kelly's Coasters: Post 7


R.I.P Super Looper 1977-2001



Confirmed: Super Looper to be removed from Tennessee's Great America



Make sure you get your last rides on Super Looper if you're going to Tennessee's Great America this year. It won't be there next year. A representative of Cedar Fair L.P confirmed today that the Schwarzkopf looping coaster is for sale and will dismantled before the 2002 season. We here at Coasters4U.com are shocked and saddened by this news. Schwarzkopf looping coasters are reknowned for their intensity and the fact that they only have simple lap bars instead of restrictive Over The Shoulder harnesses. A prime example is right in TGA with Anton's Schwarzkopf's legendary triple-looping monster, Vampyre which is rated as one of the most X-Treme roller coasters in the world.


No one knows who bought it or where it could potentially be relocated to if not scrapped. Super Looper is the first and only "Zweier Looping" model, Anton's first portable looping roller coaster (A precursor to the Looping Star and SliverArrow models), so it could be going back to Germany to join Olympia Looping in a funfair circiut.



iPWNyooo: This was my little brother's favorite coaster! The Looper will be missed!


FleaXcaptian: It's always sad to see a Schwarzkopf go...We'll miss you, Super Looper!


QuailFlash: Hopefully it will go to another park and not in coaster heaven.


KellyCoasterGurl(me):I can't believe it....this is my sister Sara's first major non-mine train coaster and she loved it! R.I.P Super Looper!! and thank you for showing my little sister that roller coasters are nothing to fear.



What more can I say than, R.I.P Super Looper.

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October, 2001


Kelly's Coasters: Post 8




These pictures I'm posting to my blog aren't going to be pleasent to watch, but Coasters4U recently posted several pics of Super Looper being removed from Tennessee's Great America. Sadly I wasn't able to visit TGA in its last weeks to get one last ride on Super Looper of the season because of what happened on September 11th. It really put everyone on edge and both my Mom and my Dad don't want to do too much travelling.


September 20th, 2001: A large amount of land was cleared around the coaster, probably to make way for the trucks and cranes.


October 2nd, 2001: The first peice of track was removed from the ride.


October 14th, 2001: Major sections of the ride are now completley gone, including the loop, the first drop, and several twists and turns.


October 18th, 2001: Within days, all that remained was an empty coaster entrance, queue and station all leading to nowhere.


October 20th, 2001: And pretty soon, that was gone too.


October 22nd, 2001: Within a month, it was as if Super Looper never existed in the park, completley wiped from all existence.



There is a rumor going around at the possibility that a new roller coaster will be built in the same spot where Super Looper once stood. I guess other people didn't really enjoy Roar as it was actually considered a flop. Something tells me that the new coaster, if it's even going to happen, is going to be an "apology" for building Roar.


What do you guys think it's gonna be?

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Thanks for the tremendous feedback everyone! I appreciate it!


November, 2001



Kelly's Coasters: Post 9



Hey, it's Kelly! GREAT NEWS!! Tennessee's Great America confirmed that there is not ONE, but TWO new attractions coming next year! It's part of the park's new "triple-two" gimmick. 2 new rides for 2002!! I know, it's incredibly stupid and cheesy of Cedar Fair, but on the upside TGA gets two new awesome rides! Let's check 'em out, shall we?



New for 2002, Revolution is an exhilarating swinging pendulum ride that makes riders soar and spin 64 feet in the air with nothing below their feet!


Hmmmmm....a Chance Revolution, sounds good to me. TGA already has a Chance Rotor. It also seems to fill the void between Vampyre and Roar. I sort of wish that TGA was getting a HUSS Giant Frisbee ride like Paramount's Kings Island, but this seems good too!



Also new for 2002, The Super Looper was no match for this mighty python of a coaster! Built by Intamin A.G of Switzerland, VENOM is Tennessee's first ever launched roller coaster! Riders will twist 360 degrees as they ascend 185 feet up one end of the massive structure then rising at a 90-degree angle in reverse at the opposite end, reaching top speeds of 70 mph!


Ho. Ly. CRAP! I did NOT expect this. An Intamin Inverted Impulse coaster is being built where Super Looper once stood! This is amazing! I've always wanted to go on a launched coaster and now one is being built right in my home park!


Bye for now!

Edited by fraroc
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