Iconic roller coaster Thunder Road demolished at Carowinds

Staff reports

Thunder Road – the wooden roller coaster that stood for 39 years at Carowinds, a crowd favorite in its hey-day – was demolished Wednesday.

The classic coaster was handcrafted and opened on April 3, 1976. Among the first riders were NASCAR drivers Bobby Allison and David Pearson.

Carowinds announced earlier this year it would tear down Thunder Road due to declining ridership and to make way for newer attractions.

The final chance to take a spin on the roller coaster was last month.

Parts of the roller coaster will be salvaged and shipped to sister amusement parks.

Carowinds plans to make an announcement about a future attraction — believed to be water-related — on Aug. 27. The media invitation for that event promises a “big splash” press conference to reveal something that park-goers are “shore” to love.

Media organizations were not allowed into the park Wednesday for the Thunder Road demolition, but The Herald’s news partner, WSOC-TV, shot aerial photos from its helicopter.

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