JACKSON, NJ -- After more than three decades at Six Flags Great Adventure, the historic white wooden roller coaster Rolling Thunder will be dismantled this autumn to make way for the world's tallest drop-tower ride.
Six Flags officials made the announcement Thursday morning, just hours before the first riders of the day lined up to try Rolling Thunder's almost eight-story drop and 10 hills.
"This is one of the better (wooden-roller coasters)," Bob Bowman, 48, of Gloucester Township said after riding Thursday morning. "It's smooth. It hasn't fallen apart yet. ... I was actually surprised it's in as good of shape as it still is."
Great Adventure's newest attraction, "Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom," will replace the 35-year-old coaster, which has delivered 42 million rides.
Zumanjaro's three towers, each 41 stories tall, will be nestled inside the green loop of roller coaster Kingda Ka, the tallest coaster in the world. Each Zumanjaro tower will hold a gondola of eight riders, who will watch Kingda Ka's trains rocket toward them at 128 mph.
"You're going to have folks dropping 90 mph," said John Fitzgerald, the park's president. "You're going to have the Kingda Ka cars racing around them at the same time. It's really going to be fantastic. Fantastic views, but also terribly exciting."
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