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Tennessee Tornado facts for kids

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For tornadoes in the state of Tennessee, see Category:Tornadoes in Tennessee.
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Tennessee Tornado
Tennessee Tornado (Logo).JPG
Tennessee Tornado's logo
Park section Craftsmen's Valley
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 614: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Status Operating
Opening date April 17, 1999; 21 years ago (1999-04-17)
Cost $8,000,000 USD
($10.2 million in 2018 dollars2018)
Replaced Thunder Express
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Alan Schilke
Model Custom Looping
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 163 ft (50 m)
Drop 128 ft (39 m)
Length 2,682 ft (817 m)
Speed 70 mph (110 km/h)
Inversions 3
Duration 1:48
Capacity 1,360 riders per hour
G-force 3.7
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Must transfer from wheelchair
Tennessee Tornado at RCDB
Pictures of Tennessee Tornado at RCDB

The Tennessee Tornado is a roller coaster at Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States. It debuted April 17, 1999, and was Dollywood's first major coaster expansion as well as one of Arrow Dynamics' last major coasters. The ride opened in a valley location previously occupied by Thunder Express, an Arrow Dynamics Runaway Mine Train roller coaster relocated from Six Flags St. Louis in 1989 and opened in 2002 at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls.

During the 2008 operating season, Dollywood added video cameras to the first three seats of the trains. During the ride, cameras record the riders. At the ride's exit, riders are able to view their video and upload it to YouTube.


On June 30, 1998, Dollywood announced that Tennessee Tornado would be coming to the park. Arrow Dynamics was hired to build a newer Custom Looping Coaster. Vertical construction of the ride started in the fall of 1998 and was completed in early 1999. The Thunder Express station was also reused for the new ride. Tennessee Tornado would open to the public on April 17, 1999.

Ride elements

  • 110' tall loop
  • Loop
  • Sidewinder

Tennessee Tornado has several unique features not found on other Arrow Dynamics looping coasters. At the time of the coaster's construction it had been several years since the company had last built a sit-down looping coaster, so the designers created new elements and track designs for the ride, including two overbanked curves and a 110-foot-tall (34 m) "Spiro loop", the largest inversion on any Arrow Dynamics coaster.

Tennessee Tornado is also unique in that it uses a tubular steel beam support structure similar to that of Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters, rather than the more typical Arrow Dynamics scaffolding-style supports found on rides such as Carolina Cyclone at Carowinds and Vortex at Kings Island. This kind of support structure was first used on the defunct Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

The "story" behind the coaster is set In the late 1800's when a strong tornado sweeps through Tennessee, pulling all of the minecarts out of a local mineshaft and throwing them about.


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