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American Thunder
Final weekend ride on American Thunder

American Thunder

Do You Prefer Your Thrills Over or Under?

Wooden coaster design dates back to the origin of the earliest theme parks. But every year, we learn how to become faster and higher, in one mind-blowing construction after the next.

Now you are going to experience the best of the old world and the best of the new!

At first glance, American Thunder looks like a classic wooden roller coaster, with mind-blowingly complex architecture rising 82-feet high over the park. But it is in fact built with ultra-modern techniques, so you are going to get that classic feel with a smoother, faster, and more exciting ride than those old wooden coasters ever dreamed possible.

The adventure starts with an 80-foot drop turning at a 90 degree angle. We hope you like airtime, because American Thunder will make your body levitate out of the seat with non-stop negative Gs on hill after hill after hill. In fact, there are more than 16 different hills on this run, and every single one of them is designed to maximize float time.

This serpentine track has a mind-ripping total of 14 cross-overs! Your specially-designed Millennium Flyer car will feel more like a needle threading through the impossibly twisted track, smoother than any wooden coaster you’ve ever experienced.

You will zoom through the course at a whopping 50 miles per hour through hard turnarounds and high-banking curves, while snaking through a precision-engineered masterpiece of pure wooden magic.

This kind of action is timeless!

In this part of Missouri the convoluted surfaces of some of our rides are unfortunately an attractive nesting place for insects.

No spray can help. No ointment provides relief. Even vaccines are ineffective. Mutations of bulbous spiders, bloodthirsty mosquitoes, insatiable flies, and incredibly malevolent, multi-legged insects of all varieties are on the loose.

These insect invaders target open mouths, fly into nostrils, and burrow into ears, sucking the life out of their victims, while devouring internal organs. Large chunks of flesh are ripped from every exposed area.

This year, great care has been taken to eliminate the pests. Ever stronger insecticides are required but, over time, these slimy bugs develop immunity. They thrive and grow larger, more aggressive, and more deadly. Though we can’t close this ride, we advise everyone to stay away from it.

Warning: This ride is not recommended for anyone allergic to insect bites. We also caution those who are pregnant, as well as anyone else who has fears or concerns about being devoured alive by bugs.

Minimum Height: 48″

By The Numbers

Top Speed
50 mph
80 feet
2,700 feet
June 20, 2008
Great Coasters International, Inc.

What Our Guests Say

  • "We did the parent swap because our youngest did not want to ride it. This roller coaster is the most exhilerating ride in the park. Fast, with whipping turns, and you never know what is around each turn. A must ride for all roller coaster enthusiasts."
    - Emilie H From St. Louis, Mo
  • "A fast wooden roller coaster that's very smooth which creates an amazing ride!"
    - Marc I From Woodbine, Md
  • "My son is 6, and his favorite ride is American Thunder. It has the perfect amount of speed, and is not bumpy."
    - Jason A From St. Louis
  • "It runs very well and maintains a high speed throughout its course. There are several drops that provide air time, as well as some curves providing lateral forces. Great ride!"
    - Derek W. From Pataskala, Oh
  • "The greatest wooden roller coasters ever, with its exhilerating drop of 80ft.! "
    - Holly D. From St. Peters, Mo
American Thunder Infested
Thrill Level

Minimum Height

Location in Park: 

1904 World's Fair


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