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American Thunder reviews

Theme Park Insider readers offer their ratings and reviews for American Thunder, a roller coaster at Six Flags St. Louis. (The minimum height to ride is 48 inches.)

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Posted: September 20, 2011

Added in 2008 (and originally named Evel Knievel), this $7 million ride is the park's third wooden roller coaster and was designed and built by Great Coasters International. It is currently the 22nd ranked wooden coaster on the planet according to Amusement Today (2011).

American Thunder features an 80' first drop at a 90° left turn angle, and a top speed of 50 MPH. It utilizes two 24-passenger Millennium Flyer trains to traverse a relatively short, tight course (2,700'). Along the way, riders will be treated to sixteen hills and multiple high banked turns at up to 67° angles. Additionally, the track crosses over and under itself fourteen times.

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Readers' rating:

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13 votes, so far

American Thunder was a great ride! Before this summer, I was afraid of coasters. American Thunder was a great starter coaster for me! It is smooth, fast, and intense, but not too intense. I recommend this ride for all coaster rookies. - Zach J

Smooth! The first drop is fun but I really enjoy the turns the most. Also the ride gathers a nice amount of speed and gives you a good look at the park going up the lift hill. I heard a lot of good things about this ride but when I saw it, it was very underwhelming. Thankfully the reviews were right and it was a great ride! (9/10) - Lexi R

Great Roller Coaster with great airtime. Don't let the size trick you, it packs quite a punch. Smooth, and one of my favorite wooden coasters. 10/10 - Edward Morgan

This ride, IMO, is the best coaster in the park. The intense finally is just awsome and actually makes you feel like your on a dirt bike jumping over mounds of dirt. Great speed, pacing, and airtime. - Joey Till

I really enjoyed this coaster - smooth, powerful, and intense. Once you're past the lift hill there's hardy a moment to catch your breath. This definitely a must-ride if you visit this park especially if you're a fan of the "Cyclone" style of wooden coasters. - Tim Hillman

Great ride! Fast and smooth for a wooden coaster. - Mary Ann Nowak

This GCI wooden coaster is excellent. Short, compact, relentless, and a whole lotta fun, Evel Knievel (now called American Thunder) is the best ride in the park (the bunny hops towards the end of the ride are the icing on an amazing cake). - James Rao

Does it have a huge drop? No. Does it cover a wide range of area? No. Does it feature excellent scenery? No. Does it have air-time? A outstanding YES! The amount of airtime you get on this ride is completely wonderful. Evel Knieval is pretty tight in terms of track layout. There really isn't any long straight portions due to its very "curvy" nature of the ride. The sense of speed is also outstanding rivaling that of the Boss and Screamin'Eagle. The ride is currently very smooth for such a fast paced wooden coaster but who knows how long that will last as long as Six Flags is in charge. :( I'm not a wooden coaster fan but this is a winner that kids to adults will enjoy for years to come. On my trip to Six Flags St. Louis, I rode Evel Knievel at least 5 times in almost every train section. This is an exceptional ride that I wish Universal/Disney would try to recreate at one of there theme parks in Orlando where I live at. :) - Jason Campbell

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