Looping Thunder coaster retired at Oaks Park

The Looping Thunder roller coaster has been in service since 1996

Staff at Oaks Park takes one final ride on the Looping Thunder coaster, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)
Staff at Oaks Park takes one final ride on the Looping Thunder coaster, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Looping Thunder roller coaster looped and thundered one last time at Oaks Amusement Park in Portland Monday, taking staff members for a memorable ride.

Since 1996, the Looping Thunder coaster thrilled visitors of all ages, but it was just time for something new, said Emily MacKay, the promotions and events manager for the park.

“It was time for something new and exciting, so in the spring we will be opening a brand new, much more extreme roller coaster,” MacKay said. “It’ll be something really unique and new for Oregon, never seen anything like it here.”

The new coast, on its way to the park from Europe, has more inversions — that is, riders will go upside down more often. It also has a lower height limit, opening it up to shorter kids.

But this day was bittersweet for the staff, she said.

“People love this ride, have had a great time with their families on this ride,” MacKay told KOIN 6 News. But “people have been clamoring for something more extreme, something more exciting and we are going to deliver on that.”

Staff at Oaks Park takes one final ride on the Looping Thunder coaster, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)
Staff at Oaks Park takes one final ride on the Looping Thunder coaster, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)