A California man spent $35,000 (£28,000) building a real-life roller coaster in his backyard.
The Wild West-inspired ride is 30ft-tall and 150ft long and has a 1,000 metre track length.
It took Sean LaRochelle, 30, nine months and 50 helping hands to complete the ride, from planning all the way to construction.
This is the second roller coaster built by Sean, from Napa Valley, California, and his team, who call themselves Magictecture.
They built the first one, named Matterhorn: Alpine Escape, during the pandemic as it was something they’d always wanted to do.
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Following this, the team wanted to put their newfound knowledge into making an even bigger and better roller coaster: Little Thunder.
‘The second coaster came about because we thought we could outperform our first one,’ says Sean.
‘We learned so much from the first coaster, and we wanted to continue to tell stories.’
The ride, which is loosely inspired by Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Ride, boasts an accelerated cart launch, animatronics, intricate rocky waterfalls and thrilling twists and turns, and has absolutely stunned riders so far.
‘After our success with the Alpine Escape project, the goal was to challenge ourselves to build something that no other backyard coaster had attempted up to this point,’ says Sean – and they certainly did.
‘The reactions are wild, from the moment people first lay eyes on the sheer size of the coaster they’re awestruck,’ he adds.
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‘It starts off slow and so people are enchanted with the beginning, but the launch is faster than many real coasters and so people come back into the station, adrenaline pumping, laughing, crying and wanting to ride it again.’
It took Sean and his team of 50 people five months to plan the ride.
Impressively, construction began in May 2021 and was finished by August 2021.
‘It took over 50 people to construct and it employed the disciplines of engineering, design, electronics, computer engineering, robotics, musical composition, historic preservation, mechanical engineering, welding, woodwork, and carving,’ says Sean.
‘The team and I were so excited to share our creation with the world after we finished building it.’
He adds: ‘It has been such a blessing for me to be a part of something that could not happen without the nearly 50 individuals who helped make this happen.’
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