Man Takes Backyard DIY To The Next Level With Wild West-Inspired 1000ft Track Roller Coaster

Published May 18, 2022 52,748 Views $39.74 earned

A man has created the DIY project to end all DIY projects, after building a Wild West-inspired roller coaster with a 1000ft track in his backyard.

Sean LaRochelle, 30, from Napa Valley, California, spent nine months in total planning and building the impressive project in his parents’ yard - called Little Thunder - which cost $35,000 to make and is loosely inspired by Disney’s iconic Big Thunder Mountain ride.

After going viral during lockdown with his first coaster, a pandemic project named Matterhorn: Alpine Escape, architect Sean and his team of DIY lovers wanted to go bigger and better, and began drawing up ideas for Little Thunder.

The 30ft-tall and 150ft long ride, which was finished at the end of summer 2021, boasts an accelerated cart launch, animatronics, intricate rocky waterfalls and thrilling twists and turns, and has absolutely stunned riders so far.

Sean said: “People are blown away and cannot believe this is a DIY project.

“The reactions are wild, from the moment people first lay eyes on the sheer size of the coaster they’re awestruck - it’s approximately 75ft wide by 150ft long by 30tf tall.  The track length is nearly 1000ft.

“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.

“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. 

“Our storyline embedded itself in the spirit of the old west where cowboys and outlaws duked it out for land, gold, and power. 

“The planning phase for Little Thunder lasted approximately five months and construction began in May 2021 and was completed four months later in August. 

“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.

“The team and I were so excited to share our creation with the world after we finished building it.”

Sean’s first backyard roller coaster, the Matterhorn, began as a Covid project, as he and his team had always wanted to build one but never had the time until then.

After the global viral success of the first coaster, Sean and his team - who call themselves Magictecture - wanted to outdo the first, and the construction of Little Thunder began.

Sean and his team have wowed their friends and family who’ve had the fantastic opportunity to ride the 30ft tall coaster - and the DIY clan don’t plan to stop with just two huge themed rides.

He added: “The second coaster came about because we thought we could outperform our first one.  

“We learned so much from the first coaster, and we wanted to continue to tell stories. 

“The best part of these projects is when you get to see so many talented individuals of various backgrounds and expertise come together to share their body of knowledge.  

“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.  

“Magictecture is currently working on several projects behind the scenes.  

“We love our fans and the support we've received from our community and cannot wait to share news about the next coaster.”


Hillbilly Swing by Kevin MacLeod

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