HOLIDAY WORLD & Splashin’ Safari
Santa Claus, Indiana (Abbreviation: HW)
Park News - (4/14/15) How many roller coasters get their own flavor of ice cream? Holiday World is proud to announce that they joined forces with Prairie Farms to create Thunderbird Ice Cream, a combination of vanilla ice cream “with loops of caramel and spicy ‘scorched’ pecans.” They will be selling the flavor at Holiday World this summer, as well as in half-gallon cartons at grocery stores that sell Prairie Farms Ice Cream throughout the Midwest, East Coast and South.
(4/1/15) The state of Indiana has been getting hit hard by companies and various organizations (including the NCAA, NBA and even NASCAR) over the passing of a controversial "Religious Freedom Restoration Act", which has been given the quick nickname of being the "Anti-Gay Law".
While this has led many individuals and groups to say that they wont visit the state any longer, it is worth pointing out that what is perhaps the state's greatest attraction, Holiday World, has their own message to spread. The park posted a great message on their HoliBlog the other day detailing the park's official list of "Values" issued to the staff by former owner and president, Will Koch. The park revisited their dedication to these five values over the winter months which include: We Play by the Rules, We Respect the Individual, We Encourage Work/Life Balance, We are a Team and We Have Fun!
Respect to the Individual is key here at the moment, and I'm going to pull a quote from the HoliBlog that spells it out best. "We welcome many Guests from all over the country – and throughout the world – to our Parks every year. Everyone is different, unique and special in their own way. We have, and we will always, respect every single Guest who chooses to spend their day with us, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Our Guests are giving us something very precious – their time. For that, we owe them our gratitude and fantastic service. We also must respect one another. Everyone has a right to their ideas and opinions and we must always be open to share those with one another."
(12/22/14) Holiday World has a number of fun goodies for sale over the winter, but one all the coaster fans may not want to miss is a Limited blueprint style print of the Thunderbird layout that will ship in late January. There are only going to be a limited number of these and they are predicted to sell out fast, so if you want one, do it now before you are too late.
(12/12/14) Holiday World has announced that they will be moving the Sparkler ride from the 4th of July section of the park over to Thanksgiving, will it will be rethemed and renamed as Crow’s Nest. Meanwhile the park also announced that an announcement about a pair of new “near miss” elements being added to the Thunderbird layout will be made in the next few weeks.
(12/10/14) Holiday World has confirmed that one of the park’s existing rides will be moving to a new location in the Thanksgiving section of the park, near to the new Thunderbird coaster. Anyone have any ideas?
(8/29/14) Holiday World will host a 3 day Bluegrass Music festival over this Labor Day weekend featuring several different acts performing each day. Visit the official site for the concert lineup and details.
2015 - Thunderbird - Under Construction - (4/8/15) While Thunderbird opens to the public on April 25th, the park will hold a season passholder preview of the new coaster the day before the public opening. But to be on the first riders on Thunderbird, you can bid in the park's first rider auction, with the proceeds supporting Give Kids The World.
(3/25/15) Holiday World will launch a charity auction for anyone who wants to be one of the first riders on their new Thunderbird coaster. The auction will run through April 8 and put 20 seats on the coaster up for auction to benefit Give Kids The World Village. Click here to find out all the details and how you can bid.
(3/9/15) Great new from Holiday World this weekend, as they successfully completed the first test-launch of Thunderbird, the world's first magnetically launched B&M coaster and posted the video to Facebook. Lookin' good there Holiday World!
NOTE: For those wondering about Incredible Hulk, while Hulk is a B&M and does launch, the launch system on Hulk was purchased and built by a 3rd party company, as B&M was unwilling to build and sell an untested launch system of their own at that point in time. So for the record books, Thunderbird at Holiday World is B&M's first true launched coaster.
(12/3/14) Holiday World says that their Christmas has come early this year, as the last piece of Thunderbird track (77 pieces total) was installed this week, three weeks earlier than planned. The crew all signed it (see pic) just before it was slid into place.
(11/19/14) Holiday World and B&M put the official Thunderbird train on display at IAAPA a few hours ago, and you can catch your first look at it in the video below shot by our friends at In The Loop. In the video they mention that progress on Thunderbird is going so quickly that they expect to have the final sections of track installed by the week before Christmas. Sounds like Santa may have a new sleigh to ride this season...
(10/8/14) With only a small delay due to a storm, Thunderbird was topped out on Tuesday afternoon, placing the highest track piece into place on the layout, at the top of the Immelman inversion right after the launch.
(10/7/14) Holiday World tells me that, weather permitting, they will top off Thunderbird sometime on Tuesday. Remember, you can always check up on Thunderbird’s progress through the park’s webcam.
(7/31/14) Thanks to everyone who sent in their assumed explanation about Thunderbird’s inclusion of LSM and Flywheel technology for the launch system. I now have the official explanation from the park’s Paula Werne and VP of Development & Maintenance, James Olliver.
The B&M launch system itself will be the typical LSM magnetic launch system you would expect to find on a ride like this, launching the trains purely through elecrto-magnetic force, without the use of any kind of “cable driven pull device like Dragster”. As for the flywheel inside the “Will Power” building, “The flywheel is used to generate the large electrical current required to power the LSMs. This is possible because the flywheel is connected to an electric generator.”
From what Paula also explained to the CoasterRadio.com podcast, Holiday World first added their very own power substation next to the park last year. They were surprised that no one really picked up on this fact, as it was needed to increase the power service to the park to accommodate the huge additional draw an LSM launch coaster would put on the local power grid. So from what I understand, the substation sends power to the flywheel for storage, which then releases it all at once into the LSM launch system, allowing the coaster to operate without dimming the lights across all of Santa Claus, Indiana every few minutes all day long.
(7/30/14) The first shipment of bright orange Thunderbird track has been delivered to Holiday World this week and they have posted four pictures on their Facebook page.
(7/24/14 - Updated) Holiday World just made their big announcement live on the net about their 2015 attraction, a $22 million investment, something that guests have been asking for this forever. Thunderbird… the world’s first launched B&M Wing Coaster. (According to the press release the launch is done with LSM technology, though it was mentioned during the live broadcast that at the end of the launch track will be a special building next to the ride labeled “Will Power Steam Engine Company” in memory to Will Koch will contain a flywheel to be used for the launch somehow, so I’m not quite sure on how the technology for this will work. Or perhaps something was communicated wrong.. anyway...
It will have 4 inversions along the way with some cool fly-by / fly-through themed elements along the way. The coaster will move into a launch position room where there will be fog, sound and lighting effects to simulate a thunderstorm and kaboom! You launch at 60mph in 3.5 seconds into a 140 foot tall Immelman inversion, then into 125 foot vertical loop, the tallest on any Wing coaster, some fun over-banked turns, a Zero-G-Roll and then a high speed turn to dodge a barn that will turn into a final barrel roll as you travel through the barn itself. All the details can be found here, or watch the videos below.