HOLIDAY WORLD & Splashin’ Safari
Santa Claus, Indiana (Abbreviation: HW)
Park News - (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 - (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.