In years past Holiday World has been known for its water park, Splashin' Safari. Well, that and the unlimited free soft drinks.
But that's about to change. Yes, the amusement park has The Voyage, which has been named the Number One wooden roller coaster in the past. But wooden coasters are old news, their popularity declining by the day. To keep up with changing times and in an effort to stay relevant, Holiday World constructed Thunderbird.
Thunderbird is one of a kind. It's the first launched wing coaster in the world. Yes, the world. NUVO took a ride on Thunderbird and well, I'll let the video speak for itself.
If you heard bells ringing throughout the ride or the "naughty or nice" at the end, that's because Santa rode next to us. Holiday World is located in Santa Claus, Indiana after all.
"That first ride, if you're on right side when you go through that last barn, you see that hand print up there, it kind of hurt." - Santa
There's a portion of the barn that's been cut out in the shape of two hands. It's a simple idea, but it gives you chills. The "close calls" are prevalent during the ride and the reason why there's a height limit of 6'6".
- Thunderbird as it brakes before reaching the station.
So if you're headed to Holiday World for Splashin' Safari, I'd highly recommend stepping out of the water for a few minutes to try this beast of a roller coaster.
Here's the legend behind the Thunderbird as posted on the Holiday World website:
- The wing seat used for Thunderbird.
Trains: Two trains, each with five four-person coaches
Capacity: 1,140 Guests per hour
Track Length: 3,035 feet
Speed: Thunderbird’s top speed is 60 miles per hour
Launch: 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds
Ride Time: 1 minute, 18 seconds (station to station)
Note: These videos are from different launches of Thunderbird and don't synch up perfectly.
Here is the launch of Thunderbird into the first loop.
This is the 2nd loop of the Thunderbird.
The final element on the Thunderbird is the barrel roll, my personal favorite.