Thursday, July 24, 2014

Holiday World Announces Launched Wing Coaster - Thunderbird - New For 2015

The 66 day wait is over!  Holiday World has announced Thunderbird, a brand new B&M launched wing coaster - the first of its kind in the Nation.

Thunderbird will utilize LSM technology to blast riders out of the station at a top speed of 60 miles per hour - in 3.5 seconds.  The trains will feature seating on the outside of the track, with nothing above or below riders.  The coaster will have two trains, each with five rows of cars that seat four guests (a total of 20 riders per train).

The park has decided to heavily theme the ride's station and associated buildings, an example of which can be seen here.  The park will be working with PGAV Destinations on the ride's theme - this is also the company responsible for theming several structures throughout the park in 2014.

Once Thunderbird launches trains out of the station they will enter a 140 foot tall Immelmann inversion.  If you've been watching the construction cam that the park set up, the ride will actually be launching toward the existing park, meaning the trains will be coming toward the camera.  This was something that I didn't expect, I kept thinking the coaster would head outward first, away from the camera's view.

Immediately after the Immelmann, Thunderbird sends riders through a giant vertical loop, 125 feet tall at the top.  At the exit of the loop the track passes directly over the Voyage's path, creating a neat interaction between the two coasters.

Twisting above the ground and through the trees, Thunderbird then heads into two large turns, an Overbanked Horseshoe followed by an Overbanked Elevated Spiral.  The turns move in opposite direction, the first turning to the right, and the second to the left, keeping riders slightly disoriented.

Before you're able to figure out which way is up, Thunderbird flies through a large Zero-G Roll, moving toward the back of the park into another wooded section.  The track begins to hug closer to the ground, increasing the sensation of speed.

For the ride's finale, Thunderbird soars through a dilapidated barn, completing a Carousel turn and a final 360 degree In-Line Roll.  The barn will serve as a "keyhole" element, appearing to come extremely close to riders twice.

After 3,035 feet of track, Thunderbird then hits the brakes and makes its way back toward the station.  In case we lost you during all that, here is a great look at Thunderbird's layout from Holiday World:

This fly-around video also gives a great perspective of the action to be found on Thunderbird:

Thunderbird represents a $22 million expansion, the largest in the park's history, and will open in the Spring of 2015.

Holiday World has launched an entire website dedicated to Thunderbird, with plenty of additional facts, photos, and videos.  Soar on over to check it out!