August 13, 2009
Santa Claus, IN — Holiday World will debut the world's longest water coaster at their Splashin' Safari water park in 2010. The $5.5 million attraction will be the second largest ride addition in Holiday World's history.
"We're calling our huge new water coaster Wildebeest," says Holiday World & Splashin' Safari president Will Koch. "And when we say it's long, we really mean it. Wildebeest is one-third of a mile long and it will thrill riders for two-and-a-half splashing minutes of hills, drops, twists and turns."
Wildebeest will be built to the north of Bahari wave pool and begin with a conveyor belt ride up the water coaster's lift hill. Following the 38-foot drop at a 45-degree angle, linear induction motors (LIMs) will propel the four-person rafts up seven additional hills, through three tunnels and around a helix.
Wildebeest will cover more than two acres, increasing the size of Splashin' Safari to 27 acres. From end to end the ride will span 1,710-feet.
"The LIM technology for shooting the rafts up the hills is fascinating," says Koch, who earned an electrical engineering degree at Notre Dame. "An alternating magnetic field beneath the slide surface propels the rafts, pushing them rapidly and smoothly uphill. LIM technology is a popular feature in some steel roller coasters; it's cool to see it applied to water coasters, too."
Water coasters have many similarities to a roller coaster, but the track is a fiberglass flume and the riders sit in rafts that glide along on water.
Wildbeest's highest point is 64-feet higher than its lowest drop and riders will experience a top speed of 36-feet per second. Combining all of the descents riders will experience a total of 178 feet of "drop" during the two and half minute ride.
One of the advantages to Wildbeest will be the conveyor-style lifthill that will replace any slide-tower stairs, making the water coaster accessible to those who might have difficulty walking up stairs.
Wildbeest is the second largest single-ride investment in Holiday World's 64-year history.
ProSlide Technology of Ontario, Canada was contracted to design this ride that will cost an estimated $5.5 million.
Koch predicts that the park will need to hire an additional 50 seasonal employees next season. Holiday World currently employs more than 2,000 seasonal employees.
Artwork courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. All rights reserved.
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