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July 24, 2014

Launching B&M Wing Coaster Coming To Holiday World

Santa Claus, IN — After months of hints and teases Holiday World & Splashin' Safari unveiled Thunderbird, the nation's first launched wing coaster, that will open in 2015.

Thunderbird, the park's first major steel roller coaster, will feature a zero-to-60 mph launch in just 3.5 seconds. The 3,035 foot long coaster will feature multiple inversions, including a 14-story Immelmann loop, zero-G roll, barrel roll, and a vertical loop that soars 125-feet in the air.

Thunderbird, Wing Roller Coaster, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Thunderbird is a new $22-million launched wing coaster that will open at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in 2015. The coaster will have multiple inversions like the 125-foot loop pictured above.

Located in the park's Thanksgiving section, Thunderbird will be built in thickly wooded, hilly terrain, continuing the tradition the park started with the Raven roller coaster. The terrain and wooded areas will be used to enhance the rider's experience.

Thunderbird will at first soar and loop high in the air and then hug the ground, surprising riders with rapid-fire "near misses" such as keyholes, themed elements, interactions with other rides, trees and even the ground.

Thunderbird B&M Wing Coaster, Keyhole, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Thunderbird B&M Wing Coaster, Keyhole, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Built in Holiday World's thickly wooded hills Thunderbird will use the landscape and terrain to enhance the rider experience. Above riders will pass themed elements and exciting near miss features like a keyhole.

"A wing coaster creates a feeling of incredible freedom — you ride beside the coaster track with nothing above or below you," says Holiday World's president, Matt Eckert. "Thunderbird is the first launched wing coaster in the nation — we can't wait to ride it!"

Eckert calls Thunderbird's manufacturer, Bolliger & Mabillard, the "Cadillac of roller coasters, known for their safety, quality and reliability. We've dreamed of adding a B&M steel coaster for many years and are excited that Thunderbird will be B&M's first launched coaster."

Thunderbird, Wing Roller Coaster, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Holiday World's new launched wing coaster will be the first of its kind in the nation. Thunderbird will stand 140-feet high, span 3,035 feet and reach a top speed of 60 miles-per-hour in just 3.5 seconds.

Holiday World is spending more than twice the amount of any other single-ride investment in the park's 68-year history. Thunderbird amounts to a $22-million investment in the theme park.

Construction is already underway and may be viewed live on Holiday World's Construction Cam. The roller coaster will open to the public next spring.

Thunderbird artwork courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.

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