I first visited Holiday World, a long awaited visit at that, last year and though the park overall was a bit smaller than I had expected, I loved its stable of coasters, especially the fantabulous The Legend in the Thanksgiving section of the park. At the time, the three coasters at Holiday World were all of the wooden variety, so when the park announced Thunderbird back in July, I was excited to see it was of the steel variety. In fact, not only is the new coaster an out and out steel ride, but it's a record breaking monster.
Thunderbird is the world's first launched wing coaster. For those of you new to coasters, a winged coaster is one in which riders are seated on the sides of the track, giving them a feeling of flying. There are several winged coasters out there, including Wild Eagle at Dollywood, X-Flight at Six Flags Great America, Gatekeeper at Cedar Point and others. None of those coasters, though, use magnetic launch technology as this one does.
Here are the stats for the new Thunderbird, as posted on the Holiday World website:
Track length: 3,035 feet
Height: 140 feet at Immelman loop's peak
Speed: 60 mph
Ride Time: 1 minute, 18 seconds
Designer: Bolliger & Mabiliard
Legend: In 1620, as the Mayflower neared the end of its 66 days at sea, a mighty storm nearly capsized the ship, taking it hundreds of miles off course. As passengers and crew feared all was lost, an immense bird appeared in the sky. The thunderbird, whose wings created the thunder and eyes flashed the lightning of the powerful storm, rescued the ship by launching it to the New World.
Well, I won't be riding Thunderbird this summer, at least I don't anticipate it, but judging from the video below, I think maybe I'd like to make another visit to Santa Claus, Indiana sometime in the near future...