Holiday World announces new steel coaster in $22 million expansion


by Drew Teague/Karma Dickerson

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 24 at 11:43 PM

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WHAS11)-- Holiday World announced what will be their newest attraction on Thursday evening in a very unique press conference. 

The park announced a new steel coaster, named "Thunderbird." Its a $22 million expansion to the park, more than double the price of any expansion in the park's history.

The coaster will be the first launch wing coaster, which will take riders from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 3.5 seconds. The coaster is 3000 ft long and will have a total of four inversions during the ride. "Thunderbird" doesn't have a traditional lift as many coasters do, so riders will be launched and immediately go into a loop.

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

The tallest loop on the ride is 125 feet, then riders will go over The Voyage. The owners said that the ride will be different depending on which side a rider is on. 


Following the annoucement, the park had fireworks that lit up the sky in celebration. Nearly 3000 people tuned into the parks website to view the announcement live. 

This is the on-going play in the battle between area amusement parks. This season King's Island debuted their Banshee roller coaster, the longest inverted coaster in the world and this is the first time in five years that King's Island or Holiday World has had to compete with Louisville's Kentucky Kingdom. 

The annoucement came after 66 days where hints were dropped on what the new ride was.

The new attraction is set to open in when the park reopens in the spring of 2015. You can watch the construction online by clicking here