Despite weather delays, construction crews at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus have put into place the tallest piece of a new $22 million rollercoaster. “Section 21” is part of Thunderbird's 14-story loop. The attraction is scheduled to be open in late-April. Park officials say its “launched wing” will be the first of its kind in the U.S. Riders will be situated on either side of the track's tubular rails.

It's builder is Switzerland-based Bolliger & Mabillard Inc. Holiday World President Matt Eckert calls it the “Cadillac” of roller coaster companies.

News Release

Originally Posted July 24, 2014

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. – The nation's first launched wing coaster will take flight over Holiday World in 2015. Named Thunderbird, Holiday World's first major steel roller coaster will feature a zero-to-60 miles-per-hour launch in 3.5 seconds, followed by multiple inversions – including a 14-story Immelmann loop, Zero-g roll, barrel roll, and a loop soaring 125 feet in the air.

Continuing Holiday World's tradition of sending roller coasters through its thickly wooded and hilly terrain, 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, other rides, trees, and even the ground.

“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's $22 million price tag is more than twice the amount of any other single-ride investment at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in the park’s 68-year history.

Thunderbird will be located in the park's Thanksgiving section. Construction is already underway and may be viewed live on Holiday World's ConstructionCam. Thunderbird will open next spring.

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari are open daily through August 13, plus weekends through the end of October. For more information, visit or call 877-463-2645.

Source: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

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