Millionth Thunderbird Rider Expected Wednesday at Holiday World
ONE MILLIONTH Thunderbird Rider is expected Wednesday during American Coaster Enthusiasts event at Holiday World in Santa Claus Indiana.
In 2015, Holiday World debuted Thunderbird, the nation’s first launched wing coaster. The ride includes a 0-60mph launch in 3.5 seconds, plus multiple inversions and near-misses. Continuing Holiday World’s tradition of sending roller coasters through thickly wooded and hilly terrain, Thunderbird first loops high in the air and then hugs the ground nearly missing trees, the ground, other rides, and even travels through a building!
Since its debut, Thunderbird has been a favorite among thrill seekers. So much, that the ride is expected to give a lucky rider it’s Millionth ride! Holiday World expects this milestone to take place Wednesday, June 22, during a special event at the park held by The American Coaster Enthusiasts.
Hundreds of roller coaster enthusiasts from around the world will flock to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari this Wednesday and Thursday as part of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (aka ACE) Coaster Con XXXIX.
Park president Matt Eckert says the ACE visit is expected to coincide with an important milestone.
“By happy coincidence, we expect Thunderbird to launch its millionth rider sometime Wednesday afternoon,” he says. “We’re planning the commemorate this special ride by providing the trainload of riders mementos of their flight.” Thunderbird, which opened last season, is the nation’s only launched wing roller coaster.
During Coaster Con, the American Coaster Enthusiasts will name The Raven, Holiday World’s 1995 wooden roller coaster, an “ACE Roller Coaster Landmark,” a designation reserved for coasters of historical significance.
“The Raven was very trendsetting in its time,” says Tim Baldwin, ACE’s communications director. “Following years of coaster wars, where amusement parks tried to outdo one another, Holiday World showed that a modest-sized ride can still be truly fantastic. This amazing wooden coaster in a wonderful forested setting achieved national fame when it opened in 1995. It helped launch this small-town park into bigger and better things. Just look at Holiday World now. The growth of this great park is marvelous, just like their original wooden coaster.”
The ACE Roller Coaster Landmark ceremony will take place Thursday at 11am CDT in the High Dive Theater. The ACE Coaster Con will also include “exclusive ride time” on the parks’ roller coasters, water coasters, and other attractions both before and after the parks’ regular operating hours.