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Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

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Leave it to the coaster nerds to have more discussion about a mid course break run than a brand new launched B&M wingrider on the opening day of the new coaster.....



Thunderbird looks awesome by the way, can't wait to check it out soon. Love the whole area around it, when it was first announced it "seemed" like that area was so far way from everything but the whole thing just looks amazing. Great job Holiday World


Because I'm positive a majority of coaster enthusiasts care more about Voyage than Thunderbird on any given day.


I am anxious to hear more reviews from those who rode Thunderbird, though.




Exactly. If SFGadv opened a new giga coaster while at the same time placed a trim brake on El Toro, the El Toro situation is going to garner some talk. Some parks have that "star" coaster that appeals to coaster enthusiasts, and Holiday World is one of them. If the Voyage was taken out of the equation Holiday World almost certainly wouldn't be talked about as much as it is.

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Time to drown my sorrows of not being able to make it out to HW.


The jealousy is killing me. I really hope Lake Compounce does something like this.

Anyone else concerned that a 15 year old is saying "drown my sorrows"?


Most 15 year-old people are high schoolers who have learned how to use common figures of speech.


I'm also surprised by the lack of coverage we've seen from Holiday World and Thunderbird's big day. Glad that everything we've heard so far is positive, though, and hopefully we'll see a lot more soon!

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I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more about Thunderbird, but given that the park isn't even open yet and the general dislike of Indiana at the moment I'm not worried. We'll probably get more reviews during opening weekend and especially around Holiwood Nights. That said, what I have heard about the ride so far (both here and elsewhere) has been extremely promising. It sounds like Thunderbird is the best wing coaster so far, the best coaster at Holiday World, and better than almost anyone expected. After my experiences on GateKeeper and X-Flight last year, I figured this would be a decent ride but I never expected it to be the better B&M of 2015 or anything worth traveling to the park for. Now I want to go back to Holiday World and ride it...hopefully I'll be able to make it in 2016.


As for the Voyage brakes, it's unfortunate but not really that big of deal. The ride is still going to be a top tier coaster with or without a near stop. Honestly, that it the one wooden coaster I've been on that I would almost consider too aggressive, so if the ride experience is improved with the brake I've got no complaints. You'll still get plenty of air time, and based on walking back there last summer the brake is probably as far above the station as Raven's lift hill is tall (aka 80 ft. or so).

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Well there are a few factors to why there aren't a whole lot of reviews yet. You have to remember, the park only invited so many people and only allowed so many people to attend via the donations to Give Kids the World. This wasn't your typical Six Flags or Cedar Fair Media Day. It also lasted (from my estimation) nearly 12 hours, so I bet everyone is exhausted. HW is one of the few parks I've attended where I get very exhausted at the end of the day from just walking all over the crazy terrain (It doesn't help the final walk is all the way back up to the top of the hill). I think a transportation ride would drastically improve guest experience. The less tired people are, the more likely they're going to stay in the park longer, which equals a greater chance of them spending more money in the park.


As for what we've heard about TB so far, I kinda of expected it, based on the small sample sizes of video the park had given us up to this point. From all pictures I've seen, I can't get over how great this coaster looks and how perfect the setting is. Honestly, I kinda have a feeling that the pictures don't even do it justice to how good it really looks in person. I can't wait for Saturday.

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Yeah I am over my initial shock, still disappointed but whatever. I was super bummed about I305 and still loved it so it's cool.


Outside its famous coaster collection I know nothing of this park, what is this holiwood nights?


I hope I'm the not the only that have to wait till August for my first visit. Oh well, I'm going to be patient and wait my turn. I can't wait to experience this magnificent coaster!


Looking at my schedule, August may actually be the best time for me

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Outside its famous coaster collection I know nothing of this park, what is this holiwood nights?

The annual coaster enthusiast event that goes on at Holiday World in late May. Having been twice to it (making this year a third!), I can say that it's definitely the most fun I've ever had in the park! The late-night rides on all of their major rides make it all worth the price alone!


It's open to coaster club card carrying members only (including ClubTPR), unless you're a guest of one in which case you can go. More details here

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Outside its famous coaster collection I know nothing of this park, what is this holiwood nights?

The annual coaster enthusiast event that goes on at Holiday World in late May. Having been twice to it (making this year a third!), I can say that it's definitely the most fun I've ever had in the park! The late-night rides on all of their major rides make it all worth the price alone!


It's open to coaster club card carrying members only (including ClubTPR), unless you're a guest of one in which case you can go. More details here


Awesome! And I hear untrimmed Voyage hmmmm sadly I'm not a member of any of those, and being a poor ass grad student guess I need to kiss up to someone to have me be a guest ha Thanks for the info!

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I'll write a bigger report later, but today was a GREAT media day for Thunderbird. Holiday World did so many things right that other parks somehow miss the mark on. The ride itself was a lot of fun. It's smooth, twisty, and the launch has quite a kick!


Here's a couple of photos & video from today. More coming soon!










Edited by robbalvey
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I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more about Thunderbird, but given that the park isn't even open yet and the general dislike of Indiana at the moment I'm not worried.


The dislike of Indiana? I think you're exaggeration the situation a little. I doubt that has little, if anything, to do with any "lack of coverage."

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There's been plenty of coverage. I've got it all over my social media outlets from non-coaster-related sources. A shot of Santa on a roller coaster is a hard one to pass up.


Most of the Indiana rhetoric has died down by this point anyway after they modified the language of the bill. Media coverage did what it always does: move on once the next story comes along fifteen minutes later.


But enough of that. Yay Thunderbird and all it's glory! +1 awesome point for HW.

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I gotta say, Thunderbird looks pretty great, and seems to be a PERFECT fit for Holiday World! That setting over the course of the ride looks fantastic....I'm guessing it's going to be an awesome night ride too. The only wing coaster I've ridden is GateKeeper, and I guess I stray from the typical enthusiast opinion on them, as I find that coaster to be very good. So, I'm really excited to try Thunderbird out someday! That launch looks pretty solid too!!


Also, I'm a huge fan of how the ride station and surrounding area turned out! That looks top notch visually.....kudos, Holiday World!!


Oh yeah, and I too love the shirt!

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I wanted to thank Holiday World for a fantastic day yesterday. In particular, thank you for opening up Media Day to Give Kids the World donors and letting us coaster fans support a fantastic cause while experiencing the warmth, friendliness and unique family thrills and fun that are truly "world famous". A day at Holiday World is always full value and beyond.


In terms of unique thrills, Thunderbird is a winner for the park. POV footage does not do this attraction justice. Consider that footage was taken in the morning when it was fairly cold. The ride was noticeably faster and more intense later in the day. The ride looks fantastic, has a great launch for its family audience and is really fun, especially in the wooded area.


The design, fit and finish of the new area, ride station, Will Power building and everything to do with this ride are beyond what anyone would expect for a growing family-operated park in terms of the high level of quality and attention to detail everywhere. There is high level of pride associated with this attraction and it shows in every detail.


Thunderbird is one of the more intense B&M wing riders that I've been on and it is my favourite in North America after yesterday. The launch works so well for this type of coaster. The layout, although compact, is always doing something and is another reason why I really like it. The only other wing riders ahead for me are Furious Baco because of its amazing launch and high intensity and Flug der Demonan, with its compact and twisty layout that does so much on a small footprint.


Elsewhere, Thunderbird Ice Cream is delicious. Oh and Voyage is still as intense and relentless as ever. For sure my favourite coaster at the park. I think it took over my number one spot for wooden coasters after around 20-25 rides throughout the day. One or two were with the trim on and for anyone worried, don't be. It gets back to speed pretty much instantly, so there really isn't any difference in ride experience.


Congratulations Holiday World and thank you again for fantastic day.



Thanks Holiday World! See you again soon.


A long but fantastic day.


Getting ready to you know, test it out.


The new sleigh is ready. Santa was loving it.


Thunderbird Ice Cream samples ready to go.


Will Power.


The thing about wearing green...


My appreciation for this ride grows each visit.


Ready for launch.


Good morning!


Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Thunderbird Media Day (4/23/2015)


I had a awesome time yesterday at the Media Preview Day for Thunderbird, the Nation's First Launched Wing Coaster. This was my first media day and I was very impressed. The crowd size was very low, as many members of the media were coming and going throughout the day. I already posted my review of the ride, so I will reproduce it here:

"My my what a ride. After speaking with other people who had been on many of the other wing coasters, it's safe to say Thunderbird is the cream of the crop. The launch, while not extremely intense, is really fun going straight into the immelmann. The loop was pretty forceful and the figure-eight section by the Voyage was really good. While nothing too memorable, I enjoyed the zero-g roll and its placement in the ride. After a quick s-turn, the fly-through barn approaches. The helix (carousel, whatever) provides good positive G's and the inline roll has LOTS of hang time. The near misses of the barn are very well-orchestrated. I spoke briefly with President Eckert about the ride. While he prefaced with saying that he may be biased, he thinks it's the best coaster Holiday World could've asked for. He said that it combines the best elements of a B&M wing coaster and does it better. I have to agree with this and his opinion of what side is better, which is the Front Left (although the right side seems to have a slightly better launch into the immelmann).


You can call me out about being biased or a fanboy with Holiday World being my home park, but I truly believe Thunderbird is a fantastic ride and it exceeded many expectations. Will Koch would be so proud."


I have added the video:



I think it is justified since I got in 36 laps today, riding each row at least once on every side). The overall hospitality of the park was excellent as they provided food (and obviously drinks) throughout the day and we even sampled Thunderbird ice-cream, which was very yummy. Yesterday was a very long day, lasting 12 hours. Even though I am exhausted, I'm very happy to have attended. Please excuse the quality of my pictures, because I do not own an DSLR or an expensive camera. Onto the pictures (which there is a LOT):


The day started off promptly at 6:15 a.m. for check in.


Early sunrise pic of The Voyage


For perspective on where Thunderbird is located. I think the two compliment each other fantastically


Approaching the monster.


We were on our way to the "opening ceremony" for the ride


Seriously this ride is much bigger than it looks in pictures


The color scheme was well-thought out


First test run I witnessed. Oooh's and ahhh's sold separately


FYI you fly straight into this tree. Bonus points awarded to the one who hits the most branches with their face.


I was on the first train of the day that followed the First Flight Auction winners. Sat first row, right wing


For those wanting some pictures of Thunderbird's surrounding area: Thunderbird's gift shop was interestingly-named Hevron's Mercantile. You can find all sorts of Thunderbird merchandise inside and the shop is spacious. I loved the fact that the on-ride photos are not located in the back of the store like the Voyage, which creates much less of a traffic problem.


Facing towards the direction of the rest of the park. The smokehouse is in the bottom right corner with an attatched Pepsi Oasis.


Bathrooms, ya know, because they're like a necessity and stuff.


The launch room features some neat special effects. When the train approaches and stops, thunder and wind sound effects are going on in the background with some strobe lights flickering everywhere. Lightning LOUDLY crashes as fog generates in the front, before you are launched 0-60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. I wasn't expecting the effects to be as good as they were, so I was impressed to say the least!


Launch track for T-Bird. You enter underneath the barn into the queue. The station looked superb.


Some theming in the queue. This was, once again, unexpected for me so I was surprised.


This is the main queue area before you are split off and heading upstairs.


Another angle, I am sure these will be filled with anxious people throughout the summer


You can get this view heading up the right side stairs (Another note, you turn to the opposite way of what side you want to be on. So, turn right for the left wing and vice versa).


Exiting the inline twist.


The station from the right side. Yet another cool easter egg about the ride is when the train launches as the thunder cracks, all of the light in here and the queue flicker. What a neat touch!


You can get a pretty good view of the end of the ride from here.


Brake run


One of my favorite pictures I took. The Crows Nest's queue provides excellent close up pictures of the Immelmann. Forgot to catch a train at this angle though...


The launch in action. People (including me!) were still excited to be riding it after 15-20 laps


Another favorite picture of mine. Thunderbird is just so photogenic.




Totally original angle is totally original. Nobody else has this exact same angle. Nobody!


These people earned ten bonus points. The prize was a trip to Vegas to forcefully marathon Manhattan Express forever.


All it takes is Will Power. Such a wonderful tribute to a wonderful guy. Glad I got to meet him years ago


I did not pay close enough attention to the storyline to know what this steam engine was for. Regardless, at least it looks cool! Edit: I now realize that it correlates with the Steam Engine Company.


Extended queues. These are very long and I assume will be full on Opening Day.


Up the immelmann!


Matt Eckert and I agree... The right side is better for the launch, but the left is the better side for the rest of the ride.


If you sit on the left side, the windmill provides a short, but sweet near-miss element at the bottom of the immelmann.


No bonus points for you!


The weather for the day was just beautiful. While a little chilly in the morning, it warmed up to the 60's by the middle of the day.


Another angle of the immelmann and the launch track. Sitting on the left side once again provides a near-miss element.


Got the train all to myself. How wonderful


At 1:30, the staff served us Thunderbird ice cream. I was expecting not to like it since pecans aren't my thing, but was pleasantly surprised.


At 3 p.m. we received a backstage tour to get some great shots you cannot get on a regular day.


Here is the final third of the ride in all of is glory.


Me failing at getting a good shot #1


It was really neat to be able to walk right underneath the track...


And I mean, RIGHT underneath.


Like I previously stated, the Voyage and Thunderbird really compliment each other well. I love the interaction between the two.


Fly-through barn up close. If there is one thing I am disappointed about, it's the fact that this was not painted. No worries, since it didn't detract from the ride experience and it is an incredibly petty complaint.


The S-bend turn. It has a decent snap to it. It also stays pretty low to the ground, which gives a great sensation of speed.


Here come the slew of barn pictures, so bare with me.


Remember how I said we were directly below the track.




The park was actually having slight issues having riders in the pictures, but I think that problem isn't really that bad ;)



Is it a carousel? Is it a helix?


Oh yeah, the Voyage exists


It was a surprise that our tour guide included the Voyage too.



Our tour guide was radioing Thunderbird's and Voyage's crews to dispatch the rides together. It proved to be quite a challenge.


I only got one photo (this isn't it) of the two together, but I did get a video that I may upload later.


The turnaround. The Voyage was running great as it always does. We will see how its doing late summer...


The maintenance crews said that this off-season, they replaced more track than any year prior. The difference was noticeable!


90 Degrees!


The backstage tour got up close to the Voyage too.


This section of the ride was completely rebuilt in the off season.


The Voyage was running one train ops with NO MCBR stopping.



This section was replaced and rebuilt in 2012.









The Voyage is verrrry tall.


Wish I could have gotten both trains at the same time.


These riders earned extra bonus points for hitting the Voyage.


This shot will have a lot more leaves in it later on.



Me failing at getting a good shot #2


and #3


These nets were installed to make sure no loose articles land on the Voyage or its riders. The net that is closer to me was not installed yet. The tour guide also explained that chainlink fences will be installed later this season and next off-season to the edges of the track for the Voyage to keep the deer out. Not joking.


My timing is pretty off.


The one interaction picture I got. It would have been great to have been on the ride at this moment.


The last picture from the tour


Me leaving the park. Yesterday (4/23) was an excellent day. The fact that only a select number of people were there meant that I could reride this bad boy 36 times, mostly without leaving my seat in the front row. I want to thank Holiday World for their excellent hospitality and would like to further congratulate the park on such a perfect addition. Thunderbird will be a huge hit!


Lastly, my onride photo. Yes, I closed my eyes in it.

Edited by Koasterking48
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Wow! Those pictures look amazing!

Sounds like a great day



Makes me really want to go to that holiwood nights event. Official begging begins to have someone let me be there guest, or guess I should join club TPR!

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