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Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

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Anybody at the preview night right now? Looking at the webcam, the line is extremely long but is moving extremely fast. What's the wait time?


I feel extremely lucky there were no lines yesterday! But I'd gladly wait in line to ride again no questions asked! I did notice yesterday that for the most part they had the loading and unloading process down pretty quick. There were a couple hiccups here and there but generally they operated the ride very efficiently and fast.

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The area around the ride looks great - including the move of Sparkler to this area of the park.


I'm obviously more of an intense ride type of enthusiast, but this is exactly what Holiday World needed as their first steel coaster, so congratulations to them and best of luck in the coming years.


Meanwhile, I will patiently waiting for Hyena Falls to not seem so random and out of place.

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Anybody at the preview night right now? Looking at the webcam, the line is extremely long but is moving extremely fast. What's the wait time?


They were using a "boarding pass" system to make sure everyone had a chance to ride. You were given a specific time window to when you could get in line. I got there at 5:00 opening and nabbed the 5-6 timeslot. Ended up only waiting about 20 minutes for the front seat. Later in the day, however, the line looked to have grown quite a bit. I'm guessing the wait was easily over an hour at that point.


As for Thunderbird itself, it highly exceeded my expectations. The launch and the whole ride in general were a lot more intense than I expected. It's booking through all the elements, save for that amazing hang-time on that last roll. I ended up riding with Chad from WBKR (the guy who hosted the announcement ceremony back in July) and he interviewed me about the ride after. I'm sure it was just incoherent out-of-breath babbling about how great the ride was. I do remember him asking me to pick Voyage vs Thunderbird. How dare he.


Got in some laps on the woodies as well. Voyage is still my baby. My first lap didn't get trimmed, second lap did. Didn't matter. Still an incredible ride. Raven and Legend were running great! I could tell Legend had some extensive retracking done over the winter.


Can't wait to get back and ride again. Thunderbird is definitely a hit.


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According to my friend who showed up later and received the 8-9 time card. The line had got so big I guess the abandoned the idea. He waited 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Edited by Ape
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This looks fantastic! Props to Holiday World and B&M for pulling off such a unique ride, especially as HW's first major steel and B&M's first true launch coaster.


I know there has been some previous posts about it, but how are the lines for this? I haven't waited in line, so I can't make a fair judgment, but it seems to be B&M's lowest capacity coaster yet. 2 trains with 20 people each. Not bad, but not great based purely on stats. I guess with it being a launch coaster, that shaves off some ride time, but I'm really curious to see how efficient it will be during the super busy summer months (and according to what others have said, I have total faith in HW's operations, but even with a super fast crew, it's still only 2 trains with 20 people each). Nonetheless it looks excellent (that color scheme ) and will definitely be successful for HW.

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Regarding the questions about The Voyage: The mid-course brakes on Voyage (coming out of the spaghetti bowl) have existed since we opened it in 2006. They have been used on and off over the years, including when Will was still with us. This season, they are on, to keep the speed of Voyage heading into the triple-down at a constant speed. What that means is the amount of trim is based on timing. The time it takes to travel from the top of the lift hill to the mid-course brakes will determine the amount of trim applied, so every train (whether fully loaded with husky adults or with only a few seats filled) will enter the triple-down at a consistent speed. This is to improve the experience for many, many of our Guests who simply do not enjoy the super-aggressiveness of the second half of the ride (the first half of the ride has not changed - there aren't brakes hidden in a tunnel). I spoke with many enthusiasts yesterday who enjoyed their Voyage rides immensely, noticing either nothing or very little difference at the safety block. We hope you'll attend HoliWood Nights and see for yourself!


I honestly find it sad that you even had to respond to this whole situation. I'm just glad you didn't have to defend Will's wife and children on this website like you did on the Holiwood Nights FB page. It's sad that some enthusiasts take this hobby way too seriously and get all up in arms about the use of a trim/block break on a roller coaster. It's pathetic that some of them would go as low as taking personal shots at the family over it.


I've really enjoyed reading everyones reports so far. With the threat of rain most of the day tomorrow in Santa Claus, I'm going to hold out until Sunday to visit. Hoping for some good weather on Sunday and I'll hopefully be able to get some good pictures. This is the first time I'm actually bringing a camera into the park.

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Went to preview night, last night. I was in group A, we got in line at 5:20 and was on the ride around 6. Rode front left, as all the employees I asked said that was the best seat and they weren't lying. Holiday World has a winner with this and will put them on the map. Thunderbird in the dark is awesome, flying through the dark woods. Our last ride we got in line at 9:45, with the Queue 3/4 full and 1 break down we finally boarded front right at 11:10. So my guess is with the queue full, all the way to the entrance, will be about a 2 hour wait. When we rode The Voyage, the trims barely braked us, so it was really unnoticeable. The Legend is running better than it has in years and The Raven is still one of the best. Can't wait to go back, Thunderbird Ice Cream is the BOMB!


Was sporting my TPR shirt

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How does Thunderbird compare to other B&M Wing Coasters?

Thunderbird is much better than Gatekeeper, but Gatekeeper is the only other one I've ridden before. However, others agreed that Thunderbird ranks as one of the best, if not the best of the bunch.


I hope all goes well for Opening Day at Holiday World today. I will be back at the park tomorrow ready for more Thunderbird!

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^^ you wouldn't happen to be wearing a yellow shirt would you? i saw pictures on facebook and there is one person wearing shorts who also has a yellow shirt on.


Hey! That was me! I was quite cold in the extremities Thursday morning until just before boarding Thunderbird and then I completely forgot about being cold even in the shade of the station. Warmed up quite nicely later in the day.


How does Thunderbird compare to other B&M Wing Coasters?



Also about the Capacity, According to RCDB.com The hourly capacity is only 60 people less than The Voyage


T Bird- 1,140

Voyage- 1,200


You've got to consider the ride time on this one. Voyage, even with two trains, gets to MCBR just around the same time that Thunderbird makes a complete circuit. I can remember waiting a couple hours for Voyage when it first opened.



I'm finally getting around to posting my TR from Thursday's Media Day. After a long day at the park and then a long day at work Friday, plus the painfully long process of uploading photos, I just didn't have the energy to post one yesterday. Forgive me. The previous reports have been very good which was also a reason I didn't feel I had to post yesterday.


I took a metric buttload of photos and video from my phone. I apologize for the quality but even the best cameras don't capture this ride in all of its glory. Go see it for yourself. As for the ride, ride it. My first launch was from that popular front left seat. The near-miss elements (buildings, supports, trees, fences included) were pretty great on the left. I didn't quite enjoy the top of the Immelmann or the Zero-G Roll as much from the left as I did the right side. There is a noticeable fun "snap" as you flip over at the top that I felt was better experienced from the right than the left. Both are great, however. The right also offered slightly more feet-choppers than head-choppers. Having big feet made this feel even more dangerous...in a good way. I preferred the front right to the front left just for the negative G experience. However, my best rides of the day were from the back row, left side. The noticeable speed jump from the cold morning to the time that I rode in the back midday added to the experience. Also, the fly-thru barn seemed even closer to that safe envelope from the back because I could see how close it was coming to those in front of me. The rear also had a nice whip to it in and out of the loop as well as through the Zero-G and the S-Curve. For being such a short train, I wasn't expecting this. My expectations were low going in to the rear left seat but were surpassed easily after back-to-back rides in the same spot. I will say that it seems there isn't a bad seat on the whole train. Knowing that the GP will vie for that front seat spot, your ride won't be hurt by taking a seat mid-train or towards the rear if they have shorter waits. My favorite part of the ride is the horseshoe section after the loop and before the Zero-G Roll. Selection a favorite is difficult as I loved the whole ride, nothing to dislike. I liked the horseshoe most because of the feeling of soaring through the trees and barely missing all of those supports and fences. Even with early spring leaves on those trees, it felt like I could reach out and pluck a few off. I can't imagine mid-summer foliage.


The ride experience is only outmatched by the theming and detail on ride and in the plaza. Holiday World is known for being a beautiful park already but the Thunderbird Plaza area had me considering buying a season pass just to come sit and relax after a long work week. Holiday World nails it in this regard. They know that Thunderbird won't be for everyone and they have catered to those folks who have to wait for their family or friends in the long queue by offering an oasis of tranquility right next to a 0-60 in 3.5seconds launch. Maybe it was the Benadryl for my seasonal allergies but the whole area had a very peaceful and calming feeling without taking away from the intensity of the ride next door. Even when the park is full of Thunderbird riders, that area will still be a nice place to rest after a few laps. Even the gaps between the plaza's structures seem intentional for allowing the best views of Thunderbird and Voyage in the Indiana woods. Here's how the day went minus a few moments that I caught on video rather than in photos.


My guest and I arrived at the park around 6AM local time. Just in time for sunrise. Only thing missing from this photo is Raven. Thunderbird is seen just behind the trees to the left of Voyage (center).



After waiting for our badges to be handed out, we made our way towards the back of the park. Way back. The first glimpses of Thunderbird appear right around Hoosier Celebration Theater and the entrance to SS. It was like the sun was showing the way.



On the pathway from Halloween/Fourth of July to Thanksgiving. As others have said, the two rides compliment each other so well and from nearly every angle.



Due to there being ice on the Thanksgiving bridge, yes it was very cold that morning, staff detoured us under the bridge. This made for some nice views of Voyage's final turns in the morning light. Holiday World is so photogenic.



You can see the frost on the roof of Voyage's station. Until about 9AM, I hated that I wore shorts and a t-shirt.



Still making our way back to Thunderbird Plaza. The sun had rose quite a bit since we had arrived at the park. The theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey would have fit perfectly.



Voyage was looking (and riding) as good as ever.



A little over half way there....



On the way, you get little peeks at Thunderbird dancing around Voyage and through the woods. What a tease. Move faster legs!




Turning back to look at the park from where the last photo^ was taken. Yeah, it's a trek. Trek and a half, really.



Then you turn back around and see a whole new park. Where'd you come from?



Hyena Falls doesn't seem so lonely anymore. The path to TB gives a nice view of sliders coming down and into the half-pipe.



Thunderbird dwarfs everything in the area. Being on the hill also adds to its giant stature.



I remember at first some being skeptical about the orange color. It truly pops against the greenery especially after seeing Thunderbird from a webcam.



As has been said before, Crow's Nest (formerly Sparkler in the Fourth of July section) fits very well next to Thunderbird's Immelmann.



This was still on the walk to Thunderbird Plaza but, after spending all day looking at this coaster in person, it is one of the prettiest rides out there. Not only is the ride experience good enough to enjoy multiple times in one day the view is also something I couldn't stop looking at.



I almost couldn't believe Thunderbird Plaza. I'm on a virtual reality set, right? We've just stepped into the animation, correct?



Someone asked about the steam engine and its reasoning for being included in the theming. The Will Power building even says "Steam Engine Company". I think it was a very cool piece and a nice way to help camouflage those electrical lines.



Of course Santa Claus was there bright and early. A line was already forming to ride TB after the auction winners.



For those of us who enjoy theming and detail, Holiday World left nothing overlooked. Here's the gift shop next to Thunderbird's station near the rear of the plaza.


And the side of the station building. It really looks like a barn was here and they just built a roller coaster through it. Massive difference compared to Raven's 20 year old plywood house station.



From the rear of the plaza. This whole area was designed with seating and Thunderbird watching in mind. I imagine this is for those families who only have a few daring members who want to take on Thunderbird or for those needing a breather after a few circuits. There isn't a bad view around.



The spot behind the Dip N Dots stand offers the best view (and closest) of the loop and valley after the Immelmann.



Entering the station after the auction winners launch. The theming carried on in here as well. I have a full walk-thru video but can't figure out how to post it directly to the forum. The video even shows the lanterns flickering as the lightning strikes above. Pictures will do for now until you see for yourself.



Bottom of the station track for those of you who like weird stuff.


Just in case....



Even Thunderbird's inside look really great. Do I ride this coaster or just stare at it?



We settled on the silo being a hidden elevator for right side handicap riders. The left side has a long switchback ramp. If it is an elevator, that's pretty nifty.



The pre-launch room of Thunderbird is incredible. Not only is it themed with barn items and the sort, the sound effects are awesome and can almost be heard all over the park (granted the park was basically empty and nothing was running). The fog effect really adds to the launch. You can't see the first 10' or so due to having a cloud in front of your face. Flying blind is quite exciting!






Launch was served and consisted of the new Smokehouse menu but was served at Plymouth Rock Cafe. It's Holiday World so do I have to explain how good the food was? The line formed a good half hour before serving. Everyone knew the quality beforehand.



After lunch and a quick lap on Legend and Raven, both of which were quite rough in the still warming air - Legend more so than Raven of course, we headed to the walk-back tour. The guide kept on both Thunderbird and Voyage ops to keep trains coming, trying his best to time them out for the coveted crossover photo. Here are the photos from that tour.


I look forward to when the park expands to this point. Again, the views were stunning.



For those who prefer the technical side of things, here's a photo of one of Thunderbird's supports. Complete with grounding wire.


The interplay between Voyage and Thunderbird is quite fun. They interact very well both off ride and on.



The horseshoe area of Thunderbird was one of my favorite to look at on the walk-back. It was like looking into a nature preserve. The ride did not take away from the scenery.



Entrance into Voyage's spaghetti bowl. Retracted and better than ever.


From the other side.



It was an incredible day at an even more incredible park. Thunderbird is a huge win for Holiday World as we would all expect. The ride, the theming, the food, and the people all make this a massive success. I'd like to send a huge thank you to RavenMaven for the invite. It put a lasting smile on my face and that's something that has been missing for quite a while. I look forward to hearing of the memories made by this awesome new addition.

Edited by OneOfTheWills
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Your review pretty much mimics mine exactly. All your photos pretty much look like mine so unless I run across something really different I'll refrain from posting mine. You caught part of my brother in one of your pics though, lol. I was the group that had that table right there between the dippin dots and the smokehouse buildings. EXCELLENT views! I agree that the whole Thunderbird plaza reminds you of a park with lots of benches. Did anyone by chance get a photo of the covered wagon in the queue building? I thought I did and was going to post it but I didn't find it. I thought the covered wagon was pretty cool.


Also as we were leaving the park I noticed a small color guard group by the theater practicing. I was in marching band and a m a HUGE band geek so I stopped to watch. I figured maybe it was a local group but as I watched I heard one of them say something about getting setup to do Thunderbird all the way through. So I waited. And they did a color guard routine, with a few drums, themed to the Thunderbird theme music! Is was pretty freakin awesome and was a super cool sneak peak. I wonder if it will be in one of their shows this year, and if so which one? Maybe Paula could give us some insight? I would be really excited to see that again in a finished form! It was a quite exciting routine with the thunderbird theme and all!

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This is to improve the experience for many, many of our Guests who simply do not enjoy the super-aggressiveness of the second half of the ride (the first half of the ride has not changed - there aren't brakes hidden in a tunnel).


I'm actually really happy to hear this. I always enjoyed the first half, but hated the second half. Roller Coaster 1 is too intense for me. I prefer my beatings to happen while playing ice hockey.

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This is to improve the experience for many, many of our Guests who simply do not enjoy the super-aggressiveness of the second half of the ride (the first half of the ride has not changed - there aren't brakes hidden in a tunnel).


I'm actually really happy to hear this. I always enjoyed the first half, but hated the second half. Roller Coaster 1 is too intense for me. I prefer my beatings to happen while playing ice hockey.


I'm not sure it really changes the ride too much but I too am happy for this. For me it didn't take away from the triple down at all. Along with what seems like was pretty extensive work on The Voyage, it ran like a brand new coaster on Thursday! If it weren't for my limits due to the stroke I would have rode it more for sure. But for some reason The Voyage aggravated my vertigo worse than Thunderbird did.... Yet I find Thunderbird to be a more fun, intense(in a good way) ride. The Voyage was long my #1 in the park with The Legend being a close 2nd. Now Thundebird is clearly my favorite in the park. The truth of the matter is, each of the 4 coasters there are completely different beasts from one another. Coaster wise Thunderbird made Holiday World way more balanced. There is a coaster for everyone now. But yeah.. for me it was the best running I've seen The Voyage since its first Year!

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The park closed today at 03:00 p.m. We arrived at 10:30 a.m. There were no lines for The Raven or The Voyage. We could sit where we wanted. Awesome.


We went to Thunderbird. No wait. Get off, go through line, hop on weeeee. I kept telling my cousin that I could not understand how there were no lines for Thunderbird considering it's new this year and it was opening day. It was sprinkling a little at first. At first Thunderbird wasn't running, but it was very soon after it stopped sprinkling.


The Voyage was down until 05:20 p.m. We happened to be walking by it when we saw an empty train rushing through the course. We got on the second train. How dare they make us wait? Then we got back in line and after waiting just for 2 groups in front of us we were on the third train. Awesome.


We will be going back tomorrow again If you get on Thunderbird ride in the front. The front is by far the best seat in the house. You feel like you are flying.

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For those wondering about the Voyage, Paula's explanation pretty much lays out how it's running today. I'm at the park now and rode the Voyage twice, and the brakes were pretty heavily applied, but it did not come to a complete stop. Yes, the airtime was not as good in the triple down, but the last part of the ride still delivers well. It's still running wonderfully

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