Theme Parks

Holiday World building new winged roller coaster

The Holiday World and Splashin' Safari amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new roller coaster that will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop among four inversions.

The Thunderbird will become "the nation's first launched wing coaster," and the park's first major steel roller coaster, according to a Holiday World release. Riders will be situated in wings extending from the central part of the ride that is attached to the track, with nothing above or below them. 

Plans for the Thunderbird were announced during an event Thursday night at the park in Santa Claus.

The Thunderbird also has a "14-story Immelmann loop," in which "riders enter a half loop and then go through a half twist and curve out in the opposite direction in which they came," according to the release.

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Park officials say the $22 million project will cost more than double any other ride built there. Thunderbird will be its first major steel roller coaster, joining its wooden rides.

Construction has started and the ride is expected to open next spring at the park about 35 miles east of Evansville.

Holiday World has drawn more than 1 million visitors during recent summer seasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.