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Holiday World Takes the Plunge with World's Longest Water Coaster in 2010

Preview of the Wildebeest Water Coaster at Holiday World in Indiana


Holiday World Takes the Plunge with World's Longest Water Coaster in 2010

Holiday World's Wildebeest water coaster will use LIM technology to propel its passengers uphill.

Holiday World, 2009. Used with permission.
Updated August 13, 2009
Indiana's Holiday World made some waves in 2009 when it added Pilgrims Plunge, the world's tallest shoot-the-chute ride. Not content with one world record, the park will boast yet another record-breaker in 2010 when it unleashes Wildebeest, the industry's longest water coaster, at its adjacent Splashin' Safari water park. How long? With 1710 feet, or one-third mile, of track, Wildebeest will deliver a two-and-a-half minute ride featuring uphill surges powered by magnetically charged linear induction motors (LIM).

Holiday World's Wildebeest Water Coaster Stats

  • Type of ride: LIM magnetically launched (or "HydroMagentic") uphill water coaster
  • Length: 1710 feet, or one-third mile
  • Height: 64 feet
  • First drop angle: 45 degrees
  • Top speed: 25 mph
  • Ride time: 2:30

See Holiday World's Wildebeest Water Coaster

Holiday World's Magentic Attraction

There are many uphill water coasters at both outdoor and indoor water parks. Most, such as the Botswana Blast at the Kalahari in Ohio, use the Master Blaster concept pioneered at Schlitterbahn in Texas and propel raftloads of giddy passengers uphill by blasting water jets at them. Wildebeest will instead use the relatively new LIM water coaster technology and send its four-passenger rafts soaring uphill with magnetic induction. Eight LIM motors embedded in the ride's tracks will interact with the magnetically charged rafts to thrust them forward. A similar concept is used to launch LIM coasters such as Universal Studios' Revenge of the Mummy rides.

Passengers on uphill water coasters typically have to walk up many flights of stairs to reach the loading platform. To start the ride, the rafts usually leave the station by heading down an initial drop. Wildebeest's riders, however, will board the ride at a ground-level loading station, and a long conveyor lift will bring them up for the first 38-foot drop.

A flow of water and gravity will send the rafts racing up to 25 mph through an enclosed tube. It's at the bottom of the initial drop that the LIMs will begin working their magnetic magic and shoot the rafts uphill. It appears that Wildebeest could deliver some brief pops of airtime as its passengers soar up its track. The ride will alternate between open and enclosed tube sections and--this may be a first--some wooden-roofed tunnels reminiscent of Holiday World's celebrated wooden coasters such as Raven. Wildebeest's riders will experience a total of seven hills and drops as they navigate along the massive 1710-foot track along two acres of Splashin' Safari.

According to Holiday World, Wildebeest will cost $5.5 million, the second-highest investment in the park's history after its wooden coaster, The Voyage.

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