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Holiday World to Build the World's Longest Water Coaster -- Again

Preview of the Mammoth Water Coaster Coming in 2012


Holiday World to Build the World's Longest Water Coaster -- Again

Holiday World's Mammoth water coaster will use LIM technology to propel its unique circular rafts.

Holiday World, 2011. Used with permission.
Updated August 09, 2011
Holiday World already has Pilgrims Plunge, the world's tallest shoot-the-chute ride. In 2010, it broke another record when it introduced Wildebeest, parkdom's longest water coaster, at its adjacent Splashin' Safari water park. It was so successful, the innovative park has decided to break its own record and will introduce Mammoth in 2012. At 1763 feet, or one-third mile, Mammoth will top Wildebeest by 53 feet to take the world's longest water coaster crown. And its circular rafts -- a new design -- will offer a unique way to experience its uphill water coaster thrills.

Mammoth Water Coaster Stats

  • Type of ride: LIM magnetically launched (or "HydroMagentic") uphill water coaster
  • Length: 1763 feet, or one-third mile
  • Height: 69 feet
  • First drop length: 53 feet
  • First drop angle: 45 degrees
  • Ride time: Approximately 2:30
  • Height restriction: 42 inches (48 inches to ride without an adult)
  • Location: Splashin' Safari at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

See Holiday World's Mammoth Water Coaster

Wild and Wooly Mammoth Ride

Other outdoor and indoor water parks have uphill water coasters. Only one can lay claim to the longest, however, and that's Holiday World's Splashin' Safari. Many amusement and theme parks have river raft rides, including Holiday World's own Raging Rapids. In 2012, the Indiana park will merge the two concepts by grafting the circular, free-floating rafts of a river raft ride onto an uphill water coaster -- and in the process create the new world champion in the category of longest water coasters.

Like Wildebeest, the new Mammoth will use LIM (linear induction motor) water coaster technology to send its six-passenger rafts soaring uphill with powerful magnetic forces. LIM motors placed in the ride's trough will interact with magnetically charged strips in the rafts to propel them skyward. Some roller coasters, such as Maverick at Cedar Point, use magnetic launch technology to forego traditional lift hills and get their trains moving without the aid of gravity. A smaller number of water coasters use the concept. Mammoth will have eight LIM motors to thrust its rafts uphill at eight different points during its ride course. It is a weird and somewhat giddy sensation to accelerate uphill. The logic-defying act helps make water coasters, um, a blast.

Also like its sister ride Wildebeest, passengers who wish to board Mammoth will not have to climb a gazillion flights of stairs to get to the loading station, which is the norm for most water coasters. Instead, riders will hop into the rafts at a ground-level loading platform, and a conveyor lift will whisk them up to begin the journey. Briefly entering en enclosed tube, the rafts will emerge into daylight and face the first drop of 53 feet at a 45-degree angle. A flow of water and gravity will send the rafts racing down.

A New Spin on Water Coasters

It will be at this point that Mammoth's unique ride will be apparent. The typical rafts found on most water coasters, such as Wildebeest, are rectangular, conform to the flume in which they travel, and follow a more-or-less fixed course. The extra-wide flume on Mammoth, however, will allow the circular rafts to freely spin. Up to six passengers will sit along the perimeter of the rafts with their feet pointing inward to the ride vehicle's center. The number of riders, their weight distribution, and other factors will influence the spinning. A passenger who starts out facing forward will likely end up careening through the course backwards at some point.

It's possible that the unique rafts could dampen the airtime that Mammoth will deliver. Many water coasters, notably including Wildebeest, momentarily rise into the air and send passengers floating out of their seats as they crest their hills -- a sensation that is craved by coaster junkies and rarely experienced on water park rides. The weight of the larger rafts and the six passengers (the ride vehicles on many water coasters accommodate two passengers or, in the caae of attractions such as Wildebeest, up to four) however, may prevent the airtime gods from working their butterflies-in-your-stomach magic. Or maybe not. I'd imagine that the ride designers will have to turbo-charge the LIMS on Mammoth to get the huge rafts cranking. Maybe they will be powerful enough to impart some airtime pops.

Mammoth will alternate between covered and uncovered sections of "track." Generally, the LIM-propelled uphill thrusts will send riders into the disorienting, darkened, covered tubes, and the rafts will emerge from the tubes to face a precipitous drop down a hill.

According to Holiday World, Mammoth will cost $9 million, the park's largest ride investment ever and considerably more than the announced $5.5 million price tag for Wildebeest. Adding the high-profile ride to the already impressive lineup of attractions at Spalshin' Safari, which is included in the general admission price to Holiday World, will help cement its reputation as one of the industry's best water parks.

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