VIDEO: Holiday World successfully tests new Thunderbird roller c - WDRB 41 Louisville News

VIDEO: Holiday World successfully tests new Thunderbird roller coaster

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Holiday World has successfully tested its newest roller coaster.

Park officials say 'Thunderbird' is not only the park's first steel roller coaster, but the nations first launch wing coaster.

The man behind the ride, Vice President of Development and Maintenance James Olliver says Thunderbird launches out of the gate, hitting 60 miles-per-hour in 3.5 seconds.

"There's nothing above you, nothing below you, and being in that position like you're flying as you launch on a straight piece of track is going to be an incredible experience," said Olliver.

The ride includes multiple inversions -- one loop reaching 14-stories into the air -- a zero-g roll, barrel roll, and loop.

With a price tag of $22 million, Thunderbird is more than twice the amount of any other single-ride investment in the park's history, according to President and CEO Matt Eckert.20 water-filled test dummies were along for the ride as Thunderbird made its first test run Saturday.

"It was very very exciting for us to actually see one more milestone, one more huge thing for us to see in the process of construction of Thunderbird," said Eckert. "Seeing how smooth and graceful it was --it sounds odd to say with something this big--but it really was."

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