Sunday, March 15 2009
Holiday World is getting bigger and better. The world tallest water ride called Pilgrim’s Plunge is going through the final stages. The $ 4.3 million ride will be ready on May 2. We wish every one at Holiday a fun and safe season.
World's tallest water ride topped off at Holiday World
The world’s tallest water ride, Pilgrim’s Plunge, is topped off Friday at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. A giant crane hoisted the final U-shaped piece of steel to the top of the ride’s 16-story elevator tower.
A 46-foot-long section of steel weighing 16 tons was put into place for Pilgrims Plunge.
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. — Pilgrim’s Plunge — the tallest water park ride in the world — was topped off here Friday morning as a giant crane with a 210-foot boon hoisted a final U-shaped piece of steel to the top of the ride’s 16-story elevator tower.
“The sheer size of the ride is just amazing,” observed Will Koch, president of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, noting the only two rides designed like it are much smaller and found in Europe.
“It’s definitely going to get people’s attention,” he added.
The $4.3 million ride will debut May 2 when Holiday World begins its 2009 season.
Koch said the family-owned park tries to add a major attraction every couple of years, “walking a fine line between being family-oriented and being exciting, but this definitely is tipping toward the exciting side of the line.”
Koch predicted Pilgrim’s Plunge will offer a “special feeling” with a bird’s-eye view of the countryside.
From the top passengers facing west will see the entire 100-acre, 26-ride amusement park, including its three wooden roller coasters, before they plunge into a spray of water.
Koch recalled asking Intamin Ltd. of Switzerland to design the largest “shoot the chute” ride in the world. The designers came back with an exciting twist, an open-air elevator.
Instead of an angled, roller coaster-style lift using small four-passenger vessels, riders on Pilgrim’s Plunge will pass through a dark tunnel in 10-passenger boats, emerge and then be whisked 135 feet into the air by the elevator in 22 seconds.
Koch: “At the top, when the machinery locks in and the boat is released there’ll be that ‘Oh, my gosh’ feeling as the boat starts to roll and drop 131 feet at a 45-degree angle. At the bottom there’ll be a huge splash, with a wave 45 feet tall and 90 feet wide.”
Maximum speed will be 50 mph.
The ride, part of $8.4 million worth of improvements, is the second most expensive ride in Holiday World’s 64-year history, topped only by the Voyage roller coaster in 2006.
Pilgrim’s Plunge is on the northeast side of the park, an area where growth will continue in the future. It will be accessible from both the Thanksgiving section in Holiday World and via a pathway from the water park. Riders will be able to wear swimsuits if they prefer.
Koch said he’s currently working on new rides and attractions for 2010 and 2012, “but what they are I can’t say.”
Asked about the economy, Koch said, “It’s going to be a challenging year. Does the economy make us nervous? You bet. But I’m hoping with the addition of this ride we’ll stay above that million-customer mark again this year.”
He said the park started by his father and grandfather in 1946 may benefit from tourists who decide to stay closer to home this year: “Even in a down economy, people still want to get out and get away, to have a break, relax and have fun.”
Admission will be the same as last year. For more information, call (877) 463-2645 or visit www.HolidayWorld.com online.