Did Holiday World Share a Glimpse of Its New Roller Coaster on a T-Shirt?
From the moment a few internet detectives discovered a new ride was in the works at Holiday World & Splashin Safari a couple of weeks ago, fans of the park have been searching for any tiny morsel of information that may lead them to discover what it is exactly before the park is ready to show its hand. Recently, one young visitor may have spotted a clue in an unlikely location — a gift shop t-shirt.
The Story So Far...
I like a good puzzle. A mystery, if you will. And I'll admit, since the rumors of the new coaster started to swirl, I have become fully invested in trying to figure out what exactly the Santa Claus, Indiana park has up its sleeve. It's like trying to solve a murder mystery without all the murder stuff. If this is the first you're hearing of this new coaster, allow me to bring you up to speed with the Cliff Notes version.
Back on June 17th, a video was posted on the YouTube channel, Coaster Focus. The narrator of the video shares shipping information from a company that designs and builds boomerang coasters showing a shipment being made from their company to the Koch Development Corporation, the owners of Holiday World.
A few days later on June 20th, the Evansville-based Facebook page, Evansville 411 News, a page whose administrators track and report on new commercial developments being planned around the area, shared similar information about the shipment and noted that the park submitted paperwork with the State of Indiana back in April and May for a project called "Gravy Boat."
Holiday World remained tight-lipped during the initial speculation saying only that they were impressed with the "internet sleuths," but weren't quite ready to provide any details just yet.
The park remained quiet for a little over two weeks until issuing a statement on its website on July 6th confirming it was building a new roller coaster in the Thanksgiving section on the space formerly occupied by the Pilgrim's Plunge which had been torn down a few years ago.
A Possible Sneak Peak on an Unlikely Source
So far, that's the only statement the park has provided on the whole thing. While I imagine they have a timetable for revealing all the details, which I'm guessing will happen later this year, possibly after the park shuts down for the season at the end of October, it hasn't stopped fans from trying to find any tiny morsel that may give some type of insight into what the finished product will be.
One of those fans is a young man named William who took a trip to the park this week. While walking through the gift shop, one of the t-shirts caught his eye. It's a green shirt with silhouettes of the Holiday World mascots standing in front of silhouettes of a few of their more popular rides. William recognized three of the rides, but one didn't look like any of the coasters currently in operation. He took a picture and sent it to his mom, Tabitha, who was nice enough to let me share it with you.
Let's take a closer look at each panel, shall we?
The first panel (top left) is obviously Holidog standing in front of The Thunderbird, the park's winged steel coaster, and the world's first launched winged coaster.
To the right of Holidog is clearly Kitty Claws in front of the Mayflower.
Below Holidog on the lower left is George the Eagle in front of Kima Bay splash park inside Splashin' Safari.
All of those, in my opinion, are pretty obvious, but it's the final panel on the lower right that caught William's eye. It's Splashin' Safari mascot, Safari Sam standing in front of — well, I'm not sure.
One of my coworkers suggested that it might be The Voyage, but I don't think that's it. The Voyage is a wooden coaster and has way more support beams holding it up in the air. Take a look.
Plus, the track features wooden railings next to the track along the entire length of the ride, as does the park's other wooden coasters, The Raven and The Legend, and the picture on the shirt clearly doesn't.
The silhouette on the shirt looks like the track of another steel coaster to me. The support beams also look similar to those in the silhouette of the Thunderbird. But, the only other steel coaster in the entire park is the Howler back in Holidog's Fun Town, and I'm confident that's not it. That coaster is a short ride designed for little kids and doesn't feature any drops as big as one the one on the shirt.
My next thought is that it could be The Thunderbird again just from a different angle, but the train on the tracks is clearly not the same kind the Thunderbird features.
So, is William right? Did Holiday World give us a tiny glimpse at what its new coaster will look like once construction is finished? Or, is this a whole lot of nothing? Honestly, I'm not sure. But I am having fun trying to figure it out and can't wait to see what clue Holiday World drops next.