When Holiday World opened for the 63rd season on May 2, all attention was on the record-breaking new ride, Pilgrims Plunge from Intamin. Competing with The Voyage rollercoaster as the tallest ride in the park, Pilgrims Plunge sets a new height record for water rides with its 131ft drop (the complete attraction towers 165ft-tall).
A classic shoot-the-chutes ride with the addition of an open elevator (pictured below), the attraction features 10-seater boats that float calmly before entering the lift section. After swiftly rising to the top of the 135ft tower, each boat pauses briefly before descending rapidly down the flume at a 45-degree angle, creating a dramatic splashdown. On the way back to the themed station, the already-wet riders are sprayed by geysers.
“We’ve dreamed about adding a shoot-the-chutes for years,” says Holiday World president Will Koch. “When we saw the opportunity to break the world record and to use an open-air elevator in the design, we couldn’t resist! This is a classic family ride with a modern twist.”
The water ride is accessible from both the Thanksgiving section in Holiday World and via a pathway from the Splashin’ Safari waterpark, with riders allowed to board in their swimsuits if they prefer.
This season the park is celebrating the second largest expansion in its 63-year history. Koch says the price tag for Pilgrims Plunge represents more than half of the $8.4 million being invested for 2009. Other additions include more shaded structures inside Splashin’ Safari plus improvements to the Legend Parking Lot.