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Indiana's Holiday World building new roller coaster which will have riders sit alongside track

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SANTA CLAUS, Ind. - The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana says it's building a new roller coaster that will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop among four inversions.

Plans for the Thunderbird were announced during an event Thursday night at the park in Santa Claus. Riders will sit in wings along the track, with nothing above or below them.

Park officials say the $22 million project will cost more than double any other ride built there. Thunderbird will be its first major steel roller coaster, joining its wooden rides.

Construction has started and the ride is expected to open next spring at the park about 35 miles east of Evansville.

Holiday World has drawn more than 1 million visitors during recent summer seasons.

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