By Cailey Rizzo
August 21, 2019
Courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Why can’t a waterslide have all the fun and thrills of a roller coaster?

A water park in Indiana plans to become the first in the world to open a launch water coaster, marrying the ease of a rollercoaster with the aquatics of a waterslide.

Guests at Holiday World and Splashin' Safari theme and water park next year will be able to ride the Cheetah Chase, a waterslide that won’t involve climbing a staircase or riding a slow conveyor belt to the top of the slide.

The “launch” aspect of the coaster means that the ride gets going from the beginning. Riders board their rafts on one of two side-by-side tracks and the race is off.

Courtesy of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Riders “shoot across the surface and get up to about 30 feet per second, and then climb a tall, steep hill with the water,” Ray Smegal, chief commercial officer with ProSlide, who designed the Cheetah Chase, told CNN. “The intensity of the race and that competition is going to really start from the beginning."

Each track is about 850 feet long and, at its fastest, riders will go over it at 20 miles per hour. The tallest launch will send riders over a 27-foot-tall hill. The track is engineered so passengers experience “a faster and tighter ride with stronger g-forces,” and “maximum curving speed and centrifugal force,” according to the park. The first raft back at the takeoff station wins.

“Cheetah Chase is the perfect thrill ride for families. The three-person rafts allow families to race face-to-face, and the launch is the first of its kind,” Holiday World’s president, Matt Eckert, said in a statement. “There’s nothing like this out there.”

The ride is expected to open to the public for the summer 2020 season.

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