The Howler

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The Howler
Howler Logo.jpg
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Park section Fourth of July - Holidog's FunTown
Coordinates 38°07′08″N 86°54′37″W / 38.1189°N 86.9103°W / 38.1189; -86.9103Coordinates: 38°07′08″N 86°54′37″W / 38.1189°N 86.9103°W / 38.1189; -86.9103
Status Operating
Opening date May 8, 1999 (1999-05-08)
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Zamperla
Model Family Gravity Coaster 80STD
Track layout Oval
Lift/launch system Chain Lift Hill
Height 13 ft (4.0 m)
Length 262.5 ft (80.0 m)
Speed 16 mph (26 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 0:25
Capacity 410 riders per hour
Height restriction 36 in (91 cm)
Trains Single train with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 12 riders per train.
Must transfer from wheelchair
The Howler at RCDB
Pictures of The Howler at RCDB

The Howler is a family steel roller coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It was built in 1999 by Zamperla as part of a larger expansion project to build Holidog's FunTown; it opened on May 8, 1999. The Howler is themed after Holiday World's mascot, Holidog, and features a 12-passenger train with the front car resembling the dog's head and the back car resembling the dog's hind feet and tail.

The Howler is located within the Fourth of July section of Holiday World in a sub-section known as Holidog's FunTown, which is a children's play area located in the southeasternmost corner of the park.

Prior to the addition of Thunderbird 2015, it was unique for being Holiday World's sole steel coaster, as the main roller coasters at the time were all wooden ones.


In 1998, Holiday World began making preparations for a new addition to the park by removing the Firecracker roller coaster from the area encircled by The Freedom Train. In its place, the park planned on building Holidog's FunTown, a children's play area featuring a three-story play structure. As part of Holidog's FunTown, Holiday World made plans to purchase a small roller coaster that all members of the family, including children, could enjoy. The park called the new roller coaster The Howler, deriving the name from the sound the area's mascot, a dog named Holidog, makes.[1]

The Howler opened on May 8, 1999. When the roller coaster opened, it operated with a single 12-passenger train custom made by Zamperla so that the lead car resembled Holidog's head while the back car resembled Holidog's hind feet and tail.[2]



The Howler's station is fairly basic in comparison to the stations on Holiday World's other three roller coasters. The station is a covered platform with no walls. To enter, guests walk up a small set of stairs and enter a single queue switchback which stretches close to the length of the train. At the end of the queue there is a single swinging entrance gate. To the left of the entrance gate at the end of the station is a single swinging exit gate. The ride operator's controls are located in the area between the entrance and exit gates. To exit, guests may either walk down the small set of stairs or use the ramp. The ramp is also used by guests in wheelchairs to enter the station.[3]


The Howler uses a single light brown, 12-passenger train that is custom made by Zamperla to resemble Holidog. Each train is made up of six cars that hold 2 riders each. Each car has one row holding two riders. The Howler's safety restraints include a lap bar that is shared by the two riders in each row.[4]


The track on The Howler is made out of yellow tubular steel. The supports for the track itself are steel as well. The total length of the track is 262.5 feet (80.0 m) and includes a helix. The track features a chain lift hill and two block sections, which only allows one train to operate at a time. The Howler uses fin brakes to allow the train to be stopped in the station at the conclusion of the ride.[5]


The ride begins with riders in the station facing away from the Just for Pups play area. Immediately after dispatch the train latches onto the lift hill chain which takes riders 13 feet (4.0 m) in the air. Once the train has reached the top of the lift hill it is released from the chain, at which point the train goes down the ride's initial drop, which curves slightly to the right. At the bottom of the drop the train goes back uphill. The train then makes a right, downhill turn to complete the ride's helix. After crossing under the ride's own track at the end of the helix, the train travels straight before making a banked right turn. At the conclusion of the turn, the train enters the station and stops. After stopping, the ride operators at Holiday World generally ask riders if they would like to go around for another cycle. If any rider objects to going around a second time, the ride operator lets that person off before resuming the second lap. At the conclusion of the second lap, the ride comes to an end at which point all riders unload. The total elapsed time for one lap is approximately twenty-five seconds.[6]


Like all rides at Holiday World, The Howler closes when there is lightning or high winds in the park's immediate area.[7]

In addition to weather conditions, some riders may be prohibited from boarding. Although there is no age limit, riders must be at least 36 inches (91 cm) tall to ride The Howler when accompanied by an adult who is 18 years of age or older. To ride unaccompanied, riders must be at least 42 inches (110 cm) tall. Riders must also be able to latch the lap bar to ride; due to this restriction, larger riders may not be permitted to ride. All riders must abide by Holiday World's dress code, which includes wearing a shirt, shorts, and shoes, in order to ride.[5]

Each year, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, in coordination with the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of Southwestern Indiana, publishes an accessibility guide for guests with disabilities. It is recommended, though not necessarily required, that all guests with the following conditions refrain from riding The Howler:[8]

  • Back, Neck, or Bone Injury
  • Heart Trouble
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Recent Surgery or Illness


  1. ^ "FunTown Addition". Holiday World. Archived from the original on 23 April 1999. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "RCDB: Howler". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Howler Station". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Howler Train". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "The Howler". Holiday World. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "YouTube: The Howler". Holiday World. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Rain". Holiday World. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Accessibility Guide" (PDF). Holiday World. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 

External links[edit]