6/28/06 - The Voyage (but in a good way)

Associated parks:
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Sunday, August 13, 2006 1:57 AM
Edit: That should say 7/28/06 not 6/28/06

I really did not think I was going to get a chance to go to Holiday World to experience the Voyage, but a good friend always comes in handy. My buddy from high school is a pilot and a fan of amusement parks, so I asked him if he would be willing to fly me and my friends down to Holiday World. I worked at CP this summer, so flying was pretty much my only option to get down there since I did not have the time to drive from Sandusky. A short fog delay and 2 hours later I was at Holiday World’s front gate.

Our first ride of the day was the Raven in the back seat. The Raven is a great ride, but I wasn’t quite sure how it was number one. I liked it more than the Beast, and it had a lot of good moments of air. A great ride, but it was only a sliver of what was to come.

We were so antsy to ride the coasters we went right to the Legend next. I opted for the back again at the advice of a friend. Whoa! The Legend is a fantastic ride with some great laterals and the first drop is insane in the back. The curving drop right over the water park (I think it’s the second or third drop) is so steep and twisted it looks like a B&M drop, but it’s wood! The Legend ranks right behind The Timbers and Geauga’s Big Dipper as my number 3. Although the Legend was great, it was also a sliver of things to come.

At this point the anticipation was practically eating me alive…seeing the Voyage from a distance is pretty mesmerizing since it just keeps going and going. The Thanksgiving section felt a little slapped together but the Voyage looks amazing. I loved all the little nautical decorations and the way the ride dives around the entrance to Thanksgiving is nice. I shared Olsor’s feeling that this was the first time since Top Thrill Dragster that I was seriously anxious before riding. The very back seat was soon waiting for me… I couldn’t help but feel like I was riding Shivering Timbers going up the lift hill: there is not much civilization around, , there is a twisted section right in front of the station by the midway, the park has tons of room to expand, you see the water park off to your left, behind you is the station, and in front of you is a vast expanse of hills…lots of hills.

After getting pulled over the top of the lift at astonishing speed my first trip on the Voyage was off to a great start. I got plenty of airtime over the first drop and then ascended what felt like a vertical second hill only to receive lots more floater air. The third hill also feels nearly vertical and some more great floater air was abound. I like the entrance into the tunnel because it is placed right as the hill bottoms out so it feels like you’re going right into the ground. At this point in the ride my mind was thinking…wow this is just like Shivering Timbers: its fast and smooth and it has tons of great floater air!

Then the turnaround came.

My friend put it best: nothing can prepare you for the second half of the Voyage. I seriously had no idea a roller coaster was even capable of doing what the Voyage does in its second half. Every single hill I was just launched out of my seat. The train is moving through all of those maneuvers at unbelievable speed. The reverse banked turns are ridiculous and the two 90 degree turns are absolutely spectacular. The 90s are almost like your split second of appreciation of the unique design of the Voyage. The 90 degree turns are so smooth and graceful amidst a garbled mess of twisted disgustingly vicious airtime hills. At this point I have completely lost my mind and the block brake has approached.

I think the triple down is the weakest part of the Voyage…granted the weakest part of the Voyage is still better than anything I have ever ridden. There was airtime but it was not like the airtime in the turnaround or along the rest of the back trip. Every hill on the back trip the airtime is just violent: but in a good way. It just keeps getting faster and faster and the air more intense and more intense. I struggle to find the words to capture the power of this ride. The drop before the third 90 and the final few hills after the last 90 are just mind boggling. At this point in the ride I had lost all will to live ( in a good way…if that’s possible) and was just trying to find the grab bar to survive this ride (also in a very good way). Unfortunately I could not find the grab bar because the Voyage was too busy throwing me around like a ragdoll (also in a good way).

All in all, the Voyage is in its own category when it comes to roller coasters. My first ride on the Voyage didn’t quite top my first ride on Dragster, but the Voyage is by far the best ride I have ever ridden. Nothing even approaches the Voyage. I was sick for a good 3 hours after my first ride not only because I can’t ride on a full stomach, but also because I was not ready for the Voyage’s intensity. I said it after Dragster: how can they ever build a ride that can top this. Well the Voyage does it in spades. I can not imagine a ride that will ever top the Voyage. It will be the Magnum of wooden roller coasters, a ride that IMO will never really be topped. MF is great, but it still doesn’t touch the impact that the Magnum made. When I got off the Voyage my first thought was this ride belongs at Cedar Point, in place of the Mean Streak. When I look at the Voyage and compare it to MS I just laugh. In place of the Voyage Mean Streak is a joke. A pitiful joke. CP needs a world class woodie, I don’t care if it’s Intamin, GG, or GCI...but the Voyage is proof that wooden coasters are VERY high impact and can provide a good, if not better deal than steel coasters.

Kudos to the Gravity Group and Holiday World!

I could talk to you a lot more about my day but the Voyage really overshadowed everything else in the park. Free drinks were amazing, and Gobbler Getaway was very neat, even though I suck hardcore at those rides. Legend in the front was not nearly as good in the back, the Bumper Boats were sweet, but Liberty Launch was lame. The Flying Eagles ride was cool (my first) and the overall atmosphere of the park was amazing. I’d like to see a few more high thrill flats just to round out the ride collection.

Due to weather and time constraints we did not get to go to the water park but I’m sure it’s awesome. We ended up riding the Voyage 8 more times to bring our total up to 9. I would have loved to see the crew try 3 train operation, but I wasn’t complaining. Did I mention that the front seat was even more incredible than the back? …a little smoother in the front and ridiculous floater on the out trip.

Go to Holiday World and ride the Voyage. When everybody else described the Voyage I thought they were exaggerating but this ride delivers on so many levels I promise you will love it.

I can’t wait to go back.

Peace!

-Craig *** Edited 8/13/2006 3:07:26 PM UTC by Craig the Coaster Freak*** *** Edited 8/13/2006 3:39:24 PM UTC by Craig the Coaster Freak***

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 9:41 AM
I've never ridden Voyages very front seat but as On Timbers. I find the second seat to be the launch pad as it's the pivot point between cars. I also find the front a bit more thrilling and better air but my brother swears by the backseat :)

A taste great-Less filling argument that will never be won and Im not complaning. I'll ride Voyage anywhere and enjoy it.

Chuck

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