So we go to get our tickets, and I get to use my Cbuzz club card for the first time for my discount (I learned later when I got home that I got two discounts because we arrived after 4pm). I present it and the lady goes “Coasterbuzz!” and she’s really perky. Matt has mentioned many times about how friendly the park is from his SRM experience before we arrived, so now I get it too.
We catch the finale of the “The History of Diving Show,” which I hope would be the fire dive, but it wasn’t. It’s just a guy diving from like 40ft. up into like 6ft. of water. Big deal:) I like that they asked for complete silence. That’s not a dive you want to screw up, and I remember seeing it screwed up on TV a long time ago.
After my hospital visit the night before (to be explained at a later date), the doctor has cleared me to ride, but has instructed me basically to take baby steps, so we start with the Raven. When the train returns, I see something that I don’t think is safe. The load ops are crossing to the other side of the station in front of the train, not through it. This may be accepted practice here, but I think I’d find another job before crossing in front of a two-ton train. I just don’t trust mechanical and electrical things that much. They’ve done this at Knoebels too–while the train is out on the track.
So on to the ride. The Raven is awesome, but since I’m taking small steps, it’ll be my only chance tonight. I handle The Raven fine, so I say let’s try the Legend. As we are walking through the park, I pick up a pink lemonade before getting on the Legend. I like it that I'm not limited to only softdrinks. It's nice to not have something carbonated. The Legend is definitely rougher than I remember it, and Matt agrees, but I’m fine once I return to the station. Once again though, one and done.
As we’re walking down towards the Voyage, I’m noticing that every third person or so is close to, or is morbidly obese, and that includes the young kids (and some ride ops). It’s sad to me because I don’t know why everyone is so big here, and there aren’t that many people in the park. Free softdrinks are a nice perk, but, this is the last place on earth that should be handing out unlimited softdrinks all day long, especially since they’ve just removed large sodas from public schools. I think it’s great that the park is smoke free, but maybe they need to focus on the health of the visitors too? Before you call me prejudiced, I’m concerned that there’s a whole generation of kids and young adults who are going to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and God knows what else, and I’ll be paying for it through my health insurance which is already sky-high. It doesn’t have to be like this.
So we get down into Thanksgiving, and unfortunately, Matt has to test drive the Voyage for me. It feels so unnatural for an enthusiast to be sitting on the sidelines of one of the most ambitious wood coasters ever built. I walk down towards Gobbler Getaway (which was closed), and I decide to enter notes into my cell phone while I wait for his return. While I’m sitting there I hear this background song with a chorus that goes something like “Turkey, turkey, I’m going to eat you.” The guy also lists the stuff that’s going to be sitting on the plate along with the turkey. It’s so twisted and I love it! It reminds me of stuff I used to hear on the old Dr. Demento show.
The one thing I’m not digging is all the nats flying around. It was starting to bug me:) We are definitely in the country. So Matt comes off the Voyage finally and says that it’s ok to ride. So I take one spin on it near the front. I have a film camera that sits inside of a case attached to my belt. The ride op felt it and said it haid to be removed (even though it’s been on hundreds of rides). I didn’t fight with her and just hoped it would be there when I returned. The Voyage is pretty crazy and the laterals are extreme, so thank goodness I wasn’t riding with my camera. With the new PTC seat divider (which really isn’t that comfortable when you keep hitting it with your hip) I think the camera might have gotten messed up. I did get some good airtime on the way out, but somewhere along the way–my lapbar dropped and there went the airtime. The run back to the station is cool. It reminds me somewhat of the magic carpet finale on The Texas Giant. Unfortunately, that would be my one ride on the Voyage. Gwg goes back and takes the backseat ride and says absolutely not to ride it. The Voyage isn’t going anywhere, so another year, another time.
We go next and hop on the recently reopened Gobbler Getaway. The inside of the building is really nice, and hopefully they’ll never need the full queue, which looks like an easy hour or more wait. So on we go and we pick up the odd turkey baster shooter that has the funniest sound fx ever during one of these rides. We both press the buttons and laugh at the Turkey sound made each time.
It’s fun, but I think it could use a lot more targets. I’m so used to other Sally shoot-at-the-target rides that have many more targets like the Scooby-Doo’s, but either a) that kind of level was out of HW’s price range or b) maybe Sally’s not done with it yet? We were quickly running out of time and we had to make the decision on whether or not to come back the next day for the waterpark since our plans got all screwed up the night before. The only thing that really interested both of us was the racing slides (second time now we’ve missed racing slides) and we knew that there were some at PKI. Gwg got Zinga at SRM and we have a Tornado at SFA, so we decided this would be it.
Gwg got in a few more coasters, including Raven’s back seat and another backseat Voyage ride. I said I’d walk around, take pictures, check out the park and we’d meet at the exit. Strangely enough, the nats disappeared after I left Thanksgiving. I marveled at the white-water rapids ride. There is a part that is now exposed due to the new walkway (I’m guessing) and it has one of the meanest waterfall tricks. And I mean that in a good way:) You must check it out for yourself.
Overall: I think Holiday World is a really nice place, but it made me feel slightly uncomfortable at the same time. There was a heavy dose of redneck culture there (mullets!), and that’s a complete 180 degrees from the environment I live in. Am I making assumptions about people I don’t know? Yes. But I think if the script were flipped they’d be extremely uncomfortable in some of the settings I go to and would probably feel just as uncomfortable. I found it interesting that on the way out they have a full rack of pamphlets for church services and whatnot. HW doesn’t have to be a tourist bureau, but does so anyway which is great. Then, again, there isn’t anything out here, so you might have a hard time finding that information elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong; I hope to go back someday to get my backseat Voyage ride and fully experience the park with some more time including Splashin’ Safari.
So really I think that it is up to the people to fight the urge to drink all that soda all day. Also many of the GP only visit one theme park a year. Free unlimited soft drinks for one day is not gonna make somebody incredibly fat or add to the obesity problem here in the U.S. Albeit it does not detract from the problem, I do not think it is a valid comparison to soft drinks being served in schools.
Edited for grammatical error.
And yeah some down here in Southern Indiana are a bit redneck-ish, but don't let it scare ya! Most of us are nice people. *** Edited 6/22/2006 6:00:18 AM UTC by a_hoffman50***
I to am a smoker, but damn, those smoking areas at HW, SFKK, and PKI are utilized big time compared to places like SFGAm.
I agree about the free soft drinks thing. Offering anything free doesn't mean Holiday World should be responsible for people over-indulging in sugary foods. Personal responsibilty and *education* is still key.
With a park out in the middle of all that humidity, it would be a crime not to offer something to cool off your guests. It's a class act no matter which way you cut it. *** Edited 6/22/2006 8:53:53 AM UTC by DWeaver***
HWs policy of not nickeling and diming guests every time they turn around is such a contrast from the big corporate parks, especially the Six Flags parks. This is certainly a big selling point for the park vs PKI and SFKK. The friendly atmosphere is also a big thing here.
Mark Shapiro (Six Flags) should make a visit to parks like HW, KW, KB, and LC to see how they operate and to learn how they can be profitable without milking guests for everything they can.
Regarding the health issues with free softdrinks...
- Other things (i.e. diet soda, water and gatorade) are available in those oases I believe.
- Nobody is forcing them to drink boatloads of soft drink.
Ugh, yeah. God forbid people have any personal choice in the matter.
But as a person who does read labels now I will say. Gatorade may be good for the nutrients it is putting back in you but it does have a lot of sugar also. So I wouldn't say it's a great choice but is a better choice than regular sodas.
So, that being said, thanks for the heads up I-Fan. I'm definitely the type that's a little frightened to be surrounded by mullets and country folk. If they could read my mind, they'd probably run me out of town for bein a city-slick'in lib'rl, or at least, that's the mindset that makes me uncomfortable in those settings!
Guess I shouldn't wear my country music sucks t-shirt to Holiday World? ;)
Edit: when I say mindset, I should clarify that's MY mindset, probably off base with 99% of the folks I'm talking about ... doesn't mean I'm able to get myself to not think it. *** Edited 6/22/2006 3:58:54 PM UTC by Impulse-ive***
I love going to all the parks, not just for the coasters ,but to see the locals at the park.
I happen to agree with Jeff that it seemed as though he was concerned with all things trivial. I imagine that you'd have to travel southeast to Dollywood to truly get that out-of-place feeling, and even that park is amazingly friendly and overall a great time.
Guess I shouldn't wear my country music sucks t-shirt to Holiday World?
Hey now I'm all for that! Well unless it's old skool like Johnny Cash, Loretta, Dolly, Hank Sr, Patsy Cline, etc. That stuff still rocks in my book. And by the way regarding my post above, I'm no mullet loving Southerner either. I'm all for urban couture as well. Just don't expect me to wear Prada or D&G to an amusement park.
Thrillerman, as for your "being exposed to people unlike myself comment" your response is so far offbase it's not funny. As a live sound engineer of almost nine years, I've been exposed to way more people unlike myself and cultures than the average citizen. I've done sound for bands (and in some cases their people) from Germany, Norway, Holland, Eritrea, Ethopia, India, Iran, and more. Culturally undiverse I'm not.
So some of the people I saw might be the friendliest people in the world, but, how would they react if I took them to Nation or the 9:30Club to see some of the industrial/goth shows I see? I'm what's termed a "plain-clothes" goth/industrial person. In other words, I don't dress to the extreme as many of the people do who go to these shows. But, these people are my people and I think it would be frightening for the people I saw because they haven't been exposed to it.
On the other hand, I have been exposed to redneck culture, and that's why I'm not a big fan of it. When we got back to Breezewood in Pennsylvania (famous stop between 70 and the PA Turnpike), I felt as though I was back in so-called "normal" society again.
Here's my thing with many of the kids I saw in the midwest–clearly some parents are overfeeding them. It's the whole food=love thing I've heard about. For example, when we stopped at the Subway at a Petro truckstop in Illinois, I got a combo meal which didn't come with a normal size cup, they start at 32oz! I didn't fill my cup up and I was glad that I forgot to get chips.
I live bout 15 miles from HW...you'ens might remember me...I'm 450 pounds along with a skulett (receding hair line wont stop me), and was decked out in my overalls. I broke out the spoons several times while waiting to ride that there Voyage.
Give me a freaking break.....
Maybe there are a lot of overweight people in the midwest, but they certainly don't have a monopoly on obesity. I've noticed that fat embraces people of all races, genders and all those little sub-groups we like to divide ourselves into.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of this anxiety derives from the crap we're being fed by the media about red states and blue states. Based on that, we're given a ready made list of dangers and evils about people who may have voted for a different presidential candidate than we did. I'll just leave it at that, since I don't think this is the time or place to discuss it any further.
Intamin, I hope you realize that on your next trip to HW, the crowds will more than likely be the same.
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