I recruited Kar-uh to be my marketing intern and ride pal, and she arrived at my house about noon on Friday. About six hours later we arrived in Santa Claus (with just one potty break!) and met Mike (onceler) and his wife Artemisa at the campground. The line of people checking in was crazy.
Most of the people we were hoping to see that night, including Rob (nasai) and Tomoko, were stuck somewhere in traffic between Indy and Chicago, but we got our RV, Mike and Artemisa procured supplies, and we unsuccessfully tried to start a fire.
Rob and Tomoko finally arrived and were fortunately put up in the very next RV. He sucked at fire building as well. We visited Corey and a few other cats down the road, then Kara and I took a walk, and got lost. I'm sure the alcohol had something to do with it, but honestly, that place is impossible to navigate at night. The pool and newer asphalt was familiar though, and we managed to find our way back. Don't try that at home.
Saturday we got out to the park to distribute tickets, and immediately after that, setup for the podcast recording. HW's entertainment guy, Chris, hooked us up with audio and we were off and running with a "studio audience" of a few dozen people, and the some folks from the general public that though we were going to sing and dance. They left.
Following the podcast, we knocked out a lap on each coaster. Good stuff, but they're just not the same animals that they are at night. Felt good to be on the rides, but we knew there was more to come.
Our posse went back to our RV, where I did a power nap and everyone else, well, I have no idea what they did. I was napping. Back to the park, we started the construction tour for The Voyage.
Aside from some of the lift and a couple of turns, The Voyage isn't even a shadow of what it's going to be, but even in that little piece, it's insane. Then when you go deeper into the woods and see the footers, the huge holes from the tunnels, and the land on either side of the ground-level mid-course brake, it's very clear, that this will be the most insane roller coaster ever built. I know that's a very Paul Ruben thing to say, but when you do the math and understand it'll be going 50 mph on the last drop, I just can't imagine how it could possibly suck. I am so there.
Dinner was yummy, because Holiday World makes good pizza. I only had a couple of bites of fudge, because honestly the pieces were too big, and I can't eat something that rich. The subsequent auction for the Red Cross was sweet, as they managed to collect several hundred dollars. Well done.
The exclusive ride time finally came, and it was the most intense two and a half hours of riding in my life. They were doing double visual checks of restraints, which is a shame they have to, but I totally would have as well. There are also infrared cameras on the lift and cameras all over the rides. It really is a different world now.
But enough serious stuff... If one-train waits for ERT wasn't enough, they were also doing double laps. Mike made the interesting point that for a family-oriented park, these are two of the most intense coasters anywhere. They're so physical, so fun, that it's hard to go somewhere else and ride other rides and still feel a strong attachment to coasters in general. Why can't they all be like this?
It was getting toward the end of the ERT period, when we rolled in to The Legend station after two laps. Awesome rides, but I was starting to reach the limit of what I could take. So they sent us a third time. I looked at Linda (CPLady) in the queue and just shook my head. I couldn't believe it.
But with all of that intensity came the kind of satisfaction that you get after a tough workout. You're a little sore, but you know it was totally worth it. It was totally worth it. That ended my night of riding, and I was greatly satisfied.
The party got a little nuts in the campground, as people I didn't really know wandered in and out. There were a few times where coaster discussion got a little too geeky too (how does this happen while consuming?), but overall it was a lot of fun being around friends. I seriously had the absolute best time of any event I've been to.
When we packed up our cars in the morning, it was kind of sad that it was over. The event itself was awesome, but the social aspect in the campground made it even better (or I beer-goggled how good of a time it was). I'm very grateful to the park and its staff for showing us a good time. It was really amazing to be there.
And you're right, our group at the campsite really topped off the night well. I think we'd all agree it was something each of us really needed.
And silly us for not bringing that 2 ft by 3 ft map the campground provided us with. Ah well, it makes for an interesting story...right? :)
The Wild Turkey and two Coronoas didn't hurt much either.
Had to dump it. :(
The socializing after the event was great, talking about stuff other than coasters. The stories were classics, especially the one from Linda. I won't mention any details so as to protect the not so innocent. ;)
*** Edited 10/4/2005 1:10:19 PM UTC by redman822***
I didn't attend (Work weekends and out of vacation) but just making a few comments.
At SRM 2003 A guest of mine made the comment, I can't believe these coasters run like this. I can understand that from someone who has only ridden John Miller and Allen coasters but I've managed to find a few others that are insane from start to finish.
I'd love to get out to Silverwood and check out them badboys, I know the waterpark they built was probably more important to their buisness but they did have plans to make a racer/dueler and I wonder what happened to those plans.
Voyage, I'd have loved to seen that in person. I hope maybe Paula might take a tour come March or april or at least keep up the blog with pics and maybe Have Paul over a few times maybe once a month :)
Sounds like a great time.
Chuck, who's only trips next year may be to HW and Beech bend.
Anyway, I'll try again. . .
A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!!!! Truly a remarkable day and evening though my friend and myself spent most of the morning and early afternoon doing my every other year visit to SFKK.
The weather, the staff at HW, the fellow buzzers, close friends you don't see often enough, it was an AWESOME DAY for everyone and a WELCOME RETURN to Holiday World after a two-year absence. Thanks to Jeff P. for forging ahead and bringing us all back together as coaster enthusiasts so that we could celebrate once more at Holiday World! I hope it is the first of many such Coasterbuzz events!!!!
The unbridled enthusiasm of Pat, Will and the rest of the incredible HW Staff and Family is so easily communicated throughout the room (or wherever they are!!!) that EVERYBODY becomes infected!!!
I think we have all, collectively, weathered the storm of 28 months and though we will never know the true length and depth of the suffering that HW has endured, it is enough to know that we are emerging once again into the sunlight. With THE VOYAGE about to unfold, we will all come take THE VOYAGE with the Kochs and their extended family as we welcome back our FAVORITE PARK into the enthusiasts' midst.
Hopefully, we'll even get high marks from the new Coaster Safety Bunch we discussed here last week!!!!
My one niggling comment, though, was that I think I have attended about 5 coaster events at Holiday World since 2001 and I have YET to taste my first piece of fudge! I don't know where it goes or how it goes, but it's getting PACKED AWAY somewhere!!! By God, if you aren't at one of those tables PRONTO, your chances of getting a piece of chocolate fudge literally disappear within nanoseconds. It's like the running of the bulls or something!!! How it is that the FUDGE PACKERS are hoarding and taking the fudge and stuffing it into their pants, bras or elsewhere? I will never understand how it can be that an unspoken rule such as ONE PIECE OF FUDGE PER PERSON BOYS AND GIRLS can translate into TAKE AS MUCH FUDGE AS YOU CAN AND SHOVE IT DOWN DEEP SO YOU CAN GORGE ON IT LATER!!!!
Now that's an enthusiast conundrum if ever there was one!!!!
Also, the pizza must have grown wings as well; as we were late arriving at the mess hall, by the time we got there, most of the pizza was gone and seconds and thirds were well underway. I had a guy literally body block me to get to the sausage and pepperoni. Then, they ran out and said more would be along in a a few minutes. It wound up taking upwards of 30 minutes for the next pizza that arrived basically uncooked and raw. We went ahead and ate what we could since I bragged up the HW Pizza all day to my friend who was visiting for the first time. Unfortunately, it literally made me sick shortly after ERT. I usually LOVE Holiday World pizza but I'm going to have a tough time even looking at it next time!
I wonder how they successfully serviced over 800 people at some of the SRM's in the past?
Anyway, small price to pay for such a REMARKABLE EVENING IN SOUTHERN INDIANA. . .
Pizza and fudge wanglers be damned, it's onward and upward with THE VOYAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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