Holiday World - 5/10/2014

Friday, May 16, 2014 11:01 AM

I made my first visit to Holiday World on 5/10/14. We arrived at the park right at 9AM for the opening, snapped a couple photos near the entrance and patiently waited for 9:30AM when the rest of the park and the rides would open.

Once the ropes were dropped we joined the small crowd headed straight to The Voyage, regretfully an employee was positioned not far down the walk-way towards the Thanksgiving themed area to let everyone know The Voyage was not ready to open yet and if we were hoping to go on that ride we should check back later. No matter, I was relieved he was there with this valuable information as it allowed us to change course and head towards Legend to start the day instead.

Legend was truthfully the major roller coaster (of the three at the park) I was least excited about riding. Rather than being a negative comment about Legend, I see that statement as a positive towards Holiday World in general. The fact that a very solid wooden coaster is seen as somewhat of an after thought speaks to the superb quality of their coaster collection. Being third best among three of the best wood coasters around is still quite good.

We went straight to the front row with no wait to start the day. It was a smooth enough ride that had a couple moments of solid airtime. I also really enjoyed the laterals and tunnels. We wanted to try a ride in the back, so we went around for a re-ride and jumped on again with no wait. The back was a bit more rough, but also much more forceful and with great airtime down the first drop. We enjoyed the ride quite a bit, but now that a line was forming we went on to Raven.

I had been looking forward to a ride on Raven since I first saw it on an "America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills" VHS tape in the late 90's; so my expectations were sky high. The line stretched out of the queue and took roughly 30 minutes to get on in the back row. The ride had plenty of airtime and was very smooth and enjoyable. The woodsy location was great and the layout, while short, was non-stop action. It more than lived up to the hype I built up over the years and is currently among my top 5 wood coasters and roller coasters in general.

It was warm enough that a water ride seemed like a good idea so we went to Frightful Falls which had no line. It was a nice, small, flume ride that passes by The Legend providing some neat views.

As we enjoyed Frightful Falls I kept an eye on Voyage off in the distance, hoping to see some activity signaling an opening. Sadly, there was no testing yet, so we went to the 4th of July area where we went on the Sparkler, a 65' swing ride that gave some nice views of the park.

From here we visited Howler, a standard Zamperla family coaster (noteworthy for being the only steel coaster in the park), so we could add that to our count. It was a cute family ride and I enjoyed the operator's enthusiasm ("Giddie up Holidog!!!").

As we continued we came across a pleasant surprise - Eagles Flight. I had no idea Holiday World had flyers, and flyers are among my favorite flats. We jumped on and by the end of our cycle I could see an empty train ascending The Voyage's lift. We quickly walked over to join the line.

Sadly, the ride only had one train running. Also of note (had not seen it mentioned elsewhere, so not sure when it happened) the train has been reduced from seven cars to six. It was roughly a 30 minute wait for the front seat. The ride had it all - everything I look for in a coaster. It was insanely fast from the first drop until hitting the final brakes. It seemed to get faster as the ride went along and the turns became sharper and more intense. It was a constant barrage of airtime over every single hill. The ride rushes through a dense forest. I was wary having heard that the ride became unbearably rough in recent seasons. Sitting in the front I thought it was among the smoothest wood coasters I had ever been on; which is impressive considering the massive size, speed, and wild elements the ride navigates. To say I liked the ride would be an understatement; so I'll just say I have a new number one coaster, knocking El Toro to #2 and Phoenix to #3.

As we were exiting we could see storm clouds rolling in, and not long after The Voyage and other big, outdoor rides were closed. We decided to check out an indoor ride - Gobbler Getaway. It was a cute shooter dark ride.

Seemed like a good time for lunch and to wait out the nasty weather, so we went to Plymouth Rock Cafe. The food was great - I recommend the sweet potato casserole.

The weather cleared enough for the flat rides in the Thanksgiving area to open. We visited the new-for-this-year Mayflower swinging ship ride and the Turkey Whirl tilt-a-whirl.

The weather was looking much better, allowing The Voyage to re-open, so we joined the line again. Unfortunately, there was still only one train in use and this time the line stretched down underneath the station into the extended queue. After about 45 minutes in line we were only a few trains away from a ride in the back seat, when the skies opened up once more and the ride was forced to close. We waited patiently for an hour when things cleared up and the ride was allowed to re-open. Another two trains were dispatched, we were next in line, it had been well over an hour, I was super pumped, then the rain and lightning came back. Sigh. We wait patiently another hour, the weather clears, tests are done, and we are next on the ride in the back seat (after a total of roughly three hours of waiting). In the back the ride was quite a bit more rough, but also had significantly more airtime; a fair trade-off I think.

After the lengthy time in line we were looking for something to cool off so we went to Raging Rapids, the parks' water rapids ride. I managed to hit all the rapids and get thoroughly drenched.

The day was winding down, it was going on 6PM, and we had a long drive awaiting us so we decided to end the day with a second ride on Raven. Once again we went in the back row, this time only waiting a few trains. As the ride started another rain shower came through which resulted in an even more out-of-control ride than the first time around.

Holiday World was a great deal of fun and I am extremely happy I could make the trip over. The coaster collection was great, the employees were nice, and I look forward to coming back in the future.

Last edited by Capitalize, Saturday, May 2, 2015 11:36 AM
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