Holiday World - The CoasterBuzz Club Fall Affair - 9/29/07

Associated parks:

Jeff's avatar
I've been looking forward to this pretty much since last year. The night time rides on The Voyage are the stuff of legends. At last, I'd get my chance.

Diana and I both cut out of work early on Friday and made the drive to Santa Claus in about 6.5 hours, including some really crappy traffic in Columbus. I ended up slowing down a bit in parts of Kentucky and Indiana because the deer were standing there in the median just looking at you, contemplating suicide.

Lake Rudolph was crazy crowded, and as I suspected from various failed attempts by others to book an RV, totally booked. They do not screw around with their Halloween festivities, and that in itself was an attraction. I still don't understand the rental golf cart thing, because I don't really understand where it is people are driving them. It's a big campground, but doesn't anyone ride their bike anymore? It's not that big. But hey, they had free Wi-Fi, which is cool if not a little weird.

After we settled into our giant RV, which was this time not co-occupied by the Jandes family or a tall woman from Michigan, I called Carrie to invite her over for a bit and tried to get a fire started. It might have been a failure were it not for Diana's friendly demeanor and the neighbor's lighter fluid. We turned in at a reasonable time after a long drive.

Paula greeted us in the morning as we set up in a ticket booth. Diana, given her diverse theatrical experience, ran the box office like it was her job because, well, it was her job at one time. After an Elvis sighting, a critique of the IAAPA education program and some great stories about the Koch family, we finally got to enter the park ourselves.

It was well into lunch time by Eastern standards, so we skipped all of the rides and headed down to Plymouth Rock Cafe (for which Paula gave me a hard time about not remembering the name). The "adult" portion is more like something two adults might eat, so we both got "child" portions that included two sides. The turkey was a little disappointing, but the fried chicken Diana had was pretty good. The score was the mashed potatoes. No chemical taters here. They were awesome. Fantastically yummy even.

With full bellies, I suggested we ride the coasters from oldest to newest. Diana was very impressed with The Raven, and I was blown away by how smooth it was. I don't know what was different late last year, but what a great ride.

The Legend is back into strong form as well. There's a little bit of roughness in the first two drops, but I thought it was running well otherwise. Anything would've been an improvement over last year. You could tell how much faster it was just by the forces in the helix.

Our first ride on The Voyage placed us in the second row. They were running two trains and the relatively small crowd seemed to be focusing on the ride. It seemed a bit rough on the first two drops to the extent that it slowed it significantly in the turn around. Mind you, by Voyage standards this still means it was ridiculously fast. For this early afternoon ride, they did not seem to be engaging the mid-course as a trim. It was crazy on the trip back. Just slightly slower than I remembered, but not disappointing at all. Evening ERT would be something entirely different.

After being disappointed last fall with a low score on Gobbler Getaway, and possibly a broken gun, I was hell bent on having the best score of anyone I knew. Of course, Diana did apparently have a broken gun, scoring all of 160 or something. I got something in the 1500 range.

We rounded out a tour of the park with some photos ops and a ride on Liberty Launch. That is such a great little ride.

After that, we napped back at the RV. It's not that there was a lack of stuff to do, we just really cherished a little down time after a crazy week of work.

We returned around 4:30 or so. After chatting it up with the Willi-Young-Anderson-Myers-Neu party, we headed back down for a ride on Turkey Whirl. I also learned that the high scores of the day were generally in the 1600 range on Gobbler.

The turkeys were well lubed and very spin happy. It was a nice long cycle with some nice forces, and it runs about as well as the Tilt-a-Whirl at Cedar Point (the only other one that has ever really stood out for me). Best theme ever. Great ride.

We did Gobbler again, and Diana had a more respectable score, while I did 1860. Gonch and Tyler had nothin' on me. Take that!

Back up the hill, we did the flyers, and it was the first time I had someone in the car with me. Not snappable, but a good time still.

Dinner rolled around, and a good time was had by all. I sat with the Family Gonch, while all the cool kids were at another table. Love the pizza. How do so many parks manage to screw up pizza, anyway? Holiday World has yummy pizza. Paula, Mrs. Koch and I all made a few brief comments, and we were on our way for ERT.

The first hour included Raven and Legend, and as you would expect, they just kept getting faster. The sun was down shortly thereafter, with no moon to be found yet. Totally amazing.

We also noticed that they were doing double visual checks on restraints, and even taking photos of them at times. Some people remarked that they were a little creeped out by that, and I can't blame them. I can't blame the park either, after the accident a couple of years ago. It's sad and unfortunate that the enthusiast community has to be looked after like this.

Finally, we got to have our way with The Voyage. Or rather, it had its way with us. Total darkness, totally out of control, ridiculously fast, and insanely awesome. That thing is even more obscene at night. You kind of wish that it would be over just a little sooner.

I did three laps, and that was enough for me. Coming down to the midway after that last ride, I clearly was not the only one. It looked like a triage area in a war zone, with people sprawled out on the ground and looking after each other. It's a good kind of pain though. Like the kid you feel after a good workout. It was totally worth it.

Back at the RV, I got a roaring fire going, and food and beverages were had by the various component of our little clique. I think we had around 12 people there, which was just about right. Since Gonch and I were both there, we planned to do the podcast, but like a moron, I left the power cable to my mixer at home. I was really pissed off. That would've been fun.

Instead we talked about old times, new times, life, alcohol, nipples, hair styles and how old Gonch is. Good times. That, for me, was really the highlight of the trip.

Tyler ended up crashing at the other end of our RV since we had extra room. Morning came sooner than we would have liked, but packing up didn't take long, and we were roadworthy by 11 a.m. Central. The trim home was seven hours with a stop outside of Cincy at a Cheesecake Factory. Also went to the Apple store, which means I've been to all three Ohio locations (and all of them are near a Cheesecake Factory).

This was easily one of my favorite events to date. I think we've had a total of 16 or something now with the club, so that's saying something. I look forward to many more!

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Nice report. Wish I could have made this one. With moving to Florida recently and still job hunting, it wasn't happening.

Man, if you think Liberty Launch is good, you need to get out to Indiana Beach and find out how an S&S Double Shot is supposed to be run.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
We did Gobbler again, and Diana had a more respectable score, while I did 1860. Gonch and Tyler had nothin' on me. Take that!

Bah! I still don't know how you guys were scoring so high. Just to get 1710, I was turning around and firing back into the rooms as we left them - double scoring targets.

Instead we talked about old times, new times, life, alcohol, nipples, hair styles and how old Gonch is.

Hey! Did everyone guess high or low?


'Twas a cool event. Hell, any day that starts with a hug from Paula has to be good, right? :)

I agree with chitown on the Indiana Beach's Double Shot. That thing is insane, and I love it.

I think that all three coasters were even better than the ERT of Holliwood Nights.

JVC Everio 30 gig hdd camera Nikon d70s
I too wondered why they were taking pictures. I'm not sure if they were doing it just because we were an enthusiast group, because I also saw them takeing pictures of the control panel.
Maybe it is for a employees only website.

JVC Everio 30 gig hdd camera Nikon d70s
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar
Taking pictures of us on the rides by the HW employees was a C.Y.A. measure. They were documenting how each individual person was secured in each of their rides in the event that someone should get ejected. They were taking pictures and even video to show that ride was in good working order as well. It's sad that they have to do this, but I fully agree with it.

~Rob Willi

I must remind everyone involved that my awesome 1770 was with two other people in my car.
Yeah, but I think that Jeff's high score was not on double scored targets. He did that without turning around....that's amazing!

Jeff Young
Jeff's avatar
Indeed, I did not turn around.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Lord Gonchar's avatar
That was kind of my point. I was turning around and still landed 150 short of his score.

Although, if Tyler gets an asterisk for having two other people in his car then I want one for having three others in mine. ;)

If anyone gets the asterisk its Jeff!

Don't tell me that I need to go back with you two and settle this. If only Cedar Point has one.

Jeff's avatar
Men in Black during IAAPA, if anyone is in the neighborhood.


Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Jeff, Thanks for the report. Im surprised other buzzers haven't posted many.

Im also glad this was a sucess.

As for taking pictures and double checking. Well I think events are on a probabation status, Probably forever. Not just at HW but as we seen, CF did it at Dorney durring coaster con a couple years ago.

Just glad that everyone had a great time and did it safely. Theres no need to risk anything to have fun.


All you had to do was ask (and a few did) ... the "picture taking" was for use for a new online training program we're considering for next year.

And Jeff ... how could you leave out Kupcake the Klown? (I still have to sleep with the light on...)

We enjoyed the event as well!


Paula Werne
Holiday World

I thought it might have been training but why not just stage the pictures?
Jeff's avatar
Ugh... I forgot about Kupcake.

While we (me, Diana, Paula) were in our ticket booth, some salty old guy in clown makeup came up looking for the campground entrance. He was kind of mean, and like most clowns, creepy.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I thought I saw a car drive through the parking lot with a clown driving.
>why not just stage the pictures?

Why "stage" when you have the real thing?

(Are you in the Witness Protection Program or something? I guess we could put a bar across your eyes...) :)


Paula Werne
Holiday World

The whole picture thing got me thinking. Do parks (not HW specifically) have video cameras mounted over the track pointing down at the train? So, as each train departs the station, the park has a visual record of each restraint and seat belt. That way, if anyone falls out, they can show the occupant was properly restrained? I think that would be a pretty good CYA measure for the parks to take.

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