Holiday World – Opening Day (5/3/08)

Associated parks:

Be Warned: This is a long TR with many unimportant details.

Weather: 70 and Sunny. 5-15 mph winds all day.

This year, Holiday World opens at 9:30 am. I had planned to make it there at that time, but due to some extended “kid wrangling” my family and I didn’t hit the gates until around 10:30. We pulled into the main lot and I was giddy. It was practically empty! We parked pretty close to the front. The first Raven train we saw only had 8 riders. I got even more excited. The next train had 6. I was pumped! Normally, by an hour after opening, the rides are full and queues are starting to back up. This was going to be a great day!

We needed to get our season passes processed first. There was quite a long line. After waiting for about 5 minutes, an employee came out and said that if we just let the ticket-taker scan our voucher that we would be in the system and could come back to take our picture and get our pass whenever we wanted. I was highly impressed. We went to the gates, had our season pass vouchers scanned and were in the park. We headed to the Christmas section first. My two year old was about as excited and happy as I have ever seen him. Although there was a good amount of people there, there were never any lines and kids were allowed to re-ride as much as they wanted. I took my son over to try the new Reindeer Games spring ride. Unfortunately, he was about 3 inches short of the 42” minimum. My wife took him back to the kiddie bumper boats while I gave it a try. (There were plenty of adults riding this all day, so don’t be shy just because it’s in the kiddie section.) I was really surprised. Reindeer Games packs quite a punch! There is a lot of airtime on the ride. It might even be a little too “thrilling” for younger kids who still meet the height requirement. I really enjoyed it though. I rode it 3 more times during our visit.

After about an hour, we left the Christmas area and headed out to the rest of the park. I waked onto the backseat of the Raven. It had rained the night before and that really got things loosened up because she was really flying and was as intense as ever. I could have stayed on, but my wife and kids were waiting. We have to take turns riding while the other one watches the kids. I asked my wife what she wanted to ride next and she said, “The Voyage.” I was surprised because she isn’t a huge ride fan but she said she wanted to give it a try. We made our way to Thanksgiving. There were a pleasant number of guests, but still no lines anywhere. At most, it was a one cycle wait for anything. As we neared the Voyage I heard a grating noise that sounded like a car with really bad brakes trying to stop. It was the Voyage train coming around. I commented that, “That can’t be good.” All the coasters were on single train operation that day and we watched two more cycles squeal/screech by. For all the noise though, it seemed to be running perfectly. I thought to myself that maybe the Voyage had fallen victim to the PTC train “squeal curse” that I have heard a lot of people complain about on The Beast. No matter though. My wife walked on up the stairs and got on. She walked on the Voyage two and a half hours after the park opened! I wish every day could be like that. I took my kids into the Voyage gift shop to wait for her return. When her on-ride photo popped up, her face said it all. She was scared to death! When she met up with us, she said, “Well I’m never riding that again! I thought it would never end!” I just chuckled and gave her a hug. (I did notice that the train quit “screaming” on my wife’s ride and every other ride thereafter as well. Maybe it was just getting warmed up.) I was going to take my turn on the Voyage when my son started shouting “Chickens!” He saw the Turkey Whirl and wanted to ride. We walked on and took a spin. He had a great time, though by the end I was overly dizzy. (I’m don’t tolerate spinning rides too well). I decided to sit down and watch the baby while my Wife and son went on Gobbler Getaway. When they came out I was feeling better and wanted it to ride it myself. So I took my son back on it. He’s only 2 and had no idea what he was doing, but he scored a 120. I got a 1320. Is that a good score? I didn’t really know. After that I took my turn on the Voyage which wasn’t a great idea after the spinning ride because I was feeling sick towards the end. On the way out of Thanksgiving, we peeked back into Splashin’ Safari (which doesn’t open until this weekend (5/10)) and got a good look at Kima Bay. It looks quite a bit larger than Monsoon Lagoon with plenty of neat looking elements. I can’t wait to try it out. (Though it will probably be several weeks before the water comes up to temperature enough to make it enjoyable.)

I rode Halloswings and then we went up to Kringle’s Café for lunch. We fed two kids (well one kid I guess since one is still on the bottle) and two adults for just under $10. Amazing, but no surprise to this Holiday World veteran. Of course the drinks were flowing freely all day. The outside of the Holiday Theater has been given an excellent and vivid makeover that makes it look like brand new. They currently have a new show called Holidazzles, which we did not make time to see. I was hoping the dive show would be going, but they were still prepping the dive tank and with the wind it was probably still a bit too nippy to put on. Next we went to ride the Star Spangled Carousel. The animals on the carousel are gorgeous. Whoever the park got this thing from really took care of it. It is a perfect fit for the park. The area around the ride hadn’t been fully landscaped and was kind of an eyesore, but you know that will be fixed in the next few weeks.

After that, it was back to Holidog’s fun town to let my son get his first credit; The Howler. He loved it. He squealed with delight the entire time. My wife and I now have no doubt that he will be an enthusiast. It was a new credit for me too. I found the ride kind of rough and jerky, but I’m sure it’s because I’m an adult sided person on a kiddie coaster. While my wife was taking my son on a few more laps, I was approached by Pat Koch who was attempting to find the owner of a lost hat she was holding. The hat wasn’t ours, but I shook her hand and thanked her for this wonderful park that I first visited as Santa Claus Land and was now bringing my own children to. She said she was delighted that I had made Holiday World a family tradition and continued on her quest to reunite the hat with its owner. Later in the day we saw Will Koch helping sweep the paths. I just love that. It speaks volumes about the place when the owner gets right in there and does the dirty work with his staff. We rode the Freedom Train and then it was time for our usual stop at the Udderly Blue ice cream stand. When I commented about how amazing their ice cream was in a TR I wrote last year, someone asked if the ice cream was the same elsewhere at the park. Today I found out. Udderly Blue wasn’t open so we had to go down to Sweet Stuff by the Hoosier Theater for our ice cream fix. We were delighted to find that the soft serve there is of the same caliber.

It was 3:00 pm and we were starting to tire so we made our way back to the front of the park. I took a spin on The Legend which was fine, but I could either take or leave that coaster. It’s not bad, but doesn’t hold a special place in my heart. We got back towards the front and I let my wife take the kids back to Christmas while I went back to The Raven. I got 8 rides in a row before the ice cream in my stomach told me it was time to get off. The ride hosts were great. Everybody got re-rides (as long as nobody was waiting for your seat) and we were also free to switch seats if we liked. It was exceptional! And the Raven was absolutely blistering today. It was running as furious as I have ever experienced. However, I (and some others too) noticed that some of the metal trim on the cars was coming off and could freely be pulled off by the riders if they wanted to. I was surprised to see that. Nothing that some super glue won’t fix though. :-)

I met back up with my family in Christmas at took one more ride on Reindeer Games. At that point my ice cream really started to protest and I knew I was done riding for the day. As I exited the ride, my son ran up to me with a big grin and gave me a huge hug. That was the best part of the whole day. We then took him to visit Santa and looked around the shops. After that we stopped off to get our picture taken and pick up our season pass cards. There was still a small line, but we were in and out in less than 10 minutes.

I’ve been going to Holiday World every year for over 20 years and this was probably my best visit ever. Not only because there were no lines but also because my son was able to enjoy the place as much as me. Just another year or two and my other son will be able to join in as well! The park was flawless as usual. All of the promised improvements were in place, though I did not see any of the extra clocks that were supposed to be present. But then again, I wasn’t really looking for them. I’m excited to give Kima Bay a try when Splashin’ Safari opens up in a few days. Holiday World is a great as ever, though I must say that I think it’s time for a major new flat ride (or two) next year. The ones they have are great, but they are “standards” that everyone has been on in some variation or another. Holiday World could really shake things up with something cutting edge and brand new. …And then there is always the steel coaster debate. But in my book Holiday World will always be tops…even without that B&M inverted or hyper.

*** Edited 5/5/2008 9:08:39 PM UTC by Emiroo***

a_hoffman50's avatar
Great trip report. I am glad to hear that Raven is running well and that the park is still exceptional.
The dive show usually does not open until the waterpark does.
john peck's avatar
I think both the Carousel and Reindeer Games came from Wild West World, so both are practically brand new.
If you'll note, Even with the growing, expanding ect. Will and Pat have hired some managers to run some of the behind the scenes stuff while they continue to make sure their park is up to snuff and they're guest are enjoying themselves.

Something a lot of other parks could learn from. However I've seen CF upper managment in the parks riding with the guest ect.


Anybody have any word on the re-profiling done to the Voyage in the off season?

Are they still slowing it on the midcourse?

Can't wait to ride my favorite coaster in just two weeks!

- Craig

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
What reprofiling? Or do you mean retracking? Not sure if either one was done, but I'd bet some retracking was! :)

So what's the scoop, Paula?

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I don't think there was any reprofiling (redesign), but I'm sure the track got it's usual off-season attention (maintenance).

And the midcourse brakes were on during my ride, though they didn't hit too hard.

We'll be going again on 5/13 and then again on 5/22. Gotta keep hitting them up before schools get out and the crowds start!

DantheCoasterman's avatar
The crowds won't start coming in till June 7th, so you'll be fine! ;)

Great TR! I'm glad others love HW as much as I do, and don't feel its over-rated. There's more to parks that 200ft/looping/steel coasters!

I think its great that they offer free unlimited soft drinks, and how often do you visit a major attraction were the whole family can eat for under $10?!?!

I'm glad that Reindeer Games is a ride that everyone can enjoy, and not just the younger kids. I will have some trouble influencing my friends to go on it with me on the 3rd

How was The Legend? Didn't the double helix receive some (much needed) work?

I'm not a Legend expert, but overall the ride was a little smoother than I remember it being last year. But that could just be a difference in seats/rides/etc.

I do believe I read something on the Holiblog months ago about the Legend getting some major rehab during this past off season though.

No trims on The Voyage so far this season.

I can't promise anything specifically, but so far so good in regards to the off-season track work causing us not to need the trims.

Legend got lots of track work during the off-season. I'm looking forward to hearing the reaction at HoliWood Nights.

Thanks, Paula

Paula Werne
Holiday World

I was at HW on May 10th and all of the coasters were running insanely. There was no trim brake on the Voyage and the airtime was as intense as it ever was. I can't wait until Holiwood nights. I hope to get my 600th circuit on the Voyage at that time.
600 circuts?! HS! Your legs must be black and blue! haha After riding a couple dozen times last year at the Fall Affair, I had a little bruising from airtime. Don't get my wrong, I loved it! lol

Definately looking forward also to experiencing the Legend's trackwork this weekend! =o) See you guys there.

*** Edited 5/20/2008 5:17:16 PM UTC by xX eNeRtIa Xx***

Great Trip Report. Looking forward to visiting HW this weekend for Holiwood Nights. I find it hard to believe that Reindeer Games is "adult" friendly.

Life is an amusment park -and I can't get off of the damn spinning teacups!

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