Holiday World, 7/15, 2005 (my first time ever)

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Well I finally made it to Holiday World, a park ive been wanting to visit ever since seeing Raven on one of those tops lists way back in the day. Im from central Illinois, the trip ended up being roughly 300 miles and about 5 hours...not horribly bad, but far enough. Going on this one was just my family, both my parents and my brother.

First thing I noticed going in was how unique of a location the park was in...maybe not so much "unique" as "why would they but an Amusement park here" Its almost like someone just up and put an amusement park in my backyard or something, at least thats what It felt like driving there. We got to the park at 11 and headed straight to Splashin Safari. Im not a HUGE fan of waterparks, but I did enjoy this one. They had some unique slides, and I love the racing ones especially. I first noticed it here, but it spread throughout the park: the employees were really friendly. Ive heard about it being "the friendliest park" but I never really believed it until actually visiting for myself. When going on the slides, some of the slide attendents said something like "have fun" or the like as they pushed you down, which is something Ive never seen at a waterpark. Another example, on one of the slides my whole family tried to ride. We were probably over the 600lb weight limit, but most of them had that posted but this particular one didnt seemto say that anywhere. Anywho, once the 4 of us crammed onto that tube, the girl couldnt pull us through into the slide, we were just bottoming out. She was really nice about it, trying to pull us through, saying that she does this kinda thing all the time. After she tried for a bit with no success, I, not wanting to hold up the line, said my brother and I would get out and ride by ourselves, which we did. She was really apoligetic, telling us we werent really that big, then she showed us how she gets blisters from doing that all day. Anywho, it was just the kind of thing that couldve made an employee mad, but didnt.

We did pretty much everything we wanted to in the water park, and it was getting fairly crowded so we decided it was time to change and go into the park itself. It's a small park obviously, and I constantly compared to to Kennywood, my favorite park. While there's obviously not quite as much to do as there is at Kennywood, I think Holiday World gets the nod as being a better value, something I never thought Id see. We got discount tickets from our hotel for 27 bucks, and the food and merchandise is cheap, and FREE SOFT DRINKS! That really takes the cake right there. You cant beat it. I seirously wonder how they can afford it. Even my dad, who is notorious for complaining about prices, made some comment something like "Ive finally found a place thats actually worth the money"

The first ride we rode was of course the Raven. My initial impression was that it was a good ride, but I wasnt shure why it was a No. 1 coaster. After a couple of re-rides, it was more apparent. While short, it dosent let up anythroughout the ride, there are several hills with some good airtime (although not as much as I was expecting), that first drop packs quite a punch for how small it is, and that turn on the lake is great also. Next was the Legend, naturally, my 74th rollercoaster. Once again, first impressions are often decieving. As with the Raven, I wasnt initally all that Impressed. It again took another ride or 2 too really appreciate it for what it is...probably the most "out of control" feeling rollercoaster ive ever been on. After my first 3 rides on Raven and 2 on Legend, I prefered Raven...

After this we rode a few other things, like the Haloswings, which were good, but had horribly uncomfortable seats. Im a bit of a swing fanatic, I ride them whereever I go, and the seats in swings like this are never really comfortable, but these seemed even worse than the ones at Kennywood and Cedar Point. Revolution was fun, I cant remember the last time ive been on a ride like this, and the Liberty Launch was what I would call a cute version of Power tower. The bumper cars were lame. Again comparing to Kennywood, Kennywood obviously has a MUCH better collection of flat rides, but I guess its not totally fair to compare the two.

I saw Pat Koch gretting guests upon entrance, and saw her later many times through out the day, one time picking up bits of smashed french fry off the midway...there's something you dont see every day: An owner picking up garbage.

Well as night fell I knew I needed Night rides on both the coasters. My first real night ride was on Legend, and my brother had rode in the back row earlier in the day and said it was pretty intense from back there, so I decided to wait for it. WOW, I can see why they have a seperate little queue for the back seat...its amazing back there. So much better than up near the front. Your REALLY yanked over those hills, I was shocked how much better it was. Not to mention the fact that I had only rode it 2 times before and wasnt real familar with the layout yet, so I didnt see some of the turns coming, and was totally caught off guard. That bunny hop in the waterpark gave some awsome ejector air from the back, and the ride just seemed so much more powerful back there. The Laterals reminded me of the Thunderbolt at Kennywood, so powerful. After a back seat ride, it was pretty obvious that Legend is a better ride than Raven. We managed to get in line for Raven right before the op closed the gates. Last train of the Night, it was great. Its completley dark back in the woods like that, another amazing ride, although I still prefer Legends night ride.

I bought a Legend shirt on the way out, and I left the park being really quite impressed. Its a tremendous value, and the Voyage was pictured on all the local papers around, man that thing is going to be the perfect addition to an allready awsome park. The ONLY complaint I have is that they were'nt running 2 trains on either coaster. I'll admit the Raven didnt need it, the wait was almost never out of the station. But Legend couldve used the 2 train operation. The wait was probably 30 minutes, all the way down the steps and it was a miserable wait. That station is a sweatbox, it wasnt a horribly hot day, but it was very humid, and the Legend station was miserable. But that is really my only complaint, everything else was great, and I can totally see why Legend and Raven are always in the top 5.

The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000. Track Record: 89 coasters
Ride of Steel's avatar
Great TR. It's great to here TRs from HW when someone goes for the first time. I've never been there but hope to go some time.

It amazes me with all the customer service and free drinks and the 'friendly' award that this place doesn't run 2 trains constantly. The only time I think it's appropriate to run one train is when there is not enough people to fill an entire train. I was at SFDl in May and there was one train operation but it was completely fine because there was no line, and there were empty seats constantly being sent out.

Maybe it's just a Cedar Fair thing to run multiple trains regardless of crowds...

I don't see why they don't do it, it doesn't really cost them anything more and more laps=happier people :)

I have to say my reactions were both the same as your for Raven and Legend "They were good, but not that good" Both rides I think require about an hour to warm up and then they run superbly. I also think that were you sit matters A LOT to. Obviously Raven is a back seat ride with about 3-4 great moments of air,, one of which is one of the best in the world. Legend on the other hand I feel has good rides up front, and in the Rear of the train. Last year after they retracked the first drop the Back seat was killer.....
Yes great TR

I will be making the Voyage to HW for the first time in 2006

I don't see a problem with one train if the waits were less then 30 minutes. I have a problem with parks that have 1, 2, and 3 hours lines yet 2 of the trains are still parked on the transfer coughSixflagscough.

Even though i've never rode Raven or Legend i've alway expected Legend to be the better ride. It looks like Raven on Steriods IMO, so i was shocked when Raven still got all the praise. I think Raven gets the high rating is because it's sentimental to people since it was there first.

Anyways i can't wait until next year, I'm leaving a place that only has one rideable wooden coaster in the entire state. Which is Ghostrider IMO, to go to a place that's gonna have three world class top ranked woodies in the world all in one park. Yes i'm excited:O)~ *** Edited 7/17/2005 7:58:16 PM UTC by westcoaster man***

Ride of Steel's avatar
Maybe it's just me but you can only get so much thrill out of a small coaster like the Raven. I've never been on either but I'm sure that alot of their success has been on the park's friendliness toward enthusiasts as well as the park's overall friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.

Legend looks like the better coaster, but Voyage will beat out both of them.

I am one of those who prefers The Legend to Raven as well. In fact, I consider The Legend to be not only my favorite, but the best coaster I've ridden. (for me favorite does not always equal "best") But night rides on Raven in the back car make me understand why people love it so. The notorious "5th Hill" is one of those signature moments in coasting. Raven is a very noteworthy ride (5 or 6 on my wood list depending on the day), but I still think The Legend does everything better.

lata, jeremy

--who would expect The Voyage to only be the 3rd best coaster in the park.

I have decided to make the 2 hour drive to Holiday World for the first time like 9 times, and backed out every time. Now, I think I'm just going to wait until next season with The Voyage comming.

On a side note, where are you from in Illinois? I lived for Decatur for about 7 years, and graduated high school there.

*** Edited 7/17/2005 11:10:06 PM UTC by Word***

Down is the new up.
Im from Peoria. Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention...They need to hose down both the Raven and Legend trains or wipe them or something...they are both filthy with dust. I even noticed a few naughty things written/drawn in the dust on Legend. Maybe I shouldve added "Clean me"

The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000. Track Record: 89 coasters
Ok now are you sure you were at HW usually anything that has to do with dirty is not associated with HW lol :O)~
Yea, I know what you mean, the park was immaculate otherwise, but maybe someone can back up up on this one...the outsides of the coaster trains were downright filthy.

The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000. Track Record: 89 coasters
Neat. Shaun Livingston is the only person in life to dunk on me.

Down is the new up.
After two visits (first in 2001) and more than 20 rides on both coasters, I still like Raven better. I just like being in the woods, and that zig-zaggy part after "The Drop" is genius. The Legend is great, but it's more lateral-centric than I like (especially the helix).

[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
Great Report, glad you enjoyed my favorite park. I have made multiple trips to HW each years for about 10 years now. And I must agree with you, my only complaint ever is the fact that the stations for the two coasters, esp. Raven when going up the stairs, can get a little warm and smelly on hot days. Like to see a small part of that $13.5 million go for a few fans or an A/C.

Life is an amusment park -and I can't get off of the damn spinning teacups!
I, too, prefer The Legend to The Raven. It's just so intense! When I first rode them, I made the mistake of riding The Legend first, thinking that the #1 coaster in the world at the time, The Raven, would have to blow it away. I think that its title raised my expectations of the ride too high. Granted these rides were both in the morning so I didn't ride them at their peak.

I had to wait until night when I really got to experience why both rides are so awesome. The Raven is great because you can't tell where you are going, but The Legend is better because it's non-stop laterals, ejector air, and pure intensity.

The Legend was running so insane that night that it overshot the pre-station brakes by about 10 feet and to correct the problem they had to send us through for a re-ride! That sealed it for me...any ride that defies it's own safety computer deserves recognition. :) Will Koch (who was in the station at the time) said that the train was travelling so fast that we reached the brakes before the computer thought we should have.

That was one of two times I've had what I would call a "religious" experience on a coaster. The other being on a fully loaded enthusiast-filled Magnum train just prior to night CoasterMania ERT. That whole train erupted when went past the trims and exited unscathed. :)

This was when they still had the G-trains, so I have yet to experience it with the PTC trains. With all of the additions they have added over the past 4 years, I really should head down there. Now with them adding The Voyage, I have no reason not to.

It's still me, here from the beginning back in 1999. Add 1500+ posts to the number I have in the info section if you care about such things.
"there's something you dont see every day: An owner picking up garbage."

Actually, that IS something you see every day at Holiday World!

Glad you warmed up to Raven & Legend. I had the same "Uh-oh, I might be underwhelmed" feeling after the first ride on them during the day. To really understand people's love affair with them you have to ride at night, however. They take it easy on folks during the day. *** Edited 7/18/2005 7:47:48 PM UTC by ThemeDesigner***

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
nasai's avatar
Hooray!!! Another convert to the ways of the Legend. SRM changed my way of thinking, and it still holds my top spot ahead of Phoenix, Coaster, Hades, and Tremors.

Great TR, my friend. Glad you finally made it. :)

The Flying Turns makes all the right people wet - Gonch

Ride of Steel said:
Maybe it's just me but you can only get so much thrill out of a small coaster like the Raven. I've never been on either but I'm sure that alot of their success has been on the park's friendliness toward enthusiasts as well as the park's overall friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.

Legend looks like the better coaster, but Voyage will beat out both of them.

Not flaming but why make a comment on something you've personally not experienced?

Yeah, Ravens 1 minute with 20 seconds of it from station to top of lift. The other 40 seconds are non stop action. Beast for example in 4:30 and is probably one minute total of thrill time with the other 3:30 on lifts or brakes.

Go Ride Raven, Backseat and enjoy it. Im guilty of saying Legend's better, Boss is better ect but everytime Im on Raven its pure bliss.


rollergator's avatar
Nice TR! :)

I personally have a soft spot for the "short but oh-so-sweet" coasters like Raven, Ga Scorcher, Wildfire, TN Tornado, KW's Jackrabbit, etc. Ones that you hit the station brakes and feel like your senses were just *assaulted*....but in a GOOD way! :)

Legend, Ghostrider, TX Giant and the like certainly have their place, ascending the lift and knowing that it's gonna be *awhile* before you leave...but for whatever reason I'm more likely to hit the end of the shorter coaster and RACE back in line for another dose...

First time at HW is kinda like the first trip to IB or to Knoebels....sad to see them in the rearview mirror - but it's never "goodbye", it's ALWAYS *until we meet again*...

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
Exactly. That's why all three are my "home is where the heart is" parks. ;-)

Excellent TR!


CPLady's avatar
Add me to the list of liking Legend better than Raven, but I also agree with Chuck that anyone who has not[/] ridden Raven should not be so quick to discount it. For it's size, Raven, especially at night, is an awesome coaster and I can see why many people prefer it's fast, action filled circuit through the woods over Legend's twisting laterals.

My son was 17 his first trip to HW, and I was sure he'd be bored, or not enjoy the coasters since they weren't massive structures. Instead, he was so impressed we went back last year (a 7 hour drive for us ), and although I'd planned to leave the park by 5 pm, he and his girlfriend insisted on staying until closing and rode Raven and Legend over and over again. When a teenager who is used to the coasters of Cedar Point insists on staying until closing so he can ride two smaller coasters over and over again, you know those coasters are good.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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