Holiday World Crowd

Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:42 PM

We had a new experience at Holiday World Saturday. We've been going since before they opened Raven. Despite the increasing crowds lately we've still always seen lines one or two cycles long, or at worst half an hour, and we've always been able to park reasonably close. Saturday was a whole different world. We arrived just before opening and got one of the last few spaces against the trees way beyond the RV camping spots. Inside, every single line except the Spider, Flying Scooters and Scrambler was 90 minutes. We were there from opening to closing and only got in 10 rides. Yes, we took time out to eat at Plymouth Rock Cafe and play a few games. And, yes, we were riding the most popular rides : Wildebeest, Voyage, Pilgrim Plunge, Zinga, Bakuli, etc. Still, it looks like we're going to have to change our strategy. We've always considered HW a one day park, even if a very long day. From here on, looks like it's going to have to be a two day visit, maybe one day for the water park and one day for dry rides. That or go during the Summer on a week day. We can't complain, since we all love HW and want them to do well and those huge crowds are how they make their money to add new rides. But it also looks like they've become a victim of their own success.


OutpostUSA.org

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Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:54 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think I've done ten different rides there ever, when it wasn't crowded.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, August 26, 2011 2:05 AM

Sounds like how it was when I went last summer. We arrived about an hour after opening and got to find out just how large the overflow parking lot was, as we were parked a few rows from the back of it. I think our shortest wait of the day was about 20 minutes for Raven mid-afternoon. I can't remember if we did Voyage two or three times, but every time it had an hour wait, including late into the evening. You couldn't even get into a Pepsi Oasis without waiting at least a couple of minutes.

It was still a really good time though, and I was happy to see how well the park was doing. Despite the large crowds, nobody seemed to be upset about any of the waits, except for the trashy lady who nearly started a fight over who got an empty table at Kringle's Kafe. Luckily Pat was nearby and did the finest job of calming tempers that I've ever seen. :)


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Friday, August 26, 2011 12:05 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

I doubt they feel that they are victims. You might be a victim of their success, but they aren't.

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Friday, August 26, 2011 12:17 PM

But if enough patrons feel that they are the victim of the park's success it won't be long until the park starts to feel some pain in the form of fewer people coming.

Success can be a double edged sword for the smaller, charming parks. It can bring more people, which is good, but too many people and the park can start to lose some of its charm as it stuggles with how to handle the bigger crowds.

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Friday, August 26, 2011 12:50 PM

Shades said:
But if enough patrons feel that they are the victim of the park's success it won't be long until the park starts to feel some pain in the form of fewer people coming.

Success can be a double edged sword for the smaller, charming parks. It can bring more people, which is good, but too many people and the park can start to lose some of its charm as it stuggles with how to handle the bigger crowds.

I was just talking with co-workers yesterday about something along those lines. We were discussing Palisades Park here in Jersey, which closed on my 7th birthday in 1971. I know I went there, but have no specific memories of it. Anyway, someone stated the park "went out of business." Not really. The park (and the surrounding area) simply could not handle the large crowds as the surrounding area developed . Parking, traffic congestion, pollution, noise..those are the factors that made the park a casualty, not a lack of customers.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Friday, August 26, 2011 1:38 PM
Vater's avatar

The only thing I see being a factor if Holiday World starts suffering is poor operations during days with large crowds, not the crowds themselves. And I don't foresee poor operations at Holiday World anytime soon.

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Friday, August 26, 2011 1:44 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." -Yogi Berra


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, August 26, 2011 3:22 PM

Shades said:
But if enough patrons feel that they are the victim of the park's success it won't be long until the park starts to feel some pain in the form of fewer people coming.

Doubt that, it'll just be different people going. You'll get families from further away deciding to go to HW instead of, say, SF St Louis, because of all the hype of popularity it's getting

On top of that, it's not like they're getting more people and not adding anything else. They keep adding rides/slides, and getting more people. Basically, an ideal business situation

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Friday, August 26, 2011 3:27 PM

As long as they keep the infrastructure up without affecting the charm then life is good.

I think it is interesting to follow how the "little park that could" handles its rapid rise to stardom. Can it keep its charm and friendly atmosphere as it gets bigger and bigger?

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Friday, August 26, 2011 6:01 PM

My first visit to HW was the year the Voyage opened... on a beautiful Saturday in July. The first line we encountered was a 3-mile backup on Rt. 162, and it didn't get any better from there. We had a good time, but man, the lines... Only time I've seen the downstairs of Voyage station open for business, and the line still poked out onto the midway. Ops were running as fast as you could expect them to - there was just a ton of people.

With that as a first impression, every trip since then has been cake :) We don't do Saturdays anymore, except the fall affair and HWN. When a park specifically advises against going on certain days/months, we take heed. All they can do besides warn is add capacity, which they are doing in "mammoth" proportions lately :D

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Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:46 AM
Jeff's avatar

I figured that out years ago. Heck, I avoid going to parks in July and August entirely if I can!

The park is busy on a Saturday in August? You don't say! Who knew?


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, August 27, 2011 2:49 AM

Well yeah.. hasn't everyone here already "figured that out years ago"..? Note the date I mentioned - Voyage's opening year. Hell, even back then we tried to avoid weekends if at all possible, but this was the only date that worked, and we really, really wanted to ride this new coaster everyone was talking about... Bottom line, it was worth it :)

I will say that July/Aug weekend crowds at all parks usually stink, but sometimes you get lucky. We hit GA in Chicago this past Saturday. A combination of an early storm (which was gone by 11:30am) and the Chicago Air/Water show downtown resulted in a beautiful day with minimal crowds. Most rides except Superman were walk-on. We'd pre-purchased a Gold flashpass (gate was free thanks to coke rewards) - only got to use it twice over 26 coaster rides. Oops :) The only time Raging Bull's line came down the station steps was when Superman broke down around 6pm. Earlier in the day we got a threepeat in the back row - that was nice. Management really seemed keen on capacity - all coasters were running as many trains as possible and ride ops were hustling. We waited 5 cycles for Bull's front seat in the evening, and they made their 60-sec dispatch goal every time but once (and that was due to clueless guests dorking around the bins). Many rides had capacity charts with numbers comparing GA to other SF parks with same rides. Looked like GA was smoking the competition... some good things going on up there.

But I digress.... we got lucky, stay the hell away from there most weekends. We were going to go on a Sat at the end of July, but found they'd *sold out* of flashpasses a week prior (yikes!) Would hate to be there THAT day!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011 12:00 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar

They will definitely keep infrastructure up, just look at 2011 additions, new restrooms, indoor seating, shade structures, doubled admissions turnstiles, shelters in legend lot, and the list goes on. They have the recipe for success down there! Mammoth is designed to take the load off of many of the other water slides, as it's capacity is over 1,000 something I don't recall ever seeing on a water slide in the past. So the good news, is the more popular Hoilday World gets, the better attractions we will see go up, and the better crowd management they will have. We can also be certain they won't "overdevelop," as they are a sensible family running the operation. I can't wait to see what the future holds as far as the development of a world class steel coaster there. They definitely have the maintenance team to keep it running top-notch. I also look forward to Timberliners, whenever they may debut!


Favorite Woodies: Outlaw Run & Voyage Favorite Steel: Maverick & Diamondback Favorite Parks: Silver Dollar City & Busch Gardens Williamsburg

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Sunday, August 28, 2011 4:19 PM

1,000 riders/hour is approaching moderate (dry) coaster capacity. Impressive.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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