Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana, USA
We got to the park about 45 minutes before opening. The only advantage that gave us was a close parking spot. The gate did not open until 9:00 and they had ropes blocking off any of the sections with rides in them until 9:30 (posted opening). It was kinda neat to see the owner make a brief appearence at 9:00. When we finally got into the park, we headed for Thanksgiving section with intention of getting a ride on the Voyage right away. It wasn't running and neither was Pilgrim's Plunge - so half of the rides in that area weren't ready yet. We did the Gobbler interactive dark ride (first ones on). That was cool - MiA (our home park) and Cedar Point need one of those. It's fun to see how many turkey's you can find by shooting the targets (the secret is to linger on the target for a couple seconds with the trigger depressed). And I totally trounced my wife and son in scoring :). We went on the Legend - my 13 yr old loved that. My wife and I don't appreciate the roughness of wooden coasters, but he seems to like it. Then we made the mistake of getting on the white water raft ride. The ride was fun, just went at the wrong time. Because we went before the water park opened, we had to wait in line and then my wife got her clothes wet, which meant they were still wet when she put them back on after the waterpark. Lockers were the usual $10, 5 of which you get back and there was a huge line (15 minutes after water park opened). We did the waterpark from about 11 - 2, most of which was waiting in line. Wildebeast was incredible and worth the 1.5 hour wait. It definitely belongs in the water park - it soaked you throughout. After that, my wife and I just couldn't handle standing on hot concrete and waiting in line for a water slide. So as planned, we went to the dry side. Raven was a walk on. Legend was a walk on. Voyage was almost a walk on. The log ride and white water raft ride, which had a half hour wait before water park was open, were pretty much a walk on. Freaky how that park is totally driven by the water park. It's a very good water park, but the dry side is nice too (if a bit small). Voyage lived up to the hype. My son was nervous - he doesn't like Shivering Timbers and I have yet to get him on Millenium Force. But he was so incredibly excited when he got off! We absolutely loved it. Very intense and mostly smooth. It should be even better with the new cars (which were not yet running, although kinda neat to see them sitting there with the dummies loaded). Both Legend and Voyage are intense throughout. Raven is too, but it leaves you with a it's done already? feeling. Legend is too rough for my taste, but fun factor makes up for it. Pilgrim's Plunge was a bit of a let down. As a single rider, they made me ride in the middle and I didn't hardly get wet at all. My son was in the back row and got completely soaked. I think he was the only one. The oasis stations where you get free Pepsi products are nice -whenever you get thirsty, there is one nearby where you just walk up and get a drink that is just the right amount to quench your thirst.
Conclusion: there is no point in getting to the park early, you might as well plan on getting there for the water park opening (it takes about 10 minutes to get back to the water park from the gate). Otherwise you are just wasting time waiting in line for rides that will be walk on later. Be sure to do the roller coasters while the water park is still open. A very nice park, but it is definitely a local park - not really enough there to make it a destination worth travelling to unless you are already in the area. If you are a hafta ride every roller coaster kinda person, the 3 that are there are credits worth getting. Wildebeast should probably count as 4.
Sorry you didnt have a good time. However, you should have asked for advise before you went. You started out right (heading to Thanksgiving first) but then run into some bad luck, usually Voyage and the Plunge are ready to go at opening. You made the critical mistake of not opening the waterpark. The four best slides they have (Wildebeast, Baukli, Zoombabye, Zinga) get long lines very fast, however if you hit Wildebeast right at opening and then proceed to Baukli, Zinga and then Zoombabye you can usually ride all of them even on busy days by noon. Then you head to the dry park and do Halloween and the 4th of July along with rehitting up Thanksgiving rides until around 2 hours before the waterpark closes, which is when people start leaving that area allowing you to ride the rest of the slides with walk ons.
I, and probably most of the people on this board would disagree with your last paragraph, but you not being a wooden coaster fan is what probably hurt your opinion of that park.
I didn't mean to give the impression that we didn't have a good time. We did. My son thanked me for bringin him, which he doesn't do without prompting unless he really likes it. My wife enjoyed it because we enjoyed it (although she found all the coasters shook her up too much). I enjoy all parks. I've always wanted to go to HW after reading all the positive comments on this board, but didn't think I would ever have an opportunity. My wife had a thing in Bloomington (2 hrs north), so I piggy backed on that. The park is quite small - we were done with it well before closing and just kinda did a few rides again because we like to do parks open to close. HW definitely gets all the little things right (although perhaps a bit overzealous on safety - never had to remove fanny pack before). But ultimately what they offer is a very nice water park and some world class wooden coasters. Those are not attractions that get me personally excited. So I probably wouldn't go again unless I was in the area for some reason. But very glad I got to go this once.
I had a plan like you mapped out in mind, but Voyage and Plunge being closed threw me off. Definitely screwed up getting on Raging Rapids instead of heading to the water park - I let my son pressure me into it. Wish I would have known slides empty out 2 hrs before waterpark closes. But then again, not sure we would have wanted to get our swimsuits back on again.
Wouldn't it be generally true that a Monday or Tuesday in July with good weather wouldn't result in too busy of a water park?
I went on a random Wednesday in July last year (good weather the whole week) and the place was packed. The word is out about how good this park is, and people are coming. Just stick to the plan I laid out above and you should have no problem doing everything.
Decil, I fix the problem of getting back into a bathing suit by simply not getting out of it, I just throw on an old t-shirt and my tivas and off I go. The water rides on the dry side get short waits midday too, and since it is usually hot I stick to the plan of making sure Im somewhere between soaked and damp the whole afternoon by riding the water rides again when I get too hot.
The one good thing about the water park being jam packed during the day is more ride time on Voyage! =) I went last year on a Saturday in the middle of August and Voyage was a walk-on! It was so awesome because we only had a limited amount of time in the park.
I plan on taking my first trip to HW on one of the upcoming Saturdays, either July 24 or 31. How long do lines for the three coasters get on days like that? I don't anticipate that we'll be hitting the waterpark, instead focusing on the coasters and flats. Will I be able to get my fix on one of these days, or would I be better off postponing it to after labor day. I don't like being confined to Saturdays, but it's the only day of the week that will work. Thanks.
I would assume that the hotter it is, the more people should be in the waterpark and not the amusement park. But, the waterpark doesn't open until an hour after the amusement park. So, the morning may be busy.
Other frequent visitors here may be able to better help you than I.
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I know when I went to Holiday World last year on a Saturday in August there were no lines on the coasters. It was pretty much a walk-on for Voyage, Legend, and Raven. The waterpark was packed! So, you shouldn't have a problem riding the coasters and flats in the amuesment park area multiple times.
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