Holiday World is Overrated

Associated parks:

Yeah, I said it. Everyone's beloved park just simply didn't impress me that much. I want to address their Golden Ticket Awards.

First off, friendliest staff: I didn't see much of a difference from any of the other parks I go to. I was expecting the ride ops to be cheery and smiling. When I say thanks for something, I expect a "your welcome". None of it rubbed me the wrong way or anything, I just didn't see what all the fuss was about.

Cleanest park: yeah, pretty clean. Not much to say there.

Best water ride: yeah it was pretty cool. I like originality, and this ride definitely wins points from me there.

And finally, #1 wooden coaster: The Raven. Are you kidding me? No way. Absolutely no way. I have only ridden about 10 wooden coasters, the best being The Beast, so I measure everything up to that ride. The Raven didn't even come close. I came in with an open mind and I was really looking foward to it, but I got off disappointed. It is a great ride, and I can see how it would make it in the top 10, but it was just too short and not that intense. On the other hand, I was very impressed with The Legend. It is a larger, longer, faster, and clearly better version of The Raven. I rode it four times, one front car, and loved every bit of it. The Beast will always be number one in my heart, because it was the first coaster I every liked, and the double helix finally is unmatched by any other element on any coaster, anywhere. But none of that has anything to do with my feelings about The Raven. #1 wooden coaster in the world? That's a joke.

Overall, Holiday World was a fun experience and will definately be a place that I take my kids to. But being with 3 friends that were spoiled by Cedar Point, I didn't really get chance to experience the whole park, nor did I really care to. I wanted to ride their two coasters just so I could finally see what all the hype was about. The Legend: great ride, worth its #5 ranking if not higher. The Raven: come on people.
*** This post was edited by Bakeman 9/14/2003 11:37:09 PM ***

Kick The Sky's avatar
First of all, you arent the first person to come away from the park with the opinion that Legend is far superior to Raven. I love Raven, but Legend is just a pure religious experience.

As for the staff, after doing 18 parks this year, they were the friendliest staff I saw this year. This was the ONLY park where I found a staff that would say "You're welcome" and smile back at me. In an age when most amusement park's staff is poorly trained and has poor morale, the staff at Holiday World is a refreshing change.

As for the cleanliness, I could argue with that just for the fact that at some of the Disney parks I was at this year a sweep would almost catch any litter before it fell from your hand to the ground.

Holiday World is not a big park, and they don't have a lot of coasters. To someone who is not a park enthusiast and is just a coaster enthusiast, their view of the park might be a bit jaded and that is understandable. To someone who is more of a park enthusiast like myself, I am proud to call it my favorite park.
Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

I agree with the park enthusiast/coaster enthusiast comment. I was one who used to think "Only 4 coasters at that park, geez, what a waste of time." Now, I'd take a trip to IB over a trip to SFGAm anyday. It's the whole park experience, not just the coasters. The fact that you admitted you didn't care about the rest of the park was where you went wrong. Don't worry, someday you'll realize it, it takes time.

You know how they say every day is the first day of the rest of your life. Well that's true for every day but one, the day you die. "American Beauty"

Its natural for people to disagree about stuff like this. I know a whole lot of people, myself included who thinks the Beast was anything but a Top 10 coaster. And actually, the Raven is my favorite woodie.

But yeah, I think everyone has an opinion that is strkingly different than most people. (I remember a thread about that) I for example, thought Shivering Timbers was horrible. I'm sure there are plenty of people here that think call it their favorite. Everyone's different, thats all.

The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

I suppose im a coaster enthusiast then, because i would rather ride an awsome ride with bad employees than go to a park where all of the employees are freindly and the rides suck. I just think that customer service is less important to me than the ride selection. Now I love holiday world, but that is mainly because I love their two world class wooden coasters. The customer service is just an added bonus.

As Mitch always said, "If you had a freind who was a tightrope walker and he fell down just walking down the street, that would be completely unacceptable."

I'm guessing this person would think differently of the Raven after a late-night ride. I too was very disappointed when I first rode it, but later that night (at SRM several years ago) I saw the light. Raven became as intense as they come.
-Matt in Iowa
I kind of view Raven as the Batman The Ride of the woodies. Its short, but has rapid fire elements that don't let up.

I do side with the peeps that think "The Legend" is a better woodie overall. The layout and elements to me produce a better experience. Maybe its the tunnels, maybe the helices, or maybe, just maybe, its the ending fly-by near the station house.

I can't really give a definite as to why Legend places better than Raven in my book, but it just does.

The park overall is a pleasant experience that any park goer should check out. Its just a relaxing atmosphere that has enough to do to make an enjoyable day.

Some won't find this park anything outstanding and I can understand that, but its a park that shouldn't be missed if you are in the area.

Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"
*** This post was edited by Chitown 9/15/2003 2:33:05 AM ***

I realize that this is an opinion and I am going to feel absolutely free to express my opinion. The problem with top ten ratings and all these stupid lists creates hypes for certain rides, mostly the top ten rides. I took a nice trip over the summer and as of that I was going to experience the best steel coaster: Millenium Force and the second best Woodie: Shrivering Timbers, both have been hyped really high so I had such unbelieivable high hopes for them and was ultimately completely let down. I think you experienced that, do I think that Holiday World has the best staff, cleanist park? Well yeah, but I also think that Silver Dollar City and Celebration City should be giving it a heck of a whole lot competition to it. Is Raven my personal favorite woodie, no, but it comes so close to Cornball Express it isn't even funny. I personally think that the Legend is also a great ride, and obviously is you are in love with the Beast you like it more because it is longer, has a killer helix and a lot more turns than airtime. You got spoiled by Cedar Point, a very efficient, money grabbing amusement park giant and obviously did not fit in at Holiday World. Me on the other hand give me Indiana Beach, Holiday World, Knott's Berry Farm, Silver Dollar City or Celebration city and I'll pick one of them every time over Cedar Point because I personaly don't care for cedar point. You just don't get the experience and the love you do with smaller parks.
matt.'s avatar
Honest question:

Bakeman, how old are you?

I'm just asking because I know a lot of younger enthusiats that would rather be at the big corporate themers, and leave the sweetheart parks like Knoebels, HW, BGW, etc...dissapointed. There's nothing wrong with that, just a matter of what people like at certain ages.

Maybe you're 45, I dunno. :)

Jeff's avatar
Legend is better than Raven to me, and I think that nostalgia (if you can even have that for a relatively young ride) has a lot to do with its #1 in the polls.

If you've only been on 10 wood coasters, I think you probably don't have the range of experience to know just how good the Holiday World coasters are, and how well they're maintained. That's not intended to be a slam, just an observation.

As for the Beast, it's long, and that's neat, but it's mostly a lot of meandering through the woods to get to the helix at the end. No ride executes as well The Legend.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - - My Blog
Blogs, photo albums - CampusFish
What time does the water show start?

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
I prefer Legend over Raven ;-)

I used to have the mindset that if a park was too small then it wasn't worth my time. Five years ago I probably would not have thought that Holiday World, Indiana Beach, or even my former home park (Camden Park) would be worth it. I suppose that you learn to love all parks, and not just judge the park by the rides themselves. I will visit any park once. If I don't like it, fine, but at least I give it a chance.

You certainly are entitled to your opinion and if Holiday World didn't exaclty blow you away then that is fine. :-)

There are several parks I think are overrated/underratted too. :-) Each park has it's own unique rides/atmosphere.

I think Legend, Raven, and the Cornball Express are three of the best woodies I have ever had the pleasure. That will never change. :-)


Gimme speed, height, airtime and plenty of LAUNCH!!!

*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN 9/15/2003 11:38:40 AM ***

matt.'s avatar
I think I'm one of the few people in this world that really likes Raven better than Legend (note that I haven't been since the PTC's were put on Legend, although I never minded the Gerstlaurers to begin with.) It seems as though the majority likes Legend more then Raven, and I think that eventually the polls will reflect that. Remember that while it seems as though everybody and their mother is at SRM every year, that the polls are also dominated by people who don't neccesarily go to events, don't have a way to get all the way out to Holiday World, or even post on the internet message boards. In time we'll see Legend creep up closer, I would think. The adjusment will just take time.
The reason I think that Raven is better is the slam bang finale! The -2 g's on the drop then the rag doll experience.

I too share some of the same feelings about Holiday World as you do. I felt it was a great park, but it never blew me away. The Legend is definitely a better coaster than the Raven, and Zinga was a blast!

I think the biggest problem with Holiday World is their capacity planning. They've marketed the heck out of the place, and have seen annual increases in their attendance, but the capacity of their rides just can't meet the demand. I was there on August 23rd, and the wait times were ridiculous. We waited over an hour for Zinga, and almost the same amount for the bumper boats! I couldn't believe they would install a space shot ride that can only handle approximately 200 people an hour (my educated guess), and they definitely need another train on the Raven.

If they want to keep the small park feel, that's great, but they need to turn down the advertising and promoting a bit. Until they build a few more rides that can handle larger crowds, I'll probably only visit every the place every few years rather than make it a permanent spot on my yearly list. The park has potential, but needs help in the planning department.

The phrase "if you build it, they will come" might work for the first time visitor, but once they've spent a day (10 hours) at the park and only rode 8 rides like I was able to, they may think again before visiting again.


Edited for spelling errors.
*** This post was edited by Jazzman 9/15/2003 12:57:18 PM ***

Beast could be an awesome woodie except they decided to put magnetic trims all over the place (three places after the first lift). So, Beast deserves to be down in the ranks. I know that maintenance is incredibly expensive and the trims are placed to keep it from tearing itself apart but a coaster that can run without trims will always win in my mind.

Raven is phenomenal especially with the lake turn, the 5th drop and the swooping bank turns at the end. It always makes me want more (thank God for re-rides).

Legend is an amazing coater that woops the crap out of you in a good way. The laterals are insane almost to the point where it is too much. It's a coaster that takes my breath away. When I hit the station it is like I have not breathed for the last two minutes.

As to how I rank Legend and Raven I can't do it.

I think that the friendliest staff gold ticket refers to most hospitable. Things like free soda and sunscreen add into that. My question is did you buy anything? The people who work food and the shops are always friendly. The ride ops are doing there job and let’s face it how excited would you be after checking thousands of lap bars and seat belts a day. The ops sill are not frowning or moping around like you see in a lot of parks.

Responding to Jazz - you said it right in your post AUGUST 23rd. If you don't like big crowds don't visit in August. They get about 3 weekends a year that are that busy. I was there last weekend and practically everything was a station wait.

CCI here I come!
"It all started with a Mouse" - WED
*** This post was edited by jfmoe 9/15/2003 1:24:20 PM ***

I agree with many points made here. I too, find Legend more to my liking than Raven. I don't know if Raven even makes my top 5. I think I'd have to go with Boulderdash, Ghostrider, Cornball Express, Legend, Lightning Racer, and then probably give Raven the nod over Shivering Timbers(both of which were cases of anticappointment for me).

That being said, with the exception of Lightning Racer, CCI dominates my top 10 as it probably dominates the lists of several others. These rides are all so good that there is not much of a difference between 1 and 10 for me, so I don't take too much stock in all the lists out there.

As far as cleanliness and friendliness goes, Holiday World is very deserving of their high ranking. Having the chance to go to about 25 different parks a year, it is clear that they set the bar much higher in these two categories.

Now for the downside. Capacity, or a lack thereof, would be my only complaint about Holiday World. I think that the popularity of the park is its only downfall. Not a bad thing for the park, but if your plan is to ride several rides in a short period of time, you're out of luck. I don't know what kind of solution is out there for this park. Any steps to increase capacity would probably take away from the small park feel of the place. I guess this is just an issue that we as park goers will just have to deal with. I'd personally hate to see any major changes take place that take away from "that feel".

Jim Hansen
Number of coasters ridden: 313
*** This post was edited by SJCoasternut 9/15/2003 1:44:29 PM ***

Jeff's avatar
The mag brakes on Beast have the same net effect as the former skid brakes. They just concentrate the braking into a couple of feet instead of over several hundred. Some people have timed the interval as shorter, meaning the ride is actually faster than before.

Regarding capacity, you go on one of the busiest weeks of the year and it's going to be crowded, especially in the water park. Legend nearly eats people and word on the street is that they're exploring the possibility of a two-train setup on Raven.

Overall, they continue to add rides, so the park's overall capacity increases with their attendance.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - - My Blog
Blogs, photo albums - CampusFish
What time does the water show start?

matt: Sorry for taking so long to answer your question. I am turning 19 this month. I know part of attitude toward the park was affected by the fact that I was going on 4 hours of sleep and I was with 3 friends who were spoiled by Cedar Point. We all had a great time and I think highly of the park. When I said it was overrated, I was referring to its Golden Ticket Awards, particularly for The Raven.
Bakeman, I don't think that your age should have as much to do with it at all. I think mostly it was the time of year you visited and the people who you were with. Who you are with determines how much fun you have, and if you're with people that are saying "This place sucks compared to CP because..." then you're really making it tougher to enjoy JUST why HW is so special.

You should really treat yourself and go during SRM. The atmosphere alone makes you at ease, PLUS riding those two great coasters in pitch black is heaven on earth. :)

-Brian, who enjoys long walks on the beach, wooden coasters, avoiding being called a "jobber" while keeping it real in the 9Quad.

The Legend is quite possibly the "perfect coaster" and Raven is not far behind.

While I don't think HW is as amzing as some I do have it in my top five parks but below Knobel's, Indiana Beach, and Cedar Point.

If the park had a little more to do it woudl work its way up, but as it is now, there is just not enought o keep me occupied as I am not big on waterparks. I am however sure that this is being remedied as it already is with last years addition of Liberty and Hallowswings

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