Sunday, December 9, 2001 4:40 PM
My husband and I arrived in Santa Claus, IN on Friday. We had made reservations at Santa’s Lodge. The town was decorated for the weekends’ activities- Christmas in Santa Claus. The planned activities included a craft show, festival of lights, and a parade on Saturday. Santa’s Lodge is a great rustic-looking hotel. We had dinner at St. Nick’s restaurant. Unfortunately, service was slow but the kindness of the staff made up for it.
Saturday morning- we met in the HW employee parking lot. Approximately 40 people attended this event. At 9:30 sharp, we went into the park and the gate was locked behind us. This was my first time walking around a park that has been closed for a couple of months, definitely an eerie feeling. Our tour guides were Paula, Will Koch, Mrs. Koch, and Jeff Hammersly (the Legend man). Our first stop was to check out ZOOMbabwe. The bright purple pieces are located in the parking lot and are being put together in a staging area. The pieces are absolutely huge; 9’ and 12’ sections. Mrs. Koch stood in one of the tubes for our Kodak moment. We could really visualize how big this ride is. Will Koch shared with us about the progress; obviously he is very proud of this new addition. Thanks to ZOOMbabwe, the Legend will now have 2 new head choppers.
Next, we walked over to the Legend. This is the part my husband had been waiting for- walking the Legend track. It had rained the previous day so the wood was a little slippery. This was an unbelievable experience. Great photo opportunities and our guides were Will and Jeff. The helix was the best part for me. Of course, the whole time we had to be careful of the “raccoon surprises” along the track. After our invigorating “walk”, we headed for the Raven. About 30% of the Raven is being retracked. HW takes great pride in their coasters performance.
We went to the theatre for hot chocolate and cookies. Various videos and stories from Mrs. Koch entertained us. We had a brief Q & A with Will. Scott and Carol Holmes offered door prizes and also auctioned a few items for ACE.
Finally, we were offered the chance to ride—The Tram—in the Christmas parade. We decided to past on this one. :)
What a great time we had without riding a coaster. This park always offers that feeling. We definitely will make our plans to attend SRM ’02.
On a side note—Mrs. Koch looks WONDERFUL. We knew cancer wouldn’t keep this amazing woman down.
Monday, December 10, 2001 5:11 AM
It is unbelievable to me how much this park cares about people (as opposed to money). Above and beyond...the two words that describe everything the Kochs do.
You can't spell "dishonorable" without "honorable."
Monday, December 10, 2001 12:33 PM
The Koch's are the nicest most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet! my fiance and I are planning a trip to HW this season and I can't wait to see these wonderful people again!
Beer, My Baby, and Coasters. Is this a great country or what? ;)
Monday, December 10, 2001 12:53 PM
Is there any work on Legend's new transfertrack in the station?
CP! Still the coaster capital of the world in 2002!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:56 PM
The modifications on Legend wasn't started yet. CCI is due at the park anyday now to begin. The loading gates are being moved towards the first turn two bents about 18' I think. The computer will be updated for a two train op and a BUNCH of sensors will be added to the track mainly at the brakes and on the hill. The brake run length will be increased and more brakes will be added. The train needs to stop in the brakes and not with it's first car poking in the station. :0 The PTC trains will remain purple with black lap restraints and seatbelts.
The bell is also fixed it has pin locks and a safety strap so Nick can't break it again.
Born to Ride - Forced to work!