HoliWood Nights 2009

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Mamoosh's avatar

There is a god. She lives in Southern Indiana. And last night she summoned the forces of nature for a night of coaster riding that will not be soon forgotten.

Before leaving for the trip I turned to my partner David and said, "I love thunderstorms...I hope we get a good one." You know what they say about being careful for what you wish for....

Saturday night's ERT was delayed an hour due to an intense thunderstorm that brought torrential rails and hail. It also transformed Voyage into a religious experience. To say that it was "hauling ass" would be an understatement of colossal proportions. On a scale of 1-10 Voyage was running at 100. How anyone was able to keep their hands up during the ride (as a few brave souls did) remains a mystery to me.

Then add the surreal spectacle of rising to the top of a hill or emerging from a tunnel to see the horizon light up with lightning streaking across the sky and you have by far the best 2 hours of ERT ever experienced. Period. In fact I'd say HoliWood Nights 2009 was the best event the park has ever hosted. If you missed it just start kicking yourself in the buttocks now.

Don't ask me about Legend or Raven, I rode neither during the two ERT sessions but I understand they were experiencing a similar transfiguration as Voyage.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

That's kinda how my first (and only) SRM experience went down. Those night rides on Raven in '98 were never matched by my subsequent visits.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Jeff's avatar

Perhaps you should come back to the park in the fall. :)

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Frantic Ferret's avatar

That first Saturday night ride on Voyage is now my benchmark for all future rides. Nothing like setting myself up for disappointment.

I know "forever" is a pretty extreme term, but let me just say that I don't think I will *ever* experience coaster rides as intense and amazing as the Voyage provided during Saturday's ERT. Night rides are always great, but adding the downpour to juice the track just prior to riding was icing on the cake. That alone would have made the night awesome, but the second thunderstorm was simply a gift from God. It was a rather intense cell, and passed only a few miles north of the park - just far enough away to allow HW to operate the rides (go go lightning detection system) ... but oh so close enough to provide a light show like you've never seen before. Words don't do justice to the experience of the train howling through a tunnel, coming out just in time to see a bolt rip across the sky right in front of you just before diving down into the next tunnel. Nor can I really describe properly the massive strike just after coming out of the triple down, lighting up like day the silhouette of the coaster structure as the train weaved around underneath it. I got 3 rides in during the best part of the storm, followed by two more laps just because.

Utterly incredible end to an already amazing weekend... I'm sure someone else will fill in the back-stories regarding Legend and Pilgrims' Plunge. Like the Ferret implied, this is going to be near impossible to top.

Un-freaking-believable!Best. Park. Trip. EVER. Up at 6:30am, home by 4:06am, loved every second of it. Oh, Mamoosh... I was one of those "brave souls" :) Hands up, entire ride, every ride, even in the very back.

Last edited by metallik,

Mamoosh said:

Don't ask me about Legend or Raven, I rode neither during the two ERT sessions but I understand they were experiencing a similar transfiguration as Voyage.

I ventured over to Legend Sat. night for just that reason. She too was running hot and furious and the lightning in the sky through the trees made the perfect "Sleepy Hallow" setting. As a bonus I ended up riding with Kory and Chad from the Gravity Group. Kory was in the front seat with someone and I grabbed row two with Chad. Riding Legend with the "legends". How cool is that?

As good as Legend was running I only rode once since there was the chance of the storms getting too close and cutting ERT short and Voyage was running too insane to pass up.


My name is Mike, and I'm a coasterholic.

the Voyage rides were unbelivable I feel bad for Diamondback today as it was our first ride after the Voyage night rides and it just couldn't compare I will try to write my thoughts down but many people will probably disagree with my trip report opinions. I guess thats why they are opinions more to come but now I need sleep before driving home.

The event was incredible...cresting over the outbound hills floating in the air with lightning streaks racing across the sky was surreal, and made an already memorable experience even better. Best Voyage rides thus far :o)


HWN was my first ever enthusiast event! I joined Coaster Buzz so I could attend. I will confess I was not prepared for the awesomeness that is The Voyage...or even Raven for that matter!

I was out of the riding community from 1991 until November of 2008. I was simply too fat to ride....452 pounds was my heaviest recorded weight, though according to some pics I've seen recently, I may have been bigger.

Up until this past weekend I was an admitted Cedar Point fanboy. CP and KI were all I knew. Because I am still overweight, I'm not yet able to ride TTD, Millie, Raptor or Mantis, so Maverick had been my most intense coaster experience (I haven't been to KI for probably 20 years).

IMO, even RAVEN is more intense than anything at CP, let alone The Voyage.

I discovered/decided after HWN that I am no longer a CP fanboy. I am a Holiday World fanboy!! I also discovered that I am no hardcore coaster nerd. I could only handle two rides on a rain-slicked Voyage! And I held on all the way through....both times....well once we cleared the first three hills and entered the twisties. LOL

I went from riding Voyage early Friday morning, last seat, hands in the air all the way through, to holding on for dear life, middle-front of the train, after the storm. It was that dramatic of a change in feel/speed/intensity.

I also rode Legend and Raven after the rains and the change in intensity was just as dramatic on those two!

I am in love with Raven and Voyage. They are easily my two favorite coasters so far. The Legend is good also; I'm just not a big fan of the intense, sustained laterals on Legend.

I’m thinking seriously about going back down for Fall Affair. :)

And a BIG thank you to Pat, Will, Paula and crew for going out of their way to get Legend and Pilgrims Plunge up and running for the event. Legend was up literally just in time for ERT on Friday night and UPS sent a special delivery at 5:30am Saturday morning to deliver a part for Plunge to get that running for ERT Saturday morning! I seriously doubt any of the corporate parks would have tried as hard.


Last edited by KenniB,

Riding once again after 18 years of being too fat to do so!

coasterqueenTRN's avatar

Moosh pretty much summed it up, the ERT after that storm was a religious experience, if not surreal.

Most of us were already at the picnic pavilion when it started, which was a good thing. I swear I haven't seen a hail/thunderstorm that intense in a while! Some of the hail I saw were slightly smaller than a marble. We were concerned for a while that ERT was never going to be, but it turned out to be a blessing. It was like Mother Nature did it on purpose to make ERT more special, if that makes any sense. In other words she was in OUR favor for once, from enhancing the coasters to keeping our firewood somewhat dry once we got back to our campsite. The weather overall was PERFECT the whole weekend. :) Not too hot and not too cold, although it got slightly brisky at the campground both nights. :)

My first ride on Voyage Saturday night literally knocked the breath out of me. Legend and Raven were equally more insane after that storm, especially Legend! The darkness and lighting shows in the horizon made it one of the most PERFECT ERT's I have experienced to date! The bruise near my lower rib was worth it! :) Friday night's ERT rocked but it was NOTHING compared to the post-storm bliss on Saturday. ;)

As far as Pilgrim's Plunge, I tried it once. It's alright. I spent most of my time at SS floating around the lazy pool. :)

It was an awesome weekend with friends and my poor body is still recovering. Between the INSANE ert and sleeping in a campground for two nights I am surprised I am awake right now!


Last edited by coasterqueenTRN,
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

KenniB, it's awesome to hear you got to enjoy your rides Saturday night. I dunno if you remember me on the Voyage walk back, I was the guy carrying a kid in his backpack.

I didn't stick around for the Saturday night ERT session since parenting takes precedence for me. But I knew as I was running to the parking lot in the pouring rain, that if it were to let up and rides opened that you guys would be in for a treat. My wife had bruises all over her under arms and her legs. It was her most intense riding experience by far.

It was an awesome event altogether! My sisters made it for their second HWN and we took a couple of first timers as well (the little man Alex included!). I had a blast at the park and will most likely continue to be a 'must do' every year.

Thanks for hosting us Holiday World!


This was my first Holiday World visit and (obviously) my first HoliWood Nights experience. I'm sure for 90 percent of you I'm preaching to the choir, but un-blanking-believable!

I thought the first night of ERT was something special (and it was), but Saturday was something more, including ten-in-a-row on Voyage, a scrambled brain AND a broken toe. But what a ride, man!

For those of you that have yet to visit, let me stress that Holiday World does NOTHING wrong. The waterpark was amazing. Voyage, Legend and Raven ALL incredible. Great food. Superb staff. Cute. Charming. Whatever you wanna call it. I love you, Voyage. A spiritual experience, it is. Amen, my brethren. Pilgrim's Plunge freaks the s**t out of me.

Last edited by d_port_12E,

I too had fun at HWN, it was great time and Voyage was running abso-freakin-lutely insane on Saturday night...I don't know many of you were able to power ride that monster. One guy did 109 laps in two days....DANG!!!!

Raven was running great too..love hearing the upstops spin like mad when you get back to the brake run.

Legend on Saturday was a s great as I can ever remember it...Friday night, not so much, though but that could be attributable the fact that it did not run at all during the day due to the aforementioned gearbox failure and the great HW maintenance staff getting a replacement from Cincy and installed to still have Friday night ERT.

--George H

I think it was William himself who made that trip to Cincy to get the gearbox. Heck, they shoulda called me, could have strapped it to the roof and brought it down for them... ;)

I forgot to mention Pilgrims Plunge in my first post, but I thought it was a pretty fun ride. Worst aspect is that you can't really see going down the hill due to the spray. If you hold your hand in front of your eyes and peer thru a slit between your fingers, that kinda works... maybe they should hand out cheap goggles in the line like the 3D glasses on some rides at other parks.

Congrats to KenniB on the loss.. nothing like coasters as an incentive!

Last edited by metallik,
Mamoosh's avatar

One guy did 109 laps in two days....DANG!!!!

I didn't count laps but considering I rode Voyage virtually non-stop both nights I probably logged something close to that.

a_hoffman50's avatar

You sure did ride a bunch. ;~)

109 laps... that's pretty amazing! To put that in perspective:

Voyage is 6442 feet long. For the sake of easy math, let's say 1162 feet of that track are "uneventful" - starting from the first final brake through the station to the top of the lift hill (and including the MCBR for the hell of it). I think this number may be a bit high, but we'll be conservative. That leaves us with 5280 feet of "eventful" :) track, or exactly one mile.

109 laps then equals 109 miles of intense riding. 109 miles is approximately the distance from Holiday World to Campbellsburg, KY - or around two-thirds of the way to Cincinnati, OH.


Rock on, guys :)

Last edited by metallik,
Mamoosh's avatar

I didn't leave my middle-near-the-back seat during the final 30 mins of ERT Saturday night. It was sheer bliss :)

I brought two newbies who have only been on the coasters at Valleyfair and MOA and they got to experience the insanity. Their final verdict was Legend was fun, Raven was intense, and Voyage was mental. They are hooked and swear they will be back next year.

Last edited by RavenTTD,
rollergator's avatar

Words fail me. :)

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