Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana, USA
Holiwood Nites 2012
I go to Holiwood Nites about ever other year. I went in 2008 for Timberliners, but that obviously hasn’t happened yet. But that’s okay. In fact, it was really okay this year. This was the best Holiwood Nites ever! For the 2008 and 2010 events, weather was an issue. It was so hot. Miserably hot. In fact so hot that I spent most of Saturday both years in the water park then taking a nap before dinner. None of that this year, though!
With my job I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go so I never made rooming or flying arrangements since the facility I work at is currently in the window for our yearly state survey, and I am not allowed to be off during that time. Instead, I decided that if I would go, I would drive, and come up with sleeping arrangements later. The week before the event I messaged Bryan Bird to ask if I could potentially sleep in my care at his cabin and use the shower there, which he was fine with since I knew mostly everyone in the cabin already.
I drove from my job on Thursday evening to my parent’s house for the nite. I was later than I had wanted to be leaving Friday morning because I stopped by my old job and was there for quite a bit talking, but when I did leave it was raining outside and I had hoped that this wouldn’t cause me any major delays.
As I drove closer and closer to Indiana, the rain came down harder and harder. Rob Ackerman texted me and said the rain ended around Louisville but that it was still overcast at Holiday World. There were 2 nasty wrecks on my way, but thankfully they were on the other side of 64, heading west, so that I wasn’t affected. All of my worrying was for naught, though, as I made it well before the event started. That I forgot about the time change helped.
Once I arrived I stopped at Wendy’s since it was still several hours before dinner, then headed to CVS to pick up some essentials, and finally made my way to the liquor store near the park for more essentials. Since it was so early I headed over to the hotel to visit with Kris and Eric. Bill (gator) and Jill were there too and eventually Matt and Mark showed up.
Once everyone was there we headed over to the cabin. Bryan had let me know that I could stay in the cabin for Friday nite since someone had to cancel and Saturday was up in the air so I was happy that I at least got one nite in the cabin. Once we headed over and met up with everyone I drove over to the park to register. Thankfully they let you into the park early so we immediately headed back for a ride on The Voyage.
The Voyage-I knew about all of the track work and the major redo of the turn around. I’ve never had ‘bad’ rides on Voyage, but it has always just been so intense that I can only ride it a few times. In 2010 towards the end of the nite I hit a stride and rode it maybe 6 times in a row, but that was way out of the norm. This would be my only day time ride for the year and I really wanted to see how everything felt. Oh My! It was like a new coaster. The turn around, usually so intense that I needed the mid course just to breathe, was by far smoother and more tolerable. It was outstanding. The rest of the ride was great too. I can tell that there needs to be a little bit of track work once you get to the hill that goes over the station and back to the final brake run, but the ride was so awesome that I didn’t want to get off.
After our ride we walked up to the pavilion for the official start of Holiwood Nites. They did a skit with Dan and Pat Koch as a Ghost Buster and the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, then someone went over the rules, and after a bit we were all off. I wanted to go ride Raven first so I headed with a group there.
Raven-I’m only going to do one breakdown of this ride. My first ride was kind of ho-hum. Very smooth, but not that exciting. It wasn’t nite time yet, but the ride just wasn’t giving me the airtime I know it has. I like Raven, and even after all the rides which eventually got better, I still like Legend better. Even hill 5 wasn’t that powerful this past weekend. But it was running very smooth!
We went over to Legend next.
Legend-Wow. I always love me some Legend. I swear it gets better every time I ride it. It was intense and fast. There were a few moments of great airtime throughout the course. Everyone seemed to agree for the most part that it was running insane! I’d almost go visit a park just to ride Legend. It has some amazing forces, some "Oh My!" moments, and lots of laterals. I just wish I could ring the darn bell one time!
After Legend we went to eat some pizza and fudge. The café was kind of packed, but that’s okay. There was plenty of pizza, Pepsi, and fudge to go around. I visited with friends, met some new ones, and hung out a bit before we made our way to The Voyage.
The Voyage (again)-I rode in the back. At nite, this thing is a killer beast. It takes no prisoners. It was so smooth and intense, gave major airtime on the first few amazing hills, and the third drop on the triple down is my 2
Some of us kind of came to the conclusion that aside from the obvious, the track work having been done, that we were also benefitting from the fact that the temperatures were mild and it wasn’t humid, so no one was overly exhausted for our Voyage rides. All I know was this was the best time I’ve ever had at Holiwood Nites.
Rob and I headed over to Legend for a bit. We ended up getting a train all to ourselves, so we rode a couple of times in the very back before heading up to Raven for a bit, and then back to Voyage.
Eventually the nite came to a close so I drove Eric & Kris back to the hotel before finally finding my way back to the cabins where the party was already started.
I wanted to do water park ERT the next morning, but it was too cold, and I was too sleepy. We all did get up around 11am the next morning and drove to Dale to eat at Denny’s where I had a bad allergy attack and couldn’t stop sneezing. I had taken meds, but they weren’t working very well. Once we got back we hung out for a bit and then went to the park. I wanted to do the walk-back tours of the coasters, so I split off and went with Kyle, Ethan, and Craig and his kids. The walk-back was actually interesting. Not much on the Legend/Raven tour, but the Voyage tour was really nice. I’m glad I packed my comfy shoes.
I wanted to ride Pilgrim’s Plunge but it was down for a bit so I hooked up with Bryan and Stuart for Gobbler Getaway instead. Kyle ended up riding with us too. My turkey caller wasn’t working well so I only scored 60 points. Boo!
After that we walked back up and went to ride the Sparkler, the park’s new sky swing ride. It’s short, but boy is it unnerving! I liked it. Then we hurried over for a shot at Liberty Launch. The shorter S&S towers are far better, with much more pronounced airtime.
After that we all went back to the cabin for a bit. Once back in the park I stopped for ice cream and then arrived at dinner as it was being served. The pork BBQ was quite good, but for the love of all that is right, Holiday World (Paula, listen up!) can we get mayo AND Miracle Whip? They are not the same thing and burgers really are better with onions and mayo in my book. Thanks! But dinner was good and fun as always as we sat around and talked geek.
Once ERT started I started with Voyage I went to Voyage. There were a few Legend and Raven rides early on, but it was all about some Voyage. At one point, though, Mother Nature decided to sprinkle some magic on the tracks as it began to rain. Voyage was super intense at that point. Granted, I couldn’t marathon as much as I had the nite before, but the speed was killer. The ride was ridonkulous, the rain hurt, but it was all worth it. ERT this weekend was Epic. I’m sad because I doubt it’ll ever be that good again (Though one can always hope it’s cool and sprinkles next year too!). I got another couple rides on Legend and for the 2nd time in a row, ended up the nite on Raven. It was running better.
Once ERT was done we stood at the entrance and talked to Paula, Dan, and others for a bit before heading back to the cabin. The person whose spot I took on Friday didn’t get to come at all, so I got to stay in the cabin a 2nd nite too. I was actually in bed and asleep by 1:30. The next morning we all got up, got ready, said goodbye to everyone else and separately headed out. Some of the group went camping. Some went home. But me and a few others headed to Ohio for my first Kings Island trip since 2004.
Holiwood Nites is really a fun event. It wasn’t crowded, the ERT was great. Dancing in the Raven station to Donna Summer was fun. Thanks to everyone at Holiday World who always makes a fun weekend spectacular!
Awww... Donna Summer and Holiday World - what more could one ask for? Wish I could have made it this year, but next year for sure. I love Voyage and Raven, but Legend really *does it* the most for me.
No Mammoth? I haven't heard very many Mammoth reviews. From what I have heard, it's more family friendly than Wildebeest.
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