HW 9-4-06 Cool day in a cool park with cool people

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Woke up to a very cool morning at 5am, Checked the CNA board to find the message from April that she was sleeping in. I was worried about her comming after finding out about the Camden trip the day before but I was also very glad she notified me so I wasn't sitting around wondering. I was a little bummed but she said that she would come down later in the day so I was cool with that.

Got to Robs a little before 7am Cincy time to find him still sleeping but still we had plenty of time. I had allowed for a few bumps in the plans so I was cool with that also.

After a uneventful trip down to HW we arrived about 930 Central time and went to get out tickets. They gave rob a discount on my coaster club card as being a guest of a enthusiast. COOL. second time this year they've done that!

Mrs. Koch was busy sweeping puddles so people wouldn't step in them and the front gates were already open and we proceeded as far back as the Mrs. Klause Kitchen in anticipation of Voyage. Rob Leclair had stated he would be comming down as well with one or two of his family and I kept a eye out but had left mention of being around Voyage around 2pm

The ropes dropped and we were third train out on Voyage in the backseat. Im not going into a blow by blow of Voyage as its heads above any other coaster IMHO wood or steel. But we rode three times before the line grew a bit.

Beings it was only Mid 60's-Low 70's at any point in the day, Splashin Safari never had many people and therefore the park was a bit buisier than normal.

We ventured up for a Eagles flight ride which by far was the best since Golden Tickets 2001. We had altitude and some snappage all over the place. Nothing major on the snaps but It was running like it's old self Smile

Rob and I ventured over into Holidogs Funtown and played in the fountains for a bit but didn't do anything else up there in HD or the 4th of july. We went over to Raven which had one train and a 45 minute wait.

Im as possitive as anyone on HW but when needed that second train should run at least half a day. We decided to skip Raven for Legend and found a 10 minute wait with two trains, No gripe from me.

Legend was running its best for daytime rides I've ridden it in the past two years. Honestly I think the two trains run very different or something because I've had a couple rides this year that were very shakey and kinda slow for Legend and others that were near normal for the coaster. It's a woodie so who knows?

Lunch and my only complaint of the day.
Alamo 12:30pm pretty busy considering it's lunch rush and Splashin Safari's deserted.

We waited and waited and upon seeing whats going on, It isn't the people workings fault but the way the service is conducted. Orders were comming out at windows down the way and people six-eight ahead were getting served after those that were six behind em. It worked out for us as Rob still waiting for his food although he ordered ahead of me told me what he wanted to drink and I got the drinks and forks and such while he waited which is also in a very small area that has a pretty big line to get a drink and your forks ect.

Not that this is the norm for HW but it seems to me to have been screwed up for a while now. They should have people ordering at each end with people picking up in the middle or something to keep people at least somwhat in order and not having orders comming out three windows down where the people waiting can't hear the call.

The girls and Guys working Alamo were doing all they could and I don't fault them and in the end it wasn't a very big deal. Just a unpleasant observation.

Wow, I went on too long on that one.

Well we figure we can make another Voyage ride as the line is only about 15 minutes and still make the meeting time. The ride broke down just as we about to board our very first front seat ride on it. It was short lived, but we were worried because last visit it went down for the day. Front seat ride was neat on visuals but I prefer the second seat for airtime and ride on the return. For Rob its all backseat baby and I don't dissagree. I just like the second seat a bit more.

We seen Rob Lec from the station and went down and met him and his wife. Wow, Robs a great guy as I've stated in other TR's at other parks. We've known each other since opening night of SOB and met on URC. But you know what they say, Behind every good man is a woman and Rob Lec's wife was every bit as outstandingly pleasant to be around as Rob himself.

April hasn't shown up by 3:00 Don't worry april, We all took another Voyage ride in this time frame and then headed up the hill. I mentioned a Eagles Flight ride and Robs Wife says, Yeah, I love them! I like her already! After another great ride we head over and Rob Lec tries to get his wife to ride the Liberty Launch. She don't know it only blast up instead of raising and dropping like Drop Zone so she ops out.

ROB AND ROB take their LL ride and I got it all on video.

I mentioned to Rob Lec and Wife about the Mrs. Klaus Kitchen and all the old trains and stuff and glassblowing shop and they said neat as Rob had never seen it. I opted for a smoke while they looked around thinking they'd be out in five or ten minutes. We'll Rob and I ended up going in as well for the last 10 minutes or so.

A Raven ride and Mrs. Leclair's statement was the best one yet. IT's like a really fast ADVENTURE EXPRESS! (A ride she loves) so she loved Raven. I never got her comment on Legend but I heard no complaints.

I mentioned Gobbler Getaway to Rob and his Wife. Mrs. Leclair didn't know what it was so we explained it was like Scoobys haunted mantion but without guns. She said cool and we all went to ride.

VOILA! April and Dave Altolf are right inside the entrance to GG!

For the next three hours we just all enjoyed each others company, took some Voyage rides and chatted. With a half hour to go Rob and his wife were ready to leave before it got to late for the long drive and April and Dave were gonna score some Legend and Raven rides. while Rob and I squeezed as many Voyage rides as we could get in the last half hour (6) 12 for the day including the double ride (Which I had no problem with) at the last rides of the day.

We walked up the hill with all the employees walking down the hill saying Night, have a safe trip as we went up top.

At the fountain Dave and April were still there, We chatted about the fountain a bit and then went to exit only to find Will Koch and another half hour of chatting Smile

No other park I know of regularly has OWNERS or Presidents mingeling with is customers and crew all day long almost every day. I've not been there once when I haven't see at least one of them, Usually both at some point in the day and usually several times durring the day.

Anyhow, This ran rather long. but I was extremely pleased April and Dave showed up and that Rob and his wife came down. I was so pleased to meet them as a couple and if I had a wife Im sure we'd be having dinners and playing cards about now. GREAT PEOPLE, Great times in a GREAT PARK!

How do you beat that?

Charles A. Nungester

*** Edited 9/7/2006 10:54:55 AM UTC by Charles Nungester***

Lord Gonchar's avatar

After a uneventful trip down to HW we arrived about 930 Central time and went to get out tickets. They gave rob a discount on my coaster club card as being a guest of a enthusiast. COOL. second time this year they've done that!

Yeah, they did that for us too!

In fact they put all 5 of us through at the discount rate based on my CBuzz Club card. That was a tidy savings. :)

And see Gonch, I call the good with the bad (The lunch fiasco) :)

I did fail to mention Voyage was pretty shaky from the third 90 to the lifthill flyover..

Not painfully so but very noticable.


Lord Gonchar's avatar
I thought Voyage was frickin' incredible. I honestly went in expecting not to like it, but that thing is just sick. Easily a number one coaster. So much so that I may have to bump all my others down a notch to make the difference in greatness more evident.

Hades was a near miss in my book, but TGG got it right this time and HW reaps the rewards. :)

Oh I loved Hades and Avalanche even more (Don't ask me why) But Voyage is in its own catagory IMHO.

You really couldnt be more satisfied, freaked out and know it owns you from the third hill on from a coaster and the first three hills has everything Timbers is famous for.

Nobody even mentions the first couple hills after the triple down, Them are float heaven up front! and there isn't a bad seat on the whole train (Meaning you get something everywhere) The only other coaster I've ridden like that was Avalanche.


Lord Gonchar's avatar
Oh yeah, Avalanche owns the Dells. Without question.

I heard how Voyage gives a better ride in the back, but I preferred the front for exactly the reasons you mention. The air was so much better.

I do have to admit I expected a little more from the triple down. I was thinking of KW's Jackrabbit and the double down and adding another 'down' to it. Voyage's triple down is much less pronounced, but the third down is a cool bit of air.

I generally think the 90 degree turns are overrated. They don't really add much to the ride for me personally, but they don't hurt so what the hell, huh? :)

I can say though that I didn't quite 'get' both Raven and Legend. Decent enough rides, but I'm not sure where they got their rep from. If I had hit HW pre-Voyage, I probably would have come away a little disappointed with the coaster offerings, but thankfully Voyage more than makes up for it.

Well Ravens a ride like Phoenix to me. Everyone likes it. Some love it and nobody absolutely hates it.

Legend. If you'd rode the G train the second season you would have had the WTH just happend? attitude you get from Voyage Expecially at a event. I've had rides that almost equalled that on the PTC's but without a divider the lap riding latterals were insane and the whole train looked like it was doing the wave over the double up.

Chuck, wo at least was happy you were blown away by something there :)

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Oh, it was a cool little park. No doubt one I'd be glad to return to at any opportunity.

The thing that struck me though was that the park wins the 'friendliest park' award all the time. I found the ride ops to be very average. They did their jobs, often stacked trains and that was that. However, the people who interact more directly with the public were most friendly. Manager-types roaming the pathways making conversation, food workers were great, shop attendents were good. I think it's a case of delivering where it makes the most impact.

That's not to call them bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not exactly outstanding. Not that it really affected my day either way - just an observation.

As unpopular as it may be to say, I found the staff at Beech Bend the next day to be superior - top to bottom. Most ride ops were ridiculously polite and asking how you liked the ride, smiling and joking - just a really good time. More along the lines of what I expected from HW ops based on the awards and reviews.

But yeah, that's stretching for criticism and if that's the worst one can do (the ride ops were competent) then the park is doing something right. :)

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I feel like I've walked in on a private conversation between you two. :)

Chuck, how do you get so much out of the flyers at HW? No matter how hard I try, they never want to snap, just wobble a bit.

I had a similar experience at the Alamo the weekend before. They were calling out orders out of the same window I was waiting at to place an order. It seemed very disorganized.

I didn't notice any extra shaking on Voyage, but man those out-bound hills are delivering now. For the most part, I agree about the 90 degree turns, except I love the third one. The train just rips through that one. The first two are too slow and would benefit from the banking being reduced to produce some laterals. Although that might hurt the trains momentum up to the block brake. That twisintg, dipping action out of the second 90 into the tunnel before the block brake is delicious and I'd hate to lose any of that goodness. :)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Matt, You gotta remember, I've had a ton of practice on 8 tub scooters in the last two years.

And I don't mean we snapped em like Knoebels.

We have had some mega snaps on Strickers and Conneauts tho.

For some reason this TR is missing the last four or five paragraphs. It further explains why I am among those that call this one of the frienliest parks out there and some other things. I'll try to edit is or add Pt. 2


Edited and complete now.


They also gave my buddy the discount off of my CBuzz card which was awesome after our long drive through some pretty horrible weather.

I'm a little late to the Voyage Love Fest since I finally got to ride it a little over a week ago, but damn! We started out in the back seat for our first few rides which were amazing. Unfortunately by the time we tried out the front it had started raining pretty hard and detracted from the whole experience. Halfway through that ride I was hanging on for dear life and thinking "Thank goodness they're only running one train because there's no way those brakes will stop us!" That was the most intense, out of control and scary ride I've ever had on a coaster. We immediately got back in line! :)

Millennium Force Laps-169 **Vertigo Launches-21** Dragster Launches-53
LOL Macho.
I've heard several reports of people getting rain rides that they thought the end was inevitable and it would never stay on the tracks.

It kinda seems that way anyhow but I've had some better and worse rides on it at times.

It really is an incredible ride. I start stuttering and sputtering when I try to describe it to people. ;) I loved the merchandise too. I bought my required trinity: Coffee mug, refrigerator magnet and T shirt. :)

Millennium Force Laps-169 **Vertigo Launches-21** Dragster Launches-53
I was at HW Sat and Sun over Labor Day weekend, but I did not write a TR. I did want to say however that The Voyage is running much faster now than it was during HoliWood Nights. Before it has some good air and some okay air and it was just a crazy ride. Now every spot that could have air has fantastic air and the ride is near perfect. The 3 trouble spots for jolting before (reverse bank, bunny hop before tunnel exiting the turn around, and bunny hop before last 90 degree bank) are no longer a problem. There are a few spots that shake a bit that did not before including the bottom of the first two hills, but it is not an issue yet and I am sure maintenance will take care of it before it is. The ride is pretty damn close to perfect now. It is like an entire 6442 feet of the absolute best individual parts of the best woodies combined into one long ride, and then they crank up the speed untill someone says "when", but he does not say "when" till you hit the brake run.

As far as coasters that deliver in every seat, The Voyage and Avalanche make my short list along with Thunderhead. And as for my favorite seat on The Voyage, at HoliWood nights it was the back for the air. Now there is so much air in every seat, you really don't loose much in the front and you get the great visual of so much coaster track going by so fast for so long that I prefer to sit there.

Agreed, It and Avalanche are probably the only two coasters that everything on them delivers. Timbers does durring Timbersfest but unless your lucky to get a rain ride or something, It can be a half arsed ride.

Hades is great but its all speed and one great float of air. The tunnel is awesome but theres a couple semi dead spots. Legend can and so does Raven.

IMHO everything else is a step down, (I haven't ridden the Pacific NW coasters or silverwood)

For those not thinking the 90*s are very good, Look down at the walkboard next to the track, It looks like your face is only a couple inches from it!


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