H.W. Sat. 7/26/08 - A Tale Of Two Coasters

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:40 PM
It was the best of rides. It was the worst of rides. Ok, maybe not the worst but close. Read on for the explanation.

My lovely bride and I arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in North Evansville around 9:00pm Friday evening. It’s a very nice place to stay (nice rooms, friendly staff) and it’s cheaper than any of the hotels near Holiday World. Of course, you have about a 35-40 minute drive to the park. So, give up something to get something.

Up early on Saturday and head out. As we neared H.W. we saw The Voyage towering above the treetops. We pulled into the parking lot which was already about 2/3 full; got our tickets and entered the park just after 9:30. We then headed straight to The Voyage. I must say this is one extremely impressive structure. With the turns right around the station and the massive lift hill, you can’t help but get excited. We couldn’t wait to ride it but unfortunately we had to as they were in the process of adding a 2nd train. After about a 15 minute wait, they opened the ride and in we went. I like the way H.W. has fans in many of their queues to help keep people cool and it came in handy Saturday as the temps were near 90 and the humidity about 95%. With much of Voyage’s queue line being in the station, it kept us out of the sun. The drawback was that it seemed very stuffy in there. Oh, well; give up something to get something.

We decided we wanted the first ride to be as memorable as possible so we opted to wait for the front row. As we pulled out of the station and headed up the lift hill our anticipation was at a fever pitch. When we crested the lift hill, our hands went up and the coaster went down – fast! It’s hard to remember what happened at this point as I was laughing too hard to pay too much attention. What I do remember was the exceptional airtime, the incredible speed, the awesome turns, and the un-ending length. When we finally pulled into the station I looked at my wife and saw what I believed to be the same astounded looked on her face as was on mine. We both agreed that was the most amazing wooden coaster ride we’d ever had. It took our breath away. This truly was “the best of rides.”

Before attempting another voyage, we decided we needed food. When we found something we liked, we were right near The Legend so we did a quick ride there. And as expected, Legend delivered. This was always my 2nd favorite wooden coaster and riding it again was great.

Done at the Legend, we headed back to The Voyage. This time we didn’t wait for the front row and went 2nd row. Now is when things take a turn as we were expecting another phenomenal ride; however, we were sorely disappointed. For 2+ minutes we were rattled, shaken, and battered until we almost couldn’t stand it anymore. When it was over, I again looked over to my lovely wife and saw her astonished face. Was this the same coaster? After the amazing first ride, we couldn’t believe how rough the 2nd ride was. Here was the “worst of rides.”

Now we thought for a bit and decided to ride again but try another seat. So, for the 3rd ride, we went 2nd car, 1st row. This turned out to be middle-of-the-road compared to the first 2 rides. Not as great as the first but not quite as rough as the second either.

Now I want to say right here that for us, anything but the front row is too rough. In a thread in the General Forum, I asked about Voyage’s roughness but was told by many that it’s “intense” and not rough. Well, I’m sorry, but for us, it was rough. We realize many people like that and that’s great, but not for us.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled trip report…

Having just done 2 Voyage rides and the temp and humidity getting to us, we were pretty exhausted so we headed back to our hotel for some respite. Returning to the park around 6:45, we headed straight back to Voyage with the intent of getting in a couple more rides with hopefully one in the dark. Of course, we had no intention of riding anywhere but front row. Getting in line, we had the longest wait of the day. During this wait, there was some type of mechanical issue because nothing ran for about 10-15 minutes. By the time the ride was going again and having such a long wait (1+ hour) we decided this would probably be our last Voyage ride. We boarded a little after 8pm, and while it wasn’t completely dark, once in the forest it was dark enough. And, as hoped, the Voyage delivered another remarkable ride.

When we exited, the queue for Voyage was very long so we decided to leave The Voyage and head back to The Legend. Unlike Voyage’s queue, we practically walked onto Legend. I guess everyone wanted to get the last rides in on the new ride. With the short waits for Legend, we did two rides back-to-back. Our only disappointment was the lights were on in the tunnels. Being well past 8:30 and getting darker, we thought the lights would be off making for cool night rides but, alas, no.

I’m assuming some of you are thinking by now, “Hey, no Raven rides?” and that was our thought too. Earlier in the day we were going to ride Raven but the line was too long. But at this time (about 9:00pm) the line was almost none existent. So, on to Raven and now it was nice and dark. We ended our 1-day Holiday World trip with two exceptional rides on Raven in the dark. One couldn’t really ask for a better ending.

As always, we had a fantastic day at Holiday World. Friendly staff. Free soda. Good food at a reasonable price. Immaculate park. A true family park.

And our conclusion for The Voyage is it is “The Best of Rides” – but only in the front row. *** Edited 7/29/2008 5:43:15 PM UTC by DEK***

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:16 PM
I'd be very curious to see what you'd think of a back-seat Voyage ride...it's awesome.

Roughness is relative, so I'm not going to blast you for finding the Voyage rough on some seats. I am glad that the ride did meet you & your wife's hopes/expectations once you found a "comfortable seat".

And there are plenty of hotel options much closer to HW that won't cost you an arm and a leg. Evansville is quite the drive, considering you enjoy taking a break during the day. The difference you would have paid for the room surely wouldn't have been more than you probably spent on gas...

Nice TR!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008 6:05 PM
Yeah, back row BLOWS the front OUT OF THE WATER.

When I was there in June I rode once in the front row and the rest of my rides(nearly 30) in the last car only.

What I did find is that one train was extremely rough and the other was very smooth. Towards the end I would not ride on the one train. I would wait so I could get a ride on the good train. Trains A and B were on the track that day. I believe it was train B that was much worse.

So maybe your bad ride was in the train I'm talking about.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008 6:31 PM
DEK you may not be aware that it can make quite a difference whether you're sitting on top of the wheels or not. In the front seat, you were not sitting directly above the wheels thus making for a smoother cushier ride. In the second seat, you were sitting right above the wheels which allowed you to feel a "rougher" ride. I've not ridden Voyage this year, but last year it felt relatively smooth to me and I rode all over the trains. To each his own though. The Intamin woodies and GCI's might be more your style as they tend to be really buttery smooth IMO.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 10:35 AM
Overall we were blown away by The Voyage. It's a fantastic coaster; even if we have to ride in the front row. I am hoping to get back to H.W. with my kids in a couple weeks. If I do, I will definitely try the back seat.

Emiroo: I did a lot of searching and found no hotels closer to H.W. than Evansville that I could afford and that had rooms available. The rooms that were available were double what I spent; which was way more than what I spent on gas. And the drive actually wasn't bad. Was only about 35 minutes and very easy down I-64. The hotel was actually right at the I-64 / 41 interchange. So we didn't have to go all the way into Evansville.

BamBam: Maybe the train had something to do with it; don't know. We didn't pay any attention to which train we had for any of the rides.

thrillerman1: I am aware of the seat-over-wheels scenario. That's the main reason we tried the front seat of the 2nd car. It was smoother but still a little rough for our liking.

I guess we're just getting too old and need to have our coasters as smooth as possible. ;-)

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