Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana, USA
One great thing about heading to Holiday World from Kentucky Kingdom is that there is a time zone difference that works in your favor. Still decked out in our waterpark clothes, with the time change, it only took us about 15 minutes to get to Holiday World…but we got there with it sprinkling. Didn’t know if or how that would affect anything. We pulled into the parking lot across the street and headed over. The ticket booths were all closed, so we had to go to customer service to get our tickets, and off we went to Splashin’ Safari.
After getting a locker we headed over to Mammoth. Both of us got in the single rider line and stood there for a bit. Now, I realize single rider lines may or may not be a way to shorten a line…but the girl working the line was sending plenty of rafts out with only a few people in (and they weren’t large people, so you know they were way under the weight limit). The single rider line didn’t move for quite a while, but then a guy came and took over and took full advantage of the single rider line. Granted, our total wait time was maybe 25 minutes, but the 2nd person filling up rafts was much better. Isaac and I got on back to back rafts with different groups, thankfully both of us getting fun families.
Mammoth-The water is not heated. And it was cold. BUT! Mammoth is an amazing ride! Lots of airtime and aggression, and just all around fun! I got slapped in the face a few times with water I wasn’t expecting, and the ending drenched us, but it was so worth it because the ride was so great.
We went over to Wildebeest next, and because the wait was so short we got in the regular line. I’d ridden this it’s first year for ‘ERT’ (coaster enthusiasts love them some water coasters so there was nothing E about it), and it was loads of fun.
We got in line for the Funnel but the line was soooo…long and ops didn’t seem to be pushing it thru, so we went over and did the slide racers instead, while hitting up Bahari’s warm water a bit and then Zambezi Zinger. After that we were done with the water park, so we changed clothes and headed back to the dry side of the park.
Once we were dry and read to ride, I took Isaac on his inaugural Voyage ride. We rode in the front seat of the last car. Voyage is still amazing. Yes, they slow you down on the MCBR. Too much if you ask me, and, yes, the triple down is no longer what it used to be. But the ride is still killer. And mayhaps they’ll figure out a way to turn down or turn off the MCBR.
I was hungry, so we stopped at the Plymouth Cafe. Isaac has some food issues, but didn’t really seem to be in to anything they had here, so I got a ‘feast’ and sat to eat. And this is where I must complain a bit.
This was my first time at Holiday World without it being an event. Honestly, for the most part, ops were slow. People can complain all they want about Six Flags parks, but this was as slow as that. And it wasn’t just a one off thing, it was pretty much the entire park. Yes, the park was clean. Yes, the park is nice, and fun. But ops were much to be desired. And I will say that many people that I texted confirmed that on any non-HWN or event visits, it has been the same for them. Bummer.
And another reason for my ranting, with my turkey, which was quite good, I got a gigantic piece of just slimy skin underneath all of the meat. I could and should have taken it back, and I’m sure there wouldn’t have been an issue, but Isaac was hungry, and we wanted to ride Thunderbird, so all the way up to Thunderbird we went, which had about a 40 minute wait.
Thunderbird-I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. I like wing coasters, and this is my fourth. We lucked out and got put in the front seat on the right side. The launch was more forceful than I had imagined it to be, and every element was great, from the first inversion to the slow roll, the loop, 0G roll, everything. And the station and queue are very well done and classy. I loved it.
Isaac stopped to get BBQ that smelled really good. But there was a patron in line that caused, or should I say allowed, a very uncomfortable and unfortunate incident to surround them, so Isaac decided to get in line, and we headed up to get something at Kringle’s instead.
Next up was a front and back ride on Raven. I love that coaster and usually end up marathoning it at the end of the nights during HWN because of no line and I like sitting in the front in the dark. It was running really well, great airtime, and when it kicked in to high gear after hill 5, especially in the front, it just takes off until the brakes. I love it.
Afterwards we headed over the Legend to try it out since it’s changes. You can see all of the new wood. I wish I’d taken more pictures but whatever. I’ve always preferred Legend to Raven (which isn’t saying much since they’r both amazing). We rode in the back first. The ride was out of control and as good as my best rides on it. There was more airtime and the differences in the ending are noticeable. I really liked it, as did Isaac, so we went back around and rode in the front. I just love me some Legend, and that ending, with helices and everything is just nuts.
We walked back and were going to go do Thunderbird then end the night on Voyage, however I suggested Voyage first for a night run, and maybe a possible stop on the way back out of the park. Night on Voyage near the front was great for me. Unfortunately, Isaac got a kidney punch from the divider in the middle of the ride.
We went back up to Thunderbird, but near the entrance we were told it was closed early for fireworks, so instead, we headed back towards the gate as Voyage was closing then too.
We didn’t stay for fireworks because we had to get back to Louisville, plus I had to Hotwire a room. That hour of time we gained? Yeah, it kinda sucked losing that, but whatever. We had a really great day at two good parks, both of which really need to kind of work on their operations. I wouldn’t mind living in a part of the country that was close to Voyage, Legend, Raven, Storm Chaser, Lightning Run, and Thunder Run. All VERY amazing rides to be close to. And we still had another day on our trip allotted to Kings Island, but would the weather cooperate?
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