Lazy day at Holiday World, 8/2/03

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, August 5, 2003 7:30 AM
My second trip to Holiday World began at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2. My wife and I just got a new dog last week - she's a 3-year-old Corgi and she's great. But I had to get up early to drive her to a friend's house before we left. We could have taken her the night before, but we couldn't bear to leave her for two nights. ;)

My brother and sister-in-law arrived to pick us up at about 6:45 a.m., and we headed off from Columbus. It started raining as we left the city, and did not let up until we stopped for breakfast at Bob Evans at Fields-Ertel Road, just past PKI. I had oatmeal with brown sugar, bacon and an English muffin, plus a Coke. Mmm.

The sun came out as we were leaving and our hopes started to rise. We stopped again for drinks just outside of Louisville (at the water tower museum, which was cool). I was quite happy and surprised to find Ale-8-One at the gas station there.

But as we left Louisville, the rain started again, harder than before, and it lasted. Oh well, we thought, at least the crowds will be down. Uh oh, they had a cop directing traffic at a stop sign two miles before the park. Not good. When we turned the corner where the park is, we were stunned. Last time we were here, there was only one parking lot, and it was only half full. This time, that lot was completely full, and a new lot across the street was half full.

Depressed, we pulled into a spot, with the rain coming down hard. A check of the temperature revealed it was only 70 degrees out - and we had planned on hitting the water park first. We sat in the car for quite some time, deciding what to do. We considered finding a movie theater and then coming back in the evening, or even ditching our plans, driving to Indianapolis and selling our pre-bought HW tickets on the Internet.

But before we did anything, we needed to pee. Badly. We drove to a nearby grocery store, but they had no restroom. So we went into the Circle S ("Something is afoot at the Circle S"), where there was a line of about 10 people for the single restroom. Twenty minutes later, we had all gone, and I was leisurely strolling about the store, when suddenly I had this incredible urge to throw up! I ran outside, and it went away quickly. Strangely, this problem would plague me throughout the day. I think my body was just screwed up from getting up so darn early.

It was still raining, so we decided to drive around. We went west toward Lincoln's boyhood home, and found it's a beautiful scenic drive through a forest. We also saw lots of really nice schools, I assume paid for by HW's taxes. We had just been commenting that the area, despite being in the country, did not look like the typical redneck area, then we turned the corner and saw a bunch of trailers, yards full of junk and a Camaro with huge tractor tires. lol.

Then, the rain stopped, the sun came out, the temperature rose, and we sped back to HW, our minds made up.

We found a better parking space than we had had before, and took the short walk to the front gate. The ticket-taker was extremely friendly. I found throughout the day that the older the worker was, the more friendly he or she was. Though in general, even the teens here are friendlier than those at any other park.

Even though it was still a bit chilly for swimming, we decided to keep with our plan and hit the water park first. The girls wanted food, but my brother and I weren't hungry yet, so they went to get food while we jumped in line for the Legend. We waited about 30 minutes for front seat.

I love how you can put your hand on the supports as the train passes and feel them move. I didn't like the new addition to the station, which added several switchbacks in there.

Anyway, the ride is *amazingly* better with the new trains. I didn't feel a hint of roughness. The water slides add great headchoppers, and the drop into the underground tunnel is so excellent, as is the "slalom" ending. I thought for a couple of hours that it would take over my No. 1 spot from the Raven...

After that ride, my brother got some corn dogs and fries. That's what I wanted as well, but the smell of them made me kind of sick, so I had to get ice cream. Which was good, but it wasn't corn dogs. :)

Next, we went into the water park. We crammed all of our stuff into lockers and headed off for Zinga. There was a huge crowd watching people go back and forth in the funnel. The line was quite long... probably 20 minutes to get a tube and 20 more in the actual line.

The slide itself is pretty fun, but nowhere near the best slide I've ever ridden. I wish all four of us adults could have ridden at once, as we would've been able to get higher in the funnel. I really did not like the sheets of water that you have to pass through on so many slides here, because it was icy cold, and I was trying not to lose my contacts. But the drop into the funnel was worth the ride alone, as it's loaded with air.

After that ride, we were so freaking cold and violently shaking, but after about 3 minutes we were fine. We moved on to Zoombabwe, which also had a very long line. From the top of the slide, you could hear my sister-in-law screaming the whole way down. :)

This is a cool slide, but I like to be in the open air better. The faces on the inside are cool, but I was getting so much water in my eyes that I had to close them halfway through to avoid losing my contacts.

After that ride, we tried to ride the trio of short slides, but they were closed. We moved on to the next multi-person tube slide, and as we were in line there, we looked at the closed ride, and we saw a woman strapped to a board with a neck brace being lowered down the stairs by medics. I never found out what happened to her... maybe she slipped on the stairs?

This next tube slide (don't know the name) was the best one, I think, because all four of us could ride at once. Therefore we really got up on the sides of the slide. I was on the top on every corner... have no idea how that worked out.

My wife and sister-in-law decided to hit the lazy river then, while my brother and I changed to go back to HW. We both felt kinda dirty after changing in that big room packed full of naked old men and kids.

So, we dropped our locker keys off with the ladies (literally... we dropped them off the bridge as they passed under us on the lazy river) and took off for the Raven. We knew where the money seat was, so we waited about 20 minutes for back seat.

This ride is just so amazing. The air is great, but the best part is after The Drop, the ride tears through the trees like it's out of control. Rides just don't get any more fun than this.

After that ride, the line had lengthened, so we went to find food. Stopped to play skee-ball some... the lanes here are great. 270 was my top score.

We made our way to the big pizza restaurant (Santa's Place? something like that) and I got a giant slice of sausage 'za for $2-something... really cheap considering its size. Unfortunately I couldn't eat most of it, because as soon as I took a bite, I felt sick again. Grrr.

We watched the new S&S launch ride for a minute, but didn't ride, as the line was long, and we were feeling lazy. Actually, we didn't ride any flat rides. We just strolled around the park, drinking free pop and checking things out. Halloswings is beautiful, especially at night.

As we passed the water park, we ran into the girls, who were changed and ready to go. We got in line for the Legend again (sans my wife, who's not much into serious thrill rides). We chose the back seat this time, and I thought it was 100% better back there... great air once again, and the laterals are insane. The track was creaking and screeching like the train was going to fly off. My brother and sister-in-law did not like the ride back there, though - too rough, they said.

Time for more food. ;) I hadn't planned to get anything, but I tasted my wife's blueberry ice cream, and had to get some for myself. Mmm! My sister-in-law got a BBQ chicken sammich, and then, we all shared a plate of...mmm... fried Oreos. I could eat only one, because of my stomach, but it was sooo good. Like a little fried piece of chocolate cake. Excellent. Not as good as fried pickles though.

Also, I won my wife a stuffed cow by knocking all the milk bottles off the pedestal... with one bean bag, first try. I rule.

Now it was starting to get dark, and we walked up the hill to Raven again. My brother and his wife went to ride, while I decided to wait with my wife. We talked about all the annoying people we were seeing... rednecks, mouth-breathers, inconsiderate smokers, cradle-robbers, punks, teenyboppers, etc. :)

Thirty minutes later, they got off the ride, and the girls went to wait for us while my brother and I rode again. Now it was pitch black. Last time I was here, the park closed at 8 p.m., so it was only dusk when we got our last ride. This time, it was inky dark when we took our seats in the very back. And after The Drop, you can't see your hand in front of your face. Scary, excellent. Better than the Beast at night.

When we exited, it was still 45 minutes till closing, but there was almost no line. We considered riding again, but we were tired, and we were all looking forward to hanging out at the hotel (later we'd regret this... read on). We played some more skee-ball, and then exited and started the 30-minute drive to the Holiday Inn Express in Tell City.

We got there and we were all dead tired, just wanted to sleep. My sister-in-law had reserved two rooms for us. However, the hotel only had record of one room. All their other rooms were reserved, and all the other hotels in town were booked. No answer at a nearby bed & breakfast, either. The person on duty was very unhelpful and probably believed that only one room was booked. No one had brought the confirmation e-mail, which I checked Sunday night and which indeed confirmed that she had booked 2 rooms. Anyway, we were understandably pissed, but the room that was available had a pull-out bed, at least.

So the hotel clerk offered to send up extra pillows and blankets "right away." A half-hour later, we still had none, so we called her. A few minutes later, she arrived with a garbage bag full of blankets and pillows. Classy. And lemme tell you, it's no fun sharing a hotel room when you had plans *not* to share one..............

On top of all that, the hotel clerk called us at 4:30 a.m. and said "The police are here." My brother was like, "What?" and she said, "Your lights are on." They called us at 4:30 a.m. to inform us that the little interior light on the car was still on.

Needless to say, we got out of there ASAP in the morning (after taking advantage of the free breakfast of course), and headed home, stopping only at Penn Station outside of Cincinnati for lunch and for gas near Washington Court House in Ohio. I think we should get our money back, plus two free rooms for our inconvenience, don't you think?

Anyway, the HW part of the trip was great, as expected. Thanks for reading.

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 7:48 AM
You really should call 1-800-HOLIDAY and complain to guest services about the problems you had at that hotel. I stayed there once for SRM a couple years ago and don't remember having any problems, but things can change over time. Great report--too bad you didn't get to ride more! Guess it just goes to show that you can still have a good time in that park even when it's crowded. When you combine great rides and great employees, that's what you get!
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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 8:04 AM
We stayed at the same hotel in 2001 when we went to HW, and the exact same thing happened.... we booked two rooms but they had record of only one. That time, though, they had extra rooms available, so we got separate rooms.

But this time, after my sister-in-law made the reservations online, she called the hotel and confirmed that she had booked two rooms just to be sure. I don't know what their problem is.

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2003 8:12 AM
Sounds like you had a nice trip, aside from the morning weather and the Holiday Inn incident.

I've yet to make a trip up to Holiday World, so I'm think that 2004 SRM (if there is one) will be my first trip. I've only heard good things, and if their woodies are as good as everyone say they are, then I need to get up there ASAP.

Nice trip report!

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OoOoOo....Boulder Dash *Drools Excessively*
"That helix turns me on" - Nightride at CoasterCon

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Friday, March 12, 2004 4:04 PM
Sorry to bring this trip report back from the dead, but I was just reading some of my old reports and realized I never shared the shocking conclusion to this hotel saga.

Quick recap: The Holiday Inn Express in Tell City, IN, only held one room for us instead of two, and it was completely their fault. That, plus several other unprofessional things that happened, caused the hotel stay to be rather frustrating (read the TR if you're curious).

Anyway, the conclusion is, after several phone calls and an hour's worth of arguing, Holiday Inn decided to refund us... a whole 75% of the cost of the one room that we got. They didn't even give the one room to us for free.

Am I being unreasonable in expecting to get that room free, at the very least?

I mean, the other night I ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut, and it had the wrong toppings, which I was only *mildly* annoyed about - and yet, they sent out another pizza for free, AND they mailed me a coupon for a free pizza.

Apparently Holiday Inn does not understand how customer service works, and they lost four customers for life because of it.

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Saturday, March 13, 2004 6:17 PM
That does suxor... Remind me to never stay there when I hit HW. I guess I'll stick to the campground.... :)
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Saturday, March 13, 2004 7:39 PM
Satan's Lodge, just across from the park, and the Baymont Inn & Suites in Dale are the two places I've stayed and have never had a problem. I highly recommend those two.

mOOSH

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Saturday, March 13, 2004 8:14 PM
Satan's Lodge?
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Monday, March 15, 2004 7:25 PM
Well thanks a lot for warning me about the Holiday Inn in Santa Claus. I'm going to HW and IB last week of June and since I know that Holiday Inn is a terrible place I'll avoid it, both in Monticello and Santa Claus.
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