Midwest Coaster Trip Part V: SF St. Louis & Holiday World

Associated parks:

After driving all the way from Dallas, hitting both parks in Branson I then drove all the way to Eureka, MO and actually made it to SF St. Louis and they were open for another 30 minutes. To bad it was pouring like crazy. So I decided to stay at the hotel right next to the park and hit it tomorrow and finally go to Holiday World for the first time.

The next morning was the 9th of June. A little over a week ago now. I got up and made a trip to the gas station and Walmart to make sure I wouldn’t be making any major stops between the two parks today. I then headed back to the hotel and caught the hotel’s shuttle service over to the park. While I was waiting for the park to open my wife called me and told me she needed me home earlier than she had anticipated and I was going to have to hustle if I was still going to hit Holiday World.

When the park opened I decided to go in a counter-clockwise fashion and hit all the coasters once and the bolt for Santa Claus, Indiana. First up was Batman:TR (Namtab), but it wasn’t open yet so I kept on going until I ran into Ninja. I took the very first train of the day in the front seat all by myself. This Arrow/Vekoma was actually pretty good. I thought it had a fun design and actually ran pretty well. A good start to the day.

Went back to check on Batman but still no luck so I was off to find the mine train that I saw from Ninja. I soon found the River King Mine Train and off I went on another front ride. I don’t remember a lot about this ride so I guess it didn’t blow me away like Thunderation.

The Screamin Eagle was calling my name. After a little bit of backtracking I found the entrance to this baby. Another front row ride. This John C. Allen coaster is incredible! For being so early in the morning I couldn’t believe I was getting the floater air that I got on this machine. This coaster is also very deceptive as it goes clear back in the park and gives you an awesome visual of the Boss at the turnaround. I wish I would have taken a spin on the back of this ride, but I had better plans on the back burner, right!?

On to one of the three woodies I was really looking forward to riding today. Screamin Eagle wasn’t on that list but it should have been. I took a second to last seat on the Boss. This coaster is enormous! It goes all over the place! The first drop was breathtaking and then your speeding along wondering what comes next another little drop which hands out a little bit of air and then….shake, rattle, and try to roll. What!? The rest of the ride I was just trying to figure out how to ride this pissed off Boss. We got back to the station and I couldn’t believe this beautiful looking CCI coaster just gave me a crummy ride like that. I wouldn’t believe it. As I was walking out of the station I saw a kid in the second row and he was a single, so I asked him if I could join him. No problem. I had to give the Boss a chance to redeem itself with a ride up next to the front. Here we go. Same great start and what the ….? I don’t get it. I swear like two years ago some guy marathoned on this puppy. How? Was it a different ride back then? Has it gotten worse with age? The Boss was fun in parts but it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

Mr. Freeze: After my delusions with the Boss I actually walked right by the entrance to Mr. Freeze without seeing it and ended up in the kiddy land area. Oh well I thought maybe I can get the Acme Gravity something or other kiddie coaster credit. Guess not. To big for that one and it was time to work my way back to find the Mr. Freeze entrance. Once I saw it, I couldn’t believe I walked right by it. I guess the lack of sleep was catching up. The freeze line was starting to freeze up. Once I got into the station I found out why. 1 train operation, not good for this ride. I quickly used my single rider status to get on the next train and get my second Mr. Freeze ride of the whole trip. This one mirrors the one in Texas and is the same great ride. I really love this coaster. Why haven’t more of these popped up at Six Flag parks? If they run both trains it works pretty good and the tophat to boosting freefall is cool. Then the best is doing it all again backwards. Loved it.

At this point I should have been done with the park but I still had to hit Batman and I could see once I got closer that it was finally open. I got in line and had about a 15 minute wait. This park was starting to fill up and I needed to be moving on. I got in with a group of three for the back row. Another fantastic ride on this B&M masterpiece. And I enjoy the mirrored image just because it throws me off a little than the normal Batman that most of us have ridden hundreds of times.

Time to leave St. Louis behind and head to the Hoosier state, but before I do I have an observation or two to make about this park and would appreciate any comments or insights. The first thing I noticed were how long the lines were. Not that there were a lot of people or I had to wait a ton, but the walk just to get to Screamin Eagle, Boss, Mr. Freeze, and Batman seemed to be endless. Has anyone else noticed this? These just seemed way longer than any other park I have been to. I thought this was a really nice park and besides the long walks I really enjoyed the setting.

When I got out of the park I didn’t want to wait for the hotel shuttle so I walked back to the hotel and hit the road. I didn’t take too long at Six Flags but it took a little longer than expected so I didn’t know how much time I would have at Holiday World since my wife needed me home earlier. I hit the road and got to the exit for Holiday World and decided I would have enough time to hit Raven and Legend probably twice each. This was just a rough guess since I had no idea how busy Holiday World is or can be. The drive to Holiday World reminded me of my drive to Beech Bend. Out in the middle of the rolling hills and forests and all of a sudden you hit an amusement park. I love it! Great location for a hidden destination.

The first thing I saw was a pretty packed parking lot and so I thought, well I will even take one ride on the Raven and the Legend, just so I can finally conquer these highly touted masters of wood. I took my Pepsi can and military ID to the ticket booth and asked them for the best discount out of the two. The military ID gave me a little better discount and I was off.

Didn’t take me long to spot Raven’s entrance and I got in the station and it was basically empty. A couple of rows were taken but the back row was open. I got in line for the back just as a train was leaving. As that train full of people left another train pulled into the station and I was getting pumped. What? We can’t get on this one? Oh well. For some reason they were running the second train but they weren’t letting anyone on. Maybe this was just in case it got busy and then they wouldn’t have to take the time to transfer the train onto the track. Whatever I’d get the next one. Finally the train full of people came back and I sat down for my first ride on Raven! Well what can I say…my first ride on Raven was short lived. We went out of the station, took a left past the transfer house, and hit the lift. CA CHUNK! We hit the lift and that was it. No movement. Just my luck. I figured it was just a minor set back and we would be going up the lift hill in no time. About 5 minutes later maintenance was letting us out of our seats. Well I got to ride the first 100 feet or so of Raven.

I still had about an hour before I had to get on the road again so I headed over to Legend. This was about a two train wait and I took the second row for my first ride on this anticipated ride. They were only running one train, by the way. Up the lift we went and I looked over towards the Raven and saw our train stuck at the bottom of the lift. Once we made it to the top it was a nice leisurely turn to the right then a sweet diving turn into a tunnel to get this coaster humming along. Before I knew it we were flying right through the middle of Splashin Safari. I love how this coaster intertwines with a bunch of other rides. On the turn around out of Splashin Safari is a nice air time hill then over to the double helix. This is fun but I’m spoiled by the Beast. You fly out of the helix for a couple more turns and little pops of air and then on into the station. My first impression. I loved it! Some nice air, great visuals, and some crazy laterals yet it didn’t shake me to death like the Boss did earlier that day. For the next hour I had the Legend and I got acquainted a little more. I took three more ride on this beauty and on each ride I looked over towards the Raven to see the train still sitting at the bottom of the lift. I guess instead of two rides on Raven and two on Legend I got 4 on Legend and 100 feet of the Raven. All I saw of Holiday World was the walk to Raven, walk to Legend, and everything I saw from my rides on Legend. Holiday World is a neat little park from what I saw. Their water park is going to be massive! Everyone was really nice and the ride ops on Legend we doing a great job collecting everyone’s belongings beforehand and putting them in cubby holes on the opposite side so people didn’t have to climb across the train and store their stuff and then get back on the train. This saved loads of time. Well I guess I have a great excuse to get back to this oasis and I should have the chance in August since I have some training to do out at Scott AFB. I think I’ll bring the whole family though, next time. They will love this place! Thanks for letting me visit for a bit. I’ll be back.

By the way I did make it home in time for my wife just to find out that her function had been canceled…gotta love that!

Thanks for reading my Midwest Coaster Trip! I had a blast and can’t wait to do it again sometime. Hopefully with some friends to keep my company and to share the driving with next time. Have fun on your next scream machine.

Doug *** Edited 6/19/2005 2:35:19 AM UTC by S&SFAN***

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