My First Trip to Holiday World

Associated parks:
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Monday, June 12, 2006 5:09 PM
A friend of mine was getting married on June 2nd in Cincinnati. As I’m planning my trip I realize what a great opportunity this could be to make my first ever visit to Holiday World! I make the contacts to some of my college buddies, and we form a group of six to make the pilgrimage. One of which is a new friend of one of my best friends, and now a friend of mine as well. Small world that it is, turns out he’s also known as PKI Central here on Coasterbuzz! Rather than bore you with where we stopped for gas and my drink of choice at Burger King that morning, I’ll get right to the highlights and my impressions of my first time at this wonderful park.

Raven: 9/10. Our first ride of the day. Yeah, I know all the reports say to start at the back of the park as Raven and Legend get long lines early in the day, we just couldn’t help ourselves. It didn’t take us long to realize they were only running one train. Boooooooooo. Wait time was about 30 minutes, so not too bad. For a ride with a small lift hill and short track length, this thing packs some punch. Our first lap was in the rear of the train, and the airtime was pure bliss, and the race through the trees at the end was tons of fun.

We got two more rides in the early evening, and by that time the wait was 5 minutes at most, so we took some laps in the front and back. By the end of the day it was running even faster.

Legend: 8/10. Maybe it was because we just rode the shorter Raven, but this ride seemed very long. An intense ride with good laterals and a few pops of air made this an instant classic. I enjoyed the Raven more as the pacing was better. Nevertheless, there was plenty to rave about on Legend, and little to complain about. Legend was also only running one train. Booooooooooo. 50 minute wait. But thanks to the free soda, we hardly noticed.

We took another lap late in the day, and waited about 20 minutes and hopped in the front seat. I was expecting a similar experience to Raven, that it would be running even faster. Strangely enough it seemed to drag a bit. Maybe it was the front seat? Either way, the pacing on the helix seemed really off, almost as if it hit some trim brakes between the two helixes.

Voyage. 10/10. The moment I had waited for. The best part was, PKI Central and I had some idea of what to expect. My other buddies, had no idea what was about to happen. Two train operation, and at the most a 10 minute wait. After our first lap, we couldn’t get the seat belts off fast enough as we ran down the exit ramp in search for the entrance. The second lap was just as good as the first. The highlight of the day however, came when we returned in the evening for some night rides. As soon as we got in the line, it broke down. Little did we know this was a blessing in disguise. After a while, just about everybody left. At 8:40 the ride was up and running again, and we managed to get in 3 rides, including the last right of the night in complete darkness. For whatever reason, the last ride of the night was even more insane than the others.

This ride is without question, the best wooden roller coaster I have been on. It’s everything you could want in a coaster. Airtime, lateral gs, big drops, sudden direction changes, tunnels, and sustained speed. But that’s all I’ll say. For those who have yet to ride it, I don’t want to risk spoiling it. My new overall #1? That’s hard to say. But the fact I have to think about it, should tell you something.

Of course we hit up a lot of the other rides. Hallowswings seemed to pack a little more punch than other flying swing rides I’ve been on. Gobbler Getaway was a hoot as well. On the other hand I was a little disappointed with Eagle’s Flight. There were no signs warning against snapping, but the ride never got up to a speed that would allow you to do anything that remotely resembled snapping. Unfortunately we missed out on Frightful Falls as it was broken down. It looked like there was a crew trying to fix the problem all day, but to no avail.

It was a beautiful warm sunny day, so we spent some time in Splashin’ Safari in the afternoon, which was a lot of fun as well. Nothing like getting airborne on Jungle Racers. Overall the lines were a bit long, but not long enough to take away from the fun.

Thumbs Up:
Food - The free soft drinks goes above and beyond the call of service. But what also impressed me was easy it was to get them. There was always a free soda stand within sight from all points in the park. And the rest of the food was very good, and very reasonably priced. A burger and fries for $5? You’d be lucky to get just the fries for that price at most other parks. Ice Cream for $1.50? Need I say more?

Service - Ride ops offering to hold your hat, glasses, camera, etc? You’ve gotta be kidding. Every employee we encountered was very helpful and friendly. While on the waiting platform for Raven, one of the lap bars got stuck and a mechanic was called in. Based on my experiences from other parks, I thought we’d be waiting for a while. Well, he was there faster than you could say “Mr. Fix-It” and he had the problem solved even faster.

Atmosphere - Wonderful. Plenty of shaded areas, and something in the air I couldn’t quite put my finger on. After getting off Jungle Racers and running over to the drink stand, my friend declared he felt like he was 10 years old again. I couldn’t have agreed more.

Park Cleanliness - Place was spotless. Even the normally dreaded waterpark bathrooms were clean. Unreal.

Thumbs Down:
One train operations on Raven and Legend. The line for Raven died down quite a bit by the end of the day. At that point, only one train was necessary. However, Legend still had enough people in line to warrant two trains throughout the day. Even the ride op I was talking to on Legend said they should have cleared them to add the second train.

Eagle’s Flight - Just because it’s near the kiddie rides doesn’t mean they have to run it like one. Oh well, we still had fun.

All in all we had an absolute blast, and I can’t wait to go back. Maybe it was the fact they had three solid coasters. Maybe it was the friendliness of the employees and the cleanliness of the park. Or maybe it was the fact that at no point during the entire day did I feel like I was getting ripped off. Free drinks, free sunscreen, free parking, $3 all-day lockers, and reasonable food prices will do that I guess. I didn’t buy any souvenirs or t-shirts, but even those appeared to be reasonably priced. Try finding anything remotely close to that at any other park. It was the first time I left a park looking for a donations box to drop $20 because I had such a great time. My other friends expressed that their experience was well beyond expectations, and were also looking forward to a return. It was an experience I would never forget.

Count me in Holiday World... I’m a believer.

*** Edited 6/13/2006 12:58:41 AM UTC by Danimales***

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Monday, June 12, 2006 7:02 PM
IMHO 10-20 minute waits for coasters are not unreasonable, Raven except in the morning can and usually does run one train. Legend, I honestly think this thing should run two most days even if the train doesn't fill up.

The thing about running two trains when it's not necessary is it creates twice the wear. I however would be much happier if they would do what Kennywood does and just add the other train anytime the line gets over 20 minutes and remove it when its not needed.

Chuck, thanking you for a excellent TR.
Glad you enjoyed it! I don't regret ever endorsing this park to anyone and have yet to hear a bad experience that wasn't somehow self induced. (Bad hair day ect)

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:10 PM
I went there for my first time this past week too and WOW. I had high expectations, but not this high! Wasn't overly impressed with Raven (1 Train) because it had too long of a wait for the length of the ride. Not to mention it was always broken down. As for Legend, Awesome Ride.

Indeed, the best part was the Voyage. The longest I waited for the voyage back row was 10 minutes! However, we got stuck at the top of that monster hill twice! In fact the first time, the operator walked all the way to the top of the first hill to re-check our harnesses before they restarted the ride.

Overall, our experience was great. All they need is a) a chairlift to take you from Thanksgiving to Christmas and b) a Park-Operated hotel!

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Friday, June 16, 2006 6:33 AM
A hotel would certainly make a lot of sense for HW. With the rides and the water attractions, this park can justify a stay of 2 days for many families.

Admittedly, an on-site hotel would probably have fairly high pricing but this is to be expected given the convenience and the seasonal nature of the operation. I'm just saying that this could be a good investment given the popularity of the park and the limited number of accomodations in the immediate area surrounding the park. I would suggest offering free drinks to the hotel guests (non-alcoholic, of course) just as is done in the park.

One more suggestion would be more things to create off-season business. In indoor waterpark could be one such thing. Also, why not have Holiday events associated with Halloween and Christmas? *** Edited 6/16/2006 10:34:39 AM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

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Friday, June 16, 2006 1:24 PM
I second that on the Sky Ride from Christmas to Thanksgiving!
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Friday, June 16, 2006 1:37 PM
^ Sky ride? Or flying sleigh ride? ;)
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