Stark Raven Mad 2002 - JP Style

Associated parks:
None

Monday, June 3, 2002 6:56 PM
Holiday World has the two best wood coasters on the planet. If you haven't experienced them for yourself, you suck.

OK, maybe you don't suck, but if you want to be a coaster enthusiast, you need to get your bad self to Santa Claus, Indiana and ride The Raven and The Legend. It really is that simple.

While certainly very different from each other, the two rides are very nearly perfect in their own special way. I attribute this to two things. The first is the design, which frankly is not only interesting, but keeps you guessing until you have a great many laps under your belt. The second is that these things are so insanely well maintained that they ride better than any other woodie you've been on, including other CCI's.

For example, every find yourself bracing for a turn on a wood coaster because you expect it to hurt? I did exactly that on my first Raven ride, only to be surprised that it wasn't painful at all, just strong, sustained laterals. This, my friends, is how you maintain a coaster.

The Raven is cool because what little forest that had to be modified to install the ride has very much grown back in. That's what makes this event so special... it's so dark that it is very much a religious experience. The only fault I can find in it is that it seems like it's over too quickly, but seeing as how it leaves your head a mess, I'm not complaining.

The big question I think a lot of people had was if The Legend would be that much of a bigger deal than it was last year now that it had a pair of shiny new PTC trains. I don't know if they're heavier, but the ride seemed insanely faster this year. Add to that the two-train operation and this thing just eats people. Good stuff. And while I've never had a problem with the Gerstlauer trains on Villain, I certainly remember how much they beat you up on Legend, and am very pleased they got rid of that damn train.

The station is a lot longer now, to give a little stopping room for the second train. What I don't like about this arrangement is the cage that was created for a very crowded on-platform queue area. It's hot, smelly and not comfortable. Seeing as how I doubt they need the room, I'd suggest that they reduce it to two lanes. Just outside of the station is a very short turn to the lift and a tiny transfer to pull off one of the trains.

Lengend had some new head-choppers this year with ZOOMbabwe built over its turn around. The part that makes me feel it's faster this year is the airtime/slam combo just after that turn around. It pops you high, slams you hard. I like it. Have I mentioned the laterals? Good freakin' times!

And if I had to pick a favorite, it's The Legend, no contest.

As usual, the Holiday World staff was fanatical in their service. The night's biggest oddity was the blonde girl on Raven who apparently heard music in her head because she was dancing continuously for hours. Odd for sure, but exactly what I like to see in guest service! There were many high-fives, and you can get there were few lap bars that were down beyond one click.

Since pretty much everyone was there, I'm not going to go into great detail about everyone I saw or talked to. However, I did spend some time with Mike Graham, Natalie, Jeff T., Draegs and various other personalities you're familiar with. The main idea was to have a little vacation with my beloved wife Stephanie, so if I didn't care to act like your new best friend when you introduced yourself, that's why. (Get over it. ;))

I shot some fun video. Sean F. is in most of it for some reason, because he's kind of a camera whore I think. My POV with the infrared doesn't show much but the cutie in front of me getting thrown around by the laterals, but it's all good.

Speaking of cuties, it would really suck to be a single 20-something hetero male looking for love in enthusiast circles. Sausage party it was! What is it going to take for more females to get into the enthusiast scene?

All and all, this is the premier enthusiast event of the year, no question about it. If you haven't been, start making plans for next year now. The Holiday World staff will show you a good time. They're the best, plain and simple. No one in the industry can touch the standard that Holiday World has set.

Start planning for SRM '03 now!

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 5:57 AM

Nice... I really feel like I missed something now. So we definitely gotta hit HW after CBC even if we can't hit it at night?

Speaking of CBC, now that the deadline has passed, what's your final tally for those you expect to attend?

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Sorrrrrrrry folks! Parks closed. The moose out front should have told you.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 8:04 AM

While the two coasters are certainly a religious experience at night, they're certainly worthy of day rides as well.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 8:17 AM

Why do you keep using the word 'religious?'

What do you mean for it to be?

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 8:44 AM

UGHHH!!! I am looking at a road atlas and there is no direct route from Chicago to Santa Claus, In.

Does anyone that comes from the windy city take I-65 to Rte 231? It seems like the best option

Please hurry and give me an answer so I can get off of Jeff's "You Suck" list. :)

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""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 8:46 AM
There's no direct route from anywhere to Santa Claus! ;)

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 8:50 AM

Chitown - Take Route 41 straight down to I-64 east. It's really the best way to get there if just going to Holiday World. That's the way we got down there.

If you want to check out more parks take I-65 south to Louisville, and then take I-64 west. On I-65 you'll be about 25 minutes away from Indiana Beach, and you'll be about ten minutes from Kentucky Fried Kingdom in Louisville. This is the route we took going home.

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"He's blazin' away like the stars in the universe.." A. Vega + M. Rev "Ghostrider"

Someday there will be something here.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 9:30 AM

What do I mean? I mean riding is like seeing the parting of the Red Sea. There is no higher experience you can have as an enthusiast than riding Raven and Legend at night. What's so hard about that to understand?

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 12:05 PM
Whew, I'm glad to see that I don't suck, I took care of Raven & Legend in 2000. I thought Raven was better myself, but that was before Legend got those shiny new PTC's. One of these days I'll get to an enthusiast event as cool as SRM.

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 12:28 PM

Jeff said:
If you haven't experienced them for yourself, you suck.
---------------------------------

Now *that's* what I call an advertising slogan! Excuse me while I run this over to the marketing department! :)

Thanks for your kind words, Paula

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Paula Werne
Director of Public Relations
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Santa Claus, Ind.
JPWerne@holidayworld.com


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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 3:30 PM

I thought you were the marketing department. ;) But seriously though, can I be in your next TV spot?

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 3:42 PM

Biggest difference between last year and this (other than the trains on Legend), was that on Saturday during the day the park was pretty crowded. No walk-on daylight rides like in 2001.

I'm kinda hoping they'll move the event back to its old timeslot instead of the busier weekend HW chose for 2002.

Plus it was damn hot this year!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 3:44 PM

It was hot last year, too :)

The reason for the move was so that they could include Zoombabwe. I suspect next year it'll move back to whatever weekend gives them the least moon...

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--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 3:56 PM

Jeff,

Camera whore huh?

Do you remember what you did to poor Steph when I started shooting video of you? Oh the horror of it all! =:^)

-Sean

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 4:13 PM

Speaking of slogans, I have one for Zoombabwe:

"It leaves you wetter than an ACE'er in..."

Aww shucks, nevermind ;o)

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James Draeger
http://draegs.livejournal.com
"Legend is a wooden Jesus"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 5:03 PM

I prefer this date. It doesn't interfere with the JO volleyball season.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 5:22 PM
Did anyone else here over-load their Zoombobwee raft as well and get an extremely scary ride?
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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 6:05 PM

Did anyone else here over-load their Zoombobwee raft as well and get an extremely scary ride?

I'm sure Rideman or CoasterVille_Dave can tell you about that. Paul Drabek received a broken nose.

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|| Jonathan Hawkins ||
http://www.starcoasters.com
Top Gun: TJC flights - Approx. 240 (54 in 2002)

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 6:41 PM
Thanks for a great TR Jeff! I'm glad we share the same opinions on these two amazing works of art. Don't suppose you made "795th post" shirts too? (Guessing at the number by the time I joined) LOL! And I second your plea for more "femthusiasts" as I like to call them. :) There has to be someone in central Ohio!
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Brad Sherman
Soon park benches will have seatbelts!
Model coasters and rides
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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 8:03 PM

Jeff said:
"Speaking of cuties, it would really suck to be a single 20-something hetero male looking for love in enthusiast circles. Sausage party it was! What is it going to take for more females to get into the enthusiast scene?"

Sorry to break the news to you Jeff, but I can GUARANTEE to you that almost every enthusiast event involving a machine (car, boat, plane, coaster, whatever) will be a sausage fest. Enthusiast events are places at which people with an unbelievable passion for something come together to bond in their hobby. In my travels in life, and in the machine-crazy area of Detroit, I have met VERY few females that get hyped about things. For the most part, I see the following difference between men and women:

Most men are interested in THINGS and DATA

Most women are interested in PEOPLE and FEELINGS

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that these are stereotypes or classifications, just that this is the majority of what I've experienced. It's not that either side is better, or that these differences are bad, but the differences ARE there.

Being an engineer, I definitely take joy in coasters and cars (Things) and their statistics(Data), while my wife (God I love her) keeps me grounded in the world of life like birthdays, dinner parties, and family (People).

All that aside, man I wish I coulda been there! But that's the price you pay for a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old (a very worthwhile price, indeed!)

Hope to be there next year!

Later,
EV
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We are the Detroit Red Wings. You WILL be defeated. Resistance is futile.

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