Thankfully the rain around here ended about 9am so Holiday World’s opening was not that wet. We got to the park about 9:45 and due to the parks new early season pass processing we headed right in. We didn’t get far into the park before Bond saw Holidog where he sprinted off to get a quick hug to start the season off. It wasn’t quite ten yet and the ropes had not been dropped yet so we headed into the shops to take a quick peek and by the time we had worked through them and I spotted several new and cool coaster shirts that Bond and I want (he’s my boy!) we headed off to ride.
While Bond was pulled to the ball pit and Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch the Raven was calling me. So Carrie and Bond went to play where I went to ride. I headed down hill and back up into the Raven’s station to my normal seat, back row left. After waiting for a train and chatting with some of the ride ops and maintenance people that have been here for a few years it was time for my fix.
To start off Jeff, Sean and the rest of the guys in maintenance did something that a lot of us have wanted for years. Yes I’m talking about NO POTHOLE! Those who have frequented the Raven know about the pothole that was in the first drop’s (newly refurbished) tunnel. Well it’s gone and I say good riddance. There were a few sections of new wood but first thing this morning the Raven was a bit sluggish. Thankfully throughout the day it picked up the pace and in a few weeks of runtime it will be perfect. I ran into Jeff later in the day and he said that they have been having problems with the bearings so they’re packed with more grease to solve the problem but according to him it will be running faster pretty soon. Back to the ride there was still plenty of air, the insane dash through the woods and the perfect combination of elements that makes the Raven the #1 coaster on the planet. Rides on the Raven for the day: 12
Next port of call was the Legend. It had some extensive work throughout the winter namely new first drop tracking and a special little tweak that Jeff has been planning for a couple of years to make the double helix insane. I found no one in line and no one in the station except Melissa and a few of the new ride operators who she was training. 1.2 is my seat of preference on the Legend because it has that monster kick of air on the double up so I hopped right in the next train. Wow, the new first drop is fantastic and you come screaming out of the tunnel. It’s flying so fast that in the front there’s been added a bit of airtime at the top of the spiral drop where there was none before. The tweak that Jeff’s been wanting to do to the Legend for a few years to give the Legend more speed through the helix was to raise the drop right before entering the helix 22 inches. Well this year he finally got to it. Instead of having the train lose some energy there all of the Legend’s momentum is thrown up into the helix. It flies through it and doesn’t mellow out a bit even at the top. In the end the Legend was running the best that it’s ever and I can’t wait for a month from now to see how it’s really flying. Rides on the Legend for the day: 6
Hallowswings was next and as usual it is just a joy to ride. I ended up getting four spins on this before the day was done.
Bond needed to visit one of his favorite rides, the Indian River Canoes before heading back to Holidog’s Funtown. He ended up getting seven or eight rides on the river and wants to go back for more.
Bond could hardly stop from sprinting up the stairs into Funtown. He had been talking about it for weeks and immediately headed up into the play structure to go sliding. Last year I think he climbed all the way up once to slide but this year he was all about sliding so much that by the end of the day his legs were shaky and I had to help him climb up the ladders. Bond was a pain to get to bed tonight, of course that was before we gave him some children’s Tylenol after figuring out that he couldn’t sleep due to sore muscles. After that he went out like a light.
The Freedom Train was next on the list and was fun as usual. We ended up taking two trips throughout Mother Goose Land today and as always the Freedom Train is a cool ride.
On our first lap through the park Liberty Launch had not opened up. While chatting to a few ride ops from last year I found out that it now has a new program to have more of a kick to it like the one at Indiana Beach. Later in the day when I tried it with Jeff and his wide the second down blast was insane and sent all of us flying. Nice. Also a single rider line has been added so that they can more efficiently fill out Liberty Launch especially on the busy days. Rides on Liberty Launch for the day: 2
After finding out that Liberty Launch wasn’t open I hopped on the Rough Riders Bumper Cars and while it still isn’t as insane as Knoebels Scooters, I doubt any bumper cars can ever top that, it was still a fun ride. I got my fair share of bumps and collisions and I ended up accidentally going around for a full lap in reverse. I wasn’t trying to but I couldn’t get my car to go forward. Rides on the Rough Riders for the day: 1
The Lewis and Clark Trail Cars are always a family favorite so Bond, Carrie and I (and later Casey) took a couple of spins on this.
It was off to lunch next and we ended up spending it with a friend who is a ride operator. Bond and I devoured the best pizza in Santa Claus (well behind my home made Chicago Style 2 inch thick pizza) while Carrie had the hotdog meal. You have to love a park where a family of three can eat for $8.60. My only complaint though is I wish they’d have some crushed red peppers and parmesan cheese to put on the pizza.
After lunch and browsing through the toy museum and the glass blowing shop we got stranded in the Liberty Bell Shop for the duration of a torrential downpour. We ended up browsing for thirty minutes and ended up ending up the storm all eating suckers watching soaked people run by out in the storm. After that was Bond’s naptime so we headed home. I was there long enough to get him down then I was off for a bit of ERT before heading back to get him and Carrie after his nap.
The Raven was empty so I just rode it again and again as well as the Legend. Being partly soaked already I had to go hit the water rides so I started off at Frightful Falls. Nothing major and new here, Frightful Falls is just a fun little flume. I got one ride on it. Raging Rapids was also a blast. I took one ride by myself and one with Casey later in the day. There were the usual geyser blasts and splashes to get wet from and it’s a solid and fun ride.
There had been some serious work on Eagles Flight this off season with new controls for the ride operator (yes the old trolley control is gone) and a new engine. The ride starts up faster than before but the new engine has a high pitched whine to it that’s pretty annoying. The Eagles seemed to spin just a little slower than last year but due to some nice wind blowing in I got some nice up-down action. Talking around I found out that it’s currently set at 10.5 rpm and the state inspector has set the maximum rpm on it for 12 so when you visit fill out comment cards and maybe they’ll speed it up a little to make it a livelier ride.
Just a note Holiday World is tweaking the parking lot next to the Raven (now known as the Raven Lot and the one across the highway is the Legend Lot) and if you out of habit try to pull in like you used to (like Carrie and Jeff almost did) you will end up driving into a nice new fence. They have changed the routing into the parking lot to ease some congestion during peak hours but it isn’t finished and is quite confusing.
That all pretty much encapsulates the day up. We had a great time and plan on heading back tomorrow for some more playtime. Keep your eyes peeled this week for photos from today and tomorrow to be added to Negative-g.
Paul Drabek *** Edited 5/2/2004 5:15:31 AM UTC by Paul Drabek***
Bond and I headed back to Holiday World this morning to have some fun and give Carrie some quiet time and I thought I'd put a few things in that I forgot to yesterday or what I noticed today.
Yesterday I got four laps on the Howler. It's running a little sluggish but still is a great coaster to train any younger enthusiasts on.
Bond just climbs and climbs all over Funtown. It's such a joy hanging out with him there.
Holidog's new show in Holidog's funtown has some fantastic music including several songs from "Schoolhouse Rock". Bond ended up singing "Conjunction Function" all over the park.
Jungle Racer and Jungle Jets look fantastic from the Legend. Jungle Racer looks complete and Jungle Jets is nearing completion. It's not too hard to figure out who is sponsoring Jungle Jets because there is a huge "Hidden Mickey" of a Pepsi Logo on it's surface. The more I see of Jungle Jets the more I'm certain that Bond is going to have a tough time deciding where to go play this summer in Splashin' Safari, Jungle Jets or last years favorite Monsoon Lagoon.
The Raven was flying today as it had picked up a serious amount of speed over yesterday. It just blew me away with it's speed and it feels fantastic not to have that big "KERCHUNK" where the pot hole was. I ended up getting thirty rides throughout the afternoon after going back to the park for some playtime without Bond. I love this time of the year because in the middle of the day as long as you're not in the front or back you can just ride and ride.
Only if you count Troika-Troika-Troika at CP as 3 different flat rides ;-)
it was good to meet you on the raven.
i thought both the raven and legend were running fantastic for opening day.
opening weekend was awesome...we were able to make an entire loop around the park in 2.5 hours and get in 5 laps on the raven, 2 on legend, and a bunch of flats. it was a great day!
side note: after visiting opening days at dollywood, pki, and hw this season i can easily say that the crew at holiday world seemed the most prepared as far as job training is concerned...all the ride operators, games people, and food operations people did an awesome job.
Great TR Paul! I can't wait to get back out there.
<---------who has "conjunction junction" running in my head now. ;-)
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