Since I attended the Voyage construction tour in March, I knew I had to go to Holiday World this season. so after trying to get things planned and ready for quite some time now, we finally got things together, and made hotel reservations at the Comfort Inn in Ferdinand for a three day trip. It went like this:
July 30 - Drive to Ferdinand. Check in at hotel. Go to Holiday World for a little while in the evening.
July 31 - Get dragged to that St. Meinrad place to take photos of it, and then Holiday World the rest of the day.
August 1 - Quick stop at the other monastery place in Ferdinand to take photos, then drive to Louisville. Visit Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, then drive home that evening.
After a pretty easy drive, we arrived in Ferdinand about 3 hours and 50 minutes after leaving home, which was not counting a 45 minute stop at the La Grange exit off of I-71 not far north of Louisville. Horrible place, remind me to stop for lunch somewhere different next time.
The time is about 4:45 PM Central Time. We checked into the hotel, unloaded our luggage into the room, and boarded the van again for Holiday World.
The hotel is only about 7 miles from the park so it didn't take long to get The Voyage in sight, and what a sight it is. We noticed that the Raven lot was pretty well full, and the Legend lot was a long way from empty. We pay $0 for parking and I get dropped off at the front gate.
I get out my ACE card and walk up to the ticket booths to find them all closed, with a sign pointing to Guest Relations. Okay, I'll go there. two minutes and $39.95 later, I had a club discount evening ticket and a ticket for tomorrow. Handing over the evening ticket at the turnstiles, I walked into the park.
There wasn't much question as to where I was planning on going first. I was a little sketchy on the layout of the entire park, but I knew how to get to Halloween, and at the moment that was all that mattered. I walked down the hill and entered the queue for The Raven, snapping whatever photos I could while walking, as I wanted to get a lot of photos but still ride as much as I could this evening.
I walked up the steps and into the station, which I was happy to find was nearly empty with both trains running. I jumped into the one cycle wait for the front row of the fifth car, and a couple minutes later I was boarding the train.
#27 - The Raven (Yes, I know my track record sucks. I'm working on it!)
I was happy to find an extremely comfortable train, with the good dividers, no headrests, and a properly fitting lap bar. (Hello, Kings Island? Are you reading this? FIX YOUR TRAINS!) Seat belt fastened and bar in place, the train was checked, and off we go.
Connecting with the lift it shifted into crawl mode while the second train cleared the final brake and parked in the station. This thing could use a holding brake zone, but I don't really know where they'd put it. Swapping the station and transfer would be the only way to fit one in really.
Okay, enough analyzing. On to the ride.
I hadn't been sure as to what to expect from Raven. It's not a huge ride, and looking at it from the parking lot, it just looks small. But now that I'm on it, it's bite is MUCH stronger than the bark! My former airtime favorite, the Screechin Eagle at LeSourdsville Lake, got quickly put to shame by The Raven. Flew around the first part and the lake turn smooth as silk, then climbed up toward The Drop, and then all hell broke loose.
The train hit The Drop, and I found myself quickly shoving down on my lap bar to lock it down another click, because that was probably the strongest I had even been yanked out of my seat before. The rest of the ride was a blurringly fast streak through the woods, before coming to a fast halt in the brakes.
I got off and wasted no time before getting back in the line again and riding in the back seat, where it was even more insane that the first ride. After getting off of my second ride, I set off to try to find Legend, inconveniently missing the path that runs right from Raven to Legend, I ended up walking all the way around before getting there. I guess that will teach me to use a map the next time I'm in an unfamiliar park...
#28 - The Legend
I entered the Legend station and walked into the shortest seat queue which was for a middle car in a front row.
Legend is nuts. It climbs the lift hill quickly and then launches over the first drop. While the ride doesn't have the airtime of Raven, it does a lot more and is decently longer. than Raven. But I don't think it's going to rank higher than Raven for me, I just didn't seem to love it as much as Raven. I would also call it a little laggy in spots. Just before the helix, there is a hill followed by a tunnel, and the ride felt like it was going to stall out going over that hill. The helix has good lateral forces, and then the finale, apparently known as the Four Corners, is pretty cool. One of the turns in it felt a little weak, but the rest were very strong.
After disembarking Legend, I looked at my on-ride photo, but unfortunately it was out of focus, so I continued down the stairs and set off for my next destination... Thanksgiving.
Here is instance #2 of where I should have used my park map. I almost ended up in Splashin' Safari, thinking it was the path to Thanksgiving. I finally found it, and set off down the new pathway and across the bridge, where Voyage promptly took over the view.
I walked straight into Thanksgiving and into the Voyage queue line, which ended right at the door leading inside the building. After a few minutes in the line, I followed it downstairs, where I saw that the maze was NOT in use, it was just routing past the tunnel windows and straight back up the steps.
A few minutes later, I was sitting down in the front of the back car of a Voyage train and fastening my belt and lap bar. Not long after, we're climbing the lift hill at a rapid pace.
I thought Raven was wild, then I thought Legend was wild. Voyage eats them all for lunch! it all went by so fast that I'm not going to go into full detail until the TR for the next day, but I can say that I have a new #1 overall coaster for the first time in quite some time. After this ride my ranking for wood is Voyage #1, Raven #2, Legend #3.
After getting off Voyage, I checked my photo but it was too dark. I glanced at Gobbler but decided to wait until tomorrow. I snapped some pics, and headed back into the main part of the park to go get the last HoliCredit, Howler.
After I found Holidog's Funtown, I hiked up the ramps and finally found the station for Howler, where there was enough of a line to cause a one-cycle wait, so I waited for it, and took a ride to get the credit in the middle of the train. Not an awful ride, but I think I prefer the Miler kiddie coasters, since I can sit in the middle of the bench on them and not be shoehorned in.
I got off of Howler and headed back to start the circuit again, walking into Halloween and taking a spin on Raven in the middle of the train. After Raven, I used the proper path this time and went to Legend, where I rode toward the back of the train. After three on Raven and two on Legend, I'm still ranking Raven higher.
I was craving another Voyage, so I hiked down to Thanksgiving and got in line. On the upward steps from the lower queue to the middle level landing, I noticed the line had stopped moving, and a train had pulled into the holding brakes and stopped. I figured it was just a dispatch delay, so I just chilled out and scanned through the photos on my camera.
A few minutes later, a ride operator had walked out to the train to talk to the riders. Bad sign #1. A few minutes later, a maintenance mechanic came climbing up the service steps and into the station lugging a heavy tool belt. Bad sign #2. A short time later, I heard them lowering the lapbars on the empty train in the station to start test cycles, but there was still a decent amount of queue in front of me. I hesitated briefly, then bailed out of the line.
At this point I walked into Voyage Gifts, and bought a stack of postcards, a couple patches and pins, and a keychain. It took a little while due to their procedure of putting a piece of red tape on every single item after it's been keyed in, and I had like 22 postcards... The cashier looked like she was silently plotting my murder while going through all of them.
Once I got out of the shop, my phone rang, so I headed out of Thanksgiving and started to walk toward the front gate.
But wait! To get to the front gate, I can either climb a hill, or not climb a hill. I chose the no-hill route, and as I was stepping into the staircase to the station platform, I heard a call over the station speakers:
"The back seat is open! Need a rider!"
I have never in my life climbed stairs as fast as I did right then. In about five seconds, I had flown up the steps, skidded across the platform, and launched myself into the back seat just before the gates closed and lap bars locked.
It's nearly pitch dark, and I'm sitting in the back seat of the old train on Raven. Being dark, my earlier back seat ride, which was totally insane then, was totally put to shame. This is what The Beast should be like, and apparently was back in the old days. A totally out of control, ejector air-filled flight through the woods.
There was unfortunately someone waiting for the back seat when I got back, so I got off and headed up to the front gate, where I grabbed some park maps and headed out the gate, where I was picked up.
After leaving the park, we headed scross the street, picked up Brick Oven Pizza, and returned to the hotel to eat, and I got out my laptop and unloaded my camera's memory card.
End of day one.
I'll post a link to my photos as soon as my server comes back up. Stupid crash!
Day 2 TR should be up tomorrow night or Saturday.
UPDATE: Day One Photos: http://donald.extremepki.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=58
*** Edited 8/11/2006 2:42:52 AM UTC by pkidelirium***
-Donald, Owner/Webmaster, KIExtreme.com - The In-Depth Guide to Kings Island
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