Wow! I cant believe how many comments I got for the Coney Island installment! LOL. Moving right along!...
Day 2: Holiday World
Alright, so here we are at day two and our first park of the trip, Holiday World! I had heard a lot of good things about the park! Overall, I found it to be a nice park. Not a great park, but a nice park. Let us take a look.
*slow cross-dissolve to Santa Claus*
Here we go, that’s more like it!
Now, I don’t mean to “knock” on Santa Claus, Indiana, but Holiday World is really
in the middle of nowhere
! It was almost scary, in that “maybe TPR is really taking us to the backwoods to slaughter us” kind of way! But as soon as they Voyage emerged from behind the landscape, 100 enthusiast cameras popped up and began snapping away!
The Raven! Coming from California, I was looking forward to riding my first GOOD wooden coaster today! I was still convinced that they didn’t exist.
Waiting to get in. LOL. I don’t know why I find this photo so funny, but I do!
So sure enough after a bit of waiting, the park management personally greeted us and escorted us into the side entrance to the park. Our day had begun! We were first escorted through a wonderful photo walk-back around the Raven and the Legend. It was very neat of them!
It was Robert Frost who wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one that went under The Raven, and that has made all the difference.”
Once the walk-back was done, Holiday World offered to walk us to one of their three coasters for opening. A vote was held and resulted unanimously in favor for the Voyage.
Though he personally voted for the Raven, Robb announces that we’re going to head over to the Voyage! Loser.
That’s pretty much the biggest wooden coaster I have ever seen to that date! I was kind of scared, to be honest!
As promised, we were the first ones in line and totally psyched! Sure, the Pepsi Python was a kickass ride, but this would be the first real
coaster of the trip! And it was REAL something, that’s for sure! LOL.
I walked off of the ride saying “that was great!” But I wouldn’t get back in line. The ride was one of the most intense experiences I’ve had on a roller coaster. It wasn’t a bad
ride by any means, but there was something uncomfortable about it. Most of it insane, crazy, and fun, but parts weren’t terribly enjoyable (the reverse-banked hump comes to mind
). It’s hard to explain because I don’t want to sound like I’m just ragging on the Voyage. To sum it up, I like what TJ said when we hit the brakes—“Wooden coasters aren’t supposed to go that fast”.
That being said, I liked the ride. I just needed to nurse myself back to health a bit before jumping back in line. Besides, there were a few other credits to get!
…But not without a ride on the park’s new darkride!
Gobbler Getaway was almost
a cute attraction. It was clean and I totally see the family appeal. But I found it to be annoying for a few reasons:
1) I want to SHOOT turkeys, dammit, not “call” them!
2) Calling turkeys involved hearing an obnoxious “GOBBLE” every time you pulled the trigger.
3) “We” don’t get to EAT turkey for Thanksgiving, rather order pizza and eat WITH the turkeys. All that “calling” for nothing! So dumboingly anti-climactic!
…no carry-on items on a darkride?! You have got to be kidding me!!!
…that was my first taste of the strict “no loose articles” policy that I had heard so much about. It was sort of off putting. But please hold, I’ll get to that rant momentarily. For now, let’s continue cycling around to the ride’s various credits.
The Legend, by far my least favorite of the park’s 3 woodies. Although the bell they rang when dispatching was cute….just not cute enough to save the ride.
All that being said, it was a beautiful looking ride.
…ok, I think I can rant now.
I always put my viewing glasses into my cargo pocket before riding a roller coaster. Well, I made the unfortunate mistake of removing my glasses once seated in the station of the Legend. As if he was waiting for me to do so, I was approached immediately by a ride operator and asked to leave my glasses in the station. I kindly explained they were going in my sealed cargo pocket, but was cut off—apparently glasses loosely fitted around my head are ok, but as soon as they escaped the vise-like grasps of my stubbornly unyielding ears, they were qualified as a potential projectile and I was unable to bring them on the ride.
Now before I rant any further, do know that I didn’t put up a fight. I left my glasses on a shelf in the station, where they were just as I left them when I returned.
But seriously. Look guys—I've operated several roller coasters. I know personally what it’s like to have a guest get injured by loose articles (as well as the paperwork that follows
), and by no means have a gripe with the policy itself. I was just very put off by the way that the ride operators seemed to enforce the policy throughout the park. Safety always comes first, I understand, but that doesn’t mean that simple courtesy needs to be sacrificed to ensure safe operation. Every ride I went to, I felt as though the ride operators were preying for articles they could deem as unsafe, as if they were competing for the most items caught. It was bad enough to where I felt uncomfortable every time I sat down on a roller coaster! You know when you’re being followed by a cop and even though you’re driving perfectly according to the textbook-law, you feel nervous? That’s how I felt around these ride operators!
Perhaps I’m just overreacting. But it felt like the “fun” of riding a roller coaster was sort of sucked out of me by these Nazi ride operators. They were like dementors.
Something tells me I just lost points with some of you for using a Harry Potter reference. Moving right along.
Oh, and the Legend had to many laterals. LOL. Thought I’d throw that in there.
TJ, pretending to like Pepsi in line for the Raven. Yes, he downed all of those.
For those who don’t know (I certainly didn’t before my visit), Holiday World offers guests FREE UNLIMITED Pepsi drinks throughout the day. It’s actually a very neat concept! Would be neater if it wasn’t Pepsi, however!
…”Nevermore”. LOL at two American Literature references in one Photo TR! My 11th grade Lit teacher would be so proud.
The Raven would be my favorite ride at Holiday World and the best wooden coaster I had been on at that point! FINALLY, I had found myself a GREAT woodie! The search was over! The Raven was a fun, comfortable, well paced ride with much airtime and in a great setting! Unlike some rides, which traditionally begin with the “one trick” and then sort of meander back to the station for the rest of the ride, the Raven begins fun and only gets faster, better, and more insane as the ride concludes.
Once we were blown away on the Raven, it was time for some grub. We had a group lunch provided in one of the park’s picnic areas.
PEPPERIONI PIZZA…this meal is “Jahan Approved!”
An unnecessary photo of the group trying to not look like they hate me for taking a photo of them!
LOL. Chris looks like he crapped a pizza crust!
The view of the Voyage from where we ate lunch. Sorry, must have had a shift-change on whoever is writing the captions!
I also randomly found these track segments. With a group like this, I thought about black-lighting them but quickly decided against it!
After lunch, Holiday World was nice enough to take us on another
photo walk-back of the Voyage! Ironically enough, I don’t have any photos from this! LOL. That being said, it was very neat. I mean, I don’t recall the ride being fenced in or anything and we were just sort of walking around it! If that’s not “up close and personal”, I don’t know what is!
Naturally, we had to conclude our walk-back with another ride on the Voyage.
I admit, the ride was a bit more comfortable later in the day, once it had “warmed up”. Still wasn’t as good as the Raven performed in the morning, in my opinion.
We then headed into the children-centric area to get a ride on the kiddy-credit, which was, well—a kiddy credit!
Tex and I have a “moment” with the Holidog!
We then hopped on the river rapids. What?! I don’t have that many photos from this part of the day!
That is especially true as after that, we headed into Splashin’ Safari, the in-park water park. I didn’t bring my camera with me for that leg of the journey, which is rather unfortunate because I think the water park was probably one of my favorites, if not my favorite part of the park! I don’t know why, I just liked it! A pretty standard, off-the-shelf collection of water slides. That being said, many of them were massive!
After the water park closed, we prepared for sunset. Our time left in the park was short. Some headed to the Voyage. Some headed to the Raven. No one really headed to the Legend.
I was in the group who headed to the Raven. Night rides on the Raven = close to what I’m pretty sure sex is like (can anyone confirm this?!). Like, we seriously got back in line again, and again, and again. There are very few rides that will encourage me enough to get back IN A LINE for. I rode the Raven about 3 or 4 more times until, alas, park closing had arrived.
All and all, as I said, Holiday World was a nice park. Now, I don’t mean to sound as though I’m “hating” on the park, but at the end of the day, walking away from the park, I didn’t feel as if it was all that great. My metaphor for the park was “painted plywood”—
Figure A. Painted Plywood
The park was clean. It looked fresh. The landscaping was beautiful. The staff was professional. The rides were enjoyable. The park had all the ingredients that a theme park should have. You can’t deny that. Regardless, it wasn’t that great of a park!
I’ve always heard of big theme parks trying to manage themselves the way little theme parks do. This was exactly the opposite. It was a little theme park that tried to manage itself as a big theme park! It may be family owned and operated, but it felt very corporate and “watered down”, with little charm that was not forced. And no matter how much it tried to be a big theme park (the paint), you couldn’t get around the truth that Holiday World is just more of a roadside-attraction with three coasters and a few flats (the plywood). If you like water parks than you can easily spend a whole day there. If you do not, I wouldn’t plan a whole day around the park.
It’s ok if you disagree with me, I wont mind. That’s simply what I walked away from the park feeling.
Anyway, that would about do it for this installment! I hope you enjoyed reading! It’s fun for me to revisit these memories, so I hope you’ve enjoyed it!
p.s. LOL…just stumbled across this random photo of Ryan and I.