Because we didn’t end up going to Kentucky Kingdom on Saturday, Matt wanted to stop by on Sunday on our way to Indiana Beach since Louisville was on the way. We’d made plans to meet up with Danny and Patrick, but Rob and Melissa had another hard morning waking up so we didn’t make our deadline for Kentucky Kingdom. Actually, we all ended up being kind of late, then we found out that the Indy 500 was happening that day. This meant we were going to get in to some traffic as we drove through Indianapolis.
After gathering everything up and checking out we stopped across the street for gas and ran in to Brian while there. We talked about the nite before just before we parted ways, with Brian and his gang heading to Beech Bend, and me and my gang heading to Indiana Beach. The drive was long, though it was interstate most of the way. We took the beltway around Indianapolis so as to avoid any Indy 500 traffic, but we did see the DirecTV blimp circling around as we drove past.
After almost 6 hours of driving we arrived at Indiana Beach. We only had about 4 hours, but that would be just enough time to have some fun at the park. This was another park that offered discounts for coaster enthusiasts, so I got in for almost half price once again thanks to Matt. Once we paid and took some pictures we headed out on the bridge to the park. You get a great view of Indiana Beach from here and I loved what I saw. We kept stopping and taking pictures as Matt talked to Craig on the phone. Then we finally made our way into the park. Our first stop was going to be the Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain, however, the line was quite long, they were only running 1 train, and the ride was down when we got in line anyways.
The original plans for Saturday called for Me, Matt, and Dan to get up and head to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom for a few hours. We’d made plans to meet Eric and his crew there that morning before we coming back to Holiday World for the waterpark. None of us, however, woke up that morning. Everyone was exhausted from the day before so instead of going to Kentucky Kingdom we all got up and got ready to head to the water park. We made plans for breakfast though, technically, we’d already missed breakfast and then headed to the car…only to find my tire completely flat. No biggie, I have a full sized spare, right?
Right? Well, I do. But the special tool used to lower it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Neither was my tire iron or jack. You see, a few weeks prior, my father was driving my Xterra with a pull trailer hooked up to it. The trailer had a flat (2 actually) and he had to fix it with my tools. I told him to make sure he put them back, but he put them in the trailer instead, so they were inconveniently located in our garage in WV. Seven plus hours from me. And not helping.
Thankfully Rob had AAA, so he called and explained that we didn’t have tools to fix our flat. They said someone would be there in 45 minutes or less. Rob and Melissa made an ATM run and then went to Subway across the street to eat while we waited. The guy that got the call to come showed up, but AAA didn’t explain to him that not only were we missing a jack and tire iron, we didn’t have the tool to lower the tire either. So he took the tire and said he’d either fix it or bring another one back. After he left with the tire, Rob and Melissa came back and we headed to Subway to eat while they sat with the Xterra. After we sat down to eat at Subway I saw Rob pull up in my Xterra. The guy fixed the tire for $17 and Rob and Melissa headed over to meet us.
May 23 & 24, 2008
Santa Claus IN
After arriving at Holiday World we pulled into the parking lot. I was getting excited at seeing the park for the first time. It was different than I expected, but still familiar in some ways having seen numerous pictures. We needed to enter the park before 5:30 or we would have to wait until the park cleared before we could go in. Thankfully we made it. At the front gate we headed over to the window where we all picked up our event packets with tickets, a schedule, and name card, and stuff. I met Martha for the first time in person. She commented “Oh, you’re the guy that always ends up not making it”, to which I said “Yep, and you got to meet me first!” Then we headed into the park.
Walking along the front part of the park, the second coaster geek we ran into was Nicole. I got a huge hug because she didn’t know I’d actually be there, due to my reputation of never showing up after planning to go to an event or park. We made our way thru the park to the picnic grove where all of the event participants were to meet. After we arrived I was greeted by a couple dozen people I hadn’t seen in a while, and met some people for the first time who didn’t think I actually existed.
The park’s owners and PR lady welcomed us, instructed us, and went over safety protocol. Then, once the park was cleared we were given the go ahead to leave the picnic shelters and head to the coasters. The plan was originally to ride Raven first, then Legend, and then finally Voyage. My crew was going to go with me but Dan, who had been before and really wanted to ride Voyage decided to change plans and head straight there. Continue reading →
Ever since their newest coaster debuted, I’d wanted to go to Holiday World for their Holiwood Nights coaster enthusiast event in Indiana. My friend Matt gave it the name after a couple years off from their previous event, which I never go to go to, and lots of people I know make trip for the event. It had been held on Memorial Day weekend the first couple of years, which knocked me out of going.
In 2008 I was determined to go. I made plans to go months ahead of time. I’d never been to Holiday World. On May 23, 2008 I woke up around 4:30 AM, got ready, and headed to the Midwest for some hot coaster action. The drive from home to Louisville was about 6 hours. I’d stopped in Beckley WV to gas up and get a snack. Then around 11:00 AM I was pulling into the Louisville International Airport to pick up my traveling partners. Matt, Rob, Dan, and Melissa flew in from Philly and I would be driving them around as they accompanied and guided me into parts unknown for the weekend. As soon as we said hello and after I was introduced to Dan and Melissa, we got in the car and headed south to Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The drive to Bowling Green was about 2 hours. We stopped once we got off of the interstate at a Hardees for a quick bite and bathroom break. Then we headed to our first park, Beech Bend. After arriving at the small park, which just happens to be situated right in the middle of nowhere, we parked in the grassy parking lot and headed in. Matt had an American Coaster Enthusiast card which got us in for half price, so I scored on a POP bracelet. The park was really quirky with lots of portable rides set up around a large field with rolling hills and a pond, up from a drag racing strip. But they had a new highly rated wooden coaster, and my traveling buddies who had been said it was a quaint park with good rides.
I decided in early 2008 that I would start my coaster season off at Dollywood since I hadn’t been since 2006 and there was a coaster credit there I hadn’t gotten since I didn’t go in 2007. So, while everyone else went to Spring Fling, I went to Dollywood. I left home at about 7:30 AM and arrived to dismal skies and cool weather, but running rides. I was hoping Mystery Mine wouldn’t be down a second Saturday in a row.
In fact, everything was running except Timberrr Tower, which was testing. Mom and Dad had to be out of town for part of the weekend, so I opted to stay at home Friday nite to take care of the animals and leave early Saturday morning instead. Saturday morning I woke up around 7:30 AM, fed the animals, took a shower, got dressed, and headed southwest to Pigeon Forge.
The drive wasn’t long and I only stopped in Wytheville to get some gas and breakfast. Once I arrived in Pigeon Forge, though, I couldn’t remember the back road to the park, so I had to wait in traffic. That time of year, however, wasn’t as crowded as summer and Xmas time. I’m so used to going into the old entrance to Dollywood that having to go in the new way was weird, but not completely foreign. The sky was gloomy and threatened rain all morning, but at this point it was still dry.