Holiday World 2016

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  • July 2, 2016
  • Santa Clause IN
  • Holiday World & Splashin Safari
  • Photo Album

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One great thing about heading to Holiday World from Kentucky Kingdom is that there is a time zone difference that works in your favor during the summer. Still decked out in our waterpark clothes, and with the time change, it technically only took us about 15 minutes to get to Holiday World (after just over an hours drive)…but we got there as it was starting to sprinkle. We didn’t know if or how that would affect the water park or the rides. We pulled into the parking lot across the street and headed over to the park. The ticket booths were all closed so we had to go to customer service to get our tickets, and off we went to Splashin’ Safari.

After getting a locker we headed over to Mammoth. Both of us got in the single rider line and stood there for a bit. Now, I realize single rider lines may or may not be a way to a shorter wait…but the girl working the lines was sending plenty of rafts out with only a few people in and they weren’t large people, so you know they were way under the weight limit. The single rider line didn’t move for quite a while, but finally a guy came and took over and took full advantage of the single rider line. Granted, our total wait time was maybe 25 minutes, but the the guy was better at filling up rafts while utilizing the single rider line as its intended. Isaac and I got on back to back rafts with different groups, thankfully both of us getting fun families.

Mammoth-The water is not heated. And it was cold. But Mammoth was an amazing ride! Lots of airtime and aggression. I got slapped in the face a few times with water that I wasn’t expecting, and the ending drenched us all, but it was so worth it because the ride was so great.

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Next up we headed to Wildebeest and because the wait was so short we got in the regular line. I’d ridden this in it’s first year during Holiwood Night’s Exclusive Ride Time and it was loads of fun.

Then we got in line for the Funnel but the line was soooo…long and the ops didn’t seem to be pushing it thru, so we went over and did the slide racers instead, while hitting up Bahari’s warm water for a bit and then Zambezi Zinger. After that we were done with the water park, so we changed clothes and headed to the dry side of the park.

Once we were dry and ready to ride I took Isaac on his inaugural Voyage ride. We rode in the front seat of the last car. Voyage was still amazing. Yes, they slow you down on the MCBR. Too much if you ask me, and, yes, the triple down is no longer what it used to be. But the ride is still killer. And mayhaps they’ll figure out a way to turn down or turn off the MCBR one day.

I was hungry, so we stopped at the Plymouth Cafe. Isaac has some dietary restrictions and didn’t really seem to be in to anything they had there, so I got a ‘feast’ and sat to eat. This is where I must complain a bit.

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This was my first time at Holiday World without it being an event. Honestly, for the most part, operations were slow. People can complain all they want about Six Flags parks, but this was as slow as what those parks are typically known for. And it wasn’t just a one off thing, it was pretty much the entire park. Yes, the park was clean. Yes, the park was nice and fun. But operations were much to be desired. And I will say that many people that I texted confirmed that on any non-event visits it has been the same for them. Bummer.

And another reason for my ranting, with my turkey, which was quite good, I got a gigantic piece of just slimy skin underneath all of the meat. I could and should have taken it back, and I’m sure there wouldn’t have been an issue, but Isaac was hungry and we wanted to ride Thunderbird, so all the way up to Thunderbird we went, which had about a 40 minute wait.

ThunderbirdI wasn’t expecting a whole lot. I like wing coasters, and this is my fourth. We lucked out and got put in the front seat on the right side. The launch was more forceful than I had imagined it to be, and every element was great from the first inversion to the slow roll, the loop, Zero G roll, everything. And the station and queue were very well done and classy. I loved it.

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Isaac stopped to get BBQ that smelled really good. But there was a patron in line that caused, or should I say allowed, a very uncomfortable and unfortunate incident to happen, so Isaac decided to get out of line and we headed up to get something at Kringle’s instead.

Next up was a front and back row ride on Raven. I love that coaster and usually end up marathoning it at the end of the night during HWN because it usually has no line and I like sitting in the front in the dark. It was running really well, with great airtime, and when it kicked in to high gear after hill 5, especially in the front, it just takes off until the brakes. I love it.

Afterwards we headed over the Legend to try it out since it’s changes. You can see all of the new wood. I wish I’d taken more pictures. I’d always preferred Legend to Raven, which isn’t saying much since they’re both amazing roller coasters. We rode in the back first. The ride was out of control and as good as my best rides on it. There was more airtime and the differences in the ending are noticeable. I really liked it, as did Isaac, so we went back around and rode in the front. That new ending, with helices and everything was just nuts.

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Heading back we were going to go ride Thunderbird then end the night on Voyage, however I suggested Voyage first for a night run, and maybe a possible stop on the way back out of the park. Our night ride on Voyage near the front was great for me. Unfortunately, Isaac got a kidney punch from the divider in the middle of the ride.

We went back up to Thunderbird, but near the entrance we were told it was closed early for fireworks, so instead we headed back towards the gate as Voyage was closing then too.

We didn’t stay for fireworks because we had to get back to Louisville, plus I had to Hotwire a room. That hour of time we gained? Yeah, it kinda sucked losing that. We had a really great day at two good parks, both of which really need to some work on their operations. I wouldn’t mind living in a part of the country that was close to Voyage, Legend, Raven, Storm Chaser, Lightning Run, and Thunder Run. All VERY amazing rides to be close to. And we still had another day on our trip allotted to Kings Island, but would the weather cooperate?

Kings Island

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Holiday World 2012

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June 2, 2012
HoliWood Nights
Santa Claus IN

Day 1

I tended to go to Holiwood Nites about ever other year. I’d went in 2008 for Timberliners debut, but that obviously never happened. But that’s okay. In fact, it was really okay in 2012. This was the best Holiwood Nites ever! For the 2008 and 2010 events weather was an issue. It was so hot. Miserably hot. In fact so hot that I spent most of the day on Saturday both years in the water park and then taking a nap before dinner. None of that this time, though!

With my job I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go so I never made rooming or flying arrangements since the skilled nursing facility I worked at was in the window for it’s yearly state survey, and I am not allowed to be off during that time. Instead I decided that if I go I would drive, and come up with sleeping arrangements later. The week before the event I messaged Bryan Bird to ask if I could potentially sleep in my car at his cabin and use the shower there, which he was fine with since I knew mostly everyone in the cabin already.

Since there was no survey the week of the event I left from my job on Thursday evening to my parent’s house for the nite. I left later than I had wanted to on Friday morning because I stopped by my old job and was there for quite a bit talking, but when I did leave it was raining outside and I had hoped that this wouldn’t cause me any major delays.

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Holiday World 2010

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June 4-5, 2010
HoliWood Nights
Santa Claus IN

We arrived at the hotel just before 6 PM. Matt Scott, Matt Shoebridge, and Bill were already at the park an hour early and had started riding things but the rest of us went to Joe’s room and settled just a bit before heading over. It was still EXTREMELY hot and uncomfortable. Even though it was so muggy out we eventually pulled together, got in the car, and drove over to the park. The line to pay to get in for Holiwood Nites was rather long, but went swiftly. Thankfully Wade was my ‘sponsor’ since he had a coaster enthusiast club affiliation and I did not.

Once we got in the park we traipsed around and down to the picnic pavilion where everyone else was. We were there probably 30 to 45 minutes and I was able to meet up with a lot of people I’d not seen in a while and some new people I’d not met before. I saw Andy Wong for the first time in 7 years. He’s all growed up now, married, and with a kid (actually, he’s my age, but that’s besides the point).

After a while we were all let loose to go in to the park to get food and ride the coasters and rides. I suggested to Ken & Wade that they ride Raven, then Legend, then Voyage, so we headed to Raven first. I’d never been too impressed with Raven, save for the 5th hill, so I kind of felt like getting it out of the way for the evening so that I could concentrate on Legend and Voyage.

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Indiana Beach 2008

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May 25, 2008
Monticello IN

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.

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Holiday World 2008 Day 2

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May 24, 2008
Santa Claus IN
Holiwood Nights
Day 2

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.

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Holiday World 2008 Day 1

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May 23 & 24, 2008
Santa Claus IN
Holiwood Nights
Day 1

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.
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