July 18, 2008


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   My friend Doug and I went to Holiday World, and we got there about 11 a.m. It was pretty busy. The main parking lot was full, so cars were being parked in the Legend Lot. I'd never been in this parking lot before. It's a gravel lot with parking lines painted on the gravel. We walked through a tunnel under the road and went into the park.

    The first thing we did was stop at a Pepsi Oasis and grab free drinks. I got water. Then we headed to Voyage. Voyage is my favorite coaster of all time. It's completely out of control, has airtime on every single hill, lots of laterals and never lets up. I was excited to ride it again. The wait was only a couple of trains for the back seat. I figured most of the crowds were in the water park.

    We boarded, and off we went. Voyage is running a little rougher this season, but it doesn't take much away from the ride. The first drop is my favorite on a wooden coaster because it's big and steep, and the airtime is fantastic. The turnaround and two 90-degree-banked turns are great. The tunnels are amazing. The first tunnel is so far underground, it was a lot cooler in it than the outside air. That was fun going through.

    After Voyage, we went to Legend. Legend is my No. 2 wooden coaster because I really like lateral G's. There was a slight wait, but it wasn't bad. There are lots of fans in the station to keep cool. Legend is running pretty well. The laterals seem a bit stronger than I remembered, and you really have to fight against them. I love it.

    We went to Frightful Falls next. Its entrance sign has a drawing of a fat alligator or some weird monster on it. The line was fairly long, but we waited since it's in the shade. That's a good idea to have the water ride's line in the shade. As we were waiting, it broke down. The ride hosts were looking at something in the front of a boat, and they stopped the conveyor belt in the station. Two maintenance workers showed up and looked at the boats. After awhile, they were able to get the ride running again.

    It's a fun water ride, though it's extremely short. It starts off in a tunnel, does a few twists and turns then goes down the only drop, which goes under Legend's lift hill. The splash doesn't get riders wet, but it does get you a little cool.

    We went to Raven next. The wait was about 15 minutes. While in the queue just before entering the station, we saw a ton of trash and coins and gum on the roof. Disgusting. We rode in the back seat. Raven's fun. It's fast and has good airtime in the fifth drop. It was running really well.

    I wanted to ride some other rides, so we went to Star Spangled Carousel. It's new for this year. It was OK. The horses aren't made of wood, but that doesn't really bug me. It's a carousel, so there's not much else to it.

    We were hungry, so we went to The Alamo. It's Mexican food, so I got a burrito and taco meal, which was about $5. It was pretty good.

    After eating, we went to Eagles Flight, the flying scooter. We waited one cycle. I hopped in a vehicle with a crazy bird on it. I couldn't get it to snap. I almost got it a few times. I saw the front cables get a little bit of slack in them, but I think it's run a little fast. That and I haven't snapped a flying scooter since riding Kings Island's in 2004, so I didn't remember exactly how to do it. But these rides are pretty fun anyway.

    We went back to Voyage. It's still amazing.

    Then we went to Gobbler Getaway. That's a fun ride, and it has a grandmother in the queue. Gobbler Getaway is a Sally ride themed to saving turkeys from Thanksgiving. Or something. I never pay much attention to the story because I'm busy getting a higher score than Doug. The end of the ride has a family lifting a lid off a plate for Thanksgiving, only it's pizza. There's a turkey hiding under the table. It's a fun ride.

    We went to Turkey Whirl, the open-top Tilt-a-Whirl. We got a few good spins, but we never really got more than two in a row. We rode Voyage again.

    Next was HallowSwings, the Wave Swinger. It's just like any other ride like this, except the Halloween theming is really well done. I liked it.

    We went to Liberty Launch next. Double Shots are really fun. This one's great because it has a single-rider line, and Doug and I got in line there. The best part of this ride is the second launch up. You completely fly out of your seat. It's great.

    We went to the oldest ride in the park, The Freedom Train. This is the only original attraction from Santa Claus Land. On its sign, I saw a spider eating a bee. Weird. There's also a giant Mother Goose outside the station. Some people were painting the station while the ride was operating. It's a neat ride. The engine looks really good. There are lots of nursery rhyme characters along the path, and the person driving the train talks about them as we pass by. But the microphone or speakers weren't working well, so we only heard a little bit.

    We went to Raven again, where a little sign on the control panel told the ride hosts that it's hot. It was a pretty hot and muggy day. Raven's fun.

    Then we went to Scarecrow Srambler. This is a pretty old-style ride. It's started with a hand crank and stopped with a hand brake. It's fun and has a pretty long cycle. I was a little dizzy when I got off, but I think that's because I was focusing on one area, so everything else seemed to be moving around faster.

    I rode Legend, and Doug sat out. I went to the back seat. I love this freaking ride. The first drop is fantastic, and the laterals are the best.

    We went to Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, the Spider, next. It's run pretty well and has good, quick drops. I really enjoyed it. When they were unloading, we stopped at the top, which was a little uncomfortable. The seats are tilted back, and we were at a strange angle.

    Doug took my picture on a Raven cut-out. It has three seats in that row! Get it right, Holiday World.

    Then we went to Reindeer Games because we're losers. It's a Moser Rides Spring Ride. It's fun, for what it is.

    We walked in a gift shop and looked around. The one we went in sells toy guns and things, which seems odd for an amusement park.

    I went to Lewis and Clark Trail, and Doug sat out. When I got to my car, the ride host told me I had to be paired with someone, but she said I could ride anyway. Odd. I don't know why they need to pair people.

    We rode Liberty Launch again. We ended up in the same seats we had the last time we rode. We then went to Gobblery Getaway, where I beat Doug again. We rode Voyage and Raven. Raven went down for maintenance right before we got on. A maintenance worker came into the station, looked at a car, then walked up the lift hill. On his walk down, he kicked the rails on the left side. The ride hosts said a rider said something was loose, so we figured he thought a board came loose. The mechanic came back down and said he didn't see anything. He rode in the front seat. He gave the all-clear, and we rode.

    We rode Bench: The Ride.

    We went back to Voyage and decided to wait to get a night ride, or at least as near to night as possible. The park closed at 8:30. While waiting, I just hopped in line. I didn't want to wait when the line was so short. The queue downstairs was open, but none of it was full, so I took pictures as the train roared by. This ride was one of the greatest I'd ever been on. It's flying so fast, and the block brake isn't in use this season. Last season it was on, and it took a little bit away from the ride. But it's running at full speed now, and it's amazing.

    I exited and went back to the entrance. A ride host was down there waiting to close the line. He let us in and then closed it, so we were the last people in line. We got the last train of the night. I was in the front row of the last car, and Doug was a car in front of me. It was the greatest ride experience I've ever had. It wasn't completely dark, but it was really close. The ride goes out into the woods, and there's only one light out there on the block brake. Every tunnel was totally black, and the turns and hills out in the woods were dark. Every single hill has airtime. And it's not just floater air. Many hills completely throw you out of the seat. It's relentless. Voyage is a fantastic coaster.

    We headed toward the entrance, and I wrote a compliment and suggestion. I said the park could benefit from a buffet and that Voyage might do a little better if it had single-bench PTC trains. I love this park and wish I lived closer to it. This park has class, and I wish other parks would follow its lead.

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