The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Holiday World



We somehow slept through the night in the rat hole formerly known as the Tell City Days Inn, scarfed down a mediocre continental breakfast punctuated by a truly awful cup of what local area residents would later describe as orange juice, and headed out to Holiday World.

The park is located in heart of wondrous Santa Claus, Indiana. The park is divided up into themed areas representing major holidays. There is Christmas, 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (new this year). It’s a family park, so burlesque shows were hard to come by.

Holiday World is primarily a water park, but when they aren’t spending time on the lazy river, they are installing world-class coasters. All three of them are famous. Voyage, their newest, opened just this year. Some are calling it the best wood coaster in the country. Holiday World has free parking, free sunscreen and free unlimited soft drinks (I’m crappin’ ya negative). Do not underestimate the power of free beverages.

Voyage was the impetus behind my desire to go to Holiday World and to some extent the very purpose for this massive trip. So you can imagine my dismay when I saw a sign that read something like: “Voyage is closed today. Go cry to your Mommy about it.” Needless to day, it took the wind out of me. I was going to phone my mother and tell her how sad I was, but I sucked it up like a big boy and headed into the park.

Everything I read about Holiday World said it wouldn’t be that crowded on Memorial Day weekend, so, of course, the place was mobbed. We headed for our first coaster, The Raven, and saw a huge line. In reality, the crowd isn’t that huge, but the bastards in charge decided that they would only run one train that day. This caused the line to drag. We waited forty minutes to ride.

The Raven is a fine coaster with some wonderful air time with a quick paced romp through the woods. It was voted the #1 wood coaster several years in a row (2000 – 2003), and it showed. I personally, wasn’t wowed by it, but it is a solid offering.

After the Raven was the Legend. This one is taller and faster than the Raven, but a little rougher. Again, it was very good, but not anything to do cartwheels over. And again, only one train running and an unnecessary forty minute wait. My opinion of the park was steadily declining because I hate needlessly waiting in line because the park doesn’t feel like putting two trains on the track.

With both coasters out of the way, I felt a little rudderless. Instead of getting back in the long lines, we ventured down to gawk at and long for Voyage. When we reached the newly created Thanksgiving themed section of the park, I look up to see people going into The Voyage station. I look again to see a train navigating the tracks filled with people. We all rushed to the line to find it fairly short. Within minutes we were taxiing up the lift hill.

The Voyage exceeded all of my expectations. It is a wonderful ride that overshadows both the Raven and Legend. Breathtakingly fast and nimble, this ride redefines what we expect of a coaster. It breaks no records yet sets itself apart from all contenders except for maybe the Beast. Is it better? Tough call. I’d still stay with the Beast because the end double helix is just so perfect, it elevates the entire coaster to near perfect status.

While Voyage has a bump or two, they don’t hold it back. The front is a wonderful blend of speed and air time. I rode it three times. Each time, the ride got better and better. This is a wonderful coaster. It innovates as well as masters all of the traditional elements. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The Voyage single-handedly reversed my opinion of Holiday World. I still think they need to treat their customers like their time is valuable.

After Holiday World we headed west to St. Louis. Our four plus hour marathon to Missouri netted us another date with Days Inn and another sub-standard hotel room. More on that later.

4 Comments:

  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger Winfield said…

    Whew you guys are making me tired. So did you miss the Holliworld Nights coaster event? I heard it was mobbed! Now hopefully you can separate your new Voyage with the new puppy were are getting closer to home.

     
  • At 7:47 PM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said…

    No idea about the coaster event. Didn't see any T-Shirts or anything. The Voyage is something truly special, and coasters like that don't come around too often. It really isn't a knock on El Toro to say that I have no hopes of it even coming close to Voyage. 1.2 miles of track, and once it starts, it never lets up. It has two fairly unique elements (90 degree banks and a tunnel with a drop)all at above 50 mph.

    All that said, I'm looking forward to riding El Toro.

     
  • At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Dangermouse said…

    considering that the phrase "more on that later" has appeared six times, perhaps a re-titling is in order?

    When are you people home?

     
  • At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Dangermouse said…

    ... as I have more things I need to clean out of there.

     

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