This past weekend, Catrina and I wanted to get away but we weren't really sure where. After a little bit of hotel research on Friday, I found that we could get a good room in Louisville for about $50 a night. So, at noon on Friday we decided to hid a couple parks in the Mid-West over the weekend including Catrina's favorite waterpark!
Saturday - 7/14 - Holiday World
Here we are. At opening and the park is not yet that crowded. This would change in a matter on minutes as people make their way to the back of the waterpark. This had to be the busiest I have yet to encounter here.
Holiday World's newest attraction, Bakuli, is welcoming it' s first riders of the day while The Voyage wait's in the background. A sign in the front of the park notified customers that The Voyage would be opening late today. It still managed to open by around 12pm or so.
The first slide I went to was Zoombabwe. If you visit Splashing Safari, I will strongly suggest that you hit the big slides first thing in the morning. After that, you can expect hour long waits that work all the way down the stairs on busy days.
By one o'clock, the Bahari wave pool was already crowded with patrons.
Although shade is at a premium inside of the waterpark, the area is surrounded by dense woodlands (and cornfields).
Jungle Jets allow the waterpark's smaller patrons an opportunity to cool off on hot days like today. Notice the line for Jungle Racers in the background.
I am not sure if Zoombabwe is still the longest enclosed slide, but it is REALLY long.
Even with these massive lunchtime crowds, it still only took a minute or two to get some food. Kudos to Holiday World for having a good collection of options. The food bill for the whole day was about $26 for both Catrina and I. That included two snacks and dinner (along with unlimited drinks). Not too bad.
The Jungle Racers are fun to watch, but I tend to stay away from them after the abuse a certain part of my anatomy took on my first experience on them.
Zoombabwe exits into the pool.
After changing, we headed into the park to grab some rides. Gobbler Getaway was the first and Catrina beat me for once in this interactive dark ride shooter. For some unknown reason, however, our scores reset about 3 times during the ride.
Oh crap! You mean to tell me this is the line for Voyage! Actually ... it turned out that they were only using a couple of the switch backs inside the building and the wait was only about 25-30 minutes. I managed to grab two rides with one of them being at dusk and this ride still delivers. It has a couple little rough spots, but nothing that detracts from the ride as a whole. Still my favorite!
A train heading up the lifthill.
Heading down the first drop.
More Notes on The Voyage:
The ride was running two trains and dispatching at a pretty good interval. The line really did seem to move pretty well. In the station, loading procedures are the same as has been the case on previous visits. I didn't see any stapling and all of my rides were experienced with the lap bar touching my legs instead of pressing them down. The crews were all very safety minded (checking belts, bars and height restrictions) but friendly and accommodating also.
Next up was the HolloSwings. Even with a 2 cycle wait, we got on in no time. Not much different than other wave swingers, but the theme is definitely unusual.
After a great ride on the Legend, we headed over to the Raven where I would get a ride the way it meant to be experienced.
Overall, all the coasters were running very well. I heard some people down by Voyage commenting on how rough the Legend was, but I didn't notice anything like that on my ride. All the coasters at Holiday World (except Howler) are very intense and a little roughness should be expected. These are not gentle machines. They are wild and crazy wooden masterpieces.
Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of it during the day, but here is a shot of Holiday World's Liseburg/Applause award.
Sunday - 7/15 - Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
Ok, enough with the Holiday World lovefest. After checking out of our room in Louisville, it was now time to head to the Kentucky State Fairgrounds so Catrina could get some missed credits.
We had both been to the park before, but it was during the Kentucky State Fair and it was nice to be able to check out the park while it was operating within it's normal perimeters.
We arrived at the park a little before opening and so far ... so good.
Catrina looks excited to expand her coaster count a little bit. Even if it does include a first generation SLC.
About 15 minutes before the gates open and the characters outside are getting everybody worked up. I know that we haven't even entered the park yet, but it looks like there have been some changes in the Six Flags organization. The employees seem to be cheerful (as opposed to apathetic) and this would carry out throughout the day inside the park too.
It is the little things like this that will keep the families coming back to the park. The expression on this kids face is priceless.
Sorry ... don't think I will be riding you today.
Catrina wanted to get a picture with Batman. After assuring me that she wasn't going to run off to Gotham with the home wrecker I obliged. Actually, I am not really sure that he would be able to run very far at all with the leather cape in tow. It was about 100 degrees outside and I imagine that he would suffer heat stroke within seconds.
Waiting for the rope to drop.
Chang looks pretty with it's new paint job and all, but as they say "You can't polish a turd". It is still as packed with head-banging goodness as i remembered.
Catrina missed the SLC on our first visit, so I was obligated to ride this one again. Not smooth, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was the kind of rough that you could laugh at.
Catrina couldn't remember if she rode Thunder Run on our last visit or not so we gave it a lap just to make sure. I really enjoyed the ride on our last visit, but it was pretty craptacular this day. Not much action over the hills and the roughness was of the "so bad I can't see clearly" variety.
I think this is the face of disapproval.
Next up was the Carousel (complete with certifiable operator who demanded that we go "weeee!" on each rotation).
Catrina suggested that I see on this "Camel" and ride next to her. I am pretty sure that this is not a camel, but I am not quite sure what kind of creature it is.
Twisted Twins would be the last coaster for us at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. On our last visit, only one side was operating and we couldn't remember which one we rode (how's that for a memorable ride), so we did them both.
The shiny and sweaty newlyweds.
In Kentucky, we had to fill up the rollerskate before heading to our final park of the trip.
Sunday - 7/15 - Kings Island
Upon our arrival at the park, we were welcomed with this sign. Not that we had any intentions of riding it, but I found it funny that it was closed for maintenance not 2 weeks after reopening.
Something is just "not right" with this Topiary. I mean, maybe my mind is in the gutter but ...
Ok ... I can't resist .... "Through the trees!"
Throughout the park, it is obvious that they are trying to remove all mentions of Paramount and replacing them with Cedar Fairish text. But, don't you think this is at least a little egocentric?
Our main purpose for visiting the park today was to get a ride on Firehawk. Since we both count relocated coasters (like another aging enthusiast who shall remain nameless).
With 4 hours left to drive home, I think we will pass.
Goodbye Kings Island.
At least you still look pretty.
Now it's time for the "exciting" trip back home. Gotta love Ohio.
If the TPR Mid-west happens to pass by these billboards on 71, I am expecting ... no demanding ... a group photo.
While passing through Columbus, we noticed that Magin Mountain was open, but we gave it a pass
Thanks for reading and feel free to post your comments.