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Photo TR: Jahan's Awesome TPR-Midwest Trip Report!


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Wow! I cant believe how many comments I got for the Coney Island installment! LOL. Moving right along!...





Day 2: Holiday World


Hey everybody!


Alright, so here we are at day two and our first park of the trip, Holiday World! I had heard a lot of good things about the park! Overall, I found it to be a nice park. Not a great park, but a nice park. Let us take a look.


*slow cross-dissolve to Santa Claus*




Here we go, that’s more like it!


Now, I don’t mean to “knock” on Santa Claus, Indiana, but Holiday World is really in the middle of nowhere! It was almost scary, in that “maybe TPR is really taking us to the backwoods to slaughter us” kind of way! But as soon as they Voyage emerged from behind the landscape, 100 enthusiast cameras popped up and began snapping away!


The Raven! Coming from California, I was looking forward to riding my first GOOD wooden coaster today! I was still convinced that they didn’t exist.


Waiting to get in. LOL. I don’t know why I find this photo so funny, but I do!


So sure enough after a bit of waiting, the park management personally greeted us and escorted us into the side entrance to the park. Our day had begun! We were first escorted through a wonderful photo walk-back around the Raven and the Legend. It was very neat of them!


It was Robert Frost who wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one that went under The Raven, and that has made all the difference.”



Once the walk-back was done, Holiday World offered to walk us to one of their three coasters for opening. A vote was held and resulted unanimously in favor for the Voyage.


Though he personally voted for the Raven, Robb announces that we’re going to head over to the Voyage! Loser.


That’s pretty much the biggest wooden coaster I have ever seen to that date! I was kind of scared, to be honest!


As promised, we were the first ones in line and totally psyched! Sure, the Pepsi Python was a kickass ride, but this would be the first real coaster of the trip! And it was REAL something, that’s for sure! LOL.


I walked off of the ride saying “that was great!” But I wouldn’t get back in line. The ride was one of the most intense experiences I’ve had on a roller coaster. It wasn’t a bad ride by any means, but there was something uncomfortable about it. Most of it insane, crazy, and fun, but parts weren’t terribly enjoyable (the reverse-banked hump comes to mind ). It’s hard to explain because I don’t want to sound like I’m just ragging on the Voyage. To sum it up, I like what TJ said when we hit the brakes—“Wooden coasters aren’t supposed to go that fast”.


That being said, I liked the ride. I just needed to nurse myself back to health a bit before jumping back in line. Besides, there were a few other credits to get!


…But not without a ride on the park’s new darkride!


Gobbler Getaway was almost a cute attraction. It was clean and I totally see the family appeal. But I found it to be annoying for a few reasons:


1) I want to SHOOT turkeys, dammit, not “call” them!

2) Calling turkeys involved hearing an obnoxious “GOBBLE” every time you pulled the trigger.

3) “We” don’t get to EAT turkey for Thanksgiving, rather order pizza and eat WITH the turkeys. All that “calling” for nothing! So dumboingly anti-climactic!

4) Well…


…no carry-on items on a darkride?! You have got to be kidding me!!!


…that was my first taste of the strict “no loose articles” policy that I had heard so much about. It was sort of off putting. But please hold, I’ll get to that rant momentarily. For now, let’s continue cycling around to the ride’s various credits.


The Legend, by far my least favorite of the park’s 3 woodies. Although the bell they rang when dispatching was cute….just not cute enough to save the ride.


All that being said, it was a beautiful looking ride.




…ok, I think I can rant now.


I always put my viewing glasses into my cargo pocket before riding a roller coaster. Well, I made the unfortunate mistake of removing my glasses once seated in the station of the Legend. As if he was waiting for me to do so, I was approached immediately by a ride operator and asked to leave my glasses in the station. I kindly explained they were going in my sealed cargo pocket, but was cut off—apparently glasses loosely fitted around my head are ok, but as soon as they escaped the vise-like grasps of my stubbornly unyielding ears, they were qualified as a potential projectile and I was unable to bring them on the ride.


Now before I rant any further, do know that I didn’t put up a fight. I left my glasses on a shelf in the station, where they were just as I left them when I returned.


But seriously. Look guys—I've operated several roller coasters. I know personally what it’s like to have a guest get injured by loose articles (as well as the paperwork that follows ), and by no means have a gripe with the policy itself. I was just very put off by the way that the ride operators seemed to enforce the policy throughout the park. Safety always comes first, I understand, but that doesn’t mean that simple courtesy needs to be sacrificed to ensure safe operation. Every ride I went to, I felt as though the ride operators were preying for articles they could deem as unsafe, as if they were competing for the most items caught. It was bad enough to where I felt uncomfortable every time I sat down on a roller coaster! You know when you’re being followed by a cop and even though you’re driving perfectly according to the textbook-law, you feel nervous? That’s how I felt around these ride operators!


Perhaps I’m just overreacting. But it felt like the “fun” of riding a roller coaster was sort of sucked out of me by these Nazi ride operators. They were like dementors.




Something tells me I just lost points with some of you for using a Harry Potter reference. Moving right along.


Oh, and the Legend had to many laterals. LOL. Thought I’d throw that in there.


TJ, pretending to like Pepsi in line for the Raven. Yes, he downed all of those.


For those who don’t know (I certainly didn’t before my visit), Holiday World offers guests FREE UNLIMITED Pepsi drinks throughout the day. It’s actually a very neat concept! Would be neater if it wasn’t Pepsi, however!


…”Nevermore”. LOL at two American Literature references in one PTR! My 11th grade Lit teacher would be so proud.


The Raven would be my favorite ride at Holiday World and the best wooden coaster I had been on at that point! FINALLY, I had found myself a GREAT woodie! The search was over! The Raven was a fun, comfortable, well paced ride with much airtime and in a great setting! Unlike some rides, which traditionally begin with the “one trick” and then sort of meander back to the station for the rest of the ride, the Raven begins fun and only gets faster, better, and more insane as the ride concludes.


Once we were blown away on the Raven, it was time for some grub. We had a group lunch provided in one of the park’s picnic areas.


PEPPERIONI PIZZA…this meal is “Jahan Approved!”


An unnecessary photo of the group trying to not look like they hate me for taking a photo of them!


LOL. Chris looks like he crapped a pizza crust!


The view of the Voyage from where we ate lunch. Sorry, must have had a shift-change on whoever is writing the captions!


I also randomly found these track segments. With a group like this, I thought about black-lighting them but quickly decided against it!



After lunch, Holiday World was nice enough to take us on another photo walk-back of the Voyage! Ironically enough, I don’t have any photos from this! LOL. That being said, it was very neat. I mean, I don’t recall the ride being fenced in or anything and we were just sort of walking around it! If that’s not “up close and personal”, I don’t know what is!


Naturally, we had to conclude our walk-back with another ride on the Voyage.



I admit, the ride was a bit more comfortable later in the day, once it had “warmed up”. Still wasn’t as good as the Raven performed in the morning, in my opinion.


We then headed into the children-centric area to get a ride on the kiddy-credit, which was, well—a kiddy credit!


Tex and I have a “moment” with the Holidog!


We then hopped on the river rapids. What?! I don’t have that many photos from this part of the day!


That is especially true as after that, we headed into Splashin’ Safari, the in-park water park. I didn’t bring my camera with me for that leg of the journey, which is rather unfortunate because I think the water park was probably one of my favorites, if not my favorite part of the park! I don’t know why, I just liked it! A pretty standard, off-the-shelf collection of water slides. That being said, many of them were massive!


After the water park closed, we prepared for sunset. Our time left in the park was short. Some headed to the Voyage. Some headed to the Raven. No one really headed to the Legend.



I was in the group who headed to the Raven. Night rides on the Raven = close to what I’m pretty sure sex is like (can anyone confirm this?!). Like, we seriously got back in line again, and again, and again. There are very few rides that will encourage me enough to get back IN A LINE for. I rode the Raven about 3 or 4 more times until, alas, park closing had arrived.




All and all, as I said, Holiday World was a nice park. Now, I don’t mean to sound as though I’m “hating” on the park, but at the end of the day, walking away from the park, I didn’t feel as if it was all that great. My metaphor for the park was “painted plywood”—


Figure A. Painted Plywood


The park was clean. It looked fresh. The landscaping was beautiful. The staff was professional. The rides were enjoyable. The park had all the ingredients that a theme park should have. You can’t deny that. Regardless, it wasn’t that great of a park!


I’ve always heard of big theme parks trying to manage themselves the way little theme parks do. This was exactly the opposite. It was a little theme park that tried to manage itself as a big theme park! It may be family owned and operated, but it felt very corporate and “watered down”, with little charm that was not forced. And no matter how much it tried to be a big theme park (the paint), you couldn’t get around the truth that Holiday World is just more of a roadside-attraction with three coasters and a few flats (the plywood). If you like water parks than you can easily spend a whole day there. If you do not, I wouldn’t plan a whole day around the park.



It’s ok if you disagree with me, I wont mind. That’s simply what I walked away from the park feeling.



Anyway, that would about do it for this installment! I hope you enjoyed reading! It’s fun for me to revisit these memories, so I hope you’ve enjoyed it!






p.s. LOL…just stumbled across this random photo of Ryan and I.



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Personally I was much more enthusiastic about Holiday World but I can see where you're coming from. I guess beauty is in the eyes of the passholder.


Great TR, I enjoy reading it and hope to see more soon!


I think you're right on the money by saying its a small park trying to act like a big park. Though in my opinion they're doing a pretty high-quality job regardless.

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Because of the Harry Potter reference....we are not friends anymore



I miss Holiday World!!! And Raven at night!!! Still think it was the best woodie of the trip, over voyage; and Robb laughing like a giddy schoolboy, I dont think that'll ever happen again, unless he rides Raven @ night in the backseat again..


great photos Jahan! Cant wait to see more

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I guess beauty is in the eyes of the passholder.


Jahan, Raven at night, really agree. At Holliwood Nights last year, as soon as it got dark everyone headed for Voyage, me included, and Raven and Legend was pretty much deserted. But Raven at night, as I found out in the Coasterbuzz event, is exactly as you described it. Legend, 100% agree, but they retracked allot of the ride so I am hoping for better rides this year, or the first part of the season. Voyage is rough, I agree, but the front seat is really smooth when the back seat is very rough. I can only do two rides back seat wise before taking a break.


Though, I don't agree with your feelings of HW, they are yours. HW will always be a special park for me because Voyage got me to ride my first coaster. After the announcement of Voyage I did the on ride animation and that was when I decided I was going to do it finally, and well, 34 coasters later, I love them.

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“We” don’t get to EAT turkey for Thanksgiving, rather order pizza and eat WITH the turkeys. All that “calling” for nothing! So dumboingly anti-climactic!


Thanks for totally giving away the ending, Jahan!


You're still off to a great start, though.

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This has been very entertaining so far. Keep it up!


And thank you for the "rant" about the loose items policy at HW. Too often this is glossed over by people, because they get ERT or free fudge or whatever. This is a major problem, both the policy (stuff in a cargo pocket with a zipper is NOT a loose item) and the way it's enforced (there is no reason the ride operators need to be so rude about this). For a park that's always being praised for the "politeness" of the employees, it seems like this policy and its enforcement is a dirty little secret that keeps getting swept under the rug. There is no sane reason for it, and it seems like it is having a negative impact on guest satisfaction. It is certainly something that needs a serious review.


Anyway, looking forward to the next installment...



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Oh my... after working at Disneyland Paris as a ride op on Space Mountain (which has 3 loops...) and enforcing the complete opposite of HW loose article policy, I'm just baffled at them... We told people to keep their bags, glasses, etc. with them. Put your bags at your feet and they won't fall down. Glasses? Unless they're really loose, no problems! Its ridiculous and I guess the park has that "great park aura" that means that stuff like this that would get pointed out and used against some parks just gets ignored. I'll visit HW for the first time this year and based on a few TR's here, I'm not planning a full day and we'll try to hit SFKK the same day.

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The loose article policy is puzzling. The same kind of thing happened to me in Japan on Thunder Dolphin. All your pockets had to be empty even if they were zippered but they didn't make me take off my sun glasses that didn't have a strap. Go figure

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^^Indeed, so many people get confused when going to Disney, leaving their bags on the side then looking shocked when they get told to take them on with them...


Indeed, most problems I get is with shoes on the Vampire, you have to wear them because of the 'cheese-grater' style steps for evacuation... So imagine walking down them in bare feet... Not nice, yet even with annoucements people still leave their shoes off... I hate guests sometimes... *continues to rant in corner*


Great TR btw...

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HW is the only park out of over 100 that has ever made me put my "coaster hat" off to the side as oppsed to in my pocket. They were total dicks about it to me and my dad. Personally I think "robotic" service is almost as bad as crappy service. Robotic service is my biggest complaint with CF. I still say Adventureland in IA is the best, most real service I have ever encountered at a park.

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I pretty much agree with almost all of Jahan's views.


Also, bringing up the Disney policy reminded me of doing New Years Eve at MGM a few years back. I had a giant Disney NYE Hat, Noisemaker, Jacked, Backpack...they told me to take it all with me on Rock n Roller Coaster!


Guess what? It was all fine! So many parks strive to meet Disney's quality, standards, and operating procedures...do it!!!!

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While I understand the no loose articles on the coasters...it still isn't needed.


I'll echo the "people being shocked at Disney when they're told to carry their items" stories. I get so many "I thought it was better to leave our items off the ride!?" everytime I ask a guest to hold onto their backpacks/whatevers.


Anyways, I can't wait to get back on Voyage. THAT blew me away. Raven was fun but I couldn't help but want to go get in line for Voyage again instead of Raven. Voyage at night was ridiculous cause there was only one light out on the track and it was at the top of the triple-down tunnel, and you could only see that light when you were on the MCBR. It was just pitch black. And doing what Voyage does when it's pitch black...insane.


I didn't care for much at Holiday World though. Free drinks, Raven and Voyage...thats all it is to me.

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