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Photo TR: Holiday World & Indiana Beach


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Indiana Beach

July 2nd



Drove 4 hours and arrived at Indiana Beach at approximately 3pm.

It was exactly as I left it last September accepted much, much more busy. Upon my last visit to IB I had not gotten to ride any of the rides with a full train due to the park being so empty. This proved to give me a ton of re-rides but the trains were empty - I knew I was missing out on something.


That "something" was INCREDIBLE airtime, at least for Cornballs sake. The ride was completely different with a full train of riders. I knew that the extra weight would make a difference however I was unprepared for the kind of change it would make.



My original back seat ride provided nothing more than pure floater airtime - which I was content with. It was simply crazy how every hill threw me in the air but kept me right under the buzzbar. This time things were very, very different.



Cornball Express


Right from the drop I was thrust up and right, into the restraint and held there the entire way. Then up and to the left, then diving and yet again, being thrown into my buzzbar. Then a great pop of floater air before the wonderful drop over the water. WOAH! I was completely ejected into the buzzbar and held there the entire way.


Up and under Hoosier Hurricane and yet again, more buzzbar hitting airtime. Then more pure floater, smooth and forceful helix (seemed both smoother and more force with full train) and ended the ride with 2 airtime hills so powerful I was standing up on both of them - knees locked against the buzzbar.



Needless to say I was completely stunned at the difference a full train makes. Cornball, at 4pm was already starting to encroach on Shivering Timbers #1 spot simply because of how crazy the airtime was. However, it still didn’t beat it.




Hoosier ran harder, not anymore air, but just harder. More laterals in the helix and the jab turns came quicker and with more force. The ride is certainly a blast to ride still and while not like Cornball, still a solid ride any park I would think would be proud to own.



The Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain was down for a short while for problems with the elevator lift but was soon fixed. This thing was crazy - just as I left it and ran not any different, just the same most insane lateral producing machine I have ever ridden. Nothing yet has topped it and I doubt anything will.



We did end the night with some very late night cornball rides around 10pm. I had heard that these wooden coasters get faster at night but wasn’t sure how much faster they got. I was in for a very, very rude awakening.





It was INSANE! It was the airtime previously x2. Every hill that had floater before was ejector and every hill that was ejector well, just got more intense! It was simply ridiculous how much faster the ride got. I would think it was at least 5 seconds faster all around which doesn’t seem like much but it’s a definite increase in overall quickness. Needless to say, this night ride meant that Shivering Timbers fell from its #1 spot to this late night Cornball ride. Simple amazing airtime made more amazing by buzzbars.


Holiday World

July 3rd



So we left IB around 10pm and drove 5 more hours to Holiday World, the real reason for the trip. We arrived in Santa Claus Indiana at 3am and tried to get a hotel or a motel or a lodge, didn’t care. I had the next night (Sunday Night) booked at Santa's Lodge so we went there. The lady at the desk told us that not only were they booked for the holiday weekend but everywhere for an HOUR away was booked solid. I didn’t believe her but I called quite a few places and even drove around. Eventually, I returned there (it’s across the street from the park) and we slept in our car in the parking lot.


Having not yet showered after a hot day my sister had the great idea to go into Splashin Safari first and not only change for the water park, but use their showers! Great thinkin sis



We got on Zinga, which is one of those crazy Funnel-tilted on side-slides where you get into a huge clover leaf 4 person tube and slingshot down a slide into the oversized oil funnel and careen back and forth till you are spit out the small end. VERY VERY fun ride, very.


We then rode Zoombabwe which is the worlds tallest and longest enclosed family raft ride in the world. This was also an instant favourite because I love enclosed rides - the darker the better and this was simply funtastic.



Now, the real reason for the entire Trip Report - Raven and Legend!!!






First, Legend. I decided not to ruin Raven by riding it first so I rode The Legend first.


I got very near the back seat, in fact the seat just in front of it. I knew that this ride wasn’t an airtime machine but rather was just a long, lateral producing ride that pummels you from start to finish but leaves you not feeling pummeled but rather, refreshed.



It starts with a small right hand turn and up into the lift. Upon reaching the lift and starting into the hard right pre-drop the train triggers a wolf to howl which can be heard around the park. The train then dives down a fairly large hill and starts to the left - producing great back seat airtime and careening down into the tunnel. The train continues turning left and pulls up (still going left) then levels off, banks right, turns right and dives down under Zoombabwe. Receiving a bunch of laterals and a little air the train is hurtling down under the water park goers at a furious speed - CCI trademark. We pull up and turn to the left and head up for our turn back to the park but we do so going around Zinga's station which provides those waiting in line a close up view of the riders straining to hold on for the laterals as you dive down and to the right under a dripping water slide (yes, the water will drip on the riders of Legend) and using the terrain, diving low and then pulling back up.



The train at this point crosses over itself and goes into a double up - first hill giving some great, great airtime in all seats while the top really only gives air in the back. Still using the wonderful terrain in Santa Claus the ride dives what seems like down another very large hill and actually into the ground via a tunnel - yes - turning right at the same time. If Legend does one thing well it does that. It turns whenever it can, wherever it wants too. During drops, hills, bottoms of drops, tops of hills, wherever.


The train still going to the right pulls up out of the tunnel but instead of going up, (still flying at this stage) it levels off and unbanks while still going right providing some sick laterals and some crazy effects. The train dips down then pulls up to the left and enters the top of the double helix.


At the top the train slows down – what seems like your only breath – and starts rightward into the double helix. Laterals pound you from the right and force you left for what seems like eternity but it only gets worse! At the end of the helix and upon exiting the 2nd tunnel on the helix the turn unbanks and does another small pop of air at ridiculously fast speed! Every time I rode this I just couldn’t believe this was integrated into the ride for it seemed like it just wasn’t possible.


The Legend then pulls up, turns left, dives down, then pulls up. Turns right and dives down – takes your picture – pulls up. Another hard left turn right against the station wall which dives down again and into a swooping final turn and hard into the brakes.



Seem like a long ride? It is. It’s got a drop of 113ft and a track length of 4042ft. Custom Coasters did one thing perfectly – taking a ride that should lose speed and make it never lose any intensity.






The REAL reason I typed this up – Raven!!!


I’ve heard all of the stories. The insane airtime. Stark Raven Mad. How crazy it is at night, in the day, all day, every day. How the back seat is some of the craziest airtime anywhere (barring only a few other wooden coasters) How the new train isn’t fast, etc. I have dreamt of riding this ride ever since I got into coasters some many years ago. Here’s my chance.


I boarded the train for the first time in – you guessed it – Car 6 row 2 – the back seat. Going up the lift I reminded my sister sitting next to me that someone died from this very seat which didn’t bother me – MY seatbelt was staying on but nonetheless a little spooky.


By this time the ride was warmed up but probably too warm from the midday sun which beat down upon us relentlessly the whole day. (Thank goodness for free soft drinks!) We climbed to the top of the small little 80ft hill and turned right…



I was completely ejected into my lap bar as we flew down into the tunnel. The airtime on the drop alone was spectacular which made me only anticipate more “The Drop” that awaited me later on. Upon exiting the tunnel upwards we level out and turn right at a furious speed and then dive back down – yet more glorious airtime. We pull up and bank right as we enter the famous helix over the lake. This was one of two spots where the ride is rough and could be retracked but still, it’s a heck of a lot smoother still than most wooden coasters I have been on so I won’t complain. We pull up out of the helix and turn left while dropping (see a theme with that?) pull up and turn left into “The Drop”.


I’ve heard many things of “The Drop” but to experience it was incredible. I had gotten about 1-2 clicks higher than I should have and had loosened my belt a touch (all still within safe lines) and enjoyed some of the best airtime ever. We got yanked over the top and headed down the ravine and through the trees. The airtime was simply amazing every single time I rode it. This is where the ride goes nuts.



Upon dropping down the largest drop of the ride one would expect to pull back up. Nope, not Raven. From here on out it stays what seems to be within 30ft of the ground. So instead of pulling up to lose some speed, we stay fairly flat and turn left, then right with LITTLE to no banking. This gives a serious shove of laterals in both directions further disorienting the riders. The train dips down then pulls up – banks right and enters a long turn around which swoops down, then up. The train then dives again (more airtime) and turns right and up to end its journey into the station.




Yea, it’s a mere 43.57 seconds long (I watched the operator’s panel every time I sat in the back) but it’s the most heavenly 43 seconds one can experience. Both trains ran equally and it just didn’t matter what train I was in, I was sitting back seat.


The best part of the day was getting RE-RIDES in the back seat. Two complete trips around without getting out – you can’t do any better than that.



The best was yet to come. Again, just like Indiana Beach I have heard the stories of Raven at night. The pitch black craziness that grips its riders after dark as the train picks up its pace and not only does the airtime and laterals get more intense but you can’t see a dang thing!



This is no joke. We got on at 8:40 – 20 minutes before closing and got another back seat ride. The sky still had some light and thus it wasn’t too dark but the ride had gotten significantly faster. Airtime = wow again. We got back out and sat at the entrance, debating to ride it again or ride Legend one last time for the night. An employee began to shut the gates to Raven and politely asked us if we wanted to be the last ones on the ride for the night. Not being able to turn down that request, we hopped in.


We were the last riders on Raven that night and it’s a ride I will never forget. In just 20 minutes time it went from dusk to what seemed like the middle of the night. The cameras for the Ride Operators were in night vision and I couldn’t even see the lift hill from the station. I knew we were in for real treat.


We boarded back car again and I got back seat. We took off, last train of the night and going up the lift clapped our hands for the people in the parking lot – who hollered back at us and clapped along with us. We reached the top and saw light for one last time before we took off on what has to be one of the most wild night rides in the world.


Down the drop with crazy airtime and into the tunnel which was 100% pitch black. I couldn’t see the people in front of me, nor my own hands. We pulled up and saw some light, but not much. We turned over the lake and did actually make out some campers across the way but that was it. From there on out it was just us and the ride. By the time we got to “The Drop” I knew we had more speed and it was about that time we hit the drop and WOAH. Maybe it was the darkness, maybe the train was faster. All I know is I was ripped from my seat and shoved into the bar for some crazy, crazy airtime. From there on out its nothing but incredible mayhem as the Raven tossed us about like rag dolls. You can’t prepare for the turns – you can’t see them. You can’t do anything when you ride this late at night except throw your hands up and let Raven do what it does so well.



That nightride was the single most incredible coaster experience I have ever had. The airtime was out of this world and the changes in direction combined with lateral force and smoothness – all the while careening through the woods was simply crazy. It’s a must ride and if you get the chance, wait till they go to close the gates and jump in for the last ride – it’s worth the wait.



The park itself is wonderful. It’s got no smoking, no spitting, no cursing, and no acting like a fool. I don’t dislike smokers, just smoking. As for spitting, it gets a bit gross. Cursing? It’s just nice to be around families and people who know how to speak intelligently and use language either suitable for families or suitable for smart kids.


The free soft drinks is just an amazing deal and I have no clue how they profit from it but they do. Its just one of the many perks of Holiday World. Sure, there’s not much to do there (till 2006) and it’s a family park but Raven, Legend and the water park are sure to be hits with ANY enthusiast.



Heck, its no wonder it houses two of the greatest wooden coasters on the planet and also one of the greatest water parks as well. With only a little bit to offer, what it does offer is World Class and I highly, highly recommend going to Holiday World whenever you get the chance.




I will be back – this year!



Pictures here:



These pictures are far from my best. I made the mistake of forgetting to turn my ISO from 800 to 200-400 and all of them turned out grainy in the process. I had to size them down to get rid of the graininess so they arent of the same quality all around.


However, this means I just have to go back, ride some more and take more pictures. At least I know the hot spots and pictures I have that others dont have.


Zinga - this things cool (literally)


Raven through the forest


Legend out of the tunnel


Legends Drop


Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain


Hoosier Hurricanes Drop


Cornballs Drop

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Wow, that was a lengthly report!


Nice though, glad you had a good time. It's nice that we do still have parks that spend time and money maintaining their wooden coasters.


Elissa "don't see too much of that out this way!" Alvey

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Great report!


I have to ask... Does it bother anyone else that Holiday World put Zinga right on top of The Legend? I love the look of wooden coasters and Zinga just makes it look so cramped and IMO takes away from the off-ride experience.


Also, why do they have all the netting around the ride? Is it a safety issue?

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Yea, you wouldnt want someone dropping or tossing something in your direction in those sections, would you?


I like the addition of Zinga right on top of Legend. Adds to the cramped feeling. Thats what makes those rides shine - they are designed right into the hills and trees as its supposed to naturally feel cramped.


I also liked watching the train rocket by while on the walkways for Zinga and Zoombabwe. Very, very cool.


Sadly I wanted to get pictures from there but didnt want to crowd my way through the people. I think next time Ill run up there as it opens and let people walk by me. Most people were VERY courtious. Its amazing - just get a very nice camera, throw a nice lens on it with a tripod and carry a camera bag and youll command attention from anyone.


Ive had people at CP ask me to show them pictures in the picture viewer. I tend to gather a crowd when I take my tripod...not sure why though.



Do photographers have some "allure" or something?!@

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I'm glad someone else was able to experience the amazingness of Holiday World, and enjoy there 2 top 5 wooden coasters. Raven for the last 3 years has either been my personal number one or tied for number one. Last year after Legend got retracked it went from a top 10 to a top 3 wooden coaster, the back seat in that really is incredible, and Legend is just such a long and active coaster with so much going on that retracking that first drop made it even better!

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