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Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread


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^^ He must be spoiled by all those one of a kind/never cloned world class attractions at SFSTL

 

The first year the Thanksgiving section was open, I actually heard the University of Alabama fight song play while in that section of the park

 

My friends were walking through the Thanksgiving section and wanted to know why the park was playing football music in the Thanksgiving section? What is the other thing Americans do on Thanksgiving besides get together with family and eating turkey? Watch football! I was honestly surprised that they didn't think of that. It doesn't surprise me that they were playing Alabama's fight song. Wouldn't surprise me if they played Auburn's too. The Iron Bowl is played Thanksgiving weekend lol

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Overall I'll take SFStL any day. Just compare JLBFM to that low budget turkey shoot ride at HW. World class? C'mon.

You're comparing apples and oranges. If you enjoy St Louis's "world-class" steel roller coasters, that's great. To me, I can think of 1 "world-class" coaster also at that park and one unique pretty terrible non-carnival "world-class" flat ride. Yes, Gobbler Getaway is not a "world-class," state-of-the-art dark ride, but it's not much cheaper-looking than, say, Boo Blasters.

 

In my humble opinion, a friendly, home-y atmosphere of parks like Holiday World, Knoebels (haven't visited yet, just going off general opinion) or Silver Dollar City/Dollywood tops a Six-Flags "world-class" mega thrillz atmosphere any day of the week.

 

"World-Class" Word count: 5

 

My friends were walking through the Thanksgiving section and wanted to know why the park was playing football music in the Thanksgiving section? What is the other thing Americans do on Thanksgiving besides get together with family and eating turkey? Watch football! I was honestly surprised that they didn't think of that. It doesn't surprise me that they were playing Alabama's fight song. Wouldn't surprise me if they played Auburn's too. The Iron Bowl is played Thanksgiving weekend lol

 

That's pretty clever as it's pretty hard to find a Thanksgiving carols CD these days

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I rather enjoyed this trip report as well. I've never had a bad experience at the park in my prolly 29 years of going, but I'm also a huge HW fanboy so I can appreciate when things don't go quite right for someone who isn't going to be as biased as I am. So, very nice job on the trip report, I just wish things would have went better for you.

 

In looking at the history of the park, and its growth. I see very very clear points in time that were pivotal for the park. Times(or years or new attractions) when something kinda of really magical happens and the park changes in a huge and positive way as a result. The first one I remember was when it changed from Santa Claus Land to Holiday world. Adding the different holidays and themed attractions changed the park forever and made it more than just some little side road attraction. This came with some issues with the layout of the park, and a uptick in guests that it wasn't quite ready for yet. Guess what happened? They adapted and changed and improved VERY quickly, like in one season. They took the entire parks operations up a few notches and everything fell in line and it became a nice little regional attraction doing everything right. Then came Splashin" Safari. It was something really new to this area that was clamoring for someplace to cool off and have fun in this area in the extremely hot and humid Indiana summers. It was a HUGE hit right off the bat and became something that people in the region went to instead of the local swimming pool. Again, this came with some of the same drawbacks of increased crowds and the need to do some things different to distinguish itself and keep everyone happy. (things like free sodas, ect) . That was a huge pivotal moment for the park. The park again reacted quickly and the park forever brought things up even a few more notches. Then came the Raven.... and we all know what happened there.. it too, was another pivotal moment in the parks history. Honest The Legends addition was kind of both an answer to and part of that pivotal moment all in one. After that, it was all about the water park. I knew from the beginning they would have to focus a lot on it because it was an instant success when they opened it at first. So they made huge strides that took many years to give people what they were demanding. It was not dry rides, it was all about water park rides. This again transformed the park and they had to react (again quickly) to keep guests happy, keep the park improving and moving forward. (free sunscreen, record breaking water rides, ect.) Then came The Voyage/Thanksgiving project. This was the first time many people finally viewed the park more than just something for this region. Now they were attracting people from a much larger radius in the midwest. It was no longer your fathers theme park. The next pivotal moment was The Wildebeest/ The Mammoth. These aren't rides even other larger parks had. Crazy fun, brought a more thrill aspect to the park, and balanced everything out in the water park yet while still complimenting their roller coasters. The last pivotal moment is obviously Thunderbird. They have done everything right and as far as I can tell has made this a national park. It's no longer a small park, and after this year I"m not sure they could be considered a mid sized park anymore either. There is more for me to do at Holiday World than I ever had at any Six Flags park I have ever went too with way more balance between the types of rides and experiences they offer. Just like in their past pivotal moments in history, they WILL respond, they will learn and improve, they will continue to build of their past successes and take things up a few more notches. I totally get that they might be experiencing some major major growing pains this season. For Holiday World, what they added this season was a very historical moment. They don't have the experience of having this type of park as some huge coaster parks too like Cedar Point or Six Flags, but, just as they have in the past, they will learn extremely quickly and surpass their competitors operations with the same magic and class as they have in the past. This is another HUGE opportunity and turning point for the park that would cause anyone some growing pains. So although I really hate hearing some of the not so great experiences this season, I think it is very understandable and does not have me worried about the parks future operations, quality, or charm because they have an excellent track record of getting this things right. I'm not worried or concerned at all, actually, it makes me very very very excited for what they will pull out of their never ending bag of amazing tricks next.

 

EDIT: I apologize for the wall of text. I just started typing and the thoughts just kept flowing.

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Also, are you saying that 4 world class attractions is a small amount? (Yes, most people would say that Legend and Raven are world-class. All of the park's coasters are in Mitch Hawker's top 50.) There are no parks I can think of with such an amazing lineup, except for Cedar Point. And then you have the water park, with 3 other world class attractions (Wildebeest, Mammoth, and Zoombabwe), so that makes 7.

 

First off, this is not at all an argument, just a different point of view.

 

Secondly, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Holiday World, so I'm not dissing them at all here.

 

However, I'd have to agree with the notion that HW only has 2 world class coasters - though Raven clearly had its day, and has the hearts of most enthusiasts it seems. Voyage is one of the best coasters in the world - which would be the basis for defining it as world class - and Thunderbird is awesome as well, and easily one of the best, if not THE BEST Wing Coasters in the world. Personally,Raven is just Ok - a fun wooden coaster, but nothing special. I'd say Shivering Timbers is FAR more "world class" than it is! As for Legend... I guess I just don't see the attraction. Most of the people I was at Holiwood Nights with really like it, but I think it's VERY rough, and borders on Mean Streak difficulty when it comes to riding it. And this from somebody who loves the out of control experience that is The Voyage! I think the layout of Legend is fantastic, but the experience of riding it, even in the front seat, left a little to be desired for me.

 

Again, to each their own. Not trying to flame anybody. I just wanted to speak up and acknowledge that not everybody feels The Legend is anywhere remotely near "world class."

 

Still, Holiday World IS a world class park in my book, with many reasons for that! I just don't happen to think those two coasters, particularly The Legend is part of those reasons...

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^Personally, I like Raven a lot, always felt that Legend was a good (not great) ride, but don't care much for Voyage. I have yet to ride Thunderbird, but I think that the two best rides at the park are Wildebeest and Mammoth in Splashin' Safari.

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The last pivotal moment is obviously Thunderbird. They have done everything right and as far as I can tell has made this a national park. It's no longer a small park, and after this year I"m not sure they could be considered a mid sized park anymore either.

 

This is exactly how I felt. Your description of growing pains is spot on. I think this is why I could experience what I did without saying, "I don't ever want to come back here" as I have for other parks in the past when I have bad experiences. (SFMM)

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Well while we're comparing SFStL and the county fair...

 

SFStL-----------------Ride Type--------------------HW

Log Flume---------------Log Flume-------------------Frightful Falls

Moon Antique Cars-------Old-time Cars----------------Lewis & Clark

Six Flags Railroad---------Railroad---------------------[None, not counting Holidog Express]

Grand Ole Carousel-------Carousel--------------------Star Spangled Carousel

Shazam!-----------------Scrambler-------------------Scarecrow Scrambler

Highland Fling------------Enterprise-------------------[Revolution]

The Joker Inc-------------Swinging Ship---------------Mayflower

[None]-------------------Double Shot Tower----------Liberty Launch

Thunder River-------------River Rapids----------------Raging Rapids

Colossus-----------------Ferris Wheel----------------[None]

Rush Street Flyer----------Falling Star------------------[None, Banshee back in the day]

[None]-------------------Flying Swings---------------Hallow Swings

[None]-------------------Flying Scooter--------------Eagle's Flight

Tidal Wave----------------Shoot the Chutes------------[PP/G]

Xcalibur------------------Evolution--------------------[None]

Superman: ToP------------Giant Drop------------------[None]

Sky Screamer-------------StarFlyer--------------------Crow's Nest [much smaller]

Justice League-------------Interactive Dark--------------Gobbler Getaway

 

SFStL Coasters (type) [Mitch Hawker 2013 top 100 ranking]

River King Mine Train (mine train) [NR]

Screamin Eagle (wooden PTC) [#80]

Ninja (steel Vekoma) [NR]

Batman (steel B&M invert) [#87]

Mr Freeze (steel Premier LIM) [NR]

The Boss (wooden CCI) [#78]

Pandemonium (spinner) [NR]

American Thunder (wooden GCI) [#37]

Boomerang (steel Vekoma boomerang) [NR]

 

HW Coasters (type) [Mitch Hawker 2013 top 100 ranking]

The Raven (wooden CCI) [#28]

The Legend (wooden CCI) [#45]

The Voyage (wooden GG) [#7]

Thunderbird (steel B&M) [N/A]

*Plus two "world-class" water coasters

 

SFStL does hold the advantage in some of the larger "flat rides" (Xcalibur, Superman, Sky Screamer). While SFStL has more coasters, the collection of coasters at HW all rank significantly higher. HW holds the advantage in the water park. To each his own.

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Also, are you saying that 4 world class attractions is a small amount? (Yes, most people would say that Legend and Raven are world-class. All of the park's coasters are in Mitch Hawker's top 50.) There are no parks I can think of with such an amazing lineup, except for Cedar Point. And then you have the water park, with 3 other world class attractions (Wildebeest, Mammoth, and Zoombabwe), so that makes 7.

 

First off, this is not at all an argument, just a different point of view.

 

Secondly, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Holiday World, so I'm not dissing them at all here.

 

However, I'd have to agree with the notion that HW only has 2 world class coasters - though Raven clearly had its day, and has the hearts of most enthusiasts it seems. Voyage is one of the best coasters in the world - which would be the basis for defining it as world class - and Thunderbird is awesome as well, and easily one of the best, if not THE BEST Wing Coasters in the world. Personally,Raven is just Ok - a fun wooden coaster, but nothing special. I'd say Shivering Timbers is FAR more "world class" than it is! As for Legend... I guess I just don't see the attraction. Most of the people I was at Holiwood Nights with really like it, but I think it's VERY rough, and borders on Mean Streak difficulty when it comes to riding it. And this from somebody who loves the out of control experience that is The Voyage! I think the layout of Legend is fantastic, but the experience of riding it, even in the front seat, left a little to be desired for me.

 

Again, to each their own. Not trying to flame anybody. I just wanted to speak up and acknowledge that not everybody feels The Legend is anywhere remotely near "world class."

 

Still, Holiday World IS a world class park in my book, with many reasons for that! I just don't happen to think those two coasters, particularly The Legend is part of those reasons...

 

Just to BRIEFLY jump in here...

1. I said that Splashin' Safari is a world class water park. It is. It is far better than STStL's HH.

2. As for the rides in HW's "dry" park, ditto what the above poster said, which is the point I was trying to make.

3. I was not at any time dissing HW. I live in St. Louis (well, St. Charles) and I've been to HW twice. I wouldn't have driven all that way if I didn't enjoy going there, and it is a fun park. Nonetheless, my opinion remains that only Voyage and Thunderbird qualify as "world class" (there's that phrase again!) That does not translate to "Raven and Legend suck." I also do not think that the other rides at HW are anything special. Again, that does not translate to "every ride at HW other than Voyage and Thunderbird sucks". They just don't offer anything unique.

4. We are planning another trip to HW next summer (no time to go this year) so that speaks for itself as to whether I think that HW is worth visiting.

 

That is all.

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In my humble opinion, a friendly, home-y atmosphere of parks like Holiday World, Knoebels (haven't visited yet, just going off general opinion) or Silver Dollar City/Dollywood tops a Six-Flags "world-class" mega thrillz atmosphere any day of the week.

 

I'm totally with you on this. I've visited enough Six Flags/Paramount megaparks to realize that quantity is not quality. Honestly the thought of going to a park with one class ride is more appealing to me that going to a park with two class rides and a dozen mediocre ones, because I'll feel obligated to ride all the bad ones I haven't been on and I know that a park with that many coasters is likely to be packed and with a fair percentage being unsavory patrons as well.

 

My last big trip I visited CP, Kennywood, Knoebel's, and Hersheypark, and I far more enjoyed the small two parks with less rides (but a high standard of quality and a friendly atmosphere) than I did the ones with massive coasters left and right. I'd rather ride the Phoenix all day than ride 8 completely different coasters that don't match up.

 

I also don't think attractions, even non-coaster dark rides, need to be expensive to be enjoyable. Some parks make low-budget attractions with character that's a selling point, while a chain park could spend ten times the money on something that's sterile and lifeless.

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In my humble opinion, a friendly, home-y atmosphere of parks like Holiday World, Knoebels (haven't visited yet, just going off general opinion) or Silver Dollar City/Dollywood tops a Six-Flags "world-class" mega thrillz atmosphere any day of the week.

 

I'm totally with you on this. I've visited enough Six Flags/Paramount megaparks to realize that quantity is not quality. Honestly the thought of going to a park with one class ride is more appealing to me that going to a park with two class rides and a dozen mediocre ones, because I'll feel obligated to ride all the bad ones I haven't been on and I know that a park with that many coasters is likely to be packed and with a fair percentage being unsavory patrons as well.

 

My last big trip I visited CP, Kennywood, Knoebel's, and Hersheypark, and I far more enjoyed the small two parks with less rides (but a high standard of quality and a friendly atmosphere) than I did the ones with massive coasters left and right. I'd rather ride the Phoenix all day than ride 8 completely different coasters that don't match up.

 

I also don't think attractions, even non-coaster dark rides, need to be expensive to be enjoyable. Some parks make low-budget attractions with character that's a selling point, while a chain park could spend ten times the money on something that's sterile and lifeless.

To further clarify what I was saying in that quote (which you accidentally misquoted) is that I'm directing the mega thrillz label to more of Six Flags than Cedar Point. I love Cedar Point, as it's still my all time favorite park, because customer service is great, operations are superb, and 5 or 6 of the coasters are fantastic. At Holiday World, you, for the most part, get the great coaster collection with equally great operations and customer service to creste a welcoming atmosphere, whereas with Six Flags, it's clearly a corporate-based park focused on the rides alone which really aren't too special except for American Thunder (still a clone). I don't hate Six Flags St Louis as it stands pretty well by itself, but it ranks near the bottom of the parks I've been to.

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In my humble opinion, a friendly, home-y atmosphere of parks like Holiday World, Knoebels (haven't visited yet, just going off general opinion) or Silver Dollar City/Dollywood tops a Six-Flags "world-class" mega thrillz atmosphere any day of the week.

 

I'm totally with you on this. I've visited enough Six Flags/Paramount megaparks to realize that quantity is not quality. Honestly the thought of going to a park with one class ride is more appealing to me that going to a park with two class rides and a dozen mediocre ones, because I'll feel obligated to ride all the bad ones I haven't been on and I know that a park with that many coasters is likely to be packed and with a fair percentage being unsavory patrons as well.

 

My last big trip I visited CP, Kennywood, Knoebel's, and Hersheypark, and I far more enjoyed the small two parks with less rides (but a high standard of quality and a friendly atmosphere) than I did the ones with massive coasters left and right. I'd rather ride the Phoenix all day than ride 8 completely different coasters that don't match up.

 

I also don't think attractions, even non-coaster dark rides, need to be expensive to be enjoyable. Some parks make low-budget attractions with character that's a selling point, while a chain park could spend ten times the money on something that's sterile and lifeless.

To further clarify what I was saying in that quote (which you accidentally misquoted) is that I'm directing the mega thrillz label to more of Six Flags than Cedar Point. I love Cedar Point, as it's still my all time favorite park, because customer service is great, operations are superb, and 5 or 6 of the coasters are fantastic. At Holiday World, you, for the most part, get the great coaster collection with equally great operations and customer service to creste a welcoming atmosphere, whereas with Six Flags, it's clearly a corporate-based park focused on the rides alone which really aren't too special except for American Thunder (still a clone). I don't hate Six Flags St Louis as it stands pretty well by itself, but it ranks near the bottom of the parks I've been to.

 

I wasn't trying to imply that CP had bad customer service or deserved to be lumped in with SF in terms of commitment to quality. But in the end, CP having its endless coaster list doesn't mean I'd chose it over a smaller park that didn't have a ton of coasters but what it did have were amongst the top rides out there, like Holiday World. Also, the "fun" factor is sometimes more present at a smaller, relaxed park than it is at a park where there are so many people you feel herded like cattle.

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^Personally, I like Raven a lot, always felt that Legend was a good (not great) ride, but don't care much for Voyage. I have yet to ride Thunderbird, but I think that the two best rides at the park are Wildebeest and Mammoth in Splashin' Safari.

 

I was BLOWN AWAY by Wildebeest when I rode it at Holiwood Nights this year! Definitely the best water ride I have ever been on, bar none! Sadly, I passed on Mammoth because it had a long line, and then shut down briefly when some people valleyed. I do regret not going back to get a ride on it later, hearing everybody rave about it... Oh well, definitely next time I go!

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^Personally, I like Raven a lot, always felt that Legend was a good (not great) ride, but don't care much for Voyage. I have yet to ride Thunderbird, but I think that the two best rides at the park are Wildebeest and Mammoth in Splashin' Safari.

 

Personally I don't really understand when people say they like Raven but not Legend or Voyage, since I really don't think the ride experience is that different. It's still intense, fast, with a lot of laterals and (at least this year) fairly rough. Is it just because it doesn't last as long?

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Wow, 10 years ago who would have thought that Holiday World would be compared against Six Flags, Kings Island, Cedar Point, etc...?

 

It's amazing how much growth has occurred in the past 10 years. I can't wait to see what growth comes in the next 10.

 

I think there were some excellent points made in that Holiday World is experiencing some growing pains. Growing Pains are great if you address them well. History shows that Holiday World will come out of these pains fantastically.

 

I do have to second some of the comments though about the caliber of some of the park patrons though. There do seem to be many more rude and boorish people attending the park than in the past. I guess that comes with growing as park. The park space is tight and you seem to encounter a lot more of those people than you do at a larger park where things are a little more spread out.

 

With that said. I'm excited to see what the Park has in store for future growth plans. I would really love to see a 5 or 10 year plan which I am sure they have around there somewhere.

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Just in case anyone was wondering about the parks weather policy, all four of the coasters (yes even Thunderbird) have been running in pouring down rain today. As long as there is no lightning, the rides will run.

 

Edit: also, the Strike-U-Up game was moved to Thanksgiving by Mayflower this past week.

 

Another thing is every Thunderbird ride op working today did not allow front row requests. While they aren't being rude about it, "I have to make every row equal" is a lame excuse. I know that other people have ranted about this on other park threads but this is the first time it's happened at Holiday World. If the front queue is full or its near closing time, I understand. But, not every time of the day.

Edited by Koasterking48
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^ I had a feeling they were going to end up moving the Strike-U-Up. The place they put it at originally isn't a good spot for rides. Every ride they've put there since the bumper boats were removed has been moved to another place in the park. If they're going to put another ride there, they really need to build the dirt up and make the ground level with the sidewalk, so people can actually see it walking down the 4th July midway.

 

I say once the park gets some feedback on the new front row policy (if this is permanent), they'll tell those working TB to use some common sense. Yeah if the wait is more than 30 mins, then yes, enforce the policy. If it is less than 30 mins, don't enforce it.

 

Is it just because it doesn't last as long?

 

lol You answered your own question.

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Another thing is every Thunderbird ride op working today did not allow front row requests.

 

To keep Thunderbird lines moving as quickly as safely possible, we do direct riders to specific seats. (Please keep in mind that seats in rows 2 and 3 have a longer seat belt, so anyone needing a bit more room should ask to be seated there.) The front row is very popular on Thunderbird and if the queue isn't already full, we're happy to directs riders there upon request. We apologize if this is not what you experienced when you visited and promise to tell our ride operators you called them "lame."

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Another thing is every Thunderbird ride op working today did not allow front row requests.

 

To keep Thunderbird lines moving as quickly as safely possible, we do direct riders to specific seats. (Please keep in mind that seats in rows 2 and 3 have a longer seat belt, so anyone needing a bit more room should ask to be seated there.) The front row is very popular on Thunderbird and if the queue isn't already full, we're happy to directs riders there upon request. We apologize if this is not what you experienced when you visited and promise to tell our ride operators you called them "lame."

Thank you for your response as always! The line before the top of the stairs was maybe 15 minutes at most every time we went through and they kept it down to having every row with four people including the front. I found it strange and somewhat irritating that they were doing this but it was a petty complaint since the visit overall for the group was great! And yes, I hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings by calling them "lame"

 

Edit: Here's an official response I got back from Guest Services the day after the visit when I asked them to allow row requests. Great customer service makes me a proud repeat pass holder

image.thumb.jpg.8f00bd87eb1a80829795e9c8eb9677dc.jpg

Edited by Koasterking48
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I'm going to HW for the first time in a few weeks, I can not wait to finally experience this park. I'll make sure to confirm that the ride ops were indeed told they were "lame"

 

I agree with the procedure to keep the line moving, I do think that if someone wants to wait for the front or back, they should have the right to do that, but on super busy days, I do find it to be helpful to keep the line moving... Catch 22 I guess...

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Hey speaking of growing pains, what's up with the men's bathrooms at Holiday World? Every single one didn't have enough stalls. And I mean every single one (at least that I used). I don't remember if it was that they all had one or two but regardless it wasn't enough. This is a huge problem for the pee-shy among us.

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Hey speaking of growing pains, what's up with the men's bathrooms at Holiday World? Every single one didn't have enough stalls. And I mean every single one (at least that I used). I don't remember if it was that they all had one or two but regardless it wasn't enough. This is a huge problem for the pee-shy among us.

 

I'm kinda pee-shy myself and I've ever experienced this issue in the past there. However I could see this being an issue if attendance really is way above normal this season. Probably just another "growing pain" that I'm sure they will fix/deal with.

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