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Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread


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Since I have a five day old human at home right now, 2020 is pretty much a social/travel loss for me. I'm dealing with changes across the board...

 

Congratulations! I'm not sure if you've posted this elsewhere and I missed it, but if not, congrats on your new addition to the family, and blessings on this challenging, but exciting adventure that is ahead of you!

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Zach, congratulations! I was kind of looking for you to post something on the SFSTl thread but whatever you say or do is excused. We all know new parents are totally sleep deprived and cannot be held accountable for what they say or do.

 

5 days old you say? posted on the 21st. Was your new addition born May 16? Hilarious if yes because that is my son's birthday (who you know is a ride op at SFSTl) Mine just turned 17.

 

As far as how the parks will implement all the new queue options.......of course we are all speculating, it's what people do. And we have no choice but to wait and see. I do think it will be an ever evolving situation at least for awhile depending on too many factors to list here. Will all the changes be permanent, probably not. Will some of the changes be permanent, probably so. We will adapt just like we all adapted to the new airport normal after 9/11.

 

I will be watching for the trip report. We are hoping to make a HW, KI, KK, CP run later in the summer if feasible.

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Thanks Kim. 5/16. She started going into Labor at 5am after I got dressed for work. Luckily, I had the weekend scheduled off anyway, but I wanted to save some time-off by working until the baby came. I can't ever remember a time where I was so bummed out not to be able to go to work. Either way, I'm miserable now...

 

Sorry for getting off topic.

 

I agree, and it's a good example, but I don't like the new normal at the airport. We're used to it, but just because we've gotten used to it doesn't mean it still doesn't suck.

 

Kiosks and wrist bands are nice, but I don't expect other parks to offer the seamless experience like Disney. I don't see parks like Holiday World and Kentucky Kingdom playing the long ball on this, or at least I hope not. I see it being more realistic in chains like Sea World, Six Flags, and Cedar Fair. If you think parks have to deal with Karen complaints now, they'll likely be ten fold.

 

Again, I get it. Disney can do it. I just don't think other chains have the resources to pull it off nearly as well. It's like going to a smaller brand grocery store and trying to use their lesser version of self-checkout instead of Walmart's.

 

Life was so much easier before personal accountability and responsibility were eliminated, and instead passed on to the masses instead of isolated to individuals. (Sorry. Rant.) Wash your ffcking hands and don't touch your face at parks, kids. Wear masks and don't touch people you don't know, for the time being. Don't lick handrails. Also, as a reminder of using common sense, don't walk in traffic. Pay attention. Don't be dumb:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/05/21/coronavirus-news-what-cdc-saying-covid-19-surfaces/5235317002/

 

Knoebels for life.

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Yay for more coaster children! Congrats!

 

And yes, these systems are here to stay and we just have to hope some of these smaller parks can pull it off. There are major parks in other countries that make you have a phone with a local number or app to use their systems and it's getting tricker for international guests to use them.

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Zach, I get it but a lot of this will fade with time. Just wanted to be realistic in that some changes will stay. Let's just hope they are the easier to deal with things like hand sanitizer and plexiglass.

 

I'm still laughing that our kids have the same birthday, albeit 17 years apart

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  • 3 weeks later...

The new park map is up! Park maps are a little passion of mine... lol. Here are the changes I could find:

 

Across the map there is a new label called “Digital Photo Attraction Pass.” The attractions with this are:

Frightful Falls

Voyage

Gobbler Getaway

Thunderbird

Cheetah Chase

Wildebeest

 

Splashin’ Safari:

- People added to the Wave’s design

- New Place named Muziki Bay: I cant find a description but the map shows a centerpiece of Tiki figures with water surrounding it. The area is listed under shows!!! You know what that means! Under shows, there is one named “Crank Up The Waves” and the description is “Feel the Beat of the Waves With D.J. Surge!” Is this the show that will be there?

- More people added to The Bahari Wave Pool standing in front.

- Cabanas surrounding Bahari Wave Pool are now purple.

- The pathway going from Bakuli down Muziki Bay is noticeably thinner, and the cabanas around the lower side of Bahari River are now teal colored

- The whole area on the north side of the Bahari River and Bakuli has been more defined and looks really good. Tengo Falls now has gray under it. Some cabanas have changed direction.

- As expected, the biggest change is the Cheetah Chase water coaster which looks great and helps to really fill out that area of the water park. Spreading out the crowds to more areas of the water park will help congestion a lot.

 

Holiday World:

- Another major change to that map that was expected is the closure of Hyena Falls. The entire section is now in Thanksgiving colors which probably means that will be Thanksgiving in the future, but it could also just be for convenience until that area can be redeveloped.

- A cart is no longer in front of Turkey Whirl

- The large Firecracker label is now gone

- The building by the Funnel Cake Factory is now striped

- Tippecanoes’ design has been slightly updated

- The cars have changed spots on the Lewis and Clark Trail

- The “3 Point Shot” red border on the bottom is now gone

- The direction of the bumper cars entrance stairs has switched

- The beach volleyball court in the picnic area is no longer on the map

- The restrooms in the front of the Christmas section now have red stripes instead of blue

- Reindeer Games is now visible on the map. It had previously been covered by a number

- Rudolph’s Round Up is also more visible. It had partially been covered before

- The tunnel is now labeled “Rainbow Tunnel of Legend Lot” and has a rainbow design. I like it!

 

I believe that is all. If anyone sees anything I missed, please let me know! I really enjoy that Holdiay World takes such pride in their park map and updates it all around nearly every year, going beyond just the major changes in the park. Overall, the map has a cleaner feel than before and the back area of the water park is looking very, very good. I’m excited to see it all in person again soon!

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I had the pleasure of attending the Platinum Season Pass Preview day at Holiday World this past Sunday. A couple of things to note before I get this trip report started. Indiana has a pretty aggressive plan to reopen their economy and are pretty lax on their social distancing guidelines and masks. The state just entered phase 4 of reopening and wearing masks is not a requirement anymore. Therefore, Holiday World does NOT require a mask to attend, but they're strongly encouraging their guests to wear one. They're requiring all of their staff members to wear one. As of now, Holiday World will be operating at 50% capacity and will be allowed to go up to 75% capacity on July 4th in the state's plan.

 

So how has HW changed now that they're operating in a pandemic? The first change you'll notice is as you walk up to the front gate. They've installed a ton of switchbacks that have feet marking every 6 feet leading up the security check. They'll ask your group to keep it at 2 people per marking. Instead of bag search's this year, they've installed metal detectors so there's less contact between their security staff and guests. After the security check, they installed another round of switchbacks with the social distancing markers that lead to the admissions area.

 

Once you've had your ticket scanned, and go through the entrance gate, you'll be handed a wristband for their new inLine Reservation System for virtual queuing which will be used on all of their attractions. It's the same kind of wristbands you used for their lockers if you're familiar with them. The instructions on how to use it are on the wristband. You'll set it up on your smartphone by going to HolidayWorld.com/inLine. You'll have to setup an account on your phone with an email and password. You can use a fake email too and it's a one step simple process. I suggest setting it up before your visit so you don't have to worry about it once you get there. When your account is setup, you'll have to register your wristband by entering the QR code on it. You can do this for multiple people on one account.

 

Once you've registered your QR code, you're able to start reserving rides and riding. Once you select a ride, it'll give you a 15 second count off before your entered into the virtual queue. You will have to keep track of your time. It'll give you a countdown bases off how long the queue is. So if Thunderbird is a 15 min wait, it'll have a 15 min countdown clock and once those 15 mins are up, you will then have 15 mins to report to the queue or you will lose your reservation. Once you arrive at the attraction, their will be a ride host standing behind a Plexiglas stand at the entrance with a phone. They'll take a picture of the QR code on your wrist with that phone and it will then pop up on their screen on if you had a reservation for that time and how many people are in your group. They'll then tell you can enter the queue. All the queues have social distancing foot markers 6 feet apart. It appears that the parts of queues they're utilizing will be the same all year long. They'll ask you to keep to 2 people per marker in your group.

 

At the ride, there will be another host who will ask you how many people are in your group and if you need a basket to put your belongings in. They will then assign you a seat. All rides are like this now. They will keep your group together. On the roller coasters, once they assign you a row, you'll enter the station and see social distancing markers that are placed 6 feet away from the train at the gates. You have to stand behind these markers and they were enforcing it. The woodies will be hurt the most on capacity. They're not blocking off any rows, so they can allow groups to ride together, but they will space a row in between groups. The most they'll be able to get on one train is probably 20 people depending on the group sizes. Thunderbird will actually be able to operate at full capacity because the span between seats on the wing coaster trains are actually 6 feet.

 

Periodically throughout the day, they will shut down attractions to do a complete deep clean on them. They went as far on Voyage at one point to deep clean the train, then transfer on the second train and take off the train they just cleaned, and then deep clean the new train before opening it back up.

 

There is hand sanitizer or as the park is calling it "Santatizer" available throughout the park. It's available at all restrooms, drink stands, and the entrances of restaurants and food stands. It's also available at the exit of most attractions although it seemed the employees at the bottles pulled more toward where they were working most of the time.

 

There are also social distancing markers in what seem to be high traffic area's, but none really at all in the rest of the park.

 

Pros about my visit:

 

First of all it wasn't busy at all and we were able to ride everything multiple times.

 

I loved the new inLine Reservation system. It worked without a single issue for me and I really enjoyed being able to plan my day. I'm curious though to see how works when there are more people in the park,

 

There was a strong upper-management presence in the park ALL day. I talked to a couple of VP's, saw one of the owners at least 4-5 times walking around and observing how things were operating throughout the park. I also saw the park president and CEO doing the same a couple of times.

 

Everyone was as friendly as ever and happy to see guests again.

 

The park looked GREAT with all it's landscaping and it didn't look like they cut anything out of the budget because of Covid-19.

 

They were enforcing all of the social distancing policies they've put in place to the best of their abilities.

 

Cons about my visit:

 

Food service is going to be an absolute nightmare this year. Their two biggest and only indoor restaurants are setup to be run cafeteria style. That doesn't really work in a pandemic. They've tried to come up with the best solution they can. At Santa's Merry Market Place, you'll go in follow the signs to the food.They're limiting their menu options this year. They've put in a makeshift order stand. There will be employees there that will write down your order on sided thermal paper. They'll hand you paper copy and give the thermal copy to a host, who is going to go get your food. You'll walk to the pickup area and wait for them to bring it over there. They'll hand the trays over to the hosts at the pickup area and they'll call all your ticket number and give you your food and then you go pay. This idea seems good on paper, but people getting the food kept getting confused and mixing up tickets. Their gonna have to figure out a better plan or smooth out the one they've got, because will be a disaster if this continues once more people are in the park.

 

Most of HW's clientele have no regard for anything to do with social distancing or CDC guidelines. Counting my group, I probably only saw 10 people wearing masks. The majority also spent most of their time complaining about the new inLine Reservation system while they let there kids walk as close as humanly possible to other people. The number one complaint I heard several times and have seen several times online "Why should I have to reserve a spot if no one is standing in line and they have empty seats on trains" . I also found it hilarious at the amount of Karen's who are complaining because they just can't let their kids run off and do what they want anymore. Now they have to sit with them and make reservations for them to ride rides and actually watch them instead of letting the park do it for them. Simply, HW had to implement this system or none of their guests would have ever socially distanced.

 

Some other notes to pass along coming from a VP:

 

The inLine reservation system WILL be used in the waterpark and they expect all attractions to be open in the park. They're still trying to figure out how they're going to use inLine in the waterpark, which is why they haven't made an official announcement yet. He also thinks this is the future of the industry and it's here to stay at HW.

 

The waterpark WILL be open by July 4th.

 

Cheetah Chase will open with the waterpark and one of the VP's I talked to has ridden it and says it the best ride in the water park which is some pretty high praise.

 

Final parting thoughts:

 

First, I wanna give a shout out to HW's maintenance and the people at PTC. PTC wasn't able to go back to work in Pennsylvania until this past Monday and Voyage's trains were still there awaiting final assembly and shipment. PTC got the trains finished and sent to HW by midweek. HW was able to get them on, connect all of them and have all the test laps complected for certification by state by Saturday.

 

All coasters were riding good. You can really tell the difference in the work they've done on Voyage over the last 2 years. I think they've finally found a solution using IPE wood as the top running boards.

 

It was good to finally get out and go to a park again and ride roller coasters. I'll be back on opening day and I'm curious to see how everything works with a bigger crowd. People are gonna moan and groan, but it's going to be the new normal.

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Edited by ZeroGravity55
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I also found it hilarious at the amount of Karen's who are complaining because they just can't let their kids run off and do what they want anymore. Now they have to sit with them and make reservations for them to ride rides and actually watch them instead of letting the park do it for them. Simply, HW had to implement this system or none of their guests would have ever socially distanced.

I also find it hilarious that parents are upset that they actually have to be parents now.

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Thank you for the report! It sounds like they have a very good system set up for the queuing. I hope the GP get with the program quickly, because it could work out really nicely. Virtual queue the next coaster as you get off one, and by the time you leisurely walk to the next one, it would be time (or close to time) to ride.

 

It's a shame more people aren't wearing masks and social distancing, though. They don't get that if people aren't doing it and another wave of virus hits, the parks are just going to close again. No thanks. Put on your damn mask and stand away! Some coaster enthusiasts won't have to worry about people naturally standing away from them... their odor and "winning personality" are already enough to repel people.

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Fantastic detailed report! Loved hearing management were out and about checking out how things were running, and especially happy that it wasn't overwhelming in terms of crowds. Will look forward to hearing when they open to the daily ticket guests and how that handles.

 

That praise about Cheetah Hunt certainly makes me more excited about it too, as well as your report on Voyage's conditions!

 

I'm not surprised at all at clientele reactions. The park can only do so much to keep safe guidelines and hope people will understand. Hopefully they'll be able to iron out their ends enough for the newer crowd.

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I’m happy to hear they have moved forward with many changes that will benefit the park long term. The Karens having got watch their kids is so unfortunate, isn’t it?... I’m very interested to see if Cheetah Chase will actually live up to his acclaim for it. It looks very fun so it’s possible, but with two of the best water rides in the world it’ll be tough to beat them! It’s really good that HW has invested in a large addition in the back of the water park to help draw crowd’s out more. That should help the lines across the park. I’m curious to see what’s next for them in 2021, but we gotta make it through this season first!

 

Also, thank you for practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. I know there are many opinions out there, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, if not for yourself than for others. Keeping people healthy through social distancing policies will be tougher in rural southern Indiana, but with all that HW has implemented per your report, they’ll at least be doing their part and then some

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Drove up here Saturday. No problems getting in. The wristband and the virtual queue system was easy enough. Needs some tweaks but it seemed to work well for coasters and the more popular rides. Wait out the clock, scan in, and then wait 5-20 minutes in line. It varies a bit. Some of the staff assigning groups to rows are better than others.

 

They were loading groups together. Then they skip a row and load the next group. This gets more people on than the Six Flags every other row method.

 

Employees were all great. No problems getting food.

 

Merch selection this year is much better. Better Tshirts, posters, all kinds of good stuff.

 

Great to get back on Voyage and the others. Great weekend.

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At SDC they were also doing the method of loading groups and leaving an empty row behind the group, makes sense. At SFSTL not only are they leaving every other row empty they are sanitizing the train AND running it empty between each group.

 

Glad to hear they have upped the merch, I always thought that was a weak area at HW

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I'm sure Holiday World is planning for it, but has anyone thought about how they'll deal with the minimum weights on the water coasters once Splashin Safari opens?

 

It's probably less of a big deal on Wildebeest, where the minimum weight (according to HW website) is 200 lbs per raft, but Mammoth has a minimum weight of 500 lbs. (Couldn't find any data on Cheetah Chase, but those are only 3 person rafts).

 

I could easily see groups of three or even four that wouldn't reach Mammoth's minimum weight by themselves, and very few groups of two that would.

 

Now all this is with the assumption that there will be social distancing on these attractions, and separate groups will not be able to ride together.

 

This thought came up from my thinking about visiting HW once SS opens, but just by myself, and whether or not they'd even allow single riders on the water coasters.

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