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Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread


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I was literally right in the middle of planning for a trip out to Holiday World and the other parks in that area, looking up hotels etc, when this one popped up in my email.  Definitely even more eager to get there after seeing this one, looks like it's running amazing!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was at Holiday World yesterday. Legend was closed with no activity anywhere around it. It's been 2008 since I've been there and can't remember if I liked Raven or Legend more. I guess I won't know. I posted this as a "heads up" for those visiting. As of yesterday only 2 of their 3 woodies running. I'm definitely not a fan of Voyage, but that's just me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not gonna be posting a ton of pics but I finally made my first ever trek to holiday world last week. I went Monday July 12 and Tuesday July 13th. I had my three daughters with me. 

We all enjoyed Holiday World immensely. More on the coasters in a minute, but all of the flats were enjoyable and my kids LOVED the selection. It's nice to have so many classic carnival style flats in a well themed park. I know Holiday World is always known as a clean park, but coming from St. Louis (and by proxy, Six Flags St. Louis as my home park).....it was shocking how clean the park was. Just fantastic. And with having three kids 10 and under, the free drink stations were VERY nice. 

So, the coasters. 

Lines were relatively short (it rained part of one day, and it was hot the other so Splashin' Safari was more where people were at) so a lot of coaster time was had. 

The Voyage really is a monster. That first drop is wild and a lot of airtime was had. It was very intense. Was definitely a rougher wooden coaster and my neck was feeling it, but a heck of a ride. 

Thunderbird rocks. So incredibly smooth. It's been a minute so I had done a launched coaster and the speed really struck me. The way you are exposed in the train coupled with the speed and smoothness really makes for that cool flying feeling. It's a short ride, made to feel even shorter if you just rode the marathon voyage, but it's all killer no filler. Loved it. 

The Raven. After having some time to process it since the trip, I think Raven is now my favorite wooden coaster. First off, it felt incredibly smooth for a wooden coaster. Don't get me wrong- it's not steel - but it felt bumpy in the great "out of control" feel a woodie should have, versus "that's going to hurt the next morning" that some are like. Tearing through the woods was an absolute joy. Great airtime. The turn by the lake is so cool! I really can't define why I found it to be the best, as the other two are more "thrilling"....but it just felt like a great ride. Exactly what I want a wooden coaster to be. 

Disappointingly, the Legend was closed both days. I couldn't get an answer as to why. Oh well, I suppose it at least leaves something for another trip. 

We did a couple hours at Splashin' Safari and of the water coasters, only got to do Cheetah Chase as lines were too long for the time we had left. Heck of a ride though. Easily my favorite waterslide/ride I've ever been on. Not really a waterpark person, though.

Before ending I should also say the park staff was incredibly friendly and made a great visit even better. This is now one of my favorite parks, and it's EASILY my favorite as a family park. Can't wait to go back.

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I was at Holiday World on Thursday and drove from Kentucky Kingdom on Wednesday to close out my 2021 road trip. Its a great park love the free parking and free pepsi oasis. I was there on Thursday for the day I can say that Legend was closed. I saw water dummies in the seats on the trains. Anyone know what the problems are? Staff told me it has been down for two weeks at a time. My only question about Holiday World when I went on Thursday all rides extremely full ques The Raven was outside on the walk way. How come Holiday World doesn't have a fast lane system in place? I was there for one day lines were extremely long has Holiday World ever considering adding a fast lane if they did have one I would buy one just for one day.

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I talked to a member of the Koch family  that owns HW at a special event once. They have never considered a fast pass that I know of, I think they just feel that it goes against the "family feel" of the park. I think they might potentially face a backlash from the rather conservative clientele that live within a 2-3 radius of the park.  I can tell you that he said that they made their hugest jump in profit the year they started giving free drinks and just raised the ticket prices a buck or two. I was there once when the county was under a boil order so they could not use their fountain drinks and they drove to a distributor and loaded a truck with canned sodas so they could honor the free drinks as advertised.

I do advise, even if you are not a "waterpark person", NOT to skip this water park. The 3 water coasters there are incredible and I know at least two of them have single rider lines that are totally worth it. The most unfortunate thing to me is that there is nothing else to do anywhere near the park, I mean it is literally in the middle of a corn field. Like you can see a corn field from the line of Thunderbird, lol. So we have more than once made it a 6 hour round trip and just go for the day rather than spend the night in the one dumpy hotel there.

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2 hours ago, teacherkim said:

I talked to a member of the Koch family  that owns HW at a special event once. They have never considered a fast pass that I know of, I think they just feel that it goes against the "family feel" of the park. I think they might potentially face a backlash from the rather conservative clientele that live within a 2-3 radius of the park. 

Yet you can still pay extra to do a “guided tour” of the park.   
 

Does that not go against the “family feel” of the park?? Does that not cause backlash from the rather conservative clientele??

(Though I have no idea how line skip, and black lash from conservative clientele correlate.) 

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8 minutes ago, JT325 said:

Kudos to Holiday World for not having "pay to cut."  They also have a great efficiency/operations (see how that works, Six Flags?).

Fast Lane, Flash Pass, Skip the line passes are an even playing field.  

ANYONE can buy them.

if you want to spend the money on it, then do it.


If not, don't - and don't bitch about those who are willing to pay for something you've chosen not to get.   

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30 minutes ago, JT325 said:

Kudos to Holiday World for not having "pay to cut."  They also have a great efficiency/operations (see how that works, Six Flags?).

They do have “pay to cut” though. Just gotta do a VIP tour instead. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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Just did our tenth annual trip to Holiday World. Understand that my thoughts below represent the perspective of someone who has been to HW each year for ten years. I can see someone visiting this summer for the first time and still loving it. However, for us, a lot of the shine is off the penny. 

******

Just back from two days at Holiday World. We were in Holiday World on July 19 and 20. This is our 10th straight trip to Holiday World. We started coming in the summer of 2012. I think it's fair to say we have seen quite a bit change at Holiday World over the years. Some good, and some not so good. Unfortunately this, our 10th trip, was probably my least favorite of the ten. And I have to say I have seen this coming - the slow degradation in the quality of service and value. This is not the same experience that it was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. And at this point, if my wife or children said - Dad, let's go someplace different next year? I wouldn't try to talk them out of it. The Good about our trip this year: 1. The new security lines. Fantastic, fast. I complemented the managers near the front gate on this improvement. Very well done, much faster and quicker than in years past. The bad about our trip this year: 1. Legend and Cheetah Chase were both down for both days. In ten years, I have never seen a marquee ride out for a single day, let alone two marquee rides on two consecutive days. This made the lines for all other marquee rides much longer. As a seasonal park, they simply cannot afford to have this happen - whatever the reason - because it devalues the experience so much. 2. Mammoth wasn't operating at opening on July 19. Never seen that happen either. This meant the Wildebeest line was...a beast. Everyone flocked there. With no Cheetah Chase operating either, you can imagine the impact on the rest of Splashin Safari. I believe they got Mammoth up by noon, but the impact was already felt. 3. The Wave pool (the old, 80s looking one) wasn't open at all on July 20. 4. Zynga wasn't operating at opening on July 20. Didn't open until around 2pm. We were told "staff shortages" was the reason. So we headed to Watubee to ride that.... 5. Which promptly closed as well as we walked up. They said they had to repair something on the ride that wasn't working properly. So, on the morning of July 20, at opening, you couldn't ride Cheetah Chase, Zynga, or Watubee. And The Wave was closed, putting tremendous pressure on the remaining Bahari wave pool. Bahari itself closed for long periods of time and was having trouble with its wave machine later that day. I have literally never seen anything like this happen in ten years of enjoying Splashin Safari. And you can imagine the additional pressure this put on the lines at Mammoth, Wildebeest, and Bakuli. 6. Speaking of Bakuli, on July 19 and 20, they only had one side loading people. Normally they have staff to load from both sides. Not this year. So that line was always super long. And this was a Monday and a Tuesday. 7. They are having serious supply chain issues in other ways. The new candy store by Gobblers Getaway had ZERO taffy. Zero. I asked and they said "we are having a hard time getting it." The fudge place in the new Christmas Cafe had way less selection in fudge than they normally have had in years past. Udderly Blue Ice Cream just closed for the day on July 20 because they said they ran out of supplies. This happened around 1pm. The day before they had run out of Wild Cherry flavor, a day later they were just closed for good. 8. They had far fewer drink stations open than in years past, making drink lines very long. For example, in the bathroom building between Mammoth and Bahari Snacks, they have 4 drink stations and in years past they have usually had 3-4 of them open. This year? 1. That's right, 1. Always had a long line on a Monday and a Tuesday. 9. We went to order a Ben's Pretzels near Bahari on July 20, and the nice young woman said "I can't sell pretzels right now, I have no way to do a transaction." Ok. Compared to years past, Holiday World shows all the signs of dealing with serious staffing, training, and management issues. It pains me to say that given all the fun we have had here in the past decade. I hope they can turn it around, but right now it feels like the bottom line is winning over guest experience.

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16 hours ago, DoinItForTheFame said:

Yet you can still pay extra to do a “guided tour” of the park.   
 

Does that not go against the “family feel” of the park?? Does that not cause backlash from the rather conservative clientele??

(Though I have no idea how line skip, and black lash from conservative clientele correlate.) 

Yes, but the description of the VIP tours is either before park open or guided for 4 hours only, not just unlimited access. Unless something has changed or been added that I am unaware of. I  agree with Bert that fast passes are available to all and I utilize them whenever I can BUT as you can already see from a previous response some people view them as "cheating" and favoring the rich (even though that is crap because it is up to you how you spend your money and I would not have taught middle school for almost 30 years if I was rich 🙄) While of course there are always exceptions, conservative, rural folk tend to be more of the "cheating" view and the opinion that it gives certain people an unfair advantage. The VIP thing happens before hours so most people don't see it going on in front of them and the guided tour is $250 on top of admission with a guide so I cannot believe there are a lot of people doing it. Although I certainly have been wrong before, lol. It is my opinion after talking to one of the owners that the profit to potentially be made was not worth the complaining they believed they would receive. Now that was 5 years ago, things could change, and perhaps the fairly new tours are a toe in the water to test things out.

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2 hours ago, Hoosier Dude said:

Just did our tenth annual trip to Holiday World. Understand that my thoughts below represent the perspective of someone who has been to HW each year for ten years. I can see someone visiting this summer for the first time and still loving it. However, for us, a lot of the shine is off the penny. 

******

Just back from two days at Holiday World. We were in Holiday World on July 19 and 20. This is our 10th straight trip to Holiday World. We started coming in the summer of 2012. I think it's fair to say we have seen quite a bit change at Holiday World over the years. Some good, and some not so good. Unfortunately this, our 10th trip, was probably my least favorite of the ten. And I have to say I have seen this coming - the slow degradation in the quality of service and value. This is not the same experience that it was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. And at this point, if my wife or children said - Dad, let's go someplace different next year? I wouldn't try to talk them out of it. The Good about our trip this year: 1. The new security lines. Fantastic, fast. I complemented the managers near the front gate on this improvement. Very well done, much faster and quicker than in years past. The bad about our trip this year: 1. Legend and Cheetah Chase were both down for both days. In ten years, I have never seen a marquee ride out for a single day, let alone two marquee rides on two consecutive days. This made the lines for all other marquee rides much longer. As a seasonal park, they simply cannot afford to have this happen - whatever the reason - because it devalues the experience so much. 2. Mammoth wasn't operating at opening on July 19. Never seen that happen either. This meant the Wildebeest line was...a beast. Everyone flocked there. With no Cheetah Chase operating either, you can imagine the impact on the rest of Splashin Safari. I believe they got Mammoth up by noon, but the impact was already felt. 3. The Wave pool (the old, 80s looking one) wasn't open at all on July 20. 4. Zynga wasn't operating at opening on July 20. Didn't open until around 2pm. We were told "staff shortages" was the reason. So we headed to Watubee to ride that.... 5. Which promptly closed as well as we walked up. They said they had to repair something on the ride that wasn't working properly. So, on the morning of July 20, at opening, you couldn't ride Cheetah Chase, Zynga, or Watubee. And The Wave was closed, putting tremendous pressure on the remaining Bahari wave pool. Bahari itself closed for long periods of time and was having trouble with its wave machine later that day. I have literally never seen anything like this happen in ten years of enjoying Splashin Safari. And you can imagine the additional pressure this put on the lines at Mammoth, Wildebeest, and Bakuli. 6. Speaking of Bakuli, on July 19 and 20, they only had one side loading people. Normally they have staff to load from both sides. Not this year. So that line was always super long. And this was a Monday and a Tuesday. 7. They are having serious supply chain issues in other ways. The new candy store by Gobblers Getaway had ZERO taffy. Zero. I asked and they said "we are having a hard time getting it." The fudge place in the new Christmas Cafe had way less selection in fudge than they normally have had in years past. Udderly Blue Ice Cream just closed for the day on July 20 because they said they ran out of supplies. This happened around 1pm. The day before they had run out of Wild Cherry flavor, a day later they were just closed for good. 8. They had far fewer drink stations open than in years past, making drink lines very long. For example, in the bathroom building between Mammoth and Bahari Snacks, they have 4 drink stations and in years past they have usually had 3-4 of them open. This year? 1. That's right, 1. Always had a long line on a Monday and a Tuesday. 9. We went to order a Ben's Pretzels near Bahari on July 20, and the nice young woman said "I can't sell pretzels right now, I have no way to do a transaction." Ok. Compared to years past, Holiday World shows all the signs of dealing with serious staffing, training, and management issues. It pains me to say that given all the fun we have had here in the past decade. I hope they can turn it around, but right now it feels like the bottom line is winning over guest experience.

Welcome to theme parks during a pandemic. This is happening everywhere.

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Hi Hoosier Dude, I believe we've seen your updated review on Google. I apologize that we didn't update our response until just a few minutes ago (Google doesn't put those in our "new reviews" section). 
I just want to express that our team puts our hearts and souls into what we do. When a ride goes down, we will spend what it takes to get it back up and operating safely as quickly as possible. Right now, we're at the mercy of a mess of a global supply chain--both with food and ride parts, but our team is going above and beyond in so many invisible ways to get rides back and food in restaurants this year. I'm proud to be a part of that team. 
That said, the days of your visit were particularly unlucky days for our maintenance team. We'd like to find a way to make your experience better, but we need to be able to converse with you in an appropriate forum--would you mind sending us an email at comments@holidayworld.com? 
 

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2 hours ago, Hoosier Dude said:

And I have to say I have seen this coming - the slow degradation in the quality of service and value. This is not the same experience that it was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago.

Yeah, not so much "slow degradation" as "immediate response to a crisis." But I do agree that it's not the same experience as 10 years ago. It's the same experience as 1 year ago. When you figure out why, maybe you'll cut them some slack. These are good people, and I guarantee they want even more badly than you do for service to be back up to their usual standards.

 

Edit: Haha, and while I was typing this out, they're already on it.

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25 minutes ago, teacherkim said:

Yes, but the description of the VIP tours is either before park open or guided for 4 hours only, not just unlimited access. Unless something has changed or been added that I am unaware of. I  agree with Bert that fast passes are available to all and I utilize them whenever I can BUT as you can already see from a previous response some people view them as "cheating" and favoring the rich (even though that is crap because it is up to you how you spend your money and I would not have taught middle school for almost 30 years if I was rich 🙄) While of course there are always exceptions, conservative, rural folk tend to be more of the "cheating" view and the opinion that it gives certain people an unfair advantage. The VIP thing happens before hours so most people don't see it going on in front of them and the guided tour is $250 on top of admission with a guide so I cannot believe there are a lot of people doing it. Although I certainly have been wrong before, lol. It is my opinion after talking to one of the owners that the profit to potentially be made was not worth the complaining they believed they would receive. Now that was 5 years ago, things could change, and perhaps the fairly new tours are a toe in the water to test things out.

Just to clear things up, we offer three 4-hour tours per day with a maximum of eight Guests per tour, and Guests may not ride the same ride back-to-back without waiting at least 15 minutes. We also offer one EarlyBird Tour per day. We don't believe premium or skip-the-line products should interfere with everyone else's experience.  

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3 hours ago, Hoosier Dude said:

Just did our tenth annual trip to Holiday World. Understand that my thoughts below represent the perspective of someone who has been to HW each year for ten years. I can see someone visiting this summer for the first time and still loving it. However, for us, a lot of the shine is off the penny. 

******

Just back from two days at Holiday World. We were in Holiday World on July 19 and 20. This is our 10th straight trip to Holiday World. We started coming in the summer of 2012. I think it's fair to say we have seen quite a bit change at Holiday World over the years. Some good, and some not so good. Unfortunately this, our 10th trip, was probably my least favorite of the ten. And I have to say I have seen this coming - the slow degradation in the quality of service and value. This is not the same experience that it was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. And at this point, if my wife or children said - Dad, let's go someplace different next year? I wouldn't try to talk them out of it. The Good about our trip this year: 1. The new security lines. Fantastic, fast. I complemented the managers near the front gate on this improvement. Very well done, much faster and quicker than in years past. The bad about our trip this year: 1. Legend and Cheetah Chase were both down for both days. In ten years, I have never seen a marquee ride out for a single day, let alone two marquee rides on two consecutive days. This made the lines for all other marquee rides much longer. As a seasonal park, they simply cannot afford to have this happen - whatever the reason - because it devalues the experience so much. 2. Mammoth wasn't operating at opening on July 19. Never seen that happen either. This meant the Wildebeest line was...a beast. Everyone flocked there. With no Cheetah Chase operating either, you can imagine the impact on the rest of Splashin Safari. I believe they got Mammoth up by noon, but the impact was already felt. 3. The Wave pool (the old, 80s looking one) wasn't open at all on July 20. 4. Zynga wasn't operating at opening on July 20. Didn't open until around 2pm. We were told "staff shortages" was the reason. So we headed to Watubee to ride that.... 5. Which promptly closed as well as we walked up. They said they had to repair something on the ride that wasn't working properly. So, on the morning of July 20, at opening, you couldn't ride Cheetah Chase, Zynga, or Watubee. And The Wave was closed, putting tremendous pressure on the remaining Bahari wave pool. Bahari itself closed for long periods of time and was having trouble with its wave machine later that day. I have literally never seen anything like this happen in ten years of enjoying Splashin Safari. And you can imagine the additional pressure this put on the lines at Mammoth, Wildebeest, and Bakuli. 6. Speaking of Bakuli, on July 19 and 20, they only had one side loading people. Normally they have staff to load from both sides. Not this year. So that line was always super long. And this was a Monday and a Tuesday. 7. They are having serious supply chain issues in other ways. The new candy store by Gobblers Getaway had ZERO taffy. Zero. I asked and they said "we are having a hard time getting it." The fudge place in the new Christmas Cafe had way less selection in fudge than they normally have had in years past. Udderly Blue Ice Cream just closed for the day on July 20 because they said they ran out of supplies. This happened around 1pm. The day before they had run out of Wild Cherry flavor, a day later they were just closed for good. 8. They had far fewer drink stations open than in years past, making drink lines very long. For example, in the bathroom building between Mammoth and Bahari Snacks, they have 4 drink stations and in years past they have usually had 3-4 of them open. This year? 1. That's right, 1. Always had a long line on a Monday and a Tuesday. 9. We went to order a Ben's Pretzels near Bahari on July 20, and the nice young woman said "I can't sell pretzels right now, I have no way to do a transaction." Ok. Compared to years past, Holiday World shows all the signs of dealing with serious staffing, training, and management issues. It pains me to say that given all the fun we have had here in the past decade. I hope they can turn it around, but right now it feels like the bottom line is winning over guest experience.

as others have said, this is happening all over the Country, due to a Pandemic that has interrupted supply chain and the ability to hire/keep employees

you should have expected this - and not for the idiotic reason you state "the slow degradation in the quality of service and value" - but rather because there has been a goddamn pandemic.

Kudos to Holiday World for opening up what they could. . it's a shame that folks have lost a sense of decency and empathy.


From San Francisco area. . but absolutely applies here:

https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/SF-Bay-Area-restaurants-customers-rude-Yelp-review-16333535.php?IPID=SFGate-HP-CP-Spotlight

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1 hour ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

Yeah, not so much "slow degradation" as "immediate response to a crisis." But I do agree that it's not the same experience as 10 years ago. It's the same experience as 1 year ago. When you figure out why, maybe you'll cut them some slack. These are good people, and I guarantee they want even more badly than you do for service to be back up to their usual standards.

 

Edit: Haha, and while I was typing this out, they're already on it.

I was afraid I would receive a response like this. Again, I have been each year for ten years. I noticed degradation in staffing and training probably 4 years ago. This is not solely a 2021 issue from our perspective. In fact I would say that 2020 ("1 year ago" to use your phrase) was much better than our recent trip this summer. I do acknowledge that there are industry trends unique to this year that are making this harder.

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^ every complaint you had about staffing/open places, and supply at said places are due to the Pandemic, and interruption of Supply Lines.


you may not have intended it (tho it sounds like you knew how you were coming across "I was afraid I'd receive a response like this"). . but yeah, not a great 1st impression as a welcome here at TPR.

Cut them some slack, and maybe don't go to any parks until 2022 when things are back to relatively normal if you're not able to cut them some slack -    I mean, really, check out the Cedar Point thread. . it's been kind of a horror show this year at that park.  

So either go and know what you're getting into (so don't' complain), or wait for things to normalize.

just my input.

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5 minutes ago, bert425 said:

as others have said, this is happening all over the Country, due to a Pandemic that has interrupted supply chain and the ability to hire/keep employees

you should have expected this - and not for the idiotic reason you state "the slow degradation in the quality of service and value" - but rather because there has been a goddamn pandemic.

Kudos to Holiday World for opening up what they could. . it's a shame that folks have lost a sense of decency and empathy.


From San Francisco area. . but absolutely applies here:

https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/SF-Bay-Area-restaurants-customers-rude-Yelp-review-16333535.php?IPID=SFGate-HP-CP-Spotlight

Absolutely? Ok. I am sure southern Indiana and northern California are completely comparable.

As for my idiotic comment, you may have missed the part where I said this is a years long pattern. Which I believe is now exacerbated at HW by the pandemic. 

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^ rude customers expecting things to be operating at same efficiency they did in late 2019-early 2020, and reacting badly (mostly with bad yelp review and/or online bitching if they don't)?

yes, absolutely applies across the entire Country.



edit:  and note, I'm not saying YOU are a "rude customer" . . . just responding to your questioning of the comment that a story from California absolutely applies in Indiana)
I'm giving benefit of the doubt to a new member at the TPR forums that you didn't intend to come across as harsh as you did.

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