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Photo TR: Mini New Hotness/East Coast Trip


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Imm'a let you finish, but Lightning Run was my favorite coaster of all time. Of all time! (though I have yet to ride an Intamin Megalite)

 

Also, I really enjoyed the water park at Kentucky Kingdom. It's no Splashin Safari, but they did have a nice collection of slides. Deluge was especially fun, and provided some decent airtime in the back.

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^I haven't sorted this out yet, but I think Lightning Run will place pretty highly in my annual Hawker poll ballot, possibly just under the Mega Lites. I think its one drawback is the restraints; then again, I could stand to lose some weight, too.

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I too had my doubts about Kentucky Kingdom, but they've done a great job taking a park that had sat there for years and getting it up and running. I thought the place looked great, and Thunder Run ran just as well if not better than it did back in the Six Flags days. I don't agree with all their future plans (the only thing that should be done with T2 is selling it for scrap), but I think the park will be a success.

 

I had never been to Beech Bend before, and really liked Kentucky Rumbler. And Deena was quite excited about the goats!

 

dt

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Nice TR ChucK! I'm looking forward to your explanation on that tweet Holiday World posted on maybe you eating too much funnel cake.

 

I'm not on Twitter, so I had to look it up. They load the rafts on Mammoth based on weight, so groups have to stand on a scale before boarding. If your group's too heavy, you get a red light. So, we were seeing how many people we could get on the scale before setting it off.

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Day 4: Dirt, Water, and ERT at Holiday World

 

The story of TPR's day at Holiday World began the night before, during a stormy bus ride from Beech Bend in Kentucky to Santa Claus, Indiana. The bus was blanketed with rain, thunder shook all the windows, and lightning blazed across the sky and down to the Earth. It seemed to be a harbinger of some sort--for this was the night of Satan's Lodge.

 

Well, technically it was "Santa's Lodge." I think Satan and his minions would've run a far more efficient establishment.

 

It turns out that due to a "computer-entry error" of some kind, the block of rooms reserved for TPR had been released at 6:00 pm, despite numerous reminders from Elissa via e-mails and cell-phone calls that the group would be checking in late. A number of these rooms had been given to other guests, so there wasn't enough space to handle our group. But we all know how resourceful Elissa is, and she found a Days Inn about a half-hour away that could, with some doubling up, handle the group. Call it a "TPR Adventure Night." Yes, many people got to know other people more than they thought was humanly possible, and the Days Inn staff also worked pretty hard to make our night there as pleasant as it could be.

 

As for Satan's Lodge, which is not affiliated with Holiday World in any way, they had to cough up a pretty hefty refund for their inexcusable goof, and the clerk made the trek to the park to apologize. My thanks to Elissa for making the best out of a tough situation.

 

As for Holdiay World, they were great! Not only did they walk us back to Voyage so that we could be the first in line that morning, they had coffee and donuts waiting for us. And they pulled out the stops in other ways, too: one hour of ERT on Splashing Safari's water coasters, Mammoth and Wildebeest, after the water park closed, followed by a great ERT session on Voyage, Raven, and Legend that night after the park closed. Holiday World doesn't, as a rule, hold ERT in the summer for groups outside of their annual Holiwood Nights event, so this was a very pleasant surprise. They also gave us a construction tour of the new launched B&M Wing Coaster they're building for 2015: Thunderbird. I think the setting, where it crosses over Voyage and into the woods, will definitely enhance this ride.

 

I spent all of the coaster ERT on Raven, as this was my favorite coaster at the park and my first time riding it after dark. It was total, lights-out insanity! What I like about Raven is that just when you think it's trying to kill you, it ends--perfect pacing for an insane ride. As for the Voyage, well, the first half of the ride is good, but the second half was pretty brutal. I'd love to see RMC tackle this ride.

 

Ah, but Mammoth and Wildebeest . . . these are the real jewels at Holiday World. Both water coasters offer crazy airtime; you really have to hold on to the straps on those rafts. Mammoth also pulls a neat trick on you at the end by dumping a tidal wave over the whole raft, and Wildebeest has this insane drop into a shed followed followed by a launch that's the best moment in any water park I've ever visited. Do not miss these rides if you visit Holiday World.

 

Here's a look

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Satan's Lodge . . . quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!"

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Yes, we are definitely at Holiday World. Confirmation is a good thing.

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Paula "Raven Maven" Werne greets the group.

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This normally doesn't happen outside of the park's Holiwood Nights event--an excellent surprise (even on Central Time).

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Getting to Voyage requires a hike through the woods.

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Here you see part of the reason why Raven is such a great night ride.

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Like our Pilgrim ancestors, we must endure great hardships.

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More of the reason Raven is a great night ride--lots of trees and no lights.

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Ichabod Crane's favorite ride.

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At last, our objective was in sight.

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Yes, we had found donuts and coffee!

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Plus, we got to line up early for Voyage, I hope no one ate too many donuts.

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"My elf slaves have made me rich beyond all dreams of avarice!"

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"Hey, sweetheart, why don't you put down that tea, fetch your right jolly old elf a beer, sit on my lap, and tell ol'Santa what you want for Christmas? I know I gotta present for you right now, ho, ho, ho!"

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Next, we headed for "4th of July" land, the most patriotic place on Earth! If you're an American. Not if you're, say, Lithuanian.

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It is full of all 'Murican attractions such as Liberty Launch, . . .

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. . . Sparkler, . . .

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. . . and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Smoking Area, which had a rather long line.

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"Ah, come in, Mr. Bond! I have been expecting you. Would you care to meet some of my associates?"

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"Enjoy your trip--it will be your last!"

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"I'm afraid Peter won't keep you as well as he does his wife, Mr. Bond."

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"I fear that Little Jack Horner will pull more than a plumb out of you! Do not be fooled by his diminutive stature!"

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"Do not ask the fate of this poor pig. You will share it soon enough!"

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This is the sequel to "A Streetcar Named Desire": "A Picnic Shelter Named Riley." It wasn't as big a hit.

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Holiday World's management staff came over to answer questions. Can you guess what they talked about?

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Good guess. More to come.

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Ready for a construction tour of Thunderbird? Good.

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Again, like our Pilgrim forebears, we embark on another epic journey.

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Thunderbird and Voyage are going to be rather "intimate" once the job is finished.

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I hadn't seen all the concept art yet, so I wasn't aware that Thunderbird was going to cross over Voyage twice.

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But will Voyage appreciated being double-crossed?

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Yeah? You gonna take that, Voyage? Huh?

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Thunderbird will take riders through these woods. This could give it a setting to rival Wild Eagle's at Dollywood.

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One stick can be very important.

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"Bah! I have many important sticks," says Voyage.

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Good thing the person digging that hole remembered to bring a ladder.

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If the Pilgrims had made it to Indiana, they would've seen this view. Maybe.

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Those Thunderbird sports bottles came in very handy. It was powerful hot and humid that day.

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Here's one spot where Thunderbird won't be harassing Voyage. I think.

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"Hey, Thunderbird? Can you do this? Huh? Can you?"

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Hey, I was looking all over for that hot sauce!

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This is for all the rebar fetishists. You know who you are.

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The Pilgrims would've had a much easier time finding the Promised Land if they'd had this road.

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Footers--this time on the other side of Voyage.

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I think this is a service building for the ride (not part of the station).

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These are coffins for all the Pilgrim babies that didn't survive the trek to Indiana. Or not. My memory is a little fuzzy on this point.

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Footers or headstones? Tough call.

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Voyage gets crossed here.

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And it gets crossed here--I think after Thunderbird gets looped.

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Please note that due caution is being taken.

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"Upon this rock I will build my church to worship Newsies, Frozen, and Les Miserables."

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From what I can glean from the concept art, the main path to Thunderbird should run along here (or at least nearby).

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The Pilgrim's Giraffica station looks lonely.

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This is one of the best ERT sessions I've ever experienced. Mammoth and Wildebeest are the best water rides anywhere.

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Darkness falls, and Voyage beckons.

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But, for me, the best coaster in the park is Raven . . .

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. . . especially at night!

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"Yep.. I'm still sittin' here on this pallid bust of Pallas, waitin' for my cue to say . . . Nevermore!" That's all for now.

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^^ They did so this year as they've found that reducing the ride to six cars has less wear and tear on the track as opposed to the seven car trains. There really isn't that much of a difference between the six and seven car trains other than the seventh car giving a rougher ride than the sixth!

 

Great trip report! I always love hearing about other peoples experiences at my home park, especially those who don't get to visit the park that much

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The Voyage will always be my favorite coaster at Holiday World because of its LONG out-and-back/twister combo layout, but I definitely respect that your favorite is Raven, Chuck. That ride is 30 seconds of just plain fun.

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I second the vote for Raven as best coaster at Holiday World....wish that I could have ridden that one at night. Who knows, maybe Voyage might have even been fun at night in the front seat?

 

Thunderbird should be a great addition for the park...I'm very excited to hear how this coaster rides next year.

 

Also have to agree on their water park rides. Mammoth is easily my favorite water ride with Wildebeest being a close 2nd.

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^Yes, Thunderbird is for 2015. I believe he just made a typo.

 

Yep, a typo. It's fixed now. Thank you.

 

The Voyage will always be my favorite coaster at Holiday World because of its LONG out-and-back/twister combo layout, but I definitely respect that your favorite is Raven, Chuck. That ride is 30 seconds of just plain fun.

 

For me, Voyage just becomes too rough and drags on too long during its second half, but different strokes for different folks. Raven is just intense enough, and ends right when I want it to.

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^I do agree with you about the second half of the ride being too rough at the moment.

I've always thought of Voyage as a coaster that's made specifically for enthusiasts. It really seems like The Gravity Group and Will Koch tried to make the "perfect wooden coaster." The Voyage is absolutely amazing on paper, but the real thing is a bit of a problem for the traditional wood track. It's coasters like Voyage that are the PERFECT candidates for topper track.

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Do you mind if I say that my favorite ride at HW is Mammoth?

 

Not at all. I think that Mammoth and Wildebeest are the best rides there of any kind.

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For me, Voyage just becomes too rough and drags on too long during its second half, but different strokes for different folks. Raven is just intense enough, and ends right when I want it to.

 

Agreed. I rode it once the year after it opened and it was enough for me. WAY to rough. I love Raven and I may have to say I enjoyed Legend about as much. Close call for me.

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Great pictures! I've never been to Holiday World but have been wanting to for some time. Considering a HW/KK/KI/CP or something trip for next year. It has been 12 years since my only trip to King's Island and 6 years since I was last at Cedar Point. And never been to Kentucky Kingdom either.

 

Is one day plenty at Holiday World? It only has a few coasters but is there more at the park to justify a second day?

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^I think the "must do" attractions at the park are the three woodies, Gobbler Getaway (I'm a fan of dark rides), Mammoth, and Wildebeest. The flat rides, at least to me, aren't all that exciting, but the water park is excellent (and often busy). I'd say one day is plenty.

 

But it all depends on what you want to do.

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