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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Funtown, Palace Playland, and Aquaboggan in One Day

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That sky ride was so odd it needed to be ridden. Did you visit just after one of the times it got stuck?

I honestly don’t know. We got to the zoo and headed for Kombo. Along the way we saw the sky ride (not knowing exactly what it was right away) and we were like wtf? We followed the track to where the entrance was, which still perplexed us, as the station was ground level. There was a girl standing out front that clued us in as to what it was. She said they were having some problems with it over the weekend (we went on a Monday)and that it probably wouldn’t open that day.

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John Ivers Backyard / Blue Flash

 

I’m sure we’ve all dreamed of having a coaster in our backyard. Practically, that isn’t an option for most of us due to cost or land. However, John Ivers made it a reality. He has made not one, but two backyard coasters.

 

Most backyard coasters are junior coasters at best. But the Blue Flash is a bonafide thrill ride. In fact, that aggressive first drop and ridiculously compact loop made Blue Flash one of the most imposing coasters I’ve ever seen.

 

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You'd be hard pressed to spot this from the highway.

 

I think this goes without saying, but it needs to be said, DO NOT JUST SHOW UP AT HIS HOUSE! Believe it or not, this has been a problem for John. Every so often an enthusiast will show up unannounced or even creepier, they’ll come by to take photos in the middle of the night. Seriously WTF?!?

 

And as a safety measure John locks the rides out when he’s not there. Blue Flash has a padlock literally fastened to the rail that prevents the car from moving. Blue Too is a little fancier with a traditional control panel requiring a key.

 

The process to ride the Blue Flash began months (yes months) in advance. After booking my Holiwood Nights tickets, I started looking into riding the Blue Flash. The biggest question was how to contact him.

 

Not surprisingly, John’s phone number and email address are unlisted. So I had to think outside the box. More specifically, I had to think retro. I went with a letter. I think it was the first letter I had mailed in years. And about a week later, John got back to me!

 

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It must be awesome having a road named after you.

 

Flash forward to the Friday before Holiwood Nights. John Ivers lives about 1.5 hours north of Holiday World literally right off a highway. Add in the fact that the coaster is tucked beneath trees, and I’m sure many enthusiasts have unknowingly blown right past it.

 

As I pulled into their long driveway, Ms. Ivers greeted me from their porch swing. Moments later, the engineer himself came out of the house and introduced himself. Both John and his wife couldn’t have been nicer. You’d think they worked at Holiday World.

 

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John's cat also came by to say hello.

 

I felt like I had a VIP tour. John gave an overview how both the Blue Flash and Blue Too came to be. Even though Blue Flash is the far more ambitious coaster, you can see all John’s learnings applied to Blue Too. As an engineer, it was fascinating to see how these rides ticked.

 

And then it was time to ride the Blue Flash. The car looks like a wagon with a car seat slapped on top of it. John tightly secured the (former bullbozer) seatbelt and fired up his creation. There was no turning back now.

 

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I can't say I've ever seen a coaster car quite like this.

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And then it was time to ride John's famous coaster.

 

The first drop is wicked. It may only be 20-25 feet tall, but it packed a serious punch. It felt like a mirrored, more compact version of the first drop on Phantom’s Revenge. And the visual of the car clearing the shed is a sight to behold on its own.

 

Then came the pullout, which is arguably the most intense part of the ride. Whereas Phantom’s Revenge is refined and graceful on the pullout, Blue Flash is raw and untamed. As the Blue Flash uncorked, I was whipped to the side. Had I not been holding on, who knows where my upper body would have gone.

 

That’s followed by the signature loop. This has to be the smallest vertical loop in existence. Not only does it pack on the Gs, but it feels undeniably weird. It felt like I was performing a backflip. I’m pretty sure your head stays at the same place during the inversion and your body rotates around it.

 

Keep in mind the sequence I described is about 3 seconds in length. And it’s arguably three of the most intense seconds of any coaster. Blue Flash then felt like it was going to stall out on the helix finale, but I barely completed it each time.

 

John gave me three consecutive rides. Unlike most coasters which have a legit brake run, John “brakes” the ride by simply turning off the lift hill.

 

There are bigger, taller, and longer coasters out there, but there’s just something special about Blue Flash. Make no mistake, this is undoubtedly one of the most intense coasters out there. 8 out of 10

 

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What's in the shed?

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A loop without an OSTR? John was a trendsetter.

 

And like any good credit whore, I snatched a ride on Blue Too as well. Unlike Blue Flash, Blue Too is unquestionably a junior coaster. But in some regards, it’s a bit fancier than the Blue Flash.

 

For one, it has a two car train closer to what you’d find at a traditional amusement park. In addition, this coaster has an actual braking system. There’s a skid brake in the station that engages the back car.

 

Most of the course was an uneventful loop, but the first drop had some very surprising yank to it. There wasn’t any airtime, but I definitely was whipped forwards. 4 out of 10

 

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It has a logo and everything.

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Few parks let you get this close to a coaster unless they're at Mt. Olympus.

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Geek shot of the skid brakes.

 

So my visit was over in (if you will) a flash, but it was absolutely priceless to ride two of the most unique coasters out there and pick the brain of the designer and builder.

 

I am very thankful for John and his wife to take time out of their day to grant the wish of a crazy coaster enthusiast. Riding the Blue Flash (and Blue Too) is something I never thought I’d do. I may never get my own backyard coaster, but at least I can now said I’ve ridden one two.

 

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I never thought I'd be here one day.

 

Some other logistical notes. The Blue Flash currently has a weight limit of 180 lbs. John was very open about that from the moment I reached out to him.

 

There is no waiver, although John did say his home insurance went up once they learned of the coaster (go figure ).

 

There is no fee; however, John accepts donations. Considering many of us won’t even bat an eye as we hand over $10 for a stupid wacky worm, please be generous and support the man’s painting and maintenance fund. Riding these coasters is a priceless experience.

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Thanks!

 

I didn't feel endangered in any way. He knows the ins and outs of the ride and checks it frequently. Plus he's willing to ride it which says something.

 

I felt way safer on Blue Flash than on some of the carnival coasters I've ridden. That AT&T just ok carnival commercial is spot on.

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Holiday World/HoliWood Nights

 

HoliWood Nights is often described as the enthusiast event that puts all other enthusiast events to shame. With that sort of reputation, it was impossible not to go in with sky-high expectations. And you know what? Holiday World somehow surpassed them.

 

Until I find some reindeer at the local pet shop and train them how to fly, it’s always going to be hard to get to Santa Claus, Indiana. But I think HoliWood Nights may now be an annual event for me. It’s just that good!

 

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Greetings from Santa Claus, Indiana, a place where they aren't afraid to say Merry Christmas.

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Rumor has it, the Santa Claus Police arrest you if you say Happy Holidays.

 

I had some time to burn before check-in, so I decided to see what kind of tourist traps were in Santa Claus, Indiana. With a name like that, I figured there had to be something. And there was, the Santa Claus Museum.

 

I thought it was closed when I pulled in. It was eerily quiet. The blinds were down. And there was no one else there. I figured the door would be locked, but it was open. The museum had a toy train and one Santa display, but it otherwise felt like the unofficial museum of Holiday World. Admission was free, but they suggest a $2-3 donation if I remember correctly.

 

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If this is what the Santa Claus Museum looks like when it's open, what does it look like when it's closed?

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It was small, but cute.

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It felt like Holiday World's unofficial museum.

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Oh no, Holidog was decapitated.

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Ho, ho, ho.

 

I then made my way over to Holiday World and the check-in process was seamless. Since I had an hour before the organized activities, I got a quick lap on Voyage (more on that later). Then I felt compelled to ride Raging Rapids since I was already in my swim trunks.

 

Raging Rapids is a misnomer. There are hardly any rapids. This ride is all about the geysers. In some ways it’s more exciting because you can’t see them coming. I think there are 6-7 geysers and they get you acceptably wet. However, the unavoidable waterfall towards the end takes no prisoners. 7 out of 10

 

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This really should be called Raging Geysers...

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and a Waterfall.

 

Then HoliWood Nights officially began not with coaster ERT, but with water park ERT. I think they had a few slides plus the wave pool open for us, but I only cared about the two water coasters. There was also a delicious buffet of chicken wings and fried fish that I’m pretty sure had a longer line than the slides.

 

I started with Wildebeest, which is probably my favorite water slide in the world. This slide has some serious airtime, especially if you ride in the back. There’s a reason they tell you to hold on at all times. I’m pretty sure you’d the raft would continue without you if you let go during the two shed drops.

 

Not only is the airtime above and beyond what one can reasonably expect from a water slide, but it just doesn’t end. It’s like the Avengers Endgame of all water slides. I think there are like 9 or 10 drops in total. 10 out of 10

 

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The slide that slayed Master Blaster in the Golden Ticket awards.

 

At most water parks, Mammoth would be the undoubted star. The spinning makes Mammoth more unpredictable than Wildebeest, but the airtime isn’t quite as pronounced. The airtime is still better than 99% of water slides though; Wildebeest is just that special 1%. 9 out of 10

 

Also, does Holiday World want to give riders hypothermia? I wasn’t the only one who thought this, but the water on Mammoth was absolutely frigid. It probably didn’t help that we rode it during sunset or the fact the queue was fully shaded with misting fans on full blast.

 

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My teeth are still chattering.

 

Then it was time for the coasters. Most of the photos I’m going to include in this report were from two awesome walkback tours the following day. I barely took any night shots since the coasters were in almost total darkness, and that’s what made them especially awesome.

 

I also want to preface my reviews by saying I have a high tolerance for rough coasters. I personally wouldn’t call any of Holiday World’s woodies rough, but I can totally understand why others may call them rough. I classify them as aggressive, much like Boulder Dash (which I ride an unhealthy amount).

 

Everyone always raves about the trimless Voyage night rides. At the start of HoliWood Nights, the mid-course was still biting. Were the trimless rides just an enthusiast urban legend?

 

Once darkness fully set-in, the magic happened. The trims deactivated. And on one of the first trimless trains, an enthusiast puked. Let me repeat that, an enthusiast puked. I’m sure the copious amount of food Holiday World gave us played a factor, but it was clear there was something different about Voyage.

 

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When word got out that the Voyage was running trimless, this was what the ERT line looked like.

 

These rides were almost enough to make Voyage supplant Lightning Rod as my number one coaster. Did the trimless rides make that big of a difference? Not exactly. Voyage already hauls on the return trip. The only difference I noticed was on the triple down, which now had some incredible airtime.

 

What made Voyage special was the fact I was now able to ride it at night. My one gripe with Holiday World is that they often close early, so night rides had eluded me. Not anymore. The outward leg is gets darker and darker until you reach the spaghetti bowl.

 

There is absolutely no light out there. You’d find more light in a black hole. I had no clue if Voyage was going to turn right or left. All I knew was that I was getting launched out of my seat on every hill. It was a religious experience.

 

Voyage is relentless. It’s the triathlon of coasters. You have a hypercoaster-like outward leg, a twister section in the middle, and a return leg that feels like you’ve set sail during a typhoon. The ride just doesn’t end and you’re getting airtime or laterals constantly. 10 out of 10

 

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I don't think anyone will ever build anything quite like the Voyage again.

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I think the enthusiasts have been spotted.

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Just imagine cresting this hill and seeing a crowd of 100 people with their cameras pointed at them.

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I lost count how many airtime hills there were.

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Fresh wood all over the place had the Voyage running fantastic.

 

Legend, aka laterals the ride, was an incredible night ride as well. It was almost as dark as the Voyage, which made the already insane laterals feel that much wilder. I felt like the side of the train was going to snap off during the double helix.

 

But beyond the laterals, Legend has some underrated airtime. The return leg has 3-4 very good pops of airtime, the bunny hill under the water slides has awesome floater air, and the 5th hill has some borderline ejector air (particularly in the back). 9 out of 10

 

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Laterals the Ride.

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Or Tunnels the Ride. Either works.

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The finale actually has some nice airtime though.

 

Remember when HoliWood Nights was Stark Raven Mad? The Raven sure does. Before the Voyage overshadowed it, the Raven was considered one of the best night rides anywhere. And you know what? It still stands out.

 

It feels like you’re deep in the woods during the ride, but in reality you’re mere feet from the parking lot and a wide open field. Holiday World has just enough trees adjacent to the track to complete the illusion.

 

The Raven gets progressively wilder as it goes. The first half has some decent pops of airtime, but then comes the fifth drop. This is some of the strongest ejector air out there. That’s followed by some high-speed turns in total darkness. There’s only a quick pop of air, but plenty of laterals. 8.5 out of 10

 

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Unlike Thunderhead, Raven still proudly displays its Golden Ticket awards.

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You really aren't that deep in the woods at all. But you're going too fast to notice.

 

Last but not least, there was Thunderbird. I used to think it was a middle-of-the-road wing coaster. But I’ve now been converted; Thunderbird is the best wing coaster. The night rides certainly helped, but I came to that conclusion after day rides as well.

 

The launch is forceful and the combination of audio and fog really amps you up. Usually I’m not a big fan of Immelmanns, but this one has some good whip on the drop afterwards. And that’s followed by a pretty forceful loop.

 

While the first half is decently illuminated by the pathways, the second half is in total darkness. The zero-G and barrel rolls are pure bliss and loaded with hangtime, but one of the most underrated elements is that funky S-hill. It’s like B&M tried to do one of those aggressive Intamin s-hills, but they decided to do it on their least agile coaster model. Still it gives some very funky airtime. 8.5 out of 10

 

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Thunderbird ready for launch.

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Blasting through the barn.

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You can't get these views normally.

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A train full of happy riders.

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Most people were focused on the nacho bar. I was focused on this photogenic coaster.

 

HoliWood Nights had two auctions. The first was for physical items such as the coaster flags and used ride parts. The second was the experiential auction. I could only imagine what TSA would say if I whipped out a piece of Wildebeest’s conveyor belt, so I was more interested in the experiences.

 

As were most people. The most fierce bidding happened for the Voyage zen rides. Last I checked, both the Friday and Saturday night zen rides went for over $200! But I was more interested in the ride tours.

 

The Voyage lift walk, Voyage track walk, and Thunderbird behind the scenes tours all went for over $100. However, I found a steal. The Gobbler Getaway tour was only $25! I jumped all over that. I guess most people at the event were all about the coasters.

 

I ran into a fellow TPR member from the Japan (Dreaming Airtime) and invited him since the tour included a guest. It was really cool to see the inside of Gobbler Getaway and a unique way to start day two. In some ways, it was sort of creepy to walk through there without the constant gobbling of the guns.

 

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Walking through a dark ride is a surreal experience.

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What's in door number one?

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It was nice to be able to focus on the detail of the sets instead of the targets when you're on the ride.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

 

It was really interesting to ride Gobbler Getaway later in the day after getting the tour. I felt like I saw the answers to the test since I noticed a few targets I never knew existed (hint, look up). And the zany ending always leaves me with a big, goofy smile on my face. 8 out of 10

 

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Granny's got a gun.

 

Most of the day was focused on coasters- either riding or photographing them. One of the most noteworthy items was that Voyage started the day trimless. That surprised all of us. By the afternoon, the trim was back on, but it went off come ERT.

 

I also made sure to hit several of the other non-coasters I missed. For flats, that included Crow’s Nest, Turkey Whirl, and Eagle’s Flight.

 

Crow’s Nest was a short, forceless star flyer, but it offered some really unique views of Thunderbird. I think this is the model I usually see at local fairs where the tower itself rotates rather than the gondolas. 6 out of 10

 

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1/6 of the New England Sky Screamer.

 

Turkey Whirl was adorable. I never thought I’d find a tilt-a-whirl cuter than Story Land’s Turtle Twirl, but Holiday World did it. However, I did miss the covered vehicles since the seats were piping hot. The ride itself was your average tilt-a-whirl though. 5 out of 10

 

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Gobble, gobble, gobble.

 

I always thought Eagle’s Flight was a newer Larson flyer, but I discovered it’s actually a classic Bisch-Rocco version. I had visions of snapping. The ride isn’t run as fast as the ones at Knoebels or Lagoon, but the rudders had more movement than any other flying scooters I’ve ridden.

 

This meant it was possible to get some decent snapping. At no point did I feel like I was going to die (isn’t that what we all go for on these rides), but it was definitely bouncy and the park gave a nice, long cycle too. 7 out of 10

 

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I love how each of the birds had a different design.

 

Last but not least, I also made sure to hit the park’s log flume. I actually met up with RAWKIN_coaster38 prior to riding Frightful Falls and she became my riding buddy for the rest of the night.

 

Frightful Falls only has one drop, but it’s a pretty good one. It’s decently tall and passes through Legend. The other notable thing about Frightful Falls is the super long tunnel at the start. 8 out of 10

 

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A rare view of the Frightful Falls drop.

 

After a wonderful buffet dinner with fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and salad (lol theme parks are my cheat day), it was time for the night ERT. However, there was a black cloud over ERT. Voyage was down.

 

Fortunately the park only had the coaster down for the first half hour of ERT and when it reopened, it was running just as awesome as the night before. Voyage at night truly is exceptional. I parked myself here for the entirety of ERT except for one special treat.

 

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Voyage at night is something special.

 

Holiday World decided to do a water cup challenge on Legend. For those unfamiliar with a water cup challenge, you are given an uncovered cup of water and you try to return to the station with as much water as possible.

 

This would be tricky on a kiddie coaster, so it seemed dang near impossible on something as aggressive as Legend. After hearing the rules, I found a riding position that allowed me to return to the station with a full cup of water! I was in shock, as was everyone else.

 

A magician never reveals his tricks…unless you sign up to be on my team next year.

 

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Voyage made many enthusiasts wet.

 

HoliWood Nights was exceptional. I could go on and on listing superlatives to describe it, but the key takeaway is that you should do everything in your power to attend this event in future years. Voyage at night is a contender for the best coaster in the world, the park’s hospitality is legendary, and I made several new friends with fellow enthusiasts.

 

Only 48 more weeks until HoliWood Nights 2020…not that I’m counting.

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There really isn't anything quite like trimless Voyage. I swear the ride runs on magic. I can't explain it, but the 1st train on Saturday ert after the breakdown was possibly the best ride I ever had on it and that's after it being down for hours. Makes 0 sense. 100% agree we'll never see another ride like Voyage. The location, pacing, and bountiful airtime make for a ride like no other.

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I had already sold myself on attending Holiwood Nights next year but you just double sold me on it.

 

The Voyage is the best coaster I have ever been on and it is so much better and more terrifying than any other coaster I've done that I have no idea why anyone would think otherwise. More airtime, more laterals, more 90 degrees, more tunnels, more woods, super long, well maintained (just don't make your visit to the park near the end of the operating season); it just blows everything else away.

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Great report of the homemade coasters...so cool that you got the chance to ride them!

 

Despite not liking Voyage years ago, I'd really like to give it another go. I bet at night in the front without trims has to be right up there with The Beast (if not much better).

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There really isn't anything quite like trimless Voyage. I swear the ride runs on magic. I can't explain it, but the 1st train on Saturday ert after the breakdown was possibly the best ride I ever had on it and that's after it being down for hours. Makes 0 sense. 100% agree we'll never see another ride like Voyage. The location, pacing, and bountiful airtime make for a ride like no other.

 

Nighttime Boulder Dash really is the only thing that compares for me, but even that can't match the Voyage's raw intensity.

 

I had already sold myself on attending Holiwood Nights next year but you just double sold me on it.

 

The Voyage is the best coaster I have ever been on and it is so much better and more terrifying than any other coaster I've done that I have no idea why anyone would think otherwise. More airtime, more laterals, more 90 degrees, more tunnels, more woods, super long, well maintained (just don't make your visit to the park near the end of the operating season); it just blows everything else away.

 

I rode the Voyage on Labor Day weekend last year and thought it was running about as smooth as it was this visit.

 

Great report of the homemade coasters...so cool that you got the chance to ride them!

 

Despite not liking Voyage years ago, I'd really like to give it another go. I bet at night in the front without trims has to be right up there with The Beast (if not much better).

 

Thanks! Did you find Voyage too rough? If so, I don't think a night ride would help there since if anything, it'll feel wilder.

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My first ride on Lightning Rod was at night. As we pulled into the station all I could think was, "What the hell just happened?"

 

The same thing happened with The Voyage and I rode it in broad daylight. Wish we could have gotten more rides. How does it do all that with one lift hill? Do the laws of physics cease to exist in Santa Claus, Indiana?

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Great report. I think there's also an anonymouscactus cameo in Gobbler Getaway.

 

Thanks! I did see someone else with a TPR item on (forget if it was a shirt or a lanyard).

 

My first ride on Lightning Rod was at night. As we pulled into the station all I could think was, "What the hell just happened?"

 

The same thing happened with The Voyage and I rode it in broad daylight. Wish we could have gotten more rides. How does it do all that with one lift hill? Do the laws of physics cease to exist in Santa Claus, Indiana?

 

My first ride on Outlaw Run was in complete darkness and I thought the same thing. The Voyage reminds me of Boulder Dash where it just picks up an insane amount of speed for the finale. It's so easy to miss during the Voyage that the entire first half goes uphill, which explains why the second half builds up so much speed.

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We did the gobbler walkthrough together and didn't even know it, lol. I would have at least said hi!

 

There is never any way to explain the voyage experience in the dark, just no way. You just have to believe us when we say it's the most insane ride you'll ever be on.

 

Holiwood Nights is a blast and I will always recommend it to anyone for the unique experience you can't get at any other time.

 

Awesome report!

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Great report! Voyage night rides.. so elusive. I haven't been to HW since 2014 but I still think highly of the Voyage after all my travels since then. Glad you had a great time!

 

Thanks! It's impossible not to have a great time at HoliWood Nights.

 

We did the gobbler walkthrough together and didn't even know it, lol. I would have at least said hi!

 

There is never any way to explain the voyage experience in the dark, just no way. You just have to believe us when we say it's the most insane ride you'll ever be on.

 

Holiwood Nights is a blast and I will always recommend it to anyone for the unique experience you can't get at any other time.

 

Awesome report!

 

Thanks! Maybe we'll run into each other again next year.

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I would've chosen the Gobbler Getaway tour, as well.

 

I think Holiday World's two best rides of any type are Wildebeest and Mammoth.

 

I'll take Wildebeest and Mammoth over a lot of coasters, but I prefer Holiday World's big four coasters more.

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Kentucky Kingdom

 

After two amazing days at Holiwood Nights, Kentucky Kingdom had a tough act to follow. But two top-notch coasters plus a brand spanking new wooden coaster made for a great day.

 

Once the park opened, I made a beeline for Kentucky Flyer. In retrospect, I probably should have started with Lightning Run since it was only running one train and had a consistent half hour wait later in the day, but hindsight is 20-20.

 

It felt like a scavenger hunt to find Kentucky Flyer's entrance. For those unaware, Kentucky Kingdom has one of the oddest layouts out there. You literally have to cross a road and pass through the water park to reach this coaster.

 

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I had considered doing the water park, but Deluge being closed made it an easy skip.

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Even with Deluge closed, I still had a reason to enter the water park.

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What a great backdrop for Hurricane Bay.

 

I was the first public rider of the day on Kentucky Flyer. I was joined by a few stragglers from an early morning ERT session on Kentucky Flyer. I think I got 6 straight rides without leaving the station, split between the front and back.

 

Kentucky Flyer didn't quite have the frenetic pacing of Roar-O-Saurus or Oscar's Wacky Taxi. And it didn't have the stronger airtime of a Wooden Warrior or Twister. But that's not needed at this park considering Lightning Run and Storm Chaser exist.

 

The outward leg consisted of some floater air and weaker airtime pops. The second half is quite a bit wilder. The front has 6-7 consecutive pops of floater air, but the back has some borderline pops of ejector. There's also a pinch of banking to mix in some sneaky laterals too. And it's perfectly smooth too.

 

These junior Gravity Group coasters are perfect fits for any park. Their low overall height and low height requirement make them appealing for younger riders, but they pack in enough airtime to satisfy even the most well-traveled of coaster enthusiasts. 8 out of 10

 

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I love the color scheme. That may be my biased Canobie self speaking since it's the same as the Yankee Cannonball.

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Every single hill gives some type of airtime.

 

On a whim I decided to ride the park's star flyer, Skycatcher. This is one of those rides I really wish allowed on-ride photography because the views of Kentucky Flyer were outstanding. Granted it would be hard to focus considering this ride is moderately forceful. 7 out of 10

 

So I got my photography fix on the Giant Wheel. This is no ordinary ferris wheel. This is a 150 foot behemoth. It only went around 3 times, but with a wheel this big, that was enough for a satisfying ride. 8 out of 10

 

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Skycatcher gave some awesome views of Kentucky Flyer...and the Giant Wheel gave some awesome views of Skycatcher and Kentucky Flyer.

 

I have a confession to make. I actually enjoyed T3 in my 2016. Yes it was rough, but the restraints prevented all headbanging.

 

But I had an intervention. This ride sucks. It still has no headbanging. Instead it offers back banging. I felt like I had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson by the time I hit the brake run. 2 out of 10

 

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I actually enjoyed T3 on my last visit, but now I see the light. This ride blows.

 

I deserved better. So I treated myself to a Storm Chaser marathon. I absolutely love the coaster's placement in the back of the park. It's secluded location means it's always a walk-on.

 

You start with some nice hangtime on the barrel roll, but then you go right into an ejector airtime buffet. That first camelback offers some El Toro-esque airtime.

 

The overbank is over in a breeze and that's followed by a fantastic turnaround with two crazy pops of air entering and exiting. After another quick overbank, comes another powerful airtime hill. It's not quite as good as the first camelback, but it's undoubtedly one of RMC's best airtime moments.

 

The finale is lunacy. You blow through a zero-G roll and then go through this double-up, double-down, trick track thingy. Whatever it is, it delivers some crazy airtime. Your thighs will be feeling it the next day. After one final turn, there's a violent pop of air into the brake run.

 

I heard some say that Storm Chaser was running a bit poorly in 2019. I'd like to know what those people are smoking. Storm Chaser was hauling just as much as it was in 2016 and 2018. There are bigger, faster, and longer RMCs, but this one may have the strongest airtime from start to finish. 10 out of 10

 

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Such a great ride!

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I can still feel the airtime here.

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Storm Chaser is like a bull that chugged a Four Loko.

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Most barrel rolls give hangtime. This one just hauls straight through.

 

Since it was a rather hot day, I was excited to finally ride the park's infamous river rapids. The park claims the rapids are raging, but I think something else is if you ask me.

 

Raging Rapids was a deceptively long ride. None of the rapids are absolute soakers, but there are a ton of them. Plus you also have a waterfall, some sprayers, some misters, and two tunnels. It was pretty clear this used to be a Blizzard River back in the day. 7 out of 10

 

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I don't know why Six Flags didn't do more rock work. Nothing says family friendly like this beauty.

 

I then went from one woody to another. Thunder Run looks like Hurler. And in 2016, it rode like Hurler too. But with each visit, the park has retracked more and more of the ride. Now Thunder Run is quite smooth outside of the first turn.

 

Admittedly I only rode towards the front, but the outward leg had some great airtime. The straight track on the return run feels like filler, but when the ride is giving airtime, it does it well. 7 out of 10

 

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Before there was lightning, there was thunder.

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Lots of fresh wood. Clearly I'm not at Mt. Olympus.

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Whoosh!

 

Lightning Run was running one train, so it held a consistent half hour wait all day. But it was well worth it. After all, the op reminded us that we were riding the "world's tallest Chance Hyper GT-X Coaster". I'm going out on a limb here and guessing the ride op was a coaster enthusiast.

 

The first drop had some serious yank and ejector air much like your traditional RMC drop. That's followed by an outstanding camelback loaded with ejector airtime.

 

The middle section of Lightning Run is a blitzkrieg of twists, turns, and little airtime hills. This section's airtime is actually reminiscent of Kentucky Flyer; it's of the quick pop variety.

 

But Lightning Run has a wild finish. After plunging back to the ground, there are four straight airtime hills with some powerful ejector pops. This reminded me of Steel Vengeance's finale. I always hit the brake run speechless.

 

I spent about half my visit queuing for Lightning Run. It was the only ride in the park with any appreciable wait, but I kept coming back for more. It's the definition of an airtime machine and it's insanely smooth too. 9.5 out of 10

 

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They say lightning doesn't strike twice...

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And sadly they're right. Why hasn't anyone else built one of these. They're awesome!

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So much airtime.

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I just love the paint scheme on this ride.

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I also love how comically oversized the front of the train is.

 

I didn't have time to hit many flats, but there was no way I'd skip Fearfall. I've ridden drop towers three times taller, but these Larson towers are still some of the most terrifying contraptions out there. Calling the drop intense is an understatement. 9 out of 10

 

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I heard more people screaming the lord's name from this drop tower than I did in church.

 

I've ridden a litany of Huss Enterprises, but I had only ridden one Zamperla Endeavor. And I have to be honest, I found the one at Six Flags Over Texas to be an uncomfortable experience. I remember the ride pinching my legs between the seat.

 

So with some trepidation, I decided to try Scream Extreme. And I'm glad I did. The ride was fast and forceful. But most importantly, there was no pinching this time. 7 out of 10

 

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I found it really cool they had t-shirts for this flat.

 

And on that note, I have to say that the gift shop next to the 4D theater is incredible. You have a large selection of merchandise for the park's current lineup. More impressively, you can also find relics from the past such as t-shirts for Chang and even some old flats. Very cool!

 

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Sweet, I can finally pick up a shirt for SFNE's boomerang ;)

 

Unless you're gluten intolerant, you also need to get a pretzel at Twisted. I don't care if you're on a diet. Break it. You'll be glad you did. These pretzels are crack. Unlike most parks that just reheat some frozen Super Pretzels, Kentucky Kingdom bakes these beauties from scratch.

 

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These pretzels are legit.

 

I spent the last hour getting rerides on Kentucky Flyer and Storm Chaser. I could have easily spent a whole day at Kentucky Kingdom, but I needed to make it back to Cincinnati for my return flight home.

 

Since Holiwood Nights may now be an annual trip, Kentucky Kingdom may also be an annual thing as well. And that's fine by me. They really are an airtime haven for coaster enthusiasts. And the park just keeps growing with each visit.

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Your reports are great! I’m glad you had a great time at Holiwood Nights. I think I saw you in passing a couple times!

 

The only thing I have to disagree with you on is Kentucky Flyer being perfectly smooth. For such a new ride, I thought it tracked really poorly—similar to Mine Blower. I’m not sure if it’s a construction thing or a Timberliner thing, but even though I thought both coasters were super fun, they both bounced around enough to give me a little headache after a couple rides.

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