Michael and I visited Holiday World and Splashin' Safari on Wednesday, June 12th. Temps were up around 95-100 with the heat index so you can probably guess where we spent the majority of our day! Splashin' Safari
Definitely one of the premier water parks in the world and one that the two of us enjoyed immensely. Mammoth and Wildebeest were top notch and there is plenty of good variety in the slide department. Despite the fact that it was uber hot, the lines were really not all that bad. Mammoth topped in at about 45 minutes, but was definitely the highlight of the park for both of us. I hope that more parks get these types of slides!
The free sunscreen and drinks were saviors with the type of weather we endured. We both made it through the entire day without becoming dehydrated and we didn't get sunburnt at all...thank you Holiday World!
The one really long line was (obviously) for Hyena Falls located over by Giraffica and being that the line was located in the hot sun, we decided to skip it. I can see where this might be theie next expansion as they definitely need a bit more to do in that area. I did see some slide pieces in the field, but could those have just been spares or for a new slide?
Giraffica - awesome name and definitely a unique ride. The lift totally scared the crap out of Michael and while the drop was fun, the back seat in which we rode had somewhat of a nasty bang when the boat landed in the water. Michael bit part of his tongue during the smack-down after screaming come down the entire hill!Holiday World coasters:
The HW coaster fanboys might want to skip over this section as neither of us were particularly impressed with the coasters. I don't mean to come across as whiney enthusiasts that can't handle the roughness of a woodie, but there is a line between air time, some decent side to side laterals versus being tossed around and beat up like a rag doll whilst coming off with bruises and a headache. Being that Michael just turned 70 and I am creeping up on 45, it is getting harder and harder to endure some of these rougher wooden coasters. Maybe when we were 18, this would have been the best thing since sliced bread, but not now. This is one of the major reasons why we are dying to try one of the Rocky Mountain coasters!
Voyage: I could see why this coaster was ranked #1 for it's first few seasons, but it has not aged well...at all. The overall layout looks to be top notch and all of the tunnels were cool, but this thing needs a serious major rehab. I know that track work has been done, but we could not tell if that improved it being that we had never ridden it before. I can't imagine what it must have been like before they re-tracked some of the sections.
The airtime hills were fun, but the transitions were simply brutal as I came away with no fewer than three black and blue bruises from this one. I'm not so sure if the Timberliners could save this or not. Rocky Mountain needs to get it's grip on this and then I could easily see this becoming a #1 coaster again. Until then, it probably ranks near my bottom ten for wooden coasters. Believe it or not, I actually preferred Hades at Mt. Olympus!
After our Voyage ride, we had to walk through the gift shop. An employee asked if we rode Voyage and how did we like it? When Michael groaned and told him that "hell would probably be more fun", he laughed and did say that he had heard that they were trying to get new trains on it in hopes to make the ride better...we can only hope!
The Legend: Michael opted to sit out the other two coasters after Voyage chewed him up and spit him out, but I was determined to hit all three coasters before we left for the evening. Legend has a very unique layout, but I was again victimized by being thrown around in the train during most of the duration of the ride. I will give HW props for not having many trim brakes (if any?), but it definitely makes for a bit of a jolty ride. I could see where hardcore coaster enthusiasts would love a ride like this, but a bit too much for me. I told Michael that he made the right choice by sitting this one out.
The Raven: I found this to be the best coaster in the park and one that I think would be much fun to ride after dark. While the lake helices were somewhat jostling, it was no where near as rough as the other two coasters. I would assume that it's because it's the smaller of the three and doesn't run quite as fast.
The park itself was very nice with thrills for little one's as well as adults. The staff were top notch...above and beyond friendly and the food was above average for theme park food. I can also understand why this park won the award for cleanest park - there were attendants everywhere sweeping, cleaning, mopping - awesome. I never saw one yellow jacket near the Pepsi Oasis' where at Lake Compounce free soda stands, it was like trying to dodge 'The Swarm!'
We didn't get to ride everything due to we were just too tired from the heat, but we both felt that this is a park that we would love to return too...hopefully the coasters will be running in better shape next time!