I wanna do a little bit of a in-depth trip report from my visit on Saturday 8-25. Warning: There's only 1 picture
A few weeks ago my friend invited me on his families trip to the park so him and his fiance would have someone to do something with since his family that was going consisted of older people and little kids. Now being the enthusiast I am, I would never recommend gong on a Saturday, especially if you're trying to do everything in both parks. So I knew a couple of things going into this trip. The first was that the park was going to be having their big christian concert special "Rock The World", so it was probably going to be the last really busy day of the season for them. The second was that with them being open weekends only now, a lot of their staff has left and went back to school, which meant they were gonna be short staffed. However, that didn't really show until the end of the day. So with all that in mind, I kept my expectations low. In doing that, I probably had one my best visits to the park!
We started our day by following the masses to The Raven. We probably waited about 30 mins, which wasn't bad at all. As I said earlier, we rode in the front, which is smoothest car to ride in, but you can clearly feel a difference from last year to this year. There is a lot of new wood all over the ride. The ride also brakes a lot easier now and stops closer to the station. It was by far the smoothest of the three.
We then made our way to The Legend, which was actually our longest wait of the day at around 40 mins or so. A little side story here, so the friend I went with is a cop, and he absolutely hates the smell of weed. He actually had an encounter with some kids smoking weed in the bathroom at Cedar Point a couple of months ago and I was joking with him about that possibly happening again on our way to HW. Well... it sort of happened again while we were in line for The Legend. One of the girls in front of us had weed on them and it wasn't the good stuff as you could smell it from a mile away. That made our 40 min wait pretty entertaining as we kept making snarky comments like if anyone had seen the skunk in line or talking about the funny cases he's had when dealing with some who was high. It's not that either one of us is necessarily against weed, but it is still illegal in our neck of the woods and if we were gonna have to stand line for 40 mins and smell it, we were gonna make them feel a bit uncomfortable for having it on them. As far as The Legend goes, it rode fine. The new GCI sections are still riding great. The double helix is laterals heaven or hell depending on how you feel about laterals. I'd say that section will probably need some work soon as it was definitely a bit rougher than usual. Also, those two airtime hills on the part of the ride in the waterpark are very underrated in my opinion.
After a quick hydration stop at the "Is Pepsi alright?" Oasis (Sorry, being a manager of a restaurant that serves Pepsi, I'm programmed to say that automatically when someone asks for a Coke and for some reason during my visit, I noticed a lot of people calling them Coke Stations, which struck me as odd since HW has served Pepsi products for 18 years, but reaffirms my belief that Coke is the superior brand), we got in line for The Voyage. We waited about 25 mins for a front row ride. As I said before, it's a lot better than it was last year. Those new sections of track with IPE wood rode great. The exit of the final S-Curve to brake-run was probably the roughest part of the ride. The spaghetti bowl definitely had a couple of rough spots, that'll need some work, but I'd say The Voyage has held up pretty good this year. I didn't get off the ride this year feeling the urge to design an RMC concept of the ride in NL2 like I did last year.
Next up was Thunderbird. We waited probably about 30 mins. This was the ride where you could tell they were having staffing issues, as both times I rode it, it was all ride managers operating the ride. Having ridden more modern B&M's now, I've come to appreciate that HW has one of more forceful moments on a modern B&M in the launch and one the better paced layouts too. It's one of those rides that you could ride all day without having to take a break, but still have a lot of fun on.
We had lunch at Plymouth Rock, which was a first for everyone in our group except me. Everyone really enjoyed it and it was good change of pace from the normal theme park food. It was about 3:00 before we entered the waterpark. We went to go check on the lines at Mammoth and Wildebeest, which were both pulling about an hour, hour and half wait. I re-assured them that if we came back around 5:30-5:45ish we should be able to do both before we leave.
We decided to go play in wave pool for a bit, then hit the lazy river for about an hour or so, which was the real reason I wanted to come on the trip...seriously. The only things that would have made the floating around the river better would have been a floating mini bar, a Summer Shandy in my hand, and less people in the river. After the week I had at work, I needed that. The older I get, the more I appreciate the lazy river.
Around 5:30, we got out of the lazy river and made our way to Mammoth, where we were greeted with about a 35-40 min wait. Which was better than what it was earlier, so we jumped in line and had a great ride as usual. We then made our way over to Wildebeest, which had about a 30 min wait. My buddy's fiance decided to sit this one out, as her motion sickness was starting to get to her a bit. So we ended up getting pared with two younger girls who looked to be about 18. If you're not familiar with the seating arrangement on Wildebeest , unless you're in the front, you have to rest your feet on the inside of the raft, basically placing them in between the body and arms of the person in front you, which also causes your feet to rest right next to where the other person is holding on to the straps. Well the girl in front of me decides to have mini heart-attack going up the lift because there are feet close to her. Had she not been so obnoxious, I probably wouldn't have said anything, because I get that some people are grossed out by feet, but I couldn't help myself. I turned around and looked at my friend and said "this has to be the most comfortable seating arrangement on any ride I've ever been on", which prompted a glare from her, but she shut up for the rest of the ride, and we were able to enjoy the great ride that Wildebeest is.
We left the waterpark around 6:30 and changed. This was the only photo I snagged during trip from my fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo after I changed clothes.
I'm not one to take a whole lot of photo's (obviously), but I'm coming back to the park on October 20th, and plan on taking more photos then. I'm hoping to get some good ones of the park in it's fall colors.
Once we re-entered the dry park a little before 7:00 and we took our bags back to the car and came back in. I directed my friend and his fiance to the new lemon-shake up stand in the park and I was on a mission to go get Dole Whip. I've never been to Disney (that's going to change in the next 2 years, I promise) and I've heard the folks on The Holiday World Podcast hype it up for the last 3-4 years, so I decided it was time to finally try it. How was it you ask? I got the strawberry/pineapple twist it was really good! I let my friend and his fiance try it and she like it so much, she made him go buy her one.
Once 7:30 hit, we decided to go ride all the roller coasters one last time or so we thought. We got in line for Raven, which the line was just in the bottom of the station. Running two trains, it would have been about a 10 min wait, but as the line slowly moved, I realized the there was only 1 train running with a row blocked off and two people operating it. We got within 3 trains of being on board, and the ride went down. Now they said that it wouldn't be long before it came back up, but with only an hour or so before the park closed, and HW's policy of closing off the lines early on their more popular attraction so everyone will in line will ride by closing time or sightly after, we decided to leave.
As we walked by Legend, I noticed is was also only running 1 train and the queues inside the station were full, which would have been another 20 min wait, so we decided to skip that and go get rides on Thunderbird and Voyage instead. We all agreed that we wanted to definitely do Voyage at night, and that was our main priority. I told them if Voyage is only running one train, were gonna get straight in line and ride it, but if it's running two were gonna go do Thunderbird, then Voyage.
Well Thankfully, they were running two trains on both Thunderbird and Voyage. We walked up to Thunderbird and got in line at 8:05 The line was down to the bottom of the station, where you pick which side your riding on. We decided to do the right side since we did the left side on out earlier ride. What should have been a 20 min wait turned into about a 30 min wait. We got up to the top steps of the station and didn't move for like 5-10 mins. After checking the time and asking why we weren't moving, the people in front of us told me that there was a couple talking, flirting and not paying attention to what was going on holding up the line. They were standing where if HW was fully staffed (not the parks fault), would have someone assigning seats. So I don't know if they were waiting on someone to tell them were to sit our what, but I asked the people in front me if I could step in front of them for a second, I got the couples attention and politely asked them them pick a row because they were holding up the line. I'm not gonna lie though, I was kinda ticked, because I knew we were gonna be cutting it close on Voyage. We ended up getting the back row on the ride side. I prefer back row left side as my favorite seat as it has some crazy hanging laterals on the zero-g roll and the near miss elements with the fly-through barn, but back right side is a pretty close second.
We got off of Thunderbird around 8:40 and booked it as fast as we could to Voyage hoping they hadn't already shut the line off. Thankfully, they hadn't. We were gonna wait for the front row, but I noticed that there was only a 1 train wait for the back. Now my friend doesn't normally like to do the back row on The Voyage, and neither do I most of the time, but I was curious to see how it rode with the new re-tracked sections. So I convinced him to do it. I explained to him my method of riding Voyage which is basically let the ride make you it's bit** and don't fight it. That was quite possibly the most out of control ride I've ever had on Voyage. I was taken back to first ride on Steel Vengeance in June, where I couldn't stop laughing the whole time it was so insane. I couldn't stop laughing and neither could my friend. We both agreed that was the best ride we've ever had on Voyage. Part of what made it great was that the trim brake barely grabbed and that triple down was pure bliss in the complete darkness. Did it have it's rough spots? Yes. Was I uncomfortable at any point? No. Could I have got back in line and done it again right away? No. That ride is too much, but sure is one hell of an experience when it's running good and something everyone should try at night.
We then made our way out of the park. We did our tradition of grabbing Dippin' Dots on the way out, I got the Brownie Batter which was really good. The people at the front gate asked us if we had a great visit, which we answered yes and they wished a wonderful night. We made the 2 hour trek back home and it probably took me a good day or so to come off that high I had from that night ride on Voyage.
As I said earlier, this was one of the better visits I've had to the park. I've spent all these years preaching to not go on Saturday's, but if you go in with the right attitude and mind set, you can really have some fun. I'm really looking forward to coming back in October and seeing the park in the fall. I hope you enjoyed this long tangent filled trip report!