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Good morning,

This is the second part of the series and I am stuck in nonprofit single audit training this morning where I need to click a button when it makes a noise so therefore I'd rather talk about Holiday World. After getting thrown into space on Storm Chaser all morning, I left Kentucky Kingdom around 12:30 and hopped in my time machine a 2017 Toyota Corolla to arrive at Holiday World at 1 with an 8pm park close. I had never been to this park and I expected it to be "Knoebels-like" ultimately. Holiday World was a very exciting piece of the trip and I was glad I decided to tack it on as it meant my first encounter with that particular wooden coaster in the woods. I had grown up seeing documentaries all about Holiday World, following all the Holiwood Nights trip reports and vlogs on youtube so I was very excited as I utilized the power of time to gain an extra hour at Holiday World blasting Mariah Careys "All I want for Christmas is You" on the way on 64 and again once I got off the exit.

It's a rather significant change from driving around metro Louisville for Kentucky Kingdom to driving an hour and half west into rural Indiana for this small park in the middle of nowhere. You drive through a flat straight stretch surrounded by farm land and all of a sudden there's Thunderbird and the Voyage on the horizon. The excitement swelled for sure. I had 7 hours to get the most out of Holiday World and I knew my priorities: The Raven, The Legend, The Voyage, Thunderbird, Wildebeast, Mammoth, and Cheetah Chase. Unfortunately the cheetahs were sleepy that fathers day Sunday to do any chasing so that was missed. I did however succeed with the rest!

Walking in felt surreal seeing the entrance gate and listening to Christmas music blaring in the middle of June. It was a pleasant entry plaza for sure. But I had little time for Christmas in June as this section of the park largely features kiddie rides. I was far more interested in going trick or treating and descended down into the Halloween section for the first of the three wooden coasters.

Over the last few months I actually have been talking to one of the coaster idiots from ElToroRyan building up to all of this, Pete and he instructed me to go in and "build up" to the voyage and not just do the usual thing and delightfully run to the main ride I am interested in and I'll be real I'm glad I did that and everyone should approach the park like this on their first visit as it really makes the Voyage pay off. I will begin with my note disclosures on The Raven.

I arrived to the queue in the bottom of the station house to one train ops and annoyed I wanted to press on to the other rides as I don't care to wait in long lines by myself especially for the wooden coaster I was the least interested in in the park but Pete assured me the line would move quickly. I'm very glad I began with the Raven. I rode in the 2nd row of car 1. First off I noticed how delightful the staff was. They were quickly taking bags and other loose articles from guests, which I usually am prepared with my hat full of my loose items once the air gates open to go place them in a bin each time it seemed the employees appreciated my awareness of that and preparation. The airways were clear for the ravens flight. It began like a typical wooden coaster and it seemed somewhat above average initially then the ride dips into a sequence going through the woods and holy sh*t did that little red train pick up the pace. I just remember around 10 seconds of just blistering speed through the woods and being shook by what I experienced at that moment. I got off and honestly I think this was the moment I realized I have never quite experienced a true terrain wooden coaster in the woods. 155 coasters at this point not one of the wooden coasters I remember riding hit a blistering speed through the woods like that the closest one may be Twister at Knoebels but this is where I'm talking like you don't see the rest of the wooden coaster all around you you're just shooting through the woods and the sense of speed is absolutely incredible. I really enjoyed the Raven I give at an 8 out of 10 comments being that it's kinda short and one train ops is unfortunate but the length of the ride enables it to have a short cycle at least.

I will also note at this point I noticed a difference for the PTC trains here in that the seat dividers had a large space in them rather then being a full leather divider which was a bit more comfortable than the usual set up like on Grizzly or Racer 75.

After having my mind sufficiently blown by the Ravens final 10-15 seconds I was a little excited for my encounter with the headless horseman and proceeded around 50 yards down a hill to The Legend. I thought it was bizarre as I entered the queue I had to go downstairs from where I was standing which is already down from the station. There wasn't much of a queue for Legend and they were running two train ops. Again the staff absolutely delightful. I particularly enjoy how every dispatch the operator on the mic would say "The path for the legend is clear, but beware the headless horseman may be near" and then they ring a bell. Little touches like that that capture a childs imagination are things that really get you into the park you are visiting.

I rode The Legend in the front row ascended the lift hill to yet another nice detail in that a werewolf howls as the train crests the lift every time. I was then subjected to what I would describe as "Twister at Knoebels on steroids around a bunch of water slides" the pacing was wild and the laterals were insane. It was significantly longer than the Raven, there wasn't quite as much "zooming through the woods" as the Raven had but uh well.....another ride had that feature later. I absolutely enjoyed the Legend and I deeply wish that I rode it again that day because it was absolutely worth a re-ride but admittedly I was kinda sleep deprived/dehydrated and the PTC train vibrations were giving me a bit of a headache some cycles so I saved the pain for what came next. The Legend is excellent one of the better wooden coasters I've ridden and I really enjoyed it. Probably a 9 out of 10 for me honestly. Great laterals I loved zooming around the waterpark.

Alright that's two absolutely awesome wooden coasters that were batsh*t insane. It had appeared that trick or treating and candy eating was over and we were proceeding into November as Thanksgiving was approaching. The hype began to really build because I was so impressed with the Legend and the Raven I could only imagine what the next ride would be like. The one that thoosies have raved and raved about for years. The one with the absolutely insane POV where it goes on and on through the woods through like 9 tunnels with several different features. The one that most enthusiasts consistently rank their top 5. I was skeptical as I don't care for PTC trains being a 6'2 guy that it really was THAT good. How could a ride with PTC trains be so overwhelmingly enjoyable and that long and significant in scale not be brutally rough and that at least subtract from my enjoyment of the ride? We set sail and oh how those skepticisms were just brutally put to rest. It was time to ride The Voyage.

I rode in the front row for my initial ride and it begins like a large wooden coaster with large airtime hills. Standard stuff, then the tunnels start and you find yourself coming up and down out of the ground with a double up and sh*t just escalates from there. I hit the spaghetti bowl isolated in the woods just powering through track hitting some fast aggressive transitions just going on and on before you eventually hit one of the snappiest transitions on a wooden coaster I've ridden back into a tunnel to hit the mid course brake run. But unlike many other coasters the voyage is only getting started here buddy. You go into this pitch black triple down on into this aggressive rapid fire return run that just builds up speed the entire way back along the bottom of those massive airtime hills at the beginning that you probably forgot about by now because they were idk 10 minutes ago or whatever. You relentlessly go through some 90 degree curves and more rapid fire transitions into the final spaghetti bowl at the end where the ride just keeps going on until you finally hit the brake run somewhat exhausted by this completely batsh*t crazy endurance test you just did. I ended up riding the Voyage around 8-9 times this day but I had to learn to ride the voyage in that I had to press my feet down and put my hands up or just deal with an onslaught of vibrations throughout my entire body if I held on for 5 straight minutes. Once I figured this out the ride was absolutely euphoric. The Voyage is largely everything you could want in a wooden coaster, think of everything you could imagine in the perfect wooden coaster and that's the Voyage. I was so blown away by it I was considering whether it was my new #1 overall roller coaster but ultimately I ended up preferring SV and IG over it just because they are so smooth and insane that I prefer not to get a strong core workout on my favorite roller coaster every time I ride it. Regardless the Voyage is f*cking incredible. 11 out of 10 if I can give it that score. If you haven't ridden this ride you absolutely deserve a trip to Holiday World in the near future for this absolutely unreal experience it's worth every penny. I went into the gift shop and spent $90 immediately on various crap including a nanocoaster. I felt as if riding the raven and the legend first really built up to what this ride was and it was remarkable to actually go through the progression. It really made the Voyage payoff honestly. But yeah it's amazing I see why people go crazy over Holiwood Nights and the Voyage. An absolute must ride roller coaster if you are big into this niche.

After having my mind overwhelmingly blown by that insane ride the Voyage I decided to hit Splashin Safari since it closed at 6. I am not normally a big waterpark guy but I know SS is one of the better ones around and I've never ridden a water coaster before and that changed this day. I wasn't planning really to go in until I learned Wildebeast and Mammoth have single rider lines. Regardless it still resulted in awkward interactions being alone with the riding partners particularly on Wildebeast but that didn't matter. I'm glad I rode them they were the best water slides I have ever ridden the feeling of shooting up the hills is so much fun. I preferred Mammoth overall between the two with the spinning aspect it was just so much fun. Highly recommend these two attractions if you enjoy water slides at all. The only other thing I did in the park was Bahari River I took 3 laps in it to unwind before heading back to the dry park after the crazy last 3 days I had had. It was a very enjoyable lazy river and I like the weird "seat tubes" they have in it.

After my little water park stint I went back to Thanksgiving to go ride the hilariously random contrast to the other three roller coasters in Thunderbird. This ride is such a bizarre addition to Holiday Worlds line up but I appreciate what it adds to the park in a unique steel coaster. This was the first of 2 new wing coasters I would ride this trip and I slightly prefer it to the other one so I would say of the 3 I've ridden it's my favorite but I don't consider it THAT much better than Gatekeeper. But yeah it's really interesting to be like "3 wooden coasters and launched wing coaster!" for a coaster lineup. Nonetheless this was actually my first experience with the B&M vest restraints since all my weight loss. I was somewhat worried as I admit B&M OTSRs have been the absolute bane of my existence as a thoosie as I can ride basically anything now including some of the least accommodating roller coasters around yet, on the majority of these I am still stuck in row 4 and 5 or the center seat on Griffon/SheiKra. Thankfully the vests were no issue on any of the B&Ms with them that I rode throughout the trip and I could enjoy those coasters in any row I wanted.

Thunderbird was fun it has good pacing for a wing coaster and I really enjoyed my 2 rides on it. I just rode it once in the back row on each side and then went to Plymouth Rock Cafe for dinner. The launch has a good punch to it and the inversions and near misses are fun. The ride is very appealing to the eye for sure it was cool when I was in the voyages station watching the light blue and yellow wing trains zoom up the Immelmann randomly. I would give Thunderbird an 8 out of 10 it's a perfectly fun ride. I mean if I am at Holiday World it's not gonna hold my interest long enough to ignore the Voyage as I did want more laps on it ultimately it's just kind of a pain to go up to and back layout wise but it was fun.

After a delightful BBQ meal at Plymouth Rock I basically just marathoned the Voyage until it shut down for the night. The park kept the ride running past 8 I think due to the drone show the park had ongoing so I just kept riding until they decided to close the ride for the night around 8:30. It was addictive to just ride over and over I couldn't walk away until it was done no matter how tired I was. When I was leaving I caught glimpses of the drone show which looked pretty cool and I wish I stuck around for it ultimately but I was ready to get back to Louisville as I had a long five days in Ohio ahead of me. I had heard word that there was some kind of special space project to save the world or something and it requires riding a roller coaster with a 300 foot drop and I wanted to volunteer and supposedly some kind of thing happened at a lumber company on the Miami River so I had much to attend to in Ohio.

I didn't ride anything else at Holiday World I would have liked to get on Cheetah Chase if it was open, or Frightful Falls or the Rapids or Gobbler Getaway but it was definitely tough to pry myself from The Voyage at the end of the day. I walked through the closed July 4th section on the way out and that was all I saw of that section in the park throughout the day. I really loved Holiday World for much effort they put into their park and the how polite the staff all was. Definitely a great little park and worth the visit. Only con? No booze.
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