Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Holiday World Trip Report

Sarah and I used the two free tickets I won to Holiday World. We ran into Will and Pat Koch (the owners) outside the entrance into the park. I think it's so cool that they take time out of their busy day (weekend no less) to talk to park guests like myself. What kind people they are indeed. Before we entered the park we dropped off our canned goods at the Feeding Families Food Drive station and we each received our five dollars in Holibucks, for a grand total of ten dollars to use in the park. This was all that we would need for food for the day.

Within the first hour and a half I think we rode every major ride at least twice (which speaks both for short lines and small quantity of rides). Holiday World is one of the only parks I feel safe carrying a backpack into. Each ride has a designed area inside the station for bags and some rides, like the coasters, an employee will take your belongings and safely stow them away while you enjoy the ride worry-free. This park really does a great job of helping other people.

Voyage is still my top coaster. Nothing matches its intensity for the same duration. I had to take a break after riding it just twice in a row. I did notice a spot going up the third hill where there was always a noticeable but not bad bump in the track that will hopefully be reworked. At the far end of the ride deep in the woods I couldn't help wondering every time we rode what if a deer jumped onto the tracks?

Pilgrims Plunge was up and down all day and I'm not sure if that was a result of the cooler/windy/rainy weather, low crowds, or mechanical reasons (the lift was squeaking pretty badly at some points during the day). Luckily, we were able to take a ride on it. The wait was the longest for any ride that day, about twenty-five minutes (the next longest wait was for the bumper cars). The queue and loading procedure is done very smart and efficiently. Some of the railings and such still haven't been painted.

The ride itself is all about the anticipation leading up to the tower and drop. Sitting in the back seat of the boat is pretty scary as you can turn your head around and there is nothing there. You can look over the side and see straight down 130 feet. The first lean towards the tower going up was not very noticeable. The second lean away from the tower was but didn't play a large a part in the ride as I thought it would. The thrill is definitely in the height and the fragile looking tower. The drop is fun and fast and before you know it the ride is over and you are soaking wet.

The dive show is incredible. I couldn't even climb that eighty foot tower let alone jump off of it into a tiny puddle of water. From what I remember from a visit three years ago, the show is largely unchanged but is still great fun to watch. Where do they find those performers at?

So how did we spend only thirteen cents? Free tickets, free parking, free soft drinks, water park included with admission, and $10 for food. Now the strange thing about the Holibucks was that we bought a soft pretzel for $2.50. I figured we would get Holibucks back but instead we were given real change back. We could've walked out with five dollars more than when we entered. For a total of $10.13 we bought a soft pretzel with cheese, two slices of pizza, fries, and a cookie (soft drinks are free). It would've been less than ten bucks if it weren't for taxes. We went to a much larger park by a lake last year and spent ten dollars on a drink and fries. I felt bad about not spending any money in the park as it is one of the few that I feel is worth the money. I might just have to mail them money for the tickets. At the very least they will get plenty of free, positive advertising out of me as well as a trusting, lifelong customer who is planning on visiting again for years to come.

Another thing we noticed is how every guest seemed to be happy. I heard more screaming kids in the first twenty minutes at the Louisville Zoo than I did all day at HW. In fact I don't think I heard any complaining kids (although I suppose this could be a result of younger age children at the zoo). One kid did flip off the camera twice on the Voyage and was promptly banned from the ride the rest of the day. The photo booth employee gave his picture to all of the ride ops.

One last thing I would like to mention. We stayed at Santa's Lodge two nights. After a long day at the park we went to relax in the hot tub. There were about five teenage girls in there with us and every single one of them was texting on their cell phones. While in the hot tub. Seriously? You can't take five minutes to relax while you are on vacation and put the phone down? I was hoping every single one of them dropped their phones and ruined them. Maybe its just me but I enjoyed not getting on the internet or worrying about checking my email all weekend.

Photos and video coming soon!

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