Traveled with my son to Holiday World this past weekend. We just had a nice father/son trip there on this occasion. We arrived at 10:15am. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was no charge for parking. They were very efficient in directing traffic in to your specific parking space. We applied sunscreen, then went about walking in. Side note, I left the house having forgot my printed tickets about an hour into the trip, but since I had bought them when I booked the hotel, I just brought up the email and was able to access the tickets. Yes, I'm an old school guy who prefers printed, but the QR codes scanned from my phone, so this may change how I go about it from here on out. Upon entering, we were greeted by a very friendly worker who noted we were both wearing our Fury 325 shirts and asked us how we liked Carowinds. I told him how we loved it and how Holiday World was on our list of Amusement Parks we wanted to visit. He told us to enjoy our day and we went about picking up a park map. Both of us picked up one. He has began collecting them wherever they are available. I put mine in my cargo shorts pocket so he would have a pristine one while we used his throughout the day.
There was a fairly good crowd there. I expected it being a Saturday and all. We immediately went to ride The Raven in the Halloween area of the park. It was about an hour wait, which sounds pretty standard when you consider there is no Fast Lane. However, the longer we got into our day, I started to realize just how good operations are at KI and CP. The Raven is a fairly short ride cycle, so not sure why the line was moving as slow as it did. The Raven was a pretty good coaster...not extremely intense, but a great coaster none the less. My only issue with the coaster itself is being a short ride. I
Next, we headed down to ride The Legend. This line was also slow moving. It was a longer ride duration than the Raven, so I did enjoy that. Also, it has an enclosed helix, which seemed very Beast-esque. However, the turns in the helix seemed to be quite a bit tighter. Also, felt like we took 4-6 right turns consecutively. Not a complaint, but an observation. We exited the Legend and made our way towards the Voyage. I've heard many people really stating that it is their favorite wood coaster. The line to the Voyage was surprisingly the shortest we encountered all day. I must say, this was my favorite of the trip. I've heard many claim it's better than The Beast, but I don't believe that is a fair comparison. The Beast is more of a terrain coaster while the Voyage is an out and back. To me, the Legend would be a closer comparison to The Beast. However, the Voyage quickly rose to a very high spot on my list of favorite wood coasters, even though it has steel supports. It has near non stop pacing throughout. I noticed some very similar direction changes to GCI, except I feel like GCI does them better.
Finally, we went to the back where their last coaster, Thunderbird is located. As far as I know, the only launching wing coaster, although I could be wrong. By far, this was the slowest moving line of the day. The theming was done fairly well for this one. It begins with a 60mph launch into a sidewinder loop (I think). It had many fun elements. By far, my favorite was the inline twist into the brake run. Excellent coaster, but a bit short.
We then went to eat at a place near Thunderbird. Trey ordered the Thunderbird basket, which was chicken tenders (chopped up), fries, bacon, cheddar cheese sauce, chives and ranch. I ordered something very similar, minus the chicken tenders and chives. Excellent place to eat. It was 3:30pm at this point and we had only been on each coaster once. I was a bit surprised by that. Another huge plus is the free drinks that they offer. Most of the day, we drank Gatorade, but we did drink a Pepsi and a Mt Dew at one point.
We went back and rode the Voyage 2 more times after that. It was decided that the extremely long wait for Thunderbird simply wasn't worth it. At that point, we decided to head back to the hotel, even though the park was still open for 2 more hours. Believe it or not, he was the one that was ready to leave. I asked if he wanted to catch a last ride on the Legend or the Raven and he declined. We went through a nice shop in their Christmas themed area (1st area you encounter) where he bought a nanocoaster of the Voyage. Since we spent about $35 on that, we qualified to get a Holiday World t-shirt for $9.99.
The hotel was about 30 minutes away, but was well worth it. I had read reviews on some that were closer and a lot of them had several bad reviews. The one we stayed at had only one. The hotel had an indoor pool and hot tub. The hot tub was very welcoming to some tired feet.
All in all, Holiday World was worth the trip. The positives were free drinks and parking along with quality coasters. The negative being the slow moving lines. We did also notice that every coaster has only 2 trains, which probably does not help on your days with heavier crowds. I would highly recommend visiting if you get the chance.