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I first road The Voyage over Memorial Day Weekend in 2006. The ride was only a couple of weeks old at the time. It was a wonderful experience and truly was as smooth as glass. Having not returned to Holiday World since then, my memory of this ride remains intact. Here we are - 8 years later - and I had heard many accounts of the riding, and the accounts haven't been good. It seems like the ride hasn't aged well over the past near-decade and what once was the mecca ride for roller coaster enthusiasts has simply been placed on the shelf with countless other attractions.

Why I am talking about a ride that I haven't ridden since Spongebob roamed Kings Island? I came across this POV footage of the ride. Now, this is Holiday World's official POV... it's not some enthusiast with an 8mm. I found the footage almost difficult to watch. The parts - especially the overbanked turns - seem to jackhammer the ride in a way I hadn't seen before. I know they wanted to do the new train thing but it didn't work out for them, but was this why?

I've considered a return to Holiday World this summer. I'm curious if it's worth the trip or if this and the other rides have deteriorated this badly.

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This video was shot on July 3, 2012. Wooden coasters usually run at their worst on hot, sunny days.

It also had massive track and structure work done in the off season between 2012 & 2013.

Now, by far, it's worst season was 2011. The bottom of the main drops would rattle you so hard you thought your teeth were about to vibrate out. It had some pretty major work done at the bottom of drops 1-3 in order to correct how terrible it was riding in 2011. However, the 2013 track work made some of the other trouble areas in the spaghetti bowl ride very smoothly. I found it to be as enjoyable in 2013 as in 2009, the first time I rode it. In fact, the reprofiling of the "wrong way banked" turn added a pop of airtime in addition to correcting a painful sideways slam.

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If you do go make sure you take your swim attire if that part of the park is open as they have an excellent water park with a large variety of slides. It is always good to see how others do it when comparing with other parks. In my option the trip is worth it for you just to see how it has aged first hand.

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I rode The Voyage in 2013 for the first time, and I thought it was much smoother than The Legend. But I loved all of their coasters. I recommend the trip. There's only so much that text and video on a web page can tell you about a roller coaster.

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The last time I rode the Voyage it felt like I had been in a terrible car accident. Once I stepped off of that thing my back was a little sore and I have 0 back problems. I can't remember if this was last year or as many as 3 years ago.

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My experiences with The Voyage (I have 5 total "laps" on it):

May 2010, Ride #1- Front row, borrowed Raven train: Epic- a little rough but nothing major, incredible airtime. My best ride on the Voyage to date- and it was my first- and one of the best rides I have ever had on any coaster save a select few Beast night rides.

May 2010, Ride #2- 1st car back row, borrowed Raven train: A bit rougher due to being in back but otheriwse, same as 1st ride.

August 2011, Ride #1- Front row: Ouch! The ride jackhammered like crazy, and to make it even worse, NO AIRTIME WHATSOEVER (granted only The Legend had ANY airtime at all on this particular visit- among the woodies that is)! Still a fun and intense ride due to the good layout, but man...

August 2011, Ride #2- Middle car: Even MORE jackhammering, though there was a bit of floater air this time. About on-par with the previous ride overall, thanks to actually having a bit of air, but it was painful.

June 2013, Ride #1- Front row: First half was epic again, and buttery smooth, with solid airtime. However, the second half (after the triple down) was as bad as my first ride in 2011 was. A Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde type of ride where it felt like someone hit a switch mid-ride. We didn't ride it again that day, unlike the past 2 visits (we DID ride Raven and Legend twice that day though- Raven was a bit rough but nowhere near as bad as anything Voyage's 2nd half did, and Legend was actually quite smooth but still hurt a little due to its crazy laterals).

That's what I've seen so far from Voyage anyhow. Apparently Holiday World did even more trackwork on it this offseason in problem areas, which is good, but I really am worried for the ride overall if it keeps NEEDING these repairs year after year after year...

As for the rest of the park, and is it worth a return trip? IMO- YES (based on my last few visits anyhow)! Voyage is rough, but still fun (My Advice: Go ahead and ride it then make for the Bahari River to "rest up"), and Raven & Legend are as good as ever. And the waterpark's additions since 2006 have been epic- Bakuli (2007) is a massive, fun Bowl side. Wildebeest (2010) is a waterslide that behaves like a roller coaster with ejector air to boot. Mammoth (2012) also has good airtime, and will also soak you silly. Hyena Falls' largest slide (2013) is more intense than you'd expect with an awesome half pipe element. The staff is still friendly, and they still have the free unlimited soda- one downside though, is that the new management is no longer up-front and personal like it was in 2006, so don't expect to see Pat Koch (who I am not 100% sure is even on the HW team anymore after the legal battles), Lori Koch, Dan Eckert, etc etc at the front of the park or roamig around.

For more info, you can read my last trip report from Holiday World (from June 2013)...note this includes what would ultimately be my last ride on the now removed Pilgrims Plunge/Giraffica...- http://www.KICentral.com/forums/index.php/topic/27542-mcsalsas-coaster-adventures-holiday-world-june-13th-2013/?hl=mcsalsa

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Unfortunately yes. It has gotten worse. But its still a great ride. As reported, the major track work made during the 2012-13 off season made a world of difference.

Around the 2010-12 seasons, the ride was still very enjoyable until the turnaround back in the woods. Then it started to get really rough. The recent re-track fixed potholes on the 1st and 3rd hills as well as a complete replacement of the turnaround. I believe even some of the 90 degree turns near the end got some TLC. Really good job fixing it up. With this being said, it still gets rough near the end of the ride. Right before the on-ride camera, I normally have to start bracing myself. The earlier you go in the year, the smoother ride you'll get.

I believe someone on here has said before that the testing of the Timberliner trains required extra gauging of the track itself in order to fit the Timberliner trains on the track. Thus resulting in a rougher ride for the PTC trains it has always ran. Does anyone want to confirm or clarify that statement? I may even be imagining it all. lol

The coaster is still a wooden beast deserving of a trip and a few re-rides if you can handle it. Its still a 9 out of 10 IMO and still my all-time favorite woodie.

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From my 17 total laps of experience on The Voyage, I can honestly say that riding in the front seat of one of the 6(or is it 7?) cars as opposed to the back of one makes all the difference in the world.

It does not matter as much to where on the train you sit, but which seat on each car you ride.

For example, there's a good chance that 6-1(7-1?) might be smoother than 1-2...(I'm not entirely sure though, just my hypothesis...)

And also, obviously just like with any coaster as robust as Voyage, it helps to be prepared for all banked turns, quick transitions, and "rough spots" as much as you can...

Right at 1:06 is a good example of a rough spot(right over those wooden planks), that part rattles me everytime... :wacko:

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There are so many far better wooden coasters in my opinion. From my late Rolling Thunder to El Toro to Beast to Tremors to Ravine Flyer II to Raven to the Coney Island Cyclone to Legend to Hellcat at Clementon to Yankee Cannonball at Canobie to Avalanche at Wisconsin Dells to Cyclops...I could go for a very long time without mentioning Voyage.

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I've ridden The Voyage at HoliWood Nights 2011 and 2012 and several times throughout the 2013 season. In 2011 it was extremely rough, to the point that the front seat was the only seat I could stand to ride in. The difference between my 2011 rides and my 2012 rides were like night and day. In 2012 it improved so much that I could even tolerate an occasional wheel seat ride. At HWN 2013, it was even better to the point where I had no problem marathoning it in the very back row (wheel seat). In July, it was the same way, albeit with trains one car shorter. By the time October rolled around, though, it had gotten a little rougher as I had expected; wheel seats were still OK for me for a single ride, but that was it.

If they've done even more track work this past offseason, I would expect it to start the season running great, but it will probably get gradually worse as the season goes on. So I recommend going early in the season, either this month or next month, for the best rides.

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You realize every seat on Voyage is a "wheel seat" right? The back of cars tend to be a little more violent than the fronts, though. My favorite seat is the second to last row, right side. I also consider Voyage to be wood coaster perfection.

I have always told people that, with the except of the 2011 season, Voyage is not rough. It is turbulent and forceful in a way most wooden coasters are not because most wooden coasters have been tamed (be it by trim brakes, reprofiling, etc) or just weren't built that insane to begin with. It does not ride like a smooth wooden coaster would. It throws you around, it beats you up, it flings you up down and sideways. It is not going to ride like most wooden coasters out there, but it also is not, generally, rough. Roughness is a result of poor maintenance - track work not being completed, structure sagging ("pot holes") not being corrected, trains not running at their maximum potential due to poor upkeep. Holiday World keeps Voyage in fantastic shape, even for as much attention as it needs. Some times major repairs have to wait until the offseason (such as the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 major offseason work) but they do everything they can to keep it in great shape during the season. I've seen them retracking the morning of closing day before.

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Technically, yes, they are all wheel seats, but in reality, in the front seat of a two-row car your butt is roughly (no pun intended) halfway between the wheels, whereas in the back row it is directly over top of the wheels. So therefore, in a two-row car, I only consider the back to be a wheel seat. (The same applies to a three-row car such as that found on The Racer or Beast, where the front seat will not be nearly as rough as the back seat, although the middle seat is still smoothest.)

And your second paragraph is dead on. A glass-smooth Voyage would still be a stark contrast to other "smooth" woodies. I describe the Voyage as violent, which is a totally different animal from rough. Those who say it was excessively rough last year are failing to recognize that difference. I like my wooden coasters violent. I do not like them rough.

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Hmm...I can believe the whole "It's not really rough- it's just violent and turbulent" thing about Voyage. To be honest, I had just assumed that if you got off a ride and were a bit sore, it equaled "rough", but perhaps that's not the case...which basically makes The Voyage like the Extra-Hot Sauce of the coaster world. It's so "hot", especially in the second half, it may not be for everyone...there were 2 spots, however, where I DID notice track problems during my last Voyage ride though, so it's not perfect...and for the record, I've never found Voyage so bad that I couldn't stand up or walk afterwards, and any pain it caused was usually gone after a relaxing sit or ride on a lazy river in the waterpark...

The only other ride that I would consider "rough" I've been on that did leave me in pain the rest of that day, though still not so much I couldn't ride other rides, was Flight of Fear in 2010. And I've also had rides on that that were very smooth...it's kind of odd in my eyes for a steel coaster to behave like that. (Vortex and Adventure Express are also "jerky", but that's the nature of Arrow rides and they have never given me serious issue. Raven was actually a bit rough last year, though again not to a degree where it actually hurt the ride. Beast was a tiny bit rough in 2010 IMO, but that's since been fixed and again it was a non-issue. I have NEVER had any issue with Red Racer, Blue Racer- though it was a little bumpier than Red, or Legend @ Holiday World)...

Dang- if this is all true, I may be in for a rude awakening if I ever actually do hit a truly rough ride...(So far I have only been to Kings Island and Holiday World in recent memory, plus Indiana Beach but that was back in 1999)...

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The hot sauce analogy is a good explanation. "Turbulent" was the first word that came to mind after riding it for the first time. Not rough. To experience such a "hot" coaster is amazing, but it will drain every ounce of stamina from me after just a couple of rides.

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or if this and the other rides have deteriorated this badly.

Since the OP did mention "other rides", I want to take a moment to point out, since this discussion has focused exclusively on Voyage, that the problems being discussed are unique to Voyage. The rest of the rides in the park are in excellent shape with no issues. Voyage is the only ride that has "deteriorated" significantly over time, and that has been mostly reversed.

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To expand on the Hot Sauce analogy...at Holiday World, with their coasters, at least IMO:

Gentle (no spice): Howler

Mild: They don't have any "Mild" coaster at HW- a flaw in the park IMO. They need something here...

Hot: Raven

Extra Hot: Legend

Jalepeno Extreme! :P : Voyage

And one more thing I thought of- Voyage is not only intense and Violent, it is VERY long...so you get thrown around for a good while, which may be a part of it.

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Hmmm. Many have complained frequently of potholes on Raven.

Meanwhile, I love violent, turbulent rides that actually DO something, as my love of Tremors, the Georgia Cyclone, Ravine Flyer II, Rolling Thunder, the Coney Island Cyclone, Hell Cat, El Toro and so many others attests.

Voyage, Schmoyage. It leaves me cold. At least it takes people from the Raven and Legend lines.

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It doesn't excite me in any way whatsoever. I'm happy for those who love it. When I'm in that park, you will find me usually at the other two wooden coasters.

I'm not saying it's a bad coaster, I just don't understand all the raving. At all.

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Well- everyone's going to have different opinions, of course, since everyone's tastes are different and all. Even the most popular rides that win all the polls and thrill most riders will have some people who just can't see what the big deal about them is, and some of the most hated rides in history have/had (if they got demolished) their fans.

As for Voyage itself- I really like it a lot, but not to the point where "OMG This wooden coaster is miles ahead of all other woodies EVAH!" like most seem to- though the polls are starting to "cool off" and it now seems to rank about where I'd think it would- but that's just me. In my "small" collection of coasters ridden- I have yet to hit 20 (need to ride more)- I'd rank it 4th behind The Beast @ KI, Legend @ HW, and Banshee @ KI. If you're counting water coasters though, Wildebeest over in the water park also surpasses Voyage in my eyes, and Mammoth would be biting at its heels. But again- this is all just my opinion. I can, without much hesitation, call Voyage the MOST INTENSE ride I have ever been on though.

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