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HoliWood Nights 2022 will have limited capacity


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Last year, it felt like our attendees needed to choose between the community and the coaster rides, and that’s not in the spirit of HoliWood Nights. And that’s why we felt it was time to make a change.

So, our theme is “Honey, I Shrunk the Event.” And we’re running an experiment by limiting capacity. Our hypothesis is that shrinking the event in this way will improve the experience and build a stronger community. If that doesn’t prove true, we’ll adjust.

https://www.holidayworld.com/holiblog/2021/12/02/letter-from-leah-weve-shrunk-holiwood-nights-2022/?fbclid=IwAR33JLlAAW-aj9UdeHK6Ezr3qI3JjpDojKW3Pj66NeU3WUybs57C5M9K9W4
 

HWN-2022-Clubs-Page-Header.jpg

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Interesting.... it seems like it will be a lottery system... I was not there last year, so I'm not sure what they mean by "[choosing] between the community and the coaster rides". Were there long lines? Was it too crowded? Was it a COVID-protocol issue? I do know Holliwood Nights is very popular - I went in 2018 and had a blast! :D - but I was wondering what was going on, just out of curiosity.

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I went this year and let me say, there were easily well over 1,000 attendees. Both shelters in their picnic grove were completely full of enthusiasts. Its not really ERT when you have to wait almost an hour just to ride Voyage. While I don’t necessarily agree with the lottery system they are using, I do agree that they need to cap attendance to make the event more enjoyable.


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I attended in 2002, 2006, 2015, 2020, and 2021. 

Every time has been a fantastic event, however the last 2 have felt so much more crowded.

Voyage lines were 40 + minutes as Hendricks mentioned, and the “running of the bulls” after the Saturday dinner was one trip away from a serious incident in my opinion.

On the other hand, while my son and nephew waited an hour for a Saturday night Voyage ride, I casually got 3 Raven and 4 Legend rides, some without leaving my seat. Those coasters were “ghost towns”.

I appreciate Holiday World trying to tweak and improve this beloved event. Some sacrifices will be made, but hopefully the result will be a safe, enduring, special event for years to come. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went 5 years in a row (2015-2019) and never thought it was all that bad (though for comparison my only other major enthusiast event has been Coasterstock and my first visit to HW was for their Rock the World festival in 2014), but it's nice to see the park taking notice and wanting to improve the event for enthusiasts. I'm not entirely sure this is the best way to do things, but only time will tell. It will be particularly interesting to see how those who aren't picked react to the news.

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  • 2 months later...

Holiday World sent the first (and possibly only) round of invites today. 
 

My first HW event was 2002, and I did not receive an invite. I thought I would qualify as a grizzled veteran with enough history, but apparently I’m just a newbie. ;^)
 

Did anyone here receive an invite?

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No invite here.  Wish I knew how many people applied.  Tempted to ask around and see if any friends have a spare spot available since all invites are for 2 tickets, have not even heard of any of them have invites at all.  Also tempted to just try for a Coaster Mania ticket instead, don’t think they have announced ticket sales yet.

I suspect they prioritized bloggers, people with YouTube channels, people who will basically help them advertise the park.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure if anyone else has received an invite recently, but my invitation was emailed to me 3 days ago.  If they really are being selective in their invitations, this was a bit surprising- given I have never been to the park before.  Anyone else? 

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They had the second round of invites go out in the 31st. They stated that the volume of responses was higher then expected and went with a randomly lottery. Sadly we weren’t selected on either round.

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Ah yes, "random".  Attendees should count and see how many vloggers or YT channel holders were "randomly" picked for the lottery.  If the old guard was still in place, I wouldnt even allow this thought to enter my head, but with current leadership it was the very first thought.

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48 minutes ago, IBEW_Sparky said:

Ah yes, "random".  Attendees should count and see how many vloggers or YT channel holders were "randomly" picked for the lottery.  If the old guard was still in place, I wouldnt even allow this thought to enter my head, but with current leadership it was the very first thought.

You’re certainly not the only person to notice. I sure hope you’re not the only one to be vocal. 

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The YouTuber and Vlogger theory is interesting. 
 

I imagine that even Holiday World would admit that they don’t need any more publicity for this event. Additionally, do they need more YouTube publicity for the park in general?  My finger is not on the Youtube HW pulse too closely, but seems like they are pretty well loved on YouTube. 

Even if it’s true that HW gave extra preference to YouTubers, are we really talking about more than 30-50 spots?

I admit I’m way behind the times on this stuff so I’ll admit if I’m way off.

In any case, as a 5 time attendee going back to 2002, I’m surprised to not be invited. The funny part is that the lines for Raven and Legend are nonexistent during ERT, so I’d be happy with a “no-Voyage” ticket. I’m weird in that Legend is my favorite. 

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On 4/4/2022 at 6:18 PM, Buckeye Brad said:

The YouTuber and Vlogger theory is interesting. 
 

I imagine that even Holiday World would admit that they don’t need any more publicity for this event. Additionally, do they need more YouTube publicity for the park in general?  My finger is not on the Youtube HW pulse too closely, but seems like they are pretty well loved on YouTube. 

Even if it’s true that HW gave extra preference to YouTubers, are we really talking about more than 30-50 spots?

I admit I’m way behind the times on this stuff so I’ll admit if I’m way off.

In any case, as a 5 time attendee going back to 2002, I’m surprised to not be invited. The funny part is that the lines for Raven and Legend are nonexistent during ERT, so I’d be happy with a “no-Voyage” ticket. I’m weird in that Legend is my favorite. 

First come first serve is fine. A (legit) lottery is reasonable. 
 

Regardless of whether the vlogger theory is true or not, there’s something very dirty feeling about them hand-picking who can go to a public event. Even if they didn’t pick vloggers, how did they pick? They said that part of the determination was how long you had attended the event. Okay, I have friends that had gone for years and didn’t get picked. What did they do wrong? Did you have to go every year? Do they invite the vloggers for a little bit of promo? Do they invite the Amusement Today subscribers for GTA votes? That sure seems like it’s an industry accepted practice at media days. But hey, at media days (for coasters) you have 25% of enthusiasts angry with you because they feel like they were left out. Is that going to happen here? I’d bet it will. What’s that going to do to sentiment? 

Rant over. 

Edit: I should disclose that I had not “applied” to attend this event. I went once in 2006. I’m not speaking from a sour grapes perspective. I’m just asking the question that need to be asked. 

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HW has had zero transparency on how attendees were selected as part of their big “experiment in the selection process” this year.  It could not have been a random selection process that HW seems to claim since everyone also had to produce a bio about themselves.  It does appear select individuals were hand picked by HW staff based upon select, unidentified criteria.   They should do like every other park does, first come, first served, even if the event sells out in 5 minutes.  It will be interesting to see if HW ever admits their “big experiment” this year was a big flop in the public’s view (sure, it limited attendance, but at the same time has made me and my friends decide not to go to HW at all this season).

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HW has a long history of trust issues with enthusiasts dating back to the horrible Stark Raven Mad/Tamar Fellner tragedy.  I expect that still plays a part in their thought process for these types of events some 20 years later...

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I do know one person who got an invite.  They are not a blogger, YouTuber, or influencer of any kind.  They are just an enthusiast who goes to Holiwood Nights every year.  Their plus one will be their spouse.

If I remember right the park limited attendance to 500.  But every invite is for 2 people, so by my math they sent out a grand total of 250 invites.  I wish I knew how many people applied.  But it sounds like they had a lot of applications and only a small percentage actually got invites.

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Looks like another round of invites just went out. I got an invite email yesterday. Haven't yet decided if I'm going to go or not - I'd love to but at the same time I don't want to take that much time off work all at once (I'm already taking off the Friday of CoasterStock, and planning for my birthday at the end of June and the 2nd week of July for Dollywood...)

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I still haven't decided if I'm going at this point. In the past I've done both CoasterStock and Holiwood Nights, but things were a bit different then (different employer and such). I've got plenty of time off I could use but I don't know how understanding my current employer would be about me taking two Fridays off in 3 weeks - even though Friday isn't typically one of our busier days.

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