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McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: Coming In HOT (Holiday World 8/21/2011)


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Hello! I went to Holiday World yesterday, so now, prepare for a very unique trip report. First though, the ride rating system...as usual.

10=Amazing. A briliant ride with only super minor flaws I adored.

9=Excellent. A great ride with only minor flaws.

8=Very Good. A solid ride, but it has a flaw or two.

7=Good. Worth riding.

6=Decent. Worth riding if there's a super short line.

5=Meh. Skip it.

4=Bad. Avoid it!

3=Garbage. RUN!

2=Poop. AAAAHHHH!!!

1=Superpoop. The worst ever?

0=Ultrapoop. I stand corrected on the above.


Our group consisted of me, my best friend, my sister, and her friend. We left our house at 6:00AM, and were headed for Holiday World by 6:30. Around 8:00AM, we got hungry and stopped at a truck stop McDonalds- first time I had ever been to a truck stop before. It was cool, they had lots of neat stuff. None of the 3 stores inside (McDonalds, Subway, or Truck Stop) were able to sell fountain drinks, however, due to a water main break nearby. Thankfully, the Truck Stop had bottled $0.99


After 3 hours of driving, at 9:30, we arrived at Holiday World. The clock went back one hour as HW runs on a different time zone, so we waited for the Halloween section to open so we could run to The Raven. The hour went by quite fast, during which my sister and her friend took pictures with Santa, not avaliable here though. Sorry.

The park opened at 9:30, and we headed for Raven, where we got on Train #1 of the day!


Wait Time: Walk-On (Ran and beat the crowd!)

The Raven, a legendary wooden roller coaster famous for its sudden drops, steep turns, and airtime...did something SHOCKING.

And, for a coaster enthusiast, the next line may horrify you:


This came as a complete and utter shock to me as well, as I rode Raven back in May 2010 and then it was PACKED with the stuff. This time, nothing. However, even with this key element missing, The Raven was still a fun ride. The twists and turns through the woods, over the lake, and tunnels still did their job. A very good, fun ride but the lack of airtime on a woodie known for it was NOT a good thing.

Score: 9/10

After Raven, we headed for Legend. We found the ride had a very short line, in fact, some seats were walk-ons. I began to doubt some comments I heard on another topic I started "Holiday World crowds on a Sunday in Late August" that said "THE PARK WILL BE SUPER CROWDED!". Turns out, my doubts were correct. More on that later.


Wait Time: 5 Minutes (some seats were Walk-On, but we wanted to ride together)

Legend climbed its lift hill, and dropped into its first drop...guess what? Legend didn't have any airtime on its first few drops, either. As I began to loose hope, Legend suddenly came to life midway through the ride...a sudden burst of ejector air, and then strong laterals and roughness...and stronger laterals...stronger! Stronger! Stronger! Well, guess Legend wanted to prove it was still the King of Lateral Gs after Beast showed some to me earlier this year. Legend is by far the most FORCEFUL coaster I have ever been on. Not so much "rough", but the laterals are legendary. The only reason I'm not giving Legend the full 10/10 is because of the slow start.

Score: 9/10

Legend was good, but still not running at 100% and left me craving still more airtime. There was ONE wooden coaster left. The Voyage. The #1 rated wooden roller coaster in the world, according to Amusement Today. Surely, it could not fail to give airtime...could it?


Wait Time: 5 Minutes (Oh crowds, where art thou?)

If my memory serves me correct, last time I rode Voyage, I nearly flew out of my seat and thought I was going to get my head chopped off on every airtime-then-tunnel combo Voyage threw at me, creating an epic ride that launched Voyage into my #1 favorite coaster spot at the time. This time, however, my butt barley even left the seat until the turn-around course, where I got just a little floater air on some of the small hills. What to blame for this? Well, I was STAPLED IN by the ride ops, which was probably a big factor- I don't remember all the way, but I think the lapbar was a little higher when I rode in May 2010, resulting in MUCH more airtime. Add the roughness to the mix, which had increased since my last ride and the wheels sounded like the needed some serious work as though the train hadn't been worked on in a few years. All 3 woodies were good, but not their finest showing...

Score: 9/10

Good rides on the 3 woodies, but the lack of any ejector air, save that one burst on Legend, kept them from 10/10 status- especially since I've had better rides on all 3. Well, we moved on to our next ride, and our 1st water ride- Pilgrums Plunge.


Wait Time: 5 Minutes (are you seeing a theme here yet?)

Well, the woodies weren't at their best, but good old Pilgrims Plunge was running great! Rising 140 feet up, tilting, and then coming down at over 50mph into a wave of water...pure fun. Simple, but fun.

Score: 9/10

After PP, Splashin' Safari opened up for the day and we headed in. We realized we needed to get a locker and did so, then headed for a nearby attraction...


Wait Time: None (Seriously, why would this have a wait time?)

A nice, refreshing dip into cool water...always nice. I made sure to get wet here, even though I would get much wetter soon...

Score: 7/10

After the Wave, it was time for a ride I had yet to ride, Bakuli.


Wait Time: 5 Minutes (not even Splashin' Safari had long waits...)

HOLY COW!!! Bakuli kicks butt! This waterslide sends riders into total darkness, spins them around and ejects you into a giant "toilet bowl"! And at HIGH SPEED! What a fun ride. Sorry ZOOMbabwe, I have a new #1 water ride...

Score: 10/10

After Bakuli, we decided to try the ONE thing that would really determine crowd levels. How long was the line for...WILDEBEEST?


Wait Time: 20 Minutes (confirmed, not crowded today! )

After being dissapointed with the airtime levels on the 3 woodies, a sudden hero emerged and its name was Wildebeest! Last time, my eyes were sore and I could not enjoy the ride 100%. This time, that was not the case...and wow! A waterslide with airtime!?!? Epic. Even better than Bakuli! And something even greater looms in 2012...Mammoth.

Score: 10/10

After Wildebeest, we hit up the Bahari Wave Pool.


Wait: These things get wait times!?!?

Not quite as relaxing as The Wave, since the waves are much bigger here...but they have TIKI TIKI WATER DUDES! Always nice to see them.

Score: 7/10

Next up was...Jungle Racer. However, I FLOPPED and could not for the life of me figure out how to "Go!". I threw in the white flag and gave up after the ride op seemed to ignore me asking for help. Result: DNF

After that flop, we headed to ZOOMbabwe. My former favorite waterslide at Splashin' Safari.

RIDE #9: ZOOMbabwe

Wait: 15 Minutes

ZOOMbabwe was pretty much Bakuli, minus the funnel at the end and much taller and longer. A fun ride but now that I have seen Bakuli, this otherwise great waterslide is just outclassed. Still well worth riding though, and the 3rd best water ride Splashin' Safari has to offer.

Score: 9/10

The crowds were FINALLY starting to build up at this point (some attractions finally had some short lines besides Wildebeest). My sister, who had been eyeballing Monsoon Lagoon before this trip, finally saw it in real life and so we did it next.

RIDE #10: Monsoon Lagoon

This is like a army-style training challenge, but with lots and lots of water thrown in! Climb nets, shoot cannons, and all that good stuff. There were also a few waterslides, but the one I tried sucked. It was super slow and a 5-year-old crashed into me as I hit the bottom! Ouch!

Score: 7/10

Next up, we needed some R&R, so it was off to Bahari River.

RIDE #11: Bahari River

Wait: None, of course...they have like a million tubes for this ride!

This was a nice attraction. Basically, you float down a river with canyons of water around you...it is fun when you go right under a waterfall. Or team up with your friends and form a "fleet"!

Score: 7/10

After the Bahari River, we got hungry and headed for some snacks. I got the Cheese-Filled Breadsticks, which is supposed to be a Holiday World favorite. They were pretty good, and my sister didn't finish her french fries, which were...ok, but nothing worth writing home about. I'd go as far to say that I perfer most fast-food places fries to these.

Afterwords, we got dressed and decided to check out the 4th of July section that I had skipped the previous visit (well, besides Raging Rapids). First ride: Raging Rapids! (LOLZ)

RIDE #12: Raging Rapids

Wait: Walk-On

Raging Rapids is a good ride, but I didn't get very wet at all, but the theming was well done and these are just fun to ride with friends and family. However, I perfer Kings Island's Whiter Water Canyon over this.

Score: 7/10

After Raging Rapids, we started to hit up some rides I didn't ride during my previous visit, beginning with Liberty Launch, Holiday World's S&S Power Double Shot ride.

RIDE #13: Liberty Launch

Wait: 10 Minutes

"OK...this thing looks weak and tame...well...OH FUDGE!!!" Liberty Launch actually packs a decent punch, and it's because it has some solid airtime. Besides this, though, it is a little weak. A good flatride, but not great. Worth the short wait it had.

Score: 7/10

After LL, it was on to Paul Revere's Midnight Ride. According to Terpy, this ride was better than KI's version.

Ride #14: Paul Revere's Midnight Ride

Wait: 15 Minutes (loading/unloading is super slow here!)

Well, Terpy...you were right! This ride spun a bit more, and had a few tricks up its sleeve compared to the KI version. A fun, underrated ride.

Score: 8/10

And then, we decided to head for Pilgrums Plunge, but realized Voyage had a short wait. Might as well give it another chance...it couldn't lack airtime twice, could it?

Ride #15: The Voyage II

Wait: Walk-On


Me: Yay! I am not stapled in this time! Now I will get more airtime! WHOO...

(Ride op comes up and staples me in)


Well, ok, I was stapled in again...however, we also sat in the middle this time, not the front, so there was an increase in airtime. From "very little" to "lots of...floater fair that would probably be ejector air but haha you are stapled in!". And, the ride was EXTREMELY ROUGH. We were getting thrown around, tossed, turned, and everything in between. My friends all had some sort of pain after the ride. However, what about me? I...was fine. No pain, nothing, actually enjoyed the ride quite a bit in spite of no ejector air. I must be one of those hardcore wooden coaster fans who isn't bothered by roughness or something. Nonetheless, I am well aware that not everyone enjoys rides THIS rough, so...WHERE ARE THE TIMBERLINERS? (Another reason I want them: from the looks of it, seems you cannot be stapled in them like PTC trains!)

Score: 10/10, but my friends loathed it due to roughness

After Voyage, everyone (save me) was so "roughed up" we headed only for the smooth rides- and Gobbler Getaway was right there for us.

Ride #16: Gobbler Getaway

Wait Time: 5 Minutes

This dark shoot-em-up ride is fun, and well themed. The animatronics were great, and there are a few suprises along the way. Only thing is, I SUCK! My score? 150...

Score (Ride Rating): 8/10

My On-Ride Points Score: 150

After Gobbler Getaway, we hit our "target" at last for another ride on Pilgrims Plunge. It was the same as the above, so no need to make more comments on it.

Ride #17: Pilgrims Plunge

Wait Time: 10 Minutes


Then we went to Splashin' Safari again. First up, Congo River.

Ride #18: Congo River

Pretty similar to the Bahari river, but shorter and less interesting. And I nearly fell out of my raft a few times. Not as well themed either. Still respectable.

Score: 7/10

Then, it was time to conquer the FINAL huge waterslide, ZINGA!

Ride #19: ZINGA

Zinga packed an intense drop and dark tunnel, and the funnel section was crazy. More fun then I remembered this ride being last time. Still only 4th best in the waterpark, though, behind Wildebeest, Bakuli, and ZOOMbabwe.

Score: 8/10

After Zinga, we hit Wildbeest and Bakuli again before we decided we had had "a full day", as were all sore (me from sunburn, not wooden roughness) and wanted to get home.

Ride #20: Wildebeest II (30 Minute Wait, longest of day)

Ride #21: Bakuli II (5 Minute Wait)


However, before we left, there was unfinished business. Last time, I was unable to buy Fudge because my best friend's uncle bulled me into helping buy a Pizza. But this time...FUDGE!!!


The fudge at Holiday World is, to put it lightly...AMAZING! It comes in a variety of flavors, all of which looked great. I went with classic chocolate. However, my best friend, upon tasting the fudge, bought 5 of them for $12 (Buy-4-get-1-free sale today!). The store that sells this fudge also boasts a HUGE collection of antique toys and Abraham Lincoln memorabila, so if you ever visit Holiday World, you need to see this shop and try this fudge! They also have free samples.

Well, after we got the fudge, we left and now here I am. Final overview:


+Wooden Roller Coasters, even if they weren't 100% on this day.

+The Waterpark. This place rocks, and will be even better next year when Mammoth joins the party.

+The Staff. Clean and friendly...but everyone knows that!

+Clean Park. Do I need say more?

+Free drinks, and sunsreen, and more.

+Short Lines for almost EVERYTHING...all day! (or 90% of it, at least)


-Why did I have to catch the woodies on a bad day...not the park's fault, but it sucks.

-Park needs more dry thrill rides. The wooden coasters are great, but the park needs more. We, as thrill seekers, would have gotten bored had it not been for the waterpark.


Holiday World is a great park, even if it is a bit small, the waterpark makes up for it. With 3 great wooden coasters (read my old HW trip report, they are better than they showed today) and free soda, what more do you want?

I hope you enjoyed this trip report. Comments and questions welcome.


UPDATE: 8/27/2011

Forgot about Raging Rapids while writing this trip report! OOPS! Put it in now though, raising my daily ride total to 21 rides on the day...a new McSalsa record! :D

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Great trip report, McSalsa.

I went to HW last year, but unfortunately did not have the chance to ride any slides except Bakuli and Jungle Racers (it was PACKED.)

At least you had a fun time, unlike me!

(and...you went the same day as me last year....August 21....) weird.

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Last year, the 21st was a Saturday. Which was the reason we picked the 21st- it was a Sunday, and Sunday is almost always going to be less crowded than a Saturday.

However, the difference this time was HUGE. The day before this trip, I checked the HW Webcam and they were PACKED. And then Sunday...there was a crowd, but it was so well spread out, few rides had any waits and nothing longer than 30 minutes. We got exhausted simply from riding so much, and walking to so many rides! ;)

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Same deal here. All 3 coasters, the biggest attractions at Holiday World, were walk-ons or near walk-ons all day. The only reason ANY rides on the dry side had waits was because of low capacity or slow unloading/loading (hence why Liberty Launch and PRMR had waits)

More proof: Splashin' Safari, not Holiday World, is the main draw in Santa Claus, IN. If it doesn't have long lines, then Holiday World will be usually pretty empty.

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Great trip report! I made my first trip out to Holiday World a few weeks ago and cannot wait to go back. All 3 wooden coasters were amazing but I was slightly disappointed with the Raven (started off a little lackluster but got really fun towards the end) and the Voyage (fun but beat the crap out of us and we were in the front). The Legend however proved to be my favorite of the trip and one of my favorite roller coasters overall now, I was blown away by it, I was surprised that of the three coasters there I had heard the least about it. Unfortunately I didn't get to ride Wildebeast as it had a 1.5-2 hour wait the whole time I was there but the waterpark was awesome as was Pilgrim's Plunge. All things said Holiday World lived up to the hype for me.

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Great break down of the rides and your rating off them. Funny thing for me is that i have never rode Ragging Rapids from all my trips to Holiday World, I'm glad you just forgot to add it to your original post and did not forget to ride it like myself. :P

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Might I suggest something. You rode those three wooden coasters first thing in the morning before they had any chance to warm up. Try riding The Beast first thing in the morning and seeing how it seems to crawl during some parts of the ride. Go back to those rides later in the day and the airtime will be there.

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Good point...but, last time I visted Holiday World, we did the same thing and they ran GREAT. Not to mention we went back to Voyage later in the day (around 2-3PM, I think), and it still didn't deliever the "OH FUDGE WE ARE GONNA DIE!!!" airtime that it did during my previous visit- it was more on Racer's level, with a lot of airtime but it was pretty much a bunch of floater air. We were going to ride Legend & Raven again at the end of the trip, but by that point, we were exhausted from all the rides and waterslides in the waterpark.

I probably just caught the wooden coasters on a BAD day. I've heard it does happen.

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Well, I just remembered something kinda creepy: a few weeks before making this trip, I had a dream. I went to Holiday World, and got on Voyage, and there was LITTLE to NO airtime! Tried it again from a seat further back, and still not much. And guess what happened in real life? The same thing.

I am officially freaked out. :unsure: Although, if my dreams ARE true (and telling me what rides I will ride in the future), then supposedly I will ride...The Incredible Hulk @ Universal Studios in Florida. And if my dream is also correct, I will LOVE it. (These were 2 different dreams, with the Hulk one coming...last night!)

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I am officially freaked out. :unsure: Although, if my dreams ARE true (and telling me what rides I will ride in the future), then supposedly I will ride...The Incredible Hulk @ Universal Studios in Florida. And if my dream is also correct, I will LOVE it. (These were 2 different dreams, with the Hulk one coming...last night!)

Your dreams may come at least 50% true!

I love the Hulk's concept, but I feel that track has a few issues... Looking ahead of you, it's almost like looking at an Arrow mega-looper. Odd transitions with sharply angled turns (see below), a convoluted layout, and more inversions (7) that you'd care to experience on a coaster that fast!


Rather like a B&M stand-up without the standing if you ask me... The cobra roll is beautiful, of course, but after that comes that angry back-part that's hidden from pedestrian view... Odd loops, turns, corkscrews, rolls, and brakes with strange pacing and Arrow-esque transitions and very, very hard shoulder-restraints... Gah!


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In a bizzare twist, the Incredible Hulk @ IOA was the first coaster/ride outside of Kings Island or Holiday World I have ever dreamed about. And I'm not sure why. Yes, I have heard of it, but it's not the first coaster I think of when I think of rides OUTSIDE the two parks listed above. Those would be rides like: Millennium Force, Magnum XL-200, El Toro, etc.

However, here's my top 3 "they show in my dreams the most" rides. All from...Kings Island.

#3: Vortex/Diamondback (tie)

#2: The Beast

and #1...

#1: Son of Beast.

Also worth noting: Drop Tower, Delirium, Invertigo, BLSC, Flight Deck, Firehawk, and a few others have never been in any of my dreams whatsoever!

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That (Incredible Hulk) actually looks...fun. At least to me. But remember, I enjoyed Vortex (known for being a head-banger), Invertigo (another known head-banger), and enjoyed the ride from the middle seat on Voyage that my friend considered "almost as rough as Son of Beast from the back seat!". So...take that for what it's worth.

And, I have seen Incredible Hulk pop up on "Best Steel Coaster" lists. Quite a few, actually- it's supposed to be a really good ride.

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