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June 5th, Ape takes on Holiday World


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A couple of weeks ago we decided to fill the void of our abandoned Dollywood trip by going to Holiday world and meeting close friends there. We got up at 6am, loaded up the car, and got some food to start our 3 hour drive to the park. We were a bit early though it was planned this way in case we had to make stops for our 6 month old which we ended up not needing the extra time. Being there an hour early made for a nice leisurely start to the day with getting everything we would need ready and sun screened up for the 80 degree sunny day.  We hung out up front snapped some photos and waited for our friends to arrive with their 3 month old. They had stopped and picked up tickets at Kroger for us to get the cheaper price which I believe was $40. 


By the time ropes dropped at 10 we were in the park and ready to go, the first stop would be Splashin' Safari to rent a Cabana. The Cabana was $179 and was well worth it especially with having the kids with us. The only thing I wish was different would be being able to fully close off the cabana with the curtains. We took one of the the two that were off to the side by themselves and was the closest to the dry park where we could take the tunnel by Voyage and just jump back and forth as we please with a home base. I have only been to the park once and we did not enter Splashin Safari. I thought the park was fun and I loved with then (2 years ago) but thought it was only a  one day park. I learned when you are doing both sides of the park two days is needed to fully enjoy everything. We had an absolute blast, Parent swap was a lifesaver for us and made it so we would enjoy more while handling the two young babies that require feeding every two hours and all the diaper changes to go along with that. We were pretty much non stop until we left around 7. Every park employee I came across was incredibly nice and tried to make us feel right at home and we did. I think after this awesome visit we will be making an annual trip back with the kids and bringing more family along. I am going to have to look into camping right across the lake and doing multiple days. 


Every ride we did today felt world class to me and I loved every minute of them. Being back at work today is kind of a drag with how well yesterday went. The park felt crowded but we managed to do everything a little before the rest of the crowd made their transition to each side of the park throughout the day. Operations were painfully slow at times on the coasters but with little to no wait it wasn't annoying. 


My ride count ended up being:


Thunderbird 4x

Voyage 2x

Legend 1x

Raven 1x

Mammoth 3x

Wildebeast 1x

Bakuli 1x




Our first ride of the day and my 3rd wing coaster, this was by far the best. I ended up riding all four corners, I think I like the ride side more but every seat was a winner and I love this thing. THIS IS HOW A WING COASTER SHOULD BE. For me the ride felt powerful and intense I was surprised. Really the only negative that can be associated with the ride is that you have to walk a mile to get to it, worth it though. When we rode later in the day and I was a little worn down the launch was strong enough to make my stomach feel like it was flipping (which is a good thing). The longest we waited was our last ride which was just at a 20 minute wait. Every other time it was about a ten minute wait. 



I know it shouldn't matter much and for the rest of our group they enjoyed it but I personally loath that the MCBR fully engages now. In the back seat you still get the pops of air from the downs in the tunnel but the front I felt nothing and it made me sad. I still love this thing but it may have brought it down a bit for me. Other than that it rode pretty much the same as my last visit to me. We only had a few train wait for the front seat and back seat both times. We would have rode it more but the babies and the wives were not feeling this as much as it was late in the day and we were pretty exhausted. 



I enjoyed this on my first visit, I loved it on this visit. I guess the work they did took it from fun to outstanding for me. I would have marathoned it all day had I had time. We rode in the front seat and only had a one train wait. I saw some reports that people felt like it didn't carry enough speed at some point but I never felt like it let up. You still get the intense laterals through out the beginning and middle without getting killed from the last bit before the final brake run. This ride felt so smooth as well I could not believe it. 



Last ride of the day heading out. Rode the back seat and tried to leave a little room for floating as it seems with my big thighs I get stapled every time. It was a success and holy crap was that airtime on drop 5 insane. Best ride I have had a this as well. 



This is a waterslide, yet it rides like an airtime filled B&M. What a great ride. I could not get enough of this thing. I want to go and spend a day just riding Mammoth. The longest the line got for us was about ten minutes. 



I loved this almost as much as Mammoth (my wife said she enjoyed this one more). We waited maybe 5 minutes for our ride. We had planned to go back but didn't make it. 



Holy hell does this slide have a fun and seemingly never ending drop in the dark. I took the drop backwards which made it even more intense for me. I wanted to ride again but it had a long line when we returned so we skipped it. 


Some final thoughts before the pictures. Next time we go we are spending more than one day and will probably do an entire day just on the water park with a cabana. Thunderbird is a huge win for the park. We did some shopping before heading out and got some pretty awesome stuff for cheap. I was sad though I had already bought myself a shirt but the time we ended up and the shop right by the gate. They had some awesome Legend shirts that I wanted to get. Next time I am there hopefully they still have them and I will pick one up. 


Holiday Worlds water park makes me hate Kings Island. The water park has been successful for Kings Island and that's all that matters for parks is pulling in numbers, however if I am a higher up at KI and I visit Splashin Safari I would just shake my head at all the decision making involved at Kings Island. Those two water coasters at SS push people through pretty quick for water slides and is the type of thing these big parks need and yet we have seen nothing even close. 


onto pictures! I didn't get a whole lot with how busy we were and at the water park my phone stayed locked up.




There she is! our destination. 



People gathering before opening.



Raven Testing



A thing of beauty



I love the whole area around Thunderbird



Our cabana for the day



The view from our cabana



Peanut Butter Burger with cheddar seasoned fries From Goblin Burgers. I thought it was very good as the peanut butter was not overwhelming and it was just a subtle sweet added to it. The fries were excellent though if you don't like overly seasoned things these are not for you as you can see they were heavy with the seasoning. Tasted similar to flavoring of cheddar Ruffles.



Thunderbird doing its thing. 

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I don't really feel like making my own TR for Holiday World, so APE, if you don't mind, I'm going to give my two cents on my trip last Wednesday to HW. 


I love, love, love Holiday World to death. It is so relaxing and stress-free. While at places like KI and CP you're freaking out over what ride to get on next, at HW, you can take your time. All four of their "big" coasters are amazing. Thunderbird is way better than Gatekeeper or Wild Eagle (the two wing coasters I've been on). The Legend's track work has made it one of the best wooden coasters around. The Raven has gotten very rough as of late, but it's still fun. And then The Voyage - still might be my favorite ride of all time. Pure insanity. Not only do they have these awesome coasters, but there's nothing like walking up to a soda fountain and getting free soft drinks whenever you want. It's also quite pleasing to actually see smiles on the food associates' faces, and when I ask them a question they give me a very helpful answer instead of looking at me like they want to die. My group went to the waterpark in our clothes and decided to ride both Wildebeest and Mammoth - again, in our clothes - and that was seriously awesome. I'm in love with Mammoth. Most fun I've had on a waterslide. 


Overall, HW makes me not only hate KI's waterpark, as you said, it kind of makes me dislike KI as a whole. These small parks always ruin KI for me, really. I mean I obviously still love my home park but dang, HW just does everything right. 

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Sounds like you guys had a great time! I have always thought that Bakuli gets overlooked with all the other awesomeness that Spalshin' Safari has to offer. Having ridden all of the U.S. wing riders I would say that Thunderbird and Wild Eagle are far and away the two best with X-Flight being ok and Gatekeeper being a beautiful but boring ride. 

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Add ZOOMbabwe (One of the world's largest water slides), Hyena Falls (which is surprising because it is fairly new having been added in 2013), Jungle Racer (huge mat racing slide) and Zinga (Huge Funnel Slide) to the list of "Waterslides that would probably be huge deals at other waterparks but because it's Splashin Safari they don't get mentioned much"...


Seriously, Holiday World's waterpark has a lot of huge waterslides. They are pretty much to waterslides what Cedar Point is to roller coasters (big ones, and lots of them).

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