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Richard

Holiday World photos now up

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A few weeks ago I found myself driving through Indiana and so used the opportunity to visit the renowned family park Holiday World for an afternoon. It's hard to imagine just how out of the way this park is until you do the drive (I was coming from St Louis in Missouri), and I think that this is a real testament to the park's overriding quality that it has done so well in recent years despite being so far away from anything. We've now got nearly 90 photos of the park up in our gallery: http://www.parkz.com.au/parks/US/Santa_Cla..._Safari/photos/

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How's The Voyage these days? That still ranks highly even after doing the East Coast parks. And what did you think of the rest of HW? Pilgrim's Plunge is something I want to go back there to do, looks great - what are your impressions?

Edited by Gold Coaster

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When i first read the caption about Voyages theming i thought you were being a bit harsh on the Aussie parks (WWF sprung to mind) I then thought about everything else for a few seconds longer and started laughing. Impressed I take it? I too am eager to hear what a #1 coaster is actually like.

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The Voyage was a great ride. Runs exactly like a wooden coaster should, and it's a pretty insane layout they've come up with for it -- half what that ride does (especially in the mid-section after the first few drops) is stuff that I didn't think coasters were able to do. It blows my mind that for significantly less than our parks keep paying for these gimicky and unreliable coasters, we could have not just a good wooden coaster, but a truly world-class one. My visit to the park was a lot briefer than I'd have liked; I had to make it about 800km that day, so when you slot in a theme park visit it becomes a pretty tight day. Unfortunately I didn't have time to queue for Pilgrims Plunge, being the most popular ride in the park on a warm July 3, and only got one ride on The Voyage in. My impressions of Pilgrims Plunge was that its relatively tame drop and weak splashdown really 'family-ise' what could otherwise be a pretty intimidating ride, but I guess that was their goal with it. Looking at it I didn't feel like I was missing out on much by not riding, and the tradeoff of queuing for an hour so that I could drive for five hours in wet clothes wasn't that appealing to me. The park itself is a lot smaller than I would have guessed... the waterpark was clearly the most popular part, but it's amazing that such a small park gets a million and more through the gates each year. The park itself is run really well. Most of the ride ops seem to be kids (most around 16-18 I'd guess), yet they're all obviously doing something they enjoy and take pride in it... you could know nothing about the park itself but just looking at the staff you know that they're treated well by management. Seeing Pat Koch in her late-70s around the park putting in a solid day's work on the frontline like you'll often read about just shows the sort of attitude the park's owners have towards running the park. The novelty of free softdrink is pretty cool, but I found it strange that normal water was pretty hard to come by. Didn't get to try any of the park's food but what I saw looked good and it was really well priced. It was something like $20-25 for a family meal. All in all I left feeling like I was at a park that actually understands the intangible aspects of running a park, where delivering a quality product is their strategy for making a profit.

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As I said, Voyage still ranks very highly on my list. Agree 100% on what you said. I would actually rather go to Holiday World just for that coaster alone but factor in everything else and it's something that I wish we had here (though obviously those areas named after an American holiday would have to become, ooh, Ghoulish Gulch, Adventure Island, etc, something more generic but interestingly titled). It's a shame you had a brief visit and I'm sure you'd be planning a return there in future. The rapids ride is also quite fun and makes you wonder why we don't have water cannons for spectators here at DW. Hopefully the eventual Whitewater World expansion will include this. Definitely admire Pat and the park's provision of free softdrink - don't forget sunscreen and childcare as well (in the Christmas area)... very impressive. I think parking is included too. Park food is also wonderful. HW really does get everything really right and I look forward to going back sometime soon.

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How many hours did you end up getting? I sort of know the feeling of being in a really good park, but having to rush and not get to re ride. The other thing I find fascinating are those flying scooters...how are they?

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A heap of fun if you mean the flyers that you snap... well, you're not MEANT to, I think, but people do anyway. About the best I've done in the US, you were able to fly out at ridiculous angles and fast too.

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Can't remember exactly how long I spent there... I left St Louis at about 11am, so with a lunch pitstop along the way I'd say I got into Holiday World at about 2-3pm. Pulled into Lafayette, Indiana at about 11pm so that means I'd have left Holiday World around 5-6pm (did some shopping at Walmart along the way as I was camping in Michigan the next few day and had no gear). It really was a quick visit... I got in, rode The Raven, The Legend, The Voyage then The Legend and Raven again on my way out, with a bit of wandering and photo taking along the way. In all honesty though, I'm not huge on reriding ad nauseum, so to me it was a half day park at most. Had I gotten out of bed a bit earlier in St Louis (I was out the night before though so that wasn't likely to happen) I'd probably have gotten all I needed to from the park. Really similar to Movie World in this respect... a few big rides and little else to do. Didn't get on the flying scooters and most of the riders were kids/families when I watched it so didn't see much excitement going on, but you can see how they'd get the reputation they have, especially if the speed's up a notch or two.

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