Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Saturday, September 25, 2010

TR: Fall Affair at Holiday World - 9/18/10

Trip Report: Holiday World - Fall Affair
Santa Claus, IN
September 18, 2010

It has been said the prime coaster season starts with HoliWood Nights and ends with Phoenix Phall Phun Phest. Well, the Knoebels event is a no go for me this year, bt I can still bookend the prime coaster season with a coaster event at Holiday World known as the Fall Affair. Ok, so its not really fall yet, work with me, ok?

I registered through Coasterbuzz, as they and GOCC were the presenting coaster clubs. For a variety of reasons, we got started in our usual way, late. It was a pretty uneventful trip to the park with no real traffic or construction headaches, which is a change from normal. Was that really Vienna Sausages in that rest area vending machine by Louisville, KY. Without a microwave? At least they had moon pies.

We wound up arriving at the park around 2:00-2:30, with free tickets from HoliWood Nights in our hands. At check in, they ask to see an ID or coaster club card, the first one I could find was my Club TPR card, so I went with that. Rideman had a little more difficulty than I did checking in, but soon we had: admission tickets, meal tickets, event schedules, and a coupon sheet. We were glad that this meant we had nothing that needed to be returned to the car, as we were in Legend lot. While we were close to the front of Legend lot, it is still a long walk owing to the fence that forces you to walk around the perimiter of the Raven lot.

We entered the park and quickly chose to start our circuit by going though Halloween. This meant the Raven was up first, and despite it being a Saturday, fantastic weather, and only one train, we walked right onto the back seat of Raven. Nothing wrong with that, and Raven was running in fine form, so a great start to our day.

We followed that up with a trip to Legend. We walked onto the front of the back car for Legend and were rewarded with a double ride on Legend. We thought Legend was beeing a little pokey today. Note that when we say Legend was a little off, it was still running better than the majority of wood coasters out there.

After Legend, we had to make a choice, we could either go to the Lower Level of the park, otherwise known as Thanksgiving then do the flat ride tour, or do the flat ride tour, then head down to the lower level. The risk of going right to Voyage is yoou may not get to the other rides.

We took the flat ride tour, first with a stop at Revolution, then on to Eagle's Flight. It's a flying skooter, and while not quite the best of breed, I think I can fly this skooter about as well as you can. Turbulence is good on a Flying Skooter ride. We took a look in HoliDog's FunTown trying to figure out what might be replaced. I bought a round of Orange Dreamsickle ICEE floats, for only $2 each, at a park. This is a mixture of orange ICEE and vanilla soft serve. Their ICEE machine could use work, or it was just overworked as the orange cream was a lot more on the liquid side than the frozen side. I've had better at this same stand.

We skipped the Howler, Doggone Trail, Pionneer Train, and Star Spangled Carousel and headed for Liberty Launch. It was only a two cycle wait to ride Liberty Launch. It may not be as forceful as other rides of its type, such as up at Indiana Beach, but it's not a bad ride by any means.

After Liberty Launch, it was a full queue and 15-20 minutes to ride Rough Riders. Over the years they have really worked this one out. The cars bump with more force than when the ride first opened, leading to a much better ride. Tehy found a seatbelt buckle style I have never seen before for this ride, it looks like the plastic camera strap buckled where you squeeze the sides together to release, except it only has one button, an automotive style large orange side button. The tounge is plastic though, wierd.

We next headed to Paul Revere's Midnight Ride. The queue looked pretty full but due to what must have been a group riding, we found ourselves the winners of an amazing fast pass to the front of the line. There were really NO groups of 1 or 2 in front of us, really? Or were we just more vocal in answering the call?

We skipped the Lewis and Clark trail, and instead headed to Frightfull Falls, having decided to pass on the Scrambler. It was a walk on for Frightful Falls, and the ride was good with minimal water damage. Next up it was a stop at Hallowswings for a quick but fun swing ride.

After that, it was time to make our way down to the lower level, also known as Thanksgiving. Voyage's line was spilling out onto the midway, but at least it was taking the shortest route up to the station. The temporary back seat queue rail is taking a beating, but after looking it over, the wait for the back seat was just as long as any of them, so we waited it out for the back seat. We were not disapointed. The airtime in the back seat is unreal, the laterals in the turnaround are wicked, the return home is dementedly fast, this truly is a wood coaster worthy of a double black diamond skill rating. Perhaps the only problem with the ride is that it is botoming out on some of the drops pretty hard, slamming you back down into your seat, and I detect a little jackhammer or shuffle or something starting to develop.

From Voyage, we waited through about a half full queue for Gobbler Getaway. Sally is an old Indian word for "The guns don't work most of the time", It's a problem on most Sally rides but seems to be particularly bad here. There are certain parts of the Getaway where I can nail every target in sight, and others I can't hit anything even at point blank range. And what ever happened to the strong hint of pumpkin pie smell that used to permeate the ride.

From there, we skipped the Turkey Whirl, and noted Plymouth Rock was done for the day, and headed to Pilgrims Plunge. They seemed to have beefed up the checkpoint between the main park and the water park again. No matter, we enter the ride building and walk right up to the area where we can remove shirts, shoes and pull stuff out of our pockets and store in free lockers. (Those are fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo for our TPR friends) We then walked right over the loading area. At first they told us to go to Row C even though we were the only ones in the boat, then said we could move up to Row A, so we are moving about the boat as it is continuing to advance and we get to Row A just before it leaves the station, where the driver tells we we have to move back to Row C. So after going through the strange ritual required to board an Intamin ride. Seriosuly, who else could design a ride such that it would fail if you only loaded two riders on a boat, in the front row. Out on the course, we noted the boat is still moving a lot faster than it did last year through the course. We thought me might get spared the shower going up the elevator since there was no other boat on it, but we still got a little wet. Up to the top, down the drop, and nothing, its like that radio show "Wait for it!" then a weak splash. Just enough to let you know the water is cold. We get back around to the station and are offered a reride, which we take. What was interesting is the splash pattern from the two rides, with the boat loaded exactly the same was different. Rideman noted how high the water level is in the trough and how hard the pumps were working and concluded the way the park is getting more capacity out of the ride is to brute force push the boats through the course my upping the water current. After our two rides the park was closed. We changed back into street clothes and then took the usual long, long walk back to Kringles ensuring that once again, we were among the last t be served. It's become tradition for us, ok?

We ate in the banquet hall, which exept for one christmas tree in the corner, maybe the blandest area of the entire park. The meal was the coaster event classic: pizza, chips, fudge, pepsi and a relish tray. For some reason, however, it might have been the best pizza we have ever gotten from the park. I think the fact it looked to cooked more than usual helped, and on my second run through the line, it was still very hot when I got it to my table also helped. After dinner, Pat Koch made some remarks, thanking us for the cards and support through the difficult time, Dan Koch was introduced, Mike Graham of Gravity Group spoke, coaster mechanic Mike spoke, we got intorduced to two genltlemen from Grouna Land in Sweeden who just bought a Gravity Group coaster, and in fact we were lucky enough to have dinner with them. There was no news on the 2011 plans, a brief Timberliner update of not this year, but work continues and they should be ready next year.

After dinner,the GOCC people had a group photo by the Applause Fountain, then it was ERT time. We started on Raven with a couple middle of the train rides, then a back of the train ride, before settling into seat 2. For some reason people wanted seat 1, but we got at least 5-6 rides in Seat 2 without getting up. It may not be our favorite seat on the ride but rapid fire rerides more than make up for it. Additionally, Raven had really warmed up, and was making a strong case for why it's still one of the world's top wood coasters. "Skillfull ERT seat selection"

We rode Raven until it closed at 7:15, then we headed to Voyage for the hour long Voyage ERT. Attendance was announced as 135 people. Voyage can seat 48 between its two trains, another 24 can be on deck to board, and 24 walking down the exit ramp, thats 96. That only leaves 39 people unaccounted for. Considering the people who just talk and socialize during ERT, and those who think Voyage is too intense for them. We had to wait about 4 to 5 cycles for the first ride as Voyage didn't open right after the Raven/Legend ERT ended and had built a backlog, but after two or three rides with having to walk around each time, we finished up with what 3-4 rapid fire rerides in seat 5.2 Sure I felt like I was just in the ring with Tyson after that quadruple Voyage ride, but man was it worth it.

It's well known that Rideman likes to talk coasters and is usually one of the last out of the photo tours and such. We met up with Mike on the midway after ERT and joined in a talk with the guys from Sweeden. The point is by the time we made it up to the front gate, Paula quipped "Ok, ERT is clear, he's made it to the front gate"

So, after some more talking with Paula and Pat at the front gate, saying good bye at least 5 times, I think we finally left when they were talking about turning off the parking lot lights. Did you know it takes an hour to drive from the park to I-64. Yup, due to the time zone, I noted my cell phone made the hour change just in that sort distance. All kidding aside, next we settled in for the long ride back to Ohio.

Next up: EuroTrip 2010!


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