1st Annual Holdiay World Excursion

July 2, 2008

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, also known as high school, I heard of a place called Holiday World.  The setting was at an FHA officer’s meeting, and one of the underclassmen officers suggested Holiday World as a possible destination for our group trip.  She claimed her family had been going there for years, and that it was even better than Opryland

“Better than Opryland?”………..pshaw.  As if.  Silly underclassmen. 

A dozen or so years later, I can honestly say, it is indeed better than Opryland. 

We planned the weekend getaway about a month ago, around our work schedules, payday schedules, and the visitation schedule of my stepdaughter.  It wasn’t until days before our departure that I noticed the note on the front page of the Holiday World website, saying something to the effect that they expected Saturday, June 28th to be very busy, and if you could change your plans it would be wise to avoid coming on that day.  As there was no flexibility in our plans, we decided to go anyway.  With memories of going to Opryland and 6 Flags St. Louis on weekend days in the summer, and having to stand in line for hours to ride even the lamest of rides, I was mentally prepared for horendous lines Saturday, espically since the park was discouraging our attendance on that day.  We hoped that Sunday would find the park less crowded, and we would be able to see and do more.  

En route we discovered that we had forgotten 2 very improtant things.  Our camera, and our stroller.  I thought renting a stroller would be out of the question.  From past experience, places like that don’t have enough strollers to go around, expically on one of their busiest days.  In the event we could locate a stroller, I suspected rental would cost an arm and a leg.

With in-car entertainment via our 2 preschoolers and 2 teenagers (my step-daughter and neice), the 3.5 hour road trip passed rather quickly.  We arrived at our destination mere minutes after the park’s 9:30 am opening time, and got into a rather short line to give the park our $230 plus for 2 day passes for 5.  Fortunately, our youngest is still 2, and could get in for free. 

We began the day taking the little guys to the kiddie ride area, where the hit the bumper boats.  My eldest has to be the most serious child that has ever existed.  He takes everything in, and is so intent upon capturing every detail of a moment, that he looks seriously pissed when he is enjoying himself.  He spent the ride with a sour look on his face, then proclaimed, “that was so much fun”, when he exited. 

He then claimed he didn’t want to ride any more rides in that section, so we headed to the log ride.  The teenagers had left us by this point, so our family of 4 was able to secure a log rather quickly.  The oldest liked seeing mommy, daddy, and little brother get soaked, but claimed the drop hurt his tummy.  Little bro didn’t like getting wet.  At all.

After convincing my kiddos to ride the, “Turkey Whirl”, a tilt-a-whirl type ride, with me, I discovered a big difference in the 2 of them.  Throughout the whole ride my oldest was crying that his tummy hurt, and my youngest was giggling with delight.  As we exited, the youngest said, “let’s go gin (again)”, whilst the oldest proclaimed he would never!

The rest of the day went much like that.  The oldest was scared anything that could be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 7, with the exception of the, “Gobbler Getaway”, while the youngest cried when he wasn’t tall enough to ride the Hallowswings with me. 

I managed to steal some time away from the boys, and ride some rides with the teenagers.  From The Voyage, the world’s #1 wooden roller coaster, I came away with a horrible bruise, a headache, and the idea that maybe the warning signs should say, “This ride not intended for people with neck and back problems, women who are pregnant, and anyone over the age of 30”.  I’d ride it again though.

“The Raven” was a little better, ie: less painful, but my favorite rides are the classics.   I could stay on the Hallowswings, Raging River, and Frightful Falls all day.  “Gobbler Getaway” was fun for the whole family, and was my oldest’s favorite, by far.  He also enjoyed Holidog’s Fun Town innensely. 

The park was clean, friendly, and extremely reasonably priced.  There was no shortage of wagons to rent, and for the low all-day price of $5, we got one to pull both boys around the park.  The 6 of us ate lunch for under $30, and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for dinner for under $45.  The all day free soft drinks saved us a bundle. 

Lines were not bad at all.  Our longest wait was an extremley reasonagle 20 minutes to ride, “The Voyage”.   I was plesantly surprised, considering the park’s warning against attending that day.  Throughout the day we left our belongings in our wagon, parked near whatever ride we were on, and they were never bothered. 

We stayed until the park closed, at 9:30 pm, 12 hours total, then headed to our hotel, 15 miles away.  After some initial confusion due to the fact that the hotel was in a different time zone than the park, we got a good night’s sleep before heading out Sunday morning for our 2nd, and much shorter, day of fun. 

Sunday found the lines shorter and the park less crowded.  We had another wonderful day.  Sure I missed being able to ride and do what I wanted, when I wanted.  Sure I didn’t enjoy, “Holidog’s Funtown” near as much as my kids did, but I still had a blast watching them have fun, blossom, and interact with other kids. 

Our day was coming to an end about 7:30 pm, and we were picking up some last-minute souveniers.  I noticed people outside the gift shop looking skyward and pointing.  When I exited, I saw the most vivid, bright rainbow I had ever witnessed, a closer look revealed a more faint rainbow just above it.  The perfect ending to a perfect trip. 

Our family will definitley make Holiday World an annual trip. 




6 Responses to “1st Annual Holdiay World Excursion”

  1. It is good to go on an excursion and have it actually go well. The pessimist in me says not to go back because it can only get worse…

    I can SO identify with your eldest child…my oldest boy is exactly the same. So is his Dad. 🙂

  2. Alyson Says:

    Well, there were a few not-so perfect moments, such as me forgetting the camera, but I’m chosing to remember the trip through rose colored glasses. And hey, since we don’t have pictures, nobody can prove otherwise.

    LOL at your last comment. I predict that on future school field trips to the amusment park, my oldest will be the one sitting on the bench holding everyone else’s stuff while they ride the rides.

  3. Allison Says:

    Holiday World didn’t have a water park when I was a kid, and now that is my favorite part. Of course, they didn’t have any wooden roller coasters back then…just a dinky one within the nursery rhyme railroad track.

    Sounds like you had a good time! Any pics with Santa?

  4. We’re so glad you enjoyed your visit! (I’m not a stalker … a Google Alert brought me to your site.)

    We’re humbled by your Opryland comment. Thanks.

    And the “warning” usually serves its purpose, with enough families changing their travel dates that the days’ attendance numbers tend to even out. Makes for a much better experience for *everyone*.

    Thanks again! Paula

  5. Alyson Says:

    @ Allison: I did enjoy the water park too, although I’m a sucker for the classic amusement park rides.

    They still have, “The Howler” roller coaster. J rode it with the boys.

    No pics with Santa, the kiddos weren’t interested. It could have something to do with the fact that I had threatened to ask him which boy had started the brawl in the living room the night before……..

    @ Paula: We loved it, and will definitely be back! Thanks for commenting.

  6. […] *I highly recommend a trip to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.  In addition to 3 spectacular wooden roller coasters, the park has a fabulous water park, many kid-friendly rides, relatively short lines, free sunscreen, free unlimited Pepsi products, and an opportunity to have your picture taken with Santa Claus.  I really can’t say enough positive things about my experience.  I know I want to go back to a place where I see the owner cheerfully picking up trash and helping children off the rides.  If you would like a more detailed assessment, check out another Alyson’s post about her trip to Holiday World. […]

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