Published: July 18, 2009 at 8:16 PM

very good review. the voyage was much better when it was new.. its gotten looser. el toro doesnt have the same elements as the voyage but it has more bang. another that comes close is ghost rider out at knotts. keep up the good work ,, p
James Rao

Published: July 18, 2009 at 9:54 PM

The Raven.
The Legend.
The Voyage.

The Holy Trinity Of Wooden Coasters. Each in its own right would be a headliner at any other park. But to have them all in one small town park in Indiana? Wow!

I have been anxiously awaiting your review of the Voyage, Robert, and I am relieved you loved it as much as I did. Honestly, that beast ruined other, lesser wooden coasters for me, like the Timber Wolf, The Boss, and Screamin' Eagle. It is just difficult to accept anything less after you have ridden the best!

By the way, when you drove through Kansas, did you end up stopping at Local Burger? If so, how did you like it?

I have a request for your next stop on the road trip, King's Island: in addition to riding Diamondback, please make sure you take a ride on Flight of Fear and let me know how you think it compares to Rock 'n' Roller coaster at DHS.

Drive safely!

matthew w

Published: July 18, 2009 at 9:14 PM

I will be going to Holiday World this summer for a first ride on the Voyage, however I can say now, next to The Beast, El Toro is gods gift to wooden rollercoaster fans. Its the all time king. Unlike most out and back coasters, speed is the name of the game, the seemingly out of control speed never lets up; it almost seems to go faster as it goes on (the final turns really seem its going out of control) Its oddly smooth for a woodie, yet earns its perfect name, they pack you in tight as you would fall out on those hills. Ive seen overweight riders be asked to leave if they cant be strapped in correctly.
Beth Olliges

Published: July 18, 2009 at 9:20 PM

Sorry, but I have to disagree about the Voyage. I rode it once, during its premiere season, and that was enough (if not too much). It bashed me around so much I got an instant headache. And it wasn't just me; the others in my party had similar reactions. I somewhat like the Legend, but for a repeat-riding coaster at Holiday World, it's the Raven all the way for me! (Waving "hello" as you pass through Louisville on your way from Holiday World to Kings Island!)
Beth Olliges

Published: July 18, 2009 at 9:24 PM

P.S. Oh, and if you skipped Splashin' Safari, you missed half the fun! I'm not a big water park person (usually preferring to spend my time on rides), but Splashin' Safari is so much fun I can't resist it!
rick stevens

Published: July 18, 2009 at 11:53 PM

My wife grew up in Indiana (Fort Wayne), hopefully I can talk her into a trip to Holiday World. She is not a roller coaster fan, but I am a sucker for the wooden ones. Thanks for the great report, hope the "are we there yet" has not started.

Published: July 19, 2009 at 6:07 AM

While at King's Island be sure to eat at Rivertown Junction Dinning Hall. A tad pricey, but the best theme park food i have ever eaten besides the Beer Garden buffet in EPCOT!
Robert Niles

Published: July 19, 2009 at 7:10 AM

We had to be back on the road by three, so we didn't have time to do Splashin' Safari, plus, as many long-time readers of the site might know, I'm just not a water park person.

Regardless, yesterday's weather was quite uncharacteristic for the Midwest in mid-July, overcast and chilly. We saw quite a few folks at Pilgrims Plunge, who'd come over from the water park and were shivering the whole time. So I think we made the right choice for yesterday, given our time constraint, to skip the water park.

James, I'll be writing about Local Burger, as well as a few other locally-owned establishments, in a post later this week.

Rod Whitenack

Published: July 19, 2009 at 8:44 AM

As a Louisville resident, I've been to both Holiday World and King's Island many times over the years. The Beast at King's Island has held a special place in my heart since I was a teenager and I've always been a fan of the classic wooden coaster. I must say with all honesty that the Voyage is truely the successor of the Beast; the only woodie I've ever ridden that measures up. Son of the Beast, with or without the infamous loop, was always inferior. It was bigger and rougher, but not any fun. I've always thought the perfect roller coaster was like a good film and should have a three act structure; a suspenseful beginning, a wild midsection and a great finale. One of the biggest failures to deliver that structure is Adventure Express at King's Island which continuely disappionts riders with the worst tease of a third act in coaster history. Robert, I'm taking my niece and her friend to King's Island this Thursday and look forward to your report on Diamondback.

Published: July 19, 2009 at 8:52 AM

I was there yesterday, and I am fairly certain that those lines that you described were only as long as they were because it was extremely cold, so most people avoided the water park.

Also, congrats on making it on the gobbler getaway. It was shut down off and on for most of the day.

John Jackson

Published: July 19, 2009 at 11:08 AM

If you ever ride El Toro at SFGAdv, you will definitely love it. But, having ridden both of them, in riding The Voyage, you've experienced the best wooden coaster America has to offer. I rode El Toro a few years ago, and this year rode both of them. The Voyage is by far my favorite. El Toro has great air, but even it can not compare with the amount of air from Voyage, especially from the back seat. I'm not sure why Voyage even has a back seat because we were never really in it the entire ride.
Robert Niles

Published: July 19, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Strong point about the weather - that's a huge issue for combo theme/water parks. I suspected that the 70-minute wait on Voyage wouldn't have been as long had Gobbler been open (I hopped on later, just before we left) and if folks had been more willing to ride Plunge. Pilgrims Plunge was a five-minute wait, if that.

The weather issue is especially felt at HW, since this is a park people plan to go to, as opposed to visit on a whim 'cause it is so close. A cool day really pushes people from the water park into the theme park. At other parks with large local fan bases, a cool day would simply keep people at home.

BTW, John, *great* line about the back seat. I was in the next-to-last, and felt like I was floating for much of the ride.

Robert Niles

Published: July 19, 2009 at 12:23 PM

By the way, I've just updated the dining listings for Kings Island, so if folks want to click over to offer some ratings and reviews, that'll help my planning for Tuesday's visit.
Will Chilcote

Published: July 19, 2009 at 4:42 PM

It sounds like a good time. I'm sorry to hear that you skipped the water park. I have heard that it is one of the best in the US.

BTW, check out LaRosa Pizza at Kings Island. Good Stuff.

Rhys Evans

Published: July 19, 2009 at 5:36 PM

I think that The Legend still squeaks by The Voyage (which, we must reveal, has a metal structure and wooden tracks, so I call it a hybrid, not a true wooden coaster, as wonderful as it is). And the Raven is the third best coaster in this park, but it's just about the third best coaster in this country at the same time! Yeah, who would think that you'd find some of the best coasters in the world all in a remote place like Holiday World? My only "problem" with Holiday World (and it's MY problem, not theirs...) is that, like Robert, both times I've visited, I had a time crunch, so I've never been able to ride these three amazing coasters after dark.
For the record, I've also been on the awesome El Toro, but it nonetheless earns a ranking lower on my list. About the only other coasters that come close to any of these is Thunder Road (more of a twister than Holiday World's mostly out-and-backs) and Lightning Racer.

Published: July 19, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Oh, Rhys, you are missing out so much. Last year I rode the Voyage at about 9:00, for my first time riding it in the dark, and it was absolutely the most incredible ride of my life.

It is ALMOST as good in the rain. (I'm recommending sunglasses for that one.)

Anthony Murphy

Published: July 19, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Looks fun!

Too bad your couldn't get to go to SFGA and come and see your alma mater!

Robert Niles

Published: July 19, 2009 at 7:38 PM

FWIW, we're talking about a "northern" roadtrip and a European roadtrip for the next couple of summers, so for the northern one, we'd likely be hitting SFGrAm, Cedar Point and possibly Canada's Wonderland.

I'm nowhere near a European itinerary, but the parks I'd most want to see at this point would include Disneyland Paris, Efteling, Gardaland and Port Aventura.

Don Neal

Published: July 20, 2009 at 5:23 AM

Good review Robert. Those three coasters are great! The Voyage replaced Beast as my favorite woodie and I grew up on the Beast. The waterpark is one of the best in the US as well. Crazy all that fun and excitement in the middle of nowhere. :)
Joshua Counsil

Published: July 20, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Great report.

Definitely would love to ride those coasters, but I just cannot justify driving out of the way and paying for admission for only three great coasters and some midway rides. Pilgrims Plunge would be fun, but what is really worthwhile beyond that?

I'd love to hear your review of my home park, Canada's Wonderland. Please do consider it for your northern trip.