We live in Indianapolis now and have visited PKI every year (only 1:45 away), but this year we decided to do something different. Everyone in Indiana kept telling me about Holiday World. So we decided to give it a try. My parents and two younger sisters tagged along with my wife and kids as well. So we set out for our big day.
It is about an hour West of Louisville, so we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us. We packed the kids up early on Friday and headed down. The park is an hour behind us, so that helped. We got there shortly after the park opened and headed in. First off, everyone is right about at least one thing, this has got to be the cleanest park I have ever been in. Everything is sparkly clean, nice paint on all the buidlings, streets free of garbage, and excellent landscaping and grounds. Almost too perfect, but enjoyable nonetheless.
We rode a few of the small rides with the kids since they had endured the long ride down and were so excited. Then we had some lunch. The food is not only good (and better than most park fodder IMO) but has great value. First off, drinks are on the house. There are "Pepsi Oasis" stations all through out the park. Just help yourself. They have a huge variety too. I drink Diet pop and they had Diet Pepsi, CF Diet Pepsi, Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Mountatin Dew. Wow, sometimes the little things make a big difference.
So did the kiddy area, above average and kids enjoyed themselves. Then we headed to the water park. I was constantly suprised at how much they had to offer. This waterpark was just as good, as big, and diverse as PKI's WP. I was very impressed. They also give you free sun screen and everything in their gift shop was extermely inexpensive. This park promotes they are family friendly, they have met the expectation so far.
After some lunch, my sister and I headed off to ride the coasters that we had heard so much about while the wife, grand parents and kids headed back for some of the tamer ones. There was no crowds that day and we rode all three of the major coasters inside of 40 minutes. Never more than two loads in front of us. Not sure if that meant the park wasn't popular or we just picked a great day to come. The Raven and Legend are classics and were a great ride through the woods, had some decent air time, and very intense. But the thrill of the day was the Voyage. WOw, what a coaster. I was very impressed. This is it's inaugural year and has been hyped here locally quite a bit. It exceeded my expectations despite the hype. I love the Beast at PKI and this truly is a rival to it. Tons of air time, descent ride time length, good hills, and some fun underground drops.
After the coasters, we played some games with the kids then took off for the hotel. The park isn't very large and due to the small crowds we did the whole park in about 7 hours. Just enough not to wear you out. Holiday World is family friendly, economical, very intimate, and has something for everyone. They have lived up to their billing.
However, the 3 hour (almost 3.5) ride down with kids and having to get a hotel is somewhat of a detractor. One of my favorite things about PKI is I can do it all in one day and drive back being only an hour and forty-five minutes away. But it was a fun weekend. Probably not something I would do every year, but worth the trip every once in a while. If you are looking for something fun and happen to be traveling through southern Indiana or Louisville area, stop by, the coasters, waterpark, and food value will make it worth your while! ;)