Holiday World/ Beech Bend/ Alabama's Adventure TR
Every few years I have meetings in Padaucah KY for work. I always try to stop at parks on the way to and from my meetings. In fact I still have one more day left of meetings before I head home. I figured I would write this TR, while everything was still fresh in my memory. The parks that I wanted to visit on this trip were Holiday World, Beech Bend, and finally make my first ever visit to Alabama's Adventure. I was going to stop a couple on the way down and a park on the way home. Being I had great weather in the forecast, I decided to hit all 3 on the way down.
I left home at 4:00am Sunday morning. I arrived at Holiday right at 10:00 opening. I went to The Voyage first, and grabbed a front seat ride. I've ridden The Voyage many times in past visits, and I can say it was not running nearly as good as it usually does. Everyone knows by now about the complete stop the train makes before the triple down, that kills the speed on the return. It just wasn't that. The first half seemed slower. It's actually not rough at all, but more uneventful than usual. The air time and laterals weren't as good as it usually delivers. Now I did ride the back seat 3 times after that and those rides were much better, than my first front seat ride, but still not as good as I had in the past. I did drop it down a notch in wooden coaster rankings, from #4 to #5. All in all still a great ride, but not as good as it used to be.
Next I went over to Thunderbird. My previous visit to Holiday World was in 2015, the first year of Thunderbird. Thunderbird is still a great ride, and by far my favorite wing rider in North America. I rode the left front twice and the back right once. My only complaint is the dispatches were painfully slow. The line started on the steps, and still took 20 minutes to board. In its first year, they were really getting the trains out fast and moving the line.
Next I went over to The Legend. I was anticipating the new track work that was done since my last visit. The last half of the ride is much smoother, but I personally didn't see a huge difference in the overall ride experience. I did only get one ride, which was in the front seat.
Next up was Raven. I got 6 rides on The Raven, and never had to walk around. I just kept switching rows, and most of my rides were in the back seat or near the back. The Raven continues to run consistently well every visit. One of the best wooden coasters pound for pound in the country. It has very good air time, laterals, and a nice sense of speed. If I would have had more time, I would have ridden it more times. I did also ride their new Cylpso type ride called Firecracker. I'm glad they restored and added this ride, but they do run it a bit slower than the other ones that I have ridden.
I also took some time to shoot of photos. There were a good many people in the park, but most people were in the water park. When I went to shoot some photos of The Legend from the water park, I saw it was packed. The lines for the coasters were very manageable. At 3:00 it was time to leave and head to Beech Bend.
I arrived at Beech Bend at 4:30, with a 7:00pm closing. My last visit to Beech Bend was in 2015 also. I first went to Spinning Out, a spinning coaster, for the new credit. We rode one of these Visa spinning coasters last year at Playland's Castaway Cove, and the one in New Jersey is much better than the one at Beech Bend.
Next up, the GCI wooden coaster, Kentucky Rumbler. Since my visit, Kentucky Rumbler has received new trains. On my 2 previous visits, I preferred the back seat on Rumbler. This visit, front seat was my favorite. An ACE event was going on that day at Beech Bend. I wasn't registered for the event, but I got to meet a few ACE members. I did manage 10 rides on Kentucky Rumbler in my short amount of time, being the park was very uncrowded. I also took a ride on Air Race, right before the park closed. All in all it was a great day of riding coasters. I drove to Pulaski TN and got a room.
On Monday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed for Alabama's Adventure. Rampage at Alabama's Adventure has been on my bucket list for about 15 years now. We have had plans to visit several times. Bad weather, or the park being closed has prevented me from crossing this off my bucket list. Then when it was standing but not operating, I thought I may never get to ride it. Well, I finally made it down there.
I arrived at the park at 9:30 for a 10:30 opening. I actually saw Pat Koch, when I got there and had about a 10 minute conversation with her. One thing I can assure you is she and Dan Koch are in this for the long haul. They are proud owners of this park and it shows. The park is very small, but extremely clean. It actually reminds me of what Holiday World was during my first visit, way back in 2001. They are dedicated to making this small park thrive.
At 10:30 I headed straight for Rampage. Now I had high expectations for it, and boy did it deliver. The first drop is very good, but a tad bumpy at the bottom. The next 2 hills have excellent floating air time. Then the middle of the ride consists of a few hills and turns, that are fun, but a little uneventful. The ending is 3 drops and a few turns that have ejector air time and insane laterals. The ending is Phoenix like, and extremely addicting. In fact I rode it 30 times, I loved it so much. Once again, not many people riding Rampage, because everyone was in the water park. Back seat was my favorite seat, with the best air time, and laterals. It was also the second smoothest seat, with the front seat being the smoothest. I would rank Rampage as my #11 favorite wooden coaster. If the middle part of the ride was a little better, it would be a top 10 wooden coaster. Rampage is truly a destination coaster. The only thing is that if you don't like Rampage, there's not much else on the amusement park side. I did ride the Kiddie coaster for my 420th different coaster. All in all, I had a blast at Alabama's Adventure riding Rampage, I will definitely be back in the near future. At 3:30, I had to leave and make my way to Padaucah. It was a good way to something I enjoy before going to these meetings. I may stop somewhere on the way home, but I have to see what the weather is like. Hopefully I'll be writing another TR in a few days.
Thanks for reading,
Only a couple people post TRs on here anymore. They are very helpful sometimes!
I'd love to see some photos, as you mentioned you took some.
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Awesome TR! I may not post as much but I come back from time to time and always read up.
I'd love to see some photos, as you mentioned you took some.
Thanks Kyle. Unfortunately I don't know how to post photos on this forum. I have done it in the past, but I had a very difficult time doing it. You could check out my Facebook profile under Kenneth Galante. I believe you and I are friends on Facebook. I post all my amusement park photos on Facebook in albums named after the park and year.