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Holiwood Nights at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

Gee, look who is a more than little excited to be back at his old playground, and I do mean playground as when Bond was one to seven we lived literally down the street from Holiday World.  If the wind was going the right way we could hear the screams from The Raven we were that close.  Needless to say we were always at the park and we even used to call Kringle's Kafe and order out pizza for dinner.

Holiwood Nights at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

When we moved away in 2007 things were starting to change at Holiday World as it was having growing pains going from a small park into a regional attraction.  Honestly during all of our visits up until this year things didn't feel right but it was hard to put our fingers on what exactly it was.  You had the passing of Holiday World's visionary leader Will Koch and then the struggle to fill his void and to keep the small family park magic while growing in leaps and bounds while filling the demand for Holiday World's secret recipe of aggressive rides, an amazing water park, free soft drinks and family friendly operations.

I do have to say that I am not happy seeing a security checkpoint in order to enter Holiday World.  I'm not mad at Holiday World as it is needed, I'm just mad at the world for requiring one.  When you need to go through security in Santa Claus, Indiana we have gone wrong as a society.

Holiwood Nights at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

Our visits in 2009, 2010 and 2011 were fun but something was missing.  This year you could say that Santa came and gave us a nice early Christmas present when we visited in April for the Thunderbird Media Preview.  Yes it was awesome to get a world's first wing coaster from the masters at B&M at Holiday World of all places but to both of us Holiday World felt like home again and before our car wheeled onto I-64 we were both needing to go back.

Holiwood Nights at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

Thankfully our wait wasn't that long as we had five weeks and a day before we walked back through the gates into the park we like to call home.  What made it even better was we were visiting for the annual HoliWood Nights coaster enthusiast event which meant we had a ton of friends to enjoy being home with.  With The Raven just a few steps from the entrance it would be wrong to not make a visit to the coaster that got me hooked on Holiday World.

Holiwood Nights at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

One thing that I really have to applaud Holiday World and the amusement park industry is that rides are becoming more accessible for those in need.  This chair on The Raven, Legend and Voyage were designed to help someone who needs a wheelchair into and out of the trains so they can ride.



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Paul B. Drabek