Friday, May 25, 2007

It's Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and the Fourth of July... in May!!

Despite having lived in Indiana for almost ten years, this was my first visit to Holiday World. Matt thought it would be a good dry run for Disneyworld, especially since our kids don't have the best track record with actually being willing to sleep in hotel beds. We were able to work out some of the kinks, such as, if you pack your toothbrush holder, don't forget to pack some sort of actual toothbrush inside of it (that was Matt, but I let him use mine. Lest you think I was on top of things, I forgot my pajamas.)

The first thing that impressed me at Holiday World was before we even got inside: Pat Koch (you know, the lady you see in the TV commercials) was standing outside the gates and greeting people as the came inside. I'm pretty sure the CEO of Disneyworld doesn't do that (probably too busy rolling on piles of money or something). Anyway, all that stuff they say in the commercials about being the cleanest and friendliest park in the world? Totally not an exaggeration. Lines were short (although we were there on a weekday so that may have helped), there weren't any guests milling about in obscene T shirts, smoking is limited to 2 small areas, and the restrooms are spotless (I should know, I took Betsy about seven times).

Holiday World has lots of kid rides, and they aren't all clustered in a single area of the park, either. Another thing that I like is that the kids' rides were mostly staffed by female park employees - seems trivial, but it's always a bit disconcerting when you go to the State Fair and some skeevy tattooed guy is putting your kid on the ride. And the park employees really were friendly - I spent a lot of time chatting with them while the kids were riding (and even while Betsy and I were waiting at the top of the log ride). And they really do have free unlimited soft drinks - there's about 10 or 12 stations throughout the park where you can get a refill - plus the prices on food are really reasonable. I think we probably won't ever go back to Kings Island or Kentucky Kingdom.

Betsy really surprised me: I had expected her to be freaked out by some of the 'scarier' rides but she actually LOVED them. She went on the family roller coaster EIGHT TIMES. It helps that there were no lines to speak of, so the ride operators often let us do things two or three times in a row. They'd say, "Do you want to go again?" and Betsy's little voice would pipe up, "Yes, please." She and Porter rode everything that they were big enough for. Porter really liked this canoe river ride that is seriously the tamest thing I have ever seen... but he couldn't get enough. And shockingly enough, Betsy ADORED the log ride. I thought she would be scared of the dark, dark tunnel and the big, big hill but she couldn't get enough. The first time we splashed down, the first words out of her mouth were, "That was funny!"

Yes, we did wear jackets on the log ride. The junior-high students that were in line behind us the first time were totally snickering, but I got the last laugh. There's no way I would have gone on that ride four times (Betsy went a total of six) without some protection. Man, we would have been SOAKED.

Porter, we found out, loves a water park. Betsy wasn't too thrilled. We never could get her to go down any of the tiny, mini water slides so we didn't stay for too long, but it was enough to cool off when the day was really hot.

Matt and I, independently of each other, came to a surprising conclusion: We just aren't roller coaster people anymore. Holiday World has some of the highest-rated wooden coasters in the country, and the lines were wicked short so we both had time to go on one or two. I rode on The Legend and the whole time I was like, "Is this over yet?" Something about all the jolting... I don't know, maybe my equilibrium has changed from having kids. All I know is that it gave me a really huge headache. Matt went on two coasters and he said the same thing (except for the part about having given birth). We're at a point in our lives now where most of our fun is centered around seeing our kids have fun... and that's okay.

Porter really liked the stroller coaster. Seriously, that boy was tuckered out. They both slept in until 8:30 the next morning. Now we keep seeing the commercials for Holiday World on TV and they get all excited. We asked Betsy what her favorite ride was and she said "The red one." (She was wearing a red shirt when we went, so everything had to match it. She would only go in the RED boats or the RED horses on the merry-go-round. Thank goodness the park wasn't crowded.) And I'm even more excited now for our trip to Disneyworld in the fall.

6 witty remarks on "It's Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and the Fourth of July... in May!!"

Emily said...

What adorable pictures. I like them all!!!! I seriously have the cutest nieces and nephews! And you sounded like you had a TON of fun! wait til I tell you about MY'll be soooo jealous!

triciam92 said...

Wow - sounds like you all had a blast. Not to ruin your fun but you know Disney will be pretty much the opposite - lines, heat, high costs, foreigners...but hey it is definately worth the visit just to experience the Disney Magic (o and to help to pay my taxes..hehehe). Really, it will be a great experience and let Betsy know that there are TONS of bathrooms that she can visit as well. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Eran of Arcadia said...

Hmm, when you go to Disney World make sure Betsy is wearing a shirt of many colors, you won;t have a choice what she goes on.

Also, do you remember Jonathan Chipmon? He was in the Carmel Ward, now selling security systems out here or something. Says he remembers Matt.

Joni on 12:49 PM said...

Holiday World didn't have ANY princesses. So that's an advantage of Disney right there.

Of course I remember Jonathan Chipman! I served with his mother in the YW presidency when we were in the Carmel ward. Small wrold, isn't it?!

jdhoosier said...

I just have to say that Betsey looks pretty cool in her sunglasses and cowboy hat, a la Major Kong, USAF in Dr. Strangelove. I am also pleased to see her sitting up front while her brother is in the WSO seat. Just yesterday my bride and I were at Target and I was griping about the fact that all the airplane-themed babywear is in blue, not pink.

susan opel on 10:48 PM said...

So Beth and I are seriously considering taking our nephews this summer per your recommendation. Wanna go again?


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