Located in the Thanksgiving land at Holiday World, The Voyage has coaster fans, myself included, giving thanks to the Indiana park for its wild-and I do mean wild--wood coaster. With its considerable height, speed, highly banked turns, underground dives, and scads--and I do mean scads-- of airtime, you'll probably want to hold off on the turkey dinner available at Holiday World's nearby restaurant until after riding The Voyage.
- Type of coaster: Wood Out and Back Coaster with a Steel Structure
- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7.5
No inversions, but soaring height, wild speed, and extreme G-forces.
- Height: 163 feet
- First drop: 154 feet
- First drop angle: 66 degrees
- Other drops: 107 feet, 100 feet
- Top speed: 67 mph
The Voyage is one of the top 10 fastest wooden roller coasters.
- Track length: 6442 feet or 1.2 miles (world's third-longest wood coaster)
- Height requirement: 48 inches
- Ride time: 2:45 minutes
- The Voyage Photo Gallery
The Voyage is One Heckuva Journey
Like Holiday World's two other wonderful woodies, The Voyage sends coaster riders deep into the park's woods for a bounty of thrills. Unlike Holiday World's other rides, and indeed unlike most other coasters anywhere, The Voyage delivers a world-class journey filled with record- and near-record-breaking features. (All record claims are valid as of 2009.)
The journey begins with a 163-foot climb up a traditional lift hill. That ranks as the world's sixth tallest wood coaster. And it makes for a spectacular 154-foot drop (world's fifth longest) at a nerve-wracking 66 degrees (quite steep for a woodie) and a top speed of 67 mph (world's fourth fastest). As it soars up its second hill, The Voyage delivers its first dose of airtime, that glorious out-of-your-seat sensation that coaster fans can't get enough of.
If you can't get enough, consider hopping aboard The Voyage. According to Holiday World, the ride features 24.2 seconds during which riders float above their seats--a world record for the wooden coaster. After descending 107 feet, The Voyage delivers its second pop of airtime. Soaring down the 100-foot third hill, The Voyage enters its first underground tunnel.
I knew that the coaster included tunnels (in fact, its total of eight underground dives yields another world record), but I wasn't quite prepared for the experience. It was a typically hot, muggy, and bright Southern Indiana day in late spring when I first rode The Voyage. In addition to the sudden lights-out disorientation, I was stunned by the jolt of cool air I felt as the coaster momentarily descended into the inky bowels of the earth. It's cold down there! And the multi-sensory experience (it even smells a bit different underground) helps make The Voyage a wild ride.
The coaster soars in and out of two more tunnels to weave a pulse-quickening tapestry of blinding light, pitch blackness, temperature fluctuations, and delightful airtime. Then, The Voyage makes some highly banked turns (thank goodness for the seat dividers) as it turns around and starts heading back to the station. There are more tunnels on the return trip, including one truly stunning "triple-down" dive in which the coaster descends underground, then suddenly drops a second time in total darkness, followed, incredibly, by yet another subterranean dive.
During the last quarter of its circuit, as The Voyage snakes in and out of its steel structure, it loses a tad of its oomph. That, and its sometimes rough ride (particularly in the back of the train--although the back provides heftier bouts of airtime), knocks a 1/2 star off of an otherwise 5-star wood coaster experience.
So, what are you waiting for, Pilgrim? Book your own passage to Holiday World for a ride aboard The Voyage.