Monday, January 04 2010
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. — The Voyage, the newest (2006) and largest of the three wooden roller coasters at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, is accustomed to being the top wooden coaster — three years in a row — among readers of Amusement Today trade journal, which covers the theme park industry.
But the Voyage has solidified its heavyweight standing by finishing No. 1 in a more complex online poll popular with hard-core coaster fans around the world.
The survey by coaster buff Mitch Hawker of Wisconsin ranks The Voyage No. 1 based on 730 online ballots received. Its formula determines winners and losers based on “mutual rider comparisons.”
First place came down to The Voyage and El Torro, the 181-foot-tall coaster at Six Flags Great America in New Jersey.
But 77 riders who had ridden them both preferred The Voyage while 67 preferred El Torro.
Holiday World’s two other wooden coasters, The Raven and The Legend, finished No. 18 and No. 38, respectively, in Hawker’s poll, high enough to make the Southern Indiana attraction the top theme park for wooden coasters.
Hawker said by regaining the top spot in 2009 (after finishing first twice before), The Voyage tied a record for most appearances at No. 1 set by Tonnerre de Zeus in France and Shivering Timbers in Michigan.
At the other end of the poll, the Grizzly in Santa Clara, Calif., made it 15 years in a row in last place.
Holiday World spokeswoman Paula Werne said, “We’re thrilled to see The Voyage take the No. 1 spot in the two most respected roller coaster polls out there.” She said it’s hoped recent improvements to make The Voyage an even smoother ride will keep it in the top spot for years to come.
— Rich Davis