So bunny_hugger and I were there, with the park to ourselves, and a good hour or two before Holiday World should close. What to do? We walked around the Christmas area, the oldest and smallest part of the park. I think it hasn't got any rides that adults can fit on, but that's all right. There's delight in seeing kids excited to ride Prancer's Merry-Go-Round (which is not an all-Christmas-animals carousel), or trying to understand what makes Dasher's Sea Horses a Christmas thing. That's a rotating-table ride, with sea horses to sit on. What makes it a Christmas thing is that it's in the Christmas section and has Dasher's name put on it. The older rides aren't so thoroughly themed as, say, the Tilt-A-Whirl over in Thanksgiving, with cars that look like turkeys. Simply taking in the atmosphere and the sights is something it takes time to learn to appreciate and I think we're nearly there.
Then we decided to see if we could get a fresh round in on all the adult roller coasters. The Raven was easy, as that Halloween coaster runs up against the edge of Christmas. The music of the Halloween section isn't quite loud enough to soak through Christmas, but the gabled, faintly haunted house is visible all along the row of kids' rides in Christmas. The place must have been so different before it expanded outside the one holiday.
We'd get a front-seat ride on Raven, and I forget whether we got a front-seat ride on the Legend [ of Sleepy Hollow ], also in Halloween, or whether we had to wait a whole ride cycle for that. Back then to Thanksgiving, and to the Voyage and its lovely ride into the far woods, less quiet and alone now that Thunderbird was there but still a great ride with a real sense of quiet to it. Also a real sense of chill: the ride dips underground in a couple spots and the underground air was not warm.
And then to Thunderbird, which we hoped to close the night out on. We had worried we wouldn't quite have enough time to get to the back of the park before the last train dispatched. Not so; we were able to get a ride in on one side and then rush around again to get a ride on the other. All told if I count it right we got five Thunderbird rides in, which is doing pretty well for the new marquee ride at a good-sized amusement park. This reminds us: go to amusement parks in May. Maybe June.
We didn't quite get the last ride of the night, although the guy who talked with us about Conneaut Lake Park did. Still, nothing to complain about. We walked back the long, slow way, stopping to photograph the park as it nestled in to bed for the night, in the setting sun that makes everything look glorious.
We drove back to our hotel-room home and for want of a better idea went to McDonald's to eat. bunny_hugger didn't know they were serving breakfast all-day, or she forgot. And an Egg McMuffin without ham is a nicely satisfying meal, even for dinner. Two Egg McMuffins without ham are even more satisfying, though she got hash browns to go with. We're in many ways different people.
And into the evening we could ponder how the park had changed, and how my sister and her husband had, and the strange story of how they picked for their child's name what happens to be bunny_hugger's brother's name. They just liked how it sounded. I had assumed it had some family significance to my brother-in-law. For the mystery I had most hoped would be cleared up by seeing them this was a weird anticlimax.
Trivia: The one electoral vote not cast for James Monroe in 1820 was given to John Quincy Adams. Source: Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought The Second War of Independence, A J Langguth. Not that you couldn't find that other places.
Currently Reading: Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography, Arthur C Clarke.