So we had, perhaps hastily, bought a second day at Holiday World, which we wouldn't need to get at the must-ride attractions. What to do? Well, besides the Holiday World park there's also the Splashin' Safari water park. We're not big water-park goers, but it was a reasonably warm day (not so boiling as Monday), and we had the tickets, and our bathing suits and all that, so, why not?
We rented lockers, which we managed to make confusing by not understanding how they were assigned (you get wristbands with a bar code, and when you first scan them at the locker station, whatever's the available free locker opens), put our stuff in, and went to the water coasters. In 2010 Splashin' Safari opened The Wildebeest, then the world's longest water coaster, and its queue that day was not bad, considering. Apparently Tuesdays are the day to get to amusement parks, even in southwestern Indiana. Also the public address was playing what we thought was a stream of Beatles songs, but just enough Other 60s Bands were playing that we had to wonder why was it like fifty percent Beatles? Are they just very generous in licensing terms to water parks?
Wildebeest sets four riders together in a bobsled-style car, clinging tight and poking their legs under the arms of the rider in front of them, and then it brings you up to the tubes where it suddenly launches. The ride uses linear induction motors so that it doesn't just take off, it gets some speed boosts during the ride, including in stretches where you're going uphill. This feels so wrong it makes for a pretty thrilling ride.
The other big water coaster, Mammoth, took the world's-longest-water-coaster title away from Wildebeest and it runs a circular inflatable raft that gives everyone the chance to spend some time going backwards and getting soaked. It rises on a conveyor belt that had me captivated in the ride queue watching the race between ribbons of water running down and the conveyor belt moving upwards. And we got in with some good bunches of other people, on both coasters really (and we re-rode Mammoth). I think Mammoth's got a bit of an edge in doing more stuff, but Wildebeest does feel like it's on the brink of flying out of control, possibly because of the bobsled-style boat, possibly because it was just the first time I felt propelled uphill by linear induction on a water coaster.
We noticed the ``Jungle Racer'' water slide didn't just let something like eight people go down a water slide at once but actually timed, to the tenth of a second, how long it took to reach a finish line, which would have been awesome if we were kids, but we passed on that ride. We instead climbed the many, many steps to ... I believe it was Watubee, which set us in a circular inflatable raft for a twisty pipe slide way back down. This had a terribly slow-moving line, possibly because there's weight limits and those always confuse larger parties, and we got to see The Legend roller coaster going over us repeatedly, as part of that ride's fun is venturing so close to the water park. At the end of the ride bunny_hugger partly missed her step and scraped her leg against the concrete step underwater, and we made the best of it by saying it wasn't really a water park visit unless you got a bit sraped up.
The water park also has a ride called the Zinga, which is one of those water slides that ends with a gigantic funnel. It's a popular ride in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, and seems to attract crowds in real life too, but it wasn't something I'd ridden before and I wasn't sure the exact appeal. Since we had time, though, we went to ride that too. And, why not? We have a lot of good times that start with asking that question, really. The slide's swings and turns and all are pretty good, and then it spits you out into the funnel where there is this wonderful relativistic weirdness to it: it doesn't feel like you're sliding pretty far up a fiberglass cube, but rather like the world is rotating out under you, and it's a magnificent effect that only bumped me around a little bit. I think I better get why Peeps will line up for it.
We had figured to go into the water park and spend a fairly short time, since among other things we had to drive from the southwest corner of Indiana back to Lansing that day. We'd actually spent more like three hours just in the water park, so, we dried off and got dressed and ... you know, it would be absurd not to spend just a bit more time in the Holiday World part of the park, right?
Trivia: The Vichy France forces besieged in the southern corner of Madagascar surrendered on the 5th of November, 1942, six months and one minute after the British began the invasion of the island. (The defenders were entitled to higher pay and awards for enduring over a half a year of combat.) Source: Why The Allies Won, Richard Overy.
Currently Reading: Cap Kennedy #15: Mimics of Dephene, Gregory Kern. Good heavens, Kern did the ``I can tell the shapeshifter because it couldn't sneeze naturally''.