Our Thoughts on Voyage at Holiday World

Although Thunderbird was the main attraction of our trip to Holiday World last month, the Coaster101 team couldn’t miss riding the park’s legendary Voyage coaster. Many of us rode the coaster for the first time. Below, read our thoughts on the 2006 Gravity Group wooden coaster.


Andrew: Wooden coasters aren’t necessarily my “thing.” You’d have to go well past my personal top 10 to find my favorite wooden coaster. I knew going in to the Holiday World trip that I would be able to get an “education” of sorts and a new appreciation for wooden coasters, because Holiday World’s three wooden coasters – the Legend, The Raven, as well as the Voyage, are consistently ranked as some of the best in the world. Ranked the highest of the three, I had relatively high expectations for the ride, but had no real idea what exactly to expect.


Photo © Holiday World

Nick: Voyage was the roller coaster that got me to visit Holiday World for the first time back in 2006. My most recent ride was in 2009 or 2010, back when they were testing the Timberliner trains. I was anxious to ride because I knew there were a few changes to the ride, like reducing the number of cars in the trains from seven to six, not to mention a section of the turnaround was completely redesigned. Would Voyage still reign as my number one favorite coaster?

John: This coaster has been near the top of my “to-ride” list ever since it was announced in 2005. Any coaster that traverses through the woods Of course I had watched countless on-ride videos of the coaster. I knew the layout fairly well. Or so I thought.


Kyle: You can say my expectations of The Voyage have roller coastered over the years (pun intended). In the early years of the ride, the reviews were exceptional and that made me expect an incredible ride. Over the last couple years however, complaints of the trains and how rough the ride had gotten made my expectations go back down.

Eric: So I didn’t know much about Voyage going into it, except that it was very long, and supposed to be very good.  I actually love wooden coasters, I think for me you’d have to go to about #2 to find a wooden coaster on my top-10 list.  Because of that I was very excited to check out Voyage, particularly since I had just recently revisited El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure about a month earlier, and those two have been neck and neck in most recent Golden Ticket top wooden coasters lists (1 & 2 in 2012).  I was very excited to see if Voyage lived up to the hype.

Ride Experience

Andrew: I only got to ride Voyage once — and I rode it in the back row. The airtime over the first few hills was incredible. Over the first drop, I felt myself nearly standing in my seat under the restraint (I was in securely!) because of all the airtime. The Voyage didn’t let up through the entire ride — it was fast, it rattled you (as all good wooden coasters should), and left me guessing the entire ride. I loved it.


Photo © Holiday World

Eric:  As Andrew points out, the airtime from the back was awesome.  The highlight for me though was, like Andrew also pointed out, that it didn’t let up.  The speed through the turns in the woods and the numerous underground sections was amazing, and it left me disoriented.  Despite riding it something like a total of eight times (including multiple at night), I don’t think I could draw the layout for you.

Favorite Thing about Voyage

Andrew: Being pulled over the first lift hill and nearly coming out of my seat. To have that happen on a wooden coaster was INSANE.

Nick: The two moments of the Voyage that really stand out to me is when you come over the top of the fourth camel back hill and you get your first glimpse of the turnaround. Up until that moment, you’ve mostly just been going up and down straightforward hills like any other coaster. It’s not until you see the spaghetti bowl of twists and turns deep in the woods when you first realize this coaster is going to be different and truly special. The next remarkable moment is, of course, the triple down in the tunnel. I love how they not only managed to squeeze this element into the ride, but each drop gets larger and steeper.


Photo © Holiday World

John: I blown away by the coaster’s pacing, even with the near-stop at the mid-course brake run. I’ve never been on a coaster that long that maintains its high speed so well. Beyond the layout, I think my favorite parts about the coaster were its numerous tunnels coupled with the wooded setting. I love coasters that seem to detach themselves from the park, taking on a life and identity of their own. While riding the Voyage, I didn’t feel like I was at Holiday World. I felt like I was immersed in a high-speed backwoods adventure.


Kyle: I have to agree with Nick on this one. The triple down feature was probably my favorite moment on the ride. It catches you by surprise and is an element not often seen. I’m also a sucker for tunnels, so being that it was underground was even better.

Eric:  I’m also throwing in with Nick and Kyle on this one, the triple down was awesome.  It was completely unexpected, and I’m still amazed by how well it kept it’s speed through them.  Plus, like Kyle said, tunnels are awesome.

Voyage at Night

Nick: During nighttime ERT of the Coasterbuzz Fall Affair event, my twin sister and I got an entire train to ourselves on Voyage. It was a little spooky flying through the woods in the dark without hearing any other screams or voices. The E in ERT was very exclusive. I don’t know how to explain it but the ride just feels so much faster at night.

John: I highly recommend riding the Voyage at night for the best experience. As I said earlier, Voyage takes on a life of its own. It departs the civilization that is Holiday World, holding its riders hostage as they speed and twist through heavily wooded grounds. I can only imagine that this was amplified before Thunderbird opened. At night, there are no visual cues to use to brace for whatever lies ahead. Your body is subjected to the wrath of the train as it careens underground, down steep drops and through 90-degree banked turns. Riding the Voyage at night was a…night and day difference from riding during the day.

Kyle: Up until this point, The Beast at night was my favorite coaster experience. The Voyage changed that. My first night ride on The Voyage was probably one of the best rides I’ve ever had on a roller coaster. My eyes had not quite adjusted to the darkness and I could hardly see anything! The twisting turnaround section was coaster perfection, not knowing where you were going at all.

Eric:  Like I mentioned earlier, Voyage could be a very disorienting ride.  Night rides amplified that, and it was awesome.  Having no idea which way the coaster would turn next, or where the next tunnel was, was an amazing experience.  Like Kyle said, the twisting turn around was just awesome in the dark.

Voyage Verdict

Andrew: I rode 6 new wooden roller coasters that weekend with the three at Holiday World, as well as The Beast, The Racer, and Woodstock Express at Kings Island. I’ve got to the give the overall edge to the Voyage here, just because it made me rethink everything I had ever thought about wooden coasters. And though it doesn’t quite crack my personal top 10, it’s a lot closer than my previous favorite.


Nick: I wasn’t as blown away on Voyage as I was the previous times I had ridden it, but I have yet to go on a roller coaster that I thought was instantly better than it. So for now Voyage still stands alone atop my favorite coasters list, at least until next summer when I’ll hopefully ride my first Rocky Mountain Construction coasters.


John: Voyage didn’t claim the top spot of my list of favorite wooden coasters, but it certainly made the top five. The coaster is an intense experience. My bones needed a breather in between each ride. You’ll take a beating while riding, but you’ll be having too much fun to care. The Voyage is a world-class wooden coaster, and it is a perfect followup to the Raven and the Legend.


Kyle: I love good wooden coasters, the kind that shake you up without leaving your back aching in pain. The Voyage was one of the good ones. It is a monster of a wooden coaster with elements that are second to none. It has big drops, air time, tunnels and a lot of twists and turns. The Voyage definitely made its way into my top 5.

Eric:  I think it lived up to the high rankings.  It was a fantastic ride with some fantastic elements.  I think El Toro is still the top of my favorite wooden coaster list, but they’re pretty different coasters so it’s hard to compare.  The Voyage is easily a top-5 wooden coaster for me, and I think I actually liked it more than Thunderbird (remember, I’m a fan of wooden coasters).  The length, the landscape, and layout were all excellent, and the hidden track and tunnels made it well worth multiple rides.

Watch an on-ride video of the Voyage below:

Have you ridden Voyage? Share your thoughts about the coaster in the comments section below.

And read the Coaster101 team’s thoughts on Thunderbird at Holiday World here.



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2 Responses

  1. Jeremy says:

    Great review! Makes me want to head back to Holiday World just for this ride. I wish I could have ridden it more.

  2. Bo'Jon Klingerman says:

    The thing i realized when i rode this was the roughness of it. I know this is a wood coaster, but I had heard that it was a fairly smooth ride from reading reviews and talking to people who had ridden it before. Is there a way that they can get higher quality trains that make the ride smoother?

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