C101 Wishlist: Holiday World Transportation System

The Coaster101 recently spent the day at Holiday World riding their amazing roller coasters Thunderbird and The Voyage. One of the only negatives I heard all day on Saturday was how far away from the entrance Thunderbird is. Holiday World has grown from a small park into a large, very spread out park. It’s not flat either. The hills don’t look too bad until you push a stroller up and down them all day long. Now that they’ve built a steel roller coaster, I think the number one ride on guest’s wish list is some sort of transportation system. We brainstormed a few ideas and think we’ve come up with the perfect solution.

Steam Train

disneyland-trainWho doesn’t love a good ole fashioned steam train? They’re nostalgic, reliable, and have high capacity. But Holiday World already has a train (albeit a very tiny one). Where would the train tracks go? It would be difficult to make a complete circuit around the park or even a layout with two loops on the ends like Dollywood’s steam train. For a brand new park, a train is the way to go, but for a sprawling park like Holiday World I think there are better options.


A chairlift of ski lift style transport system solves the steam train’s main problem: free land space. Only a small amount of space would be needed for each station as the path in between the two could go over rides, buildings, and tress. The biggest drawback though is it would not be ideal for all the families with strollers and wagons, as you cannot take them with you on this style of ride. Holiday World caters to families and a chair lift is not suitable for families with very young children.


Monorails are a unique form of transportation that is not as widespread as you would think. Probably the most famous monorails in the world are the ones at Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts. Besides Disney, HersheyPark is the only theme park that immediately comes to mind that still operates a monorail. Six Flags Magic Mountain and Geauga Lake monorails have been shuttered. While iconic, they are expensive to build and maintain. What happens when the ride breaks down on the elevated track, or catches on fire? Rescuing stranded riders could be difficult, especially if a lot of children are on-board.


While not as nostalgic as a steam train, a funicular could be much more practical. What is a funicular you ask? It’s a type of cable car railway system where two trains are connected to a cable that pulls the  cars down the specially designed track. The Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando isn’t a real steam train – it’s a funicular. The John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan operates a funicular.

funicular train example

A funicular could be ideal for Holiday World because it can easily negotiate the elevation changes and terrain without taking up too much room. The track does not have to be a complete circuit and takes up less room than the steam train while still keeping a high capacity and comfortable ride. One station could be located in Christmas and the other in Thanksgiving next to Gobbler Getaway, providing easy access to the water park.

A possible route the funicular could follow:

hw map

Runner up idea: Not at all practical but it would be so awesome to have a lazy river connecting all the water slides so you never had to get out of the water.

Out of the options presented here, we think a funicular is the most feasible and practical transportation system option for Holiday World. What kind of transportation system would you like to see at Holiday World in the future, practical or not?

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