Good Gravy! at Holiday World Review: It’s All Gravy in Southern Indiana!

It’s not Thanksgiving without gravy on the table and now it’s not Holiday World without Good Gravy! in your day! The first Vekoma Family Boomerang coaster has opened in southern Indiana and Coaster101 was on hand to pour over the new ride!

The Good Gravy! Story

The theme park in Santa Claus has always been unique—filled with lands themed to our favorite American celebrations. Just like gravy brings a little something extra to your dinner table, Good Gravy! brings that to the Thanksgiving section of Holiday World. The park not only built a new coaster, but has constructed a story for you to explore.

good gravy holiday world

Enter Stuffing Springs and you will find yourself immersed in larger-than-life kitchen fare. You’ll make your way around the beautifully designed plaza, past the giant cutting board signage, and eventually come across the Van Snoodle home. Upon entering you are at once transported back in time; the house is decked-out in 1960’s decor from floor to ceiling. You really feel like you’ve made it to grandma’s house!

The detail in the theming is second to none and you are fully surrounded by it. Riders will not be bored while in line at Good Gravy!

The home is quite open with wide switchback lanes and brightly decorated rooms around the edges. There is a den to linger around, along with a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, dining room, and attic. I cannot express enough how detailed each of these spaces are.

In the den you’ll hear snoring sounds from Grandpa Gavin and see vintage footage from Santa Claus Land on the old TV set. In the kitchen there are timers going off, pots banging, and cabinets opening. From the bold wallpaper to the furnishings in each room, Holiday World pulled out all of the stops.

After meandering through the Van Snoodle home, you will find yourself in their garage, which doubles as the loading platform for Good Gravy! The walls are full of retro signs, license plates, and rough barn wood. Oh, and of course, those incredible (hand-painted) gravy boat trains are waiting for you to dip in.

Your mission on Good Gravy! is to help Grandma Gracy, who has ran out of gravy, gather up all of the ingredients to help save Thanksgiving. You must make your way up and down, back and forth, through Stuffing Springs, dodging those huge whisks, rolling pins, and milk bottles. Once you slip into your gravy boat it is as if you have been shrunk down to the size of a salt shaker and are ready to embark on your journey.

The Coaster

Now that we’ve talked about the theme, story, and mission, let’s get to the coaster itself! Like mentioned before, this is North America’s first Vekoma Family Boomerang, so we did not necessarily know what to expect.

Vekoma has been on a roll (maybe a dinner roll in this case?) with their mid-size coasters. With attractions like Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood in 2023 and the soon-to-open Snoopy’s Soap Box Racers at Kings Island, the company may truly be leading the family coaster renaissance.

I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical of this model of coaster. Boomerangs have a sterotype and are historically have slow operations. I was not sure how these new takes on a classic model would hold up. Would it be forceful enough to appease the coaster enthusiasts while also being gentle enough for those aspiring thrill seekers?

The simple answer is: I was blown away. The coaster is much larger in person than any rendering could portray and the forces are a perfect amount for both seasoned and rookie riders. The perceived speed as you plummet through the station is amazing. The top speed is 37 mph, but feels even faster! The layout is elegant and has a perfect pace with tunnels, smooth turns, an airtime hill, and a turnaround spike. And you get to do it twice—once forward and again backward!

We were able to ride in nearly every row and there is not a bad seat on the train. However, there is a very different experience in the very front versus the very back. In the front you get a slightly more mild ride, but with great views, especially on the spike. There is something slightly uneasy seeing that track disappear in front of you as you’re speeding towards it! In the back you get more forces, but you do not go up the spike very high (the view on the lift hill is great, though!).

Finally, to jump back on the operations concern: it’s hard to tell during a media day how quick operations are going to be, but from what we experienced, they are going to be quite efficient. The trains do not have seat belts, just individual lapbars, which help speed up the process. The most notable thing here is how quick the train gets back to the loading platform once returning through the station. The coaster slows down comfortably fast as is comes back in and is immediately back in place for the next riders.

The Verdict

We absolutely loved Good Gravy! and the whole new area of Stuffing Springs. The plaza is remarkably well done, the coaster is pure fun, and the fit into the Thanksgiving section is seamless. Not only is it perfect for the area, but for the park as a whole.

Holiday World has been known for their world-class thrill machines, like The Voyage and Thunderbird, not for their wide-range of roller coasters. On one end you had these intense coasters and on the other you had Howler, a small kiddie coaster. With the addition of Good Gravy!, Holiday World’s coaster lineup is filled out. That missing gap for those in-between riders has now been bridged and has been done so in the most thoughtful way.

good gravy!

Guests, whether they are riding or not, will enjoy this new attraction. Grandparents can watch their grandkids ride, toddlers can play on the Cranberry Corner playground, and most importantly, everyone can spend time in the same spot in the park together.

We would like to thank Holiday World for having us out and for their hospitality! We can’t wait to hear what the rest of the coaster community thinks of Good Gravy! Make sure to say hi to Grandma when you visit and let us know your thoughts on the new ride!

Check out some off-ride footage from our day at the park in the video below and check out more pictures on our Facebook page.