Come ride in October!

Just in case you haven’t looked at the 2005 Park Hours page on our website, please take note that for the next three weekends we are not open to the public. Don’t worry, you’re welcome to ride in October! 

We have been “bought out” by various local corporations for a series of private parties for their employees and families.

My son James is not pleased.

Mom, when can I ride The Raven again?

“Honey, the park is closed for the rest of September. It’ll be three weeks.”

Three days?

“No, sweetheart, three weeks.”

Three days?

“Three weeks, James. We can go ride coasters again next month. We’ll ride in October.”

When is that … three days?

I’m in big, big trouble!
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Bahari River’s location

Bahari River plan

We all know about The Voyage, but exactly where is Bahari River’s location?

It helps to look on this graphic:

Bahari River plan

It will be back here, between the two wave pools and behind Monsoon Lagoon:

Remember all those culverts?

We will put those culverts to good use. Gotta keep the creek out of the River, right?

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What a difference a decade makes

Raven 3D

Actually, it was 11 years ago that we announced The Raven.

I’ll never forget that day.

And our … well … “model.”

It was remarkably low tech

But it was all we had.

No virtual ride, no streaming video, no sound effects, no 3-D renderings.

Will recently dug the model out of his office closet and sent it over to archives.

The archives room just happens to be right outside my office, so before the model got packed away, we talked our good-natured boss into posing with it one last time:

Will holding Raven model

Fast-forward 11 years and imagine our glee when we had a virtual ride of The Voyage to add to our website.

Meanwhile, here’s one of the visuals we included in our 1995 Press Kit:

CCI Raven sketch

And here’s another view:

CCI Raven sketch

You may have noticed there were a number of changes made to the layout after this rendering was … rendered. (Hint: The swoop over Lake Rudolph.)

A number of years later, a request came in from a producer of one of the “top coasters” shows (I’m pretty sure it was the Discovery Channel). The Raven made their list and they wanted a 3-D graphic of the layout to use for the show.

Enough time had passed that it wasn’t a problem getting one made.

Raven 3D

Looks weird without all the trees, doesn’t it?
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A tall tale

James Werne at The Voyage

My youngest child spent his final four in utero months riding around Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari as Mommy took reporters and travel writers on tours of the parks.

When my ob/gyn figured out how significant a baby was on the way, he offered to speed things up a bit. Sweet Baby James was 12 days early when he was born on August 12, 1999, yet still weighed in at a respectable 9 lbs. 13 oz.

He was already making plans:

Baby James Werne

Several of the coaster club publication editors asked for a photo of the Raven Maven’s new baby (yes, that’s what they call me), and this one was an instant hit.

Mouth open wide, arms in the air.

Ready for airtime.

James turned six last month. Time for Kindergarten.

… and the mandatory quick-before-school-starts-up doctor’s check-up.

When James hopped up on the scale and then had his height measured, we forever crossed over into a new era.

Forty-eight inches tall.

I’ve worked here long enough that instead of my mind converting 48″ to “four feet,” my immediate thought was:

He can ride the coasters now

Dr. Kreilein just happened to be walking down the hall and saw my stunned look. “Hey, James — you’re tall enough to ride The Raven and The Legend! Way to go!”

Dr. Kreilein has two boys of her own. And season passes. She understands. It’s a bit surreal to have your pediatrician look up after listening to your child’s heartbeat and ask, “So how’s The Voyage coming along?”

James’s heartbeat was probably a bit elevated. He’s been wanting to get on those coasters for years.

When will I be old enough?

Saturday was the day.

Gary and I cautioned James ahead of time that he had to measure 48″ tall in the park, just in case there was a slight discrepancy.

There wasn’t.

Saturday afternoon, yours truly got to work on the Golden Ticket Awards news release.

Daddy and James had coasters to ride.

James really likes air-time.

He likes the front seat. He likes the back seat. No complaints about the middle seats either.

He can’t get enough.

“James, let’s go ride some other rides,” suggested my husband.

Aw, Dad … they’re all boring.

Good gravy. I’d given birth to one of them.

My baby is an enthusiast!

Upon arriving home that evening, James dragged out his tub-o-K’nex and went right to work on…

Raven: The Home Edition

K*nex James

If you look closely you can see he even included the “dogs” going up the lift hill (they make the “click, click, click” sound) and the flags.

James and The Raven have taken over our living room. Yesterday I got up off our couch and obliterated the queue!

My red-haired son isn’t completely single-minded though; he occasionally takes a break to head back to the computer alcove to watch the coasters’ streaming video.

Mom, what color will The Voyage’s flags be?

My youngest found a way to express his true feelings to me the other evening. Adding his own twist to a quote from his favorite Spider-Man movie, James solemnly announced:

“With great coasters comes great responsibility.”
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Testy times

Pat Koch

It’s back-to-school time. And the kiddos aren’t the only ones taking tests.

Will, Mrs. Koch, and our staff of Directors are taking tests this week, too. The online “assessments” are meant to tell us about our strengths and weaknesses (or, rather, opportunities for growth).

I plowed through all the questionnaires (the first one has 435 questions!) on the first day. (No doubt, that tells the analyst something about me before he or she even looks at my responses.)

Mrs. Koch has been out of town, but she’s back now and is determined to complete hers today. Meanwhile, a professional photographer drove down this morning from Bloomington. Mrs. Koch is slated to be the cover girl for a really nice regional home and lifestyle magazine. She and her home will be featured in their December issue. The giant black Christmas tree is already in place. Other decorations stay up year-round. Lots and lots of Santas.

In between shot set-ups, we were laughing about some of the “true or false” statements on the first questionnaire.

True or false?

Everything tastes the same.

I prefer showers to baths.

I enjoy listening to the symphony on the radio.

Must admit, I half-expected to be asked: Boxers or briefs?

Mrs. Koch says the last time she took such a test was back in the 1950s.

When she was a Catholic nun.

Pat KochIt seems the Sisters all took the Rorschach test. (That’s the ink-blot test.)

It wasn’t long before Mrs. Koch had us howling:

They called me in after I took the test.

Very concerned.

Sister told me, “Nuns shouldn’t think that way!”

What was I supposed to see in those ink blots? Angels?

I saw body parts. I probably said “pelvis” and that was all it took.

Good grief! I was a nurse and studied anatomy. What was the big deal? They never did tell me exactly what concerned them about my answers. (Sigh!) Maybe I’ll do better on these tests …

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