The Voyage (roller coaster)

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The Voyage
Voyage Logo.jpg
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Park section Thanksgiving
Coordinates 38°07′17″N 86°54′41″W / 38.1213°N 86.9115°W / 38.1213; -86.9115Coordinates: 38°07′17″N 86°54′41″W / 38.1213°N 86.9115°W / 38.1213; -86.9115
Status Operating
Opening date May 6, 2006 (2006-05-06)
Cost US$6,500,000
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer The Gravity Group
Designer Mike Graham, Korey Kiepert, Larry Bill, Chad Miller, Will Koch
Track layout Out and Back
Lift/launch system Chain Lift Hill
Height 163 ft (50 m)
Drop 154 ft (47 m)
Length 6,442 ft (1,964 m)
Speed 67.4 mph (108.5 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:45
Max vertical angle 66°
Capacity 1200 riders per hour
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Must transfer from wheelchair
The Voyage at RCDB
Pictures of The Voyage at RCDB

The Voyage is a wooden roller coaster located at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. It opened to the public on May 6, 2006. Designed and built by The Gravity Group with the help of designers Mike Graham, Korey Kiepert, Larry Bill, Chad Miller, and former park President Will Koch, the roller coaster is themed to the voyage of the Mayflower by the Pilgrims to North America in 1620.

The Voyage holds the record for most air-time on a wooden roller coaster at 24.3 seconds. It is also ranked fourth overall in height, and second in length (behind The Beast at Kings Island). In 2006, it won a Golden Ticket Award for "Best New Ride" from Amusement Today magazine, which also ranked The Voyage as the "Best Wooden Roller Coaster" from 2007 through 2011.



The Voyage roller coaster

To celebrate Holiday World's sixtieth anniversary, park President Will Koch made plans for a new holiday that was to be added to the park. The new holiday, Thanksgiving, would also feature a wooden roller coaster, The Voyage, as its anchor attraction. Koch contacted The Gravity Group (Custom Coasters International, the designers of The Raven and The Legend, went bankrupt in 2002. Larry Bill, one of the designers, went on to help form The Gravity Group) and began to form plans for the new roller coaster. As with the development of The Legend, Koch wanted the input of roller coaster enthusiasts from around the world. The Gravity Group, through Will Koch, used this enthusiast input to design the one-of-a-kind ride. Park President Will Koch provided so much input, he was actually listed as one of the designers of the ride. During the construction of The Voyage, producers from the National Geographic Channel's "SuperCoasters" and the Discovery Channel's "Building the Biggest: Coasters" visited the park to document the progress.[1]

The Voyage opened on May 6, 2006. When the roller coaster opened, it operated with three 28-passenger trains made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company; trains made by this company are predominantly called "PTC" trains. The twenty-eight seats on the ceremonial first train were auctioned off on eBay. The proceeds from the auctions were donated to Riley Children's Foundation, which supports the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana.[2]

2010 modifications[edit]

For the 2010 season, Holiday World had initially planned on replacing their trains made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in favor of two new trains, called Timberliners, made by Gravitykraft, a sister company of The Gravity Group. In order to make room for the new trains, Holiday World sold two six-car trains out of its three seven-car trains to Darien Lake for use on The Predator roller coaster. However, when the new Timberliner trains finally arrived, there was not enough time to test them and get the trains operational before the season began. Left with only one seven-car train on The Voyage, the park decided to take one of the six-car trains from The Raven and modify it for use on The Voyage. Due to the differences in length, 2,800 feet (850 m) on The Raven versus 6,442 feet (1,964 m) on The Voyage, the park determined that The Voyage needed the second train much more than The Raven did. For the remainder of the season, The Voyage operated with both a red, six-car PTC train and a blue, six-car PTC train. In turn, The Raven operated the rest of the 2010 season with only one train. The park pushed its plans to introduce the Timberliner trains back until the 2011 season.[3][4]

2011 modifications[edit]

For the 2011 season, Holiday World opted to continue to use PTC trains on The Voyage while other parks used the initial Timberliner model that was tested at the park during the 2010 season. In order to return capacity on The Raven to its normal level, Holiday World purchased an additional five PTC cars to create a train for The Voyage so The Raven's train could be returned. Darien Lake had bought only twelve of the fourteen cars for sale, leaving The Voyage with a full seven-car train plus two additional cars. This would allow the park to run two seven-car trains on The Voyage and two six-car trains on The Raven. Holiday World planned on introducing the most up-to-date model of the Timberliner trains for use on The Voyage for the start of the 2012 season.[5]

2012 modifications[edit]

In 2012, Holiday World initially announced plans to have new Timberliner trains ready and operating for the 2012 season. However, the park stated that because the new trains would not be delivered in time for pre-opening testing, they would not be ready in time for the 2012 season. The park now plans on having the Timberliner trains operating by the beginning of the 2013 season.[6] In addition to routine track work, Holiday World, in conjunction with the Gravity Group, rebuilt and reprofiled portions of the ride's turn around, which is commonly referred to as the "spaghetti bowl". As a result of the reprofiled turn, an additional 0.1 second of air-time was created, bringing the ride's new total to 24.3 seconds of air-time.[7]

2013 modifications[edit]

Ultimately, in 2013, Holiday World decided it would no longer pursue the use of Timberliners on The Voyage.



The Voyage's station, maintenance area, and transfer track (rightmost building), gift shop (building to the left of the station), and brake runs (behind the station), as seen from the roller coaster's lift hill.

The Voyage's station is themed as a 17th-century ship, with the basement being the cargo hold, the second level being the deck, and the ride operator's controls being the "Captain's Quarters". The station has three levels: a ground floor, a second floor, and a basement. Before entering the station, guests may be redirected to several outdoor queue switchbacks. Once the switchbacks have been navigated, guests enter the ground floor of the station. The ground floor includes two staircases to the basement; however, most of it is composed of maintenance areas. Depending on the size of the line, the park may or may not open the basement. If the basement is open, guests will walk down the stairs immediately after entering the ground floor of the station. The basement is filled with nothing but queue switchbacks. Once these switchbacks have been navigated, guests will walk up the stairs to the ground floor before continuing up the stairs to the second floor. The second floor of the station holds the roller coaster's loading and unloading areas, as well as the two transfer tracks and maintenance bays. On the loading side of the station there are fourteen air-powered queue gates, one for each row of the train. On the unloading side of the station there are free shelves and lockers that riders may use to hold their belongings for the duration of the ride. The unloading side is also home to the ride operator's controls and two exit gates: a sliding gate near the front of the train and a swinging gate near the rear of the train. Beyond the unloading side of the station is an area that holds two maintenance bays. These allow unused trains to be stored during normal operation and also provides an additional area for maintenance crews to inspect the roller coaster trains.[8]


The Voyage uses two blue, 28-passenger trains made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Each train is made up of seven cars that hold four riders each. Each car has two rows holding two riders each. Each row has a seat divider that separates the two riders in that row and ensures each rider remains in a position allowing their restraints to work effectively. Since The Voyage uses the same trains that The Raven and The Legend use, the restraints are the same - an individual ratcheting lap bar and an individual, two-point lap belt.[9]


The wooden track on The Voyage is made out of numerous layers of Southern Yellow Pine, topped with a single layer of steel along the top, sides, and underside of the track where the train's wheels make contact. The supports for the track itself are made out of an estimated 750 short tons (680 t) of steel. The total length of the track is 6,442 feet (1,964 m) and includes 154 feet (47 m), 107 feet (33 m), and 100 feet (30 m) drops in addition to five underground tunnels. The track features a chain lift hill and five block sections, which theoretically allows a maximum of four trains at a time to run; however, this is impractical when considering the time it takes to dispatch 28-passenger trains. The most trains The Voyage has operated at one time is three. The Voyage uses fin brakes throughout the ride to allow the train to be stopped in the final (primary) brake run, the secondary brake run, the mid-course brake run, the station, and the transfer track.[10]

Gift Shop[edit]

Unlike Holiday World's other two wooden roller coasters, The Voyage has a gift shop which is located near its exit. This gift shop offers various merchandise featuring The Voyage and Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. Guests can also visit this gift shop to view and purchase their photo that was taken by the on-ride camera, located right before the drop through the station building.

Ride experience[edit]

An overview of the first three drops of The Voyage in 2006, as it looked prior to the construction of Thunderbird

The total ride experience on The Voyage lasts approximately two minutes and forty-five seconds.[11]

Station to Mid-course brake run[edit]

The ride begins with riders in the station facing Plymouth Rock Café. After dispatch, the train immediately passes the transfer track, which is to the left of the main track, and dips down while crossing under part of the ride's track before latching onto the lift hill chain. The train then travels up the 163 feet (50 m) tall lift hill. At the top of the lift hill the train immediately plunges down the ride's initial 154 feet (47 m) drop at over 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). At the bottom of the drop the train immediately starts back uphill. While cresting the hill, riders experience air-time before diving back down the ride's second 107 feet (33 m) drop. At the bottom of the drop the train crosses under the exit from Thunderbird's vertical loop, and once again returns uphill. Riders also experience air-time as the train crests the third hill and down the 100 feet (30 m) drop.[12]

Immediately at the bottom of the third drop the train enters the first of the five underground tunnels and the first of eight underground moments, during which the track crosses under Thunderbird's heartline roll. After exiting the first tunnel, the train goes over a small hill before entering the second underground tunnel. After exiting the second tunnel, the train goes over yet another hill before diving down into the ride's third underground tunnel. Upon exiting the third tunnel the train enters what is commonly referred to as the "spaghetti bowl" portion of the ride, where the train turns around and begins its return towards the station. The train first navigates a banked "S" curve to the left and then the right before making a full 180° turn to the left. The train then takes a 90° banked turn to the left before crossing under its own track and then making another 90° banked turn to the right. At the completion of the turn, the train makes a small turn to the left and into another underground tunnel. After exiting the tunnel the train goes uphill and enters the mid-course brake run, where the ride can stop the train in case of an emergency or to prevent block violation.[12]

Mid-Course Brake Run to End[edit]

One of The Voyage's three 90° banked turns.

Once the train has safely exited the mid-course brake run the train goes downhill into an underground tunnel. This underground tunnel houses the ride's "triple down", where the train goes down three separate hills in complete darkness, picking up considerable speed in the process. After exiting the tunnel, the train races toward the station while staying to the left of the track on the outbound hills. This portion goes under the supporting steel for the first three hills, creating multiple headchopper effects, once again crossing under Thunderbird. The train then takes a right turn, crossing under the outbound track, before making a left turn and crossing under the outbound track again. At this point the train goes sideways again in the final 90° banked to the right. Once the train exits the banked turn it passes under the lift hill and takes a turn to the left. The ride's on-ride camera is located on the left side of the track near this turn. After the train passes the on-ride camera it goes uphill and over the base of the lift hill before making a diving right turn into an underground tunnel. This underground tunnel goes under the entrance and exit walkways to the ride; it is also located right next to the basement queues, where there is a viewing window where waiting guests can watch the train fly by. After exiting the tunnel the train makes a climbing right turn before quickly shifting to a diving left turn that takes riders into an underground tunnel under the Thanksgiving midway. Then, after exiting the tunnel, the train makes a climbing, sweeping turn to the right. Once the train exits the turn, it immediately enters the brake run to end the ride. If there is a train occupying the secondary brake run the train will wait in the primary brake run until it is clear. If it is clear, the train will continue on to the secondary brake run. If there are two trains operating, the train will wait in the secondary brake run until the second train has left the station. If not, the train will continue directly into the station at which point riders will unload.[12]


The Voyage operates in high altitudes and in heavily wooded areas. Due to these factors, The Voyage closes when there is lightning or high wind in Holiday World's immediate area.[13]

In addition to weather conditions, some riders may be prohibited from boarding. Although there is no age limit, riders must be at least 48 inches (120 cm) tall to ride The Voyage. Riders must also be able to fasten both the lap bar and seat belt to ride; due to this restriction, larger riders may not be permitted to ride. All riders must abide by Holiday World's dress code, which includes wearing a shirt, shorts, and shoes, in order to ride. In addition, riders must leave all loose items in the station; riders who refuse to leave their loose items in the station will not be permitted to ride.[9]

Each year, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, in coordination with the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of Southwestern Indiana, publishes an accessibility guide for guests with disabilities. It is recommended, though not necessarily required, that all guests with the following conditions refrain from riding The Voyage:[14]

  • Back, Neck, or Bone Injury
  • Heart Trouble
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Recent Surgery or Illness


Records Held by The Voyage
Ranking Statistic Category
24.3 seconds
Air-time (wooden roller coasters)[9]
Underground Tunnels (wooden roller coasters)[9]
6,442 feet (1,964 m)
Length (wooden roller coasters)[11]
67.4 mph (108.5 km/h)
Speed (wooden roller coasters)[11]
163 feet (50 m)
Height (wooden roller coasters)[11]
154 feet (47 m)
Drop (wooden roller coasters)[11]
Angle of Descent (wooden roller coasters)[15]


In addition to other awards, The Voyage was voted the world's "Best New Ride" at the 2006 Golden Ticket Awards.[16]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ranking 2[16] 1[17] 1[18] 1[19] 1[20] 1[21] 2[22] 4[23] 3[24]
NAPHA Survey: Favorite Wood Roller Coaster[25]
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


  1. ^ "National Spotlight". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "First Riders". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "New Trains". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Plan B". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "2011 Trains". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "2012 Trains". Holiday World. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "2012 Track Work". Holiday World. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Voyage Station". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d "The Voyage". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Voyage Fact Sheet 2010". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "RCDB: Voyage". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c "YouTube: The Voyage". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Rain". Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Accessibility Guide" (PDF). Holiday World. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Coaster Records". Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 38–39. September 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 46–47. September 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 46–47. September 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  23. ^ "2013 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 40–41. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  24. ^ "2014 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 18 (6.2): 38–39. September 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  25. ^ "NAPHA Survey Results 2005-2011". National Amusement Park Historical Association. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 

External links[edit]