Reactions to Holiday World’s Mammoth & the Minivan Effect

Editorials and Rants Theme Park News

Holiday World Announces World’s Longest Water Coaster for 2012 As Some Coaster Fans Groan
Today, Holiday World announced Mammoth their largest single ride investment with a price tag of $9 million. Like the park’s Wildebeest, Mammoth will feature both down hill and up hill sections made possible via linear induction motors that will propel the ride boats. Unlike Wildebeest, the much larger Mammoth will feature boats where six riders face each other.

Mammoth Water Coaster Coming to Holiday World in 2012

The Santa Claus, Indiana theme park has a track record of being an early adopter of new Web and social media technology. Today’s announcement was no different as it was made live via the Holiday World’s U Stream channel.

Here’s a video of Holiday World’s Mammoth:

Families vs. Roller Coaster Fans – The Debate Rages On…
As soon as the first details of the ride were announced, I noticed that the number of viewers watching the presentation on U Stream started to decrease. I’m sure many were expecting or hoping for a roller coaster. I followed some of the live reactions in the streaming chat area beside the video and I could tell that some were dissapointed. Others argued that Mammoth might help bring more money to Holiday World than a roller coaster could.

My Take – Holiday World Knows What They’re Doing
While I was hoping for another roller coaster (especially a steel coaster), adding another water park attraction must be in the park’s best interest. For the 144th time, families spend more money at theme parks than roller coaster enthusiasts. Therefore, if Holiday World wants to keep growing they’d best continue to attract the crowd that generates the most revenue for them. Taking that fun experience of the water coaster and making it even more of a group (family) experience is smart. Believe it or not, Mammoth may generate more money for the park than a Gerstlauer Eurofighter like Dare Devil Dive or Untamed would.

The Minivan Effect
As both a coaster enthusiast and a family man, I can see both perspectives.2011 Honda Odyssey But what disappointed coaster fans may be dealing with is something that I call the “Minivan Effect”. If you’re not a parent, and especially if you’re young, there’s no way you can see the appeal of a minivan. I used to loathe them. I hated driving behind them and couldn’t get over just how uncool they looked.

When you’re a parent, your priorities change. You drive slower and utility far outweighs coolness. I couldn’t see that as a single 23 year-old in a brand new, speedy Sentra SE-R. And many (not all) thrill-loving coaster enthusiasts can’t see the appeal in a family attraction like Mammoth. It’s all about perspective.

Update 8/5 – Here are a few other posts Holiday World fans might want to check out. Read my full review of The Voyage from five years ago today! Also read why I’m so excited for its new Timberliner trains: Gravity Group’s Timberliners Could Be a Game Changer

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Mammoth? Do you think it was a good idea to add another water coaster? Leave a comment below.

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. I am thrilled about the idea of a "family" water coaster. Chalk me up to the mini-van theory, but I have four kids. 16, 14, 9, and 4. We go to HW every summer. I go for the water park. I know this may be a 'coaster' blog, but I really don't care for coasters.

    Their waterpark is (hands-down) THE BEST water park in the country. As a previous poster mentioned – 2 wave pools, 2 giant kiddie houses with tons of mini-slides, racing slides, several water slides where four can ride in a tube and many more for single riders. There is ALWAYS something to do! And did I mention TWO fabulous lazy rivers for when you need a rest? Add in the extras (Free parking, free sunscreen, and free soda) and you can not beat this park.

    On top of the coasters and thrill rides in the dry side of the park, there are two separate areas with rides specifically geared to smaller children. This makes the park perfect for any family – from toddlers to adults.

    I look forward to the new Mammoth. Can't wait to ride it next summer!

  2. I am looking forward to the new water ride, even though another coaster would have been great too.

  3. Well next year the Voyage gets the Timberliners. So why build a coaster to loose hype of that ride. I am excited to ride both. Spend morning in water park and rest of day on rides. Yes we have a mini-van and we are also coaster enthusiasts. I say it was a great move!

  4. I am disappointed in this move by holiday world. While the mammoth will be a great ride and I will ride it, they are neglecting the dry park. People say that most families spend their time in the water park and this is true, could it be because you can ride every ride in the dry park in less than 2 hours.

    I would love to see a steel coaster big or small. I believe holiday world would be a great place to put a solid mouse coaster or something like Tony hawks big spin. They could also add some more flat rides, a frisbee ride, and a feris wheel.
    Holiday World is a great little park and eventually will be a great BIG park.

  5. My daughter and I are HW season pass holders, and we go to HW for the water park not for the roller coasters. I am glad that they have a new water ride, my daughter already can't wait for next year to ride it.

  6. We go to HW almost every summer. I have always liked the waterpark better. HW has a split personality to me: 3 great roller coasters, and a ton of little kid rides. There's a lot more to do in Splashin' Safari if you have a teenager, as well as a lot for tiny tots. We love Wildebeest, and we're looking forward to Mammoth. But personally, I don't like wooden roller coasters. I really wish HW would get a steel coaster. I know from reading FB that many, many people were disappointed about not getting a steel coaster. Nevertheless, I will drive hours out of my way to go to HW than go back to Six Flags where they nickel and dime you to death. I like the steel coasters at Six Flags, but HW is friendlier, cleaner, and doesn't go out of its way to wring money out of you.

  7. Doesnt holiday world have the longest water coaster in the world wildebeest? Why would they make another one that is longer? Sounds weird.

  8. In my honest opinion, I too was expecting a roller coaster. $9 million dollars is a lot of money for one water slide, but knowing how my experience was on the Wildebeest during the last Holiwood Nights event, I can't wait to try this one. The ride animations never do the real rides any justice, so I can't say what I think of it until it's done and I ride it. My guess, though, would be that the slide will be very exciting.

  9. I've been thinking about this for a while, and I have to agree with The Coaster Critic. Holiday World has to do what is right for the park, and however disappointing it may be, they are keeping themselves afloat by giving a ride to the masses, not to the minority of coaster fans that flock there in comparison to the families. However frustrating it may be, I believe it is a smart and necessary move from Holiday World.

  10. Since they focused on the waterpark 4 a while, they should start to focus on rides:
    They should get:
    – A steel roller coaster with inversion (B and M)
    – Interesting flat ride, not many amusement parks have the zipper.
    – I just noticed they dont have a ferris wheel but who cares anyway
    I really hope HW gets a coaster!!!!


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