The voyage officially began May 19th, 2014.  That's the day Holiday World launched its new 66 Days at Sea website.  At first look, it appears that the site is merely a companion piece to the park's brand new swinging ship ride, The Mayflower.  But is it? 

This weekend at Holiwood Nights, Holiday World's annual event held exclusively for roller coaster enthusiasts from around the nation, there were all sorts of theories being discussed.  Is the website just an homage to the Mayflower pilgrims?  Or is it something more?  Is it actually being used to count down to major announcement from the park?

Okay, here's what we know . . . and I'll admit . . . it's very little.  Most of what will follow in this blog is speculation.  But, trust me, it's worth the read.  Something is going down, Peeps!

Official magnets for the website state that "the voyage begins on 5-19-14."  Some folks are speculating that the mention of "the voyage" actually points to news about the park's most popular attraction.  After all, The Voyage is the worlds #1 ranked wooden roller coaster.  One theory is that, in 66 days, the park will announce an expansion to its most decorated and celebrated coaster.

Hmmmm.  Could be.  But I personally feel that's a little off the mark.  The Voyage is already a nearly perfect coaster.  So why tamper with perfection, right?

There's another theory involving The Mayflower.

Image from Holiday World

Since the website 66 Days at Sea prominently features the ship and its 66-day voyage to Plymouth, there's speculation that the park could be simply expanding on the theme.  The ride sits in the Thanksgiving section of Holiday World, so could an expansion be taking place there.  Will there be some sort of new addition to that theme?  Well, we already have The Voyage, The Mayflower, the Gobbler Getaway, the Turkey Whirl and the Plymouth Cafe.  Is the park cooking up another Turkey Day-themed attraction.  And, if so, what is it?

Image from Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Here's another interesting theory and possibility.  The Mayflower currently bumps up against the outer edge of Splashin' Safari.  In fact, last season, that's where the park unveiled its Hyena Falls series of water slides.   66 Days at Sea does imply water and Pilgrim's Plunge has been removed from the park.  Is the park considering another water attraction?  Are they expanding Splashin' Safari yet again and will that announcement be made at the end of this 66-day voyage?  Unsure.

But, I have a theory of my own.  I do think the park has something cooking. And I think the 66 Days at Sea campaign, which began officially on May 19th, IS an actual countdown to a major announcement.  That only makes sense.  Why would Holiday World launch a 66 Days at Sea campaign and chart the progress on a specially-made website if it wasn't actually counting down to something significant?  I think I may have a hunch as to what that "something significant" is.

The 66th day will be Thursday, July 24th, 2014.  And I expect a HUGE announcement from the park that day.  And I think the park is going BIG.  I have spent a few weeks at Holiday World this year and have been paying close attention to things that I think are clues.

Pilgrim's Plunge is gone.

Once billed as the world's tallest water ride, it may have been the world's most short-lived.  The park pulled it, disassembled it and there's barely a trace of it left.  Except for one important piece of it . . . actually two pieces of it.  #1- The house where the queue line sat.   If the park was planning a new ride, this would be the perfect place to house it right?  There's a lot of land the removal of Pilgrim's Plunge freed up . . . and the park doesn't have to build a new queue structure.  It's already there.  And so is the concrete.  Yep!  That's #2.  They park left nearly all the concrete it poured for Pilgrim's Plunge and I think they have plans for it.

See, Time magazine recently named The Voyage the #1 wooden roller coaster in America.  This, for me, is just another reason why I don't support the theory that the park is planning an expansion of The Voyage.  That just seems unnecessary to me.  However, after chatting with roller coaster enthusiasts this weekend at Holiwood Nights about Holiday World and their own "home parks" it is clear there is just one thing Holiday World is missing.  It has three wooden coasters that are amazing, but it does not yet have a formidable STEEL roller coaster.

Holiday World has a legacy of going big.  The Voyage is huge and rated the #1 wooden coaster in America.

Image from Holiday World

Splashin' Safari is rated the #1 water park.  The Mammoth is the world's longest water coaster.

Image from Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

I think Holiday World is about to get in the steel coaster game and I think it's going to do it in a monster way.

The countdown is on.  The 66-day journey began on May 19th and the calendar pages are turning toward July 24th, 2014.  There are all kinds of theories about what's going to happen on that day.  But I suspect, whatever it is, will be huge.  On the 66th day of their voyage, the Pilgrims made an exciting new discovery.  I think we're on the edge of an exciting new revelation as well.

Stay tuned!