The Legend is a wooden roller coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari's Halloween section in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It was designed and built beginning in 1999 by the now-defunct roller coaster manufacturer Custom Coasters International, with the help of designers Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill; it opened on May 6, 2000. The Legend is themed after Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and mimics the frightful ride Ichabod Crane took as he was chased through the woods by the Headless Horseman. The Legend has been consistently ranked among the world's top twenty-five wooden roller coasters at the Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented annually by Amusement Today magazine.
Following the success of The Raven, park President Will Koch began making plans for a second wooden roller coaster. Koch contacted Custom Coasters International and began to form initial plans for the roller coaster. When the initial plans were completed, rather than starting work on the new project, Koch took a different route. He posted the initial plans online and asked for input from roller coaster enthusiasts from around the world on things such as design, theme, and name. After receiving a multitude of emails, Koch determined that "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was by far the most popular theming suggestion. Construction began in April 1999 with the pouring of concrete footers. The final design and name, The Legend, was released on June 15, 1999.
The Legend opened on May 6, 2000, five years to the day after The Raven. When the roller coaster opened, it operated with a single 24-passenger train made by Gerstlauer. Roller coaster enthusiasts traveled from across the country to ride the roller coaster that had been built with some of their input. Many of these enthusiasts proclaimed The Legend to be their "new #1 wooden coaster".
In 2002, Holiday World made three major modifications to The Legend. The first was that the Gerstlauer train was replaced with two new trains made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The additional train helped to improve capacity on The Legend from 550 riders per hour to 800 riders per hour.
In order to accommodate and store the second train when it was not being used, a transfer track was built on the straight section of track between the station and the dip into the lift hill, allowing an unused train to be stored during normal operation and providing an additional area for maintenance crews to inspect the train.
The third change made to The Legend was an extension of the station. Adding a second train necessitated that an independent brake zone be added. The track already had a brake zone, but it would have allowed an incoming train to get too close to a train parked in the station to be considered safe. In response, the park extended the station so that a train parked in the station would be have a buffer roughly the size of a full train. The ride operator's controls, air-powered queue gates, exit gate, and even the pull handle for the bell were moved further down the newly extended station towards the lift hill.
During the 2015-2016 offseason, The Legend underwent additional modifications. Most notably, the exit from the double helix was modified to incorporate a new double down element, and a new themed tunnel was installed over the section where the track crosses under Frightful Falls.
The Legend's station is themed after a schoolhouse such as the one Ichabod Crane taught at in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". The station has only one accessible level, plus an enclosure for a school bell on the roof. Before entering the station, guests first go down a flight of stairs and under the roller coaster's brake run. At the bottom of the stairs, there is a multitude of queue switchbacks, going all the way back to the beginning of the brake run and the final two turns of the ride. After navigating the switchbacks, guests walk up a flight of stairs that is right next to the third-to-last turn of the ride. At the top of the stairs guests enter the station, where more switchbacks must be navigated before continuing on to the loading area of the ride. On loading side of the station, there are twelve air-powered queue gates, one for each row of the train, as well as the pull handle for the bell. 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 the location of the ride operator's controls and a single swinging exit gate.
The Legend uses two purple, 24-passenger trains made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Each train is made up of six 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. The Legend's safety restraints include an individual ratcheting lap bar and an individual, two-point lap belt.
The wooden track on The Legend 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 wooden as well. The total length of the track is 4,042 feet (1,232 m) and includes 113 feet (34 m), 77 feet (23 m), and 64 feet (20 m) drops in addition to four above-ground and underground tunnels. The track features a chain lift hill and three block sections, which allows a maximum of two trains to operate at a time. The Legend uses fin brakes throughout the ride to allow the train to be stopped in the brake run, the station, and the transfer track.
The total ride experience on The Legend lasts approximately two minutes.
The ride begins with riders in the station facing the Frightful Falls station. After dispatch, the train immediately passes the transfer track, which is to the right of the main track, and dips down while taking a right turn before latching onto the lift hill chain. While ascending the lift hill, the train passes over the drop on Frightful Falls.
Once at the top of the lift hill, the train makes a small dip down and then back up as it makes a right hand turn. The recorded sound of a wolf howling can be heard before the train dives down its initial 113 feet (34 m) drop at almost 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) into a covered tunnel.
The track then rises to the left and crosses over Watubee before going under ZOOMbabwe and return track. The track then rises uphill in preparation for the spiral drop. At the crest of the hill, the train passes a trim brake and enters a 77 feet (23 m) spiral drop to the right. During the drop, the train passes under Zinga before crossing over the outbound track on an air-time hill. After heading uphill again, the train enters a 64 feet (20 m) drop through the second underground tunnel. After exiting the tunnel, the train makes a turn to the right, passing by the structure of the lift hill turn, and then turns left before dipping down another drop, crossing under the exit from the double helix.
Once the train has crossed under the helix exit, it heads back uphill and into the double helix, in which the train turns to the right, making two complete circles while passing through two above-ground tunnels and several hills and drops. At the conclusion of the double helix the train goes down hill and crosses over the entrance to the helix, then makes a left hand turn, crosses under the lift hill, and enters what is known as the "four corners of death" by many roller coaster enthusiasts. The first corner is a 90° right turn. After the first corner the train dives down a drop crossing under the lift hill of Frightful Falls before going back up to the second corner, a banked, 90° turn to the left. The train then travels next to the outdoor queue switchbacks before making a 180° turn to the right, forming the last two corners. Once the train exits the last corner, it immediately enters the final brake run. If there are two trains operating, the train will wait in the 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.
The Legend operates in high altitudes and in heavily-wooded areas. Due to these factors, The Legend closes when there is lightning or high wind in Holiday World's immediate area.
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 Legend. 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.
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 Legend:Back, Neck, or Bone Injury
High Blood Pressure
Recent Surgery or Illness