Her eyebrows wrinkled upward dramatically as she cracked a goofy,\u00a0nervous smile. Seven-year-old Daisy was about to ride the smallest roller coaster at Holiday World: The Howler. If only she could have known then how far her courage would grow by the end of our day. Holiday World visits have become an annual tradition, usually with friends tagging along. This year, instead of taking five kids down to the Southern Indiana theme park by myself as I have for the past few years, we made the trip with a two-adults-to-five-kids ratio \u2013 a welcome change!\u00a0Our group did so well together I wanted to cry with gratitude. It ended up being a simply\u00a0amazing, easy,\u00a0super-fun day filled with laughs, friendship\u00a0and surprises. I love going in October for Halloween Weekends when lines are shorter and everything is covered in fall d\u00e9cor. At this time of year they also have extra fall attractions like a corn maze, hayrides and trick-or-treating \u2013 if you can tear your kiddos away from the rides. As our day unfolded the older kids kept lining up to climb on the wildest rides (Legend, Voyage, Raven, Mayflower, Raging Rapids and Liberty Launch). Daisy mostly hung back with an adult, looking for milder thrills (Reindeer Games, Gobbler Getaway). She insisted on returning to the semi-scary attraction that she fell in love with last year, \u201cCarnival Chaos.\u201d (It\u2019s easy to miss, but worth checking out if your kiddos like haunted houses.It\u2019s a creepy maze with mirrors, scary clowns, loud noises, an inflated tunnel you have to push your way through, and strobe lights. It\u2019s bizarre \u2013 but the kids loved it so much they went through it three times in a row.) As we walked through the Thanksgiving section of the park, Daisy was brave enough to go on the Turkey Twirl with me. It looked pretty basic, but I was kind of shocked by how much centrifugal force was involved when those turkeys started spinning. It took everything I had not to let curse words fly out of my shocked mouth between laughs. Our whole day was building up to the attraction that everyone in our group\u00a0except for\u00a0Daisy was dying\u00a0to ride: The Thunderbird. It\u2019s a steel roller coaster that you ride with your feet dangling below you. The Thunderbird launches you from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, then takes you on a heart-pounding ride filled with twists, turns and the tallest vertical loop on any \u201cwing coaster\u201d in existence. It is super fun - and INTENSE. Rain showers started just as we approached the ride, so Daisy stood with all of us in line under cover until we reached the front. We stepped aside and watched everyone else climb on board and launch. I watched the gears spinning in her little head. \u201cI think I want to ride it,\u201d she told me. I didn\u2019t believe her. But as the rest of our group got in line to go for a second time, she grabbed Clara\u2019s hand and got in line too. As the two of them got strapped in and ready for launch, we adults tried to keep smiles on our\u00a0faces as we saw Daisy starting to get nervous. She had tears starting to drip from her eyes as they left the platform. I was powerless to help. She came off the ride rattled and with a tear-soaked face. She folded her little body\u00a0right into my arms. \u201cOh my gosh, you DID IT, Daisy! You are amazing!\u201d I told her. \u201cSo brave! Wow! Let\u2019s go get some Pepsi.\u201d We kept things positive and kept it moving. We quickly got to one of the plentiful free Pepsi stations, and she took a grateful swig of something sweet. (I was kind of wishing for something stronger than Pepsi in that moment\u2026her face kind of looks like she was too.) She finally caught her breath and looked back at the towering ride. \u201cI did that,\u201d my little girl said in complete\u00a0disbelief. \u201cI rode that. I rode the Thunderbird. And I feel kind of proud.\u201d Holiday World, in Santa Claus, Ind., is\u00a0hosting\u00a0Halloween Weekends on\u00a0Saturdays and Sundays through October 29.