- Plan A Visit
- Rides & Slides
- Buy Tickets
30 April 2005 - 3:32pm
As the clock ticks louder and louder, counting down the minutes till opening day, all our different crews are out and about doing whatever it takes to get the park ready.
The painters are hard at work. It's hard to tell sometimes, because they have such a rollicking good time slapping on that paint. They're a hilarious bunch of guys. (We tease them it's because of the paint fumes...)
This is Don modeling the spring's finest paintwear. (Thanks for not making a face at the camera, Don.)
I asked Rick, our graphic artist, to estimate the amount of paint we go through each season. He had to brush up on his math skills to arrive at his answer...
Up to 1000 gallons a year.
Wow. Color me amazed.
29 April 2005 - 3:32pm
Last night, the Indiana State Legislature made a timely decision.
Next April, the entire State by law will “spring forward.”
Now maybe David Letterman and Jay Leno won’t make quite as much fun of the Hoosier State. And the national news anchors won’t have to make a big deal every spring and fall when they announce, “Every state in the Union…except Indiana, Hawaii and Arizona…will change their clocks tonight.”
If you’re not from around here, you probably don’t know this, but even when we’re on the same time, we’re on different time.
When you visit Holiday World this summer from, say, Indianapolis, you may decide to check ahead of time about time zones. You might check on our website. Hmmm…Indy is on EST (Eastern Standard Time) and the town of Santa Claus is on CDT (Central Daylight Time).
So … do you leave a little earlier or a little later?
Mathematically speaking, EST=CDT. You’ll cross a time zone, but won’t need to change your watch.
Confused yet? Welcome to my world.
All that may change in 2006. In April next year, the entire State will “spring forward.” But, unless there’s a federal decision to move the time-zone lines, most of Indiana will be on EDT but five counties in southwestern Indiana will be on CDT. And then you’ll definitely need to change your watch when you come to visit from Indy.
An Evansville news staffer thought it would be fun to talk to us about the potential for confusion.
Will talked about the importance of “one state, one time.” (The man’s a walking slogan maker.)
He explained that looking at a time-zone map, it appears that Indiana should be on Central Time. But the Indianapolis area is on Eastern Time. In his opinion, it’s more important for us all to be on the same time than for our five counties to stay on Central.
Then the reporter asked to speak with someone who lives on one time and works on the other during the winter months. I’d already roamed the hallways hitting up Tori, Vanessa, Rachel, and Sabrina (who would have done it, but she just got a perm). Matt is apparently still celebrating Tax Day and was unavailable for comment.
Everyone was really, really sorry…but just didn’t feel comfortable being interviewed for TV. So the pinch-hitter was forced to step in. I live an eight-minute drive from work, but in another time zone. So from October till April, it takes me 68 minutes to get home in the evening (even when the roads are clear). And in the morning, I manage to go back in time and arrive at my desk 52 minutes before I left home. (Believe me, the science-fiction/time-machine geeky excitement wears off pretty quickly. Then it just gets annoying. And no, I don’t suddenly look down and realize I’m still in my jammies.)
So, gentle readers, don’t worry about time zones this season. If you were on-time last season, you’ll be on-time this season. (Of course, if you were an hour early last year and I waved at you in the parking lot at 8:00 am CT, you might want to linger over that last cup of coffee a bit longer.)
If the Federal government decides to move the time-zone lines, I’ll be sure to let you know. And if they don’t, I imagine I’ll be back again a year from now, whining about time.
And you can set your watch to that!
28 April 2005 - 3:32pm
Wow! Will Koch is getting into this HoliBlogging -- two days in a row! (He cautioned me not to expect something every day. We'll take what we can get, right?)
This is from Will:
Yesterday, our marketing director, John, called and said we needed to talk about the logo design for the water tower. We had planned to put the Holiday World logo on it in its usual “stacked format.”
It would be about 32’ wide by 25’ high. A nice size that would probably be visible a few miles away. The painting contractors had the art, and should have started painting the logo several days ago, but there wasn’t a logo there yet, so I knew something was up.
The problem, apparently, was that because of the logo’s height, it was wrapping too far up and down the sides of the tank. Because of the decreasing radius of the tank as you go up or down from the “equator,” this would cause too much distortion. It wasn’t going to work.
So, John and I had to sort out the problem. The question was, how much does the curvature affect the art?
How big can we go without really messing up the Holiday World logo?
Fortunately, I had something in my office that worked out as a stand-in for the water tank. It was the “Official Zinga Test Ball,” a basketball used by Andreas Tanzer of ProSlide to test the Zinga before we put water, inner tubes, and people on it.
According to Andreas, a basketball on a dry slide is a pretty good stand-in for an inner-tube-on-a-wet-slide. Anyway, the Zinga Test Ball became the stand-in for something else—-the bowl on our new 500,000-gallon water tower.
As you can see, we decided that the “horizontal” logo would look the best. We even used the basketball to determine exactly how long the logo could be and still be read without too much distortion. Indiana is famous for basketball, but who knew how clever we Hoosiers could be about finding new and creative uses for them?
Anyway, the water tower problem was solved, and the Zinga Test Ball has a new look for a while.
27 April 2005 - 3:17pm
Here is Will's first HoliBlog post:
As opening approaches, everywhere I go in town, people ask me, “Are you ready?”
And I always respond, “No. But we will be on opening day.”
They also want to know whether I’m nervous about getting the park open. The funny thing is that I always (honestly) reply that no, I’m not nervous at all. And I’m not.
We have such a great team of Directors, Managers, and Staff who’ve been with us for many years and who just know what needs to be done that I don’t have to worry.
I know that our parks are in capable, caring hands, and that the work will get done. There are always a few battles that we’re fighting or things that we’re waiting for as we come down to the wire (this year it’s the concrete embedments for our new Applause Hands fountain in the entrance plaza—we’re 10 days from opening, and some of them still aren’t here) but by and large, our staff just gets the job done.
The parks are a beehive of activity during these weeks (watch out for golf carts, mules and gators in the walkways), and it can be a little scary walking around and thinking about all of the things that need to be done before opening.
Heck, we have a water tower sitting in The Legend Parking Lot in three big blue, red, and yellow pieces right now.
At the same time, it’s also satisfying to know that all of our rides have been set up, tested, and passed state ride inspections. I feel good that Raging Rapids, Frightful Falls, The Wave, and The Congo River are already full of water, with filters running.
With luck, we’ll start filling Bahari, the new wave pool, on Friday. It will be ready for Splashin’ Safari's opening on May 14. I’m extraordinarily proud of our staff for never missing an opening date with a new ride or attraction. This time of year, it’s interesting to read the press releases from other parks that are explaining how their new attractions will open late due to bad weather. The weather hasn’t been perfect here, either. But Bahari will be open on May 14. Enough said.
Anyway, we’re getting ready. We’ve “built it.” Now, I have to face the issue I really do worry about: “Will they come?”
26 April 2005 - 3:32pm
…well, maybe not we.
I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with getting older, but those circular rides make me sick.
Sorry, I can’t “spin” this into something positive, but it really doesn’t matter, does it? You either like to put centrifugal force to the test or you don’t.
Back in 1992, the Kochs offered to take all the park directors to the annual IAAPA convention. Whoopee! We eagerly read through the printed materials detailing the multi-day event. Lots of workshops and seminars. An opportunity to network (oh, boy! was that ever the big buzzword back then) with management from other parks. Plus, we’d get to visit a big park near the convention site.
Huh? Why would we want to do that?
Oh—of course! To network some more, stroll around the park, munch on some goodies, maybe watch a show.
Rides? They have rides? Will it hurt their feelings if we don’t ride?
What the heck am I doing working for a theme park? Most rides terrify me. When we “employee tested” Liberty Launch a few years back, no one wanted to sit next to me for fear of permanent hearing loss. And I’ve already told you about testing The Raven a few weeks back.
My first park experience was at Quassy Amusement Park, or as it was then called, Lake Quassapaug. I was three or four and was determined to go on the kiddie helicopter ride. It looked wonderfully exciting and I begged and begged until my parents agreed to let me ride.
When the ride started up and my pudgy little hands grasped the bar, I held on as tightly as I could. Unfortunately that bar was in the position that lifted my cute little helicopter to its highest position. Miles and miles above terra firma. My parents and brothers looked like ants from my terrifying vantage point.
So I did what I still do in such situations: I screamed my lungs out.
They actually had to stop the ride to let me off. I guess the other little kids had the opportunity to get a second, longer ride, so maybe they weren't too mad at me. I'll never know for sure, though; there was no way I could force myself to look back to check.
Happily, there are many, many children and adults out there who love rides that spin around. One mom emailed me recently to tell me she and her son always ride the Virginia Reel together—it’s their favorite ride. (Heaven help me – I can barely think about that ride!)
The Roundhouse is gone (you know that, don’t you?). Don’t get worked up about it, though, because we’ve replaced it with Revolution. It’s basically the same ride, actually, only a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, and with a slightly higher tilt.
And a spiffy light package:
Thanks to Tori, our director of rides, for providing this photo. She snapped it over the weekend, when it was incredibly cold and obnoxiously windy. What crummy conditions for training!
We’re all so pleased that replacing the Roundhouse with Revolution means we can still use Tori’s little joke: After you get soaked on Raging Rapids, be sure to spin dry on Revolution!
If it’s all the same to you, Tori, I believe I’ll drip dry.