Carved for attention

When asked to carve a pumpkin this week, I was borderline inappropriately excited. It’s probably been ten years since my last pumpkin-carving, which is far too long. There’s nothing like carving a pumpkin to get you in the Halloween spirit. (This is coming from a girl who just spent the last six weekends dressing up…

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It’s time to walk the red carpet

It’s that time again, already: In just a few minutes, the Golden Ticket Awards ceremony begins. You know … the Academy Awards of the theme park industry? (Can’t continue without a quick and sincere #RIPJoanRivers shout out.) Our team is ready to “Bring Home the Lucite,” as Will Koch used to love to say. Prepping…

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Are you a ‘middle child’?

Paula’s note: as a fellow “middle child,” I just had to take a few minutes on my day off to post Leah’s musings. My middle child, John, started laughing when I told him what I was up to: You should wait till tomorrow, Mom. That fits the Middle Child Syndrome perfectly – “Um, I really…

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The Legend of the Thunderbird

After the most amazing new-ride announcement we could have asked for, some people are a bit confused. They like the fact that we’re getting a steel coaster, but they don’t get how Thunderbird belongs in Holiday World. Especially in our Thanksgiving section. The Voyage is easily the best name. It’s simple. It tells a story…

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A promise kept

About a month ago, a coworker (Hi, Andrew!) tried to get me to share what we’re building in 2015 (yes, it’s top secret; most members of our full-time staff don’t know all of what we’re doing). Of course, one of his many guesses (like so many of you out there) was a steel coaster. After…

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Get smarter

“Weh-woe? Weh-woe?” When I heard my toddler grandson “answering” the phone this morning in the next room, I grinned and looked to see what household item served as his toy phone this time. Two-year-old Cameron has been known to “answer” a calculator, empty cup, and TV remote control. Weh-woe? This time it was his shoe!…

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Loose lips sink ships

Secrets. They don’t make you any friends, but an innocent one can certainly make for a lot of fun. We’ve all done it—kept a little secret for the sake of fun. I mean, how boring would Christmas morning be without the promise of those wonderful secrets wrapped in shiny paper? Our home was always filled…

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Scaredy Cat confidential

Take a moment with me, and try to think of the most ironic things that could happen to the child of a theme park president. What if you hated funnel cake or soft pretzels? It’d be a total waste of being born into such a cool circumstance, right? Now imagine you were afraid of rides….

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The name game

The “name game” sounds like loads of fun, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, it can be an agonizing process! You start out with the theme of the park section, add details about the ride or slide (or, in this case, restaurant), and then start churning out ideas. You generate long lists and then start…

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Bringing home the lucite

"Let's bring home the lucite" was Will's annual joke as it got close to Golden Ticket Awards time. He loved to win. This evening, his daughters Lauren and Leah accepted the "Best Waterpark Ride" award for Wildebeest. Our first water coaster has won all four years since it opened. Lauren called Wildebeest her dad's "final…

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Hydration station

I'll never forget back in the fall of 1999, when our staff of directors got to vote on whether to take a step no other park had dared to try. Free soft drinks. I remember like it was yesterday, because it was a dramatic moment. (For me, anyway.) Right before we voted, Will made sure…

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The shirts say it all

When the parade of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Walkers comes through our front gate each year, it's an emotional time. There are lots of excited smiles and delighted laughter. And team shirts all the colors of the rainbow with messages to make you think: … and smile: … and even shed a quiet tear….

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