Last Updated: 5/15/2020

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The last several weeks have been difficult for our team and for our industry. Once you’re hooked on bringing families joy–on being part of the experience that families look forward to for the entire year–it’s heartbreaking to stop.

It’s also been an inspiring time to be part of this industry. We’ve seen our industry innovate and adapt rapidly to make sure our visitors can be safe when we have the opportunity to reopen.

We’re excited that we have the approval from the Back on Track Indiana Plan to open for the season on June 17. All of our plans have been developed specifically in conjunction with this plan, so our plans may change based on how the Back on Track Indiana plan changes.

Before we dive into the details, I want to take a moment to thank our full-time staff for being patient, loyal and fiercely determined through this time. They’ve been amazing. I also want to thank our seasonal Team Members for being so patient–we’re so excited to see some of you onsite already, and we can’t wait to see the rest of you. Whether this is your 30th season or your first, we’re ready to keep you safe, and give you a fun summer filled with hard but rewarding work.

As a team, we’ve done our best to keep an increasingly-complicated theme park experience as simple and as Guest-focused as we possibly could, and we hope you’re as excited as we are to start the trial and error process that this season holds for all of us.

It’s been a hard road to this point, but we’ve been working hard and keeping an eye on opening day. We’re excited that it’s more real than ever, and we’re excited to go back to doing what we do best–helping families make memories together.

All the best,

Leah Koch

Fourth-Generation Owner and Director of Communications

You won’t need to make a reservation to get in the park, but you will need a ticket or pass

Our new ticket calendar will be live again in the next few days, and your ticket will now only be valid for the specific date you purchase. Our goal was to reduce complication for our Guests during a time when our experience is going to necessitate more complications than ever. We’ll only sell the number we feel comfortable with each day, based on groups that are coming, past Season Passholder attendance, and whether the water park is open.

Season Passholders may come on any day they choose with no reservations (we’ve made some estimates based on past Season Passholder attendance and added an allowance of a few more just to be safe).

AnyDay tickets will no longer be for sale, but if you purchased one, we’ll still honor it on any day (we’ve made a daily allowance for you as well).

Free Unlimited Soft Drinks are still going to be there

When it comes to our self-serve stations, we’re waiting on guidance from our health department and the National Restaurant Association. If self-serve stations are restricted, we’ll have Team Members who can pour you as many soft drinks as you can drink.

We’re targeting a July 4 opening for the water park

This was a hard decision for us. We’re beyond excited to open Cheetah Chase and start thrilling riders in the water park once again. But we also want to make sure our processes are solid before we add the complexity of the water park.

We’ve also had to entirely reimagine parts of our lifeguard training with social distancing in mind–and we’ve had to wait on approval from American Red Cross and the State of Indiana. We think we’ll be able to begin training soon, but it has been delayed.

We’re opening Cheetah Chase when we can

We’ve finished building the ride and we’re ready for testing. To put it simply, we think opening an attraction when it’s ready is the right thing to do for our Guests.

You’ll wait in line virtually

We’re especially excited to share that with our new inLine Reservation System, you’ll have visibility for the first time at Holiday World into wait times as well as you’ll get your time back. All you have to do is join the virtual queue and your phone will tell you when you can come back and enjoy the ride. This helps us make sure our queues don’t have too many people in them and helps us maintain social distancing.

With our new inLine system, you’ll visit a website (we’ll have the link ready on our free wi-fi) and pick which ride you want to get in line for. There’s no making reservations 30 days ahead of time and no line-skipping. People can’t get in line until they’ve entered the park. One perk? You may be able to get in line for The Voyage at the front of the park, then walk your way there in your time. We’re working out a system for people who don’t have smartphones (or whose smartphones lose battery quickly on a fun day at Holiday World).

If it helps, I like to picture one of Santa’s elves going ahead and hopping in line for me, then we trade places right before the ride while the elf enjoys a ride in the digital world.

We don’t expect you’ll need a face mask

We expect face masks to be optional in public in the state of Indiana by June 14th. We will follow the state’s guidance if this changes. Masks are considered a loose article on thrill rides, so our Attractions Team Members may ask you to take it off just for the ride. If you do choose to wear a mask, we thank you for your consideration of your fellow Guests and our Team Members.

Our Season Passholders get to enjoy the park first

Our Season Passholders are loyal and care deeply about Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. To say thank you, we’re doing a staggered opening:

  • June 14: Platinum Season Passholders
  • June 15: Platinum Season Passholders and Season Passholders
  • June 16: Platinum Season Passholders, Season Passholders, and Summer Fun Card Passholders may visit
  • June 17: Open to those who have purchased tickets online

We’ve also added three operating days in August which brings you to a grand total of 82 operating days. We also plan to host a Season Passholder Cheetah Chase preview event.

We also know our Season Passholders will let us know what’s working and what isn’t and so we’re excited to greet them first, and have them help us improve.

Season Passholders may also defer their passes to 2021 free of charge in August of this year. We’ll reach out if we see you haven’t used your pass by August of 2020.

We’ll help you social distance

We’re going to have decals on the ground to help you stay six feet away from others when you’re standing in line. We’re going to be incredibly conservative about how many tickets we sell at first, and build once we’re comfortable, this way there should be plenty of space in the walkways. Our indoor dining restaurants (Santa’s Merry Marketplace and Plymouth Rock Cafe) will have limited indoor seating and changed procedures in addition to our distanced outdoor seating. We’re doing our best to make it easy for you. All you need to do is remember to stick to the decals and stay distanced from other groups.

There’s more to come

There’s a lot more we’re planning that won’t change your day significantly. For example, we’re adding automatic utensil dispensers to our Food & Beverage locations, and our cleaning and sanitation procedures will be happening much more frequently.

May 1, 2020 Statement

During his twenty-some years serving Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari as park president, my dad—Will Koch Jr.—never missed an opening day. Especially not when a new attraction was on the line. We do everything in our power to uphold his same standard—though circumstances this year kept us from our originally scheduled opening day.

We’re now excited to share that in accordance with Gov. Holcomb’s Back on Track Indiana Plan, we intend to open our gates on June 14.

You may have a lot of questions, and we’re going to do our best to answer them below, but just know that if this alters your plans, we’re still going to take care of you.

We’re also changing our operations in ways you may or may not notice. We’re going to have hand sanitizer readily available all over the park, and we may ask your patience while we sanitize our rides. We’re even likely to limit park attendance while we figure out how to operate as safely as possible. Keep checking in at this page as we’ll be posting our official safety and sanitization procedures in a few short weeks. After all, we’ve been the cleanest park in the world for two decades. We’re going to do our best to keep the park as clean and as safe as possible.

Our small-but-mighty team is now excitedly working hard to get ready. As a family-owned park, we’re feeling the pressure, but we’re also proving how mighty we are when we work together. And now that we have a target date to work toward, we’re moving full-speed ahead.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to be ready to welcome Guests, but in the meantime, please keep following guidelines from the CDC and your state. Summer is within our grasp if we can just be patient a little while longer.

See you in June, friends.

-Leah Koch,

Fourth-Generation Owner and Director of Communications on behalf of the Koch Family