Overheard in Holidog’s FunTown

At closing time, Chris (our security director) got a chuckle out of this:

While closing Holidog’s FunTown, I overheard a mom and her young (6 or 7ish) daughter:

The mom kept saying, “I know you need you to go to the bathroom – you need to go before we leave.”

Daughter replies, “What I need is some ice cream.”

Dark humor

When we began building The Raven back in the fall of 1994, we came to know all sorts of coaster- and park-enthusiast clubs.

First, we heard from the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE). And then there was the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA). And even regional groups such as the Great Ohio Coaster Club (GOCC), the Western New York Coaster Club (WNYCC) and the Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club (MACC). And that’s just a handful of the domestic clubs.

Overseas, there’s the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain (RCCGB) and the European Coaster Club (ECC).

And now we’re learning about DAFE.


At first I pronounced it as spelled, “dafe.”

But I’ve been enlightened.

The Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts pronounce their club’s acronym “daffy.”


These are folks who are drooling over the thought of a new “dark ride” being produced in our Thanksgiving section. We’ll update them along with everyone else here on the HoliBlog as decisions are made regarding this interactive turkey-chase ride.

Here’s DAFE’s lighthearted slogan: We keep our members in the dark!

“We finally made it!”

Here’s a wonderful note we received:

Well, it took more than 30 years, but I finally made it…..to Santa Claus Land!!

When I was a little girl growing up here in Cincinnati, I remember seeing commercials or something for Santa Claus Land in Indiana.

I wanted to go there so bad…after all, it appeared to combine my two favorite things-amusement parks and Christmas.

Well, as things sometimes go in life, we never made it there, and I had long forgotten about your park.

Then, a few years back, I picked up one of your Holiday World brochures at an Indiana rest stop on my way home from visiting the in-laws.

It suddenly dawned on me that this was the Santa Claus Land I had once dreamed of visiting.

Since then I have seen your park countless times on The Travel Channel, and through the internet, have read nothing but praise for your park from theme park and coaster enthusiasts.

I made up my mind that this summer I was finally going to Santa Claus Land.

Well, at 6 am yesterday morning, I left Cincinnati with my 79-year-old mother and seven-year-old daughter in tow. We were at your park when it opened, and, had we not had the three-hour drive home, would have surely closed the place down. The 8+ hours we spent there were awesome.

Everything I have read and heard was 100% true.

The park was immaculate, the staff polite and competent, the themed areas were actually that – THEMED, and the rides and attractions were great fun. And, oh yeah, the soft drinks and parking were free!! (Even on the drive home, my mother was still marveling at the fact you do that all the time; that it wasn’t just something special.)

While it may have taken me 30 years to get there, I can assure you it won’t be another 30 before we return. My daughter and I (and maybe even mom) are planning a longer visit next summer to give “Thanks” to the Koch family and Santa for an awesome park!

Shari S.
Mason, Ohio

Small world (oops! wrong park … )

Received this email from Allison this morning:

I just read the request from Connie in Texas about the brochure.

I couldn’t believe it!

My husband’s mother passed away in March and we’ve been busy cleaning out her home. (Keep in mind, my husband comes from a long line of pack rats.) We actually have the brochure from Santa Claus Land with the little girl wearing the sunglasses!

It was found among a thousand other brochures from various vacations over the years.

We pitched all the others but kept the Santa Claus Land brochure.

Not that we are freaks … my second cousin, Lori, happened to marry Will Koch so it has some meaning to us.

It is a small world! Who would have thought I’d marry a boy who visited Santa Claus Land, my cousin, Lori, married a boy who would grow up to be King of Holiday World, and my in-laws would keep everything they ever touched so that we could have the missing brochure featuring the little girl on the springy thing!

I bet there aren’t too many other people who could read the “Brochure Baby” HoliBlog and have the exact same brochure right in front of them. Maybe we should have saved the other brochures and put them on eBay.

Oh, say hello to Lori and Will for us. We can’t wait to ride the new coaster! We set up our chairs from our dining room all in a row and “rode” the computer simulation, but somehow, it just isn’t the same as the real thing!

More facts from The Gravity Group

After reading Wednesday's HoliBlog entry, Chad at The Gravity Group offered these latest facts as part of our continuing education:

To clear up any confusion, structural screws ARE bolts, but you probably already figured that out.

A325 is the "high strength" designation.

H.D.G. stands for hot dipped galvanized.

3/4 inch diameter, 10 threads per inch, 2 inches long.

Am I the only one wondering … if screws are bolts — why not just call them bolts?

All together now: It's all a little nutty!

Brochure baby

Received an email from Connie yesterday.

Asking about old brochures.

Santa Claus Land brochures.

Connie’s not a collector, though.

Not of brochures, anyway.

It’s just her daughter’s photo was once in a Santa Claus Land brochure. Somehow, over the years, Connie’s copy of that brochure was misplaced.

Connie was a college chum of a member of the Koch family. She was invited bring her daughter to a pre-season event in the mid-1970s. Silly little Kimber Lee put her sunglasses on upside-down and played on a “springy” ride.

Now the next generation is interested in seeing this photo, so Connie emailed from Texas asking if we could dig up the picture for her granddaughter.

And here it is … from our 1978 Santa Claus Land brochure:
1970s brochure photo
Now we have three happy generations grinning over this photo.

And maybe a few honorary cousins.

A year late?

The other evening, my youngest son and I came back to "work" to enjoy a few hours in the park together.

James had never tried Monsoon Lagoon before; he was beside himself with glee and was literally the last one to leave.

As the water park closed, and we headed back toward Holiday World, I heard an almost familiar noise.

What was it?

So loud.

So distinct.

Could it be?


Remember a year ago, how we were supposed to get clobbered by the 17-year cicadas? I started getting emails from folks back in February who were concerned about planning their vacation around the invasion.

It was alarming, to say the least.

So were the websites I went to, in order to learn more. Talk about ug-ly bugs!

I calmed down, though, when I thought to ask around — do a bit of research. Surely I could poll the folks who worked here 17 years ago. Wouldn't it be reasonable to surmise that if the cicadas weren't here 17 years ago, they wouldn't have laid those incredibly-long-gestational eggs?

Happily, there was no memory of cicadas from 1987.

And no cicadas in 2004.

But now … wait …

That loud, harsh, snapping sound.

More and more …

Louder and louder…

Coming from every direction…

Surround-sound cicadas!

Flip flops

In my defense, it was less than a split second before I recognized it was the sound of soaking-wet flip-flops making my heart palpitate.

But for that brief nano-second it was very scary indeed.

Made in the U.S.A.

The delivery arrived this morning.

Two semi-loads.

Eighty-thousand times three, actually.

Voyage construction
Wouldn't all fit in the storage trailer.

When Steve told us about the upcoming delivery in Monday's staff meeting, I gasped, "Where will we put them all?"

Steve misunderstood and gave me quite a look: "In the coaster structure, of course."

Good grief. Maybe I need to darken the shade of my hair a tad.

Eventually the facts came out — we'll fit all we can in the storage trailer and the rest will be stacked next to it.

Voyage construction
Closer inspection reveals a bit more information.

Voyage constructionScrews?

According to Steve, we were to receive the following:

  • 80,000 bolts
  • 80,000 nuts
  • 80,000 washers

There was no mention of screws.

Maybe that is a bonus barrel. You know–buy 80,000 bolts, get a free barrel of screws.

With the end of the month comes park-wide inventory. I know April is looking forward to counting all that plush in her department.

Wonder who counts the bolts?

A new number

Just because the announcement is in the past, doesn't mean the hints and teasing have gone away.

Perish the thought!

Tomorrow, we will receive a huge delivery on the Snowy White Gravel Road.

Included will be 80,000 … things.

We'll post some photos and more info once the trucks arrive in the morning.

Hope you can hold it together till then.

Christmas in July!

Couldn't miss this opportunity to send a greeting from Santa's Summer Home on this festive day.

Santa Claus
Cute little Ashli and Lea were determined to get some face time with St. Nick before heading to the water park for the afternoon.

There are only five more shopping months left, after all!