Overheard in Holidog’s FunTown

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

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.”

The daughter replied, “What I need is some ice cream.”
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“We finally made it!”

Santa Claus Land logo

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.

Santa Claus Land logoThen, 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. And we finally made it!

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
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Brochure baby

We 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 to bring her daughter to a pre-season event in the mid-1970s.

Santa Claus Land brochure photoSilly little Kimber Lee put her sunglasses on upside-down and played on a “springy” ride.

Now the next generation is interested in seeing this brochure baby 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:

Now we have three happy generations grinning over this photo.

And maybe a few honorary cousins.
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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?

Cicadas!

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!

noisy flip flops in Splashin' Safari

Oh.

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.
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80-thousand strong

screw label

The delivery arrived this morning, and we’re 80-thousand strong.

Two semi-loads.

Eighty-thousand times three, actually.

semi with coaster-building materials
It 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.

containers full of bolts

Closer inspection reveals a bit more information.

screw label

Screws?

According to Steve, we were to receive the following:

  • 80,000 bolts
  • 80,000 nuts
  • and 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?
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A new number

Just because the announcement is in the past, that doesn’t mean the hints, teasing, and a mysterious number or two 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.

We hope you can hold it together till then.
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Holidog’s Voyage

Holidog’s voyage? I guess this shouldn’t surprise me.

After all, my parking spot here at work is just a few spaces down from one marked “Santa Claus.”

But …

… I just received an email from Holidog

Complete with pictures!

Holidog's voyage

Here’s some of the message:

In celebration of our new themed area, I have decided to embark (pun intended) on my own voyage.

Through my travels, I hope to tell more people about Holiday World.

Don’t worry about me; I’m a Big Dog now and I will be just fine as I explore a new world.

Holidog's voyage
I’ll be sure to write and send you lots of pictures.

I’ll be back in time for the launch of The Voyage in May.

Holidog's voyage
Well … I’m off!

Chow, Holidog

Holidog's signature

The email message came to me as a PDF file, so I asked Holidog to please email me the individual jpeg files, as his voyage would certainly be HoliBloggable.

Holidog complied, even though PDF (Puppy Dog Format) is his favorite format.

Don’t worry, children of all ages, Holidog won’t head out too far until after the season is over. He’ll still be up at Holidog’s FunTown with lots of hugs and dancing.

Sigh!

Our little Holidog … taking a new leash on life!
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A glassy proposal

glass shop proposal

Oh! A proposal!

Maybe that new section should have been Valentine’s Day!

… ’cause love was all around yesterday at Holiday World.

Karen, who’s in our Human Resources Department, tells the story:

glass shop proposal

On Thursday evening, July 21, a gentleman named Chris stopped by the Bavarian Glassblowers Shop to observe the artisan at work.

He saw Kathy blowing glass “straws” into the shape of written names; he asked if it would be possible for her to make a “Will You Marry Me?” piece.

Kathy said yes! Chris came back a little later and told the Hostesses in the shop that he was going to propose to his love, Mary, right there.

Chris got down on bended knee and as Mary pulled the beautiful glass sculpture out of the box, he said, “Honey, you know I love you. Will you do me the honor of being my wife?”

Through tears of excitement, joy, and surprise, she said, “Yes.”

Cheers were cheered!

Tears were teared!

And claps were clapped!

newly engaged coupleLove was the theme in the Glassblowers Shop that evening. And as the newly engaged couple walked out past Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen, we knew our sweet shop would never be the same, because yet another love blossomed here.

We wish the best to Chris and Mary from Centralia, Illinois, as they stroll together in life hand in hand.
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In the pink

Vanessa and Will

Turning 30 is a milestone and worthy of celebrating in the pink!

Oh, no – not me! (Heavens, no!)

Our Director of Merchandise, Vanessa, turned 30 the other day.

And everyone … everyone … was in the pink.

Because it’s Vanessa’s favorite color

Vanessa and Will
Will didn’t get to wear his pink shirt the rest of the day, though. He spilled cake on it pretty early on and the more he tried to rub the stain off, the more he rubbed it in.

Anyone who knows Will is chuckling right now. That is so Will.

Do we know how to party, or what?
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Voyage construction photos

early Voyage construction

Rachel, who is truly a wonderful person, offered to head up to the Voyage construction site this morning. She set out before it got too hot to take some photos for you.

All together now: Thank you, Rachel!

Let’s start out by looking from side to side at the top of the hill when you drive up the Snowy White Gravel Road.

At the top of the hill, you’re in the woods.

The road curves from heading west to heading south. At this curve, Rachel stood … and looked to the east:

early Voyage construction
As you look at this photo, the path of The Voyage is coming your way. It’s heading north and then curves westward, toward the turnaround.

Next Rachel spins 180 degrees (which, coincidentally, was the average temperature today).

This photo shows the path toward the turnaround.

early Voyage construction
Next, Rachel drove back onto Highway 162 and into the employees-only parking lot.

From there, she headed north back up toward the woods (to the east of The Wave).

Bingo!

Pouring footers was the task of the day

early Voyage construction

These are very different-looking footers than we saw in the construction of The Raven and The Legend.

This is because The Voyage will have a steel structure and wooden track.

early Voyage construction
See the footers that are already there? Right next to the road? And then off in the distance, there’s a cluster of workers over by an existing footer.

early Voyage construction
I’m sorry to say I have no idea what these fellows are doing.

I’ll try to find out and will report back here when I do.

early Voyage construction
Okay, now that’s a drill, right? And he’s drilling into what looks like the type of footers we had for the other coasters.

early Voyage construction

There will soon be enough footers in place for them to start putting up structure.

And going vertical is a very good thing.
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