Well, you did it, didn’t you?

You crashed their site!

They weren’t planning to offer our announcement as an archived file. But since a lot of you didn’t get to see anything but an error message, WEHT-TV is kind enough to offer “re-runs.”

And our friends at WFIE-TV are offering it, too.
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FAQ: The Voyage

Still losing the battle of the emails. (At last count, I’d reduced my Inbox from 154 to 129 emails. All were full of questions.)

Since so many folks are asking the same questions, here are some quick answers.

1. Yes, the HoliBlog will continue.

2. Yes, the HoliBlog will provide ongoing construction updates and photos.

3. Yes, your humble servant will continue to insert puns whenever possible. (Actually, no one asked that.)

4. Yes, the new-section layout is available on our website. Scroll down the page and click on the Thanksgiving logo.

5. We put all the graphics on our website — we’re not holding back! We’ll add more information and graphics as they become available.

6. No, that isn’t a “wild turkey” flying in the on-ride version of the ride simulation. According to Chad at The Gravity Group: I’m not positive, but I think it’s a left-over piece of foliage from a tree that was modified or moved, and never got deleted. We had joked that it looked like a stealth bomber. Sorry that it’s not a more interesting story.
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What’s it all About.com?

About.com’s Arthur Levine is a man after my own heart. (Oh, wait — we’re not adding a Valentine’s Day section, so I can quit the misleading references. This could be a hard habit to break.)

No matter how many Voyage puns I come up with, Arthur squeezes a few more out.

Much to my delight!

He serves up a few delicious tidbits in today’s posting on his About.com blog.
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Can we help out the Brits?

Update: Thanks to Justin, the head of the European Coaster Club, we now know that there is a six-hour time difference. So all of our friends over in England can watch the announcement at 5 pm. Another update: Just had an email from Germany. The difference is seven hours for them.
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Does anyone know the time difference between the UK and us?

Just received a nice email from a fellow who wants to stream the announcement today — and wondered what time he should tune in from over there across the pond.

I think the difference is seven hours … meaning it’ll be 6 pm in England. But I’m not positive.

Does anyone know for sure? (Please email me if you do.)

By the way, here’s the direct link to the streaming page.

…and there’s a nice article in this morning’s Evansville Courier & Press.

Just a few hours to go – even in England!
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You don’t have to miss our announcement

Thanks to WEHT-TV you won’t have to miss hearing our 2006 plans, even if you’re sitting at your desk, halfway around the world, pretending to be hard at work.

Our local ABC affiliate has arranged to have their very cool satellite truck here on Wednesday. (Once you’re in the biz, you know to refer to it as a “sat truck.”)

WEHT-TV will provide a live stream of our announcement on their website. (Gotta catch it live; it won’t be archived.)

It’ll be available starting shortly before 11:00 am CDT/EST. (Please figure out the time thing now … by tomorrow morning, it may be too late!)

Just head over to their website and click on the Holiday World logo.

Will’s presentation will begin precisely at the top of the hour; we expect the announcement to last approximately 15 minutes.

If you live in the Evansville market and are a Sigecom digital cable customer, you can also tune in on Channel D-WEHT.

Will plans to talk about the new additions to both parks. He’ll reveal the new holiday-themed section. And he’ll take us on the ride of our lives. (And that’s no eggs-ageration.)

We sincerely hope to meet a bunch of our friends from HoliBlogLand (no, that is NOT the new section!) tomorrow. Thanks so much for all the sweet emails from so many of you the past few days.

We know now more than ever…

We are truly blessed.
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Will he crack?

The folks at WTVW-TV in Evansville have invited Will to stop by Monday morning for an on-air chat between 7:30 and 8:00 am CDT.

They want to talk about the upcoming “What’s New for ’06” announcement, which will take place (rain or shine!) on Wednesday at 11 am CDT.

I’ve prepared Will as best I can, as is my job.

He’s got the list of HoliHints.

He knows what not to say.

And he knows not to come back if he leaks anything. We’ve come so close to the announcement day; we can’t blow it all now.

“What if they trick me?” he wondered aloud a few hours ago.

“What if I crack?!”

Using all of my public relations schooling (read: none), I advised him to re-enact the dramatic scene we’ve all seen played out on the TV news magazines: “What? This isn’t what you said it would be! This is an ambush! I don’t have to take this! I’m outta here!”

And then he could yank off the microphone and stomp off!

We laughed ourselves silly at the thought.

Hang in there, boss.

We’ll be watching …
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Drumroll, please …

Can it really be? Drumroll, please: Our final HoliHint?

And I mean FINAL … this is driving me nuts! (Whose idea was this, anyway? Oh, never mind …)

You already know a few important numbers … $13.5 million for the budget plus 7/13/05 and 11:00 am for the announcement.

What’s left?

Here are a few more numbers to tickle your imagination along with silly (or not?) guesses. Another drumroll: 

  • 24.2 seconds (the length of my scream?)
  • 66 degrees (an air-conditioned ride?)
  • 84 persons (new helpers for the PR Department?)
  • 20 feet wide (this applies to both parks’ projects)
  • 60 years (how long it will be before we offer weekly HoliHints again!)

Hang in there! The drumroll can only last so long.

All (well, nearly all) will be revealed next Wednesday!
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Oooooo! Aaaaaaahhhh!

fireworks

We had to move the fireworks extravaganza up a bit last night due to a highly unusual occurrence — rain! Ooooooh! Aaaaaaahhhh!

I was down by Bahari with Melissa (the editor of the Spencer County Journal-Democrat) and her husband, Mark.

It was almost eerie … just the three of us down there in the water park. Oh, and Beatles music was still playing in Splashin’ Safari. (Although during the fireworks finale, I did my best to “sing” portions of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.)

Melissa is quite the photographer:

fireworksAll the way down at Bahari we could hear it.

Ooooooh! Aaaaaaahhhh!

From up in Holiday World, cheers and shouts.

Thousands of patriots making a joyful noise.

I hope our friend in Afghanistan could feel it in his heart. As well as all the other servicemen and servicewomen who so selflessly serve our blessed nation.

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Some little guests may be too independent!

Phone Find wristband

It’s happened to every parent — you turn around for half a second and your beloved child has disappeared.

Often a quick look around the area and you’re reunited. A quick hug, maybe a brief scolding, and your life is back to normal.

But for that moment, your heart stops.

Last fall, we decided our big “let’s make it better” project would be Lost Parents (the children always know where they are … it’s the parents who aren’t in the right place).

What we came up with is the Phone Find system. So many people carry cell phones nowadays, we thought offering a wristband for children to wear–on which we’d write the family’s cell phone number–would work well.

And it does.

Phone Find wristband
Please note, this doesn’t work if you don’t actually have your cell phone with you. One dad was all fired up about getting a Phone Find wristband for his little girl … until it suddenly hit him that his mobile phone was back home.

Our next challenge was how to spread the word. We could add it to our website and put a blurb on the Show Guide. But how to get the message in front of everyone’s face at a time they might actually read it?

Enter … Potty Prose!

Potty Prose sticker

You’ll find these stickers in the restrooms in areas where reading materials are often appreciated.

Here’s a story from our controller, Matt, who has two little girls of his own:

Remembering the many children we have “reunited” with their lost parents, there is usually one that stands out in our minds, that leaves a special feeling in our hearts that lets us know that we have done our proverbial good deed for the day.

For me, it was a five-year-old girl.

This particular little girl was extremely concerned that her parents had left her behind. She thought they hadn’t noticed that she was missing and had unknowingly left her at the park.

The poor child was terribly worried and asked at least 500 times what we were going to do.

She never broke down in tears, but came close, and continued to try to come up with a game plan to handle her abandonment.

I repeatedly assured her that we would indeed find her family, and she would be going home with them that very night. We walked around for quite some time, looking at every possible place that she thought that they might be.

She held my hand so tightly I grew concerned about loss of circulation. But I decided not to say anything; she clearly had more important worries.

After about 30 minutes, we managed to locate her mother (her parents had split up to search for her). As expected, her mother was frantic, sick with worry. She was extremely happy that her little angel had been found.

Her mother was very gracious and thanked me as she hugged her daughter. My job was done, I wished them a good evening and started to walk away.

My little friend then grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye and solemnly declared, “Thank you, mister. You saved my life.”

Q: When is the color green … blue?

green boats that should have been blue

A: When Will says it’s blue!

Here’s the story …

Will planned to replace the boats at Raging Rapids over the course of two years. A few last year, but most of them this season. Boats were ordered last fall, in plenty of time for the new season.

The boats were to be the same colors as before — the official Holiday World colors: red, yellow, and blue.

The red, yellow and blue boats only recently arrived. Red, yellow, and …

green boats
What’s that?

The yellow and red boats are true to form.

But the what about the others?

Aren’t they …?

green boats that should have been blue

Checking with Will only added to the confusion.

“That is one of our new blue boats,” he deadpanned. “We ordered blue boats. These are the blue boats.”

Okay …

So when you head over to Raging Rapids during your next visit, it’ll help to know that when the Host or Hostess invites your family to climb into the blue boat … well, it’s best to just go along for the ride.

the blue boat that's really green
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