Maybe we need a warning sign?

Lynn is a grandma who visited the park recently and plans to come back again soon. She and I have exchanged emails several times over the past week.

Apparently we’re now close enough buddies that she felt comfortable sharing this proud family story:

I have a teen grandson, Logan. When he was around four, we took him to the park and bought him one of those blue ice creams. He really got into that thing! Had a blue face all day long. Ha!

But the next day, I was at his house watching him, and he went into the bathroom and was in there for a little bit, and came out of there screaming and crying in a panic that his “poop” was blue! The kiddo thought something was wrong with him! Ha ha ha! I like to died laughing! Ha ha!

Every time we talk Holiday World, I kid him about the “blue poop” and the panic he went into!

Umm … don’t worry, Logan, if Grandma Lynn emails me any baby pictures of you in the tub or on one of those bear rugs, I’ll send the files back unopened.

There are some lines we just won’t cross.

A big charge

My girlfriend and her son and I visited Holiday World last Saturday and we had a very good time.

I have never been there before but they have and it was the cleanest park I have ever been at.

The reason I am emailing is that when they shut the park down at 9 pm and we took the train to our vehicle, well I’d left the lights on and the battery was dead.

We took my girlfriend’s vehicle because it was a SUV and it would be more room than my truck so she is completely opposite as me and didn’t have any jumper cables in her vehicle.

I just want to say that the driver of the train called Maintenance and they were there in 10 minutes and very friendly and he was very helpful and I just wanted to let the person in charge to know that.

I live in Central Illinois and it was worth the drive and the employees are very friendly and very helpful.

Please tell Maintenance that they are doing a great job. I thanked the nice man at least 3-5 times.

I just wanted to let you people know that we had fun and I will recommend it to anyone that hasn’t been there.

Thanks,
Terry S.
Central Illinois

Envelope, please …

Today’s the day … the announcement of the 2005 Golden Ticket Awards.

We’ve been honored with several awards over the years. It’s gotten so we include the Golden Ticket logo on our brochure.


One fellow made our Call Center ladies smile a month ago; he was charmingly confused about those golden tickets.

Apparently a particular movie remake this summer got him to thinking he needed to consume a massive amount of candy bars before visiting us.

He wasn’t completely wrong, though … the Golden Tickets are definitely, well, sweet!

We received two of the top honors this year:

  • Friendliest (for the 8th year in a row) and
  • Cleanest (for the 6th consecutive year)

Splashin’ Safari was named the #2 water park again, and our coasters and water rides received high rankings as well.

Mrs. Koch was on hand in San Antonio, Texas, this afternoon to accept the awards and to announce that the 2006 Awards Ceremony will be hosted by her family’s park in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Our news release, with all the particulars, is posted in our News Room, if you’d like to take a peek.

And to see how all the parks did, click on over to the Amusement Today website.

Thanks to all who voted for us!

Most of all, thanks to all of our Hosts and Hostesses who earned these awards day after day, all season long.

Who dumped this stuff?

Who dumped this stuff?

…and does Mrs. Koch know what a mess they made?

The grassy area to the south of our employee parking lot is full of very large, shiny, cylindrical objects.

When I went up close to take this photo, I got dizzy (how embarrassing):

These two, together, looked like a huge pair of binoculars.

Alien binoculars, perchance?

They’re each seven feet in diameter, by the way.

Any idea what they are?

A quick call to Will and we have the answer.

Culverts.

They’ll go under the new walkway that, in 2006, will connect The Wave to the new Bahari River.

They’ll also be used in the area going upstream to Bahari.

After studying the above photo I must admit I’m not convinced space aliens aren’t involved.

Very messy aliens.

CBS correspondent discovers ‘fun’ at The Raven

 

I remember back when The Raven was under construction during the fall and winter of 1994-95. We took a magazine writer on a construction tour and some coaster enthusiasts came along (for color commentary, so I learned).

I must admit to initially thinking those people were nuts.

By just looking at the positioning of the footers and the beginnings of the structure, they already knew what kind of ride we were all in for the next spring.

“Look at that!” one cried out, pointing down into the woods. “The G-forces there will be incredible!” Another gasped: “Laterals!” (I caught him wiping away a bit of drool and quickly looked the other way.)

What were we getting ourselves into?

Happily, those folks gradually grew on us. Many of them really do know a lot about coasters–the history, the engineering, the physics. And their gushing (minus the escaping saliva) really is contagious.

Over the years, I been asked repeatedly if I’m a coaster enthusiast. My response has always been the same: I’m really more of an “enthusiast enthusiast.”

Does that make sense?

I really get a kick out of these folks. (Well, most of them, anyway.) They have endless questions, boundless enthusiasm, and countless recommendations.

Most of their conversations with us start with the following: “Do you know what would be really cool?”

ACEer Lucy and Richard Schlessinger discuss coasters for "48 Hours."The first “special event” we hosted for enthusiasts was held on May 19, 1995. (I remember the date simply because it was my birthday. How old was I? A decade younger than now; let’s leave it at that, shall we?)

The event was coordinated by the folks with the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) and included a little gift for me: Richard Schlesinger and a crew from 48 Hours. The CBS show was focusing on thrill seekers (that’s Lucy from Florida being interviewed in the photo), and they found more than a few riding The Raven that day.

My favorite moment was taking Mr. Schlesinger for a walk out in the woods so he could see The Raven’s wild layout close up. (We never did get him to ride it.) Mrs. Koch was back in the station, helping the ride ops dispatch trainload after trainload of deliriously happy ACEers. She was on the microphone, joking around with them. We could hear her jovial banter through the trees.

And I could tell he was listening.

So I hushed up.

Our esteemed network reporter, who had finally loosened his tie and was now even carrying his tailored suitjacket, at long last cracked a smile and murmured, almost to himself: “This is fun.”

YES, Richard, yes! It’s FUN! You get it! (Don’t worry; I was still in “hush” mode at this point. Didn’t yell at the nice reporter.)

The 48 Hours segment didn’t air until that August. In fact, it almost didn’t air at all. As I recall there was a dreadful hurricane that threatened the Eastern Seaboard that week.

We were nearly pre-empted. But it did air. And then made its way over to cable. I caught it on The Learning Channel a few times. Just thrilling!

Ever since that first event for enthusiasts, we’ve looked forward to their happy gatherings. There’s one coming up in June, actually. If you think you might be an enthusiast, you’ll want to consider signing up for our HoliWood Nights special event.

Because, if you’ve made it to the end of this tome … you just might be an enthusiast.

Construction update and an Affair to remember

The Voyage is right on course.

Smooth sailing.

Here’s a look at the coming-and-going structure that’s located down between The Wave and our employee parking lot.

Nice to see all the trees so close to the structure, isn’t it? We’ve found with The Raven and The Legend that the ride experience is enhanced by the forest. Makes you feel you’re traveling even faster, plus it prevents the rider from seeing what’s up ahead.

Quothe Will: Surprises are good.

A question…Do you find your heart racing when you look at these photos?

Then you might be a coaster enthusiast.

Do your arms automatically fly in the air when you watch the virtual Voyage ride?

…then you might be a coaster enthusiast.

I remember back when The Raven was under construction during the fall and winter of 1994-95. We took a magazine writer on a construction tour and some coaster enthusiasts came along (for color commentary, so I learned).

I must admit to initially thinking those people were nuts.

By just looking at the positioning of the footers and the beginnings of the structure, they already knew what kind of ride we were all in for the next spring.

“Look at that!” one cried out, pointing down into the woods. “The G-forces there will be incredible!”

Another gasped: “Laterals!” (I caught him wiping away a bit of drool and quickly looked the other way.)

What were we getting ourselves into?

Happily, those folks gradually grew on us.

Many of them really do know a lot about coasters–the history, the engineering, the physics.

And their gushing (minus the escaping saliva) really is contagious.

Over the years, I been asked repeatedly if I’m a coaster enthusiast.

My response has always been the same: I’m really more of an “enthusiast enthusiast.”

Does that make sense?

I really get a kick out of these folks. (Well, most of them, anyway.)

They have endless questions, boundless enthusiasm, and countless recommendations.

Most of their conversations with us start with the following: “Do you know what would be really cool?”

The first “special event” we hosted for enthusiasts was held on May 19, 1995. (I remember the date simply because it was my birthday. How old was I? A decade younger than now; let’s leave it at that, shall we?)

The event was coordinated by the folks with the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) and included a little gift for me: Richard Schlessinger and a crew from 48 Hours.

The CBS show was focusing on thrill seekers, and they found more than a few riding The Raven that day.

My favorite moment was taking Mr. Schlessinger for a walk out in the woods so he could see The Raven’s wild layout close up. (We never did get him to ride it.)

Mrs. Koch was back in the station, helping the ride ops dispatch trainload after trainload of deliriously happy ACEers. She was on the microphone, joking around with them.

We could hear her jovial banter through the trees.

And I could tell he was listening.

So I hushed up.

Our esteemed network reporter, who had finally loosened his tie and was now even carrying his tailored suitjacket, at long last cracked a smile and murmured, almost to himself:

“This is fun.”

YES, Richard, yes!

It’s FUN!

You get it!

(Don’t worry; I was still in “hush” mode at this point. Didn’t yell at the nice reporter.)

(That’s The Voyage again, of course. Didn’t want to go too long in this post without another picture.)

The 48 Hours segment didn’t air until that August. In fact, it almost didn’t air at all. As I recall there was a dreadful hurricane that threatened the Eastern Seaboard that week.

We were nearly pre-empted.

But it did air. And then made its way over to cable. I caught it on The Learning Channel a few times.

Ever since that first event for enthusiasts, we’ve looked forward to their happy gatherings.

There’s one coming up on October 1.

If you think you might be an enthusiast, you’ll want to consider signing up for the upcoming CoasterBuzz Club Fall Affair.

Because, if you’ve made it to the end of this tome … you just might be an enthusiast.

And if you wish you could go along with Rachel when she takes photos such as this:

…you might want to give one of these events a try.

The CoasterBuzz Club Fall Affair includes a construction tour; all-day admission; our traditional event-meal-menu of pizza, chips and fudge; plus several hours of in-the-dark Exclusive Ride Time (ERT) on The Raven and The Legend after the park closes for the day.

If you’ve ever considered trying out one of these events and rubbing shoulders with the coaster crazies, you won’t go wrong with the CoasterBuzz bunch.

And during The Voyage construction tour, we can all be goofy and holler “Ahoy!” at these guys:

The deadline to sign up is listed on the registration form.

By the way, after all these years I still think they’re all a little nuts.

A dollar for your thoughts

Want to make Dee Ann blush?

…pay for your party’s admission in cash.

And use all $1 bills.

This is Dee Ann’s second year as Director of Admissions, and she is never short of a good story.

A few weeks ago, during our weekly directors’ meeting, she mentioned the stack of “ones” she had to count one morning over the weekend. In telling us, her face was already taking on a pink glow.

“…there were three young men at my window; they purchased three one-day admission tickets together and handed me a pile of dollar bills. I counted them, and then they handed over another stack. And then another. Trying to make friendly conversation, I asked without thinking, ‘Oh, my … where did you get all of these?'”

Without missing a beat, Bobby Beefcake replied, “We’re exotic dancers.” Bobby and his buddies, Alan Absamighty and Steven Sikzpak, burst out laughing.

Dee Ann, concentrating mightily, continued counting those bills. At the completion of the transaction, she looked back up and told them with a smile, “Well I must say … this is a first!” Dee Ann may never have to buy blush again; those three pranksters have had a lasting effect!

Pilgrim’s progress

It’s really starting to look like a coaster.

Just ask Craig…

This next shot (thanks, Rachel) is where, on The Voyage, you’ll fly down the first drop and charge up the second hill.

This next photo shows part of the structure where we’re on our way back to the station.

Breathless.

Just look at the angle of the ledgers. (You do remember what a ledger is, don’t you?)

And here’s the view of The Voyage (coming and going) from Raging Rapids in our 4th of July section:

By the way, we got a quick note from Holidog, who made the most out of the park being closed yesterday and today. We’ll have more about his travels next week.

A catty email

We receive all kinds of emails.

Most of them are remarkably nice.

And thanks to Joe and our spamfilter, the majority are clean.

But once in a while, there’s a message that gives us pause.

“dffff”

Pardon me, what’s that?

Dffff?

What does that mean?

Is it code?

Or some of that instant-message lingo?

Happily, the sender quickly followed with a second email:

Sorry about previous email cat hit the send button.

Yes, of course.

Since there were no further instructions from the sender, I forwarded the email on to the appropriate staff member.

Holidog.

Top of the Line

A kind note from a family who visited recently:

We visited your park on August 10 and 11; this was a great place to go.

We really loved the free pop and sunscreen and the reasonably priced food and lockers. Also the free parking.

What a top of the line park.

You have the nicest workers. We were riding the Otorongo in the water park. My son, who is autistic, lost his purple toy out of his pocket.

Now it's just a 50-cent toy, but to an autistic child this toy was the world to him.

You have two young ladies who went out of their way to make sure they found it at the bottom of the pool. Their names are Allison and Andrea. They should be commended for doing this.

It's hard to find good employees like this.

Thank you very much to these two young ladies. Also for the wonderful vacation.

Six Flags needs to take lessons from your park because they sure don't compare to your park.

We will be back.

The K. Family
LaPorte, Indiana