During this past week, my mom and I (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) met up with my brother’s family (from Des Moines, Iowa) and his extended family (from Indianapolis, Indiana) for two days of fun at your park on July 27-28.
I have nothing but good things to say about your park!
I’m a self-proclaimed amusement park enthusiast which probably became embedded in my system while working for four years at Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 20 years ago.
This was our first trip to Holiday World.
Our group decided that we really enjoyed and sincerely appreciated the following:
FREE DRINKS: Other parks usually charge almost $3 for a drink that is often way too large for what we need. Price gouging at its finest! Your drink stations were plentiful, easy to find (even for the kids in our group … ages 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9), and had lots of choices, including non-carbonated selections. We found that the kids didn’t overdo it once they understood that the drinks would always be available. And no fighting over having to share cups because the drinks were too large for one person! In addition, it seemed to make the lines at refreshment stands move more quickly when the servers did not also have to handle drink orders.
NO SMOKING: Thank you for considering everyone’s health, especially the kids’. I have asthma, so I really appreciate this move on your part. Other parks do not allow smoking in queue lines or on the rides. However, I can’t count the number of times I have been relaxing on a bench (at another park) when a smoker has sat down and lit up right beside me. I’m sure the smoke-free zones have also helped with park cleanliness. At Kennywood Park, it seems that the “sweeperettes” spend most of their time cleaning up cigarette butts!
CLEANLINESS: When my mom and I first arrived at the park, we were welcomed at the edge of the parking lot by Pat Koch. “Hey, I saw her picture on the website!” I told my mom. Pat was very pleasant and answered our questions about the terrain of the park. (We were deciding whether my mom would need a wheelchair.) We chuckled at her nametag that said “The Queen of Clean.” I think you can give that title (or “king”) to every one of your employees. They all made a visible effort to keep things sparkling, from wiping up spills and picking up litter in their areas to polishing windows in shops and refreshment stands. Apparently, this rubbed off on the guests because I have never seen so many people cleaning up after themselves in an amusement park! I was especially impressed with the cleanliness in the water park restrooms and changing rooms. That’s a lot of drippy people to keep up with!
COURTESY AND OVERALL PLEASANT ATTITUDE: I get the feeling that your employees really like working at the park. They are proud of their park, their jobs and their co-workers. They are able to answer questions about things in the park that may have nothing to do with their jobs. If they couldn’t answer a question, they quickly referred us to someone who could. Interactions went beyond just a pleasant hello. I found that the kids in our group learned to return their courtesy. I was proud to hear the kids saying “thank you” to ride attendants each time they left a ride, something they don’t normally do in an amusement park with strangers. I also found that we spent a lot of time interacting with other visitors to the park … the friendliness in your park is contagious!
VARIETY OF RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS: Once again, we found that everyone in our group (ages 3-77) had plenty of rides, shows, foods and activities to keep them happy. I thought my 77-year old mom might get bored sitting in a wheelchair all day, but that was definitely NOT the case. There were several rides she could go on that were gentle enough for her bad back. She enjoyed the doll museum, glassblower and toy display. She really liked the wave pools and the lazy rivers. We managed to try every slide in Splashin’ Safari many times. The kids liked any amusement rides that spun or that they could drive. Kiddie rides are nicely mixed in with adult rides so that everyone could keep busy at the same time and not have to spend a lot of time waiting for each other. For example, Grandma took the three youngest kids to the Christmas kiddie rides while the adults and older children rode on The Raven and The Legend. We all got a kick out of the diving show. As for The Voyage, the adults are still trembling! I have ridden a lot of coasters in my life, but I have never experienced such a wild combination of features … banked turns, speed, direction changes and the best … a tunnel with dips inside. The element of surprise on our first ride is unmatched in my riding career! I’ll be watching the Golden Ticket Awards program to see where The Voyage ranks this year. Good luck!
PRICING: With so many kids in our group, pricing is always an issue when we choose a vacation meeting place. Your general admission price is reasonable, plus, we picked up discount coupons at Ponderosa the night before. We really liked paying only $19 to return for an additional day. We bought a 2-day pass as soon as we got there (although I like the option of buying the second-day ticket before leaving on the first day). Knowing that we had two days to enjoy the park kept us from feeling that we had to hurry up to squeeze in everything we wanted to try. It made for a much more relaxed trip and allowed us to ride our favorites multiple times. I also felt that prices in the refreshment stands and in the gift shops were all very reasonable and family-friendly.
I could probably go on and on about our trip to Holiday World. I picked up plenty of brochures to share with my friends back in Pennsylvania. You have definitely impressed me and I know I will be back for more in the future.
Thank you for providing such a wonderful playspot for families!