The first sign of Spring

No, it’s not a robin.

Instead of a sweetly tweeting bird, it’s a loudly roaring crane.

The Raven’s two trains are back from their winter vacation in Pennsylvania. They weren’t exactly at a fancy foo-foo spa, but let’s just say their inner workings were well oiled and massaged.

Bob, Elmer and Lee are readying each car for its return to the tracks.

It’s a little freaky to see, from elsewhere in the park, a bright red Raven car flying through the air.

And then settled gently back on the coaster tracks.

The remaining cars look pretty mellow.

Or maybe they’re huddled together for warmth. Spring may be on its way, but it’s not here yet.

CPR = Chilly Preview Rides

Will and William weren’t the only Turkey Whirl riders last week.

When asked if he enjoyed that inaugural ride, Will replied proudly, “Yes, I did. I enjoyed the first half tremendously.”

Poor Will gets a little woozy. He’s more of a coaster guy.

I share Will’s … um, affliction. Which reminds me, thanks to Tori for taking these photos. I was conveniently indisposed during the turkeys’ first whirl.

So who did ride?

Let’s start with Sean and Nathan. They’re two of our Coaster Maintenance crew members.

Next, Roger; he’s on the Grounds crew.

Mrs. Koch shares her turkey with Erin and Vanessa, from our Merchandise department.

Painters Matt and Kyle are used to stirring things up.

Joe is our IT manager.

Matt, Dee Ann and April look cold, don’t they? I don’t think Matt’s hood is to keep his ears
warm, though; it’s a disguise. He’s hoping his two little girls don’t find out Daddy already got to ride the new tilt-a-whirl.

Meanwhile, CPR Training for our full-timers was conducted last week.

Jodie, our warehouse manager, needed no convincing to “save” her assistant manager, David.

And here’s Rachel “saving” Mrs. Koch.

Our Countdown Clock says 73 days till opening. That news is enough to give any of us heart palpitations.

Snow sculpture

No, we still haven’t had any snow to speak of, but doesn’t it look like we have been outside playing in the white stuff?

Here are the zebras from another direction.

Take a good look; which is their best side?

This summer we can ask the little ones: Which is their best slide?

More photos from Jeopardy

Thanks to Steven, our marketing coordinator, we have some screen grabs from yesterday’s show.

Let’s start with the week’s exciting theme … it’s Teen Tournament week!

Our category popped up right away, during the first round of Jeopardy.

It took our Teens a while to summon the courage to go to the Theme Park Fun category. They were more comfortable and confident, apparently, with Vice Presidents, Geography, and even Fast Food.

But finally, a rather timid Heidi took the plunge.

“Theme Park Fun for $600.”


Somewhere along the way, the dollar amounts have been adjusted up.

Back when Art Fleming was running the show (in the … ugh! … 1960s) a $600 answer would have been in Double Jeopardy.

Even the Jeopardy board gets a cost of living increase.

And what is that answer, Alex?

Frank from Chicago was quick on his feet and buzzed in right away.

“What is … Thanksgiving?”

Clever lad. Send him some tickets.

(Actually, I emailed the Jeopardy Question Researcher who has been our liaison and she was pretty sure we couldn’t do that, according to Jeopardy Law. Don’t mess with Alex.)

Here’s the fellow who won:

Stephen clocked out with more than $34,000.

He can buy his own tickets.

Cool new critters for Crocodile Isle

Something we didn’t include in the New for 2007 news release is the batch of new water-play animals for Crocodile Isle in Splashin‘ Safari.

They will replace the original animal slides, which were part of Splashin‘ Safari premiere season in 1993.

Let’s start with the upper pool:

This zebra slide (shall we call them Zippy and Zappy for now?) replaces the turtle.

Zippy and Zappy make up a “dual slide” for added capacity, and will “load” from outside of the pool.

Next the children may splash about in the pool and then slide down one of
the body slides and into the lower pool, where they’ll find…

This happy parrot (let’s call her Pandora) is replacing the elephant slide.

Pandora’s pretty umbrella will spray cooling water down on the happy tykes below.

Can you just imagine the toddler happy dances that will ensue?

And the shrieks of delights?

(Please, though, no crackers in the pool.)

And what may we have chosen to replace the popular crocodile slide?

Another crocodile! …er, alligator.



Hmm. Let’s just say we’ll call him … fun.

“What is…Thanksgiving?”

Way to go, Frank from Chicago!

When our question came up today in the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, he was up to the challenge.

Alex Trebek was in fine form today. Dapper as always, with nary a stumble, nary a slur.

Doesn’t he look like he’s trying extra hard to enunciate each word perfectly, just for us? Gotta love Alex.

And here, at last, is that $600 question:

Unfortunately for Frank, who was in the lead going into Final Jeopardy, it appeared his own miscalculation regarding how much to wager at the end was a bit short. So he had to fake a congratulatory smile and wish the fellow from Lexington good luck.

Fear not, Frank, surely there will be some lovely parting gifts. And perhaps, among the Rice-A-Roni and the case of Dentyne gum, there will be some tickets to Holiday World.

“I’ll take Holiday World for $600, Alex”

That's right … we just got word a Holiday World question (er…answer) will be on Wednesday's episode of Jeopardy! Click here to see the news release.

On Valentine's Day … sweet.

I sent an email about this to Jane, Mrs. Koch's co-author, and her reply made me laugh:

Wow! Stephen Colbert and now this. Santa Claus is becoming a New York neighborhood (though one without a latte place).

Warm sentiments on a chilly morning

Our friend Paul Ruben from Park World magazine just sent me a link to his column about his first visit to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.

Paul lives in upstate New York. You know the place — with all the snow? He might be in the mood for another visit to southern Indiana right about now.


It's not just the president's address anymore.

It's also the number of seasonal employees we're gearing up to hire.

Brandon is working on a Seasonal Employee Transportation program, designed for folks who would be able to work here if only there was transportation.

Living in the country can be charming. But there are the little things, such as public transportation, that are missed.

Once Brandon has this bus transportation thing figured out, maybe he can start working on a subway system.

Or a shoe store.