The first sign of Spring

Raven car waiting to be placed onto tracks

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?

In Jeopardy

Jeopardy Teen Tournament slate

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

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

Jeopardy Teen Tournament slate

Our category popped up right away, during the first round:

"Theme Park Fun" category

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.”


Jeopardy contestant Heidi


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.


$600 category slate

And what is that answer, Alex?

Jeopardy answer: Get Away to Holiday World in Indiana to Ride the Gobbler Getaway in the Area Named for this Holiday

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

“What is … Thanksgiving?”

Jeopardy contestant Frank

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:


Jeopardy contestant Stephen

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.

Birds of a feather


Will and his son, William, took a chilly first ride on the Turkey Whirl.

Seven frozen birds

Here’s the other truck, loaded with Turkey Whirl pieces.

That first piece coming off the truck looks cold.

Wondering if those guys are all daring each other to touch their tongue to it, a la Schwartz and the flagpole in The Christmas Story.

Matt, our controller, can’t wait to ride. The longer the better, he says. Plucky fellow, our Matt.

Cold Turkey

Turkey Whirl cars on flatbed truck

“I just looked out my window and a bunch of turkeys drove by!”

Laura is the office manager for our county visitors bureau. She’s worked in Santa Claus long enough that she knows not to get her feathers ruffled when she sees unusual vehicles drive by her window.

Here’s the latest crazy truckload:

Turkey Whirl cars on flatbed truck

Rachel dashed out to take some photos of our new Turkey Whirl tilt-a-whirl ride.

She was concerned the workmen who accompanied the birds were miserably cold. Will reminded her that they’re from Minnesota, “so this is shirtsleeve weather for them!”

The turkeys look happy to be here

Turkey Whirl cars on flatbed truck