Stuck in the middle

A middle-aged man commented gleefully to me after five rides on The Voyage: "I've never had a coaster make me feel so young — yet so old!"

A video trip report

It’s always nice to hear back from our Guests.

It used to be by phone call and an occasional letter.

Then came an avalanche of email. (Not so many letters anymore.)

And now there’s YouTube.

As we come across video trip reports, we’ll share our favorites by providing a link here on our HoliBlog.

This video is from a student in St. Louis.

We give it two thumbs up.

Bakuli buzz

Judging from the many emails we’ve received, the consensus is: “Bakuli rocks.”

Being from a more, uh, seasoned generation, at first the “rocks” reference was a little alarming.

Rocks? Is the structure not stabilized? Are there pebbles in the pool?

Happily, my sons do their best to keep me in the groove with the current vernacular. “Rocks” is good.

This fellow is really rockin’:

Here’s the link to an article about Bakuli that ran in Sunday’s Indianapolis Star, Nashville Tennessean, Louisville Courier-Journal and Cincinnati Enquirer.

Those papers’ circulation numbers top 1.25 million.

Now that rocks!

Will’s weather toys

…have at last been revealed.

Part of my job is to "pitch" story ideas. Not just the big announcements, but individual features that are only offered to a single reporter with a particular interest.

Here's a pitch from last year that Chad from WFIE-TV never forgot.

Chad is a meteorologist and was intrigued that Will likes weather gadgets. The equipment we've collected over the years really makes a difference in our severe weather preparedness.

Mrs. Koch was laughing as she chatted with Chad about years ago when she used to stand in the Christmas plaza under a big umbrella, scanning the skies for lightning.

As the park has grown, we've created a severe weather plan, which includes moving our Guests into shelters when there's rough stuff on the way.

To see Chad's story, click here and scroll down the "14 News Top Video" box for the story titled "Emergency: Local theme park shares stormy weather plan."

‘I liked the chickens that go around’

We didn’t have the heart to tell the little girl her Chicken-Go-Round was a cluck of a different color. But it’s nice to know our new tilt-a-whirl is a hit.

And speaking of chickens

We caught up with these fellows again later. Obviously they’d found a ride that was more their speed.

Photographic memories

A lovely email from longtime friends:

My family has been going to your park for many, many years. My grandparents used to visit back when you were called Santa Claus Land. Generations have come and gone to your park. For the second time we will be taking my daughter to your park to celebrate her birthday. She will be 14 this year, and when asked what or where she would like to go for her birthday, your park was the first place she picked.

Anyway, I was going through my parents’ old photo albums gathering pictures that we wanted to scan for preservation, and I found these two pictures that I wanted to share with you. They were developed in November 1955, but I do not know the date of the visit. One picture is of my uncle and cousins…

…and the other is of my grandmother, her sister, and their mother (my great-grandmother).

So when I tell you that many generations from our family have visited, I wasn’t kidding.

Thanks so very much for all the past and future memories!

Becky C.
Bloomington, Indiana

An engaging proposal

Wedding proposals are personal and private.

For some, anyway.

Mine was while gazing out the window together at a winter moon. Our 25th anniversary is in August.

Our oldest son just got engaged. His beloved adores animals, so Tom took Lena to the Indianapolis Zoo.

Tom liked the idea of proposing in front of the penguin exhibit. You know … all those tuxes would provide an air of formality.

Not bad for a engineering-egghead kind of guy.

(I'm happy to report our dear Lena said "yes.")

Do you know someone who's getting close to proposing? Someone who's a little crazy? (Okay, enough with the marriage jokes…)

Here's an idea.

Just make sure the ring will fit. The last thing we all need on Bakuli's opening day is an engagement ring going "down the drain," right?

‘Artistic accomplishment’

An emailer named Craig was kind enough to send us the link to a snippet from the aforementioned Turkey Drop episode onWKRP.

Will was delighted.

His response to my email: This is the funniest moment in sitcom history! It is to be revered as a great artistic accomplishment!

What’s that smell?

Most park smells are wonderful.

The sweet aroma of funnel cakes … the mouth-watering wafts of grilling burgers.

And there’s nothing like sunscreen.

Mrs. Klaus’s Kitchen.

’nuff said.

(Okay, okay … in the spirit of full disclosure there is the occasional person who forgets to apply his morning hygienic product, if you catch my drift. I’ll never forget my son John’s report following his first day working in Games two years ago: Mom, I couldn’t believe it — it hit me like a force field!)

Back to the smells that have a positive impact on our olfactory glands….

They’ll be a whole lotta sniffing going on in our Thanksgiving section this season.

Plymouth Rock Cafe opens May 19.


Training doesn’t just happen in Rides and Games departments … the Foods crews need to learn the ropes, too.

That’s Wayne in the yellow shirt. He keeps telling me, “Please be sure the website says ‘Menu Subject To Change'” as we get closer to opening.

How hard can it be to come up with a menu for a Thanksgiving-themed restaurant?

Plenty hard, if you want to keep the number of entrees, sides and desserts to a reasonable amount.

How kind of these Hosts & Hostesses to assist in the Plymouth Rock Cafe’s training.

Sit 20 people down in a room and ask them what they absolutely have to consume on the fourth Thursday in November…

You’ll get 20 different combinations.

My grandma in Lowell, Massachusetts, always made stuffed celery with some sort of bleu cheese concoction in it for Thanksgiving. Never truly liked it, but it was part of my Thanksgiving mindset, so I made it, too, when I set up housekeeping here in Indiana. (The German family I married into wanted to know how I could have forgotten sauerkraut as part of the feast. Silly me.)

Here’s the menu planned for May 19.

But remember, it’s subject to change.


Ah, these clever contests.

"SuperHits 105.3" is running a ticket giveaway contest this month. Look here for more information.

Poor John's heart nearly broke when it became apparent a contest involving a "turkey drop" scenario just wouldn't be feasible.

Turkey drop.

You know … as in WKRP, a TV show from 25 years ago. Whenever John brings up his quest to create a turkey-drop-themed promotion for the park, he and Will have to take time out to chortle about the comedic perfection of that episode.

I just shake my head and whisper to our younger Directors, "You don't want to know."

For the backstory, take a look at this post.