A “Q” for the loo?

Not true!

Not true!

A queue for Sue?

A queue for Drew?

A queue for who?

(Note: that last word really should be “whom,” but it doesn’t rhyme. Poetic license.)

A shuttle queue.

For campers who …

… (ugh!) whose day is through.

Back to Lake Rudolph, whether RV, cabin or tent.

They’ll line up here, all their energy spent.

One last queue after riding all day.

Then hop on the shuttle and drive away.

When numbers mean, well … not much

Although my career choice doesn’t make it obvious, I really like math.

My math SAT score was 80 points higher than my English.

Go figure.

Our three sons are all math-heads. Tom, a math major, just started a position at JPL. (Now we can’t joke with him, Hey, it’s not rocket science! Sigh.)

Tom and his bride are even in the process of moving into a house on Euclid Street.

Lena was hilarious when the option came up. “Euclid Street?! No way! I’m not living on Math Street!”

But once she saw it, she changed her mind. Blue and yellow dream kitchens will do that.

And last night our youngest took me to his school’s Open House. As we chatted with James’s second grade teacher, she told me that when she reviewed with the class how subtraction works (“the big number always comes first, minus the smaller number,”) James’s hand shot up.

“Um…technically…not always…”

James like negative numbers. Has since Kindergarten. Might have something to do with negative gravity…

So when Will routes us a sheet full of numbers, my heart skips a beat.

Not that he’s asking me to personally perform any fancy trig functions, but I’m ready.

Today’s report is seven pages long. It’s entitled “Walk-in Attendance by DMA.”

I won’t bore you with the info about our major markets.

It’s the smaller markets (with the smaller numbers) that are entertaining.

For example, in the Salt Lake City market, we’ve floated up 284.44% this season.

And Omaha, Nebraska, residents have found mutual benefit in flocking here this season, up 304.11%.

But not all the totals rival High School Musical‘s ratings; Albuquerque is down 49.28%.

Same with Oklahoma City. I guess it’s okay, but visitation from that DMA has dropped 58.22%

But I’ll ask ya, don’t we all get a chill to realize that we’re up in Juneau 292.31%?

A man of few words

Following an interview with a news reporter, you never know how many of your stellar quotes will actually be included in the article.

It can be a little nerve-wracking.

When the Washington Post asked to speak over the phone with one of our "track walkers," Sean agreed to explain what he does early each morning to get our wooden coasters ready for action.

Sean started out here as a seasonal ride operator and has been on staff full-time for four years.

The Post opted to visit with some track walkers who are located far closer to the D.C. area than we are, but they did use a single quote from Sean.

Coaster Cat Sean

This photo is from last spring, before the tracking was finished on this particular portion of The Voyage.

It does sort of leave you speechless, doesn't it?

The State of the Food address

Udderly Blue's "blue ice cream" is a tradition for many families. Each evening we see countless smiling little Smurfs heading home out the front gate.

Udderly Blue ice cream   Happily, the memories of their visit last much longer than the blue around their mouths.

   …let's link on over to join The Hungry Hoosier for a chat about the State of the Food at Holiday World.

  Scott blogs about food around Indiana. 


With a bit of rain approaching…

…I just heard the following on our 2-way radio:

Would someone please let Santa know that the windows on his sleigh are down?

The swimming grasshopper

Don’t worry, there are not bugs in the water.

The “grasshopper” is Jason.

We have a company-wide “coaching” program that involves park directors coaching full-time managers.

It’s fun. Especially for bossy know-it-alls like me. (Is it fun for you, too, Jason? Yes, of course it is …)

From the start, I’ve called Jason my “grasshopper.”

He was so disappointed to find out, months later, that I was referring to a TV show, not some spiritual character from a folk tale of yore.

Anyway, usually my grasshopper is the manager of our Human Resources department. But next week, he’s the swimming grasshopper.

That’s Jason in the middle, flanked by Jordan and Justine. They’re refreshing his lifeguarding skills so he’ll be ready for next week.

Because next week, our staff shrinks considerably. Not some new diet, alas. It’s back-to-school time in southern Indiana.

To prepare for next week, some of the office staffers are dusting off their various in-park skills so they’ll be ready to join operations folks to help next week go swimmingly well.

Here’s Jason “saving” Justine:

If you visit during the latter half of the next week (Wednesday through Friday) it might help to know ahead of time that The Wave will be open (and Bahari wave pool closed), Bahari River will be open (and the Congo River plus Bamboo Chute and AmaZOOM will be closed).

And remember, no raising Caine in the water park. A grasshopper is watching.

One phone, two phone, red phone, blue phone


During the season when the phone rings at home, I always assume it's "work" calling.

Even though it usually isn't.

In fact, in my 16 years here, I've caught myself almost answering the phone at home with, "Holiday World, this is Paula…"

That didn't happen last night, but still this conversation seemed to be natural fodder for the HoliBlog.

The phone rang at 9:23 pm…




Yes, hello?

Hello? Flo?



Flo? No…



No Flo?

No. No Flo.


(at this point I started laughing)

…we sound like a Dr. Suess book!


Dr. Seuss … you know … the children's books.


Doctor … oh, never mind. I think you have the wrong number.

No kidding!


Climbing the family tree

I sometimes wonder what the rest of the office staff thinks while Will and the park directors are in our weekly "staff meeting."

…'cause we laugh a lot.

Often, quite raucously.

Lori really set us all off with this story…

She's the director of the water park. The other day, a female guest approached her with a question:

Guest: You know that lady on your commercials — that Koch lady?

Lori: Yes…

Guest: And that guy … that guy who's on some of the other commercials?

Lori: Yes, that's Will Koch.

Guest: How long have they been married?

Our conference room erupted with mirth. Will looked stunned, a deer-in-the-headlights look locked on his visage.

When the room calmed down a bit, Lori continued:

I quickly explained that they aren't married … they are mother and son.

Mrs Koch didn't miss a beat: "Lori, you should have told her Will married me for my money."

Another roar of laughter.

I glanced over at my boss; Will had put his head down on the table.

A stand-up kind of guy

We introduced Eric a few weeks back.

I think he sneaks into the Holidog Inn with his one-liners and makes the pooches howl.

Here's his latest…

We received a lovely email from a couple in Texas. They wanted to thank us for the wonderful visit they had with us recently.

And, of course, they wanted to let us know what ride they thought we should add next to the park.

A steel coaster. In a new Easter-themed section.

I dutifully forward all suggestions to Will, Mrs. Koch, and our staff of directors.

Eric didn't miss a beat.

"Hey! We could name the coaster Bunnies of Steel!"


Extreme cover

It’s really a thrill to be featured on the cover of a magazine.

And to have a multi-page, color article.

But 17 pages?!

Well, that’s … almost embarrassing.


Well, after all, it is “RollerCoaster Magazine,” and The Voyage is a rather extreme coaster, so maybe ACE isn’t exactly overdoing it.

That’s right, RollerCoaster Magazine is the official publication of the American Coaster Enthusiasts.

The editorial staff asked for my help in putting together a feature story after The Voyage premiered last season, so I enlisted the help of Will plus the four Gravity Group engineers. They each provided an article on a different topic related to the design and construction of The Voyage.

With your permission, we’ll get dramatic and cheesy for a minute: This article includes some never-before-released photos and rare design graphics. (Rare, because we didn’t use them…)

If you’re not an ACE member but you’d like to purchase a copy ($8 per copy, which includes postage), fill out this form and specify “Issue 101.”