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. 


Oh, you sweet-talker, you….

We really do receive a lot of nice emails.

It's quite gratifying. And we really do appreciate it.

Once in a while, someone comes up with a new bit of praise…

…such as was found in the middle of an email that arrived this morning.

In addition to some kind words about our rides, employees, and the cleanliness of the park, came this wonderful phrase:

an intelligent logistical layout

Got to admit, it gave me a little tingle.

Out of sight, but never out of mind

It was getting close to bedtime for James last night. My second grader had grabbed a good book and made himself comfortable on Daddy’s side of the bed. (Stories from the “good book,” actually.)

It seemed a good time to sneak in for a cuddle, so I slipped in on my side and got ready for the uphill climb. We have one of those “sleep number” beds. Gary would be happy sleeping on a rock, so his side is set at 100 (“You sure it won’t go any higher?” he asks me all the time). I prefer a more moderate 45 or 55, so it was a bit of a heave-ho to make it over to James’s side.

I smoothly slid one of my arms under the lad’s head and the other I placed lightly across his belly. Not lightly enough, it turns out.

“Mom…the lapbar is too tight.”

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!