Procrastination Polka

Okay, so that's about as dumb a subject line as I've ever conjured up…

But if you've been dancing around putting off ordering your 2008 Season Passes, yet you want to purchase them at the lowest possible rate … you've got till Sunday night to do it.

Sunday night, as in October 14, at 11:59 pm CDT.

Once the second hand clicks to Monday, the prices go up.

Bettye, whom you may have met if you've stopped by Holiday Foods here in town, already has hers.

She asked me about when they would go on sale a number of weeks ago and I promised (and actually remembered!) to have a flyer mailed to her.

The next time I stopped by for groceries, Bettye happily proclaimed she'd already received her vouchers in the mail.

We ended up laughing so hard, we sort of held up the check-out line

You see, Bettye buys season passes for her family as Christmas presents every year. She told me she'd informed her daughter, "If anything happens to me — the season pass vouchers for you and the grandkids are in the bottom drawer of my nightstand."

Her daughter, of course, was horrified. "Mom! What do you mean, if anything would happen to you?"

Bettye and I cackled like a couple of hens at the thought of being on our deathbeds and drawing our loved ones near for one final, loving conversation:

My darlings, be good to one another and know that I love you. And don't forget, your season pass vouchers are in the bottom drawer.

A soothing office space

Tom's office space

You remember Tom, right?

He’s getting a new office. Completely new. Even the walls.

Now we’ve all learned that Feng shui literally means “air and water”…

… but do the Chinese have a word for Pepto-Bismol?

Tom's office space

No, Tom isn’t moving into Barbie’s Dream House; it’s just his good friend in the paint shop needed to choose a primer color for the walls and decided on this stunning shade for that first coat.

Apparently the paint shop “owed” Tom a favor.

Indeed, payback is … pink.

I know where you left your phone last summer…

No, it's not quite a horror flick…

…but close.

Last Saturday at closing, I was down at The Voyage. One of the ride ops asked if I was heading "up top" (you may have noticed it's all uphill going from Thanksgiving to the front gate).

She asked if I'd mind taking some Lost & Found items up to Guest Relations in hopes that the owners would stop by any pick up their stuff.

No problem.

Two pairs of sunglasses and a cell phone.

Sigh! What to do with a left-behind cell?

It's tempting to poke around, looking for the list of recent calls, in the hopes of finding someone who would know who owned the phone and that they'd know how else to contact the owner.

Or is that an invasion of privacy?

As that question hung in the air, the phone suddenly jumped to life, buzzing in my hand.

Someone's calling … should I answer?

Might as well:

Me: Hello?

Deep Voice: Hello?

Me: Hello?

DV: Hello?

(Oh great, here we go again…)

Me: Hello … I work at Holiday World. Whoever owns this cell phone left it behind at one of our rides. Would you know how else to contact this person so we can return the phone?


Alrighty then. Up to Lost & Found we go.

According to Eric, his staff does try to be proactive in reuniting cell phones with their owners, looking for phone numbers labeled "Home" or "Mom." A quick call is usually met with appreciation and help in creating a Peaches & Herb moment.

Oh, great, now I've got an earworm.

"Hey, hey…"

A visit from royalty

It’s hard not to have a suspicious mind when a rumor runs through the park.

The king is here.


Surely they’re pulling my leg.

But if there’s a big hunk-a burnin’ love out in the park, by golly, I was going to snap a photo.

But where to look? On The Freedom Train? At the glass-blowers’ shop? In with Santa?

I stopped short of calling on the two-way radio: All units on Channel 1: Has anyone seen Elvis?

But I did consider it.

I saw a friend over by Eagle’s Flight and he tipped me off: Elvis is eating at Plymouth Rock Cafe.

My heart was pounding (yes, I was all shook up) as I approached the Thanksgiving section.

I scanned the group of diners, and didn’t see the promised star … when suddenly the glare of sunshine reflecting off a sea of rhinestones nearly blinded me.

I’d found him.

A little known fact: Elvis takes off his rings while dining. He was quite courteous when I asked if I could take his photo — even put his rings back on.

His outfit is quite impressive. The zebra belt is remarkable.

It seemed a little too rude to ask Elvis to interrupt his meal to give me a full-body pose, so I thanked him and walked away.

Luckily, I saw him again later. So I did the stalker thing and took a shot from afar.

Elvis has left the gift shop.

Look at those slacks!

Those bell bottoms!

That belt!

Bless him, Elvis put a smile on everyone’s face.

I kept an eye on him to make sure he was getting plenty to drink. It
would be easy to get dehydrated on such a warm day, all dressed in

And I was hoping, frankly, I could earn some brownie points by bringing him a refill.

But that, of course, would have made me … a pop-a-razzi.

Hey, Hey … It’s Kima Bay!

Okay, so by now you’ve checked this out, right?

And maybe you even got a chance to watch Will do his thing with our groundbreaking this morning, courtesy our Kima Bay Construction Cam (or…The WebCam Formerly Known As SplashCam):

Oh, it’s been so dry lately, the dust was flying. (Laura from our county Visitors Bureau, commented “it’s so dry the grass is crunchy.”)

The news media turned out casually dressed (they’ve learned over the years, thank goodness, that suits and high heels are not the proper attire for a park announcement). I risked chigger bites by ducking into the woods for this artistically-framed shot:

And yes, the reporters eventually got Will to say it.

Planning for Kima Bay is … more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

By the by, three of the four clues in this post were pretty easily seized upon and pounded into the ground by numerous folks who like to email us.

But the “I’m a believer” hint proved to be more slippery than a banana peel. (Did anyone consider a “monkees” theme?)

The very best thing about Kima Bay? Will has agreed to add Monkees songs to Splashin’ Safari’s musical lineup.

I, Yappa…

…being of sound mind and …

No, that’s not it.

When you get involved in this industry, it doesn’t take long to hear about “I, Yappa.”

Or actually, IAAPA.

The International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions.

You know, I-APPA. Or, as some say, I-double-A-P-A.

It’s our mighty trade organization.

And they just happen to have a slick and shiny monthly magazine.

…which just happens to include a feature this month entitled “Creative Communicator.”

And that just happens to be about me.

All humility aside (and a little humiliation, actually), here’s a link to that fine article.

The “humiliation” part is that photo. You’ll know it when you see it.

It was meant to illustrate a story I told the reporter. (I tell the same story–about my first amusement park experience–here in a much earlier HoliBlog post.)

The story was left out, but the photo remained.

Matt gave me his copy of FunWorld so I could send it to my folks in Connecticut. Then he asked for it back, since the photo makes him laugh so much.

Too bad, Matt. I’d already mailed it to Mom and Dad. The next day Mom called to let me know Tim O’Brien really “captured my essence” and she was so proud.

In the background, I could hear my Dad hollering (a la George’s parents on Seinfeld): What’s all that about the sun in your eyes? You were ticked off about something! Why would you tell them the sun was in your eyes?

“Uh … gee, Dad, because I called Mom a month ago and asked her and that’s what she told me.”

Well that’s a bunch of garbage. Your mom only remembers the good stuff. I remember it clearly … you were ticked off about something. You were always ticked off about something.

“Thanks for the memories, Dad. Gotta go now. I’m driving, and … uh … the sun is in my eyes.”

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.