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.”

A day to celebrate

Merry Christmas in July!

Mrs. Koch, after all, is Santa’s Daughter. Despite the heat of a summer day, she’s happy to model Santa’s jacket.

The white gloves come as no surprise, given her love of all things related to cleanliness. (We’re a little concerned she may not give them back to Santa.)

Can she rustle up a hearty ho-ho-ho?

Not a problem.

“Hey! That’s my line!” comes booming from Santa’s Storytime Theater.

A warm hug from Santa on a toasty day? There’s nothing cooler.

Before anyone’s head explodes…

I give.

I thought the statement that I would reveal what’s being built next week was a clear indication it was not something really big.

It was simply something being built.

Near the highway.

In clear view of, well, anyone driving by.

Creating a bit of a buzz.

Alas, coaster enthusiasts, ye hardly know me.

You’ve been on top of the world guessing what is going on. Dreaming big. Posting bigger.

Finally someone old enough (sigh!) caught the puns.

We’ve Only Just Begun.

For All We Know.

Close To You.

…and I just added another one in this post (Top of the World).

Just a tiny bit familiar?

A brother and sister act…

No, not Donny and Marie.

Not Will and Natalie either.

Karen and Richard.

That’s right … The Carpenters.

Carpenters. Hmmmm…

We have carpenters on staff.

Hard-working fellows.

They deserve a new workshop, don’t they? They’ve outgrown the old one.

That’s right — the carpenters are building themselves a new Carpenters Shop.

Meanwhile, It’s Going To Take Some Time before we announce what’s new for you next year.

We’ve only just begun …

Anyone driving by our Employee Parking Lot on Highway 162 the past few weeks has noticed some interesting activity.

Mystery photo at Holiday World

For all we know, this might be the start of an exciting addition to the park for 2008.

Be sure to pass this construction photo along to someone close to you; we’ll tell you what it is next week.

Earl’s grandsons wrote the headline

Earl Conn is a really nice guy. He’s the retired head of the journalism department at Ball State University and still has fun writing travel articles for a bunch of newspapers.

We spent some time with Earl and his family last month and here’s his article.

Earl told me he wasn’t sure if the editors would go for the headline his grandsons pitched. I’ll bet those boys are pretty proud of their first editorial endeavor.

Not to mention all those notches on their coaster belts.