A family photo

Most families, when they take a photo of multiple generations, are sitting on a comfy sofa at grandma's house

…or maybe in front of the old oak tree in the backyard of the family's homestead.

But not Ruth's family.

When she sits still long enough to have her picture taken with her daughter Becky and grandson Caleb, her son-in-law had better be quick on the trigger with his camera.

That's Ruth in the middle.

That's Ruth with her daughter and grandson.

Her son-in-law is Tony, our director of maintenance. That's his wife, Becky, on the right; the third generation is their son Caleb.

Tony told us at staff meeting yesterday that Ruth rode The Voyage a few years ago and the family decided she should only ride the milder rides (or, milder still, just watch the shows) this year, since she's turned 78.

She promised to behave.

Ruth gets launched.

All told, Ruth rode 11 rides. She had a blast.

She never did sneak on Voyage, but she did manage to try out our new ride before calling it a day. (That's Ruth and her friend Janet waving at us from the very back.)

Ruth is ready to take the plunge!

So…what do you think? Will we see Ruth riding Wildebeest in May?

“Your staff drove it home for me and my husband”

My husband and I just returned today after spending this past weekend at your parks and I had to write and let your orginazation know, we couldn’t have asked for a better time.


We know a few things about parks because we grew up in east Louisiana so our summers were spent going with school & church to either Six Flags in Arlington or Astro World in Texas.

Then we relocated to Nashville and I worked for Gaylord Entertainment for many years and of course we raised our daughter in the park there.  In the years of our area losing our park, Dollywood was the park of choice for those of us here until a few years back we began hearing the advertasing for Holiday World.

We began thinking…"Lets go and check this out," but we didn’t have the opportunity till this past weekend. Man I’m sorry we didn’t make it sooner. A LOT SOONER.

You’re advertising doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling we felt. Yes, the park was clean which was great. Yes, the free parking & soda’s a plus. But…pricing on the foods and treats was ABOVE what we were expecting. Your park didn’t do as the other parks. It was family budget friendly. BIG PLUS.

But the main thing that drove it home for me and my husband. Well … your staff.  I can’t say enough about the smiles, friendly, curtious, helpful, and more that they were/are. In this day and age you just don’t find that. I feel for you staff many times dealing with the public can be very trying but I watched them. In all areas of both parks and NEVER EVER did I see them falter in their help/curtious/smiles. You definatley have an award winning team there.

Congraulations to you for this team.  You have to made this a wonderful time for my family. Not only will my husband and I be back next season but so will my daughter, her friends, my folks and my nephews as well.

Again thank you for making my husband and my weekend getaway so enjoyable.

Kay B.
Madison, Tennessee


“I thought it couldn’t be done”

You have done something that I thought could not be done. We visited your park this past Saturday, my wife and I and two daughters and their husbands and my 10 month old granddaughter. First off we had a wonderful time.

Now for what you did; I am a former 8 year employee of Kings Island in the rides department back when I was in college. Two things I want to admit, one, I did not think there could be a better, cleaner, friendlier, well run park then Kings Island, well yours is! All your employees were friendly with smiles. With your policy of free soft drinks, I expected to see paper cups all over the ground, well I did not see any except for a few in the hidden corners of some of the queue lines. I was also impressed with the design and layout of your rides with the coasters going right past you when you are waiting in lines of other rides (water slides) or past you as you wait in line (plexy glass windows on the Voyage). I also liked how the coasters curved around other rides.

Two, I never thought I would find a coaster better than the Beast at Kings Island. Well I spoke to soon after riding the Voyage my 28 year old daughter Sarah and I (only one’s in family who are coaster freaks) could not get enough of it. We rode it twice and would have ridden it again but our family was waiting for us to leave. Sorry but the Beast is second and then the Legend and then the Raven.

Thanks again for running an excellent park. Please don’t let your park get too commercialized. You have a wonderful family park. We plan on 
visiting again some day.

Dan H. & Family


Runaway car!

After working here a while, some rather surreal situations become almost commonplace.

Hearing "Monster Mash" playing from little rocks on the ground on a sunny June day.

Waving "hello" to a five-foot-tall, fluffy puppy dog, and half expecting him to answer.

Parking a few spaces down from "S. Claus."

And then there’s this:

Heading back to Lewis & Clark.

Not sure whether one of the Lewis & Clark Trail cars decided to take a joy ride and visit his friends in the Thanksgiving section…or if there was a bit of maintenance that needed to take place in the shop, but our crew member returned it safely before the park opened that morning.

Thanks to one of our IT interns for taking this photo. Another surreality: his name is Pat Koch (no relation). The funny part is Patrick is totally into computers and Mrs. Koch never met a computer she couldn’t do without.

“Spoiled by your employees”

We have visited Holiday World three years in a row now, and have had a GREAT experience every time. We have 3 children under the age of seven and they all love it. 

We appreciate our visit to your park even more after also visiting King’s Island this year. We just wanted to let you know some things we noticed over and over on our trip to King’s Island that they are doing WRONG and you are doing right.

(1) FREE drinks!! We probably spent $20-30 on soft drinks alone.

(2) Free parking.

(3) The cost of food is SO much higher there, and it made us appreciate you having food and snacks that were affordable.

(4) By far the most important to us: Their people were not only NOT helpful but extremely unfriendly. We were lucky if we could get a grunt when we asked a simple question. They all seemed like they HATED their jobs, and after being spoiled by your employees who are SO very friendly, (and truly seemed genuine)it was by far the biggest contrast between the two parks.
Thank you and keep doing what you are doing! We are looking forward to our visit next year!
Mandy C. & Family
Danville, Illinois

“Took 46 years but we finally made it”

While cleaning out my parent’s home I found a package postmarked 1963 from Santa Claus land.  In it were a brochure and some free passes.  My father was in construction and we were never able to go on a summer vacation.  However, in 1963 when I was 8 years old there was a strike and we took a 3 week road trip to Disneyland in California.  That was the last family vacation we ever went on. 
My mother must have sent away for information from other places and she kept the Santa Claus land envelope in a box with maps and other things from the California trip.

I, my wife, 11 year old daughter and 13 year old son finally made the trip to Holiday World last weekend.  We presented our passes at the ticket booth and to our surprise you accepted them!  Our kids have been going to Six Flags every year, and they both thought Holiday World was a better park.  We plan on making it an annual trip. 

Better late than never,

Alan V.

“Had a blast!”

I visited Holiday World this past week. Two other friends and I came. We had a blast. I forgot to leave the comment card and I saw on here that I could email the comments. 

You guys have an awesome park. It was all of our first times and it certainly won’t be our last!  We all give the park a definite A+; very clean, great food, great rides, and friendly employees. Don’t change a thing!

Thank you for the wonderful day we all had!

Christy W.
Waverly, Tennessee

“Thumbs up!”

We visited your park yesterday and would like to share a few comments with you. We had a blast! 

Thumbs up to you on a clean park with a friendly staff. It was great that we could find a trash can anytime we needed one and amazing to us that we didn’t see a single paper cup on the ground throughout the park. Unfortunately, we noted that some people were too lazy to use the trash cans you conveniently placed in the parking lot and left garbage on the ground…how rude. We found the cans to be useful. Great idea!
The employees were all very friendly. Did not encounter any rude behavior & would even like to mention a few specific examples of impressive behavior.

* My son was irritated that he wasn’t allowed on a kiddie ride with his sister because he was too tall. We explained to him that it was a good thing the worker checked height and enforced the rules to ensure everyone’s safety. Policy is policy. Glad she said, "Sorry, can’t ride." To me, it said she was paying attention and taking her job seriously. Of course to a 9 year old it said NO and that is never a popular word. 
*We watched an employee intercept a young boy (guessing around 3 years old) who was obviously alone. She found mom chasing after him a little way behind and made sure he was safely with her before continuing onto wherever she was heading. She was very observant to notice that something wasn’t right.

**This example really impressed us. We had a late lunch at the Plymouth Rock Cafe’ (delicious by the way).  We noticed two male park employees having their lunch there as well. One of them (Jeffrey according to his nametag) recognized that a dad and little girl needed some assistance after the little girl dropped some food, etc.  He got up, went to their table to help them, grabbed some extra napkins, etc. How nice that this young man took time out of his break to offer an extra hand to someone who needed it. Both boys seemed very pleasant and had nice manners. It is so refreshing to see nice, clean cut, neatly dressed, polite teens who actually do their job and then some! Not sure what screening/recruiting process you use to find so many great employees, but keep up the good work!
Thanks for a great park where our family made some great memories!

See you next year!!! 

Lane M. & Family
Fairmount, Illinois

“I stood and cried from the joy”

I just wanted to tell you how profoundly grateful my family is for your park.

My oldest son is autistic and had never shown any interest in joining in on family trips until we brought him to Holiday World the summer of 2003. Before I knew it, he was on the Howler with his little sister and having the time of his life! I stood and cried in the middle of that park while they rode over and over. Now we enjoy your park every year as a family over Labor Day weekend.

With the announcement of the new coaster, and the addition of the Pilgrims Plunge, my son and his sister are really able to share another moment of pure joy and that is sometimes all too rare in our home.

Thank you so much for offering this wonderful experience to adults and children alike year after year. It means so much!

Connie B.


“Personal touches make park warm and inviting”

I’m writing to tell you about my fabulous visit to your park last weekend. I knew of your reputation for a great park and fabulous coasters, but I was worried that the actual experience wouldn’t live up to your great reputation. I was so wrong: you far and away exceeded any hoped-for expectations!
Your park was clean and beautiful. I actually saw one of your guests go over to pick up and discard a paper cup inadvertently dropped on the walkway. Wow!

Your employees were friendly and helpful.

Your rides were incredible. Loved Pilgrims Plunge – which I had to ride after following all the “doings” on Twitter.

Hands-down over-the-top-best-coaster-ever-anywhere is the Voyage! Wow – did you ever hit that one out of the ballpark!!!!! That was an unbelievable ride!
The personal touches everywhere really made your park feel warm and inviting. Will and Pat, your park closing announcement is the best ever!
Finally, Paula’s tweets on Twitter are legend. She exemplifies the best that Twitter has to offer businesses: the ability to introduce a company and product with warm humanity! I use her tweets as examples of “best practice.”
All my comments are from my personal perspective as a guest, but I couldn’t help slipping into my professor role as I was in your park, commenting to my son on all the organizational things you do so very well. Family businesses are tricky entities, and it looks to your guests as though you have done an extraordinary job capitalizing on the innate strengths of family business and successfully navigating the challenges. I can only say WOW!
Thanks for a most memorable visit! I can’t wait to come back again (especially with Wildebeest!!!!)
Carol R.
Plymouth, Minnesota