‘Twas two nights before opening…

…and all through the park…

Not a staffer’d gone home…

…even though it was dark.

Will Koch in his jacket … and Pat in her hoodie …

Knew a treat would arrive soon for the world’s favorite woodie…

When what through the darkened skies, in the rain … there’s a bright shiny new Timberliner Train!

(Actually, I’ve been holding this photo back for a while, to post when I knew the first train was en route. This is a seat made for the new trains.)

Timberliner seat

To the top of the lift, to the edge of the World

We’ll all watch closely as the next chapter unfurls!

A plush assignment

We’ve added a new feature to St. Nick’s Gift Shop this season: Animaland!

GM Matt’s three children stopped by this week to try it out. (Watch out for the flying cow!)

You decide the *real* winners…

Here’s a lovely story from the proud parents of three winning children:

I would like to share with you a sweet story that we experienced during our day at Holiday World last summer.

Our three children Jacob, Jeremy and Sierra were very excited to spend their money on some games soon after we arrived that day.

Jeremy and Sierra did well, winning a stuffed animal each at the dart game, while Jacob was unable to win a prize.

They played again later, spending the remainder of their money again at the dart game in hopes that everyone would go home with a stuffed animal. Jeremy and Sierra again won a stuffed animal and exchanged the two for a larger stuffed animal. Jacob again was unable to win a prize.

When Jeremy saw his brother upset he gave him his larger prize to keep, leaving Jeremy with no stuffed animal.

They together decided to exchange the larger stuffed animal for the two smaller ones so everyone had an animal to bring home.

We were so proud of their teamwork and selflessness! After a long and exciting day full of fun, we began the trip home (about an hour away).

Just before getting home, Jeremy realized that he did not have his now beloved stuffed animal prize. He was so upset for the rest of the way home that my husband decided he could not let Jeremy’s act of kindness go unrewarded. He dropped everyone off at home, then drove all the way back to Holiday World barely making it back in before it closed. He played the dart game and won Jeremy a new prize!

Jeremy awoke the next morning to his stuffed animal and all have slept with their stuffed dogs every night since.

All three won cuddly prizes!

We are so proud of them all.

A Shorts short

An out-of-the-blue discussion on our Facebook Fan page the other day sparked quite a debate.

About pleats.

And so … we talked, too. And we made a video.

Before you watch, please know that we know the whimsical music is a little too loud. Sorry, the limitations of using a Flip cam include no audio mixing (it’s either "on" or "off"). But you’ll get the gist of it.

It’s all in good fun.

Wildebeest’s #1 fan

Our water park director, Lori, just sent me this:

This is a photo of Caleb, he lives just down the road from here. His teacher at Nancy Hanks Elementary told me this winter that Caleb talks about the Wildebeest constantly and he is on-line watching it whenever he gets a chance.

I told her that I would give him a tour.

His mother, Beth, brought him by today after school and the three of us enjoyed an extensive Wildebeest tour.

Caleb tours Wildebeest

Caleb  was so excited! He cannot wait to come and ride it.

He will be here on Play Day this year (a special day when Holiday World is open just for children with disabilities); his principal, Mr. Schneiders, has promised to ride The Voyage and Pilgrims Plunge with him.

“What’s wrong with this picture?”

When I asked Will to meet up with Lisa and me at Wildebeest at 6:45 Thursday morning for his first news-media Skype interview, he said he’d be there.

When we arrived this morning and I asked him to do the interview from one of the Wildebeest boats, he just laughed.

It sure is nice to have a good-natured boss!

Wildebeest, the world’s longest water coaster, opens to the public on May 14.

Wildebeest goes for a ride

This afternoon, the test boats on Wildebeest were running the circuit.

Those empty boats were flying. Watch for the pop of air time.

Next step: Just add people!

Wildebeest, the world's longest water coaster, premieres May 14 in Splashin' Safari.

Hang on to your hats!

With three weeks till opening our 64th season, the park is a-buzz.

Down in the Hoosier Celebration Theater, our entertainers are getting quite a workout.

Here’s a "Real Country" snippet from a rehearsal over the weekend.

"Real Country" opens on May 1.

Wildebeest testing video: Try, try again!

It takes a lot of testing before opening a new water coaster!  And this was only the first day…

This is Ray, an engineer from ProSlide, and Joe (off camera, saying "3-2-1" a lot then going back to his laptop to reprogram slightly and try again) testing the pulse feature for the linear induction motors that power Wildebeest's boats "magically" uphill.

Wildebeest, the world's longest water coaster, opens May 14.

Who’s on first?

Typical conversation between Will and me:

Me: Thanks for emailing me the photos, Will. The one of the logo — exactly where is it on the seat?

Will: It's on the seatback.

Me: The back of the back of the seat? Or the front of the back of the seat?

…after pausing to laugh and reference an old Abbott & Costello routine, we came to an understanding.

Me: So it's the front of the seatback? The part you'll sweat on when it's hot like today?

Will: (still laughing) Well, I'd never think to put it that way, but … yes.

Exhibit A: The front of the seatback of a Timberliner seat, produced for The Voyage this season.

Timberliner logo

Okay, to avoid confusion please be sure to read this thoroughly: Below is a photo of one of the seats from Voyage's new Timberliner trains.

The seat is sitting on a chair in Holiday World's conference room.

So the good news is the trains do *not* run on casters. (Hmmmm…a coaster on casters. Say that three times fast.)

But we digress…

Other good news, the chair that the seat is sitting in is quite roomy — as are the Timberliner seats.

A seat in a chair

At first I thought Will was playing "button, button, who's got the button?" but now realize he's pantomiming riding in The Voyage in our new Timberliner trains.

Will Koch tries out the seat

The rest of the train arrives next week.

Casters optional.