Jeff & Katie, sittin’ in a … coaster

Voyage is truly the roller coaster of love.

(Sorry, now that song is stuck in your head, isn’t it? Misery loves company…)

A coaster enthusiast emailed me a month or so ago, asking about how he could go about getting engaged here at the park.

Is it rude of me to ask, "Are you SURE she’ll say yes?" and "Are you SURE she’ll want to be asked so publicly?"

I ask all the proposers-to-be that. (Would rather not create bad memories here at Holiday World, you know?)

Jeff was certain that Katie would say "yes" happily, publicly.

Okay, then.

So we continued to email. Over the years, we’ve had proposals involving Santa, at the high-dive show, and others taking place during our musical shows. (And those are the ones we’ve heard about.)

Jeff didn’t want to go the show route. Katie would figure it out.

So he made this sign and shipped it to us ahead of time:

Marry me!

…and we assured him it would be in place on Saturday.


Tori and her coaster crew saw to it that the sign was displayed on the console at The Voyage.


Proposal at The Voyage

Tori told me this morning the ride crew members didn’t want to take their lunch breaks at the normal time. They didn’t want to miss the big moment.

Everyone’s a romantic.

The big moment came at last:

Katie saw the sign.

Jeff got down on his knee.

Katie said "yes."

Katie & Jeff: engaged

And they’ll live happily ever after.

Time to vote for our #1 Fan

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a video entry to our "Holiday World's #1 Fan" contest.

It hasn't been easy, but our panel of judges chose a finalist each week from all the fun entries. And now it's time for you to choose the winning video. The winner receives four season passes for 2011.

Here are the four videos which won our weekly rounds. Please take a look and vote for just one (scroll down to see the online poll). And may the best fan win!

Week #4: Josh, the dad

Week #3: Daniel, the piano-playing singer

Week #2: Jordan, the rapper

Week #1: Mark, the little boy

So who's our #1 Fan? Vote here!

  • Daniel, the piano-playing singer
  • Josh, the dad
  • Jordan, the rapper
  • Mark, the little boy

Mrs. Koch’s a ‘cover girl’!

This morning, we joined Mrs. Koch at the Santa Claus Christmas Store here in town for a photo shoot.

She is going to be a magazine "cover girl," so we took along a video camera of our own.

Mrs. Koch was asked to bring several "looks."

This perplexed her a bit, as she’s used to wearing "yellow and khaki," the Holiday World uniform.

Here she is cutting up, having fun, and smiling for the camera (we agreed not to show the photos as they were being shot — or to reveal the name of the magazine).

All will be revealed in December!

Wildebeest gets a AAA rating

Thank you for another delightful season. Family problems forced us to miss 2009, so we felt even more blessed to be able to return in 2010. We love to bring our 3 grandsons (aged 10, 7, and 5 this year) and any other relatives and friends that wish to join us. The Wildebest gets an A+++ rating from us!

We love to boast about HW&SS — about its friendliness, cleanliness, how well maintained it is, the free soda and sunscreen, the family-oriented dress code, the delicious reasonably priced food, and the pleasant campground next door.

You have our best wishes for a great 2011!

— Russ and Ruth S. (and Gabriel, Malachi, and Judah M.)

Affordable even for a mother of six children

I just wanted to send a little note to let you all know how much we appreciate Holiday World. 
I am a mother of 6 and for all of us to go on a vacation is really expensive. Your park prides it’s self on being a family friendly place.  I was VERY impressed that it truly was!!! It was VERY family affordable and with having a large family on a tight budget I greatly appreciate that.
The park was very clean and everyone was really friendly and you have the best fudge I ever tasted!!
I tell everyone I know about this place it is everything you say it is and now a days it is hard to find that for large families.
I was very impressed to see Pat still working in the parks and she looks awesome for 80!! 
I just wanted to send a note of thanks for being there for families and making it affordable for them. 
Keep up the good work!
Thank you,

For 2011: It’s Children and Comfort

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for … the answer to the question “What’s new for 2011?”

Our president, Dan Koch, and his wonderful mom, Pat, have the answers.

For 2011, it’s Children & Comfort.

… oh, and someone‘s 80th birthday!

Our third “#1 Fan Video Contest” finalist

According to YouTube, Daniel has never played a song on the piano before.

…so it took more than 100 "takes" to get this right.

We think Daniel's song is sweet and sincere. And that's why he's our finalist for Week #3.

Congrats to Daniel (his dad, Barry, entered for him) for winning two one-day tickets. Daniel is now a finalist, and could win four Season Passes for the 2011 season!

Are you our #1 Fan? You have one more week to enter our video contest and show us why. Look here to see our Week 1 winner and our Week 2 winner, then check out all the rules here. Good luck!

Puppy love

Get ready to melt.

Jeff from Akron, Ohio, sent us this story and photos of his darling pup (and the pup’s precious pillow).

I wanted to send you these pictures of one of my dogs, who is (apparently) a big fan of Holiday World.

When we came to the park in 2009, we played a game and won a small little pillow with the Holiday World logo. We gave it to the dogs as a toy, and Shelby, miniature schnauzer puppy, has fallen in love with this pillow.


In fact, every night when we tell her that it’s bedtime, she goes to grab her pillow to take it upstairs to the bed!

Bed time, Shelby!

“Gee, I don’t usually like rap…”

…but Mrs. Koch voted for this video to win Week 2 of our "#1 Fan" Video Contest.

Here it is:

Congrats to Jordan (his mom, Cindy, entered for him) for winning two one-day tickets, plus winning Mrs. Koch over to a new style of music.

Jordan is now a finalist, and could win four Season Passes for the 2011 season!

Are you our #1 Fan? You have two more weeks to enter our video contest and show us why. Look here to see our Week 1 winner and check out all the rules here. Good luck!

Six Golden Ticket Awards

Wow, what a night.

Thanks to all who joined us on our Facebook page as we posted about the evening's events as the 2010 Golden Ticket Awards were announced.

In case you missed it, here's the news release with the results:



 SANTA CLAUS, IND.—– The new Wildebeest water coaster at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari was named the Best New Ride in a Water Park and Best Overall Water Park Ride at Saturday evening’s Golden Ticket Awards, presented during an Academy Awards-style ceremony at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Lori, William and Pat Koch hold the park's 2010 Golden Ticket Awards.In addition, Holiday World’s Voyage roller coaster was
named the #1 Wooden Coaster on the Planet for the
fourth year in a row.

Presented by Amusement Today publisher Gary Slade, the industry’s “best of the best” awards include theme, amusement and water parks from around the world.
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari won a record six Golden Ticket Awards at this year’s ceremony.

For the eleventh consecutive year, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari were named the #1 Cleanest Park, outranking such parks as Disney World, Kings Island, Dollywood, and Cedar Point. The parks also received #1 Friendliest Park award for the twelfth year.

“For these awards, we humbly thank our wonderful Hosts and Hostesses,” says park matriarch Pat Koch, who attended the ceremony with daughter-in-law Lori and grandson William. “It was a long, hot summer and they all worked together to keep smiling and keep cleaning.”

In an emotional tribute, the late Will Koch was honored as only the second inductee in Amusement Today’s Legends Series for being “a true visionary, leader and dear friend to the industry.” The park’s leader for more than two decades, Koch passed away unexpectedly in June at the age of 48.

Amusement Today is an international monthly trade journal for the amusement and water park industries, based in Arlington, Texas. The Golden Ticket Awards are determined by surveys submitted by well-traveled park enthusiasts from around the world.

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari will be open September 18 and then closed to the public September 19 for a private outing. From September 25 through October 10, Holiday World will be open weekends-only before closing for the season. For more information about the parks, visit or call 1-877-Go-Family.