“I’m your newest, biggest fan!”

I visited the water park on 7/12.
 
You guys set the standard for how an amusement park should be run. Free drinks, sunscreen dispensers, super-clean, ultra-friendly staff, and lots of extra services, many of them FREE. Plus the food was reasonably priced. 
 
I also love the woodsy setting.
 
I’m from Louisville, and EVERY TIME I left Kentucky Kingdom I swore I’d never go back. I can’t wait for my next visit to Holiday World! Well worth the trip. I’m you’re newest, biggest fan. 
 
Thanks for a great day.
 
Judy

Out of the mouths of babes…

Our friends Jeff and Diana out on the west coast keep in touch with us, with updates about their and-baby-makes-three little guy, Simon.

Here he is, sporting a very handsome look.

 Simon

After oo-ing and ah-ing for a moment, I noticed something else.

Jeff is the mad scientist who created CoasterBuzz, one of the top online communities for the coaster crazies to happily geek out together.

Jeff started CoasterBuzz a decade ago, long before little Simon was around.

And yet look at the logo for CoasterBuzz…there's something familiar about it, don't you think?

CoasterBuzz logo

“The Beachcombers are a great addition!”

"The Beachcombers" are a great addition to the Splashin’ Safari this year!
 
They are a nice group of young men, very accomplished musicians, and were very "crowd- friendly."
 
They played music that we enjoyed immensely and even played some favorites that were unexpected, like "Mustang Sally."
 
We had a chance to talk to the lead singer and he was really a great guy.
 
They band was very responsive to the crowd and I even noticed a few people get up and dance to their music.
 
My family and I were very impressed and we are looking forward to seeing this new addition at the park again in the future.
 
Brent Z.
 

Was Will proud of Wildebeest?

Was Will proud?

You decide.

Will Koch and his Wildebeest, the world's longest water coaster

Thanks to Chris for permission to use this photo, which was taken June 5.

“Across the board friendliness”

I just wanted to let you know we visited your parks for the first time on Father’s Day and are still blown away by the wonderful time we had. We have lived in Florida for most of our lives and have visited Disney, Universal and Sea World more times than we can count. After moving to Tennessee earlier this year, we heard about Holiday World and since we were having "Disney withdrawals," we decided to take our son.

The first thing we noticed was the across-the-board friendliness of your staff. Every single staff member we came in contact with was smiling, seemed happy to be at work and treated us like we were important. It was very noticeable and their great attitudes were contagious.

Secondly, your park provides the best value we’ve ever seen, bar none. As people who are accustomed to "Disney pricing," we were blown away at the free parking, free soft drinks and reasonably priced food and souvenirs. Well done!

Third, we found ourselves talking all day – and the whole ride home – about how much fun we were all having and about how many things you all are doing RIGHT. My husband and I must have commented 20 times that Sea World cannot compare in any way to your parks! And while Disney is truly magical, you guys have it all over them in MANY areas, so kudos for that.

We are very excited to have your park so close and will absolutely be back, at least once per year. Keep up the great work and thank you for the service you provide.

Jenna M.
Franklin, Tennessee

The laughter goes on

Will Koch receives "World's Cleanest Park" award in 2007

I’m sifting through some old emails to save the ones from Will that made me laugh.

It’s almost every last one of them.

His sense of humor kept our mood buoyant and his easy, infectious (okay, goofy!) laugh was downright inspirational.

Something he said pretty regularly:

“If we can’t have fun, who can? We’re a theme park, for goodness sake!”

Who could be grumpy around that sort of logic?

I’d email or call Will a dozen times a day just to share silliness. Sometimes it was a delicious pun, other times a bit of irony I knew he’d appreciate. We never made fun of others, we just delighted in the simple typos of life.

All week, I’ve instinctively grabbed my phone to call Will. One time was to chuckle about a sweet email sent to us. The email said we were all such good people, indeed we were all angles. I can just hear Will wanting to know if he could be an obtuse angle … of course, I would want to be an acute angle.

Here’s another example: A guest wrote in asking about something she’d heard in the park and found hard to believe. Was it true that children actually “shrink” during the day as they ride rides.

Sounded pretty far-fetched, but I sent it to Will just in case it was something I’d missed in physics class way-back-when.

His reply: I think it has something to do with foreshortening of length due to travel at relativistic (approaching light speed) speeds. The good news is that there’s also a time dilation effect.  Kids who spend a day here traveling at near light speed actually age less than if they were sitting at home stationary on their couch. In all seriousness, I can’t imagine where this came from!

Will Koch receives "World's Cleanest Park" award in 2007

The good folks at Amusement Today sent us this photo of Will from a few years back. It’s one of the many times he was awarded a Golden Ticket for the Cleanest Park in the World.

It’s been a tough week for us all. Someone we loved dearly was taken from us much too soon. But as we’ve clung together in our grief, smiles and laughter have broken through as we remember this wonderful man and all he gave us.

Rest in peace, Will Koch.

“You provide the extras at no cost”

My family and I just returned from our annual trip to your parks.  Once again we were not disappointed.
 
It is great that I can take my family to a place where when we leave we do not feel like we were raked over the coals and are treated like family.  Thank you for maintaining the same values and standards that you began with!
 
Unlike some of the other parks that seem to struggle financially, you continue to invest.  They raise prices and nickel and dime you for everything—you provide the extras at no cost!  I don’t know the financials of your business, but it seems to me this is a successful business model.
 
Thank you again for providing my boys a trip they will not forget.  We’ll see you next year.
 
By the way, Wildebeest rocks!!!!!
 
Clint M.
Qunicy, Illinois
 

Holidog dances like it’s 1946

This video is pretty dark, but I’ve watched it three times and my face is sore from smiling so much. So I’m going to post it.

Dance, doggie, dance!

Saturday night, the Beachcombers entertained about 650 coaster enthusiasts from all over the country as we waited for the park to clear, so they could ride till midnight.

As you can see, Holidog dances like a young pup.


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Will Koch to the rescue

Will Koch on bass

What does it say when it takes the CEO of the company to replace you? 

The Beachcombers‘ bass guitarist, John, needed the afternoon off to go graduate from high school*

… so Will Koch was tapped to fill in

*Despite taking the day off for his graduation, John was able to attend one of Will’s performances.

It seems watching Will play bass on “Day Tripper” meant far more to John than collecting his diploma. 

Postscript: Sadly, Will passed away just a few weeks later. The Beachcombers played at his memorial service.

“It’s a family tradition!”

Just wanted to say I’ve been coming to Holiday World since 1985 with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my parents. It is a family tradition.
 
I used to work at Kentucky Kingdom but it never held a candle to your amusement park.
 
We just visited you guys May 24th.
 
By the way loved the new Wildebeest. It is awesome!!  You have the best water park by far. I continuously suggest your park to everyone I know!!!
 
Just wanted to say you all are doing a wonderful job and the cleanliness, free soft drinks, and free sunscreen is such a great idea and stands out!!!
 
I love Holiday World just wanted to let you know keep up the good work!!!
 
Holly C.