Switched at birth?

There are many upsides to working at a family-owned business.

…because you, well, work for a family.

I never cease to appreciate the good-naturedness of the Koch family members. They know how to laugh at themselves, and don't mind me poking a little fun once in a while.

And so, with Dan's permission, I present the following family photo from Dan's college days:

Switched at birth? You decide!

Switched at birth?

Halloween in January?

During the winter months, we get asked "what exactly do you do when the park isn't open?" a lot.

A lot.

I often joke that we spend quite a bit of time going through the stacks in our offices, on a quest to rediscover the tops of our desks.

Special Events Director Eric, however, is doing just the opposite as he works on plans for our Happy Halloween Weekends.

Here's this story:

Planning for Happy Halloween WeekendsThe Halloween industry has been an interesting and sometimes spooky one to explore these past several years. 

As tends to happen to many of us here at the park, I get barraged with all the latest and greatest products and ideas in the industry. Only in my case, everything's Halloween themed; from the morbid and obscene to the happy and family friendly (though the latter are few and far between). 

Taking a look around my office, there's an energy drink that looks like a bag of B-negative blood hanging on my door, a portrait of Mona Lisa that turns into a zombie when you look at her just right on my file cabinet, and about 20 foam pumpkins along the back wall of my office. (No worries, the energy drink and Leonardo da Creepy products aren't what we have in mind for our family-friendly event in October.) 

Right now we're researching the latest in black light 3D glasses and paint. My desk is scattered with initial floor plan design concepts for one of our Happy Halloween Weekends additions, a 3D walkthrough attraction. 

Our team promises to share more information about this fun attraction as it comes together; for now we would be very interested in hearing what you'd like to see and experience. Please let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing us!



Screening Santa’s gifts

Nathan must have been a very good boy ...All I can say is … Communications Manager Nathan sure must have been a good boy. Look what Santa brought him!

Nathan has a great background in TV news and video production, so he's gearing up to create more and more videos about the park with all this excellent new camera and editing equipment. Right now he's working on a video about off-season maintenance work being done on The Voyage plus a behind-the-scenes look at some special challenges our IT guys face. (Did you know we have a YouTube Channel?)

We'd love to hear your ideas for videos! Please comment here on the HoliBlog, send us a tweet or post on our Facebook page and we'll add your ideas to the wish list.


A new friend for Holidog

Kitty Claws

I think everyone knows we’re adding a Mammoth to our list of water-park rides in 2012, but that’s not the only critter we’re introducing in May.

Meet Holidog’s new friend … Kitty Claws.

Kitty Claws - new in 2012!

Kitty will join Holidog, Safari Sam and George the Eagle in May, with lots of hugs plus maybe even an occasional pirouette.

So what goes into designing a new park mascot? GM Matt shared the drawings (he has two young daughters, so you may see just a little of their influence as the design steps progress):

Kitty Claws design

We start out with an outline and a sketch

Here was the first rendition of Ms. Claws:

First sketch

At this point, she sort of looked like an Olympic runner (spoiler alert: and a human needs to comfortably fit inside), so we let out the seams a bit:

Kitty Claws design

Next, it was time to add some theming. Kitty Claws is a black cat from … Halloween!

Kitty Claws design

All Kitty Claws still needed was some fancy footwear … oh, and some eyelashes.

And here she is:

Kitty Claws!

Her tutu will not be quite as stiff as pictured; she’ll be all ready to hug lots of children this season.

Kitty Claws and Holidog promise to be good buddies — no chasing each other up the big Christmas tree in our entrance plaza!

We’d love to hear your reaction (try to keep it from being too … um … catty) – please post your feedback below.
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