A fulfilling task

So now that the very long to-do list is being whittled down to a very short to-do list, what still needs to be accomplished before opening day?

Fill the Applause Fountain, of course!

Here's a time-lapse video of the process. We had our hands full, didn't we?

Holiday World opens for the season this Saturday, May 4. Hope to see you then!

 

Familiar faces

It's a question we hear fairly often: Which famous people have visited Holiday World over the years?

It's an interesting collection of names. A future president, a wrestling legend, professional football players, a television host, to not name a few.

The list is long enough that we created a Pinterest board called Famous Visitors to Holiday World.

We'll have to add this photo to the group:

This is Ethan Zohn, the winner of the third season of Survivor. When he visited us in 2006, it was a month before our season started, so he wasn't able to ride Voyage (which was new that year), but we gave him a tour and he posed for this fun photo.

Ethan is a survivor in many ways. We're proud to know him!

“Laugh Like A Hyena!” contest

Unless you've just awakening from hibernation, you know one of our fun new attractions is this wild and crazy water-slide complex called Hyena Falls.

Here's the design:

And here's a photo of the nearly-completed slides, including a "wave" slide that starts five stories up:

Does looking at this photo, in anticipation of riding Hyena Falls, tickle you just a little bit? Causing you to giggle, guffaw, chuckle, even howl with laughter?

Then you should enter this contest. Bigtime.

If you win, here's what you get:

Two days of family fun at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari for a family of four, plus …

Two cozy nights in a Rudolph's Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort (they're even throwing in a S'mores Kit for a gooey late-night treat).

Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort is located right next to Holiday World – and even provides free shuttle transportation!

Ready to enter our "Laugh Like A Hyena" contest?

Here's how:
1. Make a video (30 seconds or less) or draw a picture or take a photo or write a poem showing us how you plan to Laugh Like A Hyena on Hyena Falls.
2. Email your entry to us at contest@holidayworld.com no later than 8pm CT on Monday, May 6, 2013. (If you choose to make a video, post it on YouTube and email us the link.) Attachments must be jpegs and no larger than 1MB.
3. Later that week, we will post our three favorite entries here on the HoliBlog, and everyone is invited to vote for their favorite. The voting will last until 2:00 pm CDT on Monday, May 13, 2013.
4. The Grand Prize Winner (the entry with the most votes) will receive four two-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari plus two nights (subject to availability during the 2013 season) in a Rudolph's Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort. The second-place winner will receive four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and the third place winner receives two park tickets.
5. Must be 21 or older to enter. No more than one entry per email address, please.
6. Videos 31 seconds and longer will be disqualified. Attachments exceeding 1MB and/or not jpegs will not be considered.
7. Just like the park … keep it clean and friendly! And please have fun with this!
8. By entering, you are giving Holiday World and Lake Rudolph permission to post your entry on our blogs and other social media along with your first name and last initial, plus city and state.
9. Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari and their immediate family members are not eligible. Neither are employees of Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort and their immediate family members.
10. Winners of Holiday World contests over the past six months are not eligible.
11. Judges’ decisions are final.
12. Good luck!

Please read the above instructions and rules carefully before entering.

And please-oh-please have fun …

This guy sure is!

Blame Canada

Look who sneaked into Splashin' Safari a little early!

Hmmm … Canada geese.

Do you know that ProSlide – whose designers created the likes of ZOOMbabwe, Bakuli, Mammoth, Bahari and Wildebeest – is based in Canada?

Oh, and they are also the crazy creators of our new Hyena Falls.

Perhaps these two waterfowl (who promised not to befoul the water – which will be filtered, treated and tested as always for a pristine opening day) are ProSlide's pets? Mascots? Sidekicks?

Ah, we'll never know. After a brief float, these two lovelies took the to air again, heading north to their summer home.

Cleaning up in Games

When we told Bobbi she was a prize employee …

… we didn't think she'd take it quite so literally.

Tag, you’re it!

Over the past several months, we've gone back to add tags to our eight years of HoliBlog posts. (That's more than a thousand posts!)

The resulting "tag cloud" is pretty handy (it's floating over to the right of this post), as you can click on your favorite topics and read all the related blog posts, along with photos and videos from over the years.

For example, Voyage, Santa Claus Land, and – my personal favorite: puns!

We even have tags for a few young-uns who have made repeated guest appearances on the HoliBlog over the years, much to this father's Tweeted delight:

It’s beginning to look a lot like …

 … yes, Christmas!

While most folks are putting away their Easter decor, we're awakening the elves.

And here's Cheryl, fastening a big bow on one of the light poles in our Christmas Plaza. It's so nice to see our beautiful trees greening up.

Do you think Cheryl is noticing that a certain roller coaster in our Halloween section needs a little dressing up, too?

Ah, great minds think alike. The very next day, the Coaster Cats were up top with fresh, colorful flags.

Raven premiered back in 1995. Lots of flags have waved from on top of that lift hill over the years.

These flags went up on Wednesday – which was good timing, as Thursday was incredibly windy and the flags were whipping wildly all day.

We office drones have been hearing spring test runs on Raven all week. Most of us are longing to hop on board.

The click-click-click of the train heading up the lift hill is tantalizing, as is that rushing sound as the train flies down the first hill.

The sound is so familiar, and yet something's missing …

Screams.

 

Let the party begin

Kitty's Tea Party is here!

Of course, my juvenile brain reverts back to Bugs Bunny and "there's nothing as sociable as a nice cup of tea, I always say; how many lumps do you want?"

Maybe that explains the hard hats …

Tea for two?

Can't have a tea party without a tea pot.

That's one heck of a cozy …

Whether it's tea for two or tea for three (or tea for your whole brood – brood/brewed, get it?), we hope you'll give our new ride a spin this season up in Holidog's FunTown.

Kitty's Tea Party opens May 4, on Holiday World's opening day.

Stand By Me

One of the most popular songs in 1961, when this photo was taken, was Stand By Me.

It wasn't a Christmas song, but the title certainly suits ol' Santa.

According to Erin E., who shared this wonderful photo of her great-grandparents, that's Claude and Lennie Russell on the left, and Martha and Amel Knight. Claude and Lennie Russell were from West Baden, Indiana. And Martha and Amel Knight lived in West Baden at the time. This was a big trip as Claude drove his brand new 1961 Ford to Santa Claus.

That iconic Santa statue is still here, in the Christmas section of Holiday World. Can you imagine how many photos have been taken with Santa over the years?