Mad hatters

It's really is nearly impossible to resist trying on just a few of the hats at St. Nick's Gift Shop:

What’s new?

It's that time of the year when we see and hear that question many times each day: "What's new for next year?"

We smile politely and reply, "Sorry, I don't know" (if indeed we don't) or "Sorry, we haven't announced that yet."

I've stopped adding, "Thank you for your patience" because, well, no one is all that patient and thanking them for it seems to rub it in even more.

So what is new for next year? We'll let you know next month.

Can't tell you the exact date we're spilling the news, though, because that in and of itself would be a very strong hint.

And so we wait.

Something we can let you know about, though, is that we have a new option for folks who like to visit over and over. And over again.

We're calling it the Summer Fun Card.

In a nutshell, the Summer Fun Card is a visit-every-day-but-Saturday card that expires after Labor Day.

So, if you have a Summer Fun Card, you can visit all the days we're open to the publc – except for Saturdays – from opening day in May through Labor Day Monday.

Season Passes, on the other hand, still include all the days we're open to the public from May through October. Plus Season Pass holders receive a 10% discount on food and merchandise purchases. We'll have a few other perks to announce to Season Pass holders in the coming months.

The best time to buy is now through October 27, 2013, when the savings are greatest. (Current prices reflect a $50 savings for each General Admission Summer Fun Card or Season Pass and $40 off each Guests-under-54" or Senior/60+ Summer Fun Card or Season Pass.)

The deepest discounts are available online and at Season Pass Sales at our Front Gate when the park is open on weekends through October 27, 2013.

 

What does the turkey say?

Every parent has done it – we delight in teaching our children the sounds animals make.

The doggie says, "Bow-wow" and the kitty says, "Meow."

One evening in a restaurant, we overheard a mom ask her little boy, "What sound does a camel make?"

"Mooooo!"

We still laugh about that. (Come to think of it, what sound does a camel make?)

These delightful young ladies obviously paid attention when they learned what sound a turkey makes (or perhaps they're just frequent players on Gobbler Getaway).

Oops, wrong nest

For years we’ve joked that Splashin’ Safari is a showroom for ProSlide Technology.

After all, the majority of the “cool stuff” in our water park is from them.

Let’s see … Zinga, Bakuli, Hyena Falls, Otorongo, Mammoth … the list goes on and on.

So when another park wants to shop around for a new water-park ride, they just may want to drop by here and kick the fiberglass (so to speak).

A week or so ago, one of these test drives – with reps from a very well-known park that I really can’t mention – took a turn that you’d only expect to find in a cartoon.

Here’s what happened:

Maintenance Director Tony had Wildebeest tested and ready to go early for our guests-from-another-park. (We really do all get along well – this industry is like a club.)

As our visitors took off in a Wildebeest boat for their test ride, oops … it didn’t make the full circuit.

When a “fault” occurs, it’s a good thing (for those concerned about safety). It means the system detected two of the boats were too close together and told the linear induction motors to halt so that the boats would stay put.

But how could just one boat cause a problem?

Remember the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons?

This might help shake out the cobwebs: Bullwinkle: “Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.”
Rocky: “A-gain?”
Bullwinkle: “Presto!”
Lion: “ROAR!”
Bullwinkle: “Oops, wrong hat.”

Well, it appears old Rocket J. Squirrel has retired to the hills of southern Indiana. And he must have heard that Wildebeest is a ProSlide Hydromagnetic Rocket ride.

Yes, it’s all starting to make sense now.

That’s right, a flying squirrel was the culprit. Our little Rocky was looking for a new place to build a nest and managed to cross in front of one of Wildebeest’s sensors at the just the right (er, make that wrong) moment.

Tony informed the winged creature that far happier and quieter places exist in our woods.

He then returned to the waiting riders with a quote from that classic cartoon:  “And now, here’s something we hope you’ll really like!”

Backstage with the crew

It can be amazing what you get asked to help out with around here.

A few days before last Saturday's "Rock the World" concert, I was invited to hang out backstage and moderate the Twitter feed for the jumbotron screens.

You know, jumbotron screens. By day:

… and by night:

Sure, why not? Sounds like fun.

Plus it allowed me plenty of time to tweet some behind-the-scenes photos.

What impressed me most about the evening was how calm it was backstage. Here's Will from Audio Adrenaline tuning up:

Between acts, the crew stormed the stage and got one band's equipment moved off and the next band moved on. All perfectly choreographed.

Meanwhile, I busily moderated the tweets, weeding out the bogus marriage proposals and such.

Instant gratification:

I tried not to snoop, but there's a little paparazzi in all of us …

Dave from Audio Adrenaline told me he wants a copy of this photo for his wife.

Native Hoosier Adam Cappa was a big hit:

Here are three members of Kutless, right before they ran up on stage.

By the time Switchfoot took to the stage, the audience was making enough noise to pop all the corn in the fields surrounding the stage.

Swiftfoot's Tim Foreman posted this on Instagram with the quip, "Cornfields and coasters. Build it and they will come."

Earlier, I had to dash back to my car to recharge my phone. Imagine my surprise when I saw Switchfoot and a photographer walk by the edge of the cornfield.

The phone had enough juice left to catch this:

One last photo from backstage:

And the crowd went wild:

Let's do it all again next year!

Rock the World: August 23, 2014.

Facebook on the HoliBlog

Facebook just added an embedding feature, so we can share favorite posts here on the HoliBlog.

It's like a new recipe, I simply must try it!

It turns out there's not yet a way to adjust the width of the embedded post, so it's spilling over to the right side more than it should.

Theme park magic

Sometimes the most unexpected surprise for our Guests can be something other than a ride …

Clearly, opening our new lockers via wristband is a fascinating process …

We've even received appreciative feedback that the new lockers are so much larger …

That last Vine video was made in fun, of course; they didn't shut the door with that little rascal inside.

Cameras on rides?

As you know if you read the signs in our park (or here on our website), we only allow cameras to be used on six of our rides: Holidog Express, Star Spangled Carousel, Doggone Trail, Gobbler Getaway, Prancer's Merry-Go-Round, and the Lewis & Clark Trail.

These Vine videos are perfectly "legal" and quite cute:

Here's another great driver:

Please abide by our safety rules and only bring cameras (any type, including cell phones and GoPros) on the above-listed rides. Thank you!

Up on a roof top

Three or four times each season, some poor soul has to climb up on a roof top. (No, not Santa. It's the wrong time of year for him to be up there.)

You know which roof top I'm talking about if you've ever ridden Voyage.

And what is harvested? A bucket of hair ties!

There's something about coaster hair

Crazy kids!