Thanksgiving memories

Here's today's "Throwback Thursday" post (the photos were taken in 2005/06) from our Instagram feed:

A two-for-one admission

This week's #TransformationTuesday photo shows our admissions gate from long ago and today.

Do you remember this Santa Claus Land front gate?

A scenic ride through Autumn Falls

Have you ever ridden Gobbler Getaway and not picked up one of those turkey caller gizmos? (Repeat after me: We're not shooting turkeys, we're calling them!)

Have you? I didn't think so … silly question, that.

Well. If you take away the interactive part of Gobbler Getaway, what you have left is a beautiful ride in the country.

Autumn Falls is the name of this colorful town; take a look:

A little side note: As Nathan was shooting video of this ride, he first rode in the turkey trotter (yes, that's what we call them; we are a theme park after all!) and then walked through the ride with his camera.

While shooting the "off board" video, Nathan leaned back against some of the scenery. As a turkey trotter full of Guests happened by, apparently one of the riders had good aim and "called" a turkey.

The turkey happened to be right next to Nathan, and as it popped up, it … well, goosed him.

A fowl trick indeed!

Falling for us

Happy Halloween Weekends named "Best of Indiana"We've put away all the pumpkins (even Gourdon!) from Happy Halloween Weekends and are in full-steam-ahead mode for Opening Day 2014.

… so it came as a lovely surprise when we heard from the folks at the Indiana Tourism Office this morning that we've been named Indiana's #1 Destination for Fall Family Fun.

Their Top 10 list is quite impressive, and we tip our witch's hat to the other winners.

We can't wait to wake up all the rest of the Graveyard Smash zombies to share the good news.

So far we've only told Zombie Trevor, our resident Crypt Keeper.

His response? "I'm diggin' it!"

Bwaaa-haaa-haaa-haaa-haaa!

 

She’s one of us!

Our Communications Department became complete last week as we welcomed Lauren R. to our team – she's our new Communications Coordinator.

Lauren isn't a new face around here; for eight summers she's worked first in Foods and then as a Lifeguard.

Human Resources welcomes our new fulltimers with a sweet gift: a candy bouquet. (Hmmm … I don't seem to remember receiving one of these when I started, exactly 22 years ago today. Maybe I'll get an extra candy cane in my stocking this year.)

Nathan and I started to razz Lauren this afternoon – that a full week had passed and she still had plenty of "blooms" on her bouquet.

"Look more closely," she said with a grin. "I've been sliding the candy bars out all week and leaving the wrappers intact so it only looks like I'm not eating them."

Oh, yes. She's going to fit in just fine around here.

What in the World?

What's going on – are we under attack?

Yes, indeed. The attack of the Sand Blaster. (I was going to start quoting from Mr. Sandman, but I wouldn't want to give anyone an unwanted earworm …)

Mr. Sand Blaster is hard at work stripping Monsoon Lagoon of its paint.

It's time to refurbish Splashin' Safari's popular water-play area (which was added in 1998, can you believe it?).

Monsoon Lagoon looks very different without water, doesn't it? Not to mention all those "60 ways to get wet."

Something else that's missing? All those rope nets? Gone! We're adding steps for 2014, which should make getting around easier for all the little explorers.

We'll bring you updates here on the HoliBlog throughout the winter until it's time to "just add water."

 

An extreme walk in the woods

You just never know what you'll come across on a gloomy November day.

Our Coaster Cats are re-tracking one of The Voyage's 90-degree track sections.

We are, once again, called “weird”

Sticks and stones aside, it's always a bit amusing when our park pops up on a "Weirdest …" list.

Case in point: the wildly popular BuzzFeed website just released this video showing its picks for the "Weirdest Thing" in each of the 50 United States.

By way of clarification, the photo used to represent Santa Claus, Indiana, is actually a picture of a Santa statue in Evansville (about 40 miles to our west) that was positioned to hail drivers to a truck stop in Evansville. They are gone now (the truck stop and the statue). Sadly, pigeons had been roosting inside the aging fiberglass and the owner's plans to fix the statue have apparently fallen through.

But to use a photo of our Halloween arch as proof of our oddness?

Now that's weird!

Transformation Tuesday

We've added to our Communications Department (no worries, Nathan and Paula aren't going anywhere) and one of Lauren R.'s first projects is to dig around in our archives and boost our Instagram presence.

Here's Lauren's first "Transformation Tuesday" effort:

"My how Holidog has changed over the years!"

We'll be sure to post more fun photos here on the HoliBlog, as well as @HolidayWorld on Instagram.

We have loads of fun older photos from over the decades – what would you like to see in the coming months? Please post you ideas below!

When you eat for a living …

… you don't get a lot of sympathy when you work (and eat) long hours, day after day.

Meet our Food & Beverage managers, Andrea and Tammy. Plus Jason, our F&B director.

They've been eating their way through November.

Poor dears.

They have to; it's their job.

After all, who do you think picks out the new food ideas for next year?

Our taste-testing trio went to Indianapolis last week for several days of sampling.

All kinds of wraps:

And many flavors of gelato:

Full yet?

No? Good! Because the tasty tasting moved to the park this week.

The fabulous bakery boys arrived on Tuesday to prepare for a Wednesday filled with sweets and treats.

We dubbed Doug the Sticky Buns Man.

The pastries were numerous beyond belief. Every office got a tray of breakfast goodies to sample.

That afternoon, I had to head over to the merchandise warehouse to pick up more Grab Bag Shirts for the HoliShop and saw yet another sweets-laden tray.

"Why are these here?" Vanessa wailed. She's our very trim retail director.

All things in moderation.

Yeah. Right.

Tammy had to lean over to get a good look at this contraption.

Any idea what it is?

The syrup in the foreground gave it away, I bet.

A pancake maker! Have you ever heard of such a thing?

We can't wait to see what's in store for Mrs. Klaus' Kitchen in 2014.

I have a feeling we'll all have our cake and we'll eat it, too!