A sporting contest

Ready for our first contest of the new year?

With the Super Bowl just days away, this contest will give you sports fans something to think about. And you could win two one-day ticket for 2013!

To warm you up, here's a photo of our late owner, the always-laughing Will Koch, happily clutching the 2007 Vince Lombardi Trophy.

"Don't drop it, Will!" (Oh, how we teased that poor man!)

Will Koch with the 2007 Vince Lombardi trophy

And yes, the trophy came to visit one day. It wasn't tall enough to ride the coasters, though. Bummer.

Our question has nothing to do with the above photo, so clear your mind and take a deep, cleansing breath.

Our question is: what is it about this year's Super Bowl that ties in with Holiday World?

Hint: we need a specific person's name, a specific team and a specific year in the correct answer.

Good luck!

A few rules:

1. Must be 13 or older to enter.

2. Must not be an employee or immediate family member of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.

3. Yes, you may enter more than once. But five times is the limit, okay? And only one guess per email, please.

4. First person to email us with the correct answer wins. If no one guesses exactly, we'll go with whoever came closest. (So I guess that means we need to set a deadline … okay, Monday at noon. That's 2/4/13 at 12 noon CST.)

How to enter? Must be by email and to this address: contest@holidayworld.com. (If you win, we'll contact you via email, so please be sure to use an address you check frequently.)

Weren’t we just complaining about record heat?

… and here it is in January and we’re not exactly loving the single digits!

We’re heading into a warming trend next week, and you can bet these fellows are looking forward to it:

Hyena Falls construction

Construction crews are hard at it, getting Hyena Falls built for May.

So where exactly will this four in-the-dark slide complex be located?

Sort of near Voyage:

Hyena Falls

… and sort of near Giraffica:

Hyena Falls and Giraffic

Why did we change Pilgrims Plunge’s name? The answer is here.

Hyena Falls constructionMean- while, here’s a heart- felt tip of the hard hat to all the rugged work- ers who direct traffic, farm, fight fires, clear high- ways of snow, and build water slides during the frigid weather. You’re amazing!

Want to watch the construc- tion of Hyena Falls – live? Check out our ConstructionCam during daylight hours to see the project come alive.

Don’t wait too long to take a look, though. Once the crews start hanging the four fiberglass slides, Hyena Falls will come together so quickly it’ll be, well … almost laughable.

Maybe nobody told them …

… that it's 18 degrees outside:

Hyena Falls construction

… and we may even have snow on the way this afternoon!

Apparently, though, through the miracles of modern chemistry, concrete pours can take place even when it's really, really cold.

And when it's hot out? That's when we'll all enjoy the results of today's pour – riding on Hyena Falls' four in-the-dark water slides.

Here's a virtual flyaround – take a look!

It’s half-past the giraffe’s ear

What time is it?

It's time to take a second look at Giraffica (the ride formerly known as Pilgrims Plunge) and realize that, on a sunny day, it looks a whole lot like a giant sundial:


This time of year, Giraffica casts a long, long shadow on the field that is quickly becoming the home of our new Hyena Falls, with its four in-the-dark water slides:


So why did we change this ride's name to Giraffica?

Giraffica's shadowThis ride was originally part of our Thanksgiving section.

Pilgrims Plunge opened in 2009 and was then the world's tallest water ride (it's still the tallest in the U.S.).

We placed it on the northeast edge of Thanksgiving and re-worked some pathways so that it could also be accessible from Splashin' Safari, so that families could ride in their swimsuits, if they wished.

While planning to add Hyena Falls to Splashin' Safari for the 2013 season, we decided it was time to move the park boundary so that Pilgrims Plunge would be part of the water park. And so this huge water ride would need a new name to connect it to its safari brethren.

If you look at the shadow of the elevator (on the right side of the photo), you'll probably see how we came up with the name Giraffica. (It sounds best when said with great authority – the way you'd say a superhero's name: Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Giraffica!

And no matter what you call it, this is one fun ride! Here's a long, tall look at Giraffica's huge drop in slow motion:

Look on the sunny side

No matter how chilly it gets here in Santa Claus:

Santa Claus, Indiana

We can always remind ourselves that it's warmer here than at the North Pole:

Temp at the North Pole

Please stay safe and warm during this cold snap – wherever you are!

And remember, summer is on the way!

The IT Men of Holiday World

In our never-ending quest to educate the general populous that even though we're closed over the winter a lot of work takes place, we bring you this first in a series of websiodes about The IT Men of Holiday World.

The IT Men of Holiday World

Meet Steven and Casey from our IT department as they take you for a peek behind the vitual curtain.

Today they're at Kringle's Ice Cream. I think we're in for a treat. And we all might just learn something

What other seemingly insurmountable task would you like to see our IT Men attempt to conquer? Please comment below.

An office with a view

Our Coaster Cats have quite an expansive work space.

Skylights, even.

Off-season track work

During the winter months, our coaster maintenance technicians – Anthony and Heath are in the above photo – bundle up and head out to perform their off-season track work.

Right now, the crazy curves that race Voyage riders back into the station is getting the attention.

Voyage track workAnd what the heck is Jon up to? He's cut through the eight layers of wooden track (you heard right – eight layers, just like Frosted Mini Wheats) and is per- forming the age-old ritual of out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new. Yes, that's snow on the track.

Voyage track work

The Voyage is 1.2 miles long. It has more "air time" than any other wooden roller coaster.

More tunnels, too.

Last summer, the Travel Channel named Voyage #1 in its "Most Insane Wooden Coasters" special.

Are you craving some night rides on Raven, Legend and Voyage? You might want to look into a special event we are planning for coaster enthusiasts called HoliWood Nights. It's for members of coaster clubs we partner with – so everyone in attendance is "coaster crazy."

Need a Voyage refresher course? Take this virtual ride:

A new crop of cabanas

Our 16 new cabanas are popping up out the ground like spring crocuses.

Bakuli Cabanas construction

… or is the plural of crocus croci?

Either way, the warmer temps are truly appreciated by our crews working hard to ready the park for opening in May.

New Cabana construction

Please check out our Cabana Information page for more details.

A mighty cool blast from the past

Nothing like a chilly day to get you in the mood to dig around in the archives.

In this case, is was our Video Vault.

Frankie & Annette

Here's a show – sort of an infomercial – that aired back in 1989.

Prepare yourself for a park with some familiar rides and buildings – and others that are just a memory.

Here's part 1:

And here's part 2:

Do you recognize yourself (or anyone else in this video)? Do you remember riding some of the rides that are now retired? We'd love to hear from you – please comment below!