What if we hosted the Winter Games?

Legend lift chain in the snow

With all the hullabaloo about the Winter Olympics lately, it got us to pondering … what sort of competitive games could we host here during these seemingly endless weeks of snow and ice?

Off went an email query, quickly followed up by a Holibaloo of our own.

Santa in the snow

Here’s a sampling of the responses:

First of all, Santa might have a challenge keeping the torch lit, what with all the “wintry mix” we’ve experienced the past few months. Yesterday alone, we had rain, sleet, snow and some other combination that was sort of bouncy.

No matter what the weather, though, we can count on Santa to smile and wave.

Hang in there, Santa – summer’s coming!

Brett from Accounting is super-busy this time of year and couldn’t quite think outside of his office’s four walls. Brett proposes a  papercut-throat game of Desktop Paper Stack Curling.

Ice races on Jungle Racer?Josh from HR is obviously a very cool dad. He’s ready to coordinate Ice Races down Jungle Racer. Josh is a sports fanatic and even has baseball stadium seats in his office.

Another sports fan is Lauren in Communications (according to her coffee mug she’s Head Coach of the Reindeer Games Athletic Department). Lauren’s ready to issue a Gobbler Challenge: Players from each team compete in a tournament to determine who will take gold in turkey calling.

Sylvia from Admissions is thinking about upcoming seasonal training; she wants a Smile-athon to brighten up the Front Gate.

Ashley is in Special Events, so it comes as no surprise that she’s ready to head up a multi-ride event. Bobsledding on Mammoth and Wildebeest, anyone?

Snow on Mammoth and Wildebeest

Tom, our Carpenter Shop Manager, emailed: I think Holidog sledding would be very competitive.

But first, it appears Holidog has something else in mind. Something called “Digging for Bones Delegation.”

Digging for Holidog's missing bones

Brandon in Guest Services wants to time Restroom Breaks for the Rides Department, to see how quickly management responds once the “RB” call is made (no, that doesn’t stand for Root Beer, although there may be some cause and effect involved) plus coordinate Cross Country Speed Walking Trash Pickup for the messes, er … masses.

Foods? What else might they possibly be thinking about?

One-track mind, those folks …

Tasting, always tasting ...

And Nathan in Communications, well he’d put together some sort of Artsy Photography Challenge.

Here’s the Legend’s drive chain, for example:

Legend's snowy drive chain

And me? Well, curling sounds good. As in: curling up with a good book and a cup of cocoa. It’s our  “slow” season, after all!

It appears, however, that Hilbert, Millie, and Dorothy are already in training:

"Curling" in Kringle's

Okay, clever readers, your turn: What games would you add if the Olympics were hosted here?

We know you LOVE caption contests!

HoliSmiles!Congratulations to Rob B. from Franklin, Tennessee – our contest winner!

His entry: There are even smiles on the sandwiches at Holiday World! made us laugh, considering how he probably hasn’t seen our new brochure yet.

Our new brochure features “HoliSmiles,” using the rainbow from our park logo. And we’re told there will be an edible version of the HoliSmile available in the park this year. Sweet!

—-

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, let’s have some fun and give you a chance to win a pair of tickets.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve been reading this blog lately, this time of year there’s a lot of “tasting” going on; from fruit cups to chili dogs to salads to gelato.

Our Foods staff is always looking for opinions. Fresh taste buds, if you will.

Whenever one of our non-Foods staffers happen to walk by, chances are they’ll be encouraged to sip, nibble, and otherwise enjoy a new taste treat.

Tough job. I know.

This particular longtime employee, pictured below, was happily munching on a chicken salad croissant recently and agreed to be photographed only when we promised to hide his identity.

He didn’t, after all, want the rest of us to think he wasn’t working hard that day. (Which he was. And has for years.)

This photo makes me smile. Make me laugh out loud and you could win two one-day tickets.

Caption contestA few rules:

1. Must be 13 or older to enter.

2. Must not be an employee of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (or that employee’s immediate family member).

3. Just one entry per email address, please.

4. The winner receives two 2014 one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. If you’ve won tickets from one of our contests within the past six months, you’re not eligible to win this one. If it’s been more than six months – have at it!

5. Our judges’ decision is final. It always is.

6. Deadline is Monday at noon. That’s 2/17/14 at 12 noon CDT. We’ll notify the winner by email.

7. To enter, post your clever caption as a “comment” here on this HoliBlog post. Don’t include your address or phone number, we’ll notify the winner by email. (Remember, our comments are moderated – so keep the captions family-friendly. If your post doesn’t show up right away, that means we’re in a meeting or sleeping or, you know, eating. Please be patient.)

Good luck to all – and Happy Valentine’s Day!

#ThrowbackThursday

Or maybe this should be #ThrowAwayThursday!

What do you think of our park uniform from back in the 1980s?

It’s just too cold for ice cream!

When it looks like this outside:

Ice storm at Holiday World

With ice hanging from every branch, eave and flume …

Ice in Holiday World

Well, it’s just too cold for ice cream, isn’t it?

And there’s nothing left to do than join our Food & Beverage team in tasting … gelato. Yes, of course!

Foods Manager Michael happily sampled flavor after flavor.

It’s his job, after all.

Foods Michael sampling gelato

Meet Jim and Ron, the Gelato Guys. It was their job to keep all the names of the flavors straight – from Raspberry to Cappuccino …

Jim and Ron, Gelato Guys

… from Mango to Birthday Cake to Blood Orange.

Gelato tasting at Holiday World

And this yummy-looking Mint Chocolate Chip:

Mint Chocolate Chip gelato

What do you think – should we add gelato to the menu? If so, what flavors would you like us to offer?

Honest-to-Goodness Indiana

Our state tourism office launched Indiana’s new slogan and brand this morning: “Honest-to-Goodness Indiana.”

VP Eric was on hand for the announcement. He reports back that our Lt. Governor began her remarks with a mention of her first job, at Santa Claus Land.

New Indiana Tourism brand and slogan

(from left) Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Holiday World VP Eric Snow, Indiana Tourism Director Mark Newman

Santa Claus Land has changed a lot over the years (that was our name from 1946 through 1983), but no matter how much we’ve grown and added new rides and exciting technology, we have kept our small-park feel. We still pay attention to simple things, such as a genuine smile, a welcoming wave, an offer to take the family photo so dad can be in the shot, too. Honest-to-Goodness Indiana sure seems like a good fit for us.

Over the years, our State Tourism has embraced slogans with messages varying from Wander Indiana (remember that one?) to Come on IN to the latest, Restart Your Engines. Do you have a favorite?

That round thing on Mayflower?

We’ve been asked repeatedly: So what’s that round thing all about?

This thing, circled (by me) in green:

Mayflower medallion

That’s at the apex of the ride, right? (Trying to make my oldest son proud here … I’ve made my living with words, but still remember a math term or two.)

Anyway, apparently, it’s called a medallion. And we needed to submit our own medallion design to the ride creators to truly personalize our “swinging ship” ride as “the Mayflower.”

When the graphic posted below arrived in my Inbox, my first thought was, “Oh, I really want a commemorative plate …” I didn’t know what exactly it was for – or even who had designed it – until later; it was just a lovely surprise on a gloomy winter’s day.

And who designed our medallion?

A member of the Koch family’s fourth generation here at the park, Lauren.

Mayflower medallion

And how is the ride construction moving along? Just ask Tom – yes, in his shirtsleeves in February.

Truly a man who digs his work.

Construction - Mayflower

And where exactly is Tom digging? That lattice-worked structure in the background should give you a hint.

Mayflower site work

We will have more Mayflower updates for you here on the HoliBlog as we get closer to May. And spring. And warmth. There’s hope!

If you’d like to receive notification of new posts by email, please subscribe in the box at the top-right portion of this page.

And please post a comment here telling us what you think of our Mayflower medallion – now I want earrings, too!
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Nice advice for ice

Driving advice for this wintery day:

Lewis & Clark Trail at Holiday World

Drive carefully!

Oh, that snow!

Are you getting all this crazy snow?

Mother Nature thought Santa looked a little chilly, so she sent him a blanket.

Of snow.

Oh, poor Santa!

Santa in the snow

Here’s a quick look at the snowfall:

Keep warm, everyone – spring is one day closer!

A cool new sandwich

We haven’t said much yet about the new restaurant coming to Splashin’ Safari this season – but it’s got a great name, I can tell you that.

Here’s one of the menu items:

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken salad sandwich on a croissant bun? Mais oui!

What do you think – will you try one? Or are you a traditionalist and plan to stick with pizza? Please post your thoughts and ideas below and we’ll be sure to pass them along.