By Paula @ Holiday World

The “name game” sounds like loads of fun, doesn’t it?

Believe it or not, it can be an agonizing process!

You start out with the theme of the park section, add details about the ride or slide (or, in this case, restaurant), and then start churning out ideas.

You generate long lists and then start to cull.

You search online to make sure this isn’t a name already in use. Does it rhyme with a naughty word – or if it can be shortened, is the nickname G-rated? Will it sound good in commercials and will park Guests remember the name?

Splashin’ Safari names have been particularly interesting, as we try to stay with a safari theme. We’ve used safari references (such as Jungle Racer and Hyena Falls), Swahili words (such as Bakuli, Bahari and Zinga) and we even made up a word: Watubee.

The safari animal name Wildebeest was tossed on the table year after year. By me. Time after time, it was scratched off the list early on in the process. It got to be sort of a joke; whenever we needed to name anything (including staff members’ children and grandchildren), someone would suggest Wildebeest and everyone would have a good laugh.

As you know, eventually everyone else warmed up to Wildebeest and our first water coaster was named after that stampeding safari animal. (Which, looking back, was even more fitting than we could have dreamed; have you ever seen the stampede toward Wildebeest when we “drop the ropes” at park opening each morning? Lori (our water-park attractions director) and her staff had to institute a “pace car” entry to keep eager riders from running and pushing.)

Wildebeest debuted in 2010. Fast-forward to present day and F&B Jason challenged his management team to come up with a few good names for Splashin’ Safari’s new restaurant.

Since Wildebeest was the late Will Koch’s final ride project, Jason suggested the water coaster as a starting point for ideas.

There were some great suggestions: Wildebeest Feast and WildeFeast. Then Wildebeest Bistro.

Suddenly, Katie S. came up with a combo:

Katie names WildebeestroWell done, Katie!

Well done … just like the Philly Steak & Cheese sandwich planned for Wildebeestro.

And what else will be on the menu, you ask?

Wraps! We’ll have a Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap, a Hummus Wrap and a Black & Blue Wrap (that’s foodie code for roast beef and blue cheese – I got to sample one last week – scrumptious!).

And, let’s see: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Salads, Popcorn Shrimp, Hot Dogs, Giant Turkey Legs. And more. (The full menu will be posted on our website in early April.)

Side dishes will include Corn on the Cob, Fresh Fruit Cups, and Steak Fries.

Desserts? Oh, my. Yogurt Cups, Whole Grain Jungle Animal Crackers, Butterfinger Pie, Giant Cookies, and more.

And, yes … brewed sweet tea as part of our free soft drinks offering.

And what will Wildebeestro look like? Here’s the designer’s rendering:

Wildebeestro design

Here’s a closer look at the wildebeest carvings on the posts out front:

Wildebeest carving

And here’s a side view:

Side view of Wildebeestro design

And exactly where in Splashin’ Safari is Wildebeestro located?

Follow the magic blue arrow:

Wildebeestro construction (location)

We sure hope you’re as excited as we are about the new restaurant and new menu items. We expect Wildebeestro to open in time for the Memorial Day Weekend.

And if you’d like to help us with another naming project, be sure to enter this contest by Tuesday, March 11 at 10am CDT.

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8 Responses to “The name game”

  1. Wendy Juodikis

    Reindeer Bumper Beach…give each bumper car a reindeer name or painted reindeer face…Some with and some without sunglasses!