SANTA CLAUS, IND.—–Holiday World theme park opens for its 68th season this Saturday with the first sailing of the Mayflower swinging ship ride.

“Since 2006, when we expanded Holiday World to include a Thanksgiving-themed section, we’ve received hundreds of suggestions to add a classic swinging ship ride and name it the Mayflower,” says park president Matt Eckert. “We have a three-year Thanksgiving celebration plan for our park, and this is just the start.”

Eckert says the new family ride will carry up to 60 riders at a time, swinging in an arc 54-feet-high over a pool of water.

Additional projects for this season include:
•    Friday Night Fireworks (Friday evenings from June 13 through August 1)
•    Extended Splashin’ Safari hours
•    Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen makeover, including a new home for Santa Claus
•    Summer Fun Card program, for multi-day summer visits
•    New Wildebeestro restaurant and Safari Outpost shop in Splashin’ Safari

Eckert says the cost of this year’s improvements totaled $8 million. Ticket prices for Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari did not increase from last season.

On May 10, a production crew from Hollywood will spend the day at Holiday World to capture the enhanced theming of the park’s Christmas section for a new holiday special for The Travel Channel.

Holiday World will be open weekends starting May 3. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari will be open daily starting May 16. For more information, visit or call 1-800-467-2682.

Released: 1 May, 2014
Media contact: Paula Werne,