Our Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’ve spent much time on Facebook recently, you’ve seen all sorts of crazy videos involving people dumping buckets of ice on themselves.

Gasping for air, the thoroughly chilled subject then shouts out a challenge for others to do the same.

All in the name of ALS Research.

Although the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started out as a donate-big-and-escape-the-ice fundraiser, it seems most give what they can and still make a challenge video to help keep up the momentum.

And so, when Leah was challenged recently, she made her own video and came to work the next day to issue an even bigger challenge:

In case you missed it in the video, take a look at this photo – even Holidog got in on the fun!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Holiday World

Since the 1,200-gallon bucket at Kima Bay would be filled with water (and no ice), we individually added ice (mostly packed into hard hats) just as the water cascaded from above.

Our monetary donation is three-fold; individual staff-member donations will be matched by the park, plus the Koch family is contributing on behalf of the staff.

We thank everyone who has responded enthusiastically to our video and to those who are now committed to make a donation, too.

Many families have been touched by ALS – or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, as it’s more commonly known. If you’d like to help raise money for research or make a donation, please learn more at ALSA.org.

“A crummy commercial …”

Come on, you recognize that line, right?

It’s Ralphie from “A Christmas Story,” crestfallen when he discovers his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring uncovers nothing more than “a crummy commercial,” there in the Parker family’s one bathroom (with Randy pounding on the door).

Love that movie!

And so, I tried to soften this tweeted “crummy commercial” with a cool rendering of Thunderbird.

You’ve heard of Thunderbird, right? It’s our huge new steel coaster for 2015. The nation’s first launched wing coaster.

With plenty of “near misses”:

We’ve tried, through tweets and Facebook posts, plus our e-newsletter, to spread the work that the best Easy Pay deal expires at midnight tonight (Friday, August 15, 2014). This is our final effort, through the good ol’ HoliBlog.

We’re adding perks for our Season Pass Holders, such as a Thunderbird preview the night before we open for the season next April.

Also, if you purchase your 2015 Season Passes this fall and have them processed while we’re still open for the 2014 season, you’ll get a free Bring A Friend admission during Happy Halloween Weekends, plus a free Thunderbird cup.

Too bad we don’t have a Thunderbird Decoder Ring. I don’t think Ralphie would mind decoding this message: Be-sure-to-ride-the-nation’s-first-launched-wing-coaster-at-Holiday-World-in-2015.

Broadway bound

We get asked every year about our entertainers, past and present – do any of them turn their fun summer gig into a career?

Sure! We have lots of success stories to tell from over the years.

And one more HoliStar will twinkle on Broadway tonight.

That’s right – Nick Burroughs opens on Broadway tonight.

Yes, Broadway.

As in New York City.

In the Tony Award-winning smash hit Kinky Boots.

Nick is understudy to Billy Porter (the lead) and Billy gets tonight off.

Do you remember Nick from our “Vinyl Daze” cast from 2012?

Nick in Vinyl Daze

Here he is with the full ensembles two years ago:

Nick Burroughs, center

And my favorite photo:

Nick performing at Holiday World

In 2012, Nick was nominated for Entertainer of the Year for the entire theme park industry and was one of three finalists. Here’s the nomination reel:

Congratulations to all of our entertainers from over the years – whether you’re opening on Broadway, singing and dancing on a cruise ship, directing community theater, teaching music to others, or singing a sweet lullaby to your child (or grandchild) tonight, you’ve touched many lives with your talent.

And Nick – from all of us – Break a Leg tonight!

Are you a ‘middle child’?

The Legend Flag Set

Paula’s note: as a fellow “middle child,” I just had to take a few minutes on my day off to post Leah’s musings. My middle child, John, started laughing when I told him what I was up to: You should wait till tomorrow, Mom. That fits the Middle Child Syndrome perfectly – “Um, I really meant to get to it, dear … Sorry, I got caught up with your other siblings and just didn’t get around to it …”

And so, here is Leah’s post – in celebration of today’s holiday: Middle Child Day!

To all of the middle children of the world, today is your day. Enjoy it. Let’s be real: the attention won’t last long.

To you middle children, go forth and demand the attention you so crave from your parents. (Come on, it only lasts a few more hours anyway.)

I’ve written before about how my dad built three wooden coasters and had three children, so we each have a special bond with our coordinating coasters (Lauren—the oldest—with The Raven; Me—the middle—with The Legend; William—the youngest—with The Voyage).

The Legend at Holiday WorldI especially feel that bond when it comes to The Legend. You see, some critics can be kind of mean about coasters. Actually they can be really mean.

I often read coaster forums (yes, I’m watching), and when people post that The Legend is overrated or that it sucks, I die a little bit on the inside (keep that in mind, enthusiasts—not to guilt you or anything).

Even one of our Coaster Cats once made fun of The Legend. To my face. While I ran away and cried, my sister beat him up (not really). But we did have a good laugh once he realized I love The Legend.

It really is true though:

The Legend just never got the same recognition as the others

But today is not the day to speak poorly of my Legend. Today is the day we celebrate the oft-forgotten coaster.

Because The Legend cannot speak, we middle children must speak for it.

Today we’ll [maybe] stop peacemaking and negotiating between family members just for a moment.

Today we’ll take a moment to proudly state, “I am a middle child, and I … still probably won’t get my first choice in where we have dinner tonight.”

Today we’ll ride The Legend. And I’ll probably guilt-trip a bunch of people from the office to come join me.

And we’ll ride for you – for the middle children of the world.

Because today we demand [just like five minutes of your] attention.

And if you can’t be here today to ride The Legend, maybe you could go vote for it (and The Raven and The Voyage) in this poll? Saturday is National Roller Coaster Day. Wouldn’t it be great to see The Legend named 2014’s Great American Coaster?
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A guy with a plan

How many of us were in college and still didn’t know what we wanted to be when we grew up?

Not this guy!

I shared this tweet with our management team and everyone wanted to know which department our young friend was considering. According to his mom, he wants to be the the “Ready, Set, Go!” guy at Jungle Racer.

2014 Holiday Dash cancelled

We’re very sorry, but we’ve had to cancel our Holiday Dash 5K Fun Run, scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014.

We welcome your feedback. Please send us an email with your ideas and suggestions: fun@holidayworld.com

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this cancellation; we’re disappointed, too.