A truck full of goodies

The word “goodies” in relation to a truck full of construction materials may not be the fit for everyone, but it sure is appropriate when you’re building something exciting.

James, as VP, gets the keys to the castle, er … Really Big Truck.

And what is in the Really Big Truck, you ask?

Ah, none of that! We’ll tell you on Thursday. It’s almost here. Really.

Of course, once James got the truck open, he just had to venture inside …

No keys this time … just brute strength.

Truth be told, this photo is nearly two months old. We had just begun our “66 Days At Sea” countdown to our big announcement for 2015.

… and we weren’t quite sure how much to show.

So we snipped a little here and cropped a bit there, knowing the photos would be highly scrutinized.

It’s been pretty amazing to see how many clues you’ve uncovered. And how many you’ve missed.

But the wait is nearly over.

On Thursday (this Thursday, July 24), if you’re not here at the park to watch live, please link over to HolidayWorld2015.com to watch our announcement live. The page should go live around 8:00pm CDT, with our pre-announcement warm up (with interactive polling and other fun stuff) starting at 8:15pm CDT. And when 8:30pm rolls around, the announcement will be … um, unboxed.

See? Like this! We’ll lift the lid of secrecy and all will be revealed!

And after the announcement, if you’d like to join CoasterRadio.com for our 66 Days re-cap, we’ll have fun revealing the hints, history and, yes, herrings on their live podcast at 9:15pm CDT.

Countdown to Day 67

Can you believe it? We’re closing in on the last few of our 66 Days At Sea! We hope you enjoyed the clues, the history lesson, and the occasional red herring. And Leah’s HoliBlog posts, too – she’s honed her HoliHint skills to a fine point these past few weeks.

As July 24, Our Announcement Day, fast approaches, we want to fill you in on several bits of information:

1. The guesses continue – we’ve added a series of Instagram videos, thanks to our Marketing Interns:

2. Leah’s HoliHints aren’t over just yet. Stay tuned. (Better yet. subscribe to the HoliBlog to receive each post via email.)

3. Can’t make it to Santa Claus on Thursday? No worries; we plan to stream the announcement live from our website. We’ll have some interactive polling and such, so please tune in at 8:15pm CDT to have your say. Then after the announcement, refresh the page and you’ll see a new microsite with all sorts of information and animation about … oh, you nearly got me there. Nope. Gotta wait.

4. Having trouble holding on until Christmas Eve in July? Be sure to check our ConstructionCam during daylight hours to see if you can figure out what we’re up to.

5. After the announcement, we’ll be part of a live podcast with CoasterRadio.com – for a full recap of our 66 Days At Sea hints.

6. Throughout the day (and before, actually), we’ll be using the hashtag #HW2015 – please join in the fun!

A promise kept

About a month ago, a coworker (Hi, Andrew!) tried to get me to share what we’re building in 2015 (yes, it’s top secret; most members of our full-time staff don’t know all of what we’re doing).

Of course, one of his many guesses (like so many of you out there) was a steel coaster.

After he guessed, he stopped a moment and added, “Probably not, right? Is it true that your dad said he’d never build a steel coaster because it wasn’t family-friendly?”

The answer is yes. My dad probably told me that every time I requested a steel coaster (after conquering my fears, I requested one rather frequently). So I probably got that excuse daily.

Honestly, I don’t think he ever meant it. That response really meant I needed to shut my mouth (it only took me until now to realize that — sorry, Dad!).

Through the years, my requests became less frequent and my argument pro-steel became structured and more complex. His arguments against did not.

One day, he came home with drawings.

I believe the time was circa 2006, after The Voyage had opened. I can’t forget him laying those drawings down on our kitchen table.

I jumped in place and squealed. He told me he was planning on building in ’09 or ’10.

Since I was graduating high school in 2009, I decided it was a graduation present for me.

It would have been a truly unique ride—Dad liked to build really great things, often the first of their kind.

By now, you’ve figured out that design never came to fruition. My graduation present was nice, but certainly not a steel coaster.

In 2010, we did get an amazing first-of-its-kind coaster, the Wildebeest water coaster. It definitely was not what I was expecting, but aren’t the best things always unexpected?

As much fun as it would be to resurrect the designs he showed me that day, he had already moved past that technology and was dreaming of something different by the time of his passing.

With the promise still lingering out there, I have only this to say: if he were here, I’m certain what we’re building would be his dream.

And I’ll add to his promise: what we’re building is going to be truly unique.

The first of its kind.



Apparently someone famous visited today …

Feeling sort of out of touch. And, yes, old.

Anyone care to fill me in? According to Google, Brennan Tracy is a sensation on Vine … and is an I.U. guy.

Every time he tweets, my Inbox fills up with “favorites” and “retweet” notifications. So I’m really curious (and hoping I’m not being insulting, because I sure don’t mean it that way).

Happy Bastille Day!

My new initiative here at Holiday World is to make every day feel more like a holiday. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that means we’re having fun with the little random holidays happening, such as National Barbecue Month in May and other day-long celebrations.

So when we met last month to discuss July promotions (and July holidays), 66Days writer and Communications Director Paula pointed out that July 14 was Bastille Day.

The conference room went dead. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who needed a reminder of what Bastille Day celebrates. (Paula’s note: To be fair, I put on my juiciest French accent and said, Le Quatorze Juillet; it’s a wonder anyone caught on.)

But our newest VP, Chris spoke up to break the silence. “We could do something with cake pops – you know, ‘Let them eat cake pops.’”

VP Chris:

Paula and I burst out laughing. We’re not used to people being wittier than us (just kidding …).

That’s when we all knew Chris is right where he belongs here. I think we should keep him.

Cake Pops (aka Cake Balls) at Mrs. Klaus' KitchenI don’t know if we’ve talked much about our new VP Chris. He always seems to be running about a mile a minute — maybe faster!

To properly introduce Chris, I was going to ask him to provide a hint about our 2015 project, but we realized he already gave you a hint. (Think about it — it’ll make sense eventually.)

In case you’re looking for a cake-pop promotion, malheureusement we decided against it in favor of National Gummy Worm Day celebrations. After all, having to explain that Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 , the beginning of the French Revolution, and the chopping off of heads – well, that might slow down the lines at Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen just a bit too much.

T-minus 12 days

I’m sure many of you have noticed that our big announcement day is quickly approaching.

And I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great captive audience as I do right now. Because of this, I’ve had to be very meticulous with my word selection. Anything could mean something.

For instance, if I were to say this tease campaign has turned my normal life upside-down, people might assume we’re building some form of coaster that takes riders upside-down.

So I won’t say that.

But now I’m sure you see my dilemma. Part of the art here is learning where to let the occasional hint slide, and where to let the occasional potential misdirect drop.

It feels like an extra-long process now that everything here is going full-speed. While everything around me is going roughly a mile a minute, I’m sitting at my desk probably looking far too concentrated, trying to decide between using the word slide or drop.

Leah blogging at her desk at Holiday WorldThis responsibility I have right now as HoliBlog staff writer has been elevated to priority number one in these next weeks because I have been given the authority to give a few things away.

I cannot express to you just how huge this responsibility is. It is One. Big. Thing.

I repeat: One. Big. Thing.

This secret is getting harder and harder to contain (thankfully we only have less than two weeks now).

I will say this, though: this is our biggest investment to date.

By far. And it’s One. Big. Thing.

Not a new section with a bunch of new rides, just one massive piece of awesome.

When you finally find out what it is, you’re going to flip.

Wait, I won’t say that.