The drive to dive

Well, she did it – one of our incredible divers went to the World High Dive Championship in Russia this week, and she’s bringing home the silver medal.

Cesilie will be back today, performing in our Dive! show once again.

CesilieTalk about a crazy summer job – moving to Santa Claus, Indiana, from Texas to dive from the top of a 70-foot tower into a 14-foot pool.

Every day, she kicks the clouds.

Cesilie and the rest of our high-dive team will perform their silly dives, group dives, Olympic-style dives, the high dive, plus the famous fire dive daily through August 12, and then days we’re open through September 20.

And, as our announcer says several times during each show: Don’t try this at home!

Unless, of course, you’re Cesilie Carlton!

Happy Underwear Day!

I kid you not.

There’s such a thing as “Underwear Day.” And I guess we’re meant to celebrate that fact.

… which reminds me of a blog post from long ago. Really.

When I went into Will’s office more than a decade ago to ask him what he thought about us starting a blog, I remember how intrigued he was with the possibilities. We could tell stories and record our history.

The piece of advice Will gave me that really stuck with me was, “Tell the stories no other park would tell.”

And so, in June of 2005, we blogged about underwear.

In keeping with that tradition of blogging about unmentionables, let’s talk about rides “breaking down.”

To start, let’s clear up a misconception that has long mystified me – we don’t ever close a ride because we just don’t feel like opening it for the day. We want to have every ride open every day – and our maintenance team goes to great lengths each day (starting before daybreak) to make that happen.

Sometimes, though, during morning safety inspection, it becomes apparent that a part is ready to be replaced. Often it’s something simple, something we have on hand and can take of right away – meaning the ride can open on time, or soon after opening. Other times, we have to order a new part (and go to great lengths to get it here with the least amount of delay possible).

Still other times, we have a bit of a mystery to solve. We already blogged about the flying squirrel at Wildebeest a few years ago and explained how a “fault” is actually a good thing.

And here’s another example of what could cause a brief delay in your day.

Andy, one of our attractions managers, sent me this photo recently along with this note: This bird was thinking big. He flew in the Thunderbird station from the back and stepped his way out to the launch room – faulting the ride sensors, then flew on his way!

Little Bird at Thunderbird

So if during your next visit here, there’s a “fault” while you’re in line, please keep in mind that we’ll do everything safely possible to get the line moving again quickly. And, since we’re not only an outdoor park – but an out-in-the-country park – sometimes that “fault” might be the fault of a bird, a flying squirrel, or other rascally little friend from nature.

Help us make a splash!

Thank you to everyone who entered (and voted) during the month of August. Here are our three winners – chosen at random – who each receive a pair of one-day tickets:

  • Angel W., Vergennes, Illinois
  • Lisa L., Fishers, Indiana
  • Krissie W., Bowling Green, Kentucky

When we announced the creation of Splashin’ Safari back in 1992, we never dreamed we would end up with one of the world’s largest water parks. Never!

I remember writing the news release: We would open the water park in 1993 but it would take us five years and $3 million to reach the size we wanted.

Ha! Were we ever wrong!

USA Today says Splashin’ Safari is one of the nation’s top water parks – in fact, we were named #1 two years ago.

Would you like to help us keep the title?

All it takes is two clicks (here) to vote. Daily.

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

But that’s not all! USA Today is also conducting a poll for the Best Water Slide. And we have two contenders in that category.

Our two water coasters.

Which do you love best?


Wildebeest Family

… or Mammoth?

Mammoth Water Coaster | Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Tough decision, we know. But please vote! (We won’t ask who your favorite child is, either.)

And finally, our Safari Sam’s SplashLand is also nominated – in the Best Water Park Kids’ Area category.

Safari Sam's SplashLand

Asking you to vote in three categories (did we mention you can vote daily?) is a lot, we know. And we are grateful for your support.

As a thank-you, we’ll choose three winners at random at the end of the month. Each winner will receive two one-day tickets. How do you enter*? Just post a comment here on this HoliBlog post each time you vote. We’ll trust that you voted – and of course, we know there are lots of great water parks and rides out there: we encourage you to vote as your conscience dictates.


(*As always, you must be at least 18 years old to enter. Employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter.)

The power of family

Leah joked on Facebook that she would have thought if she ever made it on the cover of a magazine, her curly mane would somehow look a bit more tame than it does on the cover of this month’s Funworld magazine.

Lauren and Leah on Front Page of Funworld | Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

… and that’s exactly the style of self-deprecating humor that Leah and her sister, Lauren, carry from the third into the fourth generation of ownership of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

This feature story about Thunderbird and the years of planning (and Will Power) that went into it is available to the public during the month of August.

Drum roll, please

After being heralded as the World’s Cleanest Park for more than a dozen years, you’d think we’d know every use for a trash can.

This season, we’ve done that trendy re-purpose thing – and trash cans aren’t just for keeping the place tidy anymore.

During your next visit, you may stumble upon our trash-can band before you even see them – they’re our Trash Impactors!

This group of percussionists has added their own spin on cleanliness by creating a catchy rhythm that will make you dance your Pepsi cup to the nearest trash can once the show is over.

Check them out in this Instagram clip:

Our Trash Impactors – keepin’ it clean. #HolidayWorld #percussion #drums #summer #fun #video

A video posted by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

Some of our Trash Impactors also perform each morning at 9:45am CDT in Christmas Plaza for our Opening Celebration! Join in as Holidog & Friends groove to the sounds of our drum line and some of today’s most popular songs – including a musical tribute to the nation’s first launched wing coaster, Thunderbird!

Opening Celebration Cast
Don’t miss out on any of our shows during your visit – check out our Today: At A Glance for a complete show schedule!

Anatomy of a thrill

Tory & Kari - Thrill Factor

It starts when you get the okay from the network to talk about the unnamed new show:

Next, add a re-tweet from the show host whose hair sports a touch of Thunderbird orange:

Then try to recover from the aforementioned thrill:

We hope you’ll plan to watch Thrill Factor on Travel Channel – Wednesday, August 12, at 7:30pm CDT for our episode of this exciting new show!

Cliff notes

You just never know what our divers are up to on their days off …

Our diver wins first place!

Congratulations to Cesilie from our Dive team – she took First Place at a Red Bull Cliff Diving Women’s World Series event in Portugal over the weekend! (She’s in the center of this photo from the event’s Facebook page.)

Here’s the video report of Cesilie’s victory

Congratulations, Cesilie!

Christmas in July Sweepstakes

Thanks to all who entered our sweepstakes – and congratulations to Amy I. from Mattoon, Illinois, who wins four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari plus two nights in a King RV at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas in July?

That sounds like a silly question to us – since we’re here in Santa Claus, Indiana, we’re used to hearing Christmas carols every day. Some of us even have Christmas decorations in our offices year-round (guilty!).

Jungle Racer at Splashin' SafariSince summer is sliding by more quickly than the latest winner at Jungle Racer, we’re tossing another sweepstakes opportunity your way.

What could you win? Four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari plus two overnights in a King RV at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort (right next door to us).

How to enter our “Christmas in July Sweepstakes”? Please read carefully:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter and 21 to make your King RV reservations. (Overnight accommodations are for Sundays through Thursdays only; not available over Labor Day Weekend.)
  • Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, Sun Communities, and Sun RV Resorts (and the immediate family members of employees) are not eligible to enter.
  • Use the widget, below, to enter daily. There are lots of options, so you can earn extra entries by posting here on our HoliBlog, tweeting about this sweepstakes, and visiting us on our Facebook pages. The winner – chosen at random – will be emailed the evening of July 24.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us with whom you wish to celebrate Christmas in July. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • By entering our contest, you agree to be added to our e-newsletter list. You may unsubscribe at any time by following the directions in your email.
  • Did you know you can subscribe to our HoliBlog so that you receive all of our posts (including contests) by email? If you’re using a desktop computer or tablet, look for the “Subscribe to Blog” sidebar at the top-right corner of this page. On a smartphone? Just scroll down a tiny bit more to find it. Or if you’d like to subscribe, follow, pin, like and review us, head over to our Connect with Us page.

Ready to enter? Of course you are: Simply enter our sweepstakes here from a mobile device; or if you’re using an immobile device, enter by using the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Friday, July 24, 2015, at 2pm CDT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all!