Podcast: The one with the crowdsourcing

Wow, those two weeks went by fast!

We recorded Podcast Episode 2 this morning, with guest VP James providing us with a Legend update, including a description of the new “double down” element.

Legend's new Double Down

Want to know even more about the double down? Be sure to listen!

And here are three photos that will make no sense until you … listen to the podcast.

Here’s the first (mentioned during our “70 Degrees of Separation” game):

Attractions Director in the Maury audience

And these two are connected to the #NerdConference that Leah and VP Eric attended last week:

Barnaby at the Nerd Conference VP Eric & Barnaby

Ready to listen? Just click below (and be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss a single episode!).

Please remember to send us some photos for our Memories Mosaic so your family can be a part of our 70th Birthday celebration!

And a comb and a brush …

… and a bowl full of mush.


Parents of young children will probably catch this reference to the classic please-go-to-sleep-now book, Goodnight Moon.

Thanks to Joe, our Maintenance Director, for taking this photo early yesterday morning, when the sun was rising and the moon was setting.

“I watched your podcast”

^ Been hearing that phrase a lot lately. (Thanks for tuning in!)

Until I realized I was being obnoxious and stopped, I had corrected several “viewers” to remind them that a podcast is audio only. (In a nutshell, our podcast is an online on-demand talk radio show.)

Then Stephen came up with the idea to create a highlights reel – including video.

Here ’tis:

Thanks for watching! We’ll be back this coming Friday with Episode 002 – with guest VP James, the host of our Hard Hat Chronicles video series. Head over to our HoliSounds page to subscribe (we’re on iTunes, Stitcher, and a few others) and while you’re there, check out the downloadable ringtones, Thunderbird Theme, and other tunes – and help yourself!

Do you have any questions about “The Legend reborn” project for James? If so, please add them as comments below or post them on social media, using the #HoWoPo hashtag.

Back on track

Celebrating our 70th Birthday!

70th Birthday logoWhat do you give a park for its 70th Birthday?

That an easy one! You bring back its original ride to put on display for generations to see and reminisce.

Whether you remember it as the Freedom Train, the Mother Goose Land Train, or the Santa Claus Land Railroad (thus nearly equaling Sean Combs in the “most name changes in a lifetime” category), chances are you rode it as a child and later as an adult.

Maybe even as a grandparent.

Three years ago, we retired the Freedom Train when it became apparent it was no longer track-worthy. We searched the world over for help in restoring it, but the experts all concluded we needed to replace so much of the original material that we felt it would no longer be the same train generations had grown up riding.

Santa Claus Land Railroad

When we decided to bring back the Freedom Train to put it on display as part of our 70th Birthday celebration, there was some research to do: What color was the train originally? Most of the earliest photos in our archives are black and white. But we did find a feature story in the December 1949 edition of the Saturday Evening Post that included color photos. Of a blue train.

Painter Joe working on trim for Freedom Train

Blue it is.

… with bright red trim in honor of later color schemes. Plus, since the train will be on display in our 4th of July section, the train will fit right in with the theme.

Our Painters embraced this project like the Michelangos they are.

Seriously, they brush aside no task as too big or too small.

Case in point: Here’s Joe taking care of detail work on the cow-catcher (that piece is also called a pilot – but here in rural southern Indiana, it’s definitely better known as a cow catcher).

In all, the paint restoration work took about a week and a half to complete.

We captured every minute.

Happily, Stephen scrunched it down to a 25-second time-lapse video. (He quipped that now he really knows what “watching paint dry” means.)

Please take a look:

Our iconic train will be on display this season in our 4th of July section – across from Rough Riders Bumper Cars – along with some other artifacts and timelines.

Another 70th Birthday project for this season will involve crowd-sourcing, so please be sure to tune in to next week’s podcast for all the details.

Presidential proclamation

Today is Presidents Day across the land.

And here’s what it looks like on our webcam:


Really. Nothing but frozen fog as far as the eye can see (which isn’t far).

This prompted Matt to text me a presidential proclamation:

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Brady!

Florence Henderson with the Kochs

Did you know Florence Henderson was a Hoosier?

She was born on this day in 1934 in the town of Dale, which is just a few miles west of the park.

Yes, on Valentine’s Day.

This photo was taken a dozen or so years ago. From left, that’s Leah, Lauren, and their mom, Lori.

You already know Florence Henderson.

A little girl’s Valentine’s Day message

There’s nothing quite as dear as a sentimental dad.

Christopher W. from Owensville, Indiana, just messaged me a copy of the Valentine’s card his daughter Abbie presented to her parents this weekend.

Valentine's message

How sweet is that?

And here’s Abbie, who’s seven years old:

Abbie and Santa

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

Podcast premiere!

First podcastAll I can say is … we hope you have a long commute.

Somehow, we got it stuck in our heads that most people listen to podcasts while on their daily commute – or to liven up their treadmill experience.

We thought 20-30 minutes would work just fine for a podcast episode. Maybe twice that is twice as good?

We’ll be back with our next episode in two weeks, so if you have questions, comments or suggestions for us, please post below – or share on social media using the #HoWoPo hashtag.

Be sure to subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, and others by heading over to our HoliSounds page, where you’ll also find downloadable versions of our Thunderbird Theme plus a variety of ringtones.

Meanwhile, our #PodSquad sincerely hopes you enjoy our stories, updates, insights, and frequent bouts of silliness:



Enter our Lots o’ Lights Sweepstakes

Congratulations to Kris T., from Gosport, Indiana, whose entry was chosen at random. She and her family will enjoy two nights in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort plus a day for four at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari!

Thanks to all who entered!

By the way, how many light bulbs did Tom change on Star Spangled Carousel? The total was 1,326.
How many Holiday World Maintenance Technicians does it take to change a …

Tom replacing lights

Just kidding.

The real question today is: How many light bulbs does Tom need to change to convert our Star Spangled Carousel to all LED lights?

Fans of our carousel may notice more than just the new lights this season; in honor of our State’s bicentennial this year, one of the horses received a new paint job and a new flag:

New flag on carousel horse

And as we check out the other side of our Hoosier Horse, we see another nod to 200 years ago:

Lincoln Cabin on carousel horse

… for it was also in 1816 that the Lincoln family moved to Indiana (just four miles from where our park exists today). Abraham grew up here, from the ages of seven to 21.

Back to modern day and modern lighting, let’s have a sweepstakes!

Holiday Cottage

We’ll have one winner – chosen at random – who will receive a fun getaway including two nights in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort plus four tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

First, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter and not have won tickets from us over the past six months.
  • Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, Sun Communities, and Sun RV Resort (and the immediate family members of employees) are not eligible to enter.
  • By entering, you agree to be added to our e-newsletter list (you may unsubscribe at any time by following the directions in your email).
  • 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 page. If you win, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your Holiday Cottage reservation to Lake Rudolph; also, here are the available dates the cottage may be reserved for: April 29 –  May 26 and May 30 – June 9, 2016.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply guess how many lights are on our Star Spangled Carousel. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.) Don’t sweat it too much, though, our winner will be chosen at random.
  • 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.

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 Monday, February 22, 2016 at 2pm CST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all – especially Tom!

Coaster boot camp

Watching the work on The Legend‘s track makes me think of boot camp, where the emphasis is to build you up, but only after first breaking you down. (I don’t have personal experience in the military, but Semper Fi to my baby brother!)

And so, today we show you the first step in the re-tracking project we have planned for The Legend.

Let’s start with out with the old:

What else is going on this season? Learn more by tuning in to our new podcast, which premieres this Friday.

Holiday World Podcast

We believe we’ll be the first park to host its own podcast … does anyone know otherwise?

Either way, we want to be sure to include time to answer your questions. Please post your questions on Twitter or Facebook, using this hashtag: #HoWoPo or simply add a comment to this HoliBlog post.

Eleven weeks till Opening Day. And we’ll be ready!