Freedom Train, freshly paintedSANTA CLAUS, IND.—– In celebration of Holiday World’s upcoming 70th Birthday Season, the park just announced the return of its original ride, The Freedom Train, for display following a three-year absence.

Park president Matt Eckert, who remembers riding the train when the park was still known as Santa Claus Land, released news of the train’s return during the first episode of The Official Holiday World Podcast.

“The Freedom Train is an important part of our history – we were determined to bring it back and put it on display for generations of riders to see,” Eckert says. Restored to its original blue and red colors and Santa Claus Land Railroad name, the train will be on display in the park’s 4th of July section this season, along with memorabilia from the park’s seven decades.

The Freedom Train was replaced by a new train ride, Holidog Express, in 2013.

The Holiday World Podcast – believed to be the only park-hosted podcast – is available via iTunes, Stitcher, and at The first episode also features two of the park’s fourth-generation owners, sisters Lauren Crosby and Leah Koch. New episodes will be posted every other Friday, with park news, behind-the-scenes updates, and stories from the past.

70th Birthday logoDuring the park’s off-season, Holiday World has invested $2 million in improvements to its three wooden roller coasters. “That was the entire cost of The Raven when it was built,” says Eckert. “We’re serious about keeping our award-winning coasters in top shape for the future.” The majority of the work is taking place on The Legend, where a new “double-down” element is being added, plus a new themed tunnel and nearly 1,400 feet of track replacement.

Holiday World begins its 70th season on April 23; Splashin’ Safari’s opening day is May 12. For more information, visit or call 1-877-463-2645.
Released: February 17, 2016
Media Contact: Paula Werne,