Old yeller

Eric, our VP of Marketing, texted me earlier today that while he sat in on a new-employee Orientation session, Brooke mentioned to the group that he was one half of a “HoliCouple,” meaning he and his wife met while working here.

The big reaction was when he told the assembled that the year he and his wife, Laura, met was 1999.

I believe the word he used to describe the group’s reaction was, “Whoa!”

Life gets tough when you hit your mid-30s. I vaguely remember that …

So let’s go even farther back in Eric’s history to when he was in Kindergarten.

Disclaimer: I tell you this story with Eric’s permission.

Eric never said a word during his first year of school.

“I was selectively mute,” he told me. He talked at home, just not at school. His teacher, worried, sent him to the school psychologist.

“I talked to her like she was a family member,” he said with a grin.

Although still not a big talker, Eric has since found his voice.

Exhibit A:

No, that’s not Eric with the English accent.

That’s Karl. In London.

Karl, the narrator

Karl records in his home studio and probably wonders what all the whooping and hollering is about.

THIS is Eric. He plays “Jim” in the radio spot.

VP Eric in audio booth

And now you know who that is making such a racket in the background of that spot.

Not to say Eric is some kind of magnificent actor, though – he was just remembering his last ride on Thunderbird. He loves that thing.

In fact, this morning I texted him after hearing a radio personality describe Thunderbird’s launch as “go from zero to sixty upside down …” (it’s supposed to be “go from zero to sixty to upside down …”

Eric’s response: Cool concept!

Would you like to hear our other radio spots? Head over to our HoliSounds page … and while you’re there, maybe tune in to an episode or two of The Official Holiday World Podcast, too!


Yesterday, on a lark, I tweeted about Jerry:

Jerry’s a wonderful fellow. A cheer went up around the offices when we heard, “Jerry’s back!” for the 2016 season.

Keeping in mind that we hire about 2,200 seasonal Hosts & Hostesses, it’s a great feeling to know everyone on a first-name basis (yes, name tags help, but you know what I mean, right?).

When I asked Heather, our HR Director, for suggestions for outstanding seasonal employees to feature in a video, she provided a cast of thousands – we could have produced a mini-series!

We’ll show you more over the coming months as we continue to celebrate #ThankYouThursday.

Meanwhile, here’s Adam (and little Andrew … plus a whole lotta Minions):

Adam from Games at Wacky Cats

And Rita:

Rita from Rides

Here’s the video:

If you’re (fairly) local and would like to come out to our Open Interviews on May 6, please know you’re welcome. Even if you already have a full-time job or summer classes and just want to work Saturdays, we can probably find a position for you.

And don’t worry, we’ll keep the video camera up in the Communications office.

Twisted tweets

Oh, those holidays. You know – the oddball ones we like to highlight in tweets and on Instagram.

Such as “Talk Like Shakespeare Day” last Saturday. We put a little twist on that one …

We made a point to skip Safety Pin Day earlier this month, but yesterday was National Pretzel Day. And so …

We tend to get lots of feedback on food posts – yesterday even included a declaration that “I want to come and work at Holiday World so I can eat those regularly!”

Podcast episode 006: … the day before Opening Day

It’s April 22, the day before Opening Day for our 70th Birthday Season.

And so today’s podcast episode is 70 minutes long.

By coincidence, yes, but we’re still pleased with ourselves.

A few photos to pique your interest:

Two of our upcoming holidays. First, May the 4th:

Will Koch with Darth Vader

And Mother Goose Day:

Old Mother Hubbard

The chat about our history …

Please Land entrance

Here’s the link to our Roller Coaster Clubs page, if you’d like to attend HoliWood Nights (trust us, you do!).

And here they are:

We hope you enjoy today’s episode:

By the way, you can save up to $20 per ticket when you purchase Opening Weekend tickets. Come see us soon!

Oh, and here’s the “after” photo of the ancient rust-orange shag carpeting in my office.

Rust-orange shag carpeting in Paula's office

You really don’t need to see “before.”

Launchbreak, er … Lunchbreak doodle

Most people’s first tweets are rather awkward.

But then there’s Bethanne from Bloomington, Indiana.

Her first tweet included this incredible “doodle.”

Thunderbird is ready to fly again in just a few days. (Did you know you can save up to $20 on Opening Weekends tickets online?)

Whip it good

Dole Whip

We knew some folks would be quite pleased to learn we’ve added Dole Whip to the menu this season.

But when we first mentioned it on Friday, we were stunned by all the excitement it … um … whipped up.

But since not everyone is familiar with the tasty treat – which is, by the way, gluten-free, fat-free and non-dairy – so here’s a video to give you a look.

We are again reminded that smell-o-vision (not to mention taste-o-vision) really needs to be invented. Soon.

And before you ask: Yes, we will also have Dole Whip Floats, with pineapple juice, at Sweet Stuff.

We open for the season on Saturday!

Knock wood

No one’s knocking our choice of wood in the retracking of The Legend, that’s for sure!

Are you familiar with Ipe wood?

VP James will bring us all up to speed in this latest episode of the Hard Hat Chronicles …

The Legend will open on May 7. Can’t wait to ride!

Podcast episode 005.5: a little something extra

I’m not going to say we talk too much, but … our #PodSquad likes to chat.

A lot!

We had an especially fun time last week reading through some newspaper clips from long ago.

Here’s the promised photo of artist Lewis Sorensen keeping one of his wax figures cool on a publicity trip to St. Louis:

Lewis Sorensen with Will Rogers wax figure - newspaper clip

Pulling out the 1958 news clip for scanning, I was struck with the fragile nature of the yellowed newsprint.

The paper felt like it might crumble into dust any second. It was truly an ancient document, worth preserving.

Then I remember 1958 was also the year of my birth. Suddenly the clip didn’t look that old.

And so here are a few longer versions of stories from Episode 005. Let’s call it 005.5 … a little something extra:

While you listen, here are some Sorensen photos from long ago to illustrate those stories:

Our pensive Betsy Ross with her 13 stars and stripes …

Betsy Ross Wax Figure

Here’s Lewis Sorensen creating Abraham Lincoln’s head for a display showing his Indiana roots …

Lewis Sorensen Creating Abraham Lincoln Wax Figure

And here’s The Railsplitter on display in Santa Claus Land’s Hall of Famous Americans (can you hear him breathing?) …

Lewis Sorensen-Created Abraham Lincoln Wax Figure

Finally, it’s our dapper artist, posing with Lillian Russell (I see she got the “big picture hat with plume and a gay parasol” she’d requested). Wonder if those two ever got their dance …

Lewis Sorensen with Lillian Russell Wax Figure

We hope you enjoy our journey back in time to revisit our early years. We’ll be back with more in our next podcast episode.

‘Launch Into Summer’ Sweepstakes

Congratulations to Jason L. from Richmond, Kentucky – he wins our getaway! Thanks to all who entered our Launch Into Summer sweepstakes!
When do we open for the season? Very soon!

Opening Day is April 23 (here’s our full calendar) and we’re celebrating with all sorts of early-season discounts on e-tickets.

We also have a new “Launch into Summer” Sweepstakes!

Thunderbird launch

You remember that Thunderbird is the nation’s only launched wing coaster, right? It’s time to take flight!

Before you enter this contest, please note that the lodging portion of the prize (two nights in a King Size Rental RV at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort) is only available over the Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30, 2016. The four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are valid any day this season.

Lake Rudolph King Size Rental RV

Please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter and you must not have won tickets from Holiday World in 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 King RV reservation at Lake Rudolph; also, the dates the RV may be reserved for are May 27 –  30, 2016. Our winner will be chosen at random.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us your favorite way to launch into summer. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • 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, April 25, 2016 at 2pm CDT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone!

Small fry

Well, you learn something new every day.

In search of a fishy turn of phrase for this post, I turned to Google to learn that a baby fish is called a “fry.”

Our small fries – Dancer’s Fish – were created back in 1955; we added them to Santa Claus Land in the early 1970s.

Our friend Rachel K., from Owensville, Indiana, shared this amazing side-by-side of her sister, Heather, back in 1981 and Rachel’s daughter, Nova (who is now six years old), in the same “fishy” in 2012.

Dancer's Fish

This photo certainly illustrates how our fishies got a little attention in the dental department over the years. Yikes! Instead of Dancer’s Fish, we might have had to call the ride Prancer’s Piranhas back then.

We chatted about our small fries (and many other topics – including a Legend update and a new promo code) on our latest podcast episode.

Interested? Here’s the full segment: