Instagram countdown

Mammoth Boat Going Over Hill

We opted not to post a #2017bestnine photo on Instagram, since several of our most popular posts this year were videos

Here are our top five posts from our 71st season:

Number 5: Sunset over Rock the World

The HoliDrone caught this shot of the crowd at Rock the World just as the sun was starting to set behind Thunderbird and our main acts were taking the stage.

Did you hear? For King & Country, We Are Messengers, and Ginny Owens are headlining Rock the World in 2018. We hope to see you there


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Number 4: Exclusive Ride Time with Theme Park Review

Robb Alvey and a group of coaster enthusiasts with Club TPR (Theme Park Review) visited in late July. Here they are posing for a photo before taking an early morning ride on Thunderbird.

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Number 3: Off-Season Track Work on The Voyage

Less than a week after we closed for the season, track improvements were underway on The Voyage. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – those are our Coaster Cats you see near the top of the hill!

To learn more about the improvements being made to The Voyage, be sure to check out the most recent installment of Hard Hat Chronicles  plus our Podcast!

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Number 2: Mammoth from the sky

The HoliDrone caught this mesmerizing shot from high above Mammoth as seemingly tiny boats make their way around the slide.

Our Instagram followers were in good company when they liked this post. The same video was seen by over 200,000 people when we posted it on Facebook!

A post shared by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

…and the most “liked” post on Instagram for the year?

Number 1: A Drone’s Eye View of Mammoth

Another picturesque shot of the world’s longest water coaster – this time the HoliDrone captured a Mammoth boat gliding over the top of a hill as it nears the end of the ride. In the background you can see a couple of boats climbing the lift while another flies under the lift hill.

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Be sure to double tap this post if you enjoyed reading it.

Oh. Wait.

That’s not how that works here, right? Instead, how about posting a comment to tell us the types of photos and videos you’d like to see in the coming months

Please follow us on Instagram. There are many exciting projects on the horizon (Tembo Falls and Tembo Tides, to name just a few) and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on all the happenings behind the scenes.

Happy New Year!

Facebook: By the numbers

Henry Facebook Post 2017

When I joined Facebook back in July 2005, you had to go to when you wanted to sign in.

It never would have crossed my mind that over a decade later, I’d be signing in to the website every day as part of my job.

It’s a big part of how we communicate with park fans.

Here are a few highlights from our Facebook page in 2017.

A Month of Mammoth

Let’s start with our most-watched video. Captured by the HoliDrone, here’s a straight down shot of the entire layout of Mammoth. There’s no better way to take in the world’s longest water coaster – Guinness certified! – other than by actually riding it.

The Numbers:

  • Watched by: 94,600+ people
  • In Context: If everyone watched the video in its entirety, played back-to-back, we watched it for nearly 33 days

Tembo Turns the Tide

Our second most-watched video may have come later in the year, but it still finished strong. The 2018 announcement video that included Tembo Tides and Tembo Falls was released on November 21, and it quickly racked up the views until it was second only to our Mammoth drone shot. Take a look at what you can expect to see in the park next season:

The Numbers:

  • Watched by: 38,300+ people
  • In Context: If everyone who watched the video slid down all 8 slides, then collectively we’d travel more than 3,100 miles. That’s roughly enough to get us from Santa Claus, Indiana, to the North Pole!

A Very Merry Proposal

Our most-seen photo of the year took place right by the Santa statue at the front of the park. Santa provided a great backdrop for a couple who got engaged right here at Holiday World on June 12. The comments on the photo were, of course, filled with congratulations, plus another fan shared a photo of his proposal in front of the Santa statue

The Numbers:

  • Seen by: 148,600+ people
  • In Context: If everyone who saw the post decided to attend the happy couple’s wedding and it were held in the Dive! Theater, we would fill the theater more than 343 times. Talk about a crowded reception!

Hoosier Hospitality Henry

Our second most-seen photo of the year was another shared photo from early June and featured Henry, one of our Hosts. The message with the picture read:

So thankful for a sweet guy named Henry who noticed my son had a broken leg and was having a rough time! With his own money he bought Sulley some gummy worms and turned his frown upside down!!!!

Henry went on to win a Hoosier Hospitality Award at the Indiana State Fair!

The Numbers:

  • Seen by: 117,300+ people
  • In Context: If everyone who saw this post decided they wanted to take a spin on HallowSwings, we’d have to run the ride more than 2,400 times with every seat full. Let’s hope you’re not at the back of that line!

2017 Final Figures

Let’s break down the overall numbers of a few ways you may have interacted with us throughout the year.

  • Number of times fans “liked” our posts: 118,283. That’s one “like” every four-and-a-half minutes.
  • Check-Ins at Holiday World: 43,190. That’s enough to fill 1,800 trains on The Voyage!
  • Most popular day to check in: Saturday, July 29 with 867 check-ins.
  • Comments on our posts: 12,723. That averages out to 35 comments a day for every day of the year.
  • Times our posts were “shared”: 13,142. That averages nearly 1,100 every month.

Thank you to all of our wonderful fans who Like, Comment, and Share with us all year long!

Merry Christmas!

Hard Hat Chronicles, episode XX

Voyage Crossing

Question: When were fractions invented? Was it after Roman Numerals were already in place?

… because both XIX.V and XIX I/II just look wrong.

And so, we’ll move on and call this second part of Episode XIX simply Episode XX. (If you haven’t watched Episode XIX yet, please go back and take a look.)

Voyage Crossing

In this episode, James takes us through the steps taken to prepare for Voyage’s retracking project:

Merry Christmas! We sure hope you’ll come ride Voyage with us in the new year!

Snowed Inn Christmas: fiction depiction

Snowed Inn

Good ol’ Google Alerts saved the day again. Just a few hours ago, an email informed us our town of Santa Claus, Indiana, will be the setting for a Lifetime Movie called Snowed Inn Christmas.

And it premieres tonight at 7pm CST, with reruns throughout the weekend.

Snowed InnHere’s the description from Lifetime’s website: Jenna Hudson (Bethany Joy Lenz, “Colony”) and Kevin Jenner (Andrew Walker, “A Bride for Christmas”) are polar opposites, working for the same online publication in New York City. With both having nowhere they want to be for Christmas, they volunteer for a special writing assignment. After a snowstorm forces their plane to land in none other than Santa Claus, Indiana, the two are placed in a Christmas Wonderland and the focus of their story shifts to saving the historic town inn run by Carol and Christopher Winters. As the two overcome their differences, they also rediscover the magic of Christmas. But with the inn’s fate in jeopardy and the return of someone from Jenna’s past, Carol and Christopher lend a helping hand to bring Jenna and Kevin together.

And here’s their trailer:

It looks to be a sweet, sentimental romcom.

Thing is, the flick wasn’t shot here in town. And the Inn that will be [SPOILER ALERT] presumably saved by the industrious (if lovelorn) protagonists does not exist.

That’s all well and good, you say. People understand that movies are nearly often completely made up and, at the very least, dramatic license is taken.

But those of us who have been around a while remember this darling commercial from 2008:

Melissa at our local Visitors Bureau still gets calls from people searching for Rudolph’s Diner. (Apparently it’s not listed on their RadioShack GPS device …)

And so, for those conducting middle-of-the-night research online, we provide this blog post as a public service. Although the inn from Snowed Inn Christmas does not exist, there’s still a lot of fun (and romance) to be had in this little town.

Oh, and we forgive you ahead of time if you ho-ho-ho when you get to the part of the movie when the commercial airline pilot announces their “descent into Santa Claus, Indiana.” Because, well, we don’t have an airport.

Merry Christmas to All!

Podcast: The Big Green Foot

Christmas parade

It’s a Very Merry Podcast!

We’re gleefully giddy, as today is the last day before our holiday break starts. (Now before you get all “no fair! you get two weeks off?!” let me remind you we don’t get Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Mother’s Day, etc. off. Oh, and technically it’s two weeks and one day off.)

We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we did recording it:

We start off talking about some of the sweet, funny, and even sad comments that were posted as entries to our Santa Sweepstakes.

Eric jotted down notes about his favorites.

On his hand.

Rentz writes on his hand

Matt confessed, once again, to styling one of his sister’s doll’s (formerly) long luxurious hair long back in his childhood years.

In case you weren’t around back then and don’t remember this particular doll, here’s a commercial showing Velvet:

Another story from the sweepstakes’ entries mentioned a pink kitchen set.

I had one, too! Here it is, as pictured in the Sears catalog in the early ’60s:

pink kitchen set

Wow, I loved that kitchen.

Rentz brothers

My pink kitchen story jogged a happy memory for Eric.

One of his favorite childhood gifts was his McDonald’s playset.

… complete with headsets for drive-thru order-taking!

That’s our Director of Attractions pictured on the right. Such a cute little mcmuffin, wasn’t he?

His slightly younger brother, Steven, is on the left.

Clearly, the taller brother is in charge and barking out orders for more fries and extra cheese.

… and maybe even an apple pie.

(Thanks to Eric’s mom for sending this photo to us mid-podcast.)

Next, Rentz told us about his experience last weekend with the Santa Claus Christmas Parade.

Christmas parade

Kitty Claws has her running shoes on … she’ll need them!

Here’s the blog post showing the original designs for Kitty and how they evolved into our purrrrfect feline mascot.

Next, we got on the horn for a fun chat with Jon from The Coaster Crew.

He’s the creative genius behind those Big Green Foot tweets. You know, like this:


Our Boughs of Folly post brought out some stories about adorable new lyrics from children.

The #podsquad’s assignment to determine which character from a Christmas movie best matched up with us individually. Matt took the challenge seriously and even provided handouts. Do you agree with our choices, or would you take it in another direction? Please post your thoughts below!

#HoWoPo Feedback

We’ve now talked about yaks during three episodes.

But when we keep getting feedback like this, it’s hard to stop:

And please take a moment to crank up the sound and enjoy the brilliance of the I Like Yaks song (thanks for sending, @themeparkfan!):

You won’t regret it. I mean, come on: They’re the major playas among the Himalayas …

We received several nice comments about our HoliWood Nights theme and flyer. (Remember, the deepest discounts are available now through early January.)

Here’s the tweet linking to the post about off-season coaster work:

The Coaster Crew celebrates Poinsettia Day with The Big Green Foot et al (here’s the promised link to the photo of Matt diving under the Christmas tree):

… and National Cocoa Day:

Lauren joined us for much of the podcast, but when young Sawyer rang the dinner bell, she headed out.

Here are three generations. Mommy Lauren holding Sawyer with Grandma Lori hugging both of her darlings.

3 Generations

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! We’ll be back with more #HoWoPo in the New Year!

A major award!

Well, maybe not a major award, but this time of year that’s a fun phrase to use. (Worked well for The Old Man in A Christmas Story, right?)Top 50 Theme Park Blog award

The HoliBlog was recently named one of the world’s Top 50 Theme Park Blogs by the folks at Feedspot, a news and blog reader used by more than a million users globally.

We came in at Number 16, alongside some pretty well-known and -respected industry sites. (You can take a look at the full list here, and subscribe to any of them individually – or even the full list.)

I asked Feedspot what they used to determine the Top 50 list, and here’s their list:

  • Search Engine ranking
  • Social media influence
  • Social media buzz
  • Alexa Ranking
  • Post frequency
  • Quality score by our editorial team
  • Blog Age

We’ve been blogging since the spring of 2005. What would you like us to blog about in the coming months? Leave us a comment, below, and we’ll give it a try!

Thank you for joining us on this incredible ride!

Hard Hat Chronicles, episode XIX

90° from above

It’s been eight months since our last episode of the Hard Hat Chronicles, so we’ll get you two of them this month!

VP James

VP James has a lot to be excited about – because The Voyage is getting all kinds of TLC this off-season.

Here’s a look of some of that work, thanks to our HoliDrone (and Stephen):

Voyage's First Drop from Above

We hope you enjoy this episode:

Many thanks to our Coaster Cats – it’s been a chilly week!

Coaster Cat at work


…with boughs of folly!

Santa with Santa Claus Land sign

Santa with Santa Claus Land signHappy Saint Nicholas Day! This HoliBlog story was originally posted exactly 10 years ago today.
I’ll bet every parent has a sweet and funny story about a little one not quite fully capturing the lines of a Christmas song.

My James came up with “boughs of folly” last night. Didn’t have the heart to correct him.

Years ago, when our John was five or six, he had one of those little songbooks where you sing along with the tinny computer chip.

He just loved “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.” Sang it over and over, at the top of his lungs.

We especially liked the line, “Christmas Eve is coming soon; Now you dirty old man …”

Don’t think we ever corrected that one, either. But we did have to leave the room a few times.

Today is Saint Nicholas Day and if you know any children who still need to write to Santa, here’s the address:

Santa Claus, PO Box 1, Santa Claus IN 47579

The Santa’s Elves will see to it that a letter from Santa will be sent by return mail.

Podcast: Coaster tracker

VP James-podcast

Our resident newlywed joined us for today’s podcast episode!

VP James clued us in on what’s going on with our wooden roller coasters during the off-season:

James gave us the lowdown on a few other projects we haven’t yet mentioned.

VP James-podcast

One of the holiday napkins I’ve been saving, along with the obligatory Voyage Extreme Brownies recipe.

holiday napkin

Our Tembo reveal was loads of fun.

Here’s the announcement video:

We talked about the coaster flags on sale in the HoliShop.

There may still be a few sets left …

Legend flags

In #HoWoPo Feedback, there were some tasty tweets:



We weren’t sure about this one, though. We really weren’t.

And our Coaster Crew friends made us laugh once again:

Don’t miss the spurs on the Big Green Foot!

Thanks so much for listening! We’ll be back again in two weeks with our final podcast episode for 2017!

Santa’s Sweepstakes

Congratulations to our two winners, chosen at random: Brenda S. of Roanoke, Indiana, and Elizabeth H. of Effingham, Illinois. Thanks to all who entered!
Santa is in high demand this time of year, so we’ll get right down to business …

Santa Looking Over his Glasses

Santa says we should give away a pair of tickets to a lucky (chosen at random) winner. Wait! Make that two lucky winners!

Before you enter, 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 12 months. Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari and Koch Development Corporation  (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 contest, and visiting us on our Facebook page. No purchase necessary.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us about the best gift you ever received from Santa. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • We’ll choose two winners at random.
  • Tickets are for 2018 only; they’re non-transferable and not for re-sale. Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s).
  • 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 go? Enter our sweepstakes here from a mobile device; if you’re on a desktop, enter by using the widget below. You can enter daily through December 11 at 2:30pm CST, when we’ll email our two winners.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meanwhile, be sure to check out all the great stocking stuffers in our online HoliShop, including $7 grab-bag shirts! Also, we have Easy Pay monthly payments available again for Season Passes, plus Pick Your Price ticket deals are already available for next year!

Good luck to all!