Podcast: The Return of the IT Guy

IT Director Matt energized the #PodSquad early on with the declaration: “You don’t really need money anymore.”

Find out what he was referring to (and a whole lot more) here in our latest podcast episode:

Raspberry Pie sounds delicious! IT Matt hands one to Eric for consideration.

Matt and Eric

Here’s that video of the Boom Squad (don’t miss the baby boomers near the end):

Here’s intern Foster, holding the cast’s shoes, shorts and shirts:

A gift from a friend:

Santa Claus Land broom














Oh my, the Big Red bandwagon is growing stronger by the minute. Here’s where to check out all our free soft drink locations.

During our Do Not Fry holiday discussion, Eric explained it’s best to 1) Apply Sunscreen; 2) Rub It In; 3) Wait 15 Minutes Before Getting in the Water.

Lauren was quick to show us her version of the “but I’ve got a lot to do” face:


Photos from our hot air balloon wedding, back in 1993:

Hot air balloon wedding

Mr. Rentz is very bitter about Episode 033, when his 33 Degrees win was rescinded in favor of Chad.

  The Coaster Crew sent congrats to Expectant Lauren:

Here’s how the Crosbys revealed their baby’s gender:


… and another holiday celebration:

Lauren turned to The Google to show Matt the true wardrobe requirements of any self-respecting accountant from the last century:


<Spoiler alert from 33 Degrees> The true “Boys of Summer,” the Beachcombers from 2010:


… and here they are, riding Wildebeest:

2010 Beachcombers

Thanks for joining us again! Hope to see you in the park soon!

A bear named Barnabus

Barnabus and Zach

We heard recently from a mom who was going through a tough time. Here’s a portion of her email to us:

Barnabus and ZachMy children and I have recently gone through an apartment fire … We lost pretty much everything, and what we didn’t lose we cannot go in after. My son has had a bear in a red Holiday World sweatshirt that he won at Holiday World 6 years ago that means a lot to him. In fact he has kind of become our family bear “Barnabus.” I have a photo of Barnabus and would like to know if you all still use them in your games. If you do I am wanting to know what I need to do to purchase a new one. It’s the only thing he has asked for. Picking up the pieces and putting smiles on my three kids faces has become my top priority. I’m a single mom and I thought life was hard before lol! God has a plan, and we will be just fine, it would just be wonderful if we could have our Barnabus back.

After taking a moment to appreciate this mom’s attitude, I checked with Michael in Games. Unfortunately, we no longer carry Barnabus-style bears as prizes.

And so we checked with our staff – just in case someone had a Barnabus at home they might be willing to part with for such a good cause.

Just as we thought we might be close to tracking one down, we heard again from the mom: We have a bear!!!!! Thank you so much for all of your help! They went into the apartment and that bear survived, unscathed, he was meant to still be a part of our family!

Don’t you just love happy endings?

Happy Mother’s Day to this amazing mom and all the wonderful women in our lives!


Podcast: The One with the Lights On

Calypso Crew

We take a deep dive into our Calypso ride’s restoration this episode, as Sean Strahl joins us to provide the inside track:

I waited for Sean’s story to “air” on our podcast before sharing these photos from late last fall:

Calypso ride - before

That’s Tony running the equipment to lift the old cars, as the crew of six worked last November to disassemble the ride that had been out of operation for nearly a decade.

Here’s what they found, once the platform was removed:

Calypso - platform removed

Yes, it looked pretty bad. And we replaced what was no longer usable over the winter months.

The crew of six posed for a photo. From left, that’s Sean (who’s our guest on today’s podcast), Andy, Jon, another Sean, and Billy. And Tony took the photo.

Calypso Crew

Six months later, and here’s how Firecracker looks:

Firecracker | Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

It’s a great family ride! We leave the “lights on” even when it’s daylight – and can’t wait to see it after dark!

The Coaster Crew made us laugh again, as they posed The Big Green Foot with our characters to celebrate some non-traditional holidays:

Thanks for listening! Tell us what other backstories you’d like to hear by posting a comment, below.

25th Annual Play Day

Play Day - Santa

We celebrated another wonderful Play Day today – our 25th!

Play Day 2017

Schoolchildren with disabilities – all the invited guests of Easterseals – happily flocked into the park for their special day.

One inquisitive lad asked Santa, “How many days till Christmas?”

Play Day - Santa

Without missing a beat, Santa replied, “Why, 229 days, of course!”

Yes. Of course.

We started out the morning introducing our new Calming Room to an early morning news crew. Veronica from WEVV-TV hopped right in the tent as she explained to viewers that our Calming Room may be reserved at Guest Relations, In-Park Services or First Aid. The room offers a calm break from the sensory overload that may be too much for some.

Calming Room - tent

Next, the Adult Ambassador for the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center, Andy Imlay, took a ride on Star Spangled Carousel.

Andy Imlay

Andy demonstrated the new wheelchair-accessible feature on the carousel. Holidog Express and Holidog’s Treehouse now accommodate wheelchairs as well.

Thank you to all the wonderful children who’ve made Play Day so special to us over the years. Your smiles and laughter mean the world to us!

Contest: Wood, Steel or Water?

Congratulations to our winner: Nichole C. of Clarksville, Tennessee! Thanks to all who entered – we’ll have another sweepstakes soon!
No, this is not some weird version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Promise.

With Splashin’ Safari opening in just another week, let’s talk about coasters – and a sweepstakes.

Mammoth water coaster

Three types of coasters await you at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari – wood, steel and water. From Thunderbird to Voyage to Mammoth, there’s a lot of riding in store for you!

Enter our “Wood, Steel or Water” Sweepstakes and you could win!

What’s the prize? Four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, plus two nights in a Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort!

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, Koch Development Corporation, 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, answering a poll question, tweeting about this sweepstakes, following us on Pinterest, and visiting us on our Facebook pages. If you win, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin reservation at Lake Rudolph. Here are the dates the cabin will be available for reservation: May 17-25 and May 29-June 22, 2017.
  • All prizes are 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). Each sponsor will distribute respective prizes.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us your favorite coaster at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari – or, if you haven’t been here before, which one you think would be your favorite. (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? Simply enter our sweepstakes here from a mobile device; or if you’re on a desktop, enter by using the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 2:30pm CDT, when we’ll choose one winner at random.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all!