Podcast: Halloween treats

1984 Brochure outside

It’s always a treat when Leah joins us on podcast day:


We had fun recalling Lauren and Leah’s dad’s appearance on The Colbert Report 11 years ago.

Wow. I’d completely forgotten about how I was the only one not to receive an autographed photo … sigh.

Our webcam is back online, in case you need proof positive that we’ve drained the pools in Splashin’ Safari. It truly is closed for the season.

Here’s the photo of one of Rentz’s smell-o-makers from Holidog’s 3D Halloween Adventure (sans D battery):

smell maker machine

Don’t miss Lights Out! when you visit during Happy Halloween Weekends.

Lights Out! | Happy Halloween Weekends | Holiday World

Are you an ACE member? Here’s the link to online registration for their upcoming Quoth The Raven: Ride Some More! event. If you’re not a member, but are friends with one … be sure to talk them into taking you.

Matt shares “a day in the life” with his fellow CPAs; here’s the video:

Who’s the World’s #1 Female Cliff Diver? That would be our Dive show star, Cesilie Carlton:

Congratulations, Cesilie! (She was our guest on the podcast back in June. Neat lady!) Be sure to enter our sweepstakes, whether or not you’re a good guesser! Dear Frieda. We miss you so! Frieda Foertsch

Here’s that photo we shared with Duane at rcdb.com from our Santa Claus Land days:

Santa Claus Land Roller Coaster

If anyone remembers this coaster, please contact us! We have very little information about it. Lots of bacon talk this time around. Here’s the bacon costume Rentz needs for Halloween:  

  Congratulations to Mrs. Tempel’s fifth-grade class at Lincoln Trail:  

Always love Jon’s photos!

And the Coaster Crew is back with the Big Green Foot:

No jumping the shark (or plateauing)!

This episode’s “33 Degrees” game revolved around our brochure from 1984:

1984 Brochure outside

Thank you for listening! We hope to see you soon during Happy Halloween Weekends!

Get lost (on purpose!)

Holidog in Corn Maze

Check out this HoliDrone photo:

Holidog in Corn Maze

At first, I didn’t believe it was a real photo. It had an almost-too-perfect quality that made me think it was a computer-generated image.

The Activity Trail that’s been set up for Happy Halloween Weekends includes two corn mazes (both are available at no additional charge). I’d never been in one before, so I jumped at the chance to explore one. Full disclosure: I may have lost my way in the middle of the maze, but I still conquered it and would do it again.

First of all, let’s tell you how to get there: There are two different ways you can get to our corn mazes from Hyena Falls Plaza. We have a path set up between the plaza and the mazes, so you’re free to simply walk over to them. We also have a hay ride you can take. You’ll come across our hand-painted round hay bales on the trip. (Have you seen the time-lapse video of Kitty Claws being painted?)

Our mazes are scare-free as well, so the whole family can enjoy them.

You Corn Do It With These Tips!

Thank you to Lori, one of our Attractions Managers, for helping me put this list together to help solve our maize!

  1. Wear comfortable clothes. Our corn mazes cover 12 acres, so you’ll be walking quite a bit. Having comfortable shoes and a light sweater or jacket on a cooler day might not seem like a necessity at first, but you’ll be glad you have them if you’re in the maze for a while.
  1. Stay hydrated. We’re the park that’s known for having free drinks, so don’t pass that up right before you make your way into one of our mazes. We have cups of water available at the entrance. If you have a souvenir cup, you’re free to take that into the maze with you.
  1. Decide which maze is best. We have a large and a small maze. Take your pick! If you’ve never been in a corn maze before or you’re venturing in with children, our smaller maze might be best. If you’re in it for the long haul or already a corn maze pro, the larger maze is perfect for you.
  1. Holiday World logo in Corn MazePlan yourMazed and Confused Station escape route. One of the first things you’ll do in our large maze is come to a huge opening in the corn field. If you looked straight up and waved, a HoliDrone or a satellite image would show you standing right in the middle of the Holiday World logo (top photo). Take a minute to identify what one of our Mazed & Cornfused stations looks like (bottom photo), since you should immediately spot one (more on what those are in a minute) and plan your preferred escape route!
  1. Keep everyone together. Think navigating a corn maze is tricky enough on its own? Try tracking down a group member who got separated without losing your place. That being said, if you have a large group, you can always break into smaller groups and see which group solves the maze faster.
  1. Maintain your sense of adventure. Don’t let any defeat or backtracking get you down. You’ll probably get turned around at some point and not know where you are. I did. Try using references outside of the maze to get a sense of where you are. You can look (or listen) for Thunderbird to try to get yourself situated or use a high-point in the maze to look for the nearest Mazed & Cornfused station.
  1. Don’t panic! If you truly do feel like you’ve become disoriented or lost in the maze and want out, we have employees who will help. Find the nearest Mazed & Cornfused station and pull the rope on it to raise the flag. One of our employees will meet you shortly.

The Fastest Escape Route

Now that you know what it takes to become a corn-maze pro, here’s a time-lapse video showing you the fastest route through the maze from start to finish.

Thanks for getting lost with me – hope you’ll soon be outstanding in our field! (Best discounts are online, with Saturday tickets just $33.99 and Sunday’s only $29.99!)

 

The eyebrows have it

Holidog's eyebrows

Do you ever get one of those tickles way back in your brain, where something seems familiar but you can’t quite figure out why?

Exhibit A:

Mascots during Halloween

This is a photo of our mascots in their Happy Halloween Weekends costumes.

Here’s the one face that has me befuddled:

Holidog's eyebrows

It’s cute little Holidog!

Take another look – does he remind you of someone?

After about three years, I finally figured it out – Holidog has eyebrows!

All season long, he wears a baseball cap, which covers his eyebrows.

Exhibit B:

Holidog selfie

Once I finally fixated on his eyebrows, the rest was pretty easy.

It’s Wilson!

You know, from House!

Right?!

Holidog-Wilson

Call me crazy, but don’t you think they just might be brothers from another … litter?

Happy Halloween Weekends are a great way to enjoy some not-so-scary time with your family. We hope to see you this weekend!

Time-lapse: A bale out for Lauren

Hay Kitty - Lauren finishing up (web)

As our Director of Entertainment & Events, Lauren wears many colorful hats.

This week, her hat protected her hair as she took on the role of hay-bale painter:

Lauren painting hay bale

In just a few minutes, it became evident that this was to be a Hay Kitty bale:

Hay Kitty - Lauren finishing up (web)

Stephen and one of his trusty GoPros shot a time-lapse of the process:


Just boo-tiful!

Hay Kitty - Lauren posing

We hope to see you – starting this weekend – for our family-friendly Happy Halloween Weekends! Ticket discounts are best online, with Saturday tickets just $33.99 and Sunday’s $29.99.

Trading Swimsuits for Scarecrows

Millie Decorating

It’s sad to type this, but it’s official. Splashin’ Safari has closed for the 2017 season. I added that information to the “Ride Closures” section of our website first thing on Monday morning after the water park closed.

That can’t keep me down long though. If there’s one thing I love as much flying over the top of one of the hills on our water coasters, it’s fall. The crisp air, fall foliage, and being able to spend all day in my favorite sweatshirts.

Oh, and Halloween decorations. I go all out.

You can imagine my excitement last week when I ventured out into the park, camera in tow, to capture photos of the park as all our Halloween decorations started going up. The park transforms this time of year. Halloween hill has been taken over. The pumpkins are here. I repeat: the pumpkins are here in all shapes and sizes! (If you think you know just how many pumpkins we brought in to decorate the park, be sure to enter our newest sweepstakes!)

Deer and DecorationsBefore I even took my first photo, I spotted a couple of visitors that had made their way into the newly-placed decorations. As those who listen to our podcast already know, this is what we’d call a Code WL. If you’re behind on your listening, this is how we let each other know when wildlife is spotted in the park. Here’s a picture I snapped before one of Santa’s reindeer decided they were finished exploring.

I definitely got the easy job. We have crews that have been working diligently for the past two weeks to get everything put into place for the start of Happy Halloween Weekends. The flower beds are filled with mums now. Hundreds of straw bales have been placed all around the park. Forty truck-loads of corn fodder shocks were brought in. My job was to explore the park and capture the beauty of all the new additions.

On my most recent trip into the park, I stopped to get a few pictures and chat with Tom who was replacing lights on the Star Spangled Carousel (called the Star Spangled Scarousel during Happy Halloween Weekends). He let me know that there were over 1,300 lights on the Carousel, the majority of which are changed in the fall. They’re no longer the red, white, and blue that you’re used to during the summer; the red and blue have been replaced with green and orange. I also had to stop and get a photo of Millie, who was putting the finishing touches on some decorations near Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch.

Millie Decorating

As the new guy in the office, I’ve had a lot of memorable “first” milestones since I started. First Behind-the-Scenes Coaster Walk. First Rock the World Music Fest. First Network TV show shoot.

I think the opening of Happy Halloween Weekends just might be my favorite one yet.

Sweepstakes: Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere!

Halloween Pumpkins

Congratulations to our two winners: Heather M. from New Albany, Indiana, and Kirsten H. from Bloomington, Indiana. How many pumpkins and gourds decorate the park this time of year? The total is 7,983! Thanks to all who entered!
—–
Every year at this time, Holiday World transforms into one big Halloween section …

 

Halloween Pumpkins

Locally grown pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, mums and more quickly put us all into the mood for Halloween.

… because it’s time for Happy Halloween Weekends, which run Saturdays and Sundays from September 23 through October 29.

As if that’s not enough, Halloween treats – such as a Pumpkin Funnel Cake (pictured below), Pumpkin Cheesecake Fudge, and Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream (really!) – take over our menus.

Pumpkin Funnel Cake

But let’s get back to decorative pumpkins – how many do you think we have out there?

Guess correctly (or really close) and you could win a pair of one-day tickets to Happy Halloween Weekends for this fall.

Not a good guesser? Enter anyway, as we’ll choose a second winner at random.

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.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us your guess for the total number of pumpkins and gourds decorating the park. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.) Whoever guesses the correct number first (or closest if no one guesses the exact number) will win a pair of one-day Happy Halloween Weekends tickets; we’ll also choose a second winner at random.
  • Tickets are for 2017 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 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 Monday, October 2, 2017, at 2:30pm CDT, when we’ll email our two winners.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all! We hope to see you enjoying Happy Halloween Weekends with us this fall!

Podcast: Promises Kept

Leah - Golden Ticket Award

I won’t ruin the surprise, but a promise made long ago (and repeatedly) was finally kept this morning …

The Golden Ticket Awards were held last weekend in Connecticut.

Leah was pleased as punch to accept the #1 Water Park Ride award (Wildebeest‘s eighth win in as many years).

Leah - Golden Ticket Award

^ Bonus points if you can identify the photo bomber!

Here’s the full group of winners – congratulations to all the parks!

Golden Ticket Winners

Matt told us about Blanche’s birthday visit.

Best wishes to Mick as he recovers (his podcast episode with us is still our most popular).

 

Be sure to enter our a-MAZE-ing Sweepstakes!

For our Ancestor Appreciation Day discussion, Lauren honored two of her great-grandfathers (Santa Jim Yellig and Louis J. Koch), pictured below at Santa Claus Land with a future president:

Reagan, Santa, L.J. Koch

Here’s our cute little friend Kevin, no doubt unaware of his parents’ scheming ways:


Evana’s son is planning his career:

Here’s that breathtaking Thunderbird photo taken by Jon Green:


A great #ThrowBackThursday from DT:

And here’s proof of that lost tooth:


Zack checks out our Google Street View:

… and The Coaster Crew does it again:

(Brace yourself, Lauren – here it comes!)

As we end this post, here’s a reminder that both parks are open this Saturday and closed for a private event on Sunday. Then next Saturday (September 23), Happy Halloween Weekends begin!

Thanks for listening!

Which Season Pass Works for You?

Thunderbird Immelmann

2018 Season Passes are here! We’ve started thinking about next season even though Happy Halloween Weekends haven’t kicked off yet.

As a coaster enthusiast who grew up several states away and didn’t get to visit Holiday World more than a day or two each season, I’ll be honest that I didn’t know a lot about Season Passes here at the park. When I was growing up, a Season Pass just got you into a park all year long. That’s it. But that’s not how the majority of our Season Passes work here at Holiday World. They offer so much more.

If you plan on spending more than a couple days with us next season, there are several reasons to consider a Season Pass. Let’s take a quick look at each type of pass we offer.

Kima Bay and The VoyagePlatinum Season Pass

A Platinum Pass gets you the ultimate Holiday World experience. Visit all season long and kick off the fun early with our exclusive Platinum Passholder Preview Night. Want to save 20% on all your food and gift shop purchases? Here’s your ticket. Want the most flexible options for Bring A Friend Discount dates? This beats the other passes hands down. Let’s not forget the free souvenir cup, monthly 99-cent treat, and the option to visit during Happy Halloween Weekend in 2017 (when your pass is paid in full). It’s all included. Your pass has paid for itself in less than three visits but the benefits are good all season long.

If you pick up your Platinum Season Pass by September 15, you can also take advantage of our lowest priced Easy Pay option. The pass is yours for just seven monthly payments of $21. $20 for Guests under 54” and Seniors.

Best Perk: 2018 Platinum Passholders can join us for our Platinum Passholder Preview Night. You’ll get to enjoy several hours in the park with other Platinum Passholders on select rides and attractions!

Season Pass

Your next option to choose from is our Season Pass. You still get to visit all season long from opening weekend through the end of Happy Halloween Weekends. You save 10% on all your food and gift shop purchases, and can pick up discounted tickets for Rock the World!

Season Passes are also a part of our Easy Pay program. Purchase your Season Pass by September 15 and make just seven payments of $17. For Guests under 54” and Seniors, the Easy Pay price is $16 a month.

Best Perk: Season Passholders have the option to purchase a $25 Bring A Friend ticket on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and on Sundays during Happy Halloween Weekends!

Summer Fun Card

Our most frugal option is the Summer Fun Card. If you have a Fun Card, you can join us any Sunday through Friday between May 6 and Labor Day Monday. You’ll save $40 off the regular price when you purchase by September 15! Visit both parks all season long for the same price as two regularly-priced tickets.

Best Perk: You won’t miss out on most of our special events like our 4th of July Spectacular or our Friday Night Fireworks.

Now that we’ve done a brief overview, I wanted to go over a few of the questions that we’ve gotten about Season Passes lately. Hopefully this will help fill you in on all the details you need to know about purchasing or renewing your Season Pass.

Thunderbird ImmelmannWhere do I get a Season Pass?
You can purchase your 2018 season pass on our website or at the front gate on your next visit.

What do I do after I buy my Season Pass?
Once you purchase your Season Pass, we’ll need to get it processed. We can do that at the Holiday World Season Pass Photo Room on your first visit after purchasing. We also have early processing hours in the spring.

If you’re renewing a 2017 season pass, we may be able to just put an “18” sticker on it. It’s that easy.

Can I upgrade my Season Pass?
You sure can! We can upgrade a Summer Fun Card to a Season Pass or a Season Pass to a Platinum Season Pass for just $30. Visit Guest Relations to make the upgrade.

Who Needs a Season Pass?
Children ages two and younger get into the park free. Everyone else needs a ticket or season pass to get into the park. Each Season Pass will be an individual Photo ID, so everyone will need their own.

What do I do if I lose my Season Pass?
Don’t worry! We’ve got all the information we need to get you a replacement for your lost or forgotten Season Pass. There is a replacement fee of $5 per Season Pass or Summer Fun Card. Stop by and see our Guest Relations team to get your replacement.

Is there anything else I should know?
If you’re like me and prefer to not carry much on you when you visit the park, your season pass can also store HoliCash. If you’re not familiar with it, HoliCash can be used as payment throughout Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. You can pick up tickets, food, merchandise, or it can be used for in-park services like locker rentals or at human-operated games. It’s one less thing to worry about.

Your Season Pass never stops working for you. It’s perfect if you want to spend an entire day with us, stop by for a few cycles on your favorite ride, or just to grab a slice of pizza in Kringle’s and get your photo taken with Holidog. You’ll quickly learn all about the park and figure out what works best.

We can’t wait for you to join us in 2018!

Click here for more information and to purchase your Season Passes.

Want more insider advice and tips for how to make the most of your trip to the park? Join our new Season Passholder Facebook Group!

An a-MAZE-ing Sweepstakes!

Corn Maze Cutting

Congratulations to our winner: Diane A., from Evansville, Indiana! Thanks to all who entered!
——-
We promised in the last podcast episode to post this video soon and build a sweepstakes around it.

Because cutting a 12-acre corn maze and recording the process with a drone is – quite simply – amazing!

Alright, so let’s get to the sweepstakes:

What’s the prize? Four 2017 one-day tickets to Holiday World’s Happy Halloween Weekends, plus two nights (September 22 and 23, 2017) in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort!

Corn Maze Cutting

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, 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 two-night Holiday Cottage reservations for September 22 and 23, 2017 at Lake Rudolph.
  • 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 what you think is amazing about Halloween. (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 Monday, September 18, 2017, at 2:30pm CDT, when we’ll choose one winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meanwhile, here’s a friendly reminder about the rest of the season’s schedule:

  • Both parks are open Saturday, September 9 and 16;
  • Both parks are closed to the public on Sunday, September 10 and 17;
  • Happy Halloween Weekends start September 23 and run Saturdays and Sundays through October 29.

Good luck to all!

Blanche’s 103rd birthday

Blanche's Friends

Many happy returns to Blanche, whose birthday wish yesterday was to visit the park with her family.

Matt told me he asked her if she was planning to ride any roller coasters. Her reply, “No sir. But I’m sure going to look at them!” She was so happy to learn that she could ride Holidog Express and Star Spangled Carousel while remaining in her wheelchair.

Here’s beautiful Blanche and her wonderful family (plus Santa):

Blanche's Family

Matt asked Blanche “what’s your secret?” and she admitted that she doesn’t have advice for living such a long life, aside for being born with good genes.

Many happy returns, Blanche. Let’s do it all again for 104!