Make it a getaway!

Katie Stam Irk on Star Spangled Carousel

Every time I read a comment from someone who squeezed a lot of fun into a single “day trip,” I want to ask, “What’s your hurry?!”

I have a feeling they didn’t realize how many other fun activities there are to enjoy in our area.

Katie and her family figured it out:

Does Katie look familiar to you?

The Seymour, Indiana, native was crowned Miss America in 2009.

She and her family enjoyed visiting our parks. They also visited Abraham Lincoln’s Boyhood Home, plus other attractions here in town.

Katie Stam Irk's getaway

Does Katie’s video have you thinking it’s time for a family getaway?

Tip: Keep in mind we now offer an online 2 Day Flex Ticket. Be sure to get them if you want to visit two days within a week’s time. You’ll have the flexibility to skip a few days before using the second day’s ticket.

Opening Day is just a week away, and we can’t wait to open our gates for another season of family fun!

Podcast: Controls Freak

Brian Pastor

Today’s podcast episode is called The One With the Controls Freak.

Meet Brian Pastor:

Brian Pastor

And here’s his story:

That highly coveted hoodie

Tomorrow’s #Podcast guest. Can’t wait!

A post shared by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

Brian mentioned the Irvine Ondrey Facebook page as a great place to go for more information about working in the industry.

Henri Landwirth’s passing this week made us sad, but incredibly grateful for his gift of love, despite incredible odds. Here’s a touching video about his life:

Our Tembo Falls and Tembo Tides construction projects are moving right along.

Don’t worry – that’s gravel, not snow!

Tembo Falls construction

Lauren and Amanda are putting all the finishing touches on our upcoming Platinum Season Pass Preview Party coming up on May 4.

Oh, my, the ICEE mania we experienced this week took us by storm (snowstorm that is!).

Here’s the Facebook Live video

The part of the video (as our Attractions Management Team crashes the party) that reminds me of that famous and funny BBC interview begins at around 1:18.

These letters were absolutely charming:

letters from children

Here’s the Evansville Business article about Matt.

Don’t miss our sweepstakes – enter daily through April 23!

And the Rock the World discount deadline is April 29.

Our new Legend shirt, available for pre-order on the HoliShop:

Legend shirt artwork

Confused about that Stormin’ Norman’s Tank Tag building? Understandable. We blogged about our new Shake It Up stand last week.

Oh, that Coaster Crew …

Thanks again for listening. Oh, and don’t miss those “Holidog’s Voyage” photos from The Gravity Group guys.

Platinum Pass Preview

ICEE samples

-Are you a Platinum Season Passholder?

Or plan to become one soon?

Then we’ve got some great details for you about the upcoming Platinum Preview Night.

The theme is:

Camp Holidog pennant

Here are the details

We’re throwing a party for Platinum Season Passholders!

HallowSwings at night

  • Friday, May 4, from 5:00pm to 9:00pm CDT
  • Rides, Food, Free Samples, Games, Prizes
  • First Night Rides of the season!
  • Download this Camp Holidog map for Campsite locations and more!Camp Holidog Map


  • Thunderbird
  • The Raven
  • The Legend
  • The Voyage
  • Gobbler Getaway
  • Crow’s Nest
  • Mayflower
  • Turkey Whirl
  • HallowSwings
  • Scarecrow Scrambler
  • Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch (5:00-6:30pm)
ICEE samples

Sample ICEEs during the Platinum Season Passholders Preview Party

Scrumptious free samples at Plymouth Rock Cafe

  • Smoked Chicken Wings
  • Waffle Fries
  • Sausage-on-a-stick
  • Turkey leg samples
  • Corn dogs
  • Lemon Shake-Ups

Other free samples

  • ICEE Mix It Up (Splashin’ Safari Plaza)
  • Brownie Batter Dippin’ Dots (Christmas Dippin’ Dots stand)

Holidog’s Campsites

Be sure to pick up your Campsite Map as you enter the park. The map includes locations of  Holidog’s Campsites, with different activities, prizes, samples, and more!

Food, Soft Drinks, Games & Shops

  • Kringle’s Kafe
  • Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen
  • Pepsi Oasis stations by Thunderbird, Voyage, and Legend
  • The Big Game
  • Skeeball
  • Merlin’s Castle
  • Monster Ball
  • St. Nick’s Gift Shop
  • Spooky’s Hat Shop

A few answers to your questions

Q: Can I buy my Platinum Season Passes that night?
A: Yes, the Front Gate folks will be on hand starting at 4pm CDT. (May 4 is also the last day to save up to $26 on Season Passes.)

Q: I already bought regular Season Passes – can I upgrade to Platinum?
A: Yes, you can upgrade your Season Pass to Platinum for $30, either by phone ahead of time (1-800-467-2682) or at the park that evening.

Q: I haven’t had my Platinum Season Pass made yet – can I do it that evening?
A: Yes, we’ll provide Season Pass Processing that evening starting at 4pm CDT. (Here’s the full list of dates and times.)

Q: Can I bring friends with me to the Platinum Preview?
A: If they have Platinum Season Passes, too, the answer is yes. If not, sorry, they need to wait until Opening Day to visit.

Q: What other perks do I get as a Platinum Season Passholder?
A: You’ll get 20% discounts on food and merchandise all season long. Also, Bring A Friend Discounts plus a free souvenir cup and a monthly 99-cent treat. Here’s the full list of Platinum Perks.

Any more questions? Please post them below as a Comment and we’ll be sure to answer!

ICEE on a snowy afternoon

Big Red ICEE

Wouldn’t you think it would be safe to plan a little sampling party for our new ICEE Mix It Up on April 16?

Who would have dreamed it would be snowing?!

Thanks to Matt (park president and Big Red aficionado), Michael & Lauren (Games Director and Entertainment/Events Director – and new parents to little Sawyer!), Vern (new Food & Beverage Director), Lori and Alan (Attractions Managers) and their Director, Eric, for playing along.

Here’s the list of the 12 yummy flavors:

  • Big Red
  • Lemonade
  • Cotton Candy
  • Grape
  • Orange Cherry
  • Pepsi
  • Mt. Dew
  • Banana
  • Sour Apple
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Watermelon

ICEE cupOur ICEE stand is located in Splashin’ Safari Plaza. You can Mix It Up by the “yard” (20 ounces) or in a smaller cup.

Surely we’ll be able to shed our winter jackets in another day or so as we get the park ready to open on May 5. Right?!

See you soon!

Platinum perks

It wasn’t even 8am yet and Angie was hard at it, moving boxes.

Ooooh! Whatcha got there?

Well. The 2018 Platinum Season Passholders’ cups had arrived.

Angie carrying Platinum Cups

So Angie was getting them unloaded and lined up in plenty of time for the upcoming Early Season Pass Processing Days.

Here are the details

Bring your 2018 Season Pass, Platinum Season Pass, or Summer Fun Card voucher to the Holiday World Season Pass Photo Room to have your new Season Pass or Summer Fun Card printed anytime the park is open.

Processing will also be available from 4pm to 6pm CDT on the following dates:

  • Saturday, April 21
  • Sunday, April 22
  • Saturday, April 28
  • Sunday, April 29
  • Friday, May 4

Note: If you had a 2017 Season Pass or Summer Fun Card and purchased a 2018 Pass or Card, we encourage you to bring your 2017 Pass/Card with you. We may be able to add an “18” sticker and save you even more time!

2018 Platinum cups

If you’ve already purchased your Season Passes and would like to change them to Platinum Season Passes (double the in-park discounts and more Bring A Friend Discounts, a monthly 99-cent treat, plus a free cup), it’s just $30 more. Platinum Passholders also get a special preview event on Friday, May 4, from 5pm to 9pm.

Opening Day is May 5 – we’ll see you soon!

A slide on the move

“They’re on their way.”

James called shortly before one o’clock. The first pieces of fiberglass slide were about to be put into place at Tembo Falls. I didn’t want to miss this! I’d invested too much time making sure to capture their assembly to not show up for the delivery to their final destination!

This is the first of Tembo Falls’ eight junior slides – our newest addition to Splashin’ Safari. They’ll be situated right beside Tembo Tides, a new junior wave pool, between Kima Bay and Wildebeestro.

I wasn’t ready. Literally. I didn’t have a high-visibility safety vest, and I couldn’t enter the construction site without one.

After a mad dash, I had my hard hat and borrowed a vest

(Thanks, James!)

It was time to get the photos that we’d been looking forward to seeing all winter.

I got there just as the first slide piece arrived on site and made my way to the upper deck of the Tembo Falls platform to get photos. All three pieces of Slide #1 were ready to be lowered into place. Apparently, I even made a cameo on our webcam!

Tembo Slide being positioned

The crew was great. They even moved a piece of heavy equipment to help me get a better photo.

The weather hasn’t exactly cooperated during construction, but the past two days have been absolutely beautiful. I know our construction crew appreciates that. They deserve that!

Here’s hoping that they have plenty of sunshine in their near future as they work hard to get Tembo Falls ready for the season!

As for me? I think I’ll sit down and try to catch my breath.

Tembo Falls construction

Shake it up, baby!

Lemon Shake-Ups building

Not too many people knew the answer to this question:


There were lots of guesses when we posted this on social media, but only a handful knew the answer.

Stormin’ Norman’s Tank Tag

Wow, that was a long time ago. Tank Tag was a life-sized game. Climb in a tank and try to hit targets with your bucket of balls. Temporarily disable the other tanks or even soak them with water.

It was crazy to watch.

Surely we have an old photo somewhere; for now, though, all I’ve got is this clip from our 1992 brochure:

Tank Tag in brochure

Above is sort of a split screen showing one of the tanks on the left and the “shooting gallery” safely located on the other side of the fence.

Five years later, we replaced Tank Tag with the Alamo restaurant. But the little Tank Tag building remained.

Over the years, it’s served as a Height Measurement Station, a storage building, and – most recently – a Churros stand.

For the 2018 season, though, we’re shaking things up a bit.

Lemon Shake-Ups building

A Lemon Shake-Up is a freshly squeezed, made-to-order lemonade.

The “shake up” is in reference to the mixing process.

So fun to watch and so good to drink.

Podcast: Smooth Talker

Raven shirt design

As we enter the last month of the off-season, track work on The Voyage is coming to an end (the photo, below, is from back in January).

So who is the guy who plans out the nips and tucks?

Meet Brian Kosmac, PE, who joins us on this podcast episode:

Voyage track work

In our Amusings, we mention Foster the Intern from last year.

Remember Foster?

Here’s that video he created this week (un-mute for the full effect):

Here’s that article about our Paint Shop Manager.

The mystery, wrapped in blue?


Lauren’s trip to NYC to view our new magic show ended up with more than one reunion.

Here’s the cast and creators:

New magic show cast and creators

And here’s Chris from our 2013 show, now on Broadway!

Chris from '80s Rewind show in 2013

Don’t miss our Family Getaway Sweepstakes – be sure to enter daily!

For “Draw a Picture of a Bird Day,” here’s some inspiration:

Raven shirt design

If you’d like to order this shirt ahead of your visit, we’re accepting pre-orders on our online HoliShop.

The #podsquad had more than a kernel of advice for young Kevin and his parents:

“We are Dinosaurs …”

Getting sassy with author Stephen King:

Coaster Crew mourned the upcoming departure of Eric:

and another tweet photo worth studying …

Finally, someone please tell me you’re familiar with this incredible opus:

Thanks so much for joining us! Please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you’re subscribed. See you soon!

Sweepstakes: Family Getaway

Thunderbird's Immelmann loop

Raven wooden roller coasterCongratulations to our winner, Nichole B. from Newburgh, Indiana! Thanks to all who entered!

Who wants to win a family getaway for Memorial Day Weekend?

We’ve partnered with our friends next door at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort and have a great prize package lined for this sweepstakes!

Why? Because summer will be here before you know it and your family deserves a great getaway!

What’s the prize?

You could win a family getaway to Santa Claus, Indiana!

The prize includes four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Our winner also receives two overnights in a Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph over Memorial Day Weekend.

And that winner will be chosen at random.

Thunderbird's Immelmann loopBefore you enter, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter. Also, 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 and tweeting about this sweepstakes. Earn even more entries by following us on Pinterest, and visiting our Facebook pages (we’d love it if you’d leave us a Facebook Review while you’re there!).
  • If you win, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your two-night Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin reservation at Lake Rudolph. Here are the dates the cabin will be available for reservation: May 25 – 28, 2018.
  • 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 which roller coaster or water coaster you want to ride the most. (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, April 23, 2018, at 2:30pm CDT, when we’ll email our winner, chosen at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Opening Day is coming up on May 5. We hope to see you this season!