#FlashbackFriday: 1955 Chrysler Commercial

Chrysler commercial

It’s #FlashbackFriday again and we found an amazing piece of Santa Claus Land history to share with you.

This is the “Chrysler TV Caravan,” with a commercial touting their 1955 “hundred-million-dollar gift” – a new Chrysler!

Don’t miss Santa Jim waving at the end. (He’s one of our 4th generation owners’ great-grandfathers.)

Of course, this is usually his vehicle of choice:

Santa Jim at the Chateau

In this photo, Santa and his sleigh are in front of his family’s Chateau restaurant in nearby Mariah Hill. A more modern version is still there.

Do you enjoy seeing these flashbacks from our archives? What else would you like to see? Be sure and post your ideas below.
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Apply now!

Attractions Management

Ever wonder how many people it takes to keep Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari so clean, friendly, safe, and fun?

There are nearly 100 of us here year round. And this time of year, we start accepting applications for our 2,200 seasonal positions.

We’re like a small city, with all types of jobs

Here are just a few …

Take a look over on our Jobs page to learn more about available positions, perks (free Season Pass, anyone?), employee transportation, and to Apply Online.

When do we open for the 2019 season? Holiday World opens on May 4, with a special preview for Platinum Season Passholders on May 3.

We’re gearing up for our best season ever!
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Snow kidding?

Snow globe model

Tell me the truth – if someone texted you this photo on a winter’s eve, would you know it showed the early stage of designing a snow globe?

Clay model for snow globe

Yeah, me neither.

But I did get an overwhelming desire to go heat up the waffle iron.

The text came from VP Matt (not to be confused with Park President Matt), who was excited to explain what he’d been up to.

Thing is, though, he sent four photos before any words, so there were several moments of confusion on my part.

Usually, VP Matt’s photo texts are simple to understand.

This, for example

Character shirt for 2019

That’s a new “character” shirt for this season.

But this?

Skyline Snow Globe clay model

It looks like a diet-busting combination of chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and brown sugar. Right? And waffles.

Here’s what VP Matt says it is:

It’s a clay mold for our new skyline snow globe. This will eventually be in full color. Features Thunderbird, Voyage, Mammoth, Wildebeest … and our iconic yellow water tower.

Can’t wait to see them on display in our shops this season!

(I’ve put in a request for an edible version, but am not holding my breath.)

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AIMS high

Don’t worry, I already gave Sean a hard time over those palm trees in the background.

“Rub it in, will ya?!”

He assured me it wasn’t all that warm in Texas last week.

Maintenance at AIMS

Pictured from left: Zach C., Clint C., Darryl W., Tony P., Sean S., Tom H., Billy S., Josh T., Anthony V., Brian P., David M., Justin D., and Brad T.

These members of our Maintenance Team just got back from a week at AIMS training and certification.

AIMS stands for Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers, International. According to their website: AIMS International is a non-profit 501(c)(6) association dedicated to improving amusement Industry safety through leadership in education. AIMS International provides training classes and certification (CEU) programs for ride inspectors, operations, aquatics, and maintenance personnel through its annual Safety Seminar. 

We have our own training program here at the park, too. Our maintenance team knows the attractions they’re responsible for inside-out. They know how to inspect and they know how to provide ongoing preventative maintenance. When they detect the need for additional maintenance work, such as replacing a part, they have the authority to suspend that ride’s operations until the inspection log shows that ride is ready for Guests to ride once again. (Think of that time you didn’t pay attention to a squeal under the hood of your car – until it was impossible to ignore. If a member of our maintenance team had been in the front seat with you, they’d have made it clear you’re not doing yourself any favors.)

Safety training isn’t a once-a-year occurrence around here, it’s every day. Whether it’s an all-day training course or a reminder to dress warmly in this 10-degree weather, our crews are held to the highest standards. Why? Because we want them to go home to their families each day in stellar condition. And we want the same for our park Guests each day of the operating season.


A focus on snow

Holidog statue after an ice storm

Are you a fan of snow?

This drone footage was shot a year ago, when the park was under a blanket of the lovely stuff.

Here in southern Indiana, we don’t usually get a lot of snow. And when we do, it doesn’t last long.

But when we do …

We take photos!

Here are some of our favorites from over the years:

Snowy Santa Statue

Snowy Santa Statue in January 2016


Snowy Thunderbird and Voyage

Snowy Thunderbird and Voyage in November 2014, when Thunderbird was still under construction


Raven Station in Heavy Snow

The Raven station in heavy snow on March 5, 2013 (that’s what we call Edgar Allan Snow)


Holidog statue after an ice storm

Our Holidog statue after an ice storm on January 30, 2009


Santa in snow

Santa Jim in his sleigh at Santa Claus Land on a snowy day

Whether you’re in the snow or sunshine, we wish you a happy weekend. Our countdown clock is ticking away – with just 106 days till Opening Day!

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#FlashbackFriday to 1984

Santa Claus Land logo

Does anyone scrapbook the old-fashioned way any more? It used to be such a thing that the noun became a verb.

Nowadays, the digital form of scrapbooking is so handy, with the ability to share old photos with virtually anyone worldwide.

Throughout our 73-year history, there’s always been someone taking photos. They’re tucked away in file folders, like glorious Easter Eggs waiting to be discovered.

This one, for example, is just perfect for #FlashbackFriday:

Aerial shot of Holiday World in 1984

Although there’s no date on the back of this aerial photo, we’re pretty sure it was taken during the winter/spring of 1984.

How did we come up with that year?

The most telling hint is Frightful Falls. It appears to be under construction (it opened in 1984). It doesn’t look like the lift hill or the station is built yet.

The ring of beautiful evergreens in the bottom right corner of the photo encircles the roller coaster that was named:

  • Blitzen, through 1983
  • Firecracker, starting in 1984 until it was retired from Holiday World in 1998

Do you enjoy peeking back into our history?

If so, here’s a Park Timeline that includes the years that various attractions were added, plus other fun facts about our history.

Last weekend, we posted this Santa Claus Land commercial on our Facebook page, asking for guesses about which year it aired:

Here’s how we figured out that the year was 1977:

  • It promotes Santa Claus Land, meaning it was 1983 or earlier
  • The map shows I-64, which opened in our area in the fall of 1976
  • The featured dad in the commercial was our Entertainment Director at the time; Dave confirmed on our Santa Claus Land page on Facebook that 1977 sounded about right (he also confirmed that he was wearing a pair of exceptionally en vogue Sansabelt Slacks)

We’ll occasionally dip into the vault and release other archival footage, photos, and articles at #FlashbackFriday posts here. Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Sweepstakes: Play it Forward

Mammoth Boat Going Over Hill

Congratulations to our winner: Melody H. of Union, Missouri!

Thanks to everyone who entered – we’ll launch another sweepstakes soon!
Planning for a getaway can be loads of fun. The anticipation just adds to the excitement.

Because memories can last forever.

Memories like this commercial which ran in 1977, during our Santa Claus Land days:

We posted this recently on our Santa Claus Land Facebook page and were astounded with the enthusiastic reception. So many memories. Several people featured in the commercial even chimed in!

Let’s look forward to making more memories this season – with a giveaway!

Our winner – chosen at random – will receive four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari plus two overnights in a Holiday Cottage next door at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort.

Holiday Cottage

Holiday Cottage 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. 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 Holiday Cottage reservation at Lake Rudolph. The cottage will be reservable for two nights of your choice selected from these dates: May 1-23 and May 28 – June 6.
  • 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 about a memory you’d like to make this season. (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? Just use the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Thursday, February 7, 2019, at 2:15pm CST, when we’ll choose one winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone!

Voyage track work, by the numbers

"Covered wagon" used for track replacement

When we first started talking about adding a wooden roller coaster to our ride line up (this was waaaaay back in the early 1990s), we knew there was an important commitment we’d need to make.

Off-season track work

Because wooden coasters need lots of Tender Loving Care.

Our trio of aggressive woodies has a special maintenance crew we fondly refer to as our Coaster Cats to keep Raven, Legend, and Voyage running right.

During our off-season months, the Coaster Cats customarily concentrate on replacing segments of track. That’s all eight layers of track.

This year’s designated coaster for the greatest amount of track replacement is The Voyage, which will get 650 of new track.

Just what goes into replacing 650 feet of track?

Take a look:

The section of track is the final 650 feet of Voyage’s 1.2-mile circuit.

As winter starts to take hold, these tunnel-like structures are added and get the covered-wagon look, so the Coaster Cats can go undercover with their track work.

"Covered wagon" used for track replacement

Just think, in less than four months we’ll be open, the trees will be green, and The Voyage will be but a blur speeding through the woods.

More Season Pass Perks

Character Mugs

If you have a 2019 Season Pass or a Platinum Season Pass, we’ve got some extra perks for you!

Your Pass will come loaded with the following deals, which can each be used once during the 2019 season:

  • Merchandise*

    • Additional 20% off Cotton Candy Tub at any shop
    • Additional 20% off one Holidog, Safari Sam, Kitty Claws or George the Eagle character mug; these mugs are pictured below and include the park logo on the back
Character Mugs

Your Season Pass comes with an additional 20% discount off your choice of one character mug

  • Food 

    • Additional $1 off Smoothie at Bahari Wave Shaved Ice
    • Additional $1 off Loaded Bacon, Ranch & Cheese Tots at SnackHouse
    • These two food offers are subject to availability and menu substitutions
  • Games

    • $1 off a play at Headless Horseman
    • 10 Balls for $5 at Milk Cans

*The Merchandise discount is in addition to your regular Season Pass discounts.

Season Passholders save on Cotton Candy bucketsTo collect each deal, please be sure to mention it to the cashier and present your Pass to be scanned.

If you’re still deciding which Pass you want to get, here’s the list of perks each type offers in 2019. If you already have your passes and want to upgrade (from Summer Fun Card to Season Pass, for example), you can do so for $30 either at the park or by calling 1-800-467-2682.

Deals are available once per passholder per season and are subject to change. We’ll keep this post updated with any permanent changes to these offers.

A 360 video tour of Santa’s Merry Marketplace

Having trouble getting your bearings when it comes to the transition of Kringle’s Kafe to Santa’s Merry Marketplace?


The “footprint” for Santa’s Merry Marketplace is nearly half again as big as Kringle’s.

Lauren and Stephen put their hard hat-covered noggins together and created this 360 video for you to take a detailed look around:

This is interactive, so by all means take your time and click the pause button at any point during this video. Either drag your cursor (on desktop) or swipe around (go directly to YouTube on mobile) for the full 360 view.

Do you like seeing this technology in use around the park? If you’ve got suggestions for where else you’d like us to shoot a 360 video, please post a comment below.

And, in case there are still concerns about the Santa Claus murals – don’t worry: they’re safe! They’ll reappear once construction is complete.

Speaking of safety, thanks to all of our crews who are going the extra mile to keep everyone safe. The hard hats, reflective vests, and safety glasses aren’t props – they’re part of what it takes to ensure that this off-season is a safe one.


Lauren's 360 tour of Santa's Merry Marketplace

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