Splashin’ Safari surprised us all!

It’s Splashin’ Safari’s birthday! Our water park opened on May 29, 1993.

It was much smaller back then.

Will Koch at Splashin' Safari opening

Park president Will Koch, at Splashin’ Safari’s opening “News Splash” ceremony in 1993

In fact, our news release announced it would be a five-year project, costing $3 million.

Boy, were we wrong!

Here’s an article from The Herald, from back on October 30, 1992:

1992 newsclip about groundbreaking for Splashin' Safari

What? SplashWater Safari? Yes, that was the announced name. At a meeting a month or two later, I remember Lori Koch saying, “Why not Splashin‘ Safari … you know, like Surfin’ Safari?”

And it stuck.

Lori also wisely advised us not to include a “sandy beach” area. Indeed, we removed it a few seasons later when the sand got … well, everywhere.

Our other recalculation involved the scope of our water park. We started in 1993 with four acres, with plans to make it to 15. We breezed right past that number.

Splashin’ Safari grew and grew!

 

Over the 26 years, we’ve grown to cover nearly 40 acres. Splashin’ Safari and its many attractions have won a bunch of awards. too.

Would you like to help us win another award (and enter our sweepstakes at the same time)?

We’ve celebrated a lot of water-attraction openings with our friends from ProSlide, the “crazy Canadians” behind the likes of Wildebeest, Mammoth, and Bakuli. Their president was a guest on our podcast a while back.

So what do you think – are we done building Splashin’ Safari or do you want more? Please comment below with your thoughts.
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Sweepstakes: Splashin’ Family Getaway

Mammoth drop

Congratulations to Allison A. from Nashville, Tennessee, who is our winner! Thanks to all who entered – watch for another sweepstakes coming up soon!
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We all like to win, right?

Here’s your opportunity to win four tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari plus two overnights in a Holiday Cottage* at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort.

Vote Now button

Guess what?

We like to win, too.

Over the next several weeks, USA Today is running an online poll asking to name the Best Water Park in the nation.

We’d love it if you could spare two clicks and vote daily!

For our contest, you may also enter daily…

Bahari Wave PoolBut first, 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 and tweeting about this contest. You can also follow us on Pinterest, and visit us on our Facebook page. (We’d love it if you’d leave us a Facebook Recommendation while you’re there!)
  • If you win our Splashin’ Family Getaway, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your two-night Holiday Cottage reservation at Lake Rudolph. *Here are the dates the cottage will be available: June 21 – August 1, 2019.
  • 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). Tickets to Holiday World must be picked up at Holiday World.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us which you like best – water coasters or wave pools. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)

Ready to enter?

Simply enter by using the widget, below. Be sure to enter daily through Monday, June 17, 2019, at 11am CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guess what? USA Today also nominated The Voyage for Best Roller Coaster!

Again, voting doesn’t impact your chance of winning, but we sure appreciate your support!

Good luck to all!
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The day CBS News came to town

48 Hours' correspondant Richard Schlesinger and park president Will Koch
48 Hours' correspondant Richard Schlesinger and park president Will Koch

48 Hours correspondant Richard Schlesinger and park president Will Koch

What fun it is to revisit our past – with oh so many wonderful stories to tell from our 73 years! This includes a visit from CBS News!

Here’s a share of a video our ACE friend Sean posted on YouTube. (ACE = American Coaster Enthusiasts. Yes, that’s a thing.)

For the backstory about the day CBS’s 48 Hours came to town to ride The Raven back in 1995, check out this HoliBlog post.

The day was May 19, 1995. (I now know May 19 was also the day Raging Rapids debuted – five years earlier) and CBS correspondent Richard Schlesinger wanted to learn why thrill seekers seek thrills (say that one five times fast!).

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Sweepstakes: Who’s the Swiftest of them all?

Mom and Daughter in Bahari Wave

Congratulations to our winner: Tracy S.! Thanks to all who entered. More giveaways coming up soon!
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Thunderbird launches from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds.

If you think you’re that swift, our latest sweepstakes is perfect for you. It’s all about speed.

The best part? We’ll have dozens of winners!

Our Grand Prize is a Family Getaway with four two-day tickets, two nights in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, and Pepsi swag. Plus, the next 25 fastest fans will win a pair of tickets.

Are you ready to enter? You can sign up to get started.

If you have questions about the sweepstakes, keep reading.

Mom and Daughter in Bahari Wave

How does this sweepstakes work?

Sign up to enter and start sharing the sweepstakes! The more your friends and family enter, the earlier you’ll find out what time our grand prize will be up for grabs!

The fastest to click once the Grand Prize is live will win. The next 25 will win a pair of Holiday World tickets. Thousands more will receive a promo code for an exclusive ticket discount.

What does a “heads up” mean?

Your “heads up” is how early you’ll be notified that our top prize is about to be available. You can build your “heads up” by getting friends and family to share the sweepstakes.

What time will the top prize be available to win?

That’s the secret. We can’t say.

Build your “heads up” to be one of the first to know when you can claim the Grand Prize. You can choose to be notified by text or email when you sign up.

Be the fastest and win the biggest prize!

Firecracker Sweepstakes Photo
Good luck to all who enter!

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Trees please

Thunderbird and Voyage

Today is National Love A Tree Day

And we’ve got plenty of love to go around.

Thunderbird and Voyage

Over the decades, we’ve bent over backwards to keep our parks filled with beautiful trees.

 

We tell that “S Curve” story about The Raven in greater detail on this HoliBlog post from 14 years ago. That was back when our blog was in its infancy, as we teased about a big project for the 2006 season.

You remember back then, right? It’s when we announced The Voyage!

Here’s a photo of another particularly lush area of the park.

Tom the Piper's Son with Train

This is the Holidog Express choo-chooing through Mother Goose Land. No doubt you recognize Tom Tom the Piper’s Son, clinging to an ill-gotten bit of livestock.

As an aside, research suggests that the nursery rhyme (from the late 1700s) doesn’t reference an actual pig, but a small pastry with apple filling. I sort of love that piggy, though.

Decades ago, the travel editor of the Indianapolis Star rode this train’s predecessor, The Freedom Train, with me. (If memory serves, it was the only ride he agreed to try.) As we passed ol’ Tom, the editor suddenly pointed and proclaimed,

He looks like a young Ronald Reagan!

I think of that utterance every time I ride the train, long ago with my sons and now with my grandson. Did a future president (who visited us in 1955) pose for our Tom Tom the Piper’s Son character statue? Stranger things have happened, right?
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Long may he wave

Santa Waving from Marketplace Balcony

What’s that? High atop the tower at the new Santa’s Merry Marketplace?

It’s Santa Claus! #VolumeUp

The tower itself is nearly six stories tall.

Each morning, Santa and his helper will welcome Guests as they enter the park.

This harkens back to our Santa Claus Land days when Santa would appear “up on a rooftop” to wave at Guests.

Santa Jim's rooftop sleigh

And speaking of Santa Claus Land, we have some fun retro shirts and souvenirs available now at St. Nick’s in Christmas Plaza.

From mugs for your favorite hot beverage to ornaments, to a Santa-statue snow globe, there’s a festive selection.

Santa Claus Land merchandise

Here’s something else you may want to take ho-ho-home

 

Santa Claus Land shirt

Although we were Santa Claus Land from 1946 to 1983, these fun shirts just may be the wave of the future!
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Candy Cornucopia

Candy Cornucopia

With all the fanfare involving our new Santa’s Merry Marketplace, we haven’t said much about Candy Cornucopia.

It’s located in Thanksgiving, as you might have already guessed. Across from Turkey Whirl.

Early this foggy morning, Jim from WFIE was here to talk to Matt about the new season …

Matt and Jim from 14 News

And since we were close by, I took a peek in Candy Cornucopia’s window and captured this:

Candy Cornucopia

Those barrels in the middle of the photo? Salt Water Taffy!

Here is a list of just some of the flavors:

  • Blue Raspberry
  • Bubble Gum
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Cookie Dough
  • Cotton Candy
  • Neapolitan
  • Banana
  • Candy Corn
  • Cinnamon
  • Peach
  • Peppermint
  • Watermelon
  • Cherry
  • Key Lime
  • Strawberry & Cream
  • Tropical Vanilla
  • Raspberry Peach
  • Egg Nog
  • Orange Vanilla
  • Root Beer Float
  • Assorted Sugar-Free

Salt Water Taffy will also be available at the new Candy Cane Confectionary in Santa’s Merry Marketplace.

Looking for sugar-free candy? It will be available in Candy Cane Confectionary, along with chocolates, fudge, dipped apples, and more.

Looks like we’ve got a sweet season ahead of us!
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