By Paula @ Holiday World

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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18 Responses to “Splashin’ Safari surprised us all!”

  1. David Wilder

    I would love to see a larger improved Raging rapids type ride. It has always been a family favorite and a new one or update with more water would be amazeballs

  2. Stephanie

    I think Splashin Safari is great. All the additions are awesome and a great way for people to spread out. Only change I would make is to the Baharhi River. It has been a nightmare for the last few years. Adding a lane in the water for people to get floats and a lane for people to get out would be much better. People attack you starting at the bridge for a float and it’s not first come first serve.

  3. Joshua

    I think your water park is amazing. However, I think Holiday Would now needs to focus on the dry park. Make it more of a wow statement.

  4. Leanna

    Yes make it bigger! You always make the best rides and water attractions

  5. Paula Hoholek

    I like how it is right now, but if you can expand it in the future; that would be interesting too. Everyone likes a fun water park to go to in the summer.

  6. Jaime

    Another lazy river would be great! It is too crowded right now to just relax and float. Too many people bumping each other.

  7. Bob Casabella

    While I prefer the Holiday World rides, the water park is great too. You almost need to go 2 days to enjoy everything…

  8. Chris

    Thanks for the reminder Paula of how blessed we are to have this attraction in the area. I think we have a well-developed water park, however, we need to continue to expand a little on both sides. I would like the plunge area to finally be removed and some SS attractions to expand out by Hyena Falls to make the area worth more for walking out there. I also would like to finish out the Thanksgiving section and hopefully we can get that Valentines Day section you voted for about 15 years ago. 🙂

  9. Matt Scott

    Please keep on building! The one attraction I’d love to see there is a torrent river like the Hubba Hubba Highway at Water Country USA in Williamsburg, VA where you just put on a life jacket and get swept away in the fast moving river. Please make it deeper than than the lazy river so my feet don’t drag as much. 😉

    The next thing I would like to see added is a long tube chute style ride like the ones at Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, TX, where you just hop in a tube and float in a river then down a chute, then more river, then down another chute, then more river, etc…

    Another good option would be add a traditional Shoot the Chute style ride where Pilgrim’s Plunge/Girafica use to be and make it accessible from both the water park and the “dry” park.

    Regardless, Splashin’ Safari is fantastic and one of my favorite water parks.

  10. Valerie Smith

    Please keep adding to Splashin Safari!!! We love everything about the park and can’t wait to see new additions added