Sweepstakes: Kids Rule the World

Kids World Teaser Shot

If you’ve been to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari recently, you’ll notice that the park is a little more colorful than usual.

Balloons are all over both parks.

Kids have taken over Holiday World and we’re throwing a party.

Kids World is here!

Keep reading for your chance to enter to win four Holiday World tickets to visit for yourself.

All of your favorite rides and slides are still available, but our new event adds even more for the young and young at heart to enjoy!

We have stilt walkers, jugglers, fun zones, a Scavenger Hunt, tasty new treats, and so much more! Check out our Guide to Kids World now. You won’t want to miss a minute of it. 

Kids World runs on operating days through September 14, and we’d love if you could join us!

Here’s what you could win:

  • 4 one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
  • One Pizza Family Meal Deal

We’ll choose one winner at random.

Kids and Mascots Celebrating Kids World

Before you enter, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must not have won tickets from Holiday World in the past 12 months. Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, 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.)
  • Winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends.
  • Use the widget, below, to enter. There are several options, so you can earn extra entries. For the “Leave a blog post comment,” simply answer this question: What part of Kids World are your kids most excited about? New shows, new foods, fun zones, or the scavenger hunt? (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • Tickets 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). No purchase necessary.
  • 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.
  • Not eligible if you’ve won tickets from us in the past 12 months.

We hope to see you for the party soon! Don’t forget, Happy Halloween Weekends kick off on September 21 and run weekends through the end of October!

Ready to enter? Simply enter by using the widget below. You can enter daily through Monday, September 2, 2019, at 3:30pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

___

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!

A Chase of the Mondays

Kenny on Cheetah Chase

…get it? A “case” of the Mondays, but it’s for Cheetah Chase?

Sorry to kick things off with a bad pun. But I have to share what a Monday in the office can look like at a theme park. 

The crowd watching adam watching cheetah chase

I promise this will make sense if you keep reading

Today we had a town hall meeting

that involved our entire full-time staff.

Dave, our Director of Sales, has a shiny new VR headset to take with him to trade shows so he can brag about Cheetah Chase to anyone who might be interested in booking a company picnic for 2020. (Shameless product placement for Dave: Interested in a company picnic, a group outing, or a private party? Fill out this form)

We have a super cool 360 animation (we’re saving that to share in a few weeks) that goes perfectly with the headset and we let our full-time staff try it out first. 

We went back to work

That is, until our VP Eric got the Cheetah Chase boat out of his office and set it down in the hallway.

Adam, one of our Attractions Managers volunteered to take the boat in the attractions office. He said they’d inflate it and keep it there. 

Someone made a joke about inflating it and using the VR headset to simulate a real ride. 

Things LAUNCHED out of control from there 

Attractions came with the pump for the raft. Stephen–who helped edit those incredible Cheetah Chase animations you’ve seen so far–came upstairs with the VR headset ready to go with the 360 animation (those are his cables floating around the right side of the frame).

Also in case you’re wondering, the ridges in the sides of the boat are for catching water to power the first-ever flat launch on a water coaster (and the regular uphill parts like other water coasters have). 

Adam was our first brave contestant. Stephen set him up, and thus began the first official VR ride of Cheetah Chase.

Stephen setting Adam up with VR headset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam was the perfect first virtual rider–he was leaning into the turns…

Adam leaning in

…checking out the sights…

Adam looking around

…and generally a great sport about me taking his picture. 

Adam after the first true VR ride on Cheetah Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, President Matt took a turn:

 President Matt "riding" Cheetah Chase

He made sure to take his shoes off to make the experience more realistic. To add more realistic elements, someone grabbed a fan to help blast him with some air…

President Matt takes a ride

… he said it happened right as the boat launched in the video so it was perfect. 

Next Kenny from IT took a ride…

Kenny on Cheetah Chase

As did Alan (another of our attractions managers)…

Alan on boat

…IT Director Casey also helped spray him with a little water. So Alan gets credit for the first “ride” on Cheetah Chase with H2O. 

Finally our attractions management team got together for a team pic:

Attractions Management in the same boat

The moral of this story is: we’re really not sure what normal people do in offices on Mondays, but I’m pretty sure today we’ve got you beat. 

#OurOfficeIsBetterThanYours #BusinessAsUsual

___

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!

Your Guide to Kids World

Santa with Kids World Balloons
Santa with Kids World Balloons

Kids World balloons are all around the park

Holidog is excited for Kids World to kick off this weekend. He wanted me to share a few details about what you can expect from our new event – where Kids Rule the World!

Scavenger Hunt

Trek through Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari to locate balloons with special images on them to complete your quest. Place the sticker that matches what you see on the balloon on your map to mark your progress! You can purchase your Scavenger Hunt kit ($5.99 plus tax) – and pick up your prize – at St. Nick’s or Safari Outpost.

Holidog wants to remind you that maps don’t have to be completed to pick up your prize. Every map is a winner right from the start!

Percussion Zone near The Voyage

Percussion Zone in Pilgrims Plaza

Interactive Fun Zones

We’re sure your kiddos will bubble over with excitement for our Kids World Bubble Zone, located in Holidog’s FunTown. It’s non-stop fun.

Do your little ones love music? Be sure to check out our Percussion Zone in Pilgrims Plaza, just across from Mayflower. It’s a howling good time with tons instruments you can play!

Kids World Entertainment

Our in-park entertainment was put together with kids in mind.

Kick off the morning starting at 9:45am with jugglers, stilt walkers, and even balloon artists in Christmas Plaza. If you don’t catch them there, don’t worry – they’ll roam the park.

The Hoosier Celebration Theater stage will be alive all day too, with performances of the LOL Comedy Magic Show and KrAzY Kids World Variety Show. Visit holidayworld.com/today for show times on the day of your visit!

That’s not all. We’ll have Holidog’s Crazy Science in FunTown and Safari Sam’s Beach Bash at Bahari Wave.

Plus, don’t forget about Santa and Dive! You can see both through September 14!

Delicious New Treats

Unicorn Sundae from Udderly Blue

Unicorn Sundae at Udderly Blue

From Mermaid Sundaes to Unicorn Flurries, Wacky Worm Fudge to Sour Patch Kids Dippin’ Dots, our menus are overflowing with new options just for Kids World! Check out our online menus to see everything.

Kids World runs weekends through September 14

Both parks will be overflowing with bubbles and balloons over the next few weekends, but we’ll still have all your favorite rides and attractions. The party’s just getting started!

Let us know if you have any additional questions about Kids World.

 

___

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: Bats and Labor Day Family Getaway!

We hope you’ll agree: the most perfect summer activities are watching baseball, camping, and visiting theme parks and water parks. 

Baseball season (and theme park season… and camping season) may be nearing an end, but there’s still plenty of time left for a few more games (and a few more Holiday World visits complete with Lake Rudolph stays).

Since we’ve been partnering with the Louisville Bats this summer, we’re excited to announce the prizes for our next sweepstakes involve a little of all of the best things about summer. And if you already can’t wait for summer next year, we’ve got the perfect answer: a Labor Day Weekend Family Getaway this year, and tickets to the Louisville Bats “Thunder Over Louisville” game next spring. 

Baseball Santa

Here’s the prize package

  • 4 one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
  • 4 Tickets to the Louisville Bats “Thunder Over Louisville” game on April 18, 2020, with access to the infield for fireworks
  • 1 Louisville Bats autographed team baseball
  • 2 Louisville Bats hats
  • 2 Nights in a Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort VALID LABOR DAY WEEKEND ONLY

We’ll have one winner, chosen at random.

Before you enter, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must not have won tickets from Holiday World in the past 12 months. Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Koch Development Corporation, the Louisville Bats organization, 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.)
  • Winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends.
  • Use the widget, below, to enter. There are several options, so you can earn extra entries. For the “Leave a blog post comment,” simply answer this question: If you had to pick just one, which would you choose: baseball, camping, or theme parks? (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • Tickets 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). No purchase necessary.
  • 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.
  • Must be at least 21 years old to call Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort to make reservation and present voucher upon check-in. TWO-NIGHT COTTAGE RESERVATIONS FOR WINNER ARE AVAILABLE BETWEEN AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 2 ONLY.
  •  Not eligible if you’ve won tickets from us in the past 12 months.

Ready to enter? Simply enter by using the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Monday, August 26, 2019, at 3:30pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

___

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: Cheetah Chase Season Pass Giveaway

Cheetah Chase Overview 1

Congratulations to our winner: Sarah B. from Mt. Washington, Kentucky! Thanks to all who entered. More giveaways coming up soon!
—–

We hope you’re as excited as we are for Cheetah Chase in 2020!

Cheetah Chase Logo

Of course, there’s still plenty of time this season for a ton of fun, but since we’re switching to weekends-only now (2020 season passes are already on sale), 2020 is on our minds. We’re all looking forward to riding Cheetah Chase as soon as it’s possible, but we’re also looking forward to seeing what our food & beverage department will dream up for next year, and to what entertainment will be like and… we have a lot of excitement. 

In honor of all that excitement for next year AND in honor of Cheetah Chase, we’re hosting a super-fast sweepstakes:

You have just under a full week to enter daily to win two 2020 season passes! 

But 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 or 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).Cheetah Chase Orange Saucer Turn
  • 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!)
  • 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 where in the park you’ll go first in 2020–will it be a food stand? Cheetah Chase? One of our coasters? We want to know! (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 Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 1:00pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck to all!

___

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!

The hunt for clues is on

Teaser 03 - Mark Your Spot SQUARE

If you’re a Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari super-fan, you’ll remember what today is. 

It’s the five year anniversary of our announcement of Thunderbird. I can’t believe it’s been five years.

 

It seems appropriate to reflect today on the fun we had over those 66 Days at Sea, and our upcoming announcement. 

That might have been my favorite time ever. I felt like a cat playing with a mouse. A few of us formed a small coalition and kept watching the coaster enthusiast forums and used them to craft our next round of clues.  

Admittedly we’re not on the level of the past tease… and don’t expect that level of announcement. 

But. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been teasing. A lot. And I’m pretty confident NoBody has caught all of them. 

#HoWo2020 Hints

 Teaser 01 - Hold Tight SQUARE Teaser 03 - Mark Your Spot SQUARE 

So if you’ve missed it on social media or on our e-newsletter, it’s time we tell you: we’re making an announcement on Tuesday, August 6 at noon CDT (we’ll announce the location of the event at a later point). 

The gift that keeps giving: 

Christmas in July is fast approaching, and I’ve got news for you: Santa might be bringing a big hint. 

Sign up for the e-newsletter if you want to catch the hint before anyone else. Otherwise, it’ll be on our social media platforms tomorrow afternoon. 

Merry Christmas in July!

___

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!

Birthday rooms for epic parties

Party Room Candles 2 Leah's Birthday Party with Holidog

When people find out I grew up in a theme park because it was my family business, they often ask me expectantly: Did you have the COOLEST birthdays?!

The answer is sometimes. 

My sister and I were born in September and October, respectively, so we “got to” share our birthday party every year. So yes, we had a few birthdays at Holiday World (see exhibit A: adorable photo from party with all of us hugging Holidog circa early 1990s).

No. We didn’t get to run like crazy through a closed theme park.

No. We didn’t get to take prizes from the games or the shops.

Mostly there was just cake and pizza and Holidog. 

As we built Santa’s Merry Marketplace, we thought it might be nice to include a space for parties, so kids could throw some epic birthdays that surpass the ones I shared with my sister because–let’s be honest– the park is way cooler now than it was in the 1990s. 

Party Rooms Conversations

Interested in throwing an epic birthday party?

Party Room Candles 2

Now, we have party rooms available to maximize the coolness of a kid’s party at Holiday World. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • The rooms are FREE for Pizza Parties
  • We have two party packages available, including the option of an all-you-can-eat buffet
  • All birthday packages include breadsticks, dipping sauce, cookies, and free unlimited soft drinks
  • Salads can be added onto your package
  • Parties are available for groups between 15 and 49 Guests

You can also add on some other perks:

  • ¼ Sheet cake with Holiday World logo
  • Face painting
  • Caricatures

These birthday parties are putting my childhood ones to shame (sorry, Mom!).  

If you’re interested, please fill out this form for more information and pricing. 

Don’t forget! If you’re coming to celebrate a birthday, stop at Guest Relations for a birthday button! 

___

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!

HoWoHacks: Handle the heat

Mammoth water coasterWe’re introducing a blog series of tips and tricks we’re calling #HoWoHacks.  We’ll give you some extra insider tips on how to handle the heat and more as we go.  Everyone knows Splashin’ Safari is a great place to cool off on a sweltering day. Naturally there’s Bahari River and Bahari Wave Pool, not to mention Kima Bay and Tembo Falls in the shadow of Bakuli for the little ones. And of course, if you want to build your way up to Mammoth and Wildebeest, we have the two best water coasters in the world–especially Mammoth with that chilly water.  Doesn’t that all sound amazing right now? Unfortunately, a refreshing dip won’t help you stay hydrated on a sweltering day, so we worked with our safety department to bring you some advice. 

Quick Tips for a hot day:

  • Start with a healthy breakfast
  • Bring an empty water bottle so you can keep a lot of water around all day
  • Free unlimited sunscreen is unlimited–take advantage of it!
  • Go light on the soft drinks–stick to mostly water and add some Gatorade 
  • Make sure you keep eating (check out our menus page so you can pick out some food that looks more appealing on a hot day such as a wrap or fruit salad at Wildebeestro)
  • Slow down your pace a little to avoid exhaustion 

Pro Tips for a hot day:

If you still find yourself feeling unwell in the heat–please notify a member of our staff so we can provide assistance from our EMT staff.  Stay cool and stay safe!
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.

Sweepstakes: Water Coaster Family Getaway

Mammoth & Wildebeest4 sml

Congratulations to our winner: Madi M. from Shelbyville, Kentucky! Thanks to all who entered. More giveaways coming up soon!
—–

With the warm weather moving in this week, we know the best place to be is Splashin’ Safari! 

Whether your speed is more water coaster or more lazy river, you can kick back with a free soft drink (or on those especially hot days, don’t forget Gatorade and lots of water). 

We have 30+ slides, three kids’ play areas, two (and a half at Tembo Falls for the kids) wave pools, and a lazy river. There’s a reason USA Today named us the #1 Outdoor Water Park in the nation

If you want water coasters, no one can top us. Last year at the Golden Ticket Awards Wildebeest and Mammoth were named #1 and #2 Water Park Rides in the world, respectively, and Mammoth even made the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest water coaster.Wildebeest Family

Plus, if you’re looking for a pro tip for cooling off: Mammoth has some of the chilliest water in the park. 

So if you’re ready for some awesome water coaster action with your family, we’re hosting another sweepstakes!

  • Four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
  • Quick Access Passes for your party (valid for four people on Wildebeest and four people on Mammoth… or whatever two attractions you’d like)
  • Two nights in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort

Be sure to enter daily to win!

Mammoth & Wildebeest4 sml

But 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, Sun RV Resort, and Dippin’ Dots LLC (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 Water Coaster 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:  August 9 – September 8, 2019.Mammoth Boat Going Over Hill
  • 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 is your favorite–Wildebeest or Mammoth. (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 Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at 12:15pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck to all!

___

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!

Stranger than us?

1985 (probably) Map

I’ve already watched Season 3 of Stranger Things. 

NO SPOILERS I PROMISE. 

“Where did you find the time to watch now that you’re over communications?” asked no one. (But if you are wondering… I simply gave up on that sleep thing)

In the fourth episode of the third season, Will talks about “You know when you drop on a roller coaster?”

In fact, Josh pointed out on our Season Passholder Facebook group that we might know a place in Indiana with coasters…

And it got me thinking

Did we have a roller coaster for the residents of (fictional) Hawkins, Indiana to ride? 

Our classics (Raven, Legend, Voyage, and Thunderbird) weren’t around yet. The Raven opened in 1995. 

But before Raven, we had Firecracker. Not our new Firecracker (our lovingly-restored classic Calypso ride). The roller coaster that used to stand in the spot where Holidog’s FunTown is today.

Now I want to paint a picture for you

Stranger Things Season 3 is set in the summer of 1985. 

In 1985, the park map looked like this (well we’re not 100% sure but we think this was our 1985 map): 

1985 (probably) Map1985 (Probably) Map Back

You may not be able to read it, but on the back you can see that the Fright Chasm Overlook (literally just the area to watch Frightful Falls) was listed as its own attraction. 

Santa Claus Land had just been renamed in 1984 to Holiday World and the Halloween and 4th of July sections had just been added. We had the Scarecrow Scrambler, the Virginia Reel, Eagle’s Flight, Rough Riders, and many attractions that have either found new homes or have been retired. 

We were just a year away from adding Banshee (and for the record, I was mad at my dad when we removed it so don’t start with me…I don’t like that we removed it either).

Our brochure had just changed from this in 1984:

1984 brochure front1984 brochure back

New in 84 Logo Shirt

Shameless plug: If you’re as obsessed with this logo as I am, you can buy it on a shirt in the gift shops today

To this in 1985 (did you notice that classic rebrand?):

1985 Brochure Front

1985 Brochure Back

Look at those jazz hands!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to my mom, Lori, it was the first year for the high-dive show. 

My dad, Will Koch, was 23. He and my mom got married in May 1985, and they had moved to California by summer that year.

 Will & Lori Koch Wedding Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But… if I could cast a dream episode of Stranger Things at Holiday World and could pretend my parents had been around the summer of 1985, I’d say my dad probably would have been a secondary engineering or math mentor to the Hawkins AV club kids, and my mom would have been the cool performer who caught one of the teenagers’ attention for a little too long while some government authority came running around the corner. (For the record my dad was an engineer and my mom was a performer… they were just in California so my dad could get his masters degree in engineering)  

In the midst of my parents’ newlywed bliss the Hawkins, Indiana kids would trash the rides defeating the demogorgons… so maybe not… 

But it’s cool to think that simultaneously while the action centers around the mall in this season, somewhere not too far away, Holiday World was there. And you just know Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas would be coaster enthusiasts. 

We hope after all of that fighting evil, ALL of those kids (and the few adults) got to have a fun day here. They deserved it! 

 

___
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!