Preparing for Your First Visit to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

This weekend is the unofficial start to summer, which means an increase in outdoor events, extra quality time with family, and vacation fun! As a highly organized, planning parent, it is also time to make sure the family is ready for all the scheduled trips and summer adventures. If you are planning your first visit to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, here are some reminders and tips to be prepared for the perfect first visit. 

Research Places to Stay
You can get over two fun-filled days at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. We are planning our trip next month for three park days. For overnight accommodations, right next door is Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph, which we will be staying at. Check availability and research other places here. There are nearby options in Santa Claus, IN, and other towns 20-30 minutes away with lodging.  

Utilize the Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari Calendar
The Holiday World website is full of resources, all in one place. You can browse all the rides, insider tips, and everything to make the most of your visit. The best place to start planning is in the Calendar. Select the day(s) you will be visiting to see that day at a glance: The park hours, daily deals, show schedule, menus, maps, trip tips, and more. Pro Tip: Bookmark each calendar date page for your visit or add shortcut links to your phone home screen. During your visit, you can easily access everything in one place. 

Create a List of ‘Must-Ride’ Rides & Slides
Sit down with the family to research and discuss the rides and slides that each person wants to visit. You can filter the rides on the website by type, experience, park section, and height requirements. Have each person pick 1-3 favorites and rank any others by the desire to ride. This way when you get to the park, everyone’s picks are prioritized, and you can make sure no ride is missed. Pro tip: Group the rides on the list by park section for easy navigation during the visit. 

What to Bring While at the Park
The park offers free soft drinks (including Gatorade, lemonade, iced tea, coffee, and water). Bring or purchase a reusable water bottle to fill and keep with you all day. You will also find free sunscreen throughout the park, so no need to add that to your bag. If you are planning to visit the waterpark and/or ride water rides, wear a swimsuit under a t-shirt & shorts. The concrete can get hot, so wear water shoes to keep your feet protected (plus they dry fast). You can also rent a locker, if needed. 

Follow Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari on Social Media for Timely Updates
Social media is a great place to get punctual updates before, during, and even after your visit. Follow the park’s social account(s) so new updates appear in your feed. It is a great resource for deals, shows, giveaways, new foods, weather updates, and so much more. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

Join the Holiday World Fans Facebook Group
This Facebook group is full of a wealth of information and tips from seasoned park goers. You can search the group for specific questions or scroll through to read amazing experiences and feedback. I spent some time browsing the group for tips for first-time visitors and we asked in a post for some tips. 

It is very helpful reading what others recommend and have experienced.

Here are a 10 bonus in-park tips sourced from the Facebook Group: 

  • “Get kids measured when you enter the park so they can get a bracelet and be ready to ride the rides.” Alicia C.
  • “Get there early. Be dressed in swim wear and ready to go into the water park at opening (11). You can do the dry park when done in the water park. Less crowed this way.” Linda W.
  • “Get ready to have the time of your life at the cleanest park and friendly staff and def taste all the food you can.” Mark P.
  • “Bring your stuff in a backpack so much easier to carry around all day. Or rent a locker in the waterpark.” Christa C.
  • “Start at the HallowSwings. Head up to Thunderbird. Then water park. Then other rides. Do fourth of July last. That is an easier hill leaving than the one next to HallowSwings.” Angie E.
  • “If you are going solo…. work the park by section, bypass the longer lines on the first pass, use what wait time you do have to keep an eye on the time to catch the entertainment, arrive at each show a little early and use that time to snack. Pick one of the major eats for a sit down meal. Once you have made a full lap of the park retrace your steps for shorter lines on what you skipped. Also…. always ride the carousel.” Brent S.
  • “Get there early. Get a locker also if you don’t want to carry your stuff. And have fun!” Shauna W.
  • “Eat at the Alamo or Plymouth Rock. Gobbler Getaway is a great ride mid-afternoon for a way to chill out and cool off. Wear dry fit clothes and crocs. They’ll dry so much quicker.” Elizabeth M.
  • “We always wear rash guards and swim trunks or skirts if we’re doing both parks. That way you can go between them without changing.” Dierdre M.
  • “Go ahead and get the two day tickets so you can take your time and enjoy all the little things about the park.” Steve R.

While I love planning ahead, I am sure visiting Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari and just exploring would be an exciting option for others! Enjoy the rides, try lots of food, take pictures, and have the best time!

If you have a tip for first-time visitors, leave it in the comments!

This blog post was written by HoliBlogger Samantha K.

Samantha is a self-proclaimed chaos coordinator from St. Louis, MO and runs In her family of five, she is outnumbered by all boys (plus two male huskies).  She and her family love finding new places to explore, adventuring outdoors, and taking road trips throughout the Midwest. Fun fact: Year-round Samantha watches Christmas movies and sports her Christmas pajamas with no shame. 

Made to Thrill Part 2… or is it 3?

Hey everyone! We’ve just restocked the HoliShop with our Made to Thrill items as of 5/22/22. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best stuff, skip on over to the Holishop quickly… but only after you read my blog. It’s mostly pictures, ok? 


If you recall, we’re big fans of Made to Thrill

If you haven’t heard of them, Made to Thrill designs theme park merchandise that’s a little more… stylish than your average theme park merch. Prior to me sending a huge fan-girl email, Made to Thrill exclusively created low-key designs that never said what the attraction was, but it was always clear from Josh’s incredible design skills. 

So in 2019, a simple partnership began with a single T-shirt.

We were the first park ever to partner with Made to Thrill 

The first shirt sold very well, so we introduced an entire collection of posters for each of our 4 main roller coasters, t-shirts for each of our roller coasters, and of course our Santa Claus Land Poster and t-shirt. Here’s a reminder of those poster designs: 


Together, we even introduced an exclusive 75th Anniversary Pre-Order Only Limited-Series T-Shirt in 2021.

Sorry folks, you can’t order it anymore–it was a one-time deal. 

Today, Made to Thrill now works with Cedar Point, Kings Island, and SO MANY PARKS! 

We’re so proud of Josh and how far he and his art have gone, but we’re even more excited that he continues to churn out extraordinary new art each year. 

Now, I’m excited to share Made to Thrill’s latest art and our 2022 Collection! 

Our 2022 Collection

This year, we’ve added two of our most beloved attractions to our lineup of Made to Thrill Merchandise this year:

Raging Rapids

 Raging Rapids Poster

 and Frightful Falls

Frightful Falls Poster

And we’ve introduced a new skyline poster: 

We’ll call this the second collection, but we’ve had three… maybe four rounds of incredible artwork from Made to Thrill, and you know it won’t stop here. If you’re not already clicking “purchase” over on our HoliShop, comment below with what you’d like to see Made to Thrill design next! 


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Introducing the HoliBloggers

When you work in the Communications Department at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, you get to talk to Guests in two ways.

The first is all about sharing information with them. We want to make sure to tell everyone about what’s going on in – and around – the park. Our goal is to make it easy for someone to plan a trip to come see us. Plus, you can help everyone to make the most out of their day.

The second is all about telling stories from around our parks. We love pulling back the curtain to show everyone what makes us unique or what might be happening behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have as much time to tell stories as we’d like when things get busy in the summer. And we thought that needed to change! We want to keep all of our fans in the loop when they’re planning to come see us.

That’s where our new HoliBlogger program comes into the picture.

Earlier this spring, we started looking for a small group of bloggers and online storytellers who could help us share our story. We hoped to be able to find 5 writers to start with, but once the applications started rolling in, we knew the final group would end up being a little larger than that. And our applicants didn’t make it easy to choose!

We ended up picking 6 HoliBloggers to join us for the 2022 season.

They’ll serve as ambassadors for the park and tell you their secrets. From tips and tricks to have the best trip, to what you can expect from a visit this season. A few of the topics they’ll be covering over the course of the next year include: Everything you need to know about taking a toddler to Holiday World, what to pack for a great day, 10 Instagram worthy spots in the park, to a Dad’s Guide to Visiting. They’ll be serving up 35 blog posts through April 2023.

We can’t wait for you to hear more from them. And the first post will hit the HoliBlog next weekend!

So, we’d like to introduce the whole gang.

Here are your HoliBloggers for the 2022 season:

Barb Webb from Louisville, Kentucky

Barb Webb is a sustainable living expert nesting just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living, artisan culture, and exploring the roads less traveled.

An award-winning author, Barb is also the Owner/Editor of the popular blog where she shares her love of all things green and empowers others to live country life to the fullest. Her newest books “GETTING BAKED” and “GETTING LAID” are cheeky guides offering a fun, in-depth journey into sustainable living topics including traditional and medicinal gardening.

Courtney Snow from Cincinnati, Ohio

Photo Credit: Katie Wilson Photography

A Cincinnati mom that spent my teen years in Indianapolis, I remember Summers at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari fondly. My family and I love travel and theme parks. I own the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville Mom Collectives where we provide the best in trusted recommendations, tips, tricks, and resources to families in our communities. In my rare free moments, I like to write, read, draw, paint, game, go to the park, go to art museums, and try new foods.  

Jamie Johnson from Owensboro, Kentucky

Jamie Johnson is a blogger based in Owensboro, Kentucky. She has two sons, Henry and Simon, and a husband, Logan. Jamie works full-time as a business consultant. She loves her family, Holiday World, ham sandwiches, and Diet Mountain Dew. 

Jamie Ward from Middletown, Indiana

Jamie Ward is a travel writer and published author. She founded Cornfields & High Heels, a travel and lifestyle blog, over five years ago and travels throughout the Midwest sharing her travel stories and adventures. She wrote 100 Things To Do In Indiana Before You Die and co-authored Midwest Road Trip Adventures. Jamie resides in Central Indiana with her husband, Paul, and their four teenagers. She was born and raised in Indiana and enjoys road trips, coffee, thrifting, historic places, and spending time with her family.

Samantha King from St Louis, Missouri

Samantha is a self-proclaimed chaos coordinator from St. Louis, MO and runs In her family of five, she is outnumbered by all boys (plus two male huskies).  She and her family love finding new places to explore, adventuring outdoors, and taking road trips throughout the Midwest. Fun fact: Year-round Samantha watches Christmas movies and sports her Christmas pajamas with no shame. 

Tara Smith from St Louis, Missouri

Tara Smith has a degree in psychology with emphasis in community health, but has been a mom blogger for over a decade and lives in St. Louis, MO. You can find her blog at As a busy mom of 4, she likes to do fun activities with her family and travel. She also likes to sew, craft, make recipes and inspire others in motherhood. Tara and her blog have been featured on News 4 Great Day, Show Me St. Louis and in Country Sampler Farmhouse Style Magazine.

Let’s hear it for this year’s HoliBloggers!

In addition to hearing stories from their visits to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, you might see them talk about staying next door at Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph, just across the river in accomodations provided by our friends at Visit Owensboro, or partnering with the Spencer County Visitors Bureau to experience all the great things to do around Santa Claus, Indiana.

Each of them have graciously agreed to provide overnight lodging opportunities or experiences that can help our HoliBloggers tell great stories throughout the year.

We hope to continue this program for each season in the years to come as well. If you’re interested in being a HoliBlogger in the future, you can apply online to be notified for when applications are open for our 2023 season.

Play Day 2022

Play Day is back!

Play Day is an annual event, where our friends at Easterseals Rehabilitation Center in Evansville invite 2,000 children with disabilities and their teachers and chaperones to come and enjoy a day at the park. We donate the discounted admissions proceeds from each Play Day to Easterseals. Their mission is: to make profound, positive differences in the lives of local people every day, and to change the way our community defines and views disability. 

The event started in 1993, and we quickly realized this was an event that had to become an annual tradition.

Even when the pandemic hit, we worked together to create Pick Your Play Day in 2020 and 2021. Families could still access affordable tickets through Easter Seals, they just didn’t have a dedicated day. 

Today, Play Day returned.  

Even as the rain drizzled down at 9 am this morning, it was clear the weather wouldn’t be dampening the fun today.

Our Guests donned ponchos and raincoats and got to the serious business of riding rides and having fun. 

With today’s event, we’ve raised over $575,000 since 1993. 

The smiles say it all: rain or shine, it’s a beautiful day. 

And after three years, and even with a few clouds in the sky, today just might have been the best Play Day EVER! 


Be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter so that you’ll get event information and off-season updates all winter long!
Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published.

New Food in 2022!

A new season means new menu items!
You can find our full listing of park food, including our allergen-friendly and gluten-free menus by clicking here.
You’ll find dietary information on old park favorites and the newest food and snacks below!

Porto-Bleu Burger

First up is the Porto-Bleu Burger found at Goblin Burgers in the Halloween section.
This new burger is topped with bleu cheese and fried portobello mushrooms!

ThunderBIRD Bowl

New at The SnackHouse near Thunderbird, we have the ThunderBIRD Bowl!
This delicious bowl is full of chicken strips and fries topped with nacho cheese, bacon, ranch, and chives.

2 New Funnel Cakes 

You’ll have to visit Funnel Cake Factory AND Christmas Cupboard for our newest funnel cakes! 

New to the Funnel Cake Factory menu is the Red, White, and Blue Funnel Cake!
This funnel cake is fried to perfection, then topped with powdered sugar, strawberry and blueberry topping, sprinkles, and whipped cream.

New to Christmas Cupboard is the Over the Rainbow Funnel Cake!
Our team piles whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and chocolate candies on a funnel cake.

Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos

For our guests who like a little heat, you aren’t going to want to miss our Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos!
Found at Sam’s BBQ in Splashin’ Safari, soft tacos are filled with slaw, Nashville Hot Chicken, and ranch with a pickle on top.

Strawberry Sunrise Float

What could be sweeter than a strawberry Dole Whip? Our Strawberry Sunrise Float just might come close! It’s new to Sweet Stuff near the Hoosier Celebration Theater, and has strawberry dole whip, orange juice, sierra mist, and a peach ring!

Salted Caramel Sundae

Next for the caramel lovers, we have the Salted Caramel Sundae, also located at Sweet Stuff.
This sweet treat consists of chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce and chocolate-covered pretzels!

Funnel Cake Sundae

After a fun-packed day in the park, there’s no better way to end a day than with a take-home treat from Bahari Snacks! New this year is the Funnel Cake Sundae, which includes funnel cake with soft-serve ice cream inside topped with chocolate cookies and a cherry. 

Chocolate Explosion Flurry

Also at Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe is the Chocolate Explosion Flurry.
This sweet treat includes chocolate ice cream with chocolate candies, whipped cream, and a brownie on top! Plus, don’t miss the Strawberry Shortcake Flurry!

Thanks to our Food & Beverage team who work hard to develop new and creative treats each year. 
No matter where you go in our park, there are plenty of sweet treats, and healthy meal choices to be found!

Be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter so that you’ll get event information and off-season updates all winter long!
Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published.

Contest: Light Up Some Family Fun!

Holiday World will open for the 2022 Season on Saturday, May 14 and we can’t wait for our guests to see what we have in store!

We have a jam-packed event calendar with the return of Santa, great shows, and the addition of Holidays in the Sky, a 15-minute drone and fireworks spectacular coming June 18 – July 31!

To celebrate, we’re giving away incredible prizes, including a family vacation package with 4 two-day tickets to Holiday World, two nights at Lake Rudolph, and Pepsi merch!

Dozens will win a free pair of tickets and thousands more will receive an exclusive ticket discount.

Only the fastest will win the top prizes, but the catch is you don’t know when these prizes will go up for grabs. Sign up now!

Want a better chance at winning the vacation for your family?

Share with your friends, get them to participate, and we’ll give you a heads-up so you’ll know ahead of time when these prizes go live.

If you have questions about the sweepstakes, keep reading.

How do these 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!

Good luck to all who enter!

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: Countdown to Opening Day!

Summer is just around the corner, and we’re only a short couple of days until we open for the season.

In anticipation of the upcoming fun, we’re giving away six tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, as well as two overnights in a Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin at Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph, (valid April 29 – June 23, 2022 ONLY). 

Sweepstakes is open until 7pm Central Time on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

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, Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph, 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.
  • 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.
  • If you win our Countdown to Opening Day Sweepstakes, 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 cottage will be available: April 29 – June 23, 2022 ONLY.


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