By HoliBlogger Barb W.

Did you know Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari sprawls over 300 acres of land? That’s a lot of ground to cover!

Like many, you’ve simply soaked in the floral ambiance without truly noticing every natural detail. As one of the cleanest, well-designed family parks around, Holiday World subtly surrounds us with cool shady spots and pleasing pops of color along our path.

It’s easy to rush past with your head stuck in the map looking for directions to the next exciting attraction. But, if you stop for a moment to take in the magical bits of scenery, you’ll truly enhance your park experience.

How does a theme park best plan the landscape in an aesthetically pleasing way for the benefit of park-goers? It all begins with a great team and a lot of ingenuity.

It Takes A Holi-Village

Cathy Greubel, Director of Park Services at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, oversees the design and maintenance of landscaping throughout the park. Greubel says one of the first considerations given to plants selected for landscaping is finding ones that are low maintenance, like Boston Ferns. Potted plants also help with decorating areas throughout the park and can be revitalized seasonally.

With over 1,500 plants in the Christmas section alone, there’s plenty to tend to! All plants throughout the 300+ acre park are maintained by a crew of four who work four hours a day prior to park opening.

Selecting plants that are not labor intensive is key to helping the crew get their daily tasks done quickly. This ensures guests to have a beautiful backdrop when they arrive.

Setting Nature’s Stage

Imagine walking in the gate of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari only to see a monochrome setting devoid of plant life. Lacking color and natural personality, the theme park would look different, indeed! It’s the bio-diverse shades and shapes of nature that fill our view with vibrant interest.

Planning landscape for the park involves a lot of creative vision. Each ride area, attraction, and walkway are its own intense project. Each are focused on a particular theme. There’s not only consideration for the concept but also the way the guests will interact with the landscape.

For example, Splashin’ Safari is designed to have a tropical feel. Plants are used to soften up the area to make it more inviting, but they are also used to help create shade for guests. In addition, foliage helps hide distracting areas like service roads to create a seamless, more pleasing view.

The planning doesn’t stop there, there’s plenty more to take into consideration such as varying the landscape colors to add interest. Landscapers also consider guest comfort by utilizing plants that don’t attract stinging bugs, yet still maintain balance in eco-environment.

Tending to the Native Biome

One only has to drive up to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari to realize it’s surrounded by nature and farmland. It’s part of what makes the theme park so charming and special!

When the natural environment is altered to give new life to a plot of land, such as a beloved holiday theme park, there’s an eco-balance that must be considered. The landscaping team has been very conscientious about using plants native to the area like Hydrangeas and Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle).

The team is also working on re-forestation, replanting trees to replace aging trees or trees that were pulled for safety reasons. Re-forestation helps wildlife thrive by providing shelter and supplying food sources.

HoliBlogger Barb | Landscape Blog | Taking a Photo with Kitty

If you take time to look at the landscape throughout your journey around park, you may just see a few bunnies taking advantage of the shade provided by the bushes. At night, the local deer love to munch on the SunBelievables and ornamental Sweet Potato Vines.

Landscaping Gems

All this hard work by the landscaping team truly makes Holiday World & Splashn’ Safari a lovely haven. Everyone is greeted immediately with the splash of Christmas colors which sets the festive tone.

A consistent fan favorite are the orange and purple SunPatiens that lead the way into Halloween. These hardy flowers tolerate all weather conditions, including heat, allowing guests to enjoy the blooms throughout the seasons.

If you look around Halloween you’ll find additional plots of orange and purple SunPatiens that have been added for fan enjoyment.

New beds of flowers have also been planted in Holidog’s Funtown. Additional potted plants decorate your journey along the walkways, and you’ll spot new trees by the Star Spangled Carousel.

Next time you’re at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, do take time to stop and smell the roses, per se. Admire all the beauty of the natural surroundings that enhance the landscape and brighten your day!

Want to learn how to utilize the secrets of a theme park landscape at home? Visit Rural Mom to get gardening tips from Director of Park Services Cathy Greubel!


Be sure to follow the adventures of our HoliBloggers all year long. Each blog post from them will have a sweepstakes where you can enter to win two tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Entries accepted through Wednesday, July 27 at 6pm CDT.


HoliBlogger Barb WThis blog post was written by HoliBlogger Barb W.

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.

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48 Responses to “Designing Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari: Secrets Of A Theme Park Landscape”

  1. Samantha Paragon

    Would love to win and take the kids to holiday world hands down my favorite place to go growing up

  2. Amber

    I absolutely love the lay out and design of Holiday World! It is always so clean, and well kept. The colors are so bright and fun. There is something for everyone!!

  3. Takisha Spradlin

    Love Holiday World! Very beautiful flowers and landscaping! Amazing job well done!

  4. Connie Bradford

    Want to bring grands before summer is over, winning a couple of tickets would be nice!

  5. Shane Malone

    Awesome read ! These things facinate me ! A look behind the curtain so to speak !

  6. Brandi Liggett

    Our family loves Holiday World. So much fun for a family vacation. You can’t beat the prices either.

  7. Billie byers

    I absolutely love the scenery through out the entire park! Every different holiday is put together so well it makes everything come together! This place is so amazing and so beautiful! I love going there and looking at all the beautiful things that it can bring! Such a beautiful place to visit and so much to do!

  8. Debi+Gillenwaters

    Holiday World is my “happy place” and I haven’t gotten to come since 2021.

  9. McKenzie Hamilton

    I love how holiday world is laid out and how the landscape does well with each theme

  10. Lindsey Davis

    Would love to visit and bring the kiddos!! We don’t get to come often but in the past when we have we’ve had a blast!! It’s so beautiful and family oriented! It’s so obvious why it’s #1 water park!!!

  11. Melanie

    Would love to visit Holiday World again, it’s beautiful, and my youngest has not been!

  12. T Michelle Mattingly Bell

    It has been a very long time since I have been to Holiday World. This would be a great quick getaway for me if I were to win. Thank you for the opportunity!

  13. Katrina Buell

    I love the behind the scenes info. Our family loves our annual visit!

  14. Kevin Cross

    As an ag teacher, I love this blog. Landscaping at a local theme park is definitely a job in agriculture that most of my students would never think of! Great post.

  15. Kevin Cross

    As an ag teacher, I love this post! Landscaping at a local theme park is definitely a job in the agriculture industry that most of my students would never think of. Great post!

  16. Michelle McKinney

    I literally had no idea how much effort has been put in to make Holiday World such a beautiful atmosphere.
    Thank you to everyone behind the scenes.

  17. Erika

    As a mom that doesn’t ride roller coasters, I get to spend a lot of time enjoying the landscaping around Holiday World. I like the little touches that make each section unique, but still complementary through out the whole park.

  18. April Ammerman

    Last year my 13 year old son was able to ride a roller coaster for the first time so we took him to Holiday World. The first one he picked was the Raven, this was also my first roller coaster when I was 12.

  19. April Ammerman

    My favorite place to relax at Holiday World Splash’n Safari is the lazy river or by the pool! It is such a beautiful setting. Hopefully, one day we will get to experience the campground area.

  20. Carol Hatter

    We love holiday world. I went when it was Santa claus land when I was a child. Many family memories here!

  21. Aaron Ruff

    Thanks for the opportunity! Would love a chance to come back and visit.

  22. Dylan Ingram

    Holiday world is so much fun! I went for the first time last year and would love to go back.

  23. Maggie

    We are visiting holiday world soon and would love free tickets! Can’t wait to visit, even if we don’t win!

  24. Jackson Seida

    I hope to come back to holiday world so I can ride the Voyage some more!

  25. Cherish Benge

    I visited the park last weekend & love the plants! Two plants that I am wanting to duplicate in my home landscape. I am wondering what exact red coleus looking plant it is that you have in the front entrance and through 4th of July. I have never seen a solid, deep red or even one that gets so tall & bushy. It’s gorgeous! The second one that I am wondering about is a tree. It looks like a weeping red bud. It’s leaves were green, burgundy & an orange shade all on one tree. It was down in front of the Thanksgiving restaurant.