Who says turkeys can’t fly?

Good question!

There were several flying around these here parts yesterday.


And yes, we put our toys away for the winter months – and out they fly in the spring, ready for the new season.

Watch out – here comes another one!

Turkey Whirl set-up at Holiday World

And another:

Turkey Whirl set-up at Holiday World

Then safely secured in place by Tom and Anthony, Turkey Whirl is nearly ready for riders, starting May 3.

It's Turkey Whirl time!

Tram-o-rama

After the winter we’ve had, Spring Fever has definitely struck all of us here at the park. The first glimpse of sunshine and temperatures above freezing sends just about everyone heading for the outdoors.

And when you step outside of the office on these days, you never know what you might discover!

Thursday just happened to be one of those beautiful days, and as I was heading out to get lunch, I noticed something was happening in the Raven Parking Lot. After getting into my car, I had a better look at the situation. There it was … the Tram!

Tram training at Holiday World

After returning with my lunch, I ate quickly hoping the Tram would still be there, grabbed my camera and headed toward the parking lot. You can imagine my excitement when I passed through the gate and it was still there. As I got closer, I noticed there were two people sitting inside the cab. The first was Rides Lori, and she was with Tram Driver-trainee Stephanie. I had only planned on taking a few photos and heading back to my windowless office, but when Lori asked if I wanted to hop on board for a “spin,” it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

The first trip around the empty parking lot, Lori drove and reviewed all the “Do’s and Don’ts” of driving the Tram.

Then it was Stephanie’s turn.

She navigated the turn-around by the front gate and headed down tram pathway. She practiced making all the necessary stops through the empty lot, but then came the hard part: the turn around the circle at Stop 3.

Stephanie listened intently as Lori gave her instructions on how to master that circle. As she began to make the turn, I held my breath half expecting to hear the thump of the back part of the tram hit the curb, but as we continued around the circle, that sound never came. Lori looked back in amazement as she said, “I think you are the first person I have trained who didn’t hop the curb on their first try!”

Tram driver training at Holiday World

Stephanie smiled and finished the route flawlessly before letting me back off at the front gate.

Great job, Stephanie!

Stephanie won’t be our only Tram Driver this season; we hire 35 to 40 each spring. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have worked at the park for at least one season. After completing classroom training and passing the written test, it’s time to hit the road (er, tram lane …) before becoming an official Holiday World Tram Driver.

Interested in becoming a Tram Driver or learning about other opportunities with our Rides Department? Be sure to visit our Jobs page!

First sign of Spring?

After the kind of winter we’ve had around here, everyone is pretty desperate for that First Sign of Spring.

We found it!

Tram tug getting ready for training

Okay, so you have to ignore that big pile of snow in the foreground.

But look in the center of the photo and see Billy from maintenance driving “tug” down the shoulder of Christmas Boulevard.

Tug is getting all prettied up, inside and out, in anticipation of upcoming Tram Driver Training.

And Tram Driver Training is a very good sign that Spring is on the way!

Word play

Did you know it was National Grammar Day on Tuesday?

March 4.

March 4th. March forth with good grammar.

Some reacted to the news with, “Oh, I just hate it when people add extra apostrophes!”

To which I replied, “Indeed, it’s tragic. But that’s punctuation, not grammar.”

Yes, it’s obnoxious; I know. But I just can’t help myself.

My crusade for proper use of the language extends to pronunciation.

Seeing the news of Carl Kasell’s impending retirement brought back the memory of once emailing him about his on-air mispronunciation of the word “complex.”

When it’s a noun, it’s COM-plex; when it’s an adjective, it’s com-PLEX.

Looking back, I wonder how I had the nerve to email the NPR luminary all those years ago. I hoped the man with the wonderful voice (and – who knew? – delightful sense of humor) would accept the note in the helpful spirit in which it was meant.

Imagine how stunned I was to hear back from Mr. Kasell within minutes, with his grateful and friendly response.

Wow. That’s how it should work. It’s nothing personal.We’re all in this together.

Word geeks have a mission; they intend no harm, ill will or condemnation.  To misquote Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own, “There’s no crying in grammar!”

And so the good fight continues today here around the office, where teasing sometimes blurs the lines of proper speech.

Exhibit A: The phrase “Have a HoliDAY.” Matt says this all the time.

It’s a nice nod to our park’s name. But my inner Sheldon cries out, “We’re not HoliDAY World – we’re HOLiday World!”

Marketing Jennifer, new to our staff, doesn’t help the situation. She just breaks out into a chant of “Holla! Holla!” She has a little hand dance, too.

And so I could do nothing but tweet in reaction to Matt’s latest yesterday evening:

Oh, and don’t even get me started on our ongoing “icing versus frosting” debate!

Deep-fried question: Fabulous or flop?

Deep-fried PB&J

It’s no secret that we do lots of tasting-testing this time of the year. And with a new restaurant opening this season, we’re trying out possible new menu items on a daily basis.

Really.

Deep-fried PB&J

Andrea and Michael, from our Food & Beverage Department, called for volunteers to try out an old favorite with a new twist.

A deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Honest.

Just like funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos, they get a dusting of powdered sugar on top and are served warm.

Our staff’s reaction?

Uh, mixed.

Like so many things in life, some were thrilled and others just didn’t get it.

It looks pretty yummy, though, don’t you think?

Deep-fried PB&J

Matt’s reaction?

Matt takes a bite“Really? I can’t believe you’d take a picture of me with my mouth full of deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich!”

Matt has three children in grade-school. I bet they’ll be doing some lobbying at home tonight.

With the differing opinions at today’s tasting (harrumph! some of us were in meetings and missed the deep-fried invitation), we’re still not sure if this taste treat has tipped the scales in favor of being added to our menu.

Foods Director Jason asked us to take the question to you for your thoughts. So what do you think: sticky thumbs up or thumbs down?

Simply click below to send us your opinion:

[poll id=”3″]
Thanks, in advance, for your “vote” in this non-binding poll.

Please post any comments below – along with your ideas for toppings.

Purrrfect coasters need Coaster Cats

When it comes to our Coaster Cats, we’re feline thankful (that’s a joke, son).

Coaster Cats at work on Voyage track maintenance

In just about all kinds of weather, they’re out in the elements, taking care of our coasters.

One of this year’s off-season projects is retracking Voyage’s brake run.

Out with the old and in with the new!

Voyage track maintenance at Holiday World

“Dude, your eight layers are showing … ”

That’s right, just like Frosted Mini-Wheats®, the track for wooden coasters has eight layers. Can you count them?

This video provides some behind-the-scenes details about what the Coaster Cats work on during the winter months:

In addition to this brake-run work, our Coaster Cats retracked from under the Voyage station back up to the third 90-degree stretch of track. They also had some fun up at the spaghetti bowl. Next time you visit us, see if you can figure out what other portions of all three coasters received their TLC over the winter.

Track maintenance on The Voyage at Holiday World

And just when will these coasters roar back to life? It’s hard to believe, what with the crazy weather forecast for tomorrow, but we open for the season on May 3 – that’s just two months away!

Now it’s your turn: Which is your favorite Holiday World coaster?

The first ride of spring

Do you look for the “first robin of spring” each year?

Around here, it’s the first ride of spring; the first ride to spring back to life after a long winter’s nap.

And the first ride of the season is …

Maintenance setting up the first ride of 2014

Comet’s Rockets in Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch!

Here are three members of our maintenance crew – Anthony, Billy and Tom – getting the first rockets ready for launch.

Comet's Rockets, ready for another season

All we need now is cleaning, testing, training, and then …

Comet's Rockets at Holiday World

… just add children!

What’s next?

Can’t quite tell if Billy is carrying a seahorse – or a unicorn!

Putting Dasher's Seahorses back together for the season

Ah, there we go. Anthony has it figured out.

Dasher's Seahorses, assembled for the season

All the pretty seahorses, ready for spring.

Dasher's Seahorses, ready for the season

Have you ever seen a ride like Dasher’s Seahorses before? I’ve never heard of any other seahorse-go-rounds in existence. Please post if you know of another!

The month of March begins next week, can you believe it? The park will reawaken with lots of activity. We promise to keep you updated!

Frank incensed

Twitter can be a tough nut to crack.

But pieces of shell went flying all over my office this morning when I started channeling Frank Costanza of Seinfeld fame:

Marie Antoinette said it best …

So far in 2014 we’re two-for-two when it comes to All Hands Meetings.

Last month, as you may recall, we had an an off-site “meeting,” and this month …

What do you think? Too gorgeous to slice into and devour?

Santa statue cake

Did you really have to think about that one?

Santa statue cake - deeeeelish!

Of course, we talked about safety, staffing for the upcoming season, and our new marketing campaign.

Still, we can’t wait to see (or taste) what our March meeting is all about!