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!

Someday, our ship will come in!

Mayflower construction site

This may look like a big hole right now, but in less than two months, we’ll fill it with ship.

Future home of the Mayflower

The Mayflower, that is.

Here’s a close-up of a bit of lovely rebar:

Rebar at the Mayflower construction site

I believe this is called the keel of the ship; it’s being created for us by Chance Rides.

The keel of the Mayflower

And here’s a similar piece from another angle:

Mayflower's keel

Ah, the Pilgrims never had it so good!

Sit down, Pilgrims!

Wow. You can tell it’s late on a Friday and time to go home. I keep hearing John Wayne’s voice in my head, “Sit down, Pilgrims!”

Did you catch our first installment of the Hard Hat Chronicles? We’re starting a series of video construction updates:

We sure hope you’re excited about riding Mayflower this season! Which seat will you try first – front, back or middle?

Rocking the World

So who is the person who puts together our special events, such as Happy Halloween Weekends and Rock the World?

That would be Ashley, our Special Events Manager.

And she’s grinning from ear to ear this morning after seeing the coverage of our Rock the World announcement in the latest edition of the Dubois County Herald.

Special Events Manager Ashley with Rock the World coverage

With headliners TobyMac and Mandisa performing at this year’s event, we’ll be rockin’ the cornfields once again!

I just love this photo Switchfoot’s Tim Foreman posted last year:

Head over to our Rock the World page for more details about this great event!