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!

Introducing: The Hard Hat Chronicles

Oh, we’ve been wanting to start this video series for a long time!

Introducing: the Hard Hat Chronicles

With The Hard Hat Chronicles, we’ll show you all sorts of behind the scene looks at our always-evolving park.

Today, we begin with Mayflower:

This is just the start! We’d very much like to know what else you’d like James to explain in future episodes. Please post below!

We know you LOVE caption contests!

HoliSmiles!Congratulations to Rob B. from Franklin, Tennessee – our contest winner!

His entry: There are even smiles on the sandwiches at Holiday World! made us laugh, considering how he probably hasn’t seen our new brochure yet.

Our new brochure features “HoliSmiles,” using the rainbow from our park logo. And we’re told there will be an edible version of the HoliSmile available in the park this year. Sweet!


Since it’s Valentine’s Day, let’s have some fun and give you a chance to win a pair of tickets.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve been reading this blog lately, this time of year there’s a lot of “tasting” going on; from fruit cups to chili dogs to salads to gelato.

Our Foods staff is always looking for opinions. Fresh taste buds, if you will.

Whenever one of our non-Foods staffers happen to walk by, chances are they’ll be encouraged to sip, nibble, and otherwise enjoy a new taste treat.

Tough job. I know.

This particular longtime employee, pictured below, was happily munching on a chicken salad croissant recently and agreed to be photographed only when we promised to hide his identity.

He didn’t, after all, want the rest of us to think he wasn’t working hard that day. (Which he was. And has for years.)

This photo makes me smile. Make me laugh out loud and you could win two one-day tickets.

Caption contestA few rules:

1. Must be 13 or older to enter.

2. Must not be an employee of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (or that employee’s immediate family member).

3. Just one entry per email address, please.

4. The winner receives two 2014 one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. If you’ve won tickets from one of our contests within the past six months, you’re not eligible to win this one. If it’s been more than six months – have at it!

5. Our judges’ decision is final. It always is.

6. Deadline is Monday at noon. That’s 2/17/14 at 12 noon CDT. We’ll notify the winner by email.

7. To enter, post your clever caption as a “comment” here on this HoliBlog post. Don’t include your address or phone number, we’ll notify the winner by email. (Remember, our comments are moderated – so keep the captions family-friendly. If your post doesn’t show up right away, that means we’re in a meeting or sleeping or, you know, eating. Please be patient.)

Good luck to all – and Happy Valentine’s Day!

That round thing on Mayflower?

We’ve been asked repeatedly: So what’s that round thing all about?

This thing, circled (by me) in green:

Mayflower medallion

That’s at the apex of the ride, right? (Trying to make my oldest son proud here … I’ve made my living with words, but still remember a math term or two.)

Anyway, apparently, it’s called a medallion. And we needed to submit our own medallion design to the ride creators to truly personalize our “swinging ship” ride as “the Mayflower.”

When the graphic posted below arrived in my Inbox, my first thought was, “Oh, I really want a commemorative plate …” I didn’t know what exactly it was for – or even who had designed it – until later; it was just a lovely surprise on a gloomy winter’s day.

And who designed our medallion?

A member of the Koch family’s fourth generation here at the park, Lauren.

Mayflower medallion

And how is the ride construction moving along? Just ask Tom – yes, in his shirtsleeves in February.

Truly a man who digs his work.

Construction - Mayflower

And where exactly is Tom digging? That lattice-worked structure in the background should give you a hint.

Mayflower site work

We will have more Mayflower updates for you here on the HoliBlog as we get closer to May. And spring. And warmth. There’s hope!

If you’d like to receive notification of new posts by email, please subscribe in the box at the top-right portion of this page.

And please post a comment here telling us what you think of our Mayflower medallion – now I want earrings, too!
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Oh, that snow!

Are you getting all this crazy snow?

Mother Nature thought Santa looked a little chilly, so she sent him a blanket.

Of snow.

Oh, poor Santa!

Santa in the snow

Here’s a quick look at the snowfall:

Keep warm, everyone – spring is one day closer!

Did Holidog see his shadow?

There’s a groundhog in Pennsylvania who gets a lot of attention this time of the year.

But here in Santa Claus, Indiana, we rely on Holidog for our weather prognostication:

Good news - on February 2, Holidog did not see his shadow!

No shadow for Holidog! And exactly what does that mean?

Spring is right around the corner!

The shoes of the grasshopper

It’s a rite of passage here: that first search for the perfect white running shoe.

Or walking shoe.

Or tennis shoe.


Jennifer from Marketing was all a flutter yesterday, proudly announcing she’d found not-one-but-two perfect pairs of white shoes for the summer (read: park uniform) season.

I could barely conceal the urge to slowly shake my head.

Ah, Grasshopper. We don’t choose the shoe. The shoe chooses us.

We don’t know whether we’ve found the exact fit until that first 10-hour day out in the park.

Don’t worry, I assured her. I keep talcum powder in my office. And band-aids. And chocolate.

Jennifer has been on board here for about four months. She’s a hoot.

Matt says his favorite thing about Jennifer is when she gets laughing really, really hard … she snorts. A totally loud, unladylike snort.

It’s awesome

For me, that snort is something to aspire to. It’s like this game:

Ring the bell, Holidog!

The challenge in the game is to get that bell to ring.

My challenge with Jennifer is to get her laughing hard enough that she snorts.


Music to my ears.

As an old timer here, I’ve tried to share little helpful hints with Jennifer.

Things that I’ve learned the hard way.

For example: I congratulated her for her forethought in purchasing two pairs of white shoes for the long summer. And advised her to keep the second pair in her office.

That way, when you get caught in a downpour out in the park – and-trust-me-you-will – you can go back in your office and put on your dry shoes.

Jennifer thanked me and started to leave my office.

Wait! Here’s the second part of that tip: keep a second pair of socks in your office, too.

Oh, I learned that one the hard way.

And I’d have felt like a heel (a soaking wet heel) not to pass it along.



Fun with funnel cakes

Red Velvet Funnel Cake

What else to do on a winter’s day when the high temperature is a single digit?

Create a new funnel cake flavor, of course!

Red Velvet Funnel Cake

No, we’re not inventing Lobster Funnel Cakes.

Um. Eww.

Mixing up that red velvet funnel cake batter!

This new menu item is none other than a Red Velvet Funnel Cake.

Oh, yes!

We tweeted out a photo yesterday around suppertime and immediately heard from growling HoliTummies.





Our Facebook friends got pretty excited, too: