Voyage track work, by the numbers

"Covered wagon" used for track replacement

When we first started talking about adding a wooden roller coaster to our ride line up (this was waaaaay back in the early 1990s), we knew there was an important commitment we’d need to make.

Off-season track work

Because wooden coasters need lots of Tender Loving Care.

Our trio of aggressive woodies has a special maintenance crew we fondly refer to as our Coaster Cats to keep Raven, Legend, and Voyage running right.

During our off-season months, the Coaster Cats customarily concentrate on replacing segments of track. That’s all eight layers of track.

This year’s designated coaster for the greatest amount of track replacement is The Voyage, which will get 650 of new track.

Just what goes into replacing 650 feet of track?

Take a look:

The section of track is the final 650 feet of Voyage’s 1.2-mile circuit.

As winter starts to take hold, these tunnel-like structures are added and get the covered-wagon look, so the Coaster Cats can go undercover with their track work.

"Covered wagon" used for track replacement

Just think, in less than four months we’ll be open, the trees will be green, and The Voyage will be but a blur speeding through the woods.

More Season Pass Perks

Character Mugs

If you have a 2019 Season Pass or a Platinum Season Pass, we’ve got some extra perks for you!

Your Pass will come loaded with the following deals, which can each be used once during the 2019 season:

  • Merchandise*

    • Additional 20% off Cotton Candy Tub at any shop
    • Additional 20% off one Holidog, Safari Sam, Kitty Claws or George the Eagle character mug; these mugs are pictured below and include the park logo on the back
Character Mugs

Your Season Pass comes with an additional 20% discount off your choice of one character mug

  • Food 

    • $1 off Smoothie at Bahari Wave Shaved Ice
    • $1 off Loaded Bacon, Ranch & Cheese Tots at SnackHouse
    • These two food offers are subject to availability and menu substitutions
  • Games

    • $1 off a play at Headless Horseman
    • 10 Balls for $5 at Milk Cans

*The Merchandise discount is in addition to your regular Season Pass discounts.

Season Passholders save on Cotton Candy bucketsTo collect each deal, please be sure to mention it to the cashier and present your Pass to be scanned.

If you’re still deciding which Pass you want to get, here’s the list of perks each type offers in 2019. If you already have your passes and want to upgrade (from Summer Fun Card to Season Pass, for example), you can do so for $30 either at the park or by calling 1-800-467-2682.

Deals are available once per passholder per season and are subject to change. We’ll keep this post updated with any permanent changes to these offers.

A 360 video tour of Santa’s Merry Marketplace

Having trouble getting your bearings when it comes to the transition of Kringle’s Kafe to Santa’s Merry Marketplace?

Understandable!

The “footprint” for Santa’s Merry Marketplace is nearly half again as big as Kringle’s.

Lauren and Stephen put their hard hat-covered noggins together and created this 360 video for you to take a detailed look around:

This is interactive, so by all means take your time and click the pause button at any point during this video. Either drag your cursor (on desktop) or swipe around (go directly to YouTube on mobile) for the full 360 view.

Do you like seeing this technology in use around the park? If you’ve got suggestions for where else you’d like us to shoot a 360 video, please post a comment below.

And, in case there are still concerns about the Santa Claus murals – don’t worry: they’re safe! They’ll reappear once construction is complete.

Speaking of safety, thanks to all of our crews who are going the extra mile to keep everyone safe. The hard hats, reflective vests, and safety glasses aren’t props – they’re part of what it takes to ensure that this off-season is a safe one.

#SafetyFirst

Lauren's 360 tour of Santa's Merry Marketplace


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The year in photos

The Wave Throwback Photo

As we look back at our five most-liked photos from Instagram this year, one thing becomes apparent: our fans enjoy #throwback photos. Just like last year, a HoliDrone shot makes an appearance on the list. Also, we celebrated Splashin’ Safari’s 25th season with both recent and archive pictures.

Here’s the 2018 Countdown:

Number 5: A Legend-ary Construction Photo

Our list kicks off with a photo taken during construction of The Legend in 1999. It shows off the immense size of this wooden roller coaster as it weaves alongside Splashin’ Safari and races back toward the Halloween section!

 

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Number 4: The HoliDrone’s View of our Wooden Coaster Trio

The HoliDrone captures shots that are unmatched by photos taken at ground level. This photo of The Voyage’s lift hill also captures The Legend and The Raven in the background.

 

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Number 3: A Relaxing Afternoon in Splashin’ Safari

As we come to the half-way point on our list, it’s time to stop by Splashin’ Safari! This photo features Mammoth, Wildebeest, Bahari Wave, and Safari Sam’s SplashLand. (Is it May yet?)

 

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Number 2: Spotting A Banshee

A second #throwback photo of The Legend made the list, taken from the lift hill looking back toward the station. What’s that in the background? It’s Banshee! Before HallowSwings took its place in 2003, this spot was home to the fan-favorite Banshee for many seasons.

 

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Number 1: A Splashin’ Safari Throwback

Topping our list of popular posts from the year is our most-liked Instagram photo ever. To celebrate Splashin’ Safari’s 25th season, we posted a throwback photo from the mid-1990s featuring The Wave, Congo River, Bamboo Chute, and AmaZOOM. My, how the water park has grown over the years!

 

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Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more photos (and stories) from around the park! Happy New Year!

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Facebook rewind

The Legend | Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

As another calendar year comes to a close, let’s reminisce about our top Facebook videos from 2018:

A Pre-Season Flight

With 100 days until opening, we launched Thunderbird and streamed the video live for fans. This pre-season launch served to swap the two trains, which were midway through off-season maintenance.

Read more in this HoliBlog post.

By the Numbers: If all 51,000 views of this video were watched back to back, we just knocked out 71 days of that 100 day wait till Opening Day!

A Head-Spinning Voyage

Up next, let’s take a Voyage. This was shot with our 360 camera, so you can catch all the cool views that you may have missed on your last ride.

… or watch here on YouTube:

By The Numbers: More than 41,000 people watched this video. If we added up how far The Voyage traveled in 41,000 trips, it would be enough to circle Planet Earth. Twice!

A Moment of Calm

Located in our First Aid building, our Calming Room is for Guests who will benefit from a quiet, relaxing break from the park’s sensory stimulation. You can learn more about it in this HoliBlog post.


By the Numbers: This video was watched for 22,500 minutes. If we broke that down into 30-minute sessions (the length of time for which you can reserve the Calming Room), that would come out to 750 reservations.

Don’t Look Back!

Our most popular Facebook post this year was a 360-degree video shot on The Legend. Be sure to click and drag your mouse if you’re watching on a desktop computer or move your phone to look around on a mobile device!

Here it is on our YouTube channel:

By the Numbers: If all 53,000 people who viewed this video wanted to take a ride, we’d fill 2,209 trains!

Facebook facts from 2018

  • More than 32,000 guests checked in while visiting the park
  • Our fans watched 576,770 minutes of video (that’s 400 days!)
  • Our fans left more than 16,000 comments

Thanks for taking this ride with us, and be sure to like our Facebook page if you haven’t already.

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“Yep, he’s real!”

Mick Foley at Santa statue

“Yep, he’s real!” is a phrase we hear pretty often here in the town of Santa Claus.

And today, hundreds of thousands of YouTubers are hearing it as well, from Rhett & Link.

At the very end of this Good Mythical Morning episode, our very own Santa statue gets a cameo:

The rest of the video is pretty entertaining as well.

And educational.

I was going to mention that I’ve apparently been asleep at the wheel in not having heard of Rhett & Link before. But there was something oddly familiar about them. I wondered if they were the pair behind a hilarious commercial made for a drugstore in our neighboring town of Corydon.

Indeed they were.

It’s nice to know those two clever engineers from North Carolina believe.

So does this guy

Mick Foley at Santa statue

Click here to listen to Mick Foley’s 2016 podcast interview about working on his Saint Mick memoir here at the park. He’s a great storyteller!


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Podcast: the Town named Santa Claus

PolarBears: Will, Lauren, Leah

For the last podcast episode of 2018, Lori Koch (Lauren and Leah’s mom) joined us as we delved into the history of the town of Santa Claus:

 

 

A visit from The Today Show last weekend resulted in a wonderful feature story that aired this week.

Here’s that link to the Santa Claus Visitors Bureau, if you’d like to plan a visit to enjoy the cheery activities in December.

Look what I found!

Here is the Polar Bear photo from long ago we talked about, with Will Koch and his daughters, Lauren and Leah.

Polar Bears: Will, Lauren, Leah

Here’s the photo of Matt Scott’s three monitors displaying our frosty photo from earlier this week (and all sorts of Star Wars mementos):

three monitors of coaster photos

 

When we started digging in on the history of the town’s famous post office, we revealed that for a decade, starting in 1947, it was located inside Santa Claus Land.

Post Office in park

In 1957, the Post Office moved to this free-standing building. Today it hosts Holiday World’s Call Center and a few business offices.

Santa Claus Post Office

The Coaster Crew got all holly-jolly on us this month:

 

Before we sign off, here’s that 360 photo of the future Santa’s Merry Marketplace:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! As we mentioned on the ‘cast, the #podsquad will be on a break for a while. Please be sure to subscribe to the HoliBlog to stay in touch with our off-season news, photos, and videos!

One photo, three monitors

The other morning, when the frost was on the pumpkin-colored coaster, Stephen and Josh bundled up first thing and took some gorgeous photos.

Including this panoramic view:

Voyage and Thunderbird Frosty Panorama

I remember standing in the doorway that connects our three offices and asking:

How can we possibly use this photo?

It is so lovely. Breathtaking, even.

But so … wide!

The answer came from our HoliWood Nights Facebook Group. Specifically, coaster enthusiast Matt Scott:

three monitors of coaster photos

Matt is a Mechanical Engineer at McCarthy Engineering in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. He designs HVAC systems for all kinds of buildings.

Matt says: I’ve lived in Pennsylvania since November 2007. I’m originally from Des Moines, Iowa. I’ve been a roller coaster enthusiast since I was a kid in the ’80s and have been visiting Holiday World since the Stark Raven Mad event in 1998.  

By the way, he’s known as AV Matt or Acoustic Viscosity in the online roller coaster enthusiast community. He’s that guy on CoasterBuzz who came up with the name for our annual HoliWood Nights event for coaster enthusiasts.

Thanks, Matt! We’re glad you don’t mind us getting a little frosty now and then.
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Before we all roam … a Christmas poem

2018 Ugly Sweaters at Christmas breakfast

As Christmas fast approaches, we pause to celebrate the season of Claus.

Last Friday’s full-time staff breakfast was the celebration of a job well done.

2018 Christmas Breakfast Staff Photo

Our HR Team even rewrote and recited this Christmas poem to those gathered:

   ‘Twas the Night before break and all through the park

   Our teams were scurrying, not losing their spark

   The walls of Kringle’s came down and were bare

   In hopes that the Marketplace would soon be there

   Candy Cane Confectionary all painted in red

   While visions of Sugarplums danced in our heads

   The new office building is now on the map

   After all the construction some could use a nap

   Through all the updates, arose quite the chatter

   About how much we appreciate you

   You’re the team that matters.

During this holiday season – no matter where you roam – please be safe.

Be jolly, too. Everyone loves an over-the-top Christmas sweater, right?

2018 Ugly Sweaters at Christmas breakfast

And please know that we’re greatly looking forward to seeing you again when we open in May!
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The Today Show comes to town!

Today Show Interview with Ashley

It probably comes as no surprise to hear that our town gets a lot of attention this time of year.

Over the weekend, a crew from The Today Show paid a visit.

Their holly-jolly feature aired this morning:

And yes, that’s our marketing director, Ashley, interviewed mid-way through:

Ashley on The Today Show

… plus a lovely scene with the Santa’s Elves at the Santa Claus Museum toward the end. (There’s still time to send children’s Letters to Santa. Here’s the address: Santa Claus, PO Box 1, Santa Claus IN 47479. Be sure to include a return address.)

Merry Christmas to All!

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