Podcast: Promises Kept

Leah - Golden Ticket Award

I won’t ruin the surprise, but a promise made long ago (and repeatedly) was finally kept this morning …

The Golden Ticket Awards were held last weekend in Connecticut.

Leah was pleased as punch to accept the #1 Water Park Ride award (Wildebeest‘s eighth win in as many years).

^ Bonus points if you can identify the photo bomber!

Here’s the full group of winners – congratulations to all the parks!

Matt told us about Blanche’s birthday visit.

Best wishes to Mick as he recovers (his podcast episode with us is still our most popular).

 

Be sure to enter our a-MAZE-ing Sweepstakes!

For our Ancestor Appreciation Day discussion, Lauren honored two of her great-grandfathers (Santa Jim Yellig and Louis J. Koch), pictured below at Santa Claus Land with a future president:

Here’s our cute little friend Kevin, no doubt unaware of his parents’ scheming ways:


Evana’s son is planning his career:

Here’s that breathtaking Thunderbird photo taken by Jon Green:


A great #ThrowBackThursday from DT:

And here’s proof of that lost tooth:


Zack checks out our Google Street View:

… and The Coaster Crew does it again:

(Brace yourself, Lauren – here it comes!)

As we end this post, here’s a reminder that both parks are open this Saturday and closed for a private event on Sunday. Then next Saturday (September 23), Happy Halloween Weekends begin!

Thanks for listening!

An a-MAZE-ing Sweepstakes!

Corn Maze Cutting

We promised in the last podcast episode to post this video soon and build a sweepstakes around it.

Because cutting a 12-acre corn maze and recording the process with a drone is – quite simply – amazing!

Alright, so let’s get to the sweepstakes:

What’s the prize? Four 2017 one-day tickets to Holiday World’s Happy Halloween Weekends, plus two nights (September 22 and 23, 2017) in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort!

Before you enter, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter and you must not have won tickets from Holiday World in the past 12 months.
  • Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Koch Development Corporation, Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort, Sun Communities, and Sun RV Resort (and the immediate family members of employees) are not eligible to enter.
  • By entering, you agree to be added to our e-newsletter list (you may unsubscribe at any time by following the directions in your email).
  • Use the widget, below, to enter daily. There are lots of options, so you can earn extra entries by posting here on our HoliBlog, tweeting about this sweepstakes, following us on Pinterest, and visiting us on our Facebook pages.
  • If you win, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your two-night Holiday Cottage reservations for September 22 and 23, 2017 at Lake Rudolph.
  • All prizes are non-transferable and not for re-sale. Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s). Each sponsor will distribute respective prizes.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us what you think is amazing about Halloween. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • Did you know you can subscribe to our HoliBlog so that you receive all of our posts (including contests) by email? If you’re using a desktop computer or tablet, look for the “Subscribe to Blog” sidebar at the top-right corner of this page. On a smartphone? Just scroll down a tiny bit more to find it.

Ready to enter? Simply enter our sweepstakes here from a mobile device; or if you’re on a desktop, enter by using the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Monday, September 18, 2017, at 2:30pm CDT, when we’ll choose one winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meanwhile, here’s a friendly reminder about the rest of the season’s schedule:

  • Both parks are open Saturday, September 9 and 16;
  • Both parks are closed to the public on Sunday, September 10 and 17;
  • Happy Halloween Weekends start September 23 and run Saturdays and Sundays through October 29.

Good luck to all!

Blanche’s 103rd birthday

Blanche's Friends

Many happy returns to Blanche, whose birthday wish yesterday was to visit the park with her family.

Matt told me he asked her if she was planning to ride any roller coasters. Her reply, “No sir. But I’m sure going to look at them!” She was so happy to learn that she could ride Holidog Express and Star Spangled Carousel while remaining in her wheelchair.

Here’s beautiful Blanche and her wonderful family (plus Santa):

Matt asked Blanche “what’s your secret?” and she admitted that she doesn’t have advice for living such a long life, aside for being born with good genes.

Many happy returns, Blanche. Let’s do it all again for 104!

Podcast: Moola Moola

We started off this podcast episode with a throwback to last time’s 33 Degrees Challenge that involved a bank mascot by the name of Moola Moola.

He was around back in 1984 and he still exists!

We hope you enjoy this episode!

Congratulations to our Henry Wilhite for winning a Hoosier Hospitality Award at the Indiana State Fair! Here’s his story.

For Pet Rock Day coming up on September 3, we talked about the Traveling Rock that was discovered here in the park, apparently left by someone from northeast Ohio.


In #HoWoPo Feedback, we fielded a question about some Santa Claus Land memorabilia:

    The Coaster Crew had fun with Tooth Fairy Day, and our park president’s admitted aversion …

And don’t miss the Holiday World rainbow made out of slinkies!

We hope to see you at the park during this upcoming Labor Day Weekend (save up to $14 on tickets here)! And remember, 2018 Season Passes go on sale Friday, September 1 (are you a Passholder? be sure and join our new Facebook Group!).

My Second First Day

Reindeer Games

I officially joined the team at Holiday World on the 12th.

Well, I suppose that statement needs a bit of clarification.

My first day in the Communications Department was on Monday, June 12th. My first day running rides in Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch was on Saturday, August 12th.

After volunteering to help our Rides team, I had a one-on-one training with our Director of Attractions, Eric Rentz. As a long-time podcast listener, it’s still strange to talk to people that I feel like I know, even though I’ve only actually seen them in person a handful of times. Eric is one of those people. He walked me through everything I needed to know about safely running an attraction. I got my own copy of the Attractions Handbook, and we went through it start to finish. I learned all of the hand signals I would need to know, proper loading procedures on rides, checking restraints, and scanning my ride before and during operation. As a card-carrying coaster enthusiast, it was fascinating to learn all of the insider procedures.

After our training I’d mentioned that I might write a blog post about my experience, Eric said he’d like to read it. No pressure, right?

Just as we were winding down at Reindeer Games, the park gates opened for the day and the Ranch immediately sprang to life. Unlike most attractions in Holiday World, Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch opens as soon as the front gates do. Our smallest Guests are clearly some of the most eager to ride! Matt stayed with me during the first few Reindeer-Games-with-Guests cycles. Any nervous energy I had immediately subsided.I came into the park at 8am on Saturday to finish up my training. A few cars were already in the parking lot, but the park itself was nearly empty. I made my way through the Christmas plaza and down the steps into the Ranch to meet up with one of our Rides Supervisors, Matt, who coached me on operating Rudolph’s Roundup and Reindeer Games.

Then it was my turn to take over.

I had a list of safety checks that had to be made each time before starting my ride – you quickly develop a rhythm. You can’t stay robotic when you’re face to face with a new set of kids every couple of minutes who are smiling from ear to ear, asking for help getting settled into their seat, and quickly making their way out the exit gate and right back in line to ride your attraction again. I felt like I had the most popular ride in the Ranch for a while! There was a crowd watching from both sides of the tower, with adults snapping pictures and listening to the small voices squeal as the ride bounced back to the ground. As I helped one little guy out of his seat, he looked at me and exclaimed “Best. Day. Ever.” He took his shoes and ran back to mom who was waiting just outside the exit gate.

Something I hadn’t thought of before-hand was my proximity to all those little swinging feet. From my coaster enthusiast days, I recall ride operators asking guests to not kick while they were checking restraints or standing further away than normal and leaning in to check restraints. Turns out a single kick from a kid isn’t something that’s immediately noticed or causes any pain. If you stack a handful of kicks every couple of minutes over the course of a few hours … Well. More on that in a minute.

Before I knew it, my time at Reindeer Games had come to an end. It was lunch time and when I came back, I would be heading over to Rudolph’s Roundup for the rest of the day.

Rudolph’s Roundup inherently caters to a younger crowd because of the height requirements and was perfect way to wind down the afternoon. The operations were a bit slower since I needed to help some kids get up into their sleighs. Some needed a little bit of help with their seat belts. Others were very independent and didn’t want any help. It was fun to watch some of them focus so intently on getting their own seat belts fastened before they’d let me check. With lines having calmed a bit in the afternoon, I also had the option to extend the ride time. With the push of a button on my control panel I could add about 15 seconds to the ride cycle. It might not seem like much, but since the kids seemed to be having a great time, it seemed like the least I could do. It was hard to watch them without smiling as they flew by me in their sleighs.

I want to end this blog post with a shout out to our Rides and Maintenance crews for the work they do day in and day out. I may have only helped for part of a single day, but it completely wiped me out. These crews keep Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari running all season long, in all kinds of temperatures. All the kicks from those little feet resulted in me needing to go home and kick my own feet up that evening. I had a newfound appreciation for my nice desk job on Monday when I came back to work. I didn’t get kicked a single time.

Sweepstakes: Hoosier favorite?

Thunderbird Thrills!

Congratulations to our winners, chosen at random: Tammy L. from Huntingburg, Indiana, and Jessica M. from Centerpoint, Indiana. Thanks to all who entered!
—–
Over the next week, USA Today is running an online poll asking for voters to select the Best Attraction in Indiana.

It’s just two clicks:

… and you can vote daily!

You can also enter this sweepstakes daily … and maybe win a pair of tickets!

Before you enter, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter and you must not have won tickets from Holiday World in the past 12 months. Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari and Koch Development Corporation  (and the immediate family members of employees) are not eligible to enter.
  • By entering, you agree to be added to our e-newsletter list (you may unsubscribe at any time by following the directions in your email).
  • Use the widget, below, to enter daily. There are lots of options, so you can earn extra entries by posting here on our HoliBlog, tweeting about this contest, and visiting us on our Facebook page.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us your favorite ride or slide at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • Tickets are non-transferable and not for re-sale. Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s).
  • Did you know you can subscribe to our HoliBlog so that you receive all of our posts (including contests) by email? If you’re using a desktop computer or tablet, look for the “Subscribe to Blog” sidebar at the top-right corner of this page. On a smartphone? Just scroll down a tiny bit more to find it.

Ready to enter? Simply enter our sweepstakes here from a mobile device; or if you’re on a desktop, enter by using the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Monday, August 28, 2017, at 11:00am CDT, when we’ll choose two winners at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’re open weekends-only, so please check our calendar before visiting. Good luck to all!

Podcast: The name game

Wildebeestro

The #PodSquad has the upcoming eclipse on the brain this episode:





We were delighted to be included in CBS News’s list of “scariest coasters” yesterday:

 

We fondly remember that day in August of 1995, when David Letterman wore our Santa hat and Glen Campbell sang a Christmas song:

Here’s the link to that Norwegian blog post, if you’d like to read the full review.

Our “name game” discussion revealed a true love for the name of one of our restaurants:

   

The David Weihe tweet (and gif):  

And our friends at The Coaster Crew deliver once again:

 


Also, here’s the photo from the 1984 article about the little girl in Lafayette who saved up her pennies to visit Holiday World:

Thanks for listening! We hope to see you this Saturday at Rock the World, with Skillet!

Happy Roller Coaster Day!

Koaster Kids on Thunderbird

It’s National Roller Coaster Day! To help celebrate, we’d like to tell you about a wonderful young fellow who visited us earlier in the season.

Logan’s dad contacted us back in the spring to explain how his son had created a club called “Koaster Kids” to help spread the word that fears can be overcome.

Using the slogan “Be Brave and Ride On!” Logan started a YouTube Channel to show how he’s overcome fear and had a heck of a lot of fun doing so.

From the Koaster Kids website:

 The Goal of “Koaster Kids” is to help people face their fears and be courageous. We encourage people of all ages to to face their fears; whether it’s riding a 300 ft. tall roller coaster, or just sitting with the new kid at lunch. Courage comes in all shapes and sizes, but with courage comes a life of adventure and fun.

Letting fear take over can hold you back from doing so many things, and will keep you from living life to the fullest. Koaster Kids truly wants to help you with slowly breaking through the wall that is your comfort zone. 

Logan interviewed Matt for his video about the group’s Holiday World visit and then they took flight together on Thunderbird.

And here is Logan’s video:

Three cheers to Logan and all his friends who’ve overcome fear and other obstacles in life. Be Brave and Ride On! today and every day!

Now open weekends

Sorry, Folks

Today marks that curious time of the year when we hope to heaven no one shows up at the front gate tomorrow.

Despite social media posts, e-newsletters, and our Pick Your Price system not selling tickets for tomorrow (and other remaining weekdays in 2017, except for Labor Day Monday, of course), there’s always the chance we’ll see one of these in the parking lot tomorrow:

This photo was actually taken in our parking lot a year or two ago. Happily, it was on a day we were open and nary a moose was harmed as a result. (If you didn’t catch the National Lampoon Vacation movie references, you might want to check out that 1983 gem.)

Meanwhile, we’re open for many weekends to come – including Splashin’ Safari. Our calendar outlines the dates and hours.

Hope to see you then!

Podcast: Holidog Days of Summer

Podcast - Dole Whip

Our daily season is winding down (daily operation lasts through August 9, and then we’re open weekends-only) and the #PodSquad is looking forward to, above all, wearing anything but those yellow uniform shirts!

We hope you enjoy our latest episode:

We start with a chat about our recent appearance on the Travel Channel.

Emma was chosen to wear a GoPro on her ankle to shoot “reverse POV” of the school chums from Louisville riding Wildebeest together.

Riding Mammoth and Wildebeest repeatedly absolutely wore out these twentysomethings, but they were troupers!

If you missed Xtreme Waterparks’ Primal Fear episode, catch a rerun on August 27/28 (late night and early morning) or find it on iTunes.

We mentioned our Rock the World Sweepstakes; Skillet fans, be sure to enter!

Ah, the #SeasonPassExcited story? Here’s the blog post from two years ago that explains the typo.

Here’s our #ThankYouThursday Tweet from yesterday:

 

And those “educated animals”? Yes, they existed:

Here’s the Google Maps tweet:

Thanks for listening! And here’s some late-breaking news that didn’t make the ‘cast: The last scoops of Thunderbird Ice Cream are expected to be served in the park over the course of the next few days – and then it’s gone forever! If you’re able to join us this weekend or early next week and want to grab one last serving, you can find it at Kringle’s Ice Cream and the SmokeHouse. What better way to enjoy the Holidog Days of Summer?