Lip synch

Hard-hat stickers for Voyage work

Learned something new today: The top two layers of track on our wooden coasters are collectively referred to as The Lip.

As a result, the term Lip Service takes on a whole new meaning around here.

Why? Because the top two layers – the lip – is where the artistry takes place.

Retracking a wooden coaster is not simply a matter of measure, cut, hammer. It takes skilled carpentry work.

It takes an artistic eye

Josh Cutting the Lip

Here’s Josh, cutting the top two layers – the lip – of new track for The Voyage

The late Will Koch (who designed The Voyage with The Gravity Group) used to say there should be theater in a roller coaster. It should tell a story and provide drama.

On stage, you need lighting, sound, staging.

For a wooden roller coaster, you need incredible designers and a crew of highly skilled technicians.

Let’s take an even closer look:

Cutting the "lip" for Voyage's retracking

Once our crew cuts the wood for the lip, they secure it in place.

The next step is a layer of steel.

Attaching Steel, Drilling the IPE wood

Justin and Eddie add the steel to the track

Let’s back up a week or so, so we can show you some of the earlier layers going in (remember, it takes eight layers of wood on our coaster tracks).

This next photo shows a fantastic achievement

Where are we? Inside the Voyage tunnel that’s underneath the pedestrian bridge into the Thanksgiving section of Holiday World.

This spot is where the track of The Voyage became a circuit again. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, if you will, that the 720 feet of track replacement is making tremendous progress.

Voyage track is a full circuit again

The circuit is complete!

Our crew is sure to offset each layer from the previous one.

Remember, not all the track is flat. The Voyage has some extreme banking, including three stretches of 90-degree banked turns.

Coaster Techs Lining Up new layers of track

From left, Eddie, Kyle, Justin, and Josh

That ain’t no game of peekaboo – the coaster techs are checking their work. Thanks to them, your Voyage ride will be smoother this season.

Coaster Techs Checking the new layers of track

And who’s on this crew? Here they are, a combination of Holiday World’s team plus a handful of local contractors.

Voyage Retrack Crew

Front row, from left: Tyler, Darryl, Kyle, Eddie, Justin, Jacob and Josh; back row: Cody, Paul, Steven, Dale, Chris, David, and Justin

Following tradition, the crew members each received a hard-hat sticker to commemorate their role in our Relentless Return Retracked project.

Hard-hat stickers for Voyage work

The Voyage – and the rest of Holiday World – will open for the season on May 4 – that’s just 50 days away.

Can’t wait that long? Take this 360-ride:

We hope you’ll join us in person this season to ride this amazing work of art!

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A 360 construction update of Santa’s Merry Marketplace

Tiny Planet view of Santa's Merry Marketplace construction

Santa’s Merry Marketplace opens May 4 (if you’re a Platinum Season Passholder, you get to explore on May 3).

We won’t refer to our construction crews as elves, but suffice it to say:

    Santa would be proud

Here’s a 360 construction update for you to take a look around:

The big wide spot (above) is the seating area. Looking forward is the serving area for the five stations, serving Pizza & Pasta, American Grill, Asian Cuisine, Kids Favorites, and Deli Sandwiches.

Here’s the Tiny Planet view:

Tiny Planet view of Santa's Merry Marketplace construction

Cool, huh?

And what’s the opposite of a Tiny Planet view?

Rabbit Hole, of course!

Rabbit Hole view of Santa's Merry Marketplace construction

Okay, that was just showing off.

Here’s a 360 view of the under-construction Party Rooms in Santa’s Merry Marketplace:

We’ll have three reservable Party Rooms for Groups of 15 and more.

Here are a few other rooms that will be sure to please many:

Those are Family Restroom on either side. And in the middle, a Mother’s Nursing Room.

We’ll have standard restrooms as well. Double the (ahem!) seating capacity of what was available in Kringle’s Kafe.

Here’s the last 360 for now:

Candy Cane Confectionary and Polar Expresso to the right, with the Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe to the left.

We’ll be back with another 360 construction update soon – the countdown clock to Opening Day is ticking!

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A boo-tiful award

A text buzzed in on my phone the other evening, with this photo:

Tourism Award

VP Eric was in Indianapolis, attending the annual State Tourism Conference. Tuesday evening, Indiana Tourism Association officials announced eight “Best of” marketing awards.

The award for Best Event/Festival went to …

… Happy Halloween Weekends!

Happy Halloween Weekends shirt design

In announcing our award, the emcee sharing some of the notes provided by the judges, all from out of state. The comments referenced our Happy Halloween Weekends marketing as “smart and well-executed.”

Frank can barely contain his delight.

Frankenstein at SCAREbnb

Eric is pleased as well.

Eric holds Tourism Award

The award itself is pretty cool. It probably comes as no surprise that it’s made in Indiana. (Handmade, actually.) The company, Kokomo Opalescent Glass, has been around since 1888.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

·       Visitors Guide – Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau

·       Cooperative Partnership (Marketing Budgets under $300,000) – Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission

·       Cooperative Partnership (Marketing Budgets over $300,000) – Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau

·       Digital Marketing Campaign (Marketing Budgets under $300,000) – French Lick Resort

·       Digital Marketing Campaign (Marketing Budgets over $300,000) – Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau

·       Tourism Website – Visit Wabash County

·       Event/Festival – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

·       Leisure Marketing Campaign – Hamilton County Tourism, Inc.

Congrats to our fellow award recipients from around the state!

Our Happy Halloween Weekends event may be half a year away, but it’s not too soon to plan witch weekend you’d like to visit!
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Minding the mint

Dippin' Dots sundaes

Is it the mint? Or maybe the crunch?

Or the Oreos?

Something about this new Dippin’ Dots flavor got People magazine so excited they posted an enthusiastic article about it.

So we tweeted it:

We haven’t talked much about our new Dippin’ Dots Sundae Shop yet, but as we get closer to Opening Day, we’ll bring you all the details.

Just in case your imagination needs a nudge, here’s a photo we recently shared with our full-time staff:

Dippin' Dots sundaes

Can’t get enough of those Dots?

We learned all about their history – and future – in this podcast episode a year ago:

Our Dippin’ Dots Sundae Shop, by the way, will be located next to Gobbler Getaway in our Thanksgiving section.

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Memories of coaster names

1995 Brochure cover

We call it The Name Game here.

Whenever we have something new, it needs a name.

Over the years, we’ve spent untold hours coming up with themed names for attractions, restaurants, shops, and games.

When our friends at CoasterRadio podcast asked me to call in to talk about how we came up with our coaster names, the memories started swirling. (Please keep in mind these are my memories; other memories’ mileage may vary.)

To illustrate a few of my stories, let’s start off with the ride simply called Roller Coaster:

Children's Roller Coaster

When I shared this photo with Duane from RCDB.com (check out the site if you don’t already have this great roller-coaster resource bookmarked), he determined it was a Little Dipper coaster made by the Allan Herschell Company.

By the way, that was a posed photo with Santa Claus while the coaster was not in operation.

Someday I’ll take the time to figure out when that coaster graced the grounds at Santa Claus Land and for how long.

Here are a few seconds of the coaster from a film shot in the late 1960s:

While talking about naming The Raven, we discussed our 1995 brochure cover photo.

Notice anything different about the train?

1995 Brochure cover

When we chatted about naming Thunderbird, our 66 Days at Sea teaser campaign was mentioned.

More memories …

66 Days at Sea

Before we finish up here, I’d like to share the link to CoasterRadio’s “The Greatest Roller Coaster Name of All Time” poll. There are some outstanding names in the running (including our Raven and Voyage). Please take a look!
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‘Daily Deals’ are back!

Daily Deals are back for the 2019 season.

… including the ever-popular Dole Whip Wednesday.

You remember Dole Whip, right?

You don’t need a coupon to get your Daily Deals – in fact, you don’t even need to ask for the discount, it’s automatic!

The Turkey Bowl deal for Thanksgiving Thursday was a hit last year:

Turkey Bowl

Here’s the full list of our Daily Deals (click here for all the details):

  • Meal Deal Monday*
  • $2 Tuesday Games
  • Dole Whip Wednesday
  • Thanksgiving Thursday
  • Float Friday
  • Spooky Saturday*
  • Sweet Sunday*

*Season Passholders can combine their regular discount with the Daily Deals discounts on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. 

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It’s Love Your Pet Day

Joe and Moose

Sam, Holidog, Kitty, and GeorgeWe have some very recognizable and lovable faces here at Holiday World. No, I’m not just talking about our staff – I’m talking about our mascots!

Safari Sam, Holidog, Kitty Claws, and George the Eagle pose for a lot of pictures every day.

But our mascots aren’t the only important animals in the lives of our staff.

To celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, we want to share pictures of our pets and tell you why we love them.

On to the pictures!

First up is Amanda from Entertainment and her dog, Bama. She has a big personality and loves her toy Santa. Bama even likes Amanda enough to take selfies and use Snapchat filters during playtime!

Amanda and Bama

Bama and Amanda

Angie from Sales shared a photo of her cat, Sally Whiskers. Sal Gal is 14 years old and loves Angie, bacon, and broccoli! Angie has to eat quickly when she doesn’t want to share her bacon and is very happy that Sally chose her to be “her person.”

Angie and Sally Whiskers | National Love Your Pet Day 2019

Sally Whiskers and Angie

Anthony from Maintenance has two pets to share! First up is Haven. She’s a chihuahua but nobody told her that. She thinks she’s a miniature golden retriever. She loves going for car rides and snuggling up for naps.

Anthony with Haven

Haven getting ready for a ride and napping with Anthony

Up next is Sprinkles. Anthony and his wife, Kristi, found her abandoned when she was a few weeks old. She loves helping clean out the cars.

Kristi with Sprinkles

Sprinkles helping clean the cars and being bottle fed by Kristi

Ashley from Marketing shared a photo of Pax. He met Holidog! He’s 11 years old; Ashley loves that he gives hugs.

Ashley and Pax | National Love Your Pet Day 2019

Ashley and Pax

Barbie sent along a photo of her granddaughter, Sadie, posing with her sheepadoodle, Ollie. Barbie thinks that they’re both adorable!

Sadie and Ollie

Cathy with Park Services wanted to make sure we included Willow. She loves playing tug of war with Cathy’s favorite pair of socks! Cathy loves how Willow’s face and ears are outlined in white fur.

Cathy's dog Willow

Willow relaxing and posing for the camera

Next, DeeAnn from Accounting sent this photo of her “third child,” Sampson. She says he’s 150 pounds of unconditional love.

DeeAnn's dog Sampson

Sampson

Painter Joe with his black lab, Moose, who is 143 pounds and doesn’t really care for exercise.

Joe and Moose

Joe and Moose

Here’s me with my little one, Luna. I love when she brings me her favorite toy when I get home from work. She enjoys playing tag with her sisters when we visit family.

Luna and Josh

Luna and Josh

Lori from Attractions sent in this photo with her cat, Elsa. She says Elsa is spirited, unpredictable, fiercely independent, and a bit clumsy. (Some say she’s the cat version of Lori.)

Elsa and Lori

Elsa and Lori

Up next is Lori with Cooper. You may have seen Lori at Holiday World Services. She loves that Cooper is soft, cute, sweet, and cuddly. He’s extremely playful and tug of war is his favorite game.

Lori and Cooper

Lori and Cooper

Bea is Paint Shop Manager Tommy’s “grandpuppy.” He babysits her a couple days a week and loves that she’s always happy to see him.

Bea (Tommy's Grandpuppy) | National Love Your Pet Day

Tommy’s grandpuppy Bea

Last on our list is Vanessa from Retail with Tator and Taz. She says they’re always ready for an adventure!

Tator, Vanessa, and Taz

 

Thanks for celebrating Love Your Pet Day with us!

If your pet enjoys travelling, they’ll want to relax at the Holidog Inn on your next visit. We have indoor and outdoor kennels available for rental. We’ve hosted all types of visitors, even a pot belly pig!

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The Eagles have sanded

Eagles Flight face

Every decade or so, our Eagles Flight ride gets a serious makeover.

Those birds get plucked.

Sanded down, actually.

Sanded-down eagles

You know, like those high-priced treatments at a fancy spa.

Here’s Joe in the Paint Shop, assuring the eagles that he’s a professional. He knows what he’s doing.

He won’t wing it

Joe moving sanded eagles

Let’s start with a sunny yellow base coat for these two birds.

Our Eagles Flight ride is starting to look better already!

Eagles with a Yellow Base Coat

Next, some fire-engine red.

Adding red paint to Eagles

A bunch of fussy detail work comes next and then a layer of clear coat.

Clear coat for Eagles

Now the shiny birds just hang out and dry.

Eagles Flight bird

Pleased with all the pampering?

That relaxed smile says it all.

Eagles Flight face

Eagles Flight is a classic Flying Scooter ride. It made by the Bisch-Rocco Amusement Company of Chicago. We added the ride in 1976, back in our Santa Claus Land days.

We hope you’ll bring your little eaglets to try out our Eagles Flight ride this season!

Happy Birthday, Santa Jim!

Santa Claus

He was born on February 18, 1894.

Santa Jim.

Santa Claus

Countless children whispered in Santa’s ear over his decades wearing the red suit here at Santa Claus Land.

The story of how Jim (a great grandfather of our fourth-generation park owners) became Santa will quite possibly bring a tear to your eye.

And here he is in 1954, in a Chrysler commercial! (Be sure to turn up the sound for the full effect.)

Click over here for more Santa Jim stories, photos and videos from over the years.

Do you have a Santa Jim memory? Please post it below in the Comments section.
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Top of the … mushroom?

It’s not close enough to Saint Patrick’s Day for us to be greeting each other with Top of the mornin’! just yet …

… so “Top of the mushroom” definitely needs an explanation.

This, as you probably know, is our Revolution ride.

Revolution

It’s a classic Round Up ride.

That piece in the center is called the mushroom.

Revolution's mushroom

Just because it’s a classic ride doesn’t mean we won’t make an update or two.

Such as a new lighting package.

… with LED lights.

Revolution mushroom

That’s the top of the mushroom, with its new lights. And below, we see Clint and Trenton working on them, all aglow.

Clint and Trenton working on Revolution's new LED lights

You may recognize their temporary workspace – that’s the queue area in Gobbler Getaway.

Want to see a snippet of the new lights in action?

Take a look:

We can’t wait to see what Revolution looks like this summer when we’re open after dark!
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