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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Construction update

Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe construction

Are you familiar with the concept of parallel play? (It’s when children are playing together – yet individually. There’s peaceful coexistence as each one works on his or her own project.)

That’s happening right now at Holiday World as we work together – yet separately – on Santa’s Merry Marketplace.

First of all, our Food & Beverage Team is planning new treats:

At the same time, our Construction Crews finished up with interior framing. The drywall work is nearly complete, too.

In all, more than two dozen carpenters and other professionals are getting it done. That’s what we like to report in our construction update!

Here’s a 360 photo of Santa’s Merry Marketplace

Just tap it and take a look around:

This second 360 photo shows the beginnings of our new Party Rooms, available for catered Birthday Parties, Family Reunions, and other gatherings of 15 and more.

Another department that’s keeping busy as we prepare to open Santa’s Merry Marketplace?

Logos are crafted by our Marketing Team

Santa's Merry Marketplace logo

You’ve probably seen this Santa’s Merry Marketplace logo already.

Here’s the logo for our new candy store and bake shop, Candy Cane Confectionary:

Candy Cane Confectionary logo

With a cupcake in hand, the next stop is – toot-toot! – our new Polar Expresso coffee bar!

Polar Expresso logo

There’s always room for ice cream, right?

Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe logo

Our Foods folks are working on some magical treats to feature in the Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe. We’ll let you know more as we get closer to Opening Day, May 4.

Meanwhile, here’s what the Scoop Shoppe looks like in mid-February.

Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe construction

We’d love to hear your feedback! Please post a comment and let us know what you’re looking forward to the most about Santa’s Merry Marketplace.

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Sweepstakes: What’s your cure for Cabin Fever?

Irises in bloom at Thunderbird

Congratulations to our winner: Misty L. from Lawrenceville, Illinois. Thanks to all who entered!
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It’s that time of the winter when we’ve all just about had it, right? Whether it’s snow, ice, frigid temps, or our current monsoon, we’re all craving the first signs of spring.

Dogwood trees blooming and roller coasters soaring …

Thunderbird and Voyage with Blooming Tree

Let’s lift our spirits a bit with our annual Cabin Fever Sweepstakes.

What is your best cure for Cabin Fever? Post it below and you could win four free tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari plus two overnights in a Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in May or early June*!

And that winner will be chosen at random.

Rudolph's Christmas Cabin

Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin 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. Also, 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 and tweeting about this sweepstakes. Earn even more entries by following us on Pinterest, and visiting our Facebook pages (we’d love it if you’d leave us a Facebook Recommendation while you’re there!).
  • If you win, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your two-night Rudolph’s Christmas Cabin reservation at Lake Rudolph. *Here are the dates the cabin will be available for reservation: May 1 – 23 and May 28 – June 6, 2019.
  • 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 your favorite cure for Cabin Fever. (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)

Ready to enter?

Simply enter by using the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 2:30pm CST, when we’ll email our winner, chosen at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all!
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Color me Holidog

Holidog and guitar

There are so many holidays each day that entire websites exist just to list them.

Today, it’s Get Out Your Guitar Day.

Presumably, this is to chide the majority of us whose guitars are gathering dust (now that adulthood has taken over).

Happily, Holidog will never grow up!

Holidog and guitar

This rockin’ Holidog was so fun, we made it into a downloadable coloring page. So maybe if your guitar isn’t exactly in playing form these days, you can still celebrate today’s holiday by rounding up some crayons and coloring in this pup:

Rockin' Holidog Coloring Page

Please tag us (@HolidayWorld) when you post your masterpieces on social media so that we’re sure to see them!

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Safe to say: “He won!”

Adam named Best Student

What do we do during the seemingly endless off-season?

Well, we:

  • Build things
  • Hire our seasonal team
  • Catch up on all the things we don’t get accomplished during the season
  • And … take lots of off-season training

Much of our off-season training involves keeping up to date on safety. That’s safety for our Guests and safety for our staff.

Lori and Adam have been at International Ride Training school this week. Lori’s our Attractions Director and she very proudly texted me a few minutes ago that our new hire, Adam, just won their Best Student Award:

Adam named Best Student

Adam may be a “new hire” on our full-time team (he’s one of our Attractions Managers), but he’s a familiar face around here. He’s worked at Holiday World seasonally since 2012.

Adam was one of close to 100 students in training this week, from 26 parks in the U.S. and Canada. (And yes, I asked: there was only one Best Student Award.)

Lori kept busy this week, too. She’s in the front row, second from right, in this faculty photo.

iROC training team

You might recognize Eric, to the left of the podium. He was Lori’s predecessor here, as head of Attractions.

We talked at length about this great training course on our podcast a year ago.

Would you like to listen?

Congratulations to Adam, and to all the students who learned a lot this week and will make their parks even safer as a result.
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Drinking up the praise

FREE Unlimited Soft Drinks

This was such a nice surprise! Business strategist and New York Times best-selling author Jay Baer is a fan. He chose our Free Unlimited Soft Drinks program as the topic of the first episode of his Talk Triggers Show:

Free Unlimited Soft Drinks at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari began back in the year 2000. (Who remembers Y2K?)

That makes this our 20th season of stating, “Make yourself at home – drinks are on us!”

FREE Unlimited Soft Drinks

Not every fountain offers the same “menu” of soft drinks. Here’s where to find the list of what’s available and where.

By the way, you’re welcome to bring a refillable cup from home to use throughout the day. It just needs to be empty when you enter the park.

Which is your favorite?

Or do you mix up a delicious concoction combining several soft drinks? Post your “recipe” below!
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#FlashbackFriday: 1955 Chrysler Commercial

Chrysler commercial

It’s #FlashbackFriday again and we found an amazing piece of Santa Claus Land history to share with you.

This is the “Chrysler TV Caravan,” with a commercial touting their 1955 “hundred-million-dollar gift” – a new Chrysler!

Don’t miss Santa Jim waving at the end. (He’s one of our 4th generation owners’ great-grandfathers.)

Of course, this is usually his vehicle of choice:

Santa Jim at the Chateau

In this photo, Santa and his sleigh are in front of his family’s Chateau restaurant in nearby Mariah Hill. A more modern version is still there.

Do you enjoy seeing these flashbacks from our archives? What else would you like to see? Be sure and post your ideas below.
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Apply now!

Attractions Management

Ever wonder how many people it takes to keep Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari so clean, friendly, safe, and fun?

There are nearly 100 of us here year round. And this time of year, we start accepting applications for our 2,200 seasonal positions.

We’re like a small city, with all types of jobs

Here are just a few …

Take a look over on our Jobs page to learn more about available positions, perks (free Season Pass, anyone?), employee transportation, and to Apply Online.

When do we open for the 2019 season? Holiday World opens on May 4, with a special preview for Platinum Season Passholders on May 3.

We’re gearing up for our best season ever!
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Snow kidding?

Snow globe model

Tell me the truth – if someone texted you this photo on a winter’s eve, would you know it showed the early stage of designing a snow globe?

Clay model for snow globe

Yeah, me neither.

But I did get an overwhelming desire to go heat up the waffle iron.

The text came from VP Matt (not to be confused with Park President Matt), who was excited to explain what he’d been up to.

Thing is, though, he sent four photos before any words, so there were several moments of confusion on my part.

Usually, VP Matt’s photo texts are simple to understand.

This, for example

Character shirt for 2019

That’s a new “character” shirt for this season.

But this?

Skyline Snow Globe clay model

It looks like a diet-busting combination of chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and brown sugar. Right? And waffles.

Here’s what VP Matt says it is:

It’s a clay mold for our new skyline snow globe. This will eventually be in full color. Features Thunderbird, Voyage, Mammoth, Wildebeest … and our iconic yellow water tower.

Can’t wait to see them on display in our shops this season!

(I’ve put in a request for an edible version, but am not holding my breath.)

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