AIMS high

Don’t worry, I already gave Sean a hard time over those palm trees in the background.

“Rub it in, will ya?!”

He assured me it wasn’t all that warm in Texas last week.

Maintenance at AIMS

Pictured from left: Zach C., Clint C., Darryl W., Tony P., Sean S., Tom H., Billy S., Josh T., Anthony V., Brian P., David M., Justin D., and Brad T.

These members of our Maintenance Team just got back from a week at AIMS training and certification.

AIMS stands for Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers, International. According to their website: AIMS International is a non-profit 501(c)(6) association dedicated to improving amusement Industry safety through leadership in education. AIMS International provides training classes and certification (CEU) programs for ride inspectors, operations, aquatics, and maintenance personnel through its annual Safety Seminar. 

We have our own training program here at the park, too. Our maintenance team knows the attractions they’re responsible for inside-out. They know how to inspect and they know how to provide ongoing preventative maintenance. When they detect the need for additional maintenance work, such as replacing a part, they have the authority to suspend that ride’s operations until the inspection log shows that ride is ready for Guests to ride once again. (Think of that time you didn’t pay attention to a squeal under the hood of your car – until it was impossible to ignore. If a member of our maintenance team had been in the front seat with you, they’d have made it clear you’re not doing yourself any favors.)

Safety training isn’t a once-a-year occurrence around here, it’s every day. Whether it’s an all-day training course or a reminder to dress warmly in this 10-degree weather, our crews are held to the highest standards. Why? Because we want them to go home to their families each day in stellar condition. And we want the same for our park Guests each day of the operating season.


A focus on snow

Holidog statue after an ice storm

Are you a fan of snow?

This drone footage was shot a year ago, when the park was under a blanket of the lovely stuff.

Here in southern Indiana, we don’t usually get a lot of snow. And when we do, it doesn’t last long.

But when we do …

We take photos!

Here are some of our favorites from over the years:

Snowy Santa Statue

Snowy Santa Statue in January 2016


Snowy Thunderbird and Voyage

Snowy Thunderbird and Voyage in November 2014, when Thunderbird was still under construction


Raven Station in Heavy Snow

The Raven station in heavy snow on March 5, 2013 (that’s what we call Edgar Allan Snow)


Holidog statue after an ice storm

Our Holidog statue after an ice storm on January 30, 2009


Santa in snow

Santa Jim in his sleigh at Santa Claus Land on a snowy day

Whether you’re in the snow or sunshine, we wish you a happy weekend. Our countdown clock is ticking away – with just 106 days till Opening Day!

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#FlashbackFriday to 1984

Santa Claus Land logo

Does anyone scrapbook the old-fashioned way any more? It used to be such a thing that the noun became a verb.

Nowadays, the digital form of scrapbooking is so handy, with the ability to share old photos with virtually anyone worldwide.

Throughout our 73-year history, there’s always been someone taking photos. They’re tucked away in file folders, like glorious Easter Eggs waiting to be discovered.

This one, for example, is just perfect for #FlashbackFriday:

Aerial shot of Holiday World in 1984

Although there’s no date on the back of this aerial photo, we’re pretty sure it was taken during the winter/spring of 1984.

How did we come up with that year?

The most telling hint is Frightful Falls. It appears to be under construction (it opened in 1984). It doesn’t look like the lift hill or the station is built yet.

The ring of beautiful evergreens in the bottom right corner of the photo encircles the roller coaster that was named:

  • Blitzen, through 1983
  • Firecracker, starting in 1984 until it was retired from Holiday World in 1998

Do you enjoy peeking back into our history?

If so, here’s a Park Timeline that includes the years that various attractions were added, plus other fun facts about our history.

Last weekend, we posted this Santa Claus Land commercial on our Facebook page, asking for guesses about which year it aired:

Here’s how we figured out that the year was 1977:

  • It promotes Santa Claus Land, meaning it was 1983 or earlier
  • The map shows I-64, which opened in our area in the fall of 1976
  • The featured dad in the commercial was our Entertainment Director at the time; Dave confirmed on our Santa Claus Land page on Facebook that 1977 sounded about right (he also confirmed that he was wearing a pair of exceptionally en vogue Sansabelt Slacks)

We’ll occasionally dip into the vault and release other archival footage, photos, and articles at #FlashbackFriday posts here. Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Sweepstakes: Play it Forward

Mammoth Boat Going Over Hill

Congratulations to our winner: Melody H. of Union, Missouri!

Thanks to everyone who entered – we’ll launch another sweepstakes soon!
Planning for a getaway can be loads of fun. The anticipation just adds to the excitement.

Because memories can last forever.

Memories like this commercial which ran in 1977, during our Santa Claus Land days:

We posted this recently on our Santa Claus Land Facebook page and were astounded with the enthusiastic reception. So many memories. Several people featured in the commercial even chimed in!

Let’s look forward to making more memories this season – with a giveaway!

Our winner – chosen at random – will receive four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari plus two overnights in a Holiday Cottage next door at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort.

Holiday Cottage

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. 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 Review while you’re there!).
  • If you win, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your two-night Holiday Cottage reservation at Lake Rudolph. The cottage will be reservable for two nights of your choice selected from these dates: May 1-23 and May 28 – June 6.
  • 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 about a memory you’d like to make this season. (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? Just use the widget, below. And not just today – enter daily through Thursday, February 7, 2019, at 2:15pm CST, when we’ll choose one winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone!

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 

    • Additional $1 off Smoothie at Bahari Wave Shaved Ice
    • Additional $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?


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.


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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