Sweepstakes: Water Coaster Family Getaway

Mammoth & Wildebeest4 sml

With the warm weather moving in this week, we know the best place to be is Splashin’ Safari! 

Whether your speed is more water coaster or more lazy river, you can kick back with a free soft drink (or on those especially hot days, don’t forget Gatorade and lots of water). 

We have 30+ slides, three kids’ play areas, two (and a half at Tembo Falls for the kids) wave pools, and a lazy river. There’s a reason USA Today named us the #1 Outdoor Water Park in the nation

If you want water coasters, no one can top us. Last year at the Golden Ticket Awards Wildebeest and Mammoth were named #1 and #2 Water Park Rides in the world, respectively, and Mammoth even made the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest water coaster.Wildebeest Family

Plus, if you’re looking for a pro tip for cooling off: Mammoth has some of the chilliest water in the park. 

So if you’re ready for some awesome water coaster action with your family, we’re hosting another sweepstakes!

  • Four one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
  • Quick Access Passes for your party (valid for four people on Wildebeest and four people on Mammoth… or whatever two attractions you’d like)
  • Two nights in a Holiday Cottage at Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort

Be sure to enter daily to win!

Mammoth & Wildebeest4 sml

But first, 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, Sun RV Resort, and Dippin’ Dots LLC (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 contest. You can also follow us on Pinterest, and visit us on our Facebook page. (We’d love it if you’d leave us a Facebook Recommendation while you’re there!)
  • If you win our Water Coaster Family Getaway, please note you must be at least 21 to phone in your two-night Holiday Cottage reservation at Lake Rudolph. *Here are the dates the cottage will be available:  August 9 – September 8, 2019.Mammoth Boat Going Over Hill
  • 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). Tickets to Holiday World must be picked up at Holiday World.
  • For the “post a comment on the blog” entry option, simply tell us which is your favorite–Wildebeest or Mammoth. (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. Be sure to enter daily through Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at 12:15pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck to all!


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Splashin’ Safari surprised us all!

It’s Splashin’ Safari’s birthday! Our water park opened on May 29, 1993.

It was much smaller back then.

Will Koch at Splashin' Safari opening

Park president Will Koch, at Splashin’ Safari’s opening “News Splash” ceremony in 1993

In fact, our news release announced it would be a five-year project, costing $3 million.

Boy, were we wrong!

Here’s an article from The Herald, from back on October 30, 1992:

1992 newsclip about groundbreaking for Splashin' Safari

What? SplashWater Safari? Yes, that was the announced name. At a meeting a month or two later, I remember Lori Koch saying, “Why not Splashin‘ Safari … you know, like Surfin’ Safari?”

And it stuck.

Lori also wisely advised us not to include a “sandy beach” area. Indeed, we removed it a few seasons later when the sand got … well, everywhere.

Our other recalculation involved the scope of our water park. We started in 1993 with four acres, with plans to make it to 15. We breezed right past that number.

Splashin’ Safari grew and grew!


Over the 26 years, we’ve grown to cover nearly 40 acres. Splashin’ Safari and its many attractions have won a bunch of awards. too.

Would you like to help us win another award (and enter our sweepstakes at the same time)?

We’ve celebrated a lot of water-attraction openings with our friends from ProSlide, the “crazy Canadians” behind the likes of Wildebeest, Mammoth, and Bakuli. Their president was a guest on our podcast a while back.

So what do you think – are we done building Splashin’ Safari or do you want more? Please comment below with your thoughts.
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!


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!

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!

Podcast: ProSlide CEO

Will Koch & Rick Hunter

We crossed the border this episode.

A quick call to Ottowa (Ontario, Canada) and the CEO of ProSlide joined us for a fun chat about snow skiing, water coasters, and the passion to create.

Here’s that photo I took of Rick Hunter and Will Koch right after Wildebeest opened.

Will Koch & Rick Hunter

Two brilliant businessmen who never lost touch with their inner child.

We now have a HoWoPo Glossary, which will probably be referenced each episode. We welcome suggestions for topics we need to add to help new listeners crack the code.

And one of those glossary terms in Cheezeball.

Exhibit A:

We’re excited to introduce our Tesla charging station, which in a round-about way leads to us reminiscing about this gem:

Banshee "Falling Star" ride

And here’s Banshee in action:

Looping GIF of Banshee

(Note to self: Add Banshee to glossary.)

We talked about the new Riverside Retreats.

Here’s what they’ll look like:

Riverside Retreats

And Matt gleefully announced that Big Red ICEES will be making tongues fire-truck red all season!

Big Red ICEE

The other 11 flavors at our ICEE Mix It Up will be:

  • Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • Watermelon
  • Grape
  • Red Cherry
  • Orange
  • Green Apple
  • Lemonade
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Blue Cotton Candy
  • Banana



Oops. As we “spring ahead” to Daylight Saving Time this weekend, we got the Florida story backwards (#BlameRentz). Actually, the Sunshine State voted to stay in Daylight Saving Time year round.

Embrace “Fanny Pack Day” with dignity and pride, lifeguards!


… and non-employees, be sure to enter this sweepstakes by 1:30pm CDT on March 12.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Corn Dog Day

Foot Long Corn Dog

It appears Eric’s sole tweet got the little blue bird all a-flutter:

Watching little Kevin grow has been a charming side benefit of this podcast.
Keep at it, buddy!

The Coaster Crew didn’t take a week off (uh, like we did); here’s their trio of holiday shenanigans:

Don’t miss the bacon in this one:


Thank you for joining us once again. We hope to see you in May!

Down by the Riverside

Riverside Retreats

When we ask visitors what they enjoy the most during their day at Splashin’ Safari, not everyone says the water coasters.

Hard to believe. I know.

Wildebeest and Mammoth definitely top the list, but another favorite activity is floating lazily on the Bahari River.

If that’s your favorite hangout, you might want to make your day extra special by reserving a new Riverside Retreat.

Think of them as mini cabanas

Riverside Retreats

Riverside Retreats include two shaded chaise lounges, a table in between, and a great view of Bahari River. When you check in, we’ll give you up to four wristbands for access to the private area.

Reservations for the 30 Riverside Retreats are available on a first-come basis, with prices varying the same way our Pick Your Price ticket discounts work.

Splashin’ Safari opens for the season on May 10. We’ll see you soon!



Some assembly required

Tembo Falls Being Assembled

Think of Tembo Falls as a REALLY big toy construction set. First, pieces of fiberglass are delivered to us and then we assemble them on site.

There’s still work to do before the slides are moved into place next to Kima Bay, but for now we’re combining the smaller pieces into larger pieces. I took a trip to our Carpenter Shop yesterday to watch Tembo Falls’ racing slide start to come together.

The racing slide has 27 smaller pieces that will be assembled into three large sections over the course of two days.

Do you like numbers?

Here are a few numbers about Tembo Falls:


Tembo Falls Being Assembled

Feet long. If you were to place each of the slides from Tembo Falls back to back, they would stretch 437 feet. That’s longer than a football field!


Pieces. We have 147 pieces of fiberglass that have to be assembled to complete Tembo Falls. Think of each piece as a giant Lego, which will fit together with the next piece perfectly.


Which slide has the most pieces? Our yellow bowl slide, which has 30!


That’s under-54-inches tall, the maximum height limit for a rider to go down these junior slides alone. Tembo Falls and Tembo Tides were designed with the little ones in mind. That doesn’t mean grownups have to watch from the sidelines, though, because parents and taller siblings are welcome to ride with their under-54″ family member.

Here’s a sneak peek at what Tembo Falls and Tembo Tides will look like once they’re completed.

Tembo illustration

If you happen to have a young artist in the family, they might want to check out our downloadable Tembo coloring page. (Please tag us if you share their finished artwork on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, so we can share it.)

Speaking of social media – be sure to watch the HoliBlog later this week (subscribe here for emailed updates), as our crews plan to start assembling the yellow bowl slide (a miniature version of Bakuli) tomorrow!

Tips for Toes

I love shoes – always have.

As a child, there were two times out of the year – back to school and the beginning of summer – I especially looked forward to because it meant – new shoes!

Since we had Season Passes to the park, we spent a lot of our time in Splashin’ Safari. In order to protect my tootsies from the hot pavement, I got to pick out a new pair of water shoes each year.

And – of course – they had to match my swimsuit for the summer.

As I got older, I continued the tradition of donning footwear when visiting the water park, and I encouraged friends who were visiting with me to do the same.

They always seemed surprised when I’d tell them they could wear their flip flops or sandals and would respond with, “What about when I get on rides?”

My answer: “You can leave them on!”

Yes, that’s right, it’s okay to wear water shoes, sandals, and flip flops in Splashin’ Safari – and not just while walking through the park – on slides, in our wave pools, and lazy river too!

Just like these folks:

Mom Wearing Water Shoes on Otorongo with Son

In fact – we recommend it – especially the little ones.

Moms and Dads – before sliding your kiddos’ water shoes on – we suggest visiting one of our two Height Measurement Stations (located across from Monsoon Lagoon in Splashin’ Safari and across from the Applause Fountain in Holiday World) to have them measured for a wristband with shoes off.

Then – like her – they can splash, swim and slide while protecting those tiny feet.

Girl with Pink Water Shoes Sliding in SplashLand

For those of you who prefer not to wear your sandals, etc., on our water park attractions, shoe cubbies are available at the entrances to all of our slides plus Bahari River.

Couple on Bahari River in Shoes

So whether it’s a thrilling ride on Mammoth or a leisurely lap around the river, feel free to keep your footwear on and protect your feet from the summer heat.

Tubes of fun

Visiting Splashin’ Safari with my family during my childhood, one of our favorite things to do together was float around the lazy river. My favorite part about the river – blue tubes!

Boy with New Green Inner Tube

I still remember the excitement of stepping into the river for the first time and discovering there was a tube that was just my size.

It didn’t get much cooler than that at age five.

Flashing forward to today, we have added a new addition to the fleet of free inner tubes – and they’re green!

We had our smaller swimmers in mind when adding these tubes, which are 24 inches in diameter.

And don’t worry, Moms and Dads – we still have sizes for the rest of the family, too! Check out the entire selection here:

Inner tubes

If you have toddlers who aren’t quite ready for their own tube – don’t fret – they can sit on your lap and ride with you.

We hope your family enjoys these “tubes of fun” and making memories together while relaxing on our Bahari River.

A dilly of a treat

Pickle Juice Pops

Growing up playing sports, I was encouraged to drink pickle juice during summer practices to help prevent muscle cramping. (Yes, you read that correctly!)

Pickle Pops… so the idea of adding pickle juice pops to the menu at Bahari Snacks this season didn’t sound too strange to me.

I love pickles. Always have.

When the opportunity came to taste-test a pickle pop, I gave it a try.

Turns out it tastes exactly like a pickle – only in frozen form.

There are even bits of pickle slices suspended in the frosty goodness.

That’s not to say they’re meant for everyone’s palate.

Recently, we set out to take an entirely non-scientific Pickle Pop Poll in Splashin’ Safari.

Here are the results:

Guests Trying Pickle Juice Pops | Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

The next time you’re marathoning here on a toasty day, consider a Pickle Pop for cooling off your insides.

Our Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’ve spent much time on Facebook recently, you’ve seen all sorts of crazy videos involving people dumping buckets of ice on themselves.

Gasping for air, the thoroughly chilled subject then shouts out a challenge for others to do the same.

All in the name of ALS Research.

Although the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started out as a donate-big-and-escape-the-ice fundraiser, it seems most give what they can and still make a challenge video to help keep up the momentum.

And so, when Leah was challenged recently, she made her own video and came to work the next day to issue an even bigger challenge:

In case you missed it in the video, take a look at this photo – even Holidog got in on the fun!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Holiday World

Since the 1,200-gallon bucket at Kima Bay would be filled with water (and no ice), we individually added ice (mostly packed into hard hats) just as the water cascaded from above.

Our monetary donation is three-fold; individual staff-member donations will be matched by the park, plus the Koch family is contributing on behalf of the staff.

We thank everyone who has responded enthusiastically to our video and to those who are now committed to make a donation, too.

Many families have been touched by ALS – or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, as it’s more commonly known. If you’d like to help raise money for research or make a donation, please learn more at ALSA.org.