Splashin’ out of Summer

Adam Lori and James ready to jump into the Wave

Splashin’ Safari has officially closed for the season, and the only way to truly say goodbye is with a splash, right? 

We’re sad to see it close. We’re also excited that summer makes way for Happy Halloween Weekends which means pumpkin pie flurries (and hopefully some fall weather because my sweater collection needs some love). 

So to commemorate this bittersweet moment, our Attractions Management team did a celebratory leap. With our seasonal lifeguards and slide attendants cheering them on, VP James, Director Lori, and Water Park Manager Adam took a dip… in full uniform. 

Frankly, the video of them jumping in The Wave in full uniform was too good not to share…

 

That may be a wrap on the Splashin’ Safari season, but it’s not the end of the season for us. We’ve got pumpkin spice funnel cakes starting up this weekend plus two new shows for Happy Halloween Weekends. 

That said, our Splashin’ Safari employees worked hard this summer, and they deserve credit for it. To all our seasonal employees who have been out in the sun watching out for the safety of our Guests: thank you. We truly appreciate everything you do and how hard you’ve worked. 

Also, if you visit often and have favorite lifeguards, never fear–many of them continue working during Happy Halloween Weekends. You may just see a few in one of our walk-through attractions such as Holidog’s 3-D Adventure, Carnival Chaos, and ScareBNB. 

…And if you start feeling sad about Splashin’ Safari being closed, maybe play this video again. 

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A Chase of the Mondays

Kenny on Cheetah Chase

…get it? A “case” of the Mondays, but it’s for Cheetah Chase?

Sorry to kick things off with a bad pun. But I have to share what a Monday in the office can look like at a theme park. 

The crowd watching adam watching cheetah chase

I promise this will make sense if you keep reading

Today we had a town hall meeting

that involved our entire full-time staff.

Dave, our Director of Sales, has a shiny new VR headset to take with him to trade shows so he can brag about Cheetah Chase to anyone who might be interested in booking a company picnic for 2020. (Shameless product placement for Dave: Interested in a company picnic, a group outing, or a private party? Fill out this form)

We have a super cool 360 animation (we’re saving that to share in a few weeks) that goes perfectly with the headset and we let our full-time staff try it out first. 

We went back to work

That is, until our VP Eric got the Cheetah Chase boat out of his office and set it down in the hallway.

Adam, one of our Attractions Managers volunteered to take the boat in the attractions office. He said they’d inflate it and keep it there. 

Someone made a joke about inflating it and using the VR headset to simulate a real ride. 

Things LAUNCHED out of control from there 

Attractions came with the pump for the raft. Stephen–who helped edit those incredible Cheetah Chase animations you’ve seen so far–came upstairs with the VR headset ready to go with the 360 animation (those are his cables floating around the right side of the frame).

Also in case you’re wondering, the ridges in the sides of the boat are for catching water to power the first-ever flat launch on a water coaster (and the regular uphill parts like other water coasters have). 

Adam was our first brave contestant. Stephen set him up, and thus began the first official VR ride of Cheetah Chase.

Stephen setting Adam up with VR headset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam was the perfect first virtual rider–he was leaning into the turns…

Adam leaning in

…checking out the sights…

Adam looking around

…and generally a great sport about me taking his picture. 

Adam after the first true VR ride on Cheetah Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, President Matt took a turn:

 President Matt "riding" Cheetah Chase

He made sure to take his shoes off to make the experience more realistic. To add more realistic elements, someone grabbed a fan to help blast him with some air…

President Matt takes a ride

… he said it happened right as the boat launched in the video so it was perfect. 

Next Kenny from IT took a ride…

Kenny on Cheetah Chase

As did Alan (another of our attractions managers)…

Alan on boat

…IT Director Casey also helped spray him with a little water. So Alan gets credit for the first “ride” on Cheetah Chase with H2O. 

Finally our attractions management team got together for a team pic:

Attractions Management in the same boat

The moral of this story is: we’re really not sure what normal people do in offices on Mondays, but I’m pretty sure today we’ve got you beat. 

#OurOfficeIsBetterThanYours #BusinessAsUsual

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Sweepstakes: Cheetah Chase Season Pass Giveaway

Cheetah Chase Overview 1

Congratulations to our winner: Sarah B. from Mt. Washington, Kentucky! Thanks to all who entered. More giveaways coming up soon!
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We hope you’re as excited as we are for Cheetah Chase in 2020!

Cheetah Chase Logo

Of course, there’s still plenty of time this season for a ton of fun, but since we’re switching to weekends-only now (2020 season passes are already on sale), 2020 is on our minds. We’re all looking forward to riding Cheetah Chase as soon as it’s possible, but we’re also looking forward to seeing what our food & beverage department will dream up for next year, and to what entertainment will be like and… we have a lot of excitement. 

In honor of all that excitement for next year AND in honor of Cheetah Chase, we’re hosting a super-fast sweepstakes:

You have just under a full week to enter daily to win two 2020 season passes! 

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 or 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).Cheetah Chase Orange Saucer Turn
  • 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!)
  • 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 where in the park you’ll go first in 2020–will it be a food stand? Cheetah Chase? One of our coasters? We want to know! (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 13, 2019, at 1:00pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck to all!

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Sweepstakes: Water Coaster Family Getaway

Mammoth & Wildebeest4 sml

Congratulations to our winner: Madi M. from Shelbyville, Kentucky! Thanks to all who entered. More giveaways coming up soon!
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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.
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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!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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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?)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

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!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Holiday World (@holidayworld) on

Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more photos (and stories) from around the park! Happy New Year!

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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!

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:

437

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!

147

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.

30

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

54

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.