Podcast: The one with the kNights who say “Whee!”

In Season 2: Episode 2, the Podsquad takes on HoliWood Nights 2020: The HoliWood kNights Who Say “Whee!” The squad welcomed two guests: Director of Marketing Ashley Blankenbaker and Creative Manager Stephen Rutherford.

For those who aren’t familiar HoliWood Nights is our annual event where we loosely parody a movie, and this year’s theme is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The HoliWood kNights who say Whee!

We covered the Book of the Event (a movie we made with a fake book based on the movie illustrated by the remarkably talented Ashley.

Left to Right: Stephen, Sabrina, and Josh recording the “Book of the Event” video.

We talked a little about creating the movie of the “Book of the Event,” which involved our communications and marketing departments working together with very careful timing.

We tried to remember all our old themes from HoliWood Nights events past, and likely failed. Some highlights include Track to the Future:


Airtime! HoliWood Nights 2019

…And many more.

If you’re not familiar with the event, check it out here. And watch the movie to see that the map spells out “HWN” because I missed it entirely.

If you’d like to reach out, send us an email at podcast@holidayworld.com, leave us a voicemail at 812-937-4401 extension 8081, or tag us on social media using the hashtag #HOWOPO.

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.

Leah:  And we’re back, welcome back to season 2 of the official Holiday World podcast. This is Season 2, episode 2 The One with the kNights who say Wheeee! Say I have to I’m sorry we’re live on tape for Santa Claus Indiana today is December 6th for us but I believe January 6th for you.

MATT:  Isssh?

LEAH: We are talking now about Hollywood Knights in joining us to their course Matt and Lauren but also director of marketing Ashley Bank Blankenbaker…did I say it right?

Ashley: It’s a mouth full, when we make reservations at restaurants we just say baker so much easier.

MATT: Do you really?
ASHLEY: It’s so much easier

LEAH: That’s a really good idea, I just tell them Koch and let them spell it Cook

Annd also Creative Manager, Stephen Rutherford, Ashley and Stephen, welcome. Stephen, you’re at the table.

STEPHEN:  again this is my second time of the table it’s, it feels like Thanksgiving year after year can you get that year where you move up to the adult table and you don’t have to sit at the kids table anymore but yeah I know as soon as this

LEAH: Does this mean  we have to yell at Josh now?
STEPHEN:  yes, Josh Josh Josh! Get back

MATT:  It’s sad to think that we’re the adult table

STEPHEN:  and then but right after this is done I have to go be demoted back to the Kids Table

LEAH:  Aunt Pearl came back and she wants her seat back

MATT:  Aunt Pearl?

LEAH:  I’m just trying to think of an aunt name.

MATT:  everyone has an Aunt Betty I think

STEPHEN:  That’s my grandmother’s name.

LEAH: or  Barbara or Aunt Barbara I feel like everyone has one Lauren and I have one

LAUREN: Or an  Uncle Bob

MATT:  I have an Uncle Bob.

ASHLEY:  I don’t have an Uncle Bob

LAUREN:  so close!

ASHLEY:  I am missing out.

MATT:  Just start calling your uncle that.Don’t tell him why just do it. 


LEAH:  anyway we are here today to talk about Holiwood Nights! Who’s excited?

Stephen: Weeee!

MATT: No one does it quite like Leah, sorry. So it’s The kNight’s who say, then I’ll point at you.

STEPHEN: It’s like when Lauren did that spot where she said I need more caffeine.

LAUREN: I was just listening to that podcast stuff episode earlier today and it to get me back in the mood and remind myself a Paula and I did not realize how many times in an episode you inserted the audio of me saying that.

STEPHEN: I still have it.

MATT: It might show up in this one.

LAUREN:  I was listening and I was like the fifth time and we’re only 15 minutes into this

 LEAH: Drop it right here….

[Audio clip of Lauren saying: Because I need more caffeine!]

LEAH: Anyway, does someone want to explain what Holiwood Nights is for listeners who might not know.

ASHLEY We are throwing this to Lauren.

LEAH:  we are all looking across the table at you so.

LAUREN: So Holiwood Nights is our Annual coaster enthusiasts event so, if you are a member of a coaster Club you, because you have to have a

LEAH:  and if you want to know if your Club counts go to www. Holidayworld.com clubs and we have multiple clubs

LAUREN:  yes you have to have a member of your party and the member can bring as many guests as you want and there is a record.

LEAH: Is it Tyler Campbell?
LAUREN: Yes. His goal is to bring 30 people

LEAH: His goal is to always bring the largest group And he achieves every year.

LAUREN: He succeeds! So this happens annually generally around the end of May and beginning of June, so the week after Memorial Day, yes, sorry my brain was like wait which holiday is that?

LEAH: It’ll be May 28  & 29 this year, correct?

STEPHEN: Correct.

LAUREN: So It’s an event like I said we might a coaster enthusiasts, there’s ERT

STEPHEN: Which is?? Sorry.

MATT: Watch the lingo.

LEAH:  there’s a podcast that I listen to that has a jargon Bell that people are allowed to bring it when people say something that is to jargony.

LAUREN: That would’ve been nonstop for our last episode

ASHLEY:  we should just do the weeeeeee!


LAUREN:  So yes there is lots of ERT for the Waterpark and the dry park. There is lots of food, lots of food! There are Walk Backs where you take photos up close of coasters there is generally some sort of game competition and there is always a movie theme. There’s always a movie theme.

MATT: and we never disappoint.

LEAH:  if you haven’t seen any of our social media, I don’t know how we get any better than this year, this year’s theme is Monty Python  and if ishal title is Monty Python and the Knights who say weeeee! I’m never going to get out of saying that now. 

LEAH: Don’t worry I already clipped it it’s  going to be right up there with I need more caffeine. 

 who wants to talk about how we came to this year’s theme?

LAUREN: I  heard Amanda Kaiser talk about it the last Hollywood nights. I thought shoot that would be a really good idea.

LEAH: I had a couple of other people say that to me otherwise though and I can’t remember who did it. 

MATT:  Amanda came up to me and was like we have to do that you have to do this.

LAUREN:  I heard it first from Amanda even if other people said it, but then I was like is there any other option after that?

LEAH:  After Airplane I was kind of like is this the last thing left? I don’t know what else to do!

STEPHEN:  But we say that every year and we always went up ourselves.

LEAH:  This is true.

MATT:  2021 will be good

LEAH:  I know I just I don’t know how we get better than this, I feel like this year theme came along so well so.

MATTIf you haven’t seen the movie then go watch it

ASHLEY:  it’s actually on Netflix right now too so they just added it like within the last 2 weeks

LAUREN:  watch it, it is a treasure!

ASHLEY:  It’s like they added it just for us, they knew we were doing it .

MATT: that’s right! It’s like gold

LEAH:  So every year we do a movie theme we have had, those who aren’t familiar with the event let me trace a few steps back we’ve had airplane in the past so we called it AirTime, we had Back to the Future which we called Track to the Future what were some of our other ones?

AS A GROUP: Jurassic Park, you’re Classic Park, instead of Caddyshack it was Coaster Shack,  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Holidogs day off. One year we did E.T. There was a Ghostbusters year. There was Claus the year of wildebeest and it was Jaws. Coasters of the Corn. 

LEAH: We have probably hit on everything but one and everyone is screaming at us, that is our favorite one! Get it, we have wooden coasters, so we call it Holiwood? The point is we’ve had a lot of ton of fun themes and we call it Holiwood. 

STEPHEN: It’s not Hollywood it’s also not Hollywood. 

LEAH: Yeah that’s an odd thing 


MATT:  Of course they made me do the spot about birds I hate birds. Anyway! Did you know that with our early bird special you can save on your tickets for Hollywood Nights if you book now? Simply go to Holiday World. Com clubs for more information on the events don’t forget you will need a valid membership card for one of our partner clubs if you show up in Maine for the event but you can bring as many non-member events as you’d like the early bird event only last year January 8th so act fast. What is the airspeed of an unlaiden  roller coaster enthusiasts with a few more dollars in my pocket? You’ll have to tell us.

 LEAH: Weeee! All right and we are back from break Ashley would you like to tell us a bit about the book?

ASHLEY: The. book. 

MATT: I feel like that needs to be in quotation marks.

ASHLEY: I feel like we need to make a cover  over it that says that.

LEAH:  we’ve officially moved all of the drinks off of the table so no one steals anything on it.

MATT:  Ashley has threatened everyone with our lives.

ASHELY: It is one of a kind. I don’t even know how we decided on the book was this your idea, Stephen?

STEPHEN  I feel like it just evolved from group discussion, and we were like hey that would be cool.

Leah:  I feel like I was gone away from a for a week and the book just happened. Ashley texted us a Picture and I went oh my gosh I have no idea what happened but this is amazing!

STEPHEN:  Yeah there was like one week where you and Eric weren’t there for our creative meeting, our Monday morning meeting and so Ashley Josh and Sabrina and myself or all around the table and we were just spitballing ideas and it was just a lot of just what about this, what about this, what about this and by the time We got done we were like well we’re making a book, that’s happened. And it was going to be our video.

LEAH:  I love that it was like well duh this is what we’re doing and I just showed up and was

MATT: We should have known

STEPHEN: but like almost mirrors what Lauren was saying about the theme, LIKE well of course that what we’re going to do.

LAUREN: for those of you There is a part in the movie where they’re flipping through pages just setting up the movie right?


STEPHEN:  it’s called The Book of the film.

ASHLEY & LAUREN: yes!  The Book of the film.

LAUREN:  so we decided to make a book of our own, the book of the knights or something.

LEAH: Book of the kaaaanights

STEPHEN: Yeah, book of the knights. Again, please go watch the movie.

LAUREN: Yes, please!

ASHLEY:  there is also a clip on YouTube of just the book that is totally worth watching 

LEAH: And so Ashley went through in like page-by-page recreated this

ASHLEY:  and I’m going to flip through this because it helps me and it’s been a few weeks.

LEAH:  yeah tacos through it and we can always share the video when we post this.

ASHLEY:  so do we have the trait of meeting with side of your going to do it and then we sat down with Lauren and Amanda to discuss the event and all the collateral that we needed and so that’s when we started really developing the book. Stephen’s like I really want to do it but I have no idea who can do this and Amanda was like, have Ashley do it.  And I was like okay!

LEAH:  By the way Ashley is an incredible artist

MATT: I was about to Brag on her she is a pretty incredible artist.

LEAH:  That one year that you wrap the family’s Christmas presents I still have that tag. 

ASHLEY: how do you remember that? 

LEAH: because I still have the paper you wrapped it in, because she wrote “Be Merry”.  I cut it out and I kept it and I’ve got that like I cut it out and I’ve kept it because it’s just so pretty and I will never be able to make anything that looks like.

ASHLEY: I love that!

MATT: She has made some epic birthday cakes for my kids too. We just talked about that this morning.

ASHLEY:  We did talk about that today..

MATT: She’s got mad talent.

ASHLEY: awwww, thank you, guys! Well, we called  It the book of the night and the book kind of walks you through the event and what it’s going to feature. And Stephen came up with really fun names for all of the rides in the book so we have sir Voyage the maiden, sir the wilde the beest.

LEAH:  I love On that one that Ashley just drew a multi-eyed wildebeest.

ASHLEY: That was Stephen’s idea too! He was like can you make the wildebeest with a million eyes? It turned out really fun and this one has an utterly blue ice cream border I’ve tried to put little parts of the park too. This one we took a little bit too far it’s Ur Legend The Headless I drew in the night and he chopped his head off instead of all of the limbs. So we just took that one to another level. I thought this may be a bit morbid, but we are going there.

MATT: Just mildly.

STEPHEN:  there’s not a lot of blood, it’s okay.

ASHLEY: So then on the Legend we Do the water cup challenge, so we have Sir Legend The Headless where you can personally wet yourself at the water cup challenge.


LAUREN: And many do.

MATT: With the water cup


LAUREN: Details.

STEPHEN: I have to interject the photo for this we, the water cup challenge typically happens  at night and it’s hard to get good photography in a darker station in people are coming and going so we put out a plea and nobody had anything. So, we decided to Stage something so Josh and I volunteered as tribute and what we decided was we both had a coaster sack shirt from 2018. So then I was like we have to make it look like we were in 2018. So we had to ask Amanda what size cup we use and if she had a band we can wear so it looks like 2018. So she had one wristband left for 2018 so I use that so we can take the picture. So Sabrina took the photo and it had to have been what 20° when we took this picture? So  we were frozen and so I was going to dump water on myself and then when we get out there I was like I’m not going to do that so I actually photoshopped water swatches on my shirt so we didn’t have to get wet in 20 degree weather so yeah, a lot went into that one little picture.

MATT:  You look just like you did in 2018 in that picture as well
STEPHEN: Yeah,  I’m a little grayer

ASHLEY: That reminds me that all of the photos were taken from different Holiwood Nights,  that was the only one that we couldn’t find but the rest are from photos.

STEPHEN:  except for the ones that we took of Matt but we’ll explain those later.

ASHLEY: Yeah we are not there yet.


ASHLEY:  yeah, that was a spoiler. Then we have Sir Mammoth the Lengthy, We have a little hamster hanging from some elderberries. That was for you.  Sabrina is sitting in she is our timekeeper I had to.

LEAH:  I’m telling you I want something Elderberry in our food, I love me some Elderberry elderflower whatever. Lauren, write that on the list. As Lauren pretend writes.

LAUREN:  Amanda already has a lengthy list that has elderberry is on the list she puts together these  amazing list then I have to go to the foods team and ask what’s possible? And then they scale it down a little bit.

LEAH:  I have told Matt Bloomhart and a few people that I want ham and jam sliders. Because ham and jam in spam in Spamalot like ham and fake Jam.

LAUREN I’ll have you know that I want to show up at the event with my child in a stroller and have someone say I have to push the pram a lot.

LEAH: also side night note as a parody I think we need a full group number of knights in the round table.

LAUREN:  a song is fully expected this year

LEAH:  oh yes, I don’t think there’s any getting around that and now I’ve committed us to it. I will choreograph in the offseason and through the back anyway, Ashley, you were saying about the book

ASHLEY: this is the start of Matt’s feature. So we realize that the movie and our Parks has a lot to do with birds so and also Matt hates them.

LEAH:  Is it especially Birds of Prey? Or just birds in general

MATT: All of them

STEPHEN: Pidgeons. Parrots. Everything.

LEAH: Well at least you don’t discriminate Within Birds.

STEPHEN: Equal opportunity hate.

MATT: If it has a wing just stay away.

ASHLEY: So sir Raven the claw and featuring the little rabbit here, he’s so pretty with his bloody mouth. 

MATT: This is a really morbid book you’ve made here. 

LAUREN & ASHLEY: Have you watched the movie?

LAUREN: Not a lot of blood and It is very obviously fake blood

ASHLEY: Blame it on the film.  So these photos, as Stephen said these do not feature Holiwood Nights guests, this is Matt being absolutely terrified of all of the attractions named after Birds.  So and it says and who’s really good at saying this cuz it isn’t me. Leah again.

LEAH: Let  me say it straight first, it says run away. However in the film if you hear there is one particular runaway that sounds very stressed and short that would be me because at the end I say runaway!

MATT:  I want to hear it again.

LEAH: Runaway!  Stevens got the recording of all of us saying Runaway, Runaway, Runaway. and I’m one of them I just did Runaway, Runaway, Runaway, Runaway(faster).obviously that one made the cut

STEPHEN:  because everyone else was done but Leah and Leah was still going. Just Leah’s solo.

LEAH:  I had one more in me and I could feel it coming so I just let it go.

ASHLEY:  and it’s the most prominent one in there when you watch the movie oh, it’s great. So then we have a raven with a coconut flying away.

STEPHEN:  which he did Google to scale how big a raven would be to coconut so that she could draw it in proportion

LAUREN: That is amazing.

ASHLEY: I did. I was Like how big is a raven compared to a coconut? I had no idea

LAUREN Who does?
ASHLEY:  So I had to look it up!

LAUREN & LEAH IN UNISON:  what is the airspeed velocity of an unlaiden raven??
ASHLEY: Then we have Thunderbird who we call Sir launch a lot which is just appropriate and that’s that’s a little more scared of that one. Then there is Sir not appearing in this Event which is the Banshee which I think everyone is sad about.

LEAH:  For the record, Banshee she is the falling star ride that we had years ago not the Kings Island roller coaster. I want to make them clear that it’s not because it’s not at our park, well it is because it’s not in our park but anyway

ASHLEY:  then there is introducing Sir Cheetah the Chase 


ASHLEY:  then we created a little map that goes through the actual path of the map into an h w n that was A little hidden treasure and that was Sabrina’s idea.

LEAH:  oh my gosh, how have I not seen that I have seen this movie so many times. Isn’t she pretty?

STEPHEN: I actually highlight the hwn if you notice.

LEAH:  I watched you follow it

STEPHEN: but if you notice there’s very strategic brakes when you’re ending one letter and beginning the next.

LEAH: no I did not pay attention. Oh, I would love to pretend that it was totally obvious to me the entire time but, that’s not what this podcast is about.

STEPHEN: that’s okay we’re real here

ASHLEY: The next page was really  the most fun and it was an afterthought.

STEPHEN:  it was terrifying actually.

ASHLEY:  so we made Holidog, so we have a Holidog appearing in the clouds andHe said can you do this can we add this page I said yes but when you do the video we have to make him talk. He must say what is your quest. He did it but he said it’s terrifying.

STEPHEN : well what was terrifying was Ashley was going out of town, and this page was only about three-quarters finished and she said here can you finish this for me. And I was like what you want me to touch this after you’ve done this masterpiece and I get one shot and not screwing this up? So here I’ll give you my color pencils. My truck was completely full of art supplies when she gave me at least two dozen sets of markers and crayons and all the stuff. And I was like this is amazing, you are the person who should have gotten to do this. This is your calling right here.  This is your crowning Jewel.

LEAH:  this is your life purpose, how does that feel?

ASHLEY:  I love it.  And this little picture says reserve your seat at the round table and we drew I guess I drew several nights are on the table and added in all of our mascots which is really cute. And they all have little Pepsi cups. So you have to go to Holiday World.Com/clubs to look up your Club and seek the early bird discount and we have Matt really terrified at Eagle’s flight. I mean absolutely terrified. I think that’s it and we’re going to put this book in the auction. 

LEAH: Have we mentioned the auction?
LAUREN: We have not! 

MATT: Will there be just one book?

ASHLEY:  Well we had talked about recreating it

LEAH:   I keep saying that we need to create a glossy small coffee table version because I would pay a certain amount of money and have that donation go to Give Kids the World, just to have that as a memento.

LAUREN: Just as a rewind the auction, so during the event we hold an auction and now it’s transformed into an auction on Friday and one on Saturday. For Friday, we auction off experiential items like a walk to the top to the Voyage lift Hill

LEAH: a walk of the new track work on Voyage

LAUREN: Well basically look around and decide what’s interesting that we auction them off. We find many many things. On Saturday we auction off physical things like,so the book will be one of them. All proceeds directly go to Give Kids the World, which if you are not aware of them, go look them up. They have a village in Orlando where they get to stay and enjoy the parks and be a normal kid for a while. It is a wonderful place you should follow their social media I follow LEAH: Oh, I need to do that, I don’t do that. I need to. That is exciting stuff is there anything anyone else wants to add to Holiday we nights. Who is going to be Galloping around with Pepsi cups?

[clapping and horse clopping sounds ]

MATT: it’s just exciting it’s a fun event.

STEPHEN: This one is been fun to put a lot of the little detail touches to

MATT: I think we’re going to be able to do a lot of fun things during the event to really enhance it

LEAH:  I am really proud of my tag for the early bird online special And on our little promo segment that we’re about to do in the early promo section is “what is the airspeed velocity oven, unladen coaster enthusiasts, with a little bit of extra cash? You’ll have to tell us”. Got to say I nailed that delivery. 

ASHLEY: Did you want to mention the credits?

LEAH:  Oh the credits!  I almost forgot about the credits. So, in the video

LAUREN: Which is an amazing video.
LEAH: amazing video you need to check it out will post it on the blog post about all of this but also it’s on the Holiwood Night’s page we’ve shared it some places, but I just want to share some of these titles because Steven and Sabrina you guys kind of helps do this. Sabrina especially helped write all the captions and looked up actual Dutch worlds to make sure everything was actually appropriate for families in there. And also wasn’t is Sinter Klaus in there?

ASHLEY We got the flyer back and Andrea call me, Andre runs our print shop for those of you who don’t know, and she called me and she says these are already printed and I already found a typo. I said what are you talking about? She said it says “also wik”.


ASHLEY: I told her, you need to watch the video,  watch a movie you need to watch all of the credits in the movie. She said, “I have seen the movie!”,  I said then you haven’t seen the 30-minute long credits then.

LEAH:  yeah I just want to call out some of our job titles in here so we have King and head of the round table as president met, I Am Lord of The Messengers for director of communications, Lauren is Lord of the minstrels for director of entertainment, Ashley is Lord of creativity for director of marketing,  Steven is minion of creativity for Creative manager.

STEPHEN: I’m the only minion in the Kingdom so I like that.

LEAH:  Sabrina is my media relations manager is Herald of kingdom of relations, I just have to call out Josh more as our digital communication strategist I had to focus to make sure I get that he is our virtual correspondence advisor. Well done Steven you need to go through and just to check out all the names and maybe take a guess at what our actual titles are because that’s just a short translation of everything. 

STEPHEN: I will give you a hint that if anyone is a Lord that is a director and if anyone is a knight they are a manager there’s a little hint for you there.

LEAH:  Unless you are a minion

STEPHEN: Unless you’re a minion, I got to name myself and I wanted to be a minion, so.

LEAH: Congratulations you galloped your way to the end of another episode of our podcast. You’re listening to the second episode of our special binge-worthy three podcast episode drop. Please join us now for the next episode which will be Season 2 Episode 3 The One with the Year of Feedback. Thank you for guests today, Ashley Blankenbaker also to our behind the scenes by Pod Squad, Josh for babysitting the soundboard thank you, and Sabrina for keeping us on time and creating the best caption credits ever with actual Dutch. Thank you to all of you for listening 

Podcast: Three for the Price of One

We’ve been plotting the return of the podcast for a while. If you haven’t listened yet, I highly recommend you check out some of our old episodes, available at www.holidayworld.com/holisounds (or wherever you get your podcasts).

Lauren Crosby
Lauren, checking out new food during a previous podcast episode.

We decided that we wanted to try some new things with this next version of the podcast, so if you’re an old fan, you’ll notice some major changes such as:

Most importantly, we’re kicking off HOWOPO Season 2 (yes, we realize Season 1 had 70+ seasons) with a new format and a new sound. We’re going to try out some new things. Some will work, some won’t. We trust that you, our listeners, will help guide us along the way.

If you want to provide comments or suggestions, send us an email at podcast@holidayworld.com, leave us a voicemail at 812-937-4401 extension 8081, or tag us on social media using the hashtag #HOWOPO.

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.

The Holiday World Podcast is coming back!

You read that correctly!

After a one-year hiatus, the pod squad has been working
hard to bring you quality content and a new format!

Shortly after we kick off the new year we will be rolling out three fresh
podcast episodes to enjoy during your morning commute

To hold you over while you wait, It felt right to re-release Episode 072
from Season 1 that we shared with you a year ago; The One with the
Town Named Santa Claus.

In this episode, the pod squad discusses the history of
Santa Claus and some lesser-known towns with the same name.

Santa Claus Post Office
Santa Claus Post Office

You can check out the full podcast from The Town named Santa Claus, here .

A full transcript of this episode is also available, here

We have missed you dearly and are very excited to be back in your ear!
Please subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube, Facebook, to get notified when we drop the newest episodes!

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.

Sweepstakes: Coolest Time to Visit

Congratulations to our winner, Brooke W. from Evansville, Indiana!


Have you visited Holiday World during Happy Halloween Weekends?

Wacky Workshop of Wonders:
Professor D.R. Holiday and his assistant, Otto

Normally we can comfortably say that the lines are shorter and the weather is cooler.

Well, the first of those two has been true this year. It’s still been pretty warm these past few weeks.

But it looks like fall weather might actually arrive just in time for this weekend’s festivities!

October is the perfect time to visit.

You can still enjoy your favorite rides, and we have tons of great Halloween-themed fun, activities, and food.

We have 12 acres of corn mazes, three funhouses, tons of seasonal treats on our menus, plus scary good shows!

You won’t want to miss the Wacky Workshop of Wonders with Professor D.R. Holiday, the LOL Comedy Magic Show, or The Monster Mash – where you help us choose the “Monster of the Year!”

The cast of The Monster Mash!

The cast of The Monster Mash!

There’s so much fun to be had that we thought we should have a new sweepstakes and give tickets so you can come experience it for yourself!

Here’s what you could win:

  • 4 one-day tickets to Holiday World
  • $20 HoliCash

We’ll choose one winner at random.


Before you enter, please read through these instructions and rules:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must not have won tickets from Holiday World in the past 12 months. Employees of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, 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.)
  • Winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends.
  • Use the widget, below, to enter. There are several options, so you can earn extra entries. For the “Leave a blog post comment,” simply answer this question: What is your favorite part of Happy Halloween Weekends? (Our comments are moderated, so as long as the content is HoliFriendly, it will appear soon.)
  • Tickets are non-transferable and not for re-sale. Winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s). No purchase necessary.
  • 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.
  • Not eligible if you’ve won tickets from us in the past 12 months.

Happy Halloween Weekends run Saturdays and Sundays through October 27. Check out our full calendar here!

Ready to enter? Simply enter by using the widget below. You can enter daily through Friday, October 11, 2019, at 3:30pm CDT, when we’ll choose a winner at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Birthday rooms for epic parties

Party Room Candles 2

Leah's Birthday Party with Holidog

When people find out I grew up in a theme park because it was my family business, they often ask me expectantly: Did you have the COOLEST birthdays?!

The answer is sometimes. 

My sister and I were born in September and October, respectively, so we “got to” share our birthday party every year. So yes, we had a few birthdays at Holiday World (see exhibit A: adorable photo from party with all of us hugging Holidog circa early 1990s).

No. We didn’t get to run like crazy through a closed theme park.

No. We didn’t get to take prizes from the games or the shops.

Mostly there was just cake and pizza and Holidog. 

As we built Santa’s Merry Marketplace, we thought it might be nice to include a space for parties, so kids could throw some epic birthdays that surpass the ones I shared with my sister because–let’s be honest– the park is way cooler now than it was in the 1990s. 

Party Rooms Conversations

Interested in throwing an epic birthday party?

Party Room Candles 2

Now, we have party rooms available to maximize the coolness of a kid’s party at Holiday World. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • The rooms are FREE for Pizza Parties
  • We have two party packages available, including the option of an all-you-can-eat buffet
  • All birthday packages include breadsticks, dipping sauce, cookies, and free unlimited soft drinks
  • Salads can be added onto your package
  • Parties are available for groups between 15 and 49 Guests

You can also add on some other perks:

  • ¼ Sheet cake with Holiday World logo
  • Face painting
  • Caricatures

These birthday parties are putting my childhood ones to shame (sorry, Mom!).  

If you’re interested, please fill out this form for more information and pricing. 

Don’t forget! If you’re coming to celebrate a birthday, stop at Guest Relations for a birthday button! 


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HoWoHacks: Handle the heat

Mammoth water coasterWe’re introducing a blog series of tips and tricks we’re calling #HoWoHacks.  We’ll give you some extra insider tips on how to handle the heat and more as we go.  Everyone knows Splashin’ Safari is a great place to cool off on a sweltering day. Naturally there’s Bahari River and Bahari Wave Pool, not to mention Kima Bay and Tembo Falls in the shadow of Bakuli for the little ones. And of course, if you want to build your way up to Mammoth and Wildebeest, we have the two best water coasters in the world–especially Mammoth with that chilly water.  Doesn’t that all sound amazing right now? Unfortunately, a refreshing dip won’t help you stay hydrated on a sweltering day, so we worked with our safety department to bring you some advice. 

Quick Tips for a hot day:

  • Start with a healthy breakfast
  • Bring an empty water bottle so you can keep a lot of water around all day
  • Free unlimited sunscreen is unlimited–take advantage of it!
  • Go light on the soft drinks–stick to mostly water and add some Gatorade 
  • Make sure you keep eating (check out our menus page so you can pick out some food that looks more appealing on a hot day such as a wrap or fruit salad at Wildebeestro)
  • Slow down your pace a little to avoid exhaustion 

Pro Tips for a hot day:

If you still find yourself feeling unwell in the heat–please notify a member of our staff so we can provide assistance from our EMT staff.  Stay cool and stay safe!
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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!

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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Stranger than us?

1985 (probably) Map

I’ve already watched Season 3 of Stranger Things. 


“Where did you find the time to watch now that you’re over communications?” asked no one. (But if you are wondering… I simply gave up on that sleep thing)

In the fourth episode of the third season, Will talks about “You know when you drop on a roller coaster?”

In fact, Josh pointed out on our Season Passholder Facebook group that we might know a place in Indiana with coasters…

And it got me thinking

Did we have a roller coaster for the residents of (fictional) Hawkins, Indiana to ride? 

Our classics (Raven, Legend, Voyage, and Thunderbird) weren’t around yet. The Raven opened in 1995. 

But before Raven, we had Firecracker. Not our new Firecracker (our lovingly-restored classic Calypso ride). The roller coaster that used to stand in the spot where Holidog’s FunTown is today.

Now I want to paint a picture for you

Stranger Things Season 3 is set in the summer of 1985. 

In 1985, the park map looked like this (well we’re not 100% sure but we think this was our 1985 map): 

1985 (probably) Map1985 (Probably) Map Back

You may not be able to read it, but on the back you can see that the Fright Chasm Overlook (literally just the area to watch Frightful Falls) was listed as its own attraction. 

Santa Claus Land had just been renamed in 1984 to Holiday World and the Halloween and 4th of July sections had just been added. We had the Scarecrow Scrambler, the Virginia Reel, Eagle’s Flight, Rough Riders, and many attractions that have either found new homes or have been retired. 

We were just a year away from adding Banshee (and for the record, I was mad at my dad when we removed it so don’t start with me…I don’t like that we removed it either).

Our brochure had just changed from this in 1984:

1984 brochure front1984 brochure back

New in 84 Logo Shirt

Shameless plug: If you’re as obsessed with this logo as I am, you can buy it on a shirt in the gift shops today

To this in 1985 (did you notice that classic rebrand?):

1985 Brochure Front

1985 Brochure Back

Look at those jazz hands!












According to my mom, Lori, it was the first year for the high-dive show. 

My dad, Will Koch, was 23. He and my mom got married in May 1985, and they had moved to California by summer that year.

 Will & Lori Koch Wedding Day














But… if I could cast a dream episode of Stranger Things at Holiday World and could pretend my parents had been around the summer of 1985, I’d say my dad probably would have been a secondary engineering or math mentor to the Hawkins AV club kids, and my mom would have been the cool performer who caught one of the teenagers’ attention for a little too long while some government authority came running around the corner. (For the record my dad was an engineer and my mom was a performer… they were just in California so my dad could get his masters degree in engineering)  

In the midst of my parents’ newlywed bliss the Hawkins, Indiana kids would trash the rides defeating the demogorgons… so maybe not… 

But it’s cool to think that simultaneously while the action centers around the mall in this season, somewhere not too far away, Holiday World was there. And you just know Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas would be coaster enthusiasts. 

We hope after all of that fighting evil, ALL of those kids (and the few adults) got to have a fun day here. They deserved it! 


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Power Problem… Solved

Voyage Fuel Rod Closeup

If you’re like me, you can drain your battery in a day at a theme park.

Between taking photos, browsing the web waiting in line, checking show times, and looking up ride stats, even the best phone batteries cave under the pressure. 

So I charge my battery overnight and bring a power bank. But I’m not always the best at making sure that power bank is fully charged. 

Enter my BFF, Fuel Rod

If you haven’t heard of them, Fuel Rod has kiosks available in airports, train stations, theme parks, etc. They sell you a one-time rechargeable power bank for your phone (plus cables so you don’t have to bring your own).

After that, you can use the power bank until it dies and then pay only $1 to exchange it for a fully charged power bank.  

So if you’re a textbook battery-drainer like me, you’re in luck. 

We have four locations across Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari:


St. Nick’s Trading Company

Located in the first section (or the section to the far right)

St Nicks Fuel Rod Close


Splashin’ Safari

In Safari Outpost

Outpost Fuel Rod 2


Voyage Gift Shop

Turn right after you enter the gift shop when you’re finished riding The Voyage

Voyage Fuel Rod Closeup











Hevron’s Mercantile (By Thunderbird)

Hevron's Fuel Rod

Located to the far right wall as you face the entrance of the store.











So next time you’re visiting, if you find your phone battery dying, pick up a Fuel Rod. 

Oh and helpful hint: if you download the Fuel Rod app, you can get five exchanges for free!

Now if you need me, I’ll be looking up ride stats on my phone…

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Limited Time Only: Flavors of the 4th

4th of July Treats

We’re the only park with a 4th of July themed area, and we’re proud of that. 

But when you celebrate Independence Day every day, how do you make the actual holiday special?

4th of July Treats

Our red, white, and blue treats are only available July 1-7

First of all, we’ll be holding a patriotic fireworks show on Thursday, July 4 and on Friday, July 5 at 9:00 pm CDT. 

In addition, our food & beverage team has been working on limited-edition red, white, and blue treats that are only available July 1-7. 

From sweet to shining sweet, here are some of our can’t-miss treats:

Candy Cane Confectionary

  • Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
  • Fudge with red strawberry, white vanilla, and blue blueberry flavors

4th of July Jello Parfait

Cherry and blueberry Jello Parfait

Santa’s Merry Marketplace

  • Cherry and blueberry Jello parfaits

Udderly Blue

  • Red & blue twist ice cream with a white chocolate dipped waffle cone

Dippin’ Dots

  • Liberty Ice

What are you waiting for?

These are only available for one week, so come check them out before they’re gone!

4th of July Red White Blue Strawberries4th of July Red White Blue Cupcakes4th of July Red White Blue Fudge

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