Founder’s Day

Ronald Reagan. Louis J. Koch, Santa Jim Yellig

Today is the birthdate of Louis J. Koch. Let’s declare it to be Founder’s Day! Did you know that Holiday World started out as a retirement project? It was back in 1946. Our original name was Santa Claus Land. Louis J. Koch was an Evansville industrialist (he was one of the sons in the George…

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Long may he wave

Santa Waving from Marketplace Balcony

What’s that? High atop the tower at the new Santa’s Merry Marketplace? It’s Santa Claus! #VolumeUp The tower itself is nearly six stories tall. Each morning, Santa and his helper will welcome Guests as they enter the park. This harkens back to our Santa Claus Land days when Santa would appear “up on a rooftop”…

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Happy Birthday, Santa Jim!

Santa Claus

He was born on February 18, 1894. Santa Jim. Countless children whispered in Santa’s ear over his decades wearing the red suit here at Santa Claus Land. The story of how Jim (a great grandfather of our fourth-generation park owners) became Santa will quite possibly bring a tear to your eye. And here he is…

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#FlashbackFriday: 1955 Chrysler Commercial

Chrysler commercial

It’s #FlashbackFriday again and we found an amazing piece of Santa Claus Land history to share with you. This is the “Chrysler TV Caravan,” with a commercial touting their 1955 “hundred-million-dollar gift” – a new Chrysler! Don’t miss Santa Jim waving at the end. (He’s one of our 4th generation owners’ great-grandfathers.) Of course, this is…

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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…

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Podcast: Airtime!

Airtime! HoliWood Nights 2019

Matt and I flew solo this episode, and were delighted to reveal the movie theme chosen for next year’s HoliWood Nights: As construction begins on Santa’s Merry Marketplace, Matt gets evicted. Here are the “before” photos:   Check out how it looks now: Take a gander at how it’ll look when you visit next season:…

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Podcast: Drone Man

Close Up of Thunderbird's Immelmann from Drone

The guy we thank at the end of each episode for “making us sound so good” is our guest this time around. Stephen is the guy who studied hard, took a test in clean-room conditions, created our SOP, and flew the HoliDrone to capture views like this: Our drone, by the way, is a DJI…

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A king, a queen, and a clown

Billy and Ruth's Toy Headquarters promo

In the Communications Office space, we have a sizable storage room that houses our publicity archives. This storage room used to be the park’s dark room. (Back when photos were taken using large cameras and black-and-white film, they were developed … in a “dark room.”) We don’t have to tell you how photography has changed…

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Podcast: Promises Kept

Leah - Golden Ticket Award

I won’t ruin the surprise, but a promise made long ago (and repeatedly) was finally kept this morning … The Golden Ticket Awards were held last weekend in Connecticut. Leah was pleased as punch to accept the #1 Water Park Ride award (Wildebeest‘s eighth win in as many years). ^ Bonus points if you can…

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Podcast: The One with Mankind

Today was a podcast day like none other. Our guest today was Mick Foley, who used our podcast to make a really exciting announcement about his next project. Michael Francis Foley is one heck of a storyteller. If you’re a wrestling fan, you already know that. But even if you’ve never tuned in to an…

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On this date in 1955

Reagan, Santa, L.J. Koch

Ronald Reagan at Santa Claus Land? We have proof! From the Holiday World archives: Actor (and future president) Ronald Reagan visited @SantaClausLand on this day in 1955. #HW70 pic.twitter.com/hDsNk9mbgt — Holiday World (@HolidayWorld) March 29, 2016 The Gipper is pictured above with our founder, Louis J. Koch, and Santa Jim. The trio toured the park (which was…

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He believed in Christmas

When I heard Philip Koch had signed paperwork to have his organs donated upon his death, it brought tears to my eyes. How many of us intend to do that, but somehow never get it done? Philip passed away early this morning, surrounded by his family. He was only 47. And we will miss him….

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