Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

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Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Holiday World Logo.jpg
Splashin Safari Logo.jpg
Slogan Number 1 for Family Fun!
Location Santa Claus, Indiana, United States
Coordinates 38°07′08″N 86°54′58″W / 38.119°N 86.916°W / 38.119; -86.916Coordinates: 38°07′08″N 86°54′58″W / 38.119°N 86.916°W / 38.119; -86.916
Owner The Koch Family
Operated by Koch Development Corporation
General Manager Matthew Eckert
Opened August 3, 1946 (1946-08-03)
Previous names Santa Claus Land (1946-83)
Operating season May through October
Visitors per annum 1,100,000+
Area 120 acres (0.49 km2)
Rides
Total 50
Roller coasters 4
Water rides 23
Website Official website

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (previously known as Santa Claus Land prior to 1984) is a family owned and operated combination theme park and water park, located near Interstate 64 and U.S. 231 in Santa Claus, Indiana, USA. The theme park is divided into four sections that celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July with rides, live entertainment, games, and attractions. Holiday World is known for its three wooden roller coasters: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage. The safari-themed water park includes the world's two longest water coasters: Wildebeest and Mammoth, numerous family raft slides and water slides, two wave pools, a lazy river, two family "tipping bucket" water-play attractions, plus dedicated children's slides and play areas.

History[edit]

The Freedom Train, previously called the Santa Claus Land Railroad, has operated since 1946

Santa Claus Land[edit]

Construction[edit]

Plans for what would become Santa Claus Land, and later Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, were first conceived as a retirement project by Louis J. Koch, a retired industrialist from Evansville, Indiana. In 1941, Koch visited the town of Santa Claus, Indiana. A family man and father of nine children, it bothered him that children traveled to the town only to be disappointed when they discovered Santa Claus was not there. In response, Koch developed the idea for a park where children could have fun and visit Santa year-round. Although initial construction plans were delayed by World War II, construction of Santa Claus Land eventually began on August 4, 1945.[1][2] At this time, Indiana had only one Amusement Park which was Indiana Beach that had opened in 1926, 20 years before Santa Claus Land opened.

Opening to 1954[edit]

Santa Claus Land opened on August 3, 1946. At no cost, the park offered a Santa, a toy shop, toy displays, a restaurant, and themed children's rides, one of which was The Freedom Train. After overcoming doubts about the park's ability for success, Louis Koch's son, William A. "Bill" Koch, Sr., took over as head of Santa Claus Land. In the following years, Bill Koch continued to add to the park, including the first Jeep-Go-Round ever manufactured, a new restaurant, and a deer farm which was eventually home to fourteen European white fallow deer.[1][2][3]

Future President Ronald Reagan visited in 1955

1955 to 1975[edit]

An aerial view of Santa Claus Land taken around 1957

Beginning in 1955, Santa Claus Land charged admission for the first time; adults were charged 50 cents while children continued to be admitted for free. Despite the new cost of admission, attendance continued to grow with the park. The Pleasureland ride section, which exists today as Rudolph's Reindeer Ranch, debuted in 1955. In the early 1970s, additional children's rides, including Dasher's Seahorses, Comet's Rockets, Blitzen's Airplanes, and Prancer's Merry-Go-Round, were added to this section. From 1959 to 1961, the first live entertainment, the Willie Bartley Water Ski Thrill Show, performed on Lake Rudolph each summer. A Santa Claus Choir composed of local children also performed at the park in 1970 and 1971.[2]

In 1960, Bill Koch married Patricia "Pat" Yellig, the daughter of Jim Yellig, the park's Santa Claus. Bill and Pat Koch would have five children: Will, Kristi, Daniel, Philip, and Natalie.[1]

1976 to 1983[edit]

In 1976, Santa Claus Land shifted its focus, along with its entrance, which was moved from State Road 162 to its present location on State Road 245. The park began to focus on the entire family, rather than just children. The park added nine new rides by 1984, eight of which they hoped would appeal to older children and adults alike. Eagle's Flight, Rough Riders, Roundhouse, Virgina Reel, Scarecrow Scrambler, Lewis & Clark Trail, Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, and Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay were all targeted towards families, while Dancer's Thunder Bumpers Junior was built for children who weren't quite ready for the larger version of the ride.[2]

Holiday World[edit]

An early photo of Frightful Falls before the development of the surrounding area

1984 to 1992[edit]

By 1984, the Koch Family had realized the theming possibilities beyond Christmas. Santa Claus Land soon saw the first major expansion in park history with the addition of a Halloween section and a Fourth of July section. With the inclusion of more than just Christmas, Santa Claus Land formally changed its name to Holiday World. In the following years, Frightful Falls and Banshee were added to the Halloween section, Raging Rapids was added to the Fourth of July section in 1990, and Kringle's Kafé restaurant was built in the Christmas section.[1][2]

It was also during this time period that Holiday World saw a change in leadership. Will Koch, the eldest of Bill Koch's children, took over as President of the park. Another of Bill Koch's children, Daniel "Dan" Koch, became chairman of the board.[4]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari[edit]

An early photo of The Raven. Bill Koch Sr. is on the left; Will Koch is on the right

1993 to 2005[edit]

The addition of Splashin' Safari in 1993 welcomed a new era for the theme park. In its first year of operation, Splashin' Safari operated with Congo River, Crocodile Isle, AmaZOOM, and Bamboo Chute. The Wave was added the following year.

The addition of The Raven wooden roller coaster to the Halloween section in 1995 gained the park national attention. The roller coaster was named "Ride of the Year" and was voted as the world's second best wooden roller coaster. In 2000, The Raven was ranked as the #1 wooden roller coaster in the world by Amusement Today magazine. It held the top spot for a total of four years.[2] As of the 2011 awards, The Raven has remained ranked among the top twenty wooden roller coasters in the world.[5]

Over the next four years, the park made only two additions. The first was the addition of Monsoon Lagoon in Splashin' Safari. The second was the replacement of Firecracker with Holidog's FunTown, a children's play area featuring Holidog's Treehouse, The Howler, Doggone Trail, and Magic Waters.

Zinga

Another major addition was not seen until 2000. In 2000, the park added The Legend, a wooden roller coaster based on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". The Legend's ranking reached its peak in 2002, when it was voted the fourth best wooden roller coaster in the world.[2] Much like The Raven, The Legend continues to be ranked among the top twenty wooden roller coasters in the world, as of the 2011 awards.[5] In 2000, the park also began offering its guests free unlimited soft drinks, a service which brought international attention to the park.[6] Holiday World was the first park in the world to offer this service to its guests.[1]

For the next five years, the park's additions grew steadily. In 2002, ZOOMbabwe, the world's largest enclosed water slide, was added to Splashin' Safari.[7] In 2003, Splashin' Safari added Zinga, a ProSlide Tornado, while Holiday World replaced Banshee with Hallowswings and the Hall of Famous Americans wax museum with Liberty Launch. In 2004, the park continued to add onto the water park, adding Jungle Racer and Jungle Jets. Bahari Wave Pool was added in 2005, which marked the beginning of an expansion project that would double the size of Splashin' Safari.[2]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari received its most sought after award in 2004, when it earned the Applause Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. To win the award, awarded every two years, a park must show "foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability." With an attendance of 883,000 that year, Holiday World was the smallest park to ever receive the award.[8]

2006 to 2013[edit]

A boat descends the drop on Giraffica

The 2006 season marked the 60th anniversary of Holiday World. To celebrate, the park added a brand new section: Thanksgiving. To complement the section, the park added two new rides. The first was Gobbler Getaway, a Sally Corporation interactive dark ride. The second was The Voyage wooden roller coaster. The addition of The Voyage gained the park national attention once again, as the roller coaster claimed the record for most air-time of any wooden roller coaster at 24.2 seconds.[9] In its first year of operation, The Voyage was awarded the title of "Best New Ride" and #2 wooden roller coaster in the world. From 2007 to 2011, The Voyage was awarded the title of #1 wooden roller coaster in the world by the readers of Amusement Today magazine.[5] Also added in 2006 was Bahari River in Splashin' Safari. It was named the "Best New Waterpark Ride" by Amusement Today magazine.[2][10]

Over the next three years, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari would open several new additions. Bakuli and Kima Bay were added to Splashin' Safari, Turkey Whirl and Plymouth Rock Café were added to the Thanksgiving section, the Star Spangled Carousel replaced Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay in the Fourth of July section, and Reindeer Games replaced Kids Castle in the Christmas section. In 2009, Holiday World continued to break records by opening the world's tallest water ride, Pilgrims Plunge, in the Thanksgiving section of the park. Pilgrims Plunge deviated from the standard of using a sloped lift hill, instead opting for an open-air elevator system that takes riders to a height of 135 feet (41 m) before dropping them at a forty-five degree angle.[2] Pilgrims Plunge was renamed to Giraffica in 2013 when the boundaries between the Thanksgiving section and the water park were slightly altered.[11]

Splashin' Safari broke another record in 2010, when Wildebeest was opened. When Wildebeest opened, it was the world's longest water coaster at 1,710 feet (520 m) long. It was also among the first water coasters to use linear induction motors, rather than water jets or conveyor belts, to propel riders up hills. Wildebeest was named "Best New Waterpark Ride" in 2010, as well as "Best Waterpark Ride" in 2010, 2011, and 2012.[2][12] The park broke its own record just two years later, in 2012, when Mammoth opened. Mammoth, which is the most expensive ride the park has ever added, is 1,763 feet (537 m) long, making it the longest water coaster in the world.[13]

The park suffered a sudden loss in June 2010 when President and CEO Will Koch died while swimming at his home. Although the Spencer County coroner listed the official cause of death as drowning, family and park officials believe Koch's type 1 diabetes played a factor in his death. Soon after his death, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari named Will's younger brother, Dan Koch, as the park's new President.[14] Dan Koch served as the park's President until early 2013, when the board of directors announced Matt Eckert as the new President and CEO. Matt Eckert was previously one of the parks two general managers. Unlike past Presidents and CEOs, Matt Eckert has no relation to the Koch Family, although the Koch Family continues to own the park.[15]

In recent years, the park has replaced some of its older rides with newer rides. In Holiday World, Blitzen's Airplanes was replaced with Rudolph's Round-Up in 2011 and in 2012 Paul Revere's Midnight Ride was replaced with Sparkler, a 65 feet (20 m) tall Zamperla Vertical Swing ride. Due to limited vertical clearance for Sparkler, the park decided to relocate Star Spangled Carousel to the former location of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride and to place Sparkler in the carousel's place.[16] The following year, Holiday World removed part of Holidog's Treehouse to make room for a new tea cup ride called Kitty's Tea Party. In 2013, the park also removed the only original remaining ride, The Freedom Train, citing maintenance concerns; it was replaced by another train ride which the park named Holidog Express.[17] In Splashin' Safari, Jungle Jets was replaced with Safari Sam's Splashland in 2011. In 2013, AmaZOOM, Bamboo Chute, Congo River, and Crocodile Isle were removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza; in its place, Hyena Falls and Hyena Springs was added to the north of Giraffica.[2]

2014 expansion[edit]

On September 6, 2013, Holiday World announced plans for a 2014 expansion totaling $8 million. The highlight of the announcement is a new swinging ship ride called the Mayflower, which will be located in the park's Thanksgiving section just to the north of Gobbler Getaway. This ride will be the first of a series of rides intended to bring the focus back on the theme park after several years of major additions to the water park. Mayflower will have a capacity of 60 riders and will swing 54 feet over a pool of water. In addition to Mayflower, the park announced a new restaurant and shop in Splashin' Safari, covered bridge entry into the Thanksgiving section, more cabanas, additional benches and shade structures, parking lot improvements, and the addition of fireworks on Friday nights between June 13 and August 1.[18]

Themed areas[edit]

Holiday World is divided into four holiday-themed sections: Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. Each of the sections features rides, games, food, and other attractions that follow the theme of that section's respective holiday. The music that plays over the loud speakers in each section is also themed to that section's respective holiday; guests will often notice the music change as they enter a different section. Splashin' Safari, which is connected to the theme park via entrances in the Halloween and Thanksgiving sections, takes the general theme of a safari.

Christmas[edit]

Upon admission to Holiday World, guests immediately enter the Christmas section. The Christmas section is the oldest section of Holiday World, dating back to 1946. It was also the only themed area of the park until 1984. Although devoid of any major rides, there is a small sub-section called Rudolph's Reindeer Ranch which is home to several small children's rides. Notable landmarks in this section include a Santa Claus statue, a Christmas tree, a nativity scene, and the Applause fountain, which was added after the park was awarded the IAAPA Applause Award in 2004. The Christmas section of the park also includes one of the park's two air-conditioned restaurants: Kringle's Kafé, which serves standard theme park fare such as pizza, burgers, and ice cream. Since the park's opening in 1946, Santa Claus has been available daily throughout the season to chat with children.

Ride Added Location Description
Comet's Rockets 1970s Christmas Children's rocket ride
Dasher's Seahorses 1970s Christmas Children's seahorse ride
Prancer's Merry-Go-Round 1970s Christmas Children's carousel
Dancer's Thunder Bumpers Junior 1982 Christmas Children's bumper boats
Reindeer Games 2008 Christmas Three-story family drop ride
Rudolph's Round-Up 2011 Christmas Family sleigh ride

Halloween[edit]

The Halloween section was one of two new holidays added in 1984. This section includes The Raven roller coaster, with its Gothic-themed station; The Legend roller coaster, with its school house-themed station; Goblin Burgers restaurant, which resembles a witch's house; and the main entrance to Splashin' Safari water park. Apart from the architecture, guests will hear The Legend's school bell ringing ominously throughout the section. It introduced Kitty Claws as its mascot in 2012.

Ride Added Location Description
Scarecrow Scrambler 1976 Halloween Classic scrambler ride
Frightful Falls 1984 Halloween Log flume
The Raven 1995 Halloween Wooden roller coaster themed after Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven"
The Legend 2000 Halloween Wooden roller coaster themed after Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
HallowSwings 2003 Halloween Custom-made Zamperla flying carousel swing ride

Fourth of July[edit]

The Fourth of July section was the second of the two holidays that were added in 1984. It introduced George the Eagle as its mascot. This area features more attractions than any of the four sections in the theme park. Landmarks in this section include the Hoosier Celebration Theater, where many live shows are performed; the Good Old Days Picnic Grove, where numerous shelter houses may be rented out for company picnics; and The Alamo restaurant, which serves traditional Mexican food. The Fourth of July section is also home to a sub-section called Holidog's FunTown, a children's play area which is completely encircled by Holidog Express. Keeping with the Fourth of July theme, there is also a monument with several American flags located right across from The Alamo restaurant in the center of the section.

Ride Added Location Description
Salmon Run 1970s Fourth of July Children's fish-go-round
Eagle's Flight 1976 Fourth of July Flying Scooter
Rough Riders 1976 Fourth of July Bumper cars themed after former President Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders
Lewis & Clark Trail 1978 Fourth of July Tin Lizzie antique car ride
Indian River Canoes 1988 Fourth of July Children's canoe ride
Raging Rapids in Boulder Canyon 1990 Fourth of July White water rapids raft ride
Liberty Launch 2003 Fourth of July Seven-story S&S Double Shot
Revolution 2005 Fourth of July Dartron Zero Gravity Round Up ride
Star Spangled Carousel 2008 Fourth of July Carousel
Sparkler 2012 Fourth of July 65 feet (20 m) tall Zamperla vertical swing ride
Holidog Express 2013 Fourth of July Ridable miniature train ride

Holidog's FunTown[edit]

Ride Added Location Description
Holidog's Treehouse 1999 Holidog's FunTown Three-story play structure
Just for Pups 1999 Holidog's FunTown Smaller version of Holidog's Treehouse that is designed for small children
The Howler 1999 Holidog's FunTown Family steel roller coaster
Doggone Trail 1999 Holidog's FunTown Children's jeep ride
Magic Waters 1999 Holidog's FunTown Spray park area
Kitty's Tea Party 2013 Holidog's FunTown Classic tea cup ride

Thanksgiving[edit]

The Thanksgiving section is the newest section of the park, added in 2006 to commemorate Holiday World's 60th anniversary. Towering over this area is The Voyage roller coaster, which wraps around parts of the midway; guests walk under the roller coaster's brake run when they enter the section through Fourth of July. Also located in this area is a secondary entrance to the water park. In addition to rides, the Thanksgiving section includes the second of the park's two air-conditioned restaurants: Plymouth Rock Café, which serves typical Thanksgiving food such as turkey, prime rib, stuffing, green beans, and bread rolls. Turkeys can often be heard "gobbling" throughout the section as sounds emanate from the Gobbler Getaway ride and Pilgrims' Challenge game.

Ride Added Location Description
The Voyage 2006 Thanksgiving Wooden roller coaster themed after the voyage the Pilgrims made to America in 1620
Gobbler Getaway 2006 Thanksgiving Sally Corporation interactive dark ride
Turkey Whirl 2007 Thanksgiving Turkey-themed Tilt-A-Whirl
Mayflower 2014 Thanksgiving Swinging ship themed after the Mayflower

Splashin' Safari[edit]

Splashin' Safari, the water park Holiday World added in 1993, has consistently ranked among the best water parks in the United States, even being named as the #1 water park in the United States by TripAdvisor in 2011.[19] The water park takes the general theme of a safari, with ride names featuring various animals, rivers, and Swahili words. Holiday World has added onto its water park every year from 2002 to 2013. Among those additions are the world's two longest water coasters: Wildebeest and Mammoth, which are also, respectively, the third and first most expensive additions ever made to the park. Unlike some other theme parks, entry to Splashin' Safari is included with admission to Holiday World.

Ride Added Location Description
The Wave 1994 Splashin' Safari Zero-entry-depth wave pool [Maximum depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)]
Butterfly Bay 1994 Splashin' Safari Smaller zero-entry-depth wave pool for children [Maximum depth: 18 inches (46 cm)]
Watubee 1996 Splashin' Safari Open family rafting water slide allowing up to five riders
Otorongo 1997 Splashin' Safari Collection of three intertwining enclosed inline tube slides named "Otto", "Ron", and "Go"
Monsoon Lagoon 1998 Splashin' Safari Interactive waterplay complex [Average depth: 18 inches (46 cm)] featuring four body slides and a tipping bucket containing 1,000 US gallons (3,800 L) of water
ZOOMbabwe 2002 Splashin' Safari Enclosed family rafting water slide allowing up to four riders
Zinga 2003 Splashin' Safari Eight-story ProSlide Tornado allowing up to four riders
Jungle Racer 2004 Splashin' Safari Five-story ProSlide ProRacer with ten lanes
Bahari Wave Pool 2005 Splashin' Safari Zero-entry-depth wave pool [Maximum depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)] featuring geysers and water jets
Bahari River 2006 Splashin' Safari Lazy river [Depth: 28 inches (71 cm)]
Bakuli 2007 Splashin' Safari ProSlide Behemoth Bowl allowing up to four riders
Kima Bay 2008 Splashin' Safari WhiteWater West AquaPlay RainFortress [Average depth: 18 inches (46 cm)] featuring seven body slides, 125 water jets, and a tipping bucket containing 1,200 US gallons (4,500 L) of water
Wildebeest 2010 Splashin' Safari 1,710 feet (520 m) long ProSlide HydroMagnetic Rocket water coaster allowing up to four riders
Safari Sam's SplashLand 2011 Splashin' Safari Children's play area featuring an activity pool [Maximum depth: 18 inches (46 cm)] with interactive water elements and eight open and enclosed body slides
Mammoth 2012 Splashin' Safari 1,763 feet (537 m) long ProSlide HydroMagnetic Mammoth water coaster allowing up to six riders
Hyena Falls 2013 Splashin' Safari Collection of four enclosed inline tube slides, the largest of which includes a half-pipe element
Hyena Springs 2013 Splashin' Safari Children's spray pad play area

Defunct rides and attractions[edit]

Ride Added Removed Location Description
Jeep-Go-Round 1947 Unknown Christmas Children's jeep ride; it was the first of its kind ever manufactured
Bungee Jump 1992 1992 Halloween Crane-based bungee jump show; temporarily replaced the high dive show
Stormin' Norman's Tank Tag 1992 1996 Fourth of July Series of miniature tanks that up to three guests could ride; replaced by The Alamo
Firecracker 1981 1997 Fourth of July Pinfari Zyklon Z47 steel roller coaster; replaced by Holidog's FunTown
Frontier Farm 1948 1999 Fourth of July Petting zoo with a collection of animals, including baby goats, lambs, and 14 reindeer named after Santa Claus's reindeer
Banshee 1986 2002 Halloween Chance Falling Star; replaced by Hallowswings
Hall of Famous Americans 1950s 2002 Fourth of July Wax museum with an emphasis on American Presidents and American History; replaced by Liberty Launch
Roundhouse 1976 2004 Fourth of July Round Up; replaced by Revolution, a larger version of the same ride
Virginia Reel 1976 2005 Fourth of July Tilt-A-Whirl; removed to make room for an additional path to the Thanksgiving section; replaced by Turkey Whirl, a new and relocated version of the same ride
Kids' Castle 1992 2007 Christmas Children's soft play structure, including a slide, trampoline, and ball pit; replaced by Reindeer Games
Deer Playground 1992 2007 Christmas Smaller version of Kids' Castle, including a crawl-through train and small ball pit for younger children; replaced by Reindeer Games
Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay 1980 2007 Fourth of July Bumper boats; replaced by Star Spangled Carousel
Jungle Jets 2004 2010 Splashin' Safari Family spray area, featuring numerous water features; replaced by Safari Sam's SplashLand
Blitzen's Airplanes 1970s 2010 Christmas Children's airplane ride; replaced by Rudolph's Round-Up
Paul Revere's Midnight Ride 1978 2011 Fourth of July Eyerly Spider; replaced by Sparkler, which switched locations with Star Spangled Carousel so that the carousel is now located in Paul Revere's Midnight Ride's old location
Betsy Ross Doll House 1946 2011 Fourth of July Walk-through attraction featuring a collection of antique dolls; originally built in 1856 as the town of Santa Claus' first post office, it was converted into a doll house attraction when Santa Claus Land opened in 1946; the building was moved off-site to be a part of a local museum
AmaZOOM 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Enclosed inline tube slide allowing single riders only; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Bamboo Chute 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Inline tube slide with both open and enclosed sections allowing both single and double riders; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Congo River 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Lazy river; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Crocodile Isle 1993 2012 Splashin' Safari Children's play area featuring two pools connected by two body slides; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
The Freedom Train 1946 2012 Fourth of July Ridable miniature train whose engine was a ¼ scale model of a Baltimore and Ohio locomotive; removed due to deterioration and replaced by Holidog Express
Giraffica 2009 2013 Splashin' Safari Intamin shoot the chute ride featuring a 135 feet (41 m) tall open-air elevator; originally called Pilgrims Plunge (2009–2012). Removed after the 2013 season due to downtime and reliability. [20]

Mascots and characters[edit]

Three of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari's mascots. Left to right: George the Eagle, Holidog, Safari Sam

Rather than sign licensed characters for the park, Holiday World has developed several mascots and characters including:

  • Santa Claus–A man who is the mascot of the Christmas section.
  • Holidog – A brown dog who is the mascot of Holiday World.
  • Safari Sam – A green crocodile who is the mascot of Splashin' Safari.
  • George the Eagle – A Bald Eagle wearing patriotic clothing who is the mascot of the Fourth of July section.
  • Kitty Claws – A black cat wearing a Halloween-themed tutu and a mini masquerade mask who is the mascot of the Halloween section.

Entertainment[edit]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari offers a variety of live entertainment, including singing, dancing, and diving. All shows are performed at least six days per week when the park is in daily operation.

  • Santa's Storytime Theater
    This is a theater where children are invited to sit with Santa Claus on stage as he reads a story and sings Christmas songs.
  • Holiday Theater
    This is an indoor theater that features Santa Claus, who is available daily for picture taking. During inclement weather, "Santa's Storytime" may be moved to this theater. Holiday Theater often hosts special events at the park, such as expansion announcements or the Golden Ticket Awards. During especially hot days, the park opens this theater to guests so they can cool off in the air conditioning.
  • Dive!
    Located at the High Dive Theater, "Dive!" is a daily show where divers perform numerous dives detailing the history of diving. Divers dive from various heights, including one from a perch 80 feet (24 m) high into 10 feet (3.0 m) of water. In another portion of the show, a diver nicknamed "Hot Stuff" lights themselves on fire before dancing to the song "Hot Stuff" and diving into the water.
  • Hoosier Celebration Theater
    This theater is an outdoor theater where a number of live shows are performed daily. Shows performed at this theater include "Real Country", where performers sing and dance to a variety of country music songs; "Vinyl Daze", where performers sing and dance to a number of hit songs; and "Rejoice!", where performers sing and dance to Christian music.
  • Holidog's All-Star Theater
    This is a theater located inside of Holidog's FunTown where the show "Holidog's Beach Party" is performed. The show is geared toward children and features Holidog, George the Eagle, and Kitty Claws (See: Mascots and Characters) singing and dancing to a variety of songs.
  • Legacy
    Legacy is an a cappella quartet that performs daily, except Mondays, in the Christmas, Halloween, and Fourth of July sections. In the Christmas section, Legacy performs the songs "Have a Holiday" and "Summertime in the Park". In the Halloween section, Legacy performs the songs "Thriller" and "Boogie/Spooky". In the Fourth of July section, Legacy performs the songs "American Soldier", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and "Give Me Your Tired".

Special events[edit]

  • Weddings:
    Through the years, Holiday World has been the host of several weddings. Couples have been married on the defunct Bungee Jump, in The Wave wave pool, and in a hot air balloon tethered at the park. In 1995, a dozen couples, who completely filled the ride, were simultaneously married on The Raven. A couple was also married atop the lift hill of The Voyage by an Elvis impersonator in 2008.[21]
  • Golden Ticket Awards:
    Since 1998, Amusement Today magazine has brought dozens of amusement park industry leaders together to honor the best of the best at an annual event called the Golden Ticket Awards. Holiday World has hosted this event three times. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari was the first ever park to host the event in 2000. Holiday World also hosted the awards in 2006 and 2011. The awards ceremony has been hosted in Holiday Theater in the Christmas section.[5]
  • Play Day:
    Every year since 1993, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has hosted thousands of children with mental and physical disabilities for an event called "Play Day". Play Day is for invited guests of the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of Southwestern Indiana. The admission price for Play Day is $9, with all proceeds being donated to the Easter Seals. As of 2011, Holiday World has raised over $257,000 for the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.[22]
  • Walk to Cure Diabetes:
    Every year since 2006, Holiday World has hosted thousands of walkers for the "Holiday World Walk to Cure Diabetes", which is a walk to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). To raise money, Holiday World donates tickets to walkers who have raised money for JDRF. As of 2011, over $1.7 million has been raised for JDRF with the help of Holiday World.[23]
  • HoliWood Nights:
    HoliWood Nights is an event held for card-carrying members of recognized amusement park-related clubs and their registered guests. The event features exclusive ride time (ERT) on the park's three wooden roller coasters, plus a select few other rides, both before park opening and after park closing. The event, which was first known as Stark Raven Mad, was temporarily discontinued in 2003 following a death during the event (See: Incidents). In 2006, the event returned after being renamed HoliWood Nights. The park embraces HoliWood's pun on Hollywood by naming each year's event as a play on the title of a movie. The theme of the 2013 event is "Dig", which is a play on the 1988 movie Big.[24]
  • Rock the World:
    Since 2012, Holiday World has hosted a Christian music festival called Rock the World on a select Saturday in August. Throughout the day, regional contemporary Christian bands perform in the Hoosier Celebration Theater. Once the park closes for the day, a main stage area opens to those with concert tickets. The main stage features a number of nationally known Christian artists and bands who perform well past normal closing hours. (The main stage acts in 2012 were Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, BarlowGirl, and Hearts of Saints).[25]
  • Happy Halloween Weekends:
    Since 2012, Holiday World has remained open in October to hold an event called Happy Halloween Weekends. For the last two weekends in September plus the four weekends in October, the park holds family-friendly, Halloween-themed activities. Some of these seasonal attractions include two corn mazes, hayrides, a 3-D walk-through attraction similar to a family-friendly haunted house, and a family activity area geared towards children located in the Good Ol' Days Picnic Grove. The park transforms itself into a solely Halloween-themed park, with Halloween decorations, Halloween-themed shows, and special Halloween-themed food items. These attractions are hosted in addition to the park's normal offerings of rides, games, and food.[26]

Awards[edit]

In 2004, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari earned the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Applause Award. To win the award, awarded every two years, a park must show "foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability." With an attendance of 883,000 that year, Holiday World was the smallest park to ever receive the award. The park celebrated the award by installing a large replica of the award's trophy as well as commemorative plaques naming other recipients of the award as part of a fountain in the Christmas section.[8]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has also received numerous Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented by Amusement Today magazine to the best of the best in the amusement park industry. At 46, Holiday World has received more Golden Ticket Awards than any other amusement park in the world, as of 2013.[27]

Golden Ticket Awards[28]
Award Year Recipient
Friendliest Park 1998–2008, 2010–2011 Entire Park
Cleanest Park 2000–2013 Entire Park
Best Wooden Roller Coaster 2000–2003 The Raven
Best Wooden Roller Coaster 2007–2011 The Voyage
Best New Ride 2006 The Voyage
Best New Waterpark Ride 2006 Bahari River
Best New Waterpark Ride 2007 Bakuli
Best New Waterpark Ride 2010 Wildebeest
Best New Waterpark Ride 2012 Mammoth
Best Waterpark Ride 2003 Zinga
Best Waterpark Ride 2010–2013 Wildebeest
Publisher's Pick: Park of the Year 2004 Entire Park
Publisher's Pick: Legends Series 2010 Will Koch

Incidents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Park History". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Timeline". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Holiblog". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Holiday World's Patriarch". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d "2011 Golden Ticket Awards". Amusement Today. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Free Drinks Wins Award". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "ZOOMbabwe". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "IAAPA Applause Award". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Voyage Brings Spotlight to Holiday World". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Best New Rides". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "2013 Expansion". Holiday World. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Wildebeest". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Mammoth". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Will Koch Drowned". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Holiday World Names New President". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Vertical Swing". Holiday World. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Holidog Express Blog". Holiday World. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "2014 Expansion Press Release". Holiday World. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "TripAdvisor Rankings". Long Island Press. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  20. ^ http://www.holidayworld.com/holiblog/2014/04/17/wisdom-sir-isaac/
  21. ^ "Elvis, a Coaster and a Wedding". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  22. ^ "Play Day". Holiday World. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Walk to Cure Diabetes". Holiday World. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  24. ^ "HoliWood Nights". Holiday World. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  25. ^ "Rock the World". Holiday World. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  26. ^ "Happy Halloween Weekends". Holiday World. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "2010 Golden Ticket Awards". Amusement Today. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  28. ^ "2012 Golden Ticket Awards". Amusement Today. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 

External links[edit]