Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

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Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Holiday World Logo.svg
Location Santa Claus, Indiana, United States
Coordinates 38°07′08″N86°54′58″W / 38.119°N 86.916°W / 38.119; -86.916 Coordinates: 38°07′08″N86°54′58″W / 38.119°N 86.916°W / 38.119; -86.916
ThemeHolidays
SloganNumber 1 for Family Fun!
OwnerKoch Development Corporation [1]
Operated byKoch Development Corporation
General managerMatthew Eckert
OpenedAugust 3, 1946 (1946-08-03)
Previous namesSanta Claus Land (1946-83)
Operating seasonApril through October
Visitors per year1,100,000+ (2010)
Area125 acres (0.51 km2)
Attractions
Total49 [2]
Roller coasters5
Water rides2
Website Official website
StatusOperating

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari (known as Santa Claus Land prior to 1984) is a combination theme park and water park located near Interstate 64 and U.S. 231 in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. 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.

Contents

Holiday World contains three wooden roller coasters: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage, as well as Thunderbird (a Bolliger & Mabillard launched Wing Coaster) and The Howler. The safari-themed water park includes the world's two longest water coasters, Wildebeest and Guinness World Record Holder Mammoth; additionally, it contains a launched dueling water coaster named Cheetah Chase, numerous family raft rides and water slides, two wave pools, a junior-sized wave pool, two children's-sized water slide areas, a lazy river, and one family "tipping bucket".

History

The Freedom Train, previously called the Santa Claus Land Railroad, operated from 1946 to 2012 FreedomTrain.jpg
The Freedom Train, previously called the Santa Claus Land Railroad, operated from 1946 to 2012

Santa Claus Land

Construction

Plans for Santa Claus Land 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. Upset that children came to a town named Santa Claus only to be dismayed when Santa Claus wasn't there, 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. [3] [4] At this time, Indiana had only one amusement park which was Indiana Beach (at the time called Ideal Beach) that had opened in 1926, 20 years before Santa Claus Land opened.

Opening to 1954

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. With the park's 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. [3] [4] [5]

Future President Ronald Reagan visited in 1955 Reagan1955.jpg
Future President Ronald Reagan visited in 1955

1955 to 1975

An aerial view of Santa Claus Land taken around 1957 SantaClausLand Aerial.jpg
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 1970's, 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. [4]

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. [3]

1976 to 1983

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 families, 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, Virginia 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. [4]

Holiday World

An early photo of Frightful Falls showing what it looked like prior to the construction of The Legend in this area FrightfulFalls.jpg
An early photo of Frightful Falls showing what it looked like prior to the construction of The Legend in this area

1984 to 1992

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. [3] [4]

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. [6]

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

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

1993 to 2005

In 1993, the water park Splashin' Safari opened. 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 park added the first of its three wooden roller coasters in 1995 with The Raven, built by Custom Coasters International. The Raven 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, a distinction it held for 4 years. [4] As of the 2011 awards, The Raven has remained ranked among the top twenty wooden roller coasters in the world. [7]

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 Zinga.jpg
Zinga

In 2000, Custom Coasters International added another wooden roller coaster. The Legend, based on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", was opened immediately adjacent to The Raven and is taller, longer, and faster than The Raven. The Legend's ranking reached its peak in 2002, when it was voted the fourth best wooden roller coaster in the world. [4] 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. [7] In 2000, the park also began offering its guests free unlimited soft drinks, a service which brought international attention to the park. [8] Holiday World was the first park in the world to offer this service to its guests. [3]

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. [9] In 2003, Splashin' Safari added Zinga on top of The Legend's spiral drop, 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. [4]

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. [10]

2006 to 2013

The Voyage opened in 2006, and claimed the record for the most air-time on a wooden roller coaster TheVoyage Autumn.jpg
The Voyage opened in 2006, and claimed the record for the most air-time on a wooden roller coaster

The 2006 season marked the 60th anniversary of Holiday World. The park marked it by adding 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 anchor attraction was the park's third wooden roller coaster, The Voyage, built by The Gravity Group, successors of Custom Coasters International. 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. [11] It is also the second longest wooden roller coaster in the world behind only The Beast at Kings Island. 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. [7] Also added in 2006 was Bahari River in Splashin' Safari. It was named the "Best New Waterpark Ride" by Amusement Today magazine. [4] [12]

Over the next three years, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari opened 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. [4] Pilgrims Plunge was renamed to Giraffica in 2013 when the boundaries between the Thanksgiving section and the water park were slightly altered. [13]

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. [4] [14] The park broke its own record just two years later, in 2012, when Mammoth opened. Mammoth, which was the most expensive ride added to the park until the addition of Thunderbird, is 1,763 feet (537 m) long, making it the longest water coaster in the world. [15]

In February 2010, Holiday World's rival park, Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky, announced that it would be closing permanently and ending operations after park operator Six Flags could not reach a lease agreement for the property. Several members of the Koch family later expressed interest into reviving the park in 2012, but later backed out of the deal. This park would eventually reopen under different management in 2014.

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 as the park's new President. [16] Dan Koch served as the park's President until late 2012, shortly after which the board of directors announced Matt Eckert as the new President, launching a bitter fight within the family for control of the park and its assets. Matt Eckert was previously one of the parks two general managers. Eckert is the first park President not related to the Koch family.

Will Koch's widow Lori and their three children won primary ownership in the park after an ugly court battle and its parent company, Koch Development Corporation. Dan Koch, along with his sister Natalie, would go on in 2014 to form Koch Family Parks and buy Alabama Splash Adventure, a previously troubled theme park in Bessemer, Alabama. [17]

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. [18] 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. [19] 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 were added to the north of Giraffica. [4]

2014 and 2015 expansions

On September 6, 2013, Holiday World announced plans for a 2014 expansion totaling $8 million. [20] The highlight of the announcement was a new swinging ship ride called the Mayflower, which is located in the park's Thanksgiving section just to the north of Gobbler Getaway. This ride is 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 has a capacity of 60 riders and swings 54 feet over a pool of water. [21] In addition to Mayflower, the park announced a new restaurant and shop in Splashin' Safari, more cabanas, additional benches and shade structures, parking lot improvements, and the addition of fireworks on Friday nights between June 13 and August 1. [20]

Giraffica closed at the end of the 2013 season and was removed before the start of the 2014 season citing technical problems. [22]

On July 24, 2014, the park announced the construction of Thunderbird, a launched Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster, for the 2015 season, occupying the area north of Hyena Falls and intertwining with The Voyage. This is B&M's first launched coaster (The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure's launch was created by Universal, not B&M). The coaster reaches speeds up to 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds and the tallest vertical loop on a Wing Coaster. [23] It is also the park's first major steel roller coaster, as The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage are all wooden.

2020 expansion

On August 6, 2019, Holiday World formally announced the construction of Cheetah Chase, for the 2020 season, a dueling launched ProSlide water coaster, occupying an area near the track of The Voyage in Splashin' Safari. [24] Cheetah Chase features a track with a length of over 1,700 feet and a maximum speed of over 20 miles per hour. [25] It is the park's first launched water coaster and their third major water coaster.

Themed areas

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

Upon entering 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. Prior to 2019, the Christmas section of the park included one of the park's two air-conditioned restaurants, Kringle's Kafé, which served standard theme park food items such as burgers, pizza, and ice cream. In 2019, it was replaced by the addition of Santa's Merry Marketplace, which expanded upon both the capacity, size, and available food of Kringle's Kafé. Since the park's opening in 1946, Santa Claus has been available daily throughout the season to chat with children.

RideAddedDescription
Comet's Rockets1970sChildren's rocket ride
Dancer's Fish1970sFish-go-round (Bulgy the Whale)
Dasher's Seahorses1970sChildren's seahorse ride
Prancer's Merry-Go-Round1970sChildren's carousel
Reindeer Games2008Three-story family drop ride
Rudolph's Round-Up2011Children's sleigh ride

Halloween

The Halloween section was one of two new holidays added in 1984. Two of the three wooden roller coasters in the park are located here: The Raven and The Legend. The area also has a Goblin Burgers restaurant, which resembles a witch's house, the Frightful Falls log flume that intertwines with The Legend, and the main entrance to Splashin' Safari water park. Apart from the architecture, guests will hear the school bell from The Legend's station ringing ominously throughout the section. It introduced Kitty Claws as its mascot in 2012.

RideAddedManufacturerDescription
Frightful Falls1984 Log flume
HallowSwings2003 Zamperla Custom-made Zamperla flying carousel swing ride
Scarecrow Scrambler1976 Eli Bridge Company Classic scrambler ride
The Legend 2000 Custom Coasters International Wooden roller coaster themed after Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
The Raven 1995 Custom Coasters International Wooden roller coaster themed after Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven"

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July section was the second of the two sections that were added in 1984. It remains the only section whose name is not a holiday, but the date of a holiday, Independence Day. 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.

RideAddedDescription
Eagles Flight1976 Flying Scooter
Firecracker2017Restored Calypso ride; named after the park's now-defunct steel coaster that was replaced by Holidog's Funtown in 1997
Holidog Express2013 Ridable miniature train ride
Lewis & Clark Trail1978Gould Manufacturing Tin Lizzie antique car ride
Liberty Launch2003Seven-story S&S Double Shot. Relocated from park in Panama City, Florida. [26]
Raging Rapids in Boulder Canyon1990 River rapids ride
Revolution2005Dartron Zero Gravity Round Up ride
Rough Riders1976 Bumper cars themed after former President Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders
Star Spangled Carousel2008 Carousel
Tippecanoes1988Children's canoe ride; originally called Indian River Canoes, but renamed to Tippecanoes in 2016

Holidog's FunTown

RideAddedManufacturerDescription
Doggone Trail1999Children's jeep ride
Holidog's Treehouse1999Three-story play structure; the original was replaced with a new wheelchair accessible play structure in 2017
Just for Pups1999Smaller version of Holidog's Treehouse that is designed for small children
Kitty's Tea Party2013ZamperlaClassic tea cup ride
Magic Waters1999Spray park area
The Howler 1999 Zamperla Family steel roller coaster

Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving section is the newest section of the park, added in 2006 to commemorate Holiday World's 60th anniversary. The anchor attraction of this section is The Voyage which wraps around parts of the midway; guests walk under The Voyage's brake run upon entering the section through Fourth of July. In the back of the Thanksgiving section is Thunderbird, the wing coaster, and a secondary entrance to Splashin' Safari. In addition to The Voyage and Thunderbird, 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.

RideAddedManufacturerDescription
Crow's Nest2012 Zamperla A 65-foot (20 meter) tall vertical swing ride. [27] Originally known as Sparkler when in the Fourth of July section.
Gobbler Getaway 2006 Sally Corporation Interactive dark ride
Mayflower2014 Chance Rides Swinging ship themed after the Mayflower
The Voyage 2006 The Gravity Group Wooden roller coaster themed after the voyage the Pilgrims made to America in 1620
Thunderbird 2015 Bolliger & Mabillard A launched wing coaster themed around the legendary Thunderbird's flight
Turkey Whirl2007 Larson International Turkey-themed Tilt-A-Whirl

Splashin' Safari

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. [28] 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 fourth and second most expensive additions ever made to the park. Unlike a number of other theme parks that necessitate a separate admission fee for the water park, entry to Splashin' Safari is included with admission to Holiday World.

RideAddedLocationDescription
Bahari River2006Splashin' Safari Lazy river [Depth: 28 inches (71 cm)]
Bahari Wave Pool2005Splashin' Safari Zero-entry-depth wave pool [Maximum depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)] featuring geysers and water jets
Bakuli2007Splashin' Safari ProSlide Behemoth Bowl allowing up to four riders
Butterfly Bay1994Splashin' SafariSmaller zero-entry-depth wave pool for children [Maximum depth: 18 inches (46 cm)]
Cheetah Chase [29] 2020Splashin’ SafariLaunched dueling water coaster
Jungle Racer2004Splashin' SafariFive-story ProSlide ProRacer with ten lanes
Kima Bay2008Splashin' SafariWhiteWater 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
Mammoth 2012Splashin' Safari1,763 feet (537 m) long ProSlide HydroMagnetic Mammoth water coaster allowing up to six riders
Otorongo1997Splashin' SafariCollection of three intertwining enclosed inline tube slides named "Otto", "Ron", and "Go"
Safari Sam's SplashLand2011Splashin' SafariChildren's play area featuring an activity pool [Maximum depth: 18 inches (46 cm)] with interactive water elements and eight open and enclosed body slides
Tembo Falls2018Splashin' SafariSet of eight smaller water slides designed for younger children
Tembo Tides2018Splashin' SafariSmall wave pool designed for younger children
The Wave1994Splashin' Safari Zero-entry-depth wave pool [Maximum depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)]
Watubee1996Splashin' SafariOpen family river rapids ride allowing up to five riders
Wildebeest 2010Splashin' Safari1,710 feet (520 m) long ProSlide HydroMagnetic Rocket water coaster allowing up to four riders
Zinga2003Splashin' SafariEight-story ProSlide Tornado allowing up to four riders
ZOOMbabwe2002Splashin' SafariEnclosed family river rapids ride allowing up to four riders

Defunct rides and attractions

RideAddedRemovedLocationDescription
Jeep-Go-Round1947UnknownChristmasChildren's jeep ride; it was the first of its kind ever manufactured
Bungee Jump19921992HalloweenCrane-based bungee jump show; temporarily replaced the high dive show
Stormin' Norman's Tank Tag19921996Fourth of JulySeries of miniature tanks that up to three guests could ride; replaced by The Alamo
Firecracker19811997Fourth of July Pinfari Zyklon Z47 steel roller coaster; replaced by Holidog's FunTown
Frontier Farm19481999Fourth of July Petting zoo with a collection of animals, including baby goats, lambs and 14 reindeer named after Santa Claus's reindeer
Banshee19862002Halloween Chance Falling Star; replaced by Hallowswings
Hall of Famous Americans1950s2002Fourth of July Wax museum with an emphasis on American Presidents and American History; replaced by Liberty Launch
Roundhouse19762004Fourth of July Round Up; replaced by Revolution, a larger version of the same ride
Virginia Reel19762005Fourth 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' Castle19922007ChristmasChildren's soft play structure, including a slide, trampoline and ball pit; replaced by Reindeer Games
Deer Playground19922007ChristmasSmaller version of Kids' Castle, including a crawl-through train and small ball pit for younger children; replaced by Reindeer Games
Thunder Bumpers on Chesapeake Bay19802007Fourth of July Bumper boats; replaced by Star Spangled Carousel
Jungle Jets20042010Splashin' SafariFamily spray area, featuring numerous water features; replaced by Safari Sam's SplashLand
Blitzen's Airplanes1970s2010ChristmasChildren's airplane ride; replaced by Rudolph's Round-Up
Paul Revere's Midnight Ride19782011Fourth 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 House19462011Fourth of JulyWalk-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
AmaZOOM19932012Splashin' SafariEnclosed inline tube slide allowing single riders only; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Bamboo Chute19932012Splashin' 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 River19932012Splashin' Safari Lazy river; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
Crocodile Isle19932012Splashin' SafariChildren's play area featuring two pools connected by two body slides; removed to make room for a new Splashin' Safari entry plaza
The Freedom Train19462012Fourth 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; engine still preserved on display in the park
Giraffica20092013Splashin' 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. [30]
Dancer's Thunder Bumpers Junior19822013ChristmasChildren's bumper boats; replaced by Salmon Run, that was originally in Fourth of July.
Monsoon Lagoon19982018Splashin' SafariInteractive waterplay complex featuring four body slides and a tipping bucket containing 1,000 US gallons (3,800 L) of water. Removed following the 2019 season on account of its age. [31]
Hyena Falls20132018/2019Splashin' SafariCollection of four enclosed inline tube slides, the largest of which included a half-pipe element. Due to a needed safety recall and possible refurbishment, the half pipe was removed prior to the 2019 season. On behalf of its distance from the rest of Splashing Safari, the rest of the complex was quietly retired following the 2019 season.
Hyena Springs20132019Splashin' SafariChildren's spray pad play area, quietly removed alongside Hyena Falls.
Stars & Stripes Showdown20152015Fourth of July Skyline Attractions Strike-U-Up. Operated as a four-person game or two-person ride. [32]

Mascots and characters

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

Entertainment

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.

Special events

Awards

In 2004, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari was presented the Applause Award. To receive this honor, 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 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. [10]

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 51, Holiday World has received more Golden Ticket Awards than any other amusement park in the world, as of 2016. [39]

Golden Ticket Awards [40]
AwardYearRecipient
Friendliest Park1998–2008, 2010–2011Entire Park
Cleanest Park2000–2018Entire Park
Best Wooden Roller Coaster2000–2003The Raven
Best Wooden Roller Coaster2007–2011The Voyage
Best New Ride2006The Voyage
Best New Waterpark Ride2006Bahari River
Best New Waterpark Ride2007Bakuli
Best New Waterpark Ride2010Wildebeest
Best New Waterpark Ride2012Mammoth
Best Waterpark Ride2003Zinga
Best Waterpark Ride2010–2019Wildebeest
Publisher's Pick: Park of the Year2004Entire Park
Publisher's Pick: Legends Series2010Will Koch

Incidents

The Raven

An investigation following the accident showed that the safety restraints were working properly and that there were no mechanical deficiencies on the roller coaster. Additionally, the victim's seatbelt was found undone when the train returned to the station. [42] A subsequent 2005 lawsuit filed by the family against Holiday World and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the manufacturer of the coaster train, was settled out of court in 2007. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. [43] [44]

Lawnmowing accident

The Wave

Bahari River

Bomb scare

The Voyage

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Six Flags Great Adventure Theme park in Jackson, New Jersey

Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park located in Jackson, New Jersey. Owned and operated by Six Flags, the park complex is situated between New York City and Philadelphia and includes a water park named Hurricane Harbor. It first opened to the public as Great Adventure in 1974 under the direction of restaurateur Warner LeRoy. Six Flags acquired the park in 1977.

Kings Dominion Cedar Fair amusement park in Doswell, Virginia

Kings Dominion is an amusement park located in Doswell, Virginia, 20 miles (30 km) north of Richmond and 75 miles (120 km) south of Washington, D.C. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the 450-acre (1.8 km2) park opened to the public on May 3, 1975, and features over 60 rides, shows and attractions including 12 roller coasters and a 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park. Its name is derived from the name of its sister park, Kings Island, and the nickname for the state of Virginia, "Old Dominion."

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Theme park in San Antonio, Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas, formerly known simply as Fiesta Texas, is an amusement park located in La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas. It is owned and operated by Six Flags. The park was built by Gaylord Entertainment Company and opened on March 14, 1992, as the first business in the district of San Antonio. The park was later purchased by Six Flags theme park in 1996.

Alabama Splash Adventure

Alabama Splash Adventure is a water park and amusement park, located off Interstate 20/59 in Bessemer, Alabama, just west of Birmingham and east of Tuscaloosa. It is owned by Koch Family Parks, which consists of members of the family who formerly had minority ownership in Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.

The Gravity Group

The Gravity Group is a wooden roller coaster design firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The firm was founded in July 2002 out of the engineering team of the famed but now defunct Custom Coasters International. The core group of designers and engineers at The Gravity Group have backgrounds in civil, structural and mechanical engineering. Their experience comes from work on over 40 different wooden roller coasters around the world. The first coaster designed under the Gravity Group opened as Hades at Mount Olympus Theme Park in 2005. The Gravity Group also designed The Voyage at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, which opened in May 2006 and is the second-longest wooden roller coaster in the world. These first two accomplishments of the team have been received with great success by both the industry and coaster enthusiasts alike.

The Voyage (roller coaster)

The Voyage is a wooden roller coaster located at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. Designed and built by The Gravity Group with the help of designers Mike Graham, Korey Kiepert, Larry Bill, Chad Miller, and former park President Will Koch, the roller coaster is themed to the famous voyage of the Mayflower by Pilgrims to North America in 1620. It opened to the public on May 6, 2006. It is widely considered the best wooden roller coaster ever built, and was awarded by TIME Magazine as the Best Roller Coaster in the world in 2013.

T3 (roller coaster) Roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom

T3 (stylized as T3; pronounced "T-three", "T-cubed", or "Terror to the third power") is an inverted roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky. Previously named T2, the Suspended Looping Coaster model manufactured by Vekoma opened in 1995. The amusement park closed in 2010 due to financial difficulties, but later reopened under new ownership in 2014. The roller coaster was refurbished and renamed T3, which reopened to the public on July 3, 2015.

The Raven (roller coaster)

The Raven is a wooden roller coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari's Halloween section in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It began to be designed and built in 1994 by the now-defunct roller coaster manufacturer Custom Coasters International, with the help of designers Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill. The roller coaster opened on May 6, 1995. The Raven takes its name from Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" and features sudden drops and turns which mimic the flight of a raven. From 2000 to 2003, The Raven was voted the world's "Best Wooden Roller Coaster" at the Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented annually by Amusement Today magazine. It was named an "ACE Roller Coaster Landmark" by American Coaster Enthusiasts on June 23, 2016.

The Legend (roller coaster) Wooden roller coaster

The Legend is a wooden roller coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It was designed and built beginning in 1999 by Custom Coasters International, with the help of designers Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill; it opened on May 6, 2000. The Legend is themed after Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and mimics the frightful ride Ichabod Crane took as he was chased through the woods by the Headless Horseman. The Legend has been consistently ranked among the world's top twenty-five wooden roller coasters at the Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented annually by Amusement Today magazine.

The Howler

The Howler is a family steel roller coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It was built in 1999 by Zamperla as part of a larger expansion project to build Holidog's FunTown; it opened on May 8, 1999. The Howler is themed after Holiday World's mascot, Holidog, and features a 12-passenger train with the front car resembling the dog's head and the back car resembling the dog's hind feet and tail.

ProSlide Technology, Inc. is a Canadian designer and manufacturer of water rides and water park resorts. They design and manufacture both traditional slides and innovative rides such as water coasters, funnel-shaped TORNADO slides, and Bowl slides. ProSlide has received attention for being the first water slide manufacturer to build a water slide using linear induction motors and for designing the Mammoth watercoaster which was named the world's longest watercoaster by Guinness World Records in 2016. Since 1986, ProSlide has developed and designed water rides for water parks in over 40 countries around the world.

Great Old Amusement Parks is a 1999 PBS television documentary VHS DVD produced by Rick Sebak of WQED Pittsburgh. It aired on PBS on July 21, 1999.

Amusement Today is a monthly periodical that features articles, news, pictures and reviews about all things relating to the amusement park industry, including parks, rides, and ride manufacturers. The trade newspaper, which is based in Arlington, Texas, United States, was founded in January 1997 by Gary Slade, Virgil E. Moore III and Rick Tidrow. In 1997, Amusement Today won the Impact Award in the services category for "Best New Product" from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). A year later, in 1998, the magazine founded the Golden Ticket Awards, for which it has become best known for throughout the amusement park industry. On January 2, 2001, Slade bought out his two partners, giving him sole ownership of the paper. The paper has two full-time and two part-time staff members at its Arlington office, along with two full-time writers and several freelance writers in various parts of the world.

Rampage (roller coaster)

Rampage is a wooden roller coaster located at Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer, Alabama. Manufactured by Custom Coasters International, the ride opened to the public on May 23, 1998. On March 15, 2014, shortly after an announcement that the park had been purchased by Koch Family Parks of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, new management announced that the roller coaster would be refurbished. It reopened for the 2015 season.

Mammoth (ride)

Mammoth is a water coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It was designed and built beginning in 2011 by ProSlide Technology; it opened on May 11, 2012. Mammoth is named after the mammoth, a now-extinct prehistoric mammal, keeping with the water park's safari theme. When it was completed in 2012, Mammoth became the world's longest water coaster at 1,763 feet (537 m) long. It claimed that title from Holiday World's first water coaster, Wildebeest, which is 1,710 feet (520 m) long.

Wildebeest (ride)

Wildebeest is a water coaster at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. It was designed and built beginning in 2009 by ProSlide Technology; it opened on May 7, 2010. Wildebeest is named after the African mammal, keeping with the water park's safari theme. When it was completed in 2010, Wildebeest held the record for the world's longest water coaster at 1,710 feet (520 m) long. It held that record until May 11, 2012, when Mammoth, Holiday World's second water coaster, took over the title at 1,763 feet (537 m) long. In 2010, Wildebeest was voted the world's "Best New Waterpark Ride" at the Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented annually by Amusement Today magazine. Wildebeest was also awarded the Golden Ticket Award for "Best Waterpark Ride" in 2010 and 2011.

This is a timeline for Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio.

Thunderbird (Holiday World) Steel wing roller coaster in the Thanksgiving section of Holiday World & Splashin Safari amusement park in Santa Claus, Indiana

Thunderbird is a steel roller coaster in the Thanksgiving section of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari amusement park in Santa Claus, Indiana. Designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened in 2015 as the eighth Wing Coaster in the world and the fourth in the United States.

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