- Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Infobox Amusement park
name = Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
location =Santa Claus Spencer County
location2 = Indiana
location3 = United States flagicon|USA
coordinates = coord|38.12|N|86.91|W|display=inline,title
address = 452 East Christmas Blvd
Santa Claus, Indiana47579
August 3, 1946
previous_name(s) = Santa Claus Land
season = May through October
Average Annual Gross Sales: not released
area = convert|120|acre|km2
rides = 47
coasters = 4
water_rides = 3
owner = Will Koch
slogan = #1 for Family Fun!
homepage = http://www.holidayworld.com
blog = http://holidayworld.com/holiblog/holiblog.html
Holiday World is a family-owned and -operated
theme parklocated in Santa Claus, Indiana, USA. Holiday World is also noted for its water park, Splashin' Safari, which is included in the price of admission. Together, they are officially known as Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.
The theme park celebrates
Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgivingand the 4th of Julywith rides, live entertainment, games and attractions. The water park includes a number of family raft slides, two wave pools, two action rivers, two family "tipping bucket" water-play attractions, numerous water slides, plus water activities for children. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari offer guests free unlimited Pepsisoft drinks, free parking, free sunscreen, and free use of inner tubes. The parks are smoke-free, with designated smoking areas available in each themed section of Holiday World plus one by each wave pool in Splashin' Safari.
Holiday World opened on August 3, 1946; it was founded by Louis J. Koch under the name Santa Claus Land. Holiday World was the first themed amusement park in the
United States, preceding Disneylandby nine years. The park had rides and activities for children and their parents. It was a small park themed around Santa Clausand Christmas. The park still remembers Santa Clauswith a large statue at the entrace of the park and also includes a large Christmas Treeand Nativity Sceneas well.
In 1984, in order to appeal to a wider age group, the park expanded to include
Halloweenand Fourth of Julysections, and the park's name was changed from Santa Claus Land to Holiday World to reflect the emphasis on additional holidays. Frightful Falls, a log flumeride, was added in 1984. As the park's name changed, so did the names of some of the rides, to reflect the new holidays. For example, the round-up ride called Arctic Circle became known as The Roundhouse in the new 4th of July section.
In 1993, Splashin' Safari was added. The water park area initially included Crocodile Isle, a children's water-play area with some animal-themed water slides, an action river called Congo River, plus two large water slides. In 1994, a wave pool was added.
Holiday World gained national attention in 1995 when
wooden roller coasterThe Raven opened during the park's 50th season. It has been rated as the first, second, and third best wooden roller coaster on the planet by " Amusement Today" and " Inside Track" magazines.
Additional water slides and attractions were added to Splashin' Safari in the following years.
The wooden roller coaster The Legend opened in 2000 for the park's 55th season. It has consistently been rated in the top dozen wooden coasters in the "Amusement Today" "Golden Ticket" awards.
In 2002, Splashin' Safari opened the largest enclosed water slide in the world, called ZOOMbabwe.
In 2006, Holiday World added the
Thanksgivingsection and additions to Splashin' Safari for its 60th Anniversary. This marked the largest expansion ever for Holiday World and cost over US$13 million. These additions included a new wooden roller coaster, The Voyage. It won the Best New Ride Golden Ticket Awardfor 2006. On September 13 2006, the park's owner Will Koch taped a segment for " The Colbert Report" pitting Santa Clausagainst Abraham Lincoln, another historical figure with ties to southern Indiana. The park's 60th season concluded on October 8, 2006, park broke its all-time attendance record as more than one million visitors came through the gates that year.
In 2007, a $4.5 million expansion included Bakuli, a
ProSlideBehemoth Bowl water slide, in Splashin' Safari and Turkey Whirl tilt-a-whirlin Thanksgiving. Also that year, The Voyage was given the Best Wooden Coaster award at the Golden Ticket Awardsand the park once again had over one million visitors pass through its gates which broke the attendance record set the previous year.
In 2008, a $6 million expansion included Kima Bay in Splashin Safari as well as the Star Spangled Carousel in Fourth of July and the Reindeer Games spring ride in the Christmas children's area. The park also installed additional restrooms, Pepsi Oasis drink stations, several clocks and a tram in the Legend Parking lot. The park also began opening at 9:30 CDT which is a half hour earlier than in previous seasons. The park also retained its crown of Cleanest & Friendliest park at the Golden Ticket Awards. The Voyage also remained the #1 Wooden Roller Coaster at the awards.
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari's 2009 expansion includes the world's tallest water ride, an RFID locator system, and a parking lot upgrade. At a price of $8.4 million it will be the park's second-largest expansion.
shoot-the-chuteride called Pilgrims Plunge will stand 135 feet tall. The IntaminMega Splash ride will be located in the Thanksgiving section but will also be accessible from Splashin' Safari. Ten-passenger boats filled with riders will be swiftly lifted up an open elevator and then drop a record 131 feet at a 45-degree angle, creating a wall of water splashing 45 feet high and 90 feet wide. The ride will also include a tunnel, geysers and splash-zone observation area. The cost of Pilgrims Plunge is $4.3 million.
A free wristband-style radio frequency identification HoliWatch system will also be introduced in 2009; the water-proof devices will serve as locators for groups and families who become separated during their visit.
Other additions include more shade structures in Splashin' Safari plus improvements to the Legend Parking Lot, including an access road and traffic signal at the junction of State Roads 162 and 245 to the east of the park. [cite news
url = http://www.holidayworld.com/news/pp_news_release.html
title = Worlds Tallest Water Ride Coming to Holiday World] [cite news|url=http://www.theindychannel.com/entertainment/17301151/detail.html|title=Holiday World Plans Massive $4.3 Million Water Ride|date=2008-08-26|publisher=TheIndyChannel.com|accessdate=2008-08-26]
Mascots & Characters
Because Holiday World is an independent, family-owned theme park, there are no licensed characters at the park. However, over the years, Holiday World has developed several mascots and characters including:
*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 American flag-themed clothing
Park layout and current rides
Holiday World's attractions are divided into five sections: Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Holidog's FunTown. Splashin' Safari is connected to Holiday World.
The Christmas section is at the entrance to Holiday World. It includes a huge Christmas tree, the Applause fountain, a nativity scene, Rudolph's Reindeer Ranch (a collection of classic kiddie rides) as well as Kringle's Kafe, the largest and only air-conditioned restaurant in the theme park. Since the park opened in 1946, Santa Claus is available daily throughout the year to chat with children of all ages. He also invites children on stage with him at Santa's Storytime Theater.
The Thanksgiving themed section of the park premiered on May 6, 2006, to commemorate Holiday World's 60th anniversary. The centerpiece is The Voyage, an out-and-back/twister wooden roller coaster which has 24.2 seconds of
air-timeand is convert|1.2|mi|km long with five underground tunnels. In 2007 & 2008, the readers of "Amusement Today" named The Voyage the #1 Wooden Coaster on the Planet. Thanksgiving also includes a turkey-chase interactive dark ride called Gobbler Getaway, a turkey-themed tilt-a-whirl called Turkey Whirl, a gift shop, and Plymouth Rock Cafe.
Defunct Rides & Attractions
In 2005, Holiday World received the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions'
Applause Award. [cite news
url = http://www.holidayworld.com/news/applause.html
title = Holiday World wins International Applause Award] This is an exceptionally prestigious award that is only given every two years to a single theme park (worldwide) that demonstrates foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability. Holiday World is the smallest park to ever receive the Applause Award. The park marked the award by installing a large version of the award (applauding hands) and commemorative plaques naming the other winning parks in the fountain located in the Christmas section.
Holiday World has received many first place Golden Ticket Awards from "
Amusement Today" magazine [cite news
url = http://www.holidayworld.com/news/Golden_Tickets_06.html
title = Holiday World Wins Best New Ride and Other Golden Tickets] [cite news
url = http://www.holidayworld.com/news/Golden_Tickets_07.html
title = Voyage Named #1 Wooden Coaster] including:
Holiday World often plays host to some unusual weddings. The ceremonies are completely legitimate and legal though they are often very light-hearted and festive. In the park's history, couples have been married on The Voyage, The Legend, and in 1995 a dozen couples simultaneously tied the knot on The Raven. Other couples have married in The Wave pool, on the park’s now defunct bungee jump, and in a Santa-themed hot air balloon over the park. During the 2008 season, a couple was married on the top of the Voyage lift hill by a professional Elvis impersonator. [cite news
url = http://www.courierpress.com/news/2008/may/20/21web-coasterwedding/
title = Elvis, a Coaster & a Wedding]
Incidents at Independent Parks - list of incidents that occurred at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.
* [http://www.holidayworld.com/ Official website for Holiday World & Splashin' Safari]
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