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Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

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Holiday World has sent us their latest press release announcing the launch of their new online shop.


Holiday World souvenirs, shirts, caps and fudge are now available year-round, thanks to the new online HoliShop.


“For the past few years, we’re received a steady stream of requests to add a shop to our website,” says Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari president Will Koch. “We decided to have fun with it and use our staff and their families as our models.”


Koch himself appears on several HoliShop pages, even serving up a “mug shot” to illustrate the park’s “Ride A Coaster” coffee mug. He and his mom, Pat Koch, also clown around posing in new Wildebeest shirts. The Wildebeest water coaster will open in Splashin’ Safari in May.


The HoliShop also offers to ship fudge from Mrs. Klaus’s Kitchen year-round. In February, the “fudge of the month” flavor is Chocolate Peanut Butter.


In addition, Pat Koch’s pictorial history book, Holiday World, is available through the HoliShop, with an offer for her to include a personally hand-written message in each copy. The direct link to the HoliShop is http://Shop.HolidayWorld.com.


Holiday World’s 64th season begins May 1; the premiere of the World’s Longest Water Coaster, Wildebeest, is May 14, Splashin’ Safari’s opening day. For more information about Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and seasonal employment opportunities, visit the parks’ website at www.HolidayWorld.com or call 1-877-463-2645.

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I don't know how much you can say, but I'd love if you could share any insight with our readers in how the closing of SFKK has impacted your current and future plans.


I don't know how many times we've stayed in hotels in the Santa Claus area only to see some kids pick up a brochure to SFKK and say "Look mom, that park has big roller coasters that go upside down!". If Holiday World picked up a medium sized steel, or smaller looping coaster they can really make a push to get ALL of SFKK's old business.


Also, there's been a big focus on Splashin Safari lately and I'm assuming it will continue to expand cause this is going to be MAJOR, since the water park at SFKK was by far the most popular area in the park. Splashin Safari already gets VERY crowded and I'm wondering if you ever close temporarily due to capacity like some other water parks do. Perhaps extending hours as well?


I'm sure you already market significantly in the Louisville area, but are you going to retool some of those strategies to really grab the locals and convince them that the hour long drive is worth it now more than ever?


Thanks in advance for anything you can say!

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Word that Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville is closing brought a mixed reaction from Will Koch, president of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari here. “It’s tough, always sad when another park closes,” Koch said Friday morning. “We know the people (employees) over there.” But he said Holiday World also sees it as an opportunity to draw even more customers from the Louisville area. “We would love to offer our park to their fans and we think we have the capacity,” said Koch. He said while Holiday World’s attendance — just over 1 million annually — has remained fairly flat since 2006, the family-owned park has continued to open new rides and make other improvements and expects corporate picnic business to rebound this year.


In May, the park’s 64th season, the world’s largest water coaster, the Wildebeest, opens. Also, the park’s largest wooden coaster, the Voyage, has new cars that will make the ride faster and smoother, lessening waiting time in line.


And there have been expansions in the water park area, including last year’s debut of the world’s tallest water ride, Pilgrims Plunge.


Holiday World draws more customers from the Indianapolis area than anywhere else, followed by Louisville and Evansville, Koch said.


Six Flags, which has owned Kentucky Kingdom since 1997 and is undergoing a bankruptcy restructuring, announced Thursday that it has rejected a lease from the Kentucky State Fair Board and will close the amusement park, which employs about 1,000 people each summer and has 40 rides and a water park.


Although attendance numbers aren’t available for Kentucky Kingdom, Koch said he doesn’t believe the Louisville park drew as many customers as Holiday World, although it was bigger at one time.


Kentucky Kingdom opened in the mid 1980s.


Holiday World’s attendance in the early 1990s was only 300,000.


Six Flags said its 13 other U.S. parks are not affected by the move.

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Well, we're doubly glad we're building a big new water coaster for Splashin' Safari this season, Elissa, that's for sure. We were already planning to concentrate on adding capacity in the coming years and yesterday's announcement underscores the importance of that.


Thanks, Paula

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In addition, Pat Koch’s pictorial history book, Holiday World, is available through the HoliShop, with an offer for her to include a personally hand-written message in each copy.


I picked this book up during my visit to the park last summer, and I've got to say that it's a must-read for anyone who's into amusement park history or interested in the evolution of Holiday World in particular. Hooray for the HoliShop!

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HW will see the biggest rise from the closing because everyone in Louisville knows that HW has an amazing waterpark. KI isn't known around here for their waterpark and I can recall seeing maybe two Beech Bend commercials last year.To be honest, the only park I could envision having a drastic and prolonged increase in attendance would have to be Holiday World.


People that wanted to go to a park to ride coasters already traveled to Holiday World and Kings Island 2 years before the announcement of SFKK closing. Speaking from personal conversations with my friends and co-workers over the years, it seems like the small group (outside of teens mind you) that did go to SFKK for the coasters were alienated when Twisted Twins closed, and then got sucker punched when Chang was removed. With the opening of HW's Voyage and KI's Diamondback, and no new significant coaster addition at SFKK between their openings, people already wrote the park off for that.


I was going to actually go to Splashin' Safari out this year to check out Wildebeest, but I can barely handle a nearly empty waterpark, let alone one as popular as HW's. I guess we will see what happens.

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Word from my parents is we're taking a trip to Indiana in August. I think I might have convinced my mom and bro to go the Holiday World! I've looked all over and haven't seen any new news on the Timberliner trains for the Voyage. Should I assume they will be on the ride around May for the start of the season?

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New Holiblog post, has some pretty good pictures of the Timberliner train chassis.

It's nice to have The Gravity Group offices just three hours away, in Cincinnati.


So when Tony, our maintenance director, asked for sample bogies and a chassis to be delivered early, Chad hopped in the van Friday and headed our way.


Searching for a "hanging Chads" joke ... sadly, none comes to mind. But that's Gravity Group's Chad on the far left and Holiday World's Chad with the hood up.


I guess they're hanging...sort of.


Unloading the chassis


I'm told that's a chassis they're carrying. Basically, that's the framework -- or skeleton -- of the train.


Bryan, Chad and chassis


Poor Bryan. I think Chad just told him he has to carry the chassis to the top of the 173-foot lifthill all by himself.


Just kidding, Bryan. That Chad's a joker.


Chad and coaster maintenance


That's Tony with Chad in the foreground, over in The Voyage's transfer track area. Lots of snow in the background. (Mostly gone now, due to warmer temps and even a bit of rain over the weekend.)


If the chassis is the skeleton, then are these things the feet?


Timberliner bogies


Chad tells us these metatarsals (anyone else got a young-un studying up on naming all the bones in the body?)...er, feet, are actually called bogies.


Since golf has been in the news all too often lately, I checked the dictionary to make sure Chad's nomenclature was accurate. Indeed, among the golf notations, nickname for Humphrey Bogart, cartoon character, and a gross nasal reference, there it was. Back in mommy-mode, I'll ask you to look it up if you want the full bogie explanation. Wouldn't want to plagiarize or anything.


Bottom line, our coaster maintenance technicians are ready to make any minor adjustments to the existing Voyage setup to make sure the new Timberliner trains are a perfect fit.


Or, if you will, up to par.

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  • 3 weeks later...

^Okay, I'm seeing that a little better now...


But what I don't understand is,the front edges of the seat appear to curl upwards, making a sharp hump that would dig into the underside of your thighs/knees (whereas, on the B&M trains, the edges stay flat). Maybe it's just the angle of the photo, but if my observations are correct, it seems like that could be a bit painful...

Edited by DBru
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The thing in the middle is like a nut guard to keep you from sliding out.

Hmm, I never knew there was a technical word for that. Thank you.


But he is right, that bump goes between your legs and then there is the back part of the seat. Also the black part is the only actual part of the seat you sit on, the rest is just a mold for it.

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Holiday World has created a unique contest for fans to try and win some free visits to Holiday World. Visit the link below for some entry examples.




Remember 5-7-5? Post your Holiday World Haiku and you could win 4 one-day park tickets plus 2 nights in one of the RVs at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort (must use 5/1-26 or 6/1-10 in 2010). Must post entry in this thread by noon CDT 3/22/10; must be 13 or older; no employees or relatives from HW or LR eligible. Good luck!


Edited by jedimaster1227
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I am so gonna win this event! I am a Haiku master. I tried starting a TPR Haiku thread, but the peeps just didn't get the Haiku love. Apparently Holiday World does.


Here's todays entry.


Riding Wildebeest

Fast I slide through green forrest

Joyously laughing


Yeah! That took me like 2 minutes! Wait and see what I can do in 24 hours.


Guy "Me likey Haikuey!" Koepp

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^Remember Guy, it's a family park! I'd be very scared to see what you can come up with in a day or two!




Free soda abound,

Fudge, Pizza, Burgers and more!

Where is the bathroom?

Edited by SharkTums
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