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Indiana's Religious Freedom Act and Holiday World


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I'm not sure this is the place for this to be addressed, but I do feel the need to post something to inform enthusiasts (and the occasional GP that visits this sight) who have either canceled their trip to HW or are considering canceling their to HW. In light of the Indiana Religious Freedom Bill that was recently signed into law, it seems as though HW (like most businesses in Indiana) has come under fire with people proclaiming that they will not be visiting the park or spending their money in Indiana because of this bill. While I personally, do not agree with the bill and can understand why people are upset, I think it is important to know that a bill similar to this one exists in at least 20 different states. It exists where I live, in Illinois. I never knew it did until yesterday and I've never heard of any business in the state using it to deny it's potential customers. So my point is, please don't just single out HW and Indiana. If you're not going to visit HW and Indiana because of this, then please make sure you look up the 20 other states that have this law and don't visit their state and theme/amusement parks. It's not fair to single out one, but not acknowledge the others.

 

The park posted this blog today sharing their values. HW has always followed these values and will continue to do so. I would highly expect that all the businesses (like Hotels, Restaurants, and Gas Stations) in Santa Claus and towns that surround HW will choose to follow these values as well, as most of them wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for HW.

 

http://www.holidayworld.com/holiblog/2015/03/27/values-much-free-soft-drinks/

 

When choosing a place to spend precious time with family and friends, many trip planners pay special attention to value.

 

Because we’re all on a budget, right?

 

We receive a lot of kudos each year for offering free soft drinks, free parking, and more.

 

Values, though, go much deeper than just the pocketbook.

 

About a dozen years ago, our owner and president, Will Koch, presented a list of Values to the staff. These were to be our touchstones, he told us – so that no matter what, we could stay true to ourselves.

 

When Will passed away unexpectedly five years ago, it was those Values I turned to when asked to help write his eulogy.

 

We revisited those Values over the winter months, adding a fifth. Introducing these Values to our new and returning seasonal employees is the topic of Matt’s first Holigram article this spring.

 

We’d like to share his Note from the President:

 

One thing I believe we all have in common here at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is the amount of pride that we have in our Parks and in each other. That pride is driven by the Values that we have created and those Values in which we operate our business and live our daily lives.

 

Many years ago, we established these Values, and recently we revisited them to ensure we were truly living and acting accordingly. We are.

 

What are these Values? I would like to start off our 2015 Season by taking this opportunity to share with you, all of our Hosts and Hostesses, what they are and why they are so very important.

 

We Play by the Rules

 

Rules can be defined and interpreted in a lot of different ways. Rules not only include those operating rules that we have as employees to ensure that we are all doing our jobs, but it also includes regulations, ordinances, etc. At Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, we will always do what is right. Period.

 

We Respect the Individual

 

We welcome many Guests from all over the country – and throughout the world – to our Parks every year. Everyone is different, unique and special in their own way. We have, and we will always, respect every single Guest who chooses to spend their day with us, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Our Guests are giving us something very precious – their time. For that, we owe them our gratitude and fantastic service. We also must respect one another. Everyone has a right to their ideas and opinions and we must always be open to share those with one another.

 

We Encourage Work/Life Balance

 

We work hard – and we need to play hard, too. We recognize how precious time with our family and friends is in our lives. We are all about families, including our own. It is very important that we take time for ourselves to ensure that we are mentally present at all times. When you are here at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, your full attention should be given to our Guests, ensuring that Safety, Service, Friendliness and Cleanliness are your top priorities.

 

We are a Team

 

We must always put the growth and success of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari ahead of any one individual. We must work together, as a Team, to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience to our Guests that we can.

 

We Have Fun!

 

We are a Theme Park! If we cannot have fun doing what we do, then we have picked the wrong industry! If we have fun, our Guests will have fun. Proven fact. Enjoy your job, enjoy our Guests and enjoy each other.

 

This may seem like a lot to take in and remember (don’t worry – we will have our Values posted throughout the Park). These Values are what we should live and breathe; in time (if they have not already) our Values will become your standard operating procedure. It is my hope that they will stay with you not only during your time with us at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, but forever.

 

Keep Smiling!

 

Matt

Edited by larrygator
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AWESOME blog post! Just another reason that Holiday World is so special and amazing!

 

To add to ZeroGravity's excellent post as well.... I just want to add that I DO live in Indiana and it's become VERY clear in the past few days that this bill does NOT represent most Hoosiers values. I have yet to run across ANYONE that thinks this bill was a good idea. I will also add that the Mayor of Evansville(closest larger city to Holiday World) who is by the way republican if that matters, has publicly stated he does NOT like the bill at all. Him and our city council urged the governor to NOT sign this bill into law. I say this because I'm all for boycotting places that discriminate and hold low values, however when stepping into the Indiana situation, it is safe for outsiders to assume most places (cities, businesses) are NOT in support of this bill. So as a Hoosier, I implore you to not cancel plans to visit Indiana because honestly, it's not a good representation of our state values.

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Despite the fact that I am not a religious person and that I also happen to like members of the same sex, I would never think of not visiting a theme park based on someone's religious values - unless of course, my life might be in danger or the owners were deeply rooted in homophobia. I fully respect people for who they are and if they choose religion, that is entirely up to them.

 

Kudos to HW on a great blog! I for one, cannot wait to get back to this park someday!

 

 

 

PS - My place of employment has it's corporate headquarters in central Indiana and they also happen to be very non-discriminatory and gay friendly.

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I would not give the Indiana legislature a 50 cent highway toll, never the less support any business that pays taxes to them. Humanity needs to stand up for eachother now, today. I would absolutely boycott any business, company, state, or organization of any kind that supports discrimination.

 

Some things in life are more important than Rollercoasters and I'd advise people to postpone their trips to Indiana until this law is repealed. If you allow any tollerance towards hate, even marginally, it will only grow

 

But this isn't a poltical forum, so let's do our best to stick to discussing the park instead of the state. I apologize if my post seems opinionated and preachy!

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But this isn't a poltical forum, so let's do our best to stick to discussing the park instead of the state. I apologize if my post seems opinionated and preachy!

 

Nailed it. If I want to think about politics I turn on talk radio or the news. When I want to talk/think about roller coasters, it's because I want to take a break from all of that crap.

 

Now... back to Thunderbird. Any more videos?

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But this isn't a political forum, so let's do our best to stick to discussing the park instead of the state. I apologize if my post seems opinionated and preachy!

 

Nailed it. If I want to think about politics I turn on talk radio or the news. When I want to talk/think about roller coasters, it's because I want to take a break from all of that crap.

 

Now... back to Thunderbird. Any more videos?

 

And I agree as well. I only brought it up because it became such a hot topic on the Holiwood Nights Facebook page.

 

Now back to the park. No new videos of TB that can be shared on here (not a TPR supported website). The video was also illegal (IMO), as they drove onto Holiday World property (the employee parking lot) to film the ride.

 

With all the stuff I've acquired over my years doing haunted houses, I'm sure I have a few fog machines and strobe lights the park could borrow!

 

I think it would be neat if they added fog, lightning effects and maybe the sound of thunder to the fly-through barn at the end of the ride.

 

Now this isn't TB related, but I did find a photo of both Legend trains. For those of you who don't remember, The Legend operated the majority of season last year with one train after something happened to the second one. It's nice to see it reappear finally. The Legend really needs that second train in the morning, as it and The Raven are usually the first two rides that get hit with major lines when the ropes are dropped (there is a tip for you first time visitors). Another tip, get to The Voyage first thing in the morning and you won't have that long of a wait. Of course, that's probably all wrong now, as everyone will be running to the woods (and right by The Voyage) to ride TB.

 

From PTC's FB:

 

21181_747527675346234_2560077958502086192_n.jpg?oh=2e4618fff300bf8a6aa4babe9d3a7611&oe=55AA538C

Edited by ZeroGravity55
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But this isn't a political forum, so let's do our best to stick to discussing the park instead of the state. I apologize if my post seems opinionated and preachy!

 

Nailed it. If I want to think about politics I turn on talk radio or the news. When I want to talk/think about roller coasters, it's because I want to take a break from all of that crap.

 

Now... back to Thunderbird. Any more videos?

 

And I agree as well. I only brought it up because it became such a hot topic on the Holiwood Nights Facebook page.

 

Now back to the park. No new videos of TB that can be shared on here (not a TPR supported website). The video was also illegal (IMO), as they drove onto Holiday World property (the employee parking lot) to film the ride.

 

Now this isn't TB related, but I did find a photo of both Legend trains. For those of you who don't remember, The Legend operated the majority of season last year with one train after something happened to the second one. It's nice to see it reappear finally. The Legend really needs that second train in the morning, as it and The Raven are usually the first two rides that get hit with major lines when the ropes are dropped (there is a tip for you first time visitors). Another tip, get to The Voyage first thing in the morning and you won't have that long of a wait. Of course, that's probably all wrong now, as everyone will be running to the woods (and right by The Voyage) to ride TB.

 

From PTC's FB:

 

21181_747527675346234_2560077958502086192_n.jpg?oh=2e4618fff300bf8a6aa4babe9d3a7611&oe=55AA538C

 

You know I was thinking about this in terms of park design and ride location. Aside from the fact of purposely wanting to add rides to Thanksgiving, it's also a smart move to locate Thunderbird back there to help disperse crowds a bit more. It will pull from Splashin Safari, the front part of Thanksgiving, and the sometimes congested Halloween section as well. It was a good location pick on so many levels!

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I would not give the Indiana legislature a 50 cent highway toll, never the less support any business that pays taxes to them. Humanity needs to stand up for eachother now, today. I would absolutely boycott any business, company, state, or organization of any kind that supports discrimination.

 

Some things in life are more important than Rollercoasters and I'd advise people to postpone their trips to Indiana until this law is repealed. If you allow any tollerance towards hate, even marginally, it will only grow

 

But this isn't a poltical forum, so let's do our best to stick to discussing the park instead of the state. I apologize if my post seems opinionated and preachy!

 

I suggested this on Facebook but maybe the park can get some positive publicity by donating the equivalent of the sales tax paid to the State of Indiana to a charity upholding equality. It would be amazing publicity for the park...especially if they do it first. Many people I have spoken with have a problem with giving tax money to the government who passed the law and thus are boycotting all things Indiana. This includes my friends and family who were planning a trip to HW but now are planning on going elsewhere.

 

Anything the park can do to help convince my friends and family and thus get me back to Holiday World would be amazing.

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Regardless of how you feel about the laws recently invoked by Indiana and Arkansas, does everyone calling for a boycott of Indiana realize that there are around 20 states with a similar law on the books including Illinois and Kentucky? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/27/19-states-that-have-religious-freedom-laws-like-indianas-that-no-one-is-boycotting/

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Regardless of how you feel about the laws recently invoked by Indiana and Arkansas, does everyone calling for a boycott of Indiana realize that there are around 20 states with a similar law on the books including Illinois and Kentucky? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/27/19-states-that-have-religious-freedom-laws-like-indianas-that-no-one-is-boycotting/

I should point out that in Indiana, sexual orientation is not a protected class - the RFRA did not change that, so any Indiana business could discriminate on that basis and be within its legal right to do so. Repealing the RFRA wouldn't change that either.

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Regardless of how you feel about the laws recently invoked by Indiana and Arkansas, does everyone calling for a boycott of Indiana realize that there are around 20 states with a similar law on the books including Illinois and Kentucky? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/27/19-states-that-have-religious-freedom-laws-like-indianas-that-no-one-is-boycotting/

 

Not sure why your so quick to defend hate, but that doesn't make it right. Also, if you took into account the timing of this bill, it was rushed through the legislature to beat the supreme court ruling that will pretty much slam dunk make marriage equality legal in all 50 states. This bill, Arkansas's version, and others that are popping up now in several states are the way backwards politican are going to try and combat it.

 

I have found Theme Park Review to be a very tolerant, and inclusive community. There are people on this board who could be discriminated against due to these rules and it likely doesn't make life easier for them if we find ways to excuse this malicious, discriminatory behavior. To keep TPR A stress free environment for everyone, it's best if you choose a different forum to discuss these politics as they have nothing to do with theme parks.

 

Let's keep moving on Thunderbird discussion guys!

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Holiday World loves everyone (as long as you follow their rules, which you should!)

 

Can't wait for Holiwood Nights! After their recent "values" statement, I feel like spending more of my time and money there, more often.

Couldn't agree more. Holiday World really seems focused on ensuring all their guests have a great time, which is really the heart of the entertainment industry. You don't take care of your guests by putting up artificial barriers. Just a few simple rules to make sure everyone has fun is all that's needed. I'll be at Holiwood Nights too. Less than two months now!

 

To remind everyone what it's all about:

15269146641_288b7724cc.jpg

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Holiday World loves everyone (as long as you follow their rules, which you should!)

 

Can't wait for Holiwood Nights! After their recent "values" statement, I feel like spending more of my time and money there, more often.

Couldn't agree more. Holiday World really seems focused on ensuring all their guests have a great time, which is really the heart of the entertainment industry. You don't take care of your guests by putting up artificial barriers. Just a few simple rules to make sure everyone has fun is all that's needed. I'll be at Holiwood Nights too. Less than two months now!

 

To remind everyone what it's all about:

15269146641_288b7724cc.jpg

 

I think the biggest difference between Holiday World and other parks is that it isn't about money to them. I mean sure it's the family's living, but they honestly just enjoy proving fun for families and having fun themselves. The money thing is just icing on the cake for them I feel and a means to an end.

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I just want state that my name is John and my husband's name is Chet (together 23 years). We have been on a first name basis with many Holiday World management staff since the Raven opened in 1995. In all of those 20 years, we have always been treated with respect and dignity. I personally visit the park several times each week during daily operations. I can truly state that Holiday World has never discriminated in any way against us. We do live in Indiana and are embarassed by the leaders of our state and plan to work dilgently to vote them out of office in the 2016 election.

Thank you John and Chet

P.S. Hello Paula, Brandon and Lori G.

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I just want state that my name is John and my husband's name is Chet (together 23 years). We have been on a first name basis with many Holiday World management staff since the Raven opened in 1995. In all of those 20 years, we have always been treated with respect and dignity. I personally visit the park several times each week during daily operations. I can truly state that Holiday World has never discriminated in any way against us. We do live in Indiana and are embarassed by the leaders of our state and plan to work dilgently to vote them out of office in the 2016 election.

Thank you John and Chet

P.S. Hello Paula, Brandon and Lori G.

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Regardless of how you feel about the laws recently invoked by Indiana and Arkansas, does everyone calling for a boycott of Indiana realize that there are around 20 states with a similar law on the books including Illinois and Kentucky? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/27/19-states-that-have-religious-freedom-laws-like-indianas-that-no-one-is-boycotting/

 

you are incorrect Jodon.

 

here is a link to an accurate comparison that blows the conservative Washington Post's lies (that has everyone repeating them) out of the water.

 

please give it a read? the other 19 States do *not* have the "same" law.

 

There are KEY differences and that's why the boycotts and protests have happened.

 

https://inadvancesheet.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/the-indiana-religious-freedom-restoration-act-an-analysis-of-its-controversy/

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Holiday World loves everyone (as long as you follow their rules, which you should!)

 

Can't wait for Holiwood Nights! After their recent "values" statement, I feel like spending more of my time and money there, more often.

 

It's on my bucket list of parks, but we won't be visiting anytime soon (as long as that law as stands is on the books in IN).

 

but I really do appreciate their blog posts, and it's a shame that good people are caught in the crossfire.

 

Thunderbird does, indeed, look amazing.

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