|For years Holiday World's main attractions were its wooden coasters: Raven, Legend, and Voyage. You might want to start with Voyage first, because Raven and Legend tend to draw crowds early because they're located near the front of the park (their lines thin out by mid-afternoon). However, the game changed when the park added the first launched B&M Wing Coaster, Thunderbird.|
Gobbler Getaway, the park's "turkey-calling" dark ride, is right across from Voyage and worth checking out. Holiday's World's flat ride package is small and basic.
HW's extensive water park, Splashin' Safari, draws big crowds on hot summer days and has one of the best water slides anywhere--the LIM-launched Wildebeest. The water park opens at 10:30 am, so its best to get there early, get a locker, suit up, then head directly to Wildebeest, which will draw a huge line (from one to two hours) quickly. After that, you might want to hit Pilgrim's Plunge, which you can access from either the water or the theme park. HW offers a log ride and rapids ride, too, but the flats are nothing special. Be advised that the park's terrain is a bit hilly, and its layout a little tricky for first-timers.
|Holiday World offers the usual theme-park fare, such as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, and funnel cake, at pretty reasonable prices at stands throughout the park. Pepsi products are also available "free" at various serve-yourself drink stations. For a full meal, your best bet is probably the Plymouth Rock Cafe by Voyage, which offers fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, roast turkey, and ham (with an assortment of side dishes). |
|Holiday World is open from the first weekend in May through October. Splashin' Safari usually opens in mid-May and closes in mid-September. HW usually opens at 9:30 am, while SS opens at 10:30 am. Be sure to check the park's Web site for operating hours--and to make sure the park isn't closed to the public for a "special event."|
|Established Seasonal events|
|The big enthusiast event at Holiday World is Holiwood Nights, which features ERT on the park's coasters after dark, as well as food and other surprises. Members of recognized coaster clubs are elgible to participate.|
|Access & Location|
|Holiday World and Splashin' Safari are located at 425 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, IN (at the junction of Highways 162 and 245). The nearest major airport is Cincinnati, but the park offers driving directions from surrounding midwestern cities on its Web site.|
|Santa Claus isn't exactly a sprawling city, but there are a few places to stay near the park: Santa's Lodge, Santa's Cottages, and the Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort.|
Other than that, you can find the usual assortment of chain hotels, such as Motel 6, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn Express, in Jaspar, Dale, Ferdinand, and other towns.
|Virtual Queue Options|
|Holiday World offers a variety of family-friendly shows. The most unusual offering is "Santa's Storytime Theater," where kids are invited to join St. Nick on stage for stories, songs, and photos. Other shows feature diving and beach music in the water park, along with country. oldies rock, and Christian. The Holidazzles are a group of street performers.|