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13 July 2011 - 12:37pm
Today, we introduce our PR intern, Leah, as a guest HoliBlogger.
Leah will be a junior this fall at Indiana University; she's majoring in journalism.
...she has an interesting "sister" to tell you about.
Mom used to joke that this park was “the other woman” when it came to my dad.
Being Will Koch, my dad sort of had a lot of work to do on a daily basis: planning and arranging for the next five to ten years, keeping things going smoothly daily, not to mention his regular walks around the park. When he greeted guests in the morning and closed the park at night, we occasionally went an entire day without seeing him, but we always got to tease him for it.
Anyway, if Holiday World was indeed “the other woman” then I can’t help but notice he had three “babies” (just as his three babies in real life: my brother, my sister and me).These “babies,” of course, “wood” be: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage. That would make these coasters my half-siblings.
I prefer, however, not to think of these “babies” as being a separate family. I like to think of Holiday World as some sort of unconventional extension of my family (of course, the staff is already my family, but I’m talking about rides, slides, the kitten who returns to Hoosier Theater every winter, etc., in this case). Basically everything in the park is somehow a part of my family, but those coasters held a special place in my father’s heart, which makes these coasters my siblings.
As the middle child, I prefer the “middle coaster”: The Legend. My Aunt Barbara would likely add at this point a comment that the middle children tend to be the easy-going ones (though I believe our coaster maintenance technicians might disagree).
After my visit to The Legend earlier this season, I feel comfortable stating that the Legend is a true middle child. The Legend is riding so smoothly this season and the double helix has really clicked.
You know, the two of us sort of matured together: from my childhood days of the Legend’s original painful lap bars (anyone remember Legend Legs?), to the ride's current older, wiser--yet still awesome--controlled excitement (have I mentioned I’m humble?).
For anyone who hasn’t ridden The Legend, or for those who haven’t paid attention, The Legend grew around the existing park, and has since allowed the park to grow around it. From its early days dwarfing Frightful Falls and providing a lovely (albeit noisy) background to our Dive stage, to the growth of Splashin’ Safari through and around the Legend, it has threaded Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari together. I would say The Legend and I share this rooting in the park.
I grew up in Holiday World, and I remember realizing I could no longer ride the “little kid rides.” I had my first job here. At the age of 20, and five departments later, I get to watch the park continue to grow around me. Most importantly, I think the both of us are here for a long time. The Legend certainly won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and I have always loved Holiday World too much to plan a future anywhere else. I always planned to come back and help run Holiday World one day and with the recent death of my father I want to more than ever.
I should add that I only recently realized this subconscious closeness to The Legend when Alex, one of my many wonderful managers in Rides, commented that The Legend was sort of the red-headed stepchild of the three coasters. After clarifying that he has always been sort of partial to The Legend, I realized I was getting ready to be deeply offended that Alex might prefer another coaster in our park. It was only as I told another boss of mine (you get a lot when you work in so many departments) about my “sister coaster” that I realized we shared so many personality traits.
But I’m not entirely sure I can attribute my love of The Legend solely to our commonality. Any time I walk through the park or ride any of the coasters; I can’t help but feel just a little bit closer to my dad.
The Legend, however, is extra special for me. I remember Dad picking us up at school one day, insisting that we come to the park to watch The Legend. It was almost ready for riders. (I was not going to ride—I was having coaster issues at the time). It was close, but not quite ready. The train needed to go a few more times around without riders. I had to go to karate. I remember, though, as soon as I finished karate, I got to go back to the park. Just to watch, though. After watching Dad go around one time… and return, Dad persuaded me to try it.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget riding my first ride on The Legend with my dad.
It was just me, my dad, and my sister coaster.
8 July 2011 - 7:19pm
When Rand McNally and USA Today announced they were searching for the Most Fun Small Town in the U.S., we immediately thought of ... well, us.
Not to be too full of ourselves, but over the past 65 years, we've pretty well figured out how to have...fun.
When Santa Claus was named a Finalist Town and we were notified that our pair of judges was a Mother/Daughter Team from Denver, it simply jingled our bells.
Traveling Jules & Joan came to see us last week. What a blast!
Joan was a great sport, valiantly trying to keep up with her energetic daughter.
...and from Voyage, on to Wildebeest.
Here's their Santa Claus, Christmas in July video showing our two new friends enjoying all the fun our town offers:
7 July 2011 - 7:35pm
There was a great campground and park
Which decided to, quite on a lark...
Call out the rhymers
Both young and old-timers
To compete for a really cool mark.
Many thanks to the thousands (yes thousands) of HoliBlog readers who sent in their limericks. Your creativity (not to mention the ability to rhyme Safari with Ferrari!) amazed us.
And the winning limericks are...
Congratulations to Curtis Y. of Crawfordville, Florida! His limerick:
While riding the Raven one day,
I spied a campground ‘cross the way.
With campfires glowing,
It entered my knowing
Lake Rudolph’s a great place to stay!
Way to go, Curtis! You win two nights at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in one of their fun rental RVs plus four sets of two-day tickets for here at the park!
We also chose a runner-up: Katie S. for Neoga, Illinois, wins two one-day tickets to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.
Here's Katie's limerick:
Forty-eight inches is the vertical goal
Of my Holiday World coaster-lovin five year old
He's been eatin broccoli and pears
And sayin all his prayers
Just to rise above the infamous measuring pole
Thanks again to all who wrote limericks - hope it was as fun for you as it was for us!
6 July 2011 - 11:06am
Two years ago, we hosted a production crew from National Geographic Channel.
They were here from the show "World's Toughest Fixes" to document construction of Wildebeest, which became their "Ultimate Water Ride" episode.
Every half-hour or so the field producer, Pete, would ask the crew, "Do you want to use the GoPro?
Eventually, I just had to ask, "Pete ... what the heck are you talking about? What's a GoPro?"
Pete was like a kid in a candy shop. "Oh, you've got to see this -- it's the coolest thing! You need one of these."
A GoPro is a tiny camera that can be used to shoot point-of-view footage. You can strap it on a hat or helmet, on the front of a ride, vehicle or person ... the possibilities are endless.
Another crew used a GoPro to shoot this Wildebeest video when we opened the world's longest water coaster last season. Cool, huh?
It's kind of handy working at a place where you have access to Santa every day. And for Christmas, the PR department did, indeed, receive our very own GoPro.
We'll be using it a lot this season. Here's the results of the first use ... we asked the professionals who provided our fireworks extravaganza on the 4th of July if one of them would be okay with us strapping our GoPro on their hardhat.
And here are the results: