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Podcast: The one with the shiny new toys

We’re back! From now on we’ll be releasing one new 30-min(ish) podcast episode every other Sunday night/Monday morning for your commute or cleaning session or whatever.

We establish early on that remembering the time between recording and releasing is hard, and spoiler..we don’t get better at it!

We kick off this episode by introducing our special guest and Director of Attractions, Lori C! She joins our cast today to discuss a brief recap of 2019 and all the shiny new toys coming to attractions in 2020.

First up was Lauren who gave us the details of transforming Kringle’s Kafe to Santa’s Merry Marketplace, our major project for 2019.


The project was all that we promised, specifically that pizza and the murals stayed! Our Festive Flurries grabbed the attention of People Magazine!

Peanut Butter Festive Flurry Closeup at Fountain

2019 also brought us a new event, Kids World!

Additional kid-centered entertainment was infused into the park from mid-August through mid-September. There were new treats, additional entertainment, Fun Zones, Scavenger Hunt and BUBBLES!

Unicorn Sundae from Udderly Blue

This video gives a great overview of the event!

Our Ornament Fountain update for 2019 that garnered concern from our guests was over our fountain. No worries, the applause hands are safe!

New Applause Hands location

The prestigious Applause Award meant the world to Will Koch. Their first home in the fountain was him fulfilling a promise that if Holiday World won, he would put them in the fountain. The recognition was made possible by the hard work and dedication of our employees, so it felt fitting that they were relocated to a team member area.

Then we shifted gears to 2020!

We discuss Cheetah Chase and how it solidifies our place as the undisputed Water Coaster Capital of the World!

We discussed track work going on at Voyage.

We bid farewell to Monsoon Lagoon and discuss what’s going in that space.

We discuss all the attention the Star Spangled Carousel is getting this off-season!

Rick’s “humble cabin” above and mood boards are seen below:

Thank you for riding along as we relaunch the Holiday World Podcast! Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube, Facebook, etc. and tell all your friends. Please be sure to send us your feedback and questions with us by calling us at 812-937-4401 then dial 8081, or by emailing us at, or by reaching out to us on social media using the hashtag #HOWOPO.

Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published.


Season 2-Episode 4
The One with the Shiny New Toys

INTRO with energetic music

Man’s voice: You are next in line for the Official Holiday World Podcast.

Man Speaking through a P.A. system: Welcome to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

Man’s voice: Dropping in from Santa Claus, Indiana

[Tech sounds, sonar, typing]

Man Speaking through P.A. system: Riders will experience swift acceleration, high-speed turns, and sudden stops

[roller coaster break sounds]

Man’s voice: With park president and CEO, Matt Eckert.

Matt Eckert: After that bacon soda, I’ll try anything.

Man’s Voice: Fourth Generation Owners, Lauren Crosby…

Lauren’s voice in a short clip: I came back, I’m here

Man’s Voice: and Director of Communications Leah Koch

Leah’s voice in a short clip: ha ha ha ha uhhhhh [drawn out]

Man’s voice: Now still your loose articles and buckle up, keep your hands and legs inside the car at all times.

[Rock music intro music and roller coaster ride sounds]

LEAH: Annnnd WE’RE BACK! Welcome back to Season 2 of the Official Holiday World Podcast! This is Season 2 Episode 4: “The One with the Shiny New Toys”. Consider us the grost..I mean I gotta start, it’s fine, this is how we do it here. Consider us the ghosts of Christmas past because we’re recording on December sixth, but this episode won’t be released until January.

[Spooky ghost sounds from the entire pod squad]

LEAH: I love that we all did that on que

MATT: It’s fun to talk about toys though because it’s the Christmas season.

LAUREN: But it won’t be when they hear this.

MATT: It’ won’t be, but while we are talking about it, it is

LEAH: You know what’s really crazy? That we’re recording three episodes today. And after this is episode four

MATT: But we haven’t done three yet?

LEAH: After this we’re going to record episode three but since we had our guests all stacked

LAUREN:  What??

MATT: You trying to totally warp our timelines here.

LEAH: We wanted to pack our guests together, so it made more sense. We wanted every third episode to be our feedback and Q&A episode. So, that’s why we’re doing it this way.

MATT: Speaking of guest, we have an awesome one

LEAH: Oh, yes! Speaking of guests, we have Director of Attractions, Lori Cotton joining us today. Welcome!

LORI: Hello!

LEAH: We have a lot to catch up on because we did not have a podcast episode in 2019


MATT: We didn’t have any in 2019?

LEAH: No, our last one was right before Christmas 2018

STEPHEN: December 14, 2018

MATT: To be exact. And the time was??

LEAH: And we aren’t dropping this episode until January. So

MATT: So we’ll have one whole year of no podcast

LAUREN:  So it’ll be the year without a podcast

MATT: That’s sad.

LEAH: I can hear the song, “A Christmas without Santa”. So it’s weird we’re getting ready for the Christmas season and when you’re listening to this you’ll be sick and tired of Christmas. Soo!


LAUREN:  Putting your tree away, your lights away.

LEAH: Or at least you should be..Totally kidding!

LAUREN:  This is totally off topic, I apologize but in Taylor Swift’s song she talks about “You can keep the Christmas lights until January”. I’m like, is that really that late??

LEAH: No! March is late.

LAUREN:  Yeah! She’s like “You can do what you do what you want and keep them up til January”. I’m like girl, that is not that late


MATT: Our neighbor one year kept them up until the end of April

LAUREN:  Now, THAT’S late.

LEAH: That’s way late, I say March is the end of the acceptable range

MATT: It shouldn’t go past Easter

LAUREN:  Maybe you’re like Taylor Swift and you’re packing away those decorations right now.

LEAH: Yeah, maybe you’re ambitious.


MATT: Good for you, come to my house when you’re done.

LEAH: Where were we? Catching up on 2019! I think we opened a new restaurant, maybe?

MATT & LAUREN:  We did!

LEAH: Anybody want to talk about Santa’s Merry Marketplace?

MATT: I defer to Lauren because Lauren had a big role in the transformation in what was once Kringle’s.

LAUREN:  Fortunately, I was just listening to the podcast where we talked about doing this project.

MATT: Did it turn out the way we talked about it?

LAUREN:  We were pretty vague in spots. I didn’t get to listen to the whole thing, but I ran out of time. We talked about how we were going to keep pizza. And we did! We talked about how we were going to keep the murals. And we did!

MATT: Score Two for us!

LAUREN:  We talked about how we wanted it to feel like Christmas and I think we delivered

LEAH: And we’ve got five different area’s a cuisine in there.


LEAH: I think one of them will be changing, but we’ll address that in our new foods episode later.

LAUREN:  Will there be a food sampling?

LEAH: Maybe!?

LAUREN:  Sorry, I’m getting hopeful. The baby is like I want food!

LEAH: So we’ll still have pizza and breadsticks and all that obviously, we’ll still have the grill area with burgers and chicken sandwiches and things like that. We’ll still have the kids area with what was it? Chicken tenders and fries.

LAUREN:  Tater tots….TOTS!

LEAH: The Asian Cuisine, annnd then we’ll talk about what the deli section will be becoming, because RIP Deli Section!  I think I was the only one that ate there. Lori what was your favorite?

Lori: I was all about the Asian spot.

LAUREN:  I went there A LOT

MATT: I went there a lot, too

LEAH: What was the best food in the Asian section?

LAUREN:  General Tso’s cauliflower bites!!

LORI: The General Tso’s chicken in general was good.

LAUREN:  I also got down on some buffalo chicken sandwiches, because those came back!

LEAH: I also ended up loving the singular pig in the blanket.

LAUREN:  I did not have that

MATT: Not PIGS in a blanket, pig in a blanket

LEAH: Pig in a blanket, it was one hotdog wrapped in like buttery crossaunt-ish material, it was great! I would 100% go to the kid section and get that.

MATT: I forgot when the foods department brought that to me last year, they called it something else. It had a weird name, I was like..I don’t know what this is. They said, “It’s like a pig in a blanket”. Then let’s call it that!

LEAH: I just love that the dish wasn’t called pigs in a blanket because Pigs in a blanket are the tiny little things. It’s just pig in a blanket. One big hotdog wrapped in the same material.

LAUREN:  Let’s not forget with Merry Marketplace we didn’t just change all the food we also have the Polar Expresso with the coffee, and fudge, and taffy. LOTS of taffy and bulk candy

LEAH: I hit that candy hard. You know I did.


LAUREN:  Then we had the Sugar Plumb Scoop Shop, which essentially was an expanded version of our ice cream area in Kringle’s which was greatly needed and was a great addition. They were able to add in a few menu item options which they weren’t able to do before.

LEAH: And it was a great success. And the Fest of Flurries which was featured in People Magazine, those are flurries, like milkshake. Well they’re like flurries, so they’re flurries

LAUREN:  But they’d have a piece of cake on top!!

LEAH: Yeah some of them would have a piece of cake on top or two full cookies and whipped cream on top they’re …..

LAUREN:  Decadent

LEAH: amazing!

LAUREN:  Indulgent!

MATT: Yeah, there were not diet versions of anything

LORI: I did, it was like snack one and two because I couldn’t eat it all. So the toppings I’d wrap in a napkin and stowed away in my office.

LEAH: That is so smart!

LAUREN:  My husband and I would get one and share it

MATT: They were huge

LEAH: That’s awesome! Also in 2019 we introduced a new event called Kids World.

LAUREN:  We did

LEAH: How was that Lauren?

LAUREN:  I liked it


LEAH: I had a lot of fun with Kids World.

LAUREN:  Kids World, to quickly summarize Kids World, we took 5 weekends starting in about mid-August running right up until Happy Halloween Weekend starts in September. All of those weekends became Kids World! We had special entertainment, we normally have Brandon Baggett perform but we had Brandon Baggett and we brought in specialty performers, we had a juggler, and a balloon guy?

MATT: Artist

LAUREN:  Well he was more than a balloon artist,

MATT: He did lots of things

LEAH: A guy who gets on a giant balloon

LAUREN:  I feel like that oversimplifies what he does

MATT: There’s an art to that I guess

LAUREN:  He’s still an artist, but yeah, anyway, we had shows throughout the day, we had stilt walkers who made balloon animals. We had a bubble zone up in the Christmas section, where kids could go play in tons of bubbles. We had a percussion zone where we had I want to say homemade instruments but that  downgrades what it was.

LEAH: Some cool percussion instruments where kids could

LAUREN:  literally bang on stuff. We had a special Safari Sam DJ show in the water park where kids got to play with Safari Sam and dance. They had a great time with that.

LEAH: We had balloons all over the park for decorations.

LAUREN:  Yes, we even had special menu items

LEAH: and deals!

LAUREN:  There was a scavenger hunt you could pay to play that was I thought was a lot of fun, so hopefully more kids will play it this year.

LEAH: Yeah, that’s exciting!

LAUREN:  It was like a party every weekend.

LEAH: I especially liked going out during Kids World and just walking around the park because people were always having a great time. Especially with the stilt walkers

LAUREN:  And honestly, if you showed up during the first hour that we were open in the plaza there was just a giant dance party

MATT: It was!

LAUREN:  It was so much fun every morning.

LEAH: We’re going to have to keep doing that

LAUREN:  I know, it was so much fun. The stilt walkers were everywhere and there was music and the characters were out. There were balloon animals and balloons.

LEAH: And that event is going to be returning, with balloons and bubbles, and balloons and bubbles, and balloons and bubbles.


LEAH: But that event is going to be returning next year, is that correct?


LEAH: Well, this year because it’s 2020.

LAUREN:  We liked it so much we thought we’d bring it back.

LEAH: In addition to the Santa’s Merry Marketplace renovation, we did the fountain too. We had a lot of people asking where the applesauce hands, or the applause hands, or the praying hands went.


LEAH: So I wanted to take a moment to say, do you like that, in our notes I even wrote that “applesauce hands”. We had a lot of people ask us where the applause hands went or the praying hands went. For the record I want everyone to know that they are now in an employee area. What those hands stood for was a very elite award we got back in 2004, I believe, that only a small number of parks have received, and they give it out every other year. It goes to the truly best of the best out in the amusement park industry and it was a huge honor for us to get it and our father Will Koch was hugely excited that we got it.

LAUREN:  Very much so.

LEAH: So he decided to get that made into a fountain so that it would be the centerpiece of our park and so, when we decided to go for more intense Christmas theming, we decided to go ahead to change up the fountain a little bit. But we moved the applause hands or the applesauce hands as I now like to call them, because auto correct, they’re now down by the employee area because we think that award belongs to the employees of the park as much as it does to our guests.

MATT: 100%

LAUREN:  Our employees helped us get that, it’s because of them

MATT: Absolutely

LAUREN:  Not just helped

LEAH: They ARE the reason

LAUREN:  So why not be reminded of that every day?

LEAH: So the applesauce hands are safe and sound, rest assured.

LAUREN:  They are. [giggles]

LEAH: Sorry I just want to say applesauce as many times as I can now


MATT: I’m going to call them that now, thank you.

LEAH: We’re going to take a quick break and then we’re going to talk about all the new attractions coming in 2020


LEAH: When’s the best time to buy a Season Passes? Right Now! You can sign up for easy pay options through February 15. For more information about our passes and perks go to


[Rock music fades in]

[club like music beat fades in]

Matt: We won’t miss seventy or twenty-five or however many degrees of separation. But we will be accepting new game ideas.

LAUREN:  Want to make a suggestion? Or have questions for the podsquad? There are more ways than ever to reach out to the podcast!

LEAH: Find @holidayworld on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use hashtag H-O-W-O-P-O to let us know you’re talking about us.

Matt: You can now CALL US! Dial 812-937-4401 and type in extension 8081 to get the HOWOPO voice mailbox

Lauren: Leave your questions and feedback for us there OR you can email us at either with a written message or with a voice memo

Leah: again, reach out on social media to @holidayworld and use the hashtag HOWOPO, or call us at 812-937-4401 extension 8081, or send us an email to

[music fades out]

[funky guitar solo fades in]

LEAH: Alright, now it’s time to discuss the new things coming in 2020!

MATT: Yeaaah!

LEAH: Do we have anything?

MATT: We do!

LEAH: What’s happening??


MATT: Lori, why don’t you tell us!

LORI: I think we have a huge orange thing going up over the midway.

LEAH: HASHTAG orange is the new track.


LEAH: I’m bringing it back, it’s happening!

LORI: Tracks, it can be plural now!

LEAH: Ohhh, good point!

LEAH: Isn’t one side the orange side?

LAUREN:  Yes. Yes?


LEAH: I thought they were going to call it orange and gold

LAUREN:  Yeah, I think it’s going to be orange and gold.

LEAH: BRB, I’ll just be on my phone.

LAUREN:  Yes, I think that’s right. I helped pick out the colors I should know

LEAH: It might be orange is the new track, singular

LORI: It could be


LEAH: Who knows?

MATT: it’s awesome regardless

LEAH: It looks really great right now.

LORI: I was just standing out in the middle of the midway the other day and couldn’t believe how neat, you are standing in a forest of fiberglass.


MATT: A forest of fiberglass, I like it

LEAH: Well out in the midway it just goes over you. It’s going to go over you.

MATT: It changes the landscape of the park.

LAUREN:  And it is??

LEAH: OHHH- Cheetah Chase! I was like, did I say It’s when I should have said it is or something??


LAUREN:  NO, no one had said Cheetah Chase!

MATT: What is the Cheetah Chase?

LEAH: it is a dueling, full circuit, racing water coaster and it’s also the world’s first launched water coaster. Since I wrote that press release I should be able to say that one.

MATT: So how many water coasters does that make us now?

LEAH: That makes 3 water coasters for us. We are now the[whispers] Water Coaster Capital of the World

MATT: Put it in the books.

LEAH: you gotta whisper that one, just like when you say “The kNight’s who say Wheee! You gotta say, “wheeeeeee!”. You have to whisper.

MATT: Why do you gotta whisper?



Water Coaster Capitol of the World

MATT: Does it sound more important if you do it that way?

LEAH: I don’t know

LAUREN:  You have to talk about it in reverent tones



MATT: I don’t know that I knew that.

LEAH: OR you have to shout it. WATER COASTER CAPITOL!

MATT: I don’t want to bust our listeners ear drums.



MATT: That’s right, what she said.

LEAH: I’ll go home now, it’s been a good run today. Anyway, Lori.

LORI: Yeah, it’s also the first head to head dueling zone. Which is now up! It looks so cool.

MATT: Bascially when you you’re racing you will meet each other.

LORI: Yeah, you’ll see each other. I would say wave, but you gotta hold on. So you’ll just see each other.

MATT: Yeah, no high fives, hang on.

 LEAH: and the exciting thing is too, the que, this was one of my first questions to James was, is the que going to be set up so that your family can know they’re racing each other? And he said was like yes, here is going to happen. They’ve got it figured out that you transfer. I’ll let you talk more about it.

LORI: When you get the front platform there is an attendant that will make sure to get  you divided up and into your rafts and you’ll know who you are racing against.

LAUREN:  Exciting!

LEAH: So you can start the trash talk early and keep it going when you go head to head .

LORI: Exactly!

LEAH: Just keep it Holi-Friendly, people!

LORI: There’s two more rally points too, so there’s three spots where you can see who’s ahead.

LEAH: You can see who’s winning.

LORI: Yeah! It’s going to be awesome, I know I can’t wait to get my hands on those controls.


LEAH: Are you excited for it?

LORI: I’m SO excited for it

LEAH: and a fun thing too that I learned a little bit ago, they’re building 2/3 of the fiberglass right now and then we’re building the station, then they’ll finish the fiberglass because there’s not a way to get to the station once we finish. There’s not a good way to get to the station once we finish the track. It’s a fascinating way they laid it out. I think it’s super interesting. We have to wait on the fiberglass before we finish the station. Fun facts, brought to you by Leah!


LAUREN:  The more you know

LEAH: I’m sure your department is a little excited about it

LORI: So excited about it

LEAH: Did anybody wear the socks? Do they wear them still?

LORI: Oh yeah, during sock days during the summer you say a lot of cheetah socks. I ‘m occasionally still seeing some. They’re very crazy about Cheetah Chase.

LEAH: In case anyone wasn’t watching all of our teasers and things like that, we had cheetah socks that we actually cleared out of J. Crew factory and got like 800 pairs of these socks.

MATT: Interesting story, my daughter was the kicker for the football team this year she wore the Cheetah chase socks every game as a good luck charm.

LEAH: That’s great! Those are perfect colors for her high school!

MATT: And you could see them from the field. You could tell.

LEAH: That is awesome!

MATT: I had people in the crowd say, “Does she have on cheetah socks?” And I said, Yeah, yes she does.

LAUREN:  Those are awesome socks.

LEAH: I don’t think we’ll ever have anything quite as fun as that but you know I say that every year about everything we do. What do I know?? What else are we working on right now?

LORI: Let’s see, right now we also have a lot of track work going on at The Voyage.

MATT: A LOT of track work. Going on at The Voyage.

LORI: There’s actually 800 feet, which is about the most we’ve done in an off-season.

LEAH: That is so exciting.

LORI: we are really excited about that, it’s going to be even smoother sailing in 2020

ALL POD SQUAD: AWWWWWWWW!![They see what she did there]

LEAH: I see what you did there! We made a video out of communications just to show people, people don’t think about it but there are eight layers of track and you don’t just don’t just stack eight pieces to make that track, you stagger it. So one piece goes down, you go a couple feet, the next piece goes down. So when we do 800 feet, there’s forty feet on either side basically to get down to eight layers. It’s such a huge undertaking to do, I don’t think people quite realize the scale or how intense that is. 800 feet, that’s quite a lot!

LORI: Yes it is!

LEAH: That’s going to be awesome.

LORI: I think riders are going to notice it in that back turn all the way through that first ninety degree. So it’s a pretty big amount this year.

MATT: We take good care of our babies.

LEAH: That’s the thing too, I don’t want to trash talk other parks, but we put a lot of time and energy in our wooden coasters. I’m not commenting on what other parks do.

[snickers and laughter]

MATT: Not as much as we do

LEAH: we love our wooden coasters and we work really hard on them and yeah, I hope it shows, I think it does. And the fact that our attractions department who doesn’t neccesarily do maintenance also is so engaged and knows what is going on, I think that’s what makes us special

LORI: I think that’s what makes iso much fun and Voyage has a special place in my heart. That was the first ride that I ever operated so yeah, to see it get this much love is exciting for me

[pod squad gushes with “AWWWWW’s!]

LEAH: I love that! That is so fun! What else is coming? I know we’ve gone through the two biggies, but in addition.

MATT: We have something fun in the water park in addition besides The Cheetah Chase.

LEAH: I think some people that follow us or that are fans notice that Monsoon Lagoon came down this year.

MATT: Rest in peace.

LEAH: YUP, that attraction just kinda reached the end of it’s life and unfortunately it happened a month or two into our season but we’ve got some new and exciting plans that I’m going to turn over to Lauren, basically to describe

LAUREN:   Thank you, we thought, HEY! Why don’t we stick a performance venue in this space. So..

LEAH: We’re going to widen the path, first and foremost that’s what everyone on our staff has asked about this change coming to the Monsoon has asked about this change coming to the Monsoon Lagoon area which is going to have a new name

LAUREN:  Yes, it’s going to be called, “Muziki Bay”.


LEAH: Muziki is the Swahili word for music?

LAUREN:  Yes! So what you can expect in that area is that there will still be a pool, a shallow pool so children can come and play and splash around. We’re going to build a stage and we’re going to have a DJ with our characters throughout the day, we’re going to have some other special performances that are still being determined right now

LEAH: You’ve got time

LAUREN:  The morally of the story is, is that there should be entertainment on that stage for the majority of the day.

LEAH: It’s going to be a party zone, that’s what I wanted to called it but

LAUREN:  It will be! Or that is at least the goal. The goal for the vibe is a party.

MATT: What’s cool too is down right there where we call it restaurant row. So as you’re eating you’ll be able to enjoy the entertainment while you’re having lunch or dinner.

LAUREN:  Yes! God forbid there is a line at a food stand, which does happen because inevitably everyone wants to eat at the same time.

LEAH: Pro-tip guys, if you ever want to avoid the food lines, eat before you come and have a nice late lunch. IF you go closer to 3:00 in the afternoon, I know it’s going to feel late, but if you go a little bit later in the day all the lines die down. Any way, you were saying lines and food..

LAUREN:  If there happen to be a line, hopefully if you have two parents or two adults with you, you can tell one adult the order and the other adult and the kids can have a party while the other adult is waiting.

MATT: I want to be that adult.


LAUREN:  So I think it’s going to be a good time, I’m excited and looking forward to making sure there’s lots of fun and entertainment in that space.

LEAH: In addition to that we have work going on at The Carousel.

MATT: Lori is getting everything this year.

LORI: I KNOW! I love it! I’m like the greedy kid at Christmas!

[Loud laughter]

LEAH: I love it!

LORI: It’s pretty much getting a complete refresh, paint, new flooring, LED Lighting, it’s going to look more 4th of July, all of that pink is going to turn into 4th of July red.

MATT: Our Paint Shop Manager was showing me some of the panels this morning and it looks amazing.

LORI: I just saw some pictures this morning and it looks great.

MATT: I didn’t really realize how much I didn’t like the pink panels, but now I don’t like them at all

LORI: They pop so much more now!

LAUREN:  It’s going to be so exciting, I’m personally, putting my theming hat on, I am very exciting to see a carousel that screams 4th of July!

MATT: Since it’s in our 4th of July section.

LEAH: And we’re going to add Sabrina to the podcast, so Sabrina got to take a little trip down to the sign shop or the paint shop where the very talented painter Rick Emmons does all of his masterful work. Sabrina, can you tell us a little bit about it?

SABRINA: Absolutely, what I thought was absolutely amazing and I was expecting him to talk about “Oh, they’re going to be red, white, and blue because they’re going to be in 4th of July, but this has been like a two year project in the making, he’s the most humble artist I’ve ever met in my life.

MATT: Rick?


MATT: He really is, and he’s incredible

LEAH: We actually talked about getting him on this episode but he was like, “Well, I’m taking Friday afternoon off and also please don’t make me do this”.


LEAH: I still may send Sabrina down to the paint shop with a recorder and we may add a little segment.

MATT: I told Rick he can never retire.


SABRINA: It’s was incredible, he was talking about one of them, since where the ride came from it was a more Arizona themed, he was like “Oh, I just changed it out and put the Indiana flag and I painted a very humble cabin”. I was like waaaait a minute!

MATT: Just That?! I would be like, I painted it brown.


SABRINA: It’s red, white, and blue now, it’s that amazing? He just really talked about even his mood boards he makes.

LEAH: I don’t think I’ve seen any of those.

SABRINA: I took pictures and we’ll include them in the post about this but he’s got quilts as inspiration, American things, so it’s a full theme and that’s what’s on the saddle pads and all of the details that’s where it comes from, his mood boards.

LEAH: My friend David, who you know, works at a place with a mouse, umm, loves to talk about carousels, and the history of carousels, and how carousels tell a story and so I love that we’re slowly turning that into the carousel that tells our story and the story of our state.

SABRINA: How it’s going from very Midwest to more Indiana, I’m sorry more west-you know OUT WEST

LAUREN:  Yes! West-West!

SABRINA: To more Americana and 4th of July.

LEAH: I love that so much.

SABRINA: And that when it started it wasn’t, “Oh, hey let’s redo the whole ride”, I appreciated that it wasn’t just because it didn’t look like the 4th of July, there was actually maintenance going on, taking off all of those panels, removing all of those lights, so it was a massive undertaking.

LAUREN:  Yes! It’s getting new lights too!

LEAH: Lori said that already.

LORI: I slid it in real quick

LEAH: Lori likes to make everything sound so humble.


MATT: She’s like Rick.


SABRINA: There are actually 30 panels, this is a fun fact, there are 30 panels when they take them all off and they were like baloney pink, I don’t think that’s a technical term


LAUREN:  It’s accurate though

MATT: I bet that’s not what the color company calls it though

[Laughing still]

SABRINA: No, that’s not the official pantone color, but everyone in the paint shop

LEAH: You barf over that a little bit


MATT: Our paint shop is dying right now.

[pod squad still laughing]

SABRINA: YES! I’m sorry paint shop, you told me what it was. But everyone did laugh when I said baloney. They said, “You know it is baloney”.


SABRINA: I clarified, maybe it’s more SPAM?

MATT: No, it’s baloney, you’re right

SABRINA: All the processed meats. So we’re moving away from processed meat. But there are 30 of those pink and gold panels that are now being turned into BEAUTIFUL red and gold. Each one of those panels takes between 34-35 hours per panel. PER PANEL. To get them done. They have to clean them up, then they prime them red, another coat of red, each one of them, that takes a day, then they hand paint the gold on it. It’s so intricate all the details of the hand painting. Just he horses with their saddle pads, it’s all incredible. Then they have a magical clear coat that goes over the whole thing.

LEAH: That makes it all glossy

SABRINA: Yes, so glossy! He was like “That’s when the magic happens”.


MATT: I’ll brag on our guys too, it’s not just one person that can do that, each person in the paint shop was doing a panel. They all have that ability and it’s just great to have that kind of staff on our team.

SABRINA: It really is a cohesive, one part of the paint shop does the panels, but then they all get together and do, they all have their part, it’s amazing.

LEAHh: I love that so much. Annnd Sabrina reaches over her head to give us the five-minute mark

MATT: She’s multitasking, she’s that awesome.

LEAH: so Lori, what is your attractions team most excited for coming in 2020?

LORI: I definitely think they are most excited about The Cheetah Chase, we haven’t told them about some of the stuff yet, so I think they’re really going to go crazy when they see all the new stuff and the adjustments we’re making and the things we are doing. I know I’m going to be super excited.

LEAH: I feel like I loved operating the Carousel back when I was in attractions, so like I would probably want to be there and The Voyage, because the track work we did on Voyage we didn’t spend enough time on that, the 2019 work, but the track work we did going into last season.

MATT: It was a lot!

LEAH: I had people getting off at Holiwood Nights who were saying “It’s riding like it did in 2006”. And it’s like Thanks!

MATT: Just wait til 2020!

LORI: I rode it last year and teared up, I thought “THIS IS SO GREAT!”

LAUREN:  So get ready!

LEAH: I think the picture of me, my first night ride on Voyage is me applauding, because we literary, we came through the triple down and that cross through, and at that cross through I was so used to getting slammed over to one side and it feels like we just flew like ice skating through it or flying through it and I just [clapping sound] OH MY GOSH IT’S SO GOOD!! Again, at the end of the day, I’m a bit of a coaster nerd, let’s be real.

MATT: Just a little bit

LEAH: Aren’t we all?? Let’s be real.

MATT: Just a little bit

LEAH: Yeah, oh my gosh the track work was so good and I’m so excited to see what they’ve got in store for us in this next year, but yeah! Congratulations, you’ve chased your way to the end of another one of our podcasts (See what I did there)

LAUREN:  Womp, Womp!

MATT: Like Ice skating

LEAH: Like an ice skater! [Laughter] You have listened to the first podcast with a new schedule for HoWoPo. From now on we’ll be releasing a 30 minute-ish podcast every other Monday. Please join us now or on your next commute, cleaning session, etc. for our next episode which will be3 Season 2 episode 5, title yet to be determined

LAUREN:  Whomp, whommmp

LEAH: Thanks to our guests today: Lori Cotton. Thank you also to all of our behind-the scenes-podsquad. (trips over words) I CAN talk today! Thanks to Stephen Rutherford for creating the visuals for possibly my favorite tease campaign for a new attraction. Thanks to Josh Moore for reminding us to tell you to sign up for our e-newsletter, and Sabrina Jones for making sure our guests made it here today. But seriously, thank you so much. If it were up to me they would not have made it. And thanks to all of you for listening! Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube, Facebook, etc. and tell all your friends. On behalf of our PodSquad—Matt, Lauren and myself—thank you. Please be sure to send us your feedback and questions with us by calling us at 812-937-4401 then dial 8081, or by emailing us at, or by reaching out to us on social media using the hashtag #HOWOPO.

[Rock music much louder]

Outro music: You’ve been listening to the official Holiday World Podcast, 

Man on Speaker: Welcome back! Did you enjoy your flight?

Man Speaking: A production of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. Check out the latest episodes at HolidayWorld.Com/Podcast

Thanks for taking a ride with us and please come back to see us again soon.

[music fades out]

LEAH KOCH: And thanks to all of you for listening! Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube, Facebook, etc. and tell all your friends. On behalf of our PodSquad—Matt, Lauren and myself—thank you. Please be sure to send us your feedback and questions on social media using the hashtag #HOWOPO.

[Rock music much louder]

Outro music: You’ve been listening to the official Holiday World Podcast, 

Man on Speaker: Welcome back! Did you enjoy your flight?

Man Speaking: A production of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. Check out the latest episodes at HolidayWorld.Com/Podcast

Thanks for taking a ride with us and please come back to see us again soon.

[music fades out and into a new song]

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