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The Year of the Virtual Lucite

We at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari look forward to the Golden Ticket Awards by Amusement Today every year. My dad used to call it “Bringing home the lucite.” 

Will Koch receives "World's Cleanest Park" award in 2007

Historically, the awards have been hosted by many parks through the years–including three times at Holiday World. It’s always been fun to spend time with colleagues and celebrate our collective successes of the year. We missed it a lot last year.  

This year, the Golden Ticket Awards were virtual. While we missed the excitement of some of the coolest minds of the industry in one room, it was great to see the familiar faces back on my screen to claim their awards. 

Also if you know me, then you know it was also great to celebrate our own awards this year:  

I’m thrilled to announce that this year Wildebeest won Best Water Park Attraction in the world, and Cheetah Chase won Best New Water Park Attraction of 2020/2021. 

We’re doing a happy dance, and I hope you could see it in our acceptance videos on Amusement Today’s Facebook Page

It’s cool to think that this is Wildebeest’s 11th award for Best Water Park Attraction, and 12th award total (it also received #1 New Water Park Attraction in 2010). I recently heard a story that after my dad rode Wildebeest for the first time, he came back to the office (I have to imagine still soaking wet), and told one of our accountants, “We knocked it out of the park with this one.”

Wildebeest Family

While he never got to see Wildebeest win an award, I know he would be proud to see that today we’re now the Water Coaster Capital of the World. I’m certain he would be even more proud to see the top five rankings of water coasters in 2021:

     1. Wildebeest, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana

     2. Krakatau, Universal’s Volcano Bay, Orlando, Florida

     3. Mammoth, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana

     4. Cheetah Chase, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana

     5. Master Blaster, Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, Texas

It’s incredible to think that three of the four best water park attractions in the world are located right here in Santa Claus, Indiana!

And to see that Cheetah Chase took home the prize for best new Water Park Attraction of 2021. Cheetah Chase Water Coaster

As a bonus, it’s exciting that The Voyage is holding steady at #2 wooden roller coaster, and that we’re keeping all our wooden coasters in such great shape that they’re all still in the top 25 in the world. 

While the lucite may have been virtual, and the winners were farther apart than usual, it’s great to see the awards continue. Even if the lucite was virtual last week, the pride in our park and our excitement for the other parks was real. Congratulations to all the parks who were finalists and winners! It’s truly an honor. 

Thank you to the voters, Amusement Today, our Team Members who make the ride experience incredible from start to finish, our maintenance team who keeps them running smoothly, and to ProSlide, the designers of all three of our water coasters. 


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