View Full Version : Anyone Ever Been To Holiday World??

07-31-2009, 05:58 PM
We have discounted tickets to go to Holiday World / Splashing Safari in Santa Claus, IN. Anyone have any tips for me??? Places to stay, how long it will take us to do both parks, rides to not miss or to avoid, places to eat??? We are trying to do it on a budget. Thanks!!!

07-31-2009, 06:17 PM
I don't have any advice for places to stay (we live a few hours away and just drive there in the morning and home at night), but we went a few years ago after going to disney, and were surprised by how reasonably priced everything was. We both ate for less than $10, the ski-ball was a quarter a round, and things in the gift shop were very reasonable. Also soda and sunscreen were free.

07-31-2009, 06:37 PM
We have been many times but not recently. They have a lovely lodge across the road. They also have a water park. Free drinks and sunscreen. It is very clean and nice and while much smaller than our favorite place :rotfl: it is pretty nice. Roller coasters, rides for smaller children and some shows.

Do not forget to visit the Dan Quayle museum it is nearby, and so am I. :goodvibes


07-31-2009, 06:50 PM
As luck would have it I happen to have a HW coupon laying right in front of me and here is what it says

"Did Lincoln truly fulfill his quest here on earth? Find out this summer at LINCOLN.

Start your visit to Holiday World one night early and enjoy an All inclusive theatrical experience. Enjoy pre show activities for all age groups, an Amish family style meal, and theatere under teh stars. LINCOLN premieres June 12, 2009, at the magnificent, roofed Lincoln Amphitheatre nestled in the scenic woods of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home.


Hope this is helpful. Watch out for those winding roads. Might be alright coming from your direction though.


07-31-2009, 09:05 PM
There are 3 awesome wooden roller coasters at this park. Make time to ride them all. Totally awesome!

The waterpark compares very favorably to WDW waterparks. OK, not so much on the theming, but there's plenty to do. The waterparks are clean and well maintained. The free sunscreen and drinks are great, too.

This is the first year my DD and I haven't made it to Holiday World in a while. We love that place! Be sure to ride The Voyage roller coaster. You can see it from the water park. Wow! It's fast and furious.

We usually stay in a hotel in Jasper, IN. It's about 20 minutes away. The rates are cheaper.

07-31-2009, 09:19 PM
We usually stay in a hotel in Jasper, IN. It's about 20 minutes away. The rates are cheaper.

We go every year as we get free tickets from a friend who works in the offices :) We always stay in Jasper. It's close by, cheaper hotels and restaurants nearby. Not only free soft drinks and free sunscreen, but free parking as well. It's a "local" amusement park, so it's nowhere near the size of a Six Flags type place, but there is plenty to do and some really great rides. My kids LOVE the water park. It's very clean and the staff is always really nice. Enjoy it!

mom of princessx2
07-31-2009, 09:41 PM
Our neighbors just went last week. They did both the water and amusement park in one day but they were home by about 6pm so I think you could do it in 1 day. We are about 1 hour away, across the bridge from Louisville, KY. She said they only spent $25 on food for her, DH and DD and that included 2 snacks. Check out their website http://www.holidayworld.com/. It has a list of places to stay as well as resturant menus. Looks budget friendly :thumbsup2

07-31-2009, 09:45 PM
Any specific hotel you like in Jasper?

OP, we stayed next door at their campgrounds last year, in a little cabin. The cabin was clean and functional; smaller than I expected and with a really HARD bed. The campground was really cute and we wished we had allowed time to just spend a day on the various activities there.

The free shuttle was awesome too- super nice vans with black leather seating.

Your kids are older so you could probably allow less time; we went for one and a half days with a 3 and 5 year old and it wasn't quite enough time.

07-31-2009, 11:41 PM
We are Holiday World pros! As much as we love Disney, we love our local park in Santa Claus, IN. My kids love it and it's a wonderful mix of "bigger" thrill rides and kiddie rides. The waterpark always takes up most of our day, and we have plenty of time to hit our favorite rides before closing. The lines are very rarely long, especially if you avoid the peak time weekends.

As far as where to stay, I second the campground. Lake Rudolph has not only cabins but also rental RV's which we have stayed in several times. There are regular and King sized RV's available, and all you have to do is show up! There is a pool on site, as well as canoeing, fishing, mini-golf, and often movies in the shelter area. Many nice play areas for kids, and nice manageable walking trails.

Hope you have a great time!

07-31-2009, 11:57 PM
I am a holidayworld veteran. And the best place to stay is at the camp ground next door . You can rent an air conditioned camper with 2 bedrooms and full kitchen for the same price as a hotel room.

They provide free transportation over to holiday world. This works out really well when you want to take a nap or go back to the camper to fix lunch. Making your own meals can be a great way to save some money.

One of the best things about holiday world is that you can have all the soda and tea to drink for free all day long (no other park does this). to look at pictures of the campers go to http://www.lakerudolph.com/ and see how great the place is.

I believe they still have bingo on wednesdays. You can also go to the drive in theatre that is about 20 minutes away. And I think you can also go gem mining about 45 minutes away.

If you want to know anything else you can pm me and I will try to answer your questions.

08-01-2009, 02:04 AM
LOVE LOVE Holiday World!!!! Did not like Lake Rudolph campground at all got money back an went on down the road to Lincoln State Park I think it was much cheaper an we was much happier with a bigger camp site an privacy.

Holiday World is still family owned ran by family still in the same family that started the park more than 50 yrs ago. The family owners are in the parks daily too they really keep up with how the park is being ran.

It is a CLEAN CLEAN park beautiful with lots of shade in the amusement park the water park ya got to look a little harder for shade but it's there.

Along with FREE soft drinks an sun screen and parking the food is very reasonable in June when I was there a large ice cream cone was like 1.89 an just as big as a large cone at disney.

If you try the Udderly Blue Ice cream across from the monster ride. Blueberry ice cream YUMMY!

I will warn you between Louisville KY an Santa Clausland there is not much. Right across river on I64 is New Albany with a few resturants mostly fast food. Corydon another 25 miles west has many many resturants right off interstate with some being table service along with lots of fast food. From Corydon to Santa Clausland there is NOTHING If you turn right at the Santa Claus land exit there is a Wendys there an a gas station that's about it right at the exit an Santa Claus land is on towards the ohio river about 6 miles.

Oh Holiday World has a deal too buy the 2nd day ticket for 20.00 before leaving park an you can go back the next day. Which is great if you want to enjoy both the amusement park an water park to the fullest.

08-01-2009, 10:11 AM
OMG we love Holiday World too:love:

I have a review I wrote on www.tripadvisor.com with pictures. I"m not savvy enough to link it here, but my name on tripad is "yourneighbor"

Agree w/ all PP, go and enjoy! The free drinks are worth it alone. Such a nice clean park. We stayed overnite about 30 mins away, but we were traveling thru so it was ok.

Have fun!!!

08-01-2009, 10:18 AM
Anyone know if it is new? I don't recall it being available when I was looking at lodging last year but it looks really nice:


08-01-2009, 10:55 AM
I grew up in Evansville, IN and went to HW all the time as a kid. I've recently returned to E'ville for a trip and went to HW again about a month ago.

I'm a DLR vet so my standards are high, but I have to say I love Holiday World! Value wise- it's outstanding! Free sunscreen, sodas, parking. Ticket prices are cheap, and they offer discounts to "heroes" (police/fire/military) which is nice (dh is a fire captain). I love that you can see Mrs. Koch (owner) outside sweeping up or taking tickets. Reminds me of Walt overseeing Disneyland. :goodvibes

The parks are extremely well kept up. I never saw so much as one piece of trash on the ground. They employ a lot of kids at the park and everyone of them that I had contact with was very respectful.

Splashin' Safari has consistantly been ranked one of the nicest waterparks in the US (currently #2 IIRC). My 4 kids LOVED Kima Bay. They also loved the wave pool. They provide free life jackets for kids which I thought was awesome.

We spent almost the whole day in the waterpark and didn't have much time for HW. I know that HW has the top rated wooden rollercoaster (or perhaps it's the tallest? I'm thinking top ranked but I might be mistaken). I'm not a rollercoaster girl (too scary :eek:) but all my family members loved them. Their kiddie section of the park had a lot of outdated rides, but they were all operational and my kids seemed to like them as much as they do the rides at Disneyland, so :confused3.

IMO you need 2 days to do Holiday World. One day for Splashin' Safari, and another for Holiday World to ride the rides and see the shows.

Budget tip- Don't forget that they are doing a canned food drive. Bring in 2 cans of food per ticketed person, and you get a $5 food voucher. That's a great deal. Food prices are already excellent there (especially compare to DLR which is IMO highly overpriced) but with the vouchers you're getting a steal!

08-02-2009, 01:34 PM
I love Holiday World, and I think the Koch family (owners) are completely wonderful. I've been going for 42 years, since I was a toddler. There is never more than a short wait in line for the rides, free soda (if you drink it) and free sunscreen. The water park is great.

Fourteen years ago, I was taking DS-then 8, his best friend, and DD4 down there for the day. We were sitting at a stop light in Jasper and I looked up in the rear view mirror, and realized the woman coming up behind us was not slowing down. We got squished between her and the itty-bitty subcompact in front of us. None of us were hurt, although I was a bit sore since I saw her coming and tensed up just before impact. (She did brake just before hitting us.)

Fortunately, the car was still drivable, just squished front and back, so we went on to Santa Claus Land for the day. On the way into the park, the greeter asked how our drive to the park was, and I mentioned the wreck. She escorted us into the offices, had first aid check us out to make sure we were OK, sent the staff out to check the car, and gave us vouchers for meals all day. Mr. Koch came out to check on us too. The Kochs walk around the park, and they checked on us a couple times during the day to make sure we were not having any effects from the wreck.

08-02-2009, 01:52 PM
Inigo, what a wonderful story. It is Disneylike even. I figure stories like that as well as memories is why that park, out in the middle of nowhere, has continued to survive and thrive all these years and in today's bad economy. They deserve it too.

I think I remember an accident down there many years ago. I believe it was a guest acting badly and caused his own problem but you could tell the family was more concerned about the guest than what might happen to their bottom line. It is a rare thing nowadays.

Heck, now you have me thinking about a trip. Do they have enough stuff down there now for someone who does not do water parks or thrill rides? I remember the Chinese Acrobats from decades ago and we spent the entire day watching them while our children rode all the scary stuff.


08-02-2009, 02:41 PM
I didn't know they was still doing the canned food drive... when there in June my friend an I ate a chicken nuggets dinner for lunch an between the 2 of us I think we paid $1.11 out of pocket for the 2 dinners.

Along with the free soda there is lemonade an tea fruit punch an water from soda machines. You wait on yourself to get the drinks add as much ice as you want etc. Got little drink huts thru out the park that has huge fans blowing in door ways to keep the flys out it's really a neat idea.

There are several shows thru out the park the dive show is always FUN!

Myself I love those old fashioned kiddie rides in the park many of them I remember riding almost 50 yrs ago. I was so disappointed when the old tilta whirl was replaced by a new one a couple years ago. Got to admit the new one is much quieter but I liked the old one that was prolly more than 50 yrs old.

Santa is there EVERY DAY to meet an greet the kids an adults alike. GREAT pic opprotunity to get pic taken with santa.

There are several small museums in the park an old toy one, doll house an a couple of others. Candy shop with candies made right there the fudge is SSSSSOOOOOOO GOOD

Glass blowing shop is interesting.

YET this park has top rated coasters an water park Oh the waterpark has 2 wave pools one that is mild waves an the new one further on back is rougher has water squirter things on the sides that spray water has bit more of a theme to it.

Several kiddie areas thru out the water park too.

When my friend I went in June (we been friends since 2nd grade now have gkids) we took the day the 2 of us no kids no gkids. I'd just gotten back from disney the day before. I stood in line for a ride an looked at my friend said HUMMMM this is odd she asked WHAT I said everyone is speaking English lol. WE had never taken a day an went done anything like that ever we really had a NICE time no kids etc.

Years ago when my DD's was little DH an I could go sit on a bench an watch them go from ride to ride in each little area an didn't have to chase after them or worry someone would take them the park areas small enough we could see them an keep track of them an still pretty much that way today.

In those days the park was called Santa Clausland an in the louisville ky newspaper every May was a coupon that if you paid full price any day in May you got a FREE PASS FOR THE YEAR.... WOW what a deal that was!!!!

08-02-2009, 04:41 PM
Holiday World is Awesome!!! It's best to go 2 days if you can. The water park is excellent and easy to spend the entire day there. Most water parks you have to be 48" to the big slides but not thin one. It's great because son is 44" and can ride all of the really cool slides. They have lots to choose from and several them have family rafts,where 4 people can ride together.

Food is very reasonable. You can get a combo meal chicken/fries/cookie etc...for around $7 and the soda/water is free. Feed a family of 4 for $21.00!!!
Best value for money hands down!!!
A+++++ only 2nd to Disney,of course it's family oriented so Cedar Point is better for coasters.