Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari :: Santa Claus, Indiana
Near I-64 in Santa Claus, Indiana is one of the most popular theme parks in the United States, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. This family-owned theme and water park combination offers guests the best of both worlds. Originally opened as Santa Claus Land in 1946, Holiday World was the first themed amusement park in the world opening nine years before Disneyland in California. Today it features themed celebrations of Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July that entertain guests with rides, games, attractions and even live entertainment. It is also well known for its great collection of wooden roller coasters, The Raven, The Legend and The Voyage.
Holiday World consists of four sections themed after each holiday the park celebrates; Splashin’ Safari is connected to the park and is included with general admission. The Christmas section at the entrance of Holiday World is the oldest park of the park and is the perfect place for children to capture the spirit of Christmas all year around. The section features a Christmas tree, Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch which houses a collection of rides for the kiddies, the Holiday Theater and a variety of other great children’s rides & attractions. Of course Santa Claus is available daily throughout the season when he’s not hosting Santa’s Storytime Theater to chat with children and make sure they’re being good boys and girls. The Halloween section of Holday World is highlighted by the High Dive Theater, home of daily high-dive shows that culminates in a high dive from 80 feet up. It is also home to two of the parks famous wooden roller coasters, The Raven (Themed after the Edgar Allen Poe poem and multiple time winner of Best Wooden Coaster Golden Ticket Award) and The Legend (Themed after The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). It also has a variety of other Halloween themed rides like the Frightful Falls log flume.
The largest section of the park is the Fourth of July area which is home to a variety of family friendly rides like the Star Spangled Carousel and the Rough Riders bumper cars. Guests can walk through the Betsy Ross Doll House and view the amazing collection of antique dolls it houses. For those looking for a little more of an adrenaline rush there is the Liberty Launch, an 8 story tall ride that shoots you up to the top and brings riders back down in a series of air-cushioned bounces. The kid’s will enjoy canoeing down the Indian River ride or spinning around in fish themed cars on the Salmon Run ride. Holidog’s FunTown is on the edge of the Fourth of July section is another great play area geared toward children with rides and attractions like The Howler, a family/childrens roller coaster, and the Doggone Trail, a fun children’s car ride. The Thanksgiving section is the park’s newest addition and is home to rides, a gift shop and Plymouth Rock Café. It is home to The Voyage, the newest of the parks famous wooden coasters that has been featured on The Travel Channel’s Extreme Terror Rides 2 Death-Defying Drops. The Voyage is the second longest operating wooden roller coaster in the world behind only The Beast at Kings Island (XXXLINKXXX) and the third fastest at 67.4 mph.
Splashin’ Safari, the largest water park in Indiana, was added in 1993 and over the years has grown steadily. It features two wave pools, two lazy rivers, various family raft slides and many other entertaining water-based attractions. The newest attraction at Splashin’ Safari, opening in 2010, is The Wildebeest which at 1/3 of a mile long is the worlds longest water coaster taking guests on a two and a half minute soaking thrill ride. Other highlights include Kima Bay, a monkey-themed waterplay attraction; Bakuli, a group raft slide that starts you in a dark tunnel and then drops you out into a giant bowl for a dizzying spiral finish; and Zinga, a unique eight story family raft ride that combines a water slide with a high banked funnel. General Admission to the park will cost you $41.95, Guests under 54” and seniors 60+ $31.95 and children 2 and under are free. Season passes and discounted next-day tickets are also available. The park provides all guests with free Pepsi products throughout the park, parking at the park is also free and they even provide free sunscreen. With over 15 different eating establishments scattered throughout the park, you definitely have quite a variety of options to choose from. The park is normally opens up its season around May 1st and begins to start winding things down to only certain weekend in August so plan your trip accordingly.
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