Holiday World reviews
Written by James Rao
Location: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari are located at the junction of Highways 162 and 245 in Santa Claus, Indiana (452 East Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, Ind. 47579).
About: Holiday World celebrates the holidays of Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July with rides, live entertainment and other attractions. The Voyage, added in 2006, is considered by many the world's best wooden roller coaster.
The park has been owned and operated by the Koch family of Santa Claus, since opening as Santa Claus Land in 1946. In addition to its collection of world-class wooden coasters, Holiday World is notable for offering free parking and free Pepsi soft drinks throughout the park.
Holiday World also includes a highly acclaimed water park, Splashin' Safari, that visitors can enjoy at no extra charge. Splashin' Safari includes raft slides, two wave pools, two lazy rivers, a variety of water slides, multiple water attractions for children, and Wildebeest, the world's longest water coaster (added in 2010).
It's also important to note that Holiday World is in the Central Time Zone, one hour behind most of the rest of Indiana.
Tickets: Buy and print online. Always try to buy your tickets in advance, to save time when you get to the park.
Reservations: Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari do not offer any type of Fastpass or ride reservation system.
Strategy: As with any amusement park, arrive early (at least 30 minutes before opening) and hit the headliner attractions first (usually roller coasters).
From the entrance plaza, head out in a somewhat clockwise-fashion hitting each of Holiday World’s excellent wooden coasters along the way: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage. Then proceed to Pilgrim’s Plunge followed by Gobbler Getaway. Once you have completed the main tour, some other rides you might want to hit are Turkey Whirl, Raging Rapids, Frightful Falls, and HallowSwings, as well as any other midway attractions or shows you might enjoy.
There are two sections of Holiday World set aside for families with very young children: Christmas and Funtown. Most of the rides in these areas are pretty standard midway attractions, similar to those found at a touring carnival or county fair.
Note that Splashin’ Safari generally opens an hour after the main gate.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Other Top International Parks
Features, News and Advice
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks