Since it’s opening in 1946, Holiday World in Santa Clause, Indiana has grown to become a power house in the theme park world.  When the park originally made its debut, it claimed the title as the first theme park in the world.  It began as just a small getaway where families could have fun riding the few attractions.  Now, Holiday World has expanded into a full time resort, with a world class theme park, Holiday World, as well as an award winning water park, Splashin’ Safari.

Back in 1995, the park introduced, Raven, a Custom Coasters International creation that curved with the forest not against it.  The coaster instantly became a hit recieving numerous awards and plenty of praise.  Continuing the craze, the park added the Legend in 2000.  Another creation by Custom Coasters Inc, yet again the park did not disapoint.  And in recent years, the park has added Pilgrim’s Plunge, a revolutionary water ride, Zinga, a massive ProSlide Tornado, and the Voyage, the world’s number 1 wooden coaster.

Wildebeest, the world's longest water coaster, at Splashin' Safari. Image Copyright Holiday World

2010 marks the arrival of Wildebeest, the world’s longest water coaster.  Wildebeest hurdles riders up and over numerous hills through magnetic technology.  Riders get a roller coaster like experience on a water slide.  Also  new for 2010 will be new Timberliner trains, made by the Gravity Group for the Voyage.  These new trains will create a much smoother voyage, for riders.

Park Thoughts had a chat with Paula Werne of Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari for a quick chat about Wildebeest, Timberliner Trains, and the park itself.  You might be surprised by her responses:

1. At what point in time did the park start considering the addition of Wildebeest? And for that matter, how far in advance does the park look for future additions?

Oh, we’ve been thinking about adding a water coaster for years. We studied all the different types, looking for the most exciting model with the highest capacity. We found that with Wildebeest.

2. What prompted the decision to replace the original PTC trains with the new Gravity Group Timberliner trains on the Voyage?

Since The Gravity Group designed these trains with The Voyage in mind, we were of course intrigued. TGG tested their prototype on The Raven a year ago and we truly liked what we saw. We thrilled to be able to have the first set.

3. Holiday World has some of the best wooden coasters in the world, the Raven, the Voyage, and the Legend.  Have you ever considered a major steel coaster?

Oh, we’re always talking … some folks post that they “know” we’ll never add a steelie. I wonder where they got that?

4. Can we expect to see the addition of unique, record breaking attractions as a continuing trend at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari?

Well, not *every* season, but we definitely like to shake things up a bit. Sometimes just adding a bit of height or length can make the ride a record breaker. What’s not to love about that?

We would like to thank Paula and the rest of Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari for taking the time to answer our questions.  We hope you enjoyed it.  Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.