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“Halloween Weekends specific review”

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Santa Claus
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are a family-owned theme park and water park combo located in Santa Claus, Indiana. Home of Thunderbird - America’s only launched wing roller coaster, Holiday World celebrates Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July with roller coasters, family rides, a huge water park, live entertainment, games, attractions - and Santa Claus, himself! Splashin’ Safari, ranked one of the nation’s Top Water Parks by TripAdvisor and USA Today, includes the two longest water coasters in the world, numerous family water slides, two wave pools, plus water activities for children. Both parks have been voted the World's Cleanest for more than a dozen years by the readers of Amusement Today magazine. In 2016, Guinness World Records certified Mammoth as the World's Longest Water Coaster and in 2013, TIME magazine named The Voyage the nation’s #1 wooden roller coaster. Live entertainment includes musical shows, a country band, high dive show, and Santa’s Storytime. Both parks offer guests free soft drinks, free parking, free inner tube usage, free sunscreen and free Wi-Fi. New for 2017! Firecracker is a classic Calypso ride, one of only a handful still in operation in North America.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed September 29, 2013

I reviewed the park during the main season last year, and despite a few changes to the park most of it still remains accurate. As such, I'm going to focus on the Halloween Weekeends season.

Summary for those who don't want to read a long review:
DON'T MISS: Holidog's 3D adventure, Mummy's Treasure Maze, Pumpkin funnel cakes at Fright Cake Factory.

A little disappointing: Trick or Treating, Activity Trail

Quick Tips:
Get a schedule, because times and locations may not be what you are used to for shows.
Make sure everyone goes to the bathroom before going to the corn maze.
Lines for 3D Adventure are heaviest when it first opens.
Laser show is about 15 minutes long and worth waiting for, but seating doesn't matter much as everyone can see the screen just fine.

Full length review:

Crowds are light, (one employee told me the estimate was 4,000-4,500 for the Saturday we were there) and primarily families with younger children. The lines for rides and activities are short because of this, and it shouldn't take you long to ride your favorite ride.

Be sure to get a map and schedule, even if you are familiar with the park. Show times change and not all activities, like trick or treating, are open the entire day.

Our day went like this:
Cake balls and coffee at the sweet shop by Krinkle's Cafe. They were a tasty and inexpensive way to start the day.

Don Bagget's magic show. This is inside Kringle's Cafe in the back. Its a very fun show for kids and adults, don't miss it.


Lunch at Plymouth Rock Cafe. The cafe is a great restaurant with good prices. Its good enough that you would eat there if it was a regular restaurant outside of a theme park. The fried chicken, green beans, and stuffing are highlights, but everything is good. A "kid's portion" is often enough for an adult if you want to save some money. You'll get a smaller entree (or one piece of chicken, the breast but no wing, etc), one side, and bread. The adult increases the entree size and you get an additional side item. About $5 for kid's plates, $10 for adults.

"Activity Trail". This has the corn mazes, some pedal tractors for the kids, a face painting booth, and a cookie decoration station. Last year they had little pumpkins for the kids to decorate, but that was missing this year. Prepare for small transactions here, $2 to decorate a cookie, etc. GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE GOING TO THE CORN MAZE. There are no facilities out there, a port-a-potty would have been a good idea.

Chainsaw Willie's exhibition. An artist, not a scary monster. Willie uses chainsaws to create sculptures, and you can both watch and purchase. Prices are negotiable. We ended up buying a wooden jack-o-lantern.


Trick or Treating. This was very minimal. About 8 pieces of candy and a juice drink, my son was disappointed in how quick and how light on treats this was. Its all very compact near the entrance to Pilgrim's Plunge/Giraffica, none of the employees were in costume, there's not much in the way of decorations. Last year they had the trick or treating in a sort of hay bale "maze", employees were in costume, etc. This year if felt like a last minute after thought. Definitely a step backward.

Mumy's Treasure Maze. This was one of the best put together activities. The maze is simple enough for kids to figure out pretty easily, there are employees in costumes inside, there are flaps that are labeled "emergency exit" in case the younger ones get too uneasy and you need to get out. There's also a coded trivia question answer built into the pyramid.

Playground inside of the train tracks. The traditional playground with slides, bridges, and climbing for the younger kids. This will give parents a chance to relax a bit while the kids run around. There's only one entrance/exit and employees monitor the area, so if you lose sight of your youngsters for a bit you know they are safe.

Gourdon's Story Time. Brace yourself for corny jokes, but its interactive and the story is cute. I'm guessing kids over about 10 probably won't enjoy this one that much.

Gift shop browsing.

Holidogs 3-D adventure. This is a walk through "haunted house" type of experience, but with 3D glasses giving the walls special effects. Its not too spooky for the kids and everyone loved it. The line builds up just before it opens, but wait 15 minutes or so and the line is pretty minimal. Don't miss this one, it was great fun.

Dinner at Kringle's Cafe. They have all the regular season food except pasta bakes. The vegetarian burger was very tasty with just the right amount of spice.

Fright Cake Factory(the regular season's Funnel Cake Factory). We headed down for a funnel cake for dessert and got the pumpkin funnel cake with cream cheese icing. Do not miss this. It is not just a funnel cake with pumpkin pie spice, its a different batter and its so good I think we should petition to have it as a year round item.

Graveyard Smash musical show. Don't miss this. I was hesitant but my wife wanted to go when we heard it from the Fright Cake Factory, and I'm glad we did. The singers are very talented, much more than I was expecting, and the dancing is fun. The show was in progress when we got there, so we missed the beginning, but I'd like to have seen the whole show.

Rides (the Sparkler is renamed the Spookler and is a lot of fun as a night ride, the merry go round is gorgeous lit up at night.)

Laser show, we stayed until closing to watch the laser show. Its fun and my wife and son really enjoyed it. The screen is placed high enough you can see everything from pretty far back, so don't worry about getting their too early for a "good seat". You'll see everything just fine from the big tree near the entrance.

All in all, it was a great day and everyone had fun. Putting a bit more effort into the trick or treating "trail" and activity trail (bring back pumpkin decoration!) would have resulted in 5 stars.

10  Thank Carlos S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,221 - 1,225 of 2,146 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2013

This is a very small park in the middle of nowhere. There isn't much to say about it. It is clean, but not much to do here. Free soft drinks and lotion are available throughout the park. Lines were not very long and some of the rides and a roller coaster were out of commission during my time here.

2  Thank Atrixx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

This place is the bomb... during the week. We went in July Thu-Sat. Thu and Fri during the day were great! Short lines and a great place. On Saturday, not so much - not enough chairs in the swim area, too many people - not enough parking - just crazy busy - but good for them! The pricing is low, the parking is free, the soda is free (I hate paying for pepsi anyway) the food is reasonable - we just got back from Six Flags in St. Louis with the $10 a slice pizza... stupid. Holiday World had a family meal deal for like $25 or something - fed 5 of us easily.

The Journey is the best roller coaster ever.

The only general complaint I'd have is that they need to keep the soda area's cleaner - people abuse the soda and tend to spill a lot and toss their cups anyplace.

The only complaint about the rides is there aren't enough. They have 3 good wood roller coasters but need some steel ones and more of them.

Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

I just wanted to write a quick note thanking everyone at Holiday World for an amazing time last weekend. Anytime I am within a day's drive of Santa Claus, IN (and have a few free hours) I make my way to Holiday World. Every single person that I encountered was extremely friendly, the park was spotless and the new attractions keep me coming back. Keep up the good work!

PS - The Voyage is best roller coaster I have EVER been on (and I have been on more than 300)!

Thank Alexander T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

I don't mind paying the price for ticket admission and the expensive food with the free sunscreen and drinks! I love their rides and their waterpark is the best in the midwest! My 9 year old niece regards Holiday world like kids do Disney World. It's her favorite place to be! The folks working the rides are attentive, the grounds have a lot of mature trees which provides shade from the blazing sun and it's clean!

Thank Lishness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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