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“Best Family Park Ever!”

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, 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. 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 coaster. Live entertainment includes musical shows, a high dive show, and Santa's Storytime. Both parks offer free soft drinks, free parking, and free sunscreen.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed September 11, 2017

I can't say enough wonderful things about Holiday World! Everyone is so friendly and the park is so clean, and I LOVE that they have options for those of us who are gluten-free! Unfortunately, September is every bit as busy here as August, so we will stock to June from now on (much shorter lines on weekdays in June!) We will keep coming back for the rest of our lives though. Well worth the 4-hour drive from our home to visit!

1  Thank Heather G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HWGuestRelations, Public Relations Manager at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, responded to this reviewResponded September 12, 2017

Thanks for visiting. We hope to see you back each year!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"free drinks"
in 398 reviews
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in 157 reviews
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"free parking"
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in 194 reviews
"pepsi products"
in 49 reviews
"clean park"
in 77 reviews
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in 37 reviews
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in 40 reviews
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in 56 reviews
"wave pools"
in 90 reviews
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in 68 reviews
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Reviewed September 8, 2017

My family and I went to Holiday World on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend – me, my wife, and 3 kids (8, 5, and 5). Overall, I was pretty impressed. The park is clean, well maintained, and has plenty of rides for all age groups. My twins both came less than half an inch below 42” so could not ride on any of the 42” rides, but that ended up not being a big deal at all. There were plenty of rides for them and they had a blast. My 8-year old was just at 48” with shoes (which matters, because at the water park they measure without shoes, so she was more limited there than in the Holiday world section), so she was able to ride all of the roller coasters save the Thunderbird. She also had a great time.

The free soft drinks (which includes Gatorade and water) were great, and soft drink stations are all over the place, so there are no issues getting something to drink. I did get one cup of Pepsi that was completely flat, but beyond that this was a nice feature. The rides are all fun and for the time we went, the lines were very short. We were able to ride everything with very little wait time.

I was generally impressed with how clean they keep this place compared to some parks I’ve been to. Some of the facilities are older, but they seem to have a strong focus on at least keeping them in good shape.

We rented a cabana in the water park which was nice, but not a must-have. Unfortunately, we rented one in front of the smaller wave pool, where we thought our kids would spend a lot of time, but they had it closed (not sure why), which made the cabana a bit of a waste, given the price. We still used it, but had I known this, I would have definitely rented one in a different part of the park. Our kids did spend a lot of time in the big wave pool, though. The water was a tad chilly but okay once you got used to it. Not much they can do about that – we were there at the end of the season and after several days of unseasonably cold weather at that. I believe this was the last day that Splashin’ Safari was open for the season so it seemed much more crowded than the main park, but still the lines were not bad, and we had no issue getting on the slides or finding a place to sit near the wave pool.

There are some negatives, but nothing huge. First, the food is not good. It’s overpriced, but that’s expected at an amusement park. The quality, though, is lacking. Chicken fingers and mini corn dogs were drastically overcooked and the hot dogs were sad, shriveled things. I can deal with overpriced amusement park food, but at least make it halfway decent. It also took a loooooong time to order, which brings me to another negative: there are a few areas & rides where the people operating them are just *glacially* slow. One ride took about 3 times as long to get set up as the actual ride was mostly because the operator of it seemed to be in no hurry to do anything. Ditto at the snack bar where we got lunch and a couple of other areas. Most of the employees seemed conscientious and friendly but a few areas seemed like they were just mailing it in.

The cabanas in the water park are nice (they better be, given the price) but for some reason the front curtain on ours was wide enough to cover only half of the space – which made it awfully hard to use as a changing area, which was a big reason we decided to pay extra for one in the first place (some extra privacy and a bit easier with the little ones). I can’t figure out if they’re all like that or if we just got one that was not maintained properly, but the pictures on the website clearly show the ability to fully close them off, and ours could not be. Strange.

Finally – the roller coasters. They have old-style wooden coasters. They are very fast. They can be very fun. They are also *very* jerky and rough compared to steel coasters. That isn’t unique to Holiday World – it seems to just be a thing with wooden coasters in general, but man – I’ve been a lot of roller coasters and while the Raven and Legion are indeed quite fun, they push the limits of tolerability because of how much they slam you side to side, and the Voyage, their largest coaster, was went from fun to actual pain. Halfway through the ride it felt every disk in my back had been rearranged and I spent the remainder of the ride in agony. And I say this as a 100% healthy person who has never had a back injury or any other chronic health problems. Whatever happened didn’t result in any long-term injury, but just be warned – the wooden coasters are rough on the body, and the Voyage in particular is the roughest roller coaster I have ever been on. So just be warned.

Overall though, this is a really nice amusement park and we had fun, which is what counts. With the day we went on, where the lines were short, we had no issue doing it all in one day, but you could definitely get two days out of it if you really wanted to do everything. Our kids had a great time here. We did too, so that’s what counts in the end. We’ll probably make a trip back in the future if we get the chance. I’ll probably skip the Voyage though. Perhaps much like the actual Mayflower voyage, once was enough.

2  Thank rooster3888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HWGuestRelations, Public Relations Manager at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2017

Thank you for such a detailed review! I'll make sure to get all of your feedback passed along to our management team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2017 via mobile

The free soda and sunscreen are a great plus. The food prices are reasonable considering it's an amusement park. The admission price is also reasonable compared to other amusement parks. They have 4 roller coasters and for the most part that's it. The remaining few rides are glorified carnival rides.

1  Thank familytimefun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HWGuestRelations, Public Relations Manager at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2017

We hope you enjoyed your time in the park. Thank you for the feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2017 via mobile

We live in Nashville-area and made the trip to Holiday World over this Labor Day weekend based on the relatively short drive and positive reviews provided by coworkers. We spent 2-days in the park...here are the highlights:

Pros
1. Free Pepsi products throughout the park ("Pepsi Oasis Stations") with cups; can also get fresh water

2. Free sunscreen throughout park

3. Relatively inexpensive food vs other parks (I.e. Disney or Cedar Fair properties)

4. Great assortment of rides for little kids (6 and under)...more than I'd ever seen at 1 park...also appreciated they were scattered throughout the park in different areas

5. Water park was amazing - large assortment of rides and pools, as well as splash and play areas for little kids

6. Reasonable prices on double-stroller/wagon rentals

Improvement opportunities:

1. Need more oversight at pool area - especially little kids splash and play areas! Unfortunately, it seemed many parents were not advising their children appropriately and letting them climb up water slides; go on the water slides too soon (thus running into the previous slider); allowing cutting; with some kids waiting at the bottom of the slide to splash people. I do feel parents should be responsible for their kids, but in absence of responsible parenting, the pool attendants should have been 1) more plentiful and 2) enforced the rules. For example, one kid was crawling down the middle of a double slide and the attendant next to me just watched until I said something. In the kids- designated area, seems like they have a "lawsuit waiting to happen..."

2. Should have towel rentals at water park

3. Several areas outdated/in need of upgrade. For example, the train ride dioramas are Nursery Rhyme characters and were possibly made in the 1970s? Several nursery rhymes cited are what I'd call "fringe" (i.e. "Little Jack Horner") and odd to include in modern days. The train conductor breathlessly reciting the rhymes one after another was also odd.

Overall, it was a good trip with family, but I wouldn't plan another specific trip there again.

Notes on Santa Claus, Indiana:

1. We stayed at Lincoln Pines resort - recommend!
2. The town is a "ghost town" - no real dining options and one fast food place (Subway) where it took 20 minutes to get 1 sub...

Thank snyderbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HWGuestRelations, Public Relations Manager at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2017

Thanks for posting such a thorough review of your visit to the park. I'll be sure to get your feedback passed along to our management team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 30, 2017

We had a great time. Keep hearing about the Halloween is a good time to go so we will be back. It rained the day we went and we discovered that it was fun to ride coasters in the rain. It was still warm out so we did the water rides too. Everyone there is super nice and they love their job. We hope to go back at least once a year. They have smoking sections for people who want to smoke at convenient areas in the park. One of us smokes and can make a difference if your somewhere longer than an hour. Lots of rides for all age groups so no one is left out. This is also a very clean park.

Thank 966carrieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HWGuestRelations, Public Relations Manager at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, responded to this reviewResponded September 1, 2017

Thanks for stopping by. We hope to see you back during Happy Halloween Weekends!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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