Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holiday World and Splashin Safari - Southern Indiana - Always Worth The Trip

With a heat index of 116 yesterday, I ran across an article about Holiday World/Splashin Safari and was ready to head south and hang out in the wave pool.
Indiana is priviledged to have this awesome combo park within our borders.  Family owned and operated and an award winner year after year - the Koch family has made their mark.  Voted cleanest park, best wooden roller coaster, friendliest park year after year  - it's a jewel in our Indiana tiara.
The matriarch of the kingdom is Pat Koch who was born in 1931 in nearby Mariah Hill, IN.  Pat's father played Santa at events in Santa Claus Land, IN for years and helped write responses to all the letters received at the post office from hopeful children.  Louis Koch opened Santa Claus land back in 1946 and worked there 6 days a week until he was 90 years old. His son Bill took over operations in 1948 and married Pat in 1960.  They developed lake Rudolph Camp, Christmas Lake Village and Santa's Elves to assure the continuation of the responses to children writing to Santa.  They changed the name of the park in 1984 to Holiday World.  Their son Will became president in 1987 and added Splashin Safari in 1993.
There have been hardships in the family but that has never daunted Pat's spirit.  Her oldest son Will died suddenly in 2010 and her husband died in 2001.  Still, she is at the park every day it is open during the busy months greeting guests, cleaning restrooms and helping in busy lines.
The parks have that "just right" size for families.  Free drinks and free sunscreen make it very wallet friendly!!!  Whether you are a roller coaster enthusiast or a poolside observer - there is something for everyone.
Don't let another summer go by without taking a trip to Santa Claus Land, Indiana and visting Pat and her legacy.

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