An amusement park where each section celebrates a different holiday? That’s exactly what Holiday World is all about. Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving are all represented with themed rides, decorations and gift shops. Originally opened as Santa Claus Land in 1946, Holiday World is actually the world’s first theme park, opening nine years before the Disney parks. Covering almost 40 acres, the Splashin’ Safari Water Park was added in 1993.
Christmas is geared to the youngest visitors, who can ride just about every ride by themselves. Once you move into the park’s other sections, there are height guidelines for riding with and without an adult. Rides range from roller coasters and a carousel to bumper cars, spinning rides (Kitty’s Tea Party, anyone?) and water rides like the Raging Rapids.
In Splashin’ Safari, the park’s water park area, you’ll find two wave pools, a lazy river, a small splash pad, a splash area for kids shorter than 54 inches, two water play structures with dumping buckets, and nine waterslides. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the park at all water venues. Showers, changing rooms and rental lockers are available. You’ll find lounge chairs at the wave pools, at the water play structures, and in the kids’ splash area. Cabana rentals also are available.
Food and Freebies
All visitors to the park can enjoy free parking, free Wi-Fi, free soft drinks, free sunscreen and, for the water park, free inner tubes. Soft drink and sunscreen stations are spread throughout the park. No outside food or drinks are permitted. There are 22 food and snack options located in the parks; they offer everything from ice cream and soft pretzels to a full Thanksgiving meal, Mexican food, and traditional foods like burgers, hot dogs and pizza.
General one-day tickets are $44.95 for adults, $38.95 for seniors age 60 and older and for guests less than 54 inches tall, and free for children age 2 and younger. Special savings are available for two-day tickets, season passes and group tickets. Discounts available for military, veterans, police, fire, corrections and EMS personnel. Tickets for special events such as Happy Halloween Weekends vary.