Lebanon Reporter


August 22, 2007

Holiday World is the happiest place in Indiana

Even though we’ve officially got nearly another month on the calendar until fall, the start of school and Friday night lights signify the end of summer. Around the hallways and lunch rooms I’m sure there have been lots of conversations starting with the inquiry, "What did you do this summer?" When my first-grader responds to this question, tops on his list is a visit to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana.

This was our second visit and on the way home, my wife and I agreed that this will be one of our every-summer traditions and when we’re older and greyer these trips will likely be among our most cherished memories of when our kids were small.

Much has been written about Holiday World, the nation’s very first theme park, opened in 1946 as Santa Claus Land. The Koch family are practically rock stars in the theme park industry, garnering award after award. Coaster enthusiasts from around the world flock to the park to ride top-ranked rides. Less, however, has been written about the food and in my opinion, there is plenty to get excited about here as well.

There are 17 different eateries spread out over the two parks. The first thing I noticed about food at Holiday World is the price. We’ve all been to these places that take advantage of captive families by gouging them with overpriced food. This is not the case at Holiday World. A simple burger, fries, and drink combo meal is less than what you would pay at most fast food chains.

Inexpensive food is one thing, but good quality food at a reasonable price is what you’ll find at Holiday World. Over the last two years of visits, with four in my family, I’ve probably purchased at least 25 meals. There has never been a disappointment and the extras are what really add to the experience. One simple extra is the little baggie of vegetable toppings that are packed separately from the burger. When you order the sandwich you get the wrapped-up meat and bun and then lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle in a small plastic bag. The bun stays dry and the vegetables crisp.

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