New Media and Theme Park Interaction

The idea that new media is gaining traction excites me.  Here we are, early adopters, helping the segment grow and businesses are adopting now faster than ever.  But we aren't just talking about guru's selling widgets, now real companies have real presence in social media.  One company, that has led the way and set example for others to follow is Holiday World.

First theme park in the world, predating Disney, and still setting industry firsts.  Holiday World is also the first amusement park to create a blog, for use to communicate with guests and strengthen their relationship with their customers.  It's not just corporate drivel found on the many HoliPosts, but real world information and behind the scenes pictures that help tell a HoliStory.  For example, the latest blog post features a punny title and features pictures of the construction on the new water slide, The Mammoth.  This blog is designed to connect with customers, keep us interested in the off season, and ultimately bring us through the turn styles.  It works because I don't feel like I'm being sold to, I'm being introduced to what the company is proud of.

Holiday World doesn't stop at blog posts, they also are active on Twitter and Facebook.  This theme park does an amazing job at keeping all channels updated and interact directly with the public.  New media allows for easy two-way interaction, that benefits the company and the customer.  Again, Holiday World does an amazing job at this by sticking around after a tweet, responding to wall posts, and making sure blog comments are addressed.

I'm excited to share that Paula Werne will be speaking at the next Social Media Club of Evansville meeting on November 21st.  From 6:00 to 8:00 PM Paula will talk about how Holiday World has navigated the peaks and valleys of mastering the new media frontier.  Everyone is invited, so please sign up today.

[button link="http://smcevansville.org/ask-holiday-world/" color="lightblue"] Ask Holiday World A Question[/button]

Have a question to ask Holiday World about social media?  Fill out the 'Ask Holiday Word Form' and we'll make sure Paula sees your question.

Stuff:

 

Healthier Holiday World Food

Holiday World FoodWhat comes to mind when you hear strawberry feta cheese sunflower seed salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing? Is it a healthy food option at a nice restaurant? I bet the first thing that came to mind wasn't theme park food! I was as surprised as you probably are to hear this new addition to Holiday World's food menu.

When you think about it, theme park food is part of the whole experience. We want a day of fun and out of the ordinary experiences which include burgers, ice cream, cotton candy, fudge, french fries and corn dogs.  Stereotypically similar to really bad for you fast food or even closer to carnival food. So when I stumbled upon the new food options on their website I did a double take and smiled with delight at the new additions. Besides the new salad were other options such as black bean chipotle veggie burger, pasta salad, baked pasta, five new soups and a no sugar added butter pecan ice cream. An added benefit is the ability to purchase many of these healthier foods in multiple restaurants within Holiday World and also in Splashin' Safari.

Oh there are also other new items to the menu for those believing that calories don't count while on vacation. Funnel cake fries, fried brownie bites, apple stuffed bosco breadsticks and churros have been added to the menu to tempt us all. Don't get me wrong. I am pumped for more variety and will probably by the end of the summer have tried them all (just typing fried brownie bites makes my mouth water). For me, a frequent (weekly) Holiday World visitor, the addition of healthy food options helps me balance out the fun food intake without wrecking my diet.

Last Day Of Holiday World 2009

Our final trip to Holiday World for this year was a blast! It has become a new tradition for my family and friends to meet there on the last day of their operating season. We have discovered the end of the season to be a unique way to experience all of the fun that Holiday World has to offer.

As I've written before, there is just something about enjoying the rides and attractions during the colder months that makes visiting the park different and fun! This year was no exception. The lines for the rides were short, the food was good and the weather was just cold enough to need a hoodie. We posed for countless pictures and made several laps around the park riding our favorite rides. One of my favorite aspects of Holiday World is how many rides we can enjoy as a group.

We took our daughter along this year and she was very excited to wear her favorite Holiday World hoodie which she proudly showed to each of the Holidazzles. She asks to go to "HaWoo" (as she calls it) everyday! I can't wait until next summer when she is a bit older and able to enjoy even more of great rides for kids. We will anxiously await the 2010 season and the new addition to the water park.

Holiday World And Hoodies

The beginning of fall is always marked by the closing of Holiday World and Splashin' Safari for me. This is my favorite time of year to visit Holiday World. There is just something about going during the cooler weather, when the crowds are gone and the lines are non-existent, that makes it so much fun.

I've had a season pass my entire life and have spent every summer there during the busiest and hottest times. This summer was no exception. I took my daughter almost every week, usually through the week but we did brave a few Saturdays. Holiday World will once again welcome more than a million visitors this year and are on track to set a new attendance record sometime in the next few weeks. However, as the cold weather slowly comes in and their seasons end approaches, for me, the best memories are made. We can ride any ride, over and over again. We can pose in all the "touristy" spots for dozens of pictures. We can be kids and take our time to enjoy the food, weather, entertainment and fun without the stress of crowds and lines.

We are planning on attending on the last day for Splashin' Safari this weekend and then later on the last day for Holiday World to be open. Hopefully the weather will become even more fall-like. We will say good-bye to the last of our summer traditions until the next year by screaming our heads off on the Voyage, posing one more time by the Santa statue, clapping along to one last show all while hopefully wearing a hoodie.

Wildebeest Be The WildeBEST?

Wildebeest Water Coaster
Wildebeest Water Coaster

Holiday World and Splashin Safari announced today their all new attraction for the 2010 season.  The Wildebeest will be worlds largest water-coaster and to date the most expensive attraction ever built by the theme park.

Check out Holiday World's offical website for detailed information on the Wildebeest.

Some initial concerns about the water coaster are it's location.  Already Splashin Safari has grown to enormous proportions, it's simply a huge park.  This sounds good, but for families that means doing a lot of wakling to get somewhere, just to wait in line.  Myself and others feel money would have been well spent on integrating the ride into the existing attraction locations.  Much like the Congo River winds through the water park, the water coaster Wildebeest could have wound through the water park over head.

All said, it looks to be the first attraction I'm going to get excited about in years.  Not to mention, such a rare attraction will bring traverlers from all over and give the Travel Channel another excuse to come visit Holiday World and Splashin Safari.