Holiday World: Better than Disney?

  1. Kimberly says:

    You have to love short lines!  Especially with kids.  I remember wasting SO MUCH time as a kid at Disney waiting in those long, long lines.  This place looks like a lot of fun.  Thanks for the info!  By the way I love your son’s face while he is riding the fish ride.  Holiday World should use that in an ad for their park!

    • Anonymous says:

       I love that shot, too! 🙂

    • kidatheart says:

      One aspect I dont think was touched on in main blog or replies. At the time of moving to indiana in mid 90’s and through childrens early years, Holiday World was a true “family owned” park…. and the feel of the park reflected that. I assume its still “family owned and run” by the children of the original creator in the late 40’s. I remember one time seeing the Matriarch wife of the original founder sweeping and cleaning up in one of the eateries(broom in hand!) . Where else would you see something like this. Plus she and other family members on another occassion were greeting patrons at the front gate. This is a great park and there is a worry that it may be over-grown these days and lost that “southern indiana independent charm” — not saying it is; just a concern like with anything racing for yearly growth. I am 61 these days and plan to take my visiting older brother into the park this summer.

  2. Rjones2615 says:

    Well that boy WAS in a wife beater….. I wish we had one of those in Texas!!

  3. I’m all excited that you liked Holiday World – it’s just an hour or so from us and we’ve taken the kids there every summer for many years.  They like it better than Disney, too – all of the fun, rides, and cool and none of the blatant marketing.  (or horrendous expense!)

    Now that my kids are older, they go by themselves, in carloads of other young adults who have loved Holiday World (It used to be called Santa Claus Land until it branched out into all the other holidays as well!) all their lives.

    So yeah, we’d choose Holiday World over Disney ANY day.


  4. Paul says:

    Nice article.  I love Holiday World too, and I visit once a year from the Toronto area.  One correction I must make though… they only serve Pepsi products.  No Coke.

  5. Kelleywin says:

    I’ll have to go! Now, I have very wonderful memories of Santa Land ( I think that’s right) in Cherokee, NC– we’d stay at the Pink Motel and spend a day w Santa. It may have just been bc I was little, but it was awesome.

  6. Lisa says:

    We live close to the park and have season passes, so we are biased, but we LOVE the place. There are plenty of things to do for those older kids and adults too (world-class wooden coasters, Tallest water ride, longest water coaster, etc), but having a place where our young child can play to her hearts content without ever getting bored is PRICELESS.

  7. Koolmom1 says:

    I love Holiday World. Ive been going now for about 15yrs or so. I took my nieces this yr. and they loved it. We will be back next yr. and cant wait to ride the new ride.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a great post, as a longtime lover of Holiday World. 🙂 I definitely prefer it over Disney World, HANDS DOWN. It’s a much better value for the money, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a TON closer.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a great post, as a longtime lover of Holiday World. 🙂 I definitely prefer it over Disney World, HANDS DOWN. It’s a much better value for the money, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a TON closer.

  10. Martha Jenkins says:

    My Mom and Dad brought us to Santa Claus, Ind. I have brought my kids there and now come with my grandchilren. It’s a fun place to be with family and friends. Keep up the good work.

  11. Martha Jenkins says:

    My Mom and Dad brought us to Santa Claus, Ind. I have brought my kids there and now come with my grandchilren. It’s a fun place to be with family and friends. Keep up the good work.

  12. Jim Vitale says:

    I’ll take Holiday World over Disney ANYTIME !   And yes….I’ve been to both places!

  13. Mommy6698 says:

    Excellent article.  My family has been going to Holiday World for nearly 20 years (Santa Claus Land).  The past 5 years or so, I have been the organizer, getting my brother and sister and their families, my cousin and even friends and neighbors together for a trip.  We live about 3 hours away near Scott Air Force Base in IL.   We always get a great deal because we do the group ticket option.  Most of of us stay at a local hotel (Tell City Days Inn 2 years, never again!) and spend the first day at Splashin Safari and the 2nd day in Holiday World.  We stayed at Santa’s Lodge across the street.  It was affordable, clean and perfect!  We got a family suite and fit 4 adults and 8 kids, it was tight, but with a fold out couch and an air mattress, everyone was happy.  Besides, they didn’t care where they slept as long as they got back to Holiday World in the morning!

    Free Parking, Free Sunscreen, Free soft drinks and Free tubes, why would you want to go anywhere else?  Six Flags is about an hour from us and I’d much rather drive the extra miles to Holiday World than deal with the crowds and overpricing at Six Flags.  Holiday World is a family oriented park, kept clean and staffed with friendly people.  A+++  

  14. We LOVE holiday world. my kids haven’t had an opportunity to visit disney yet, which is in the plans, but I know for a FACT my son never forgot holiday world and would go back in a heartbeat. We use to live in Kentucky, so it was closer, but now that we’re in Texas, it’s much harder. I agree with the other post, I WISH there was one down here, we’d go every year.

  15. Wehoweky says:

    We  LOVE Holiday World.  Been 3 years in a row now.  It is a family tradition.  We live in KY and used to get free passes for the elementary aged kids to Six Flags.  We love HW so much better.  Quieter, cleaner, friendlier, the employees have clothes that FIT, the food is good and well priced.  Just all around a great park!  I anticipate going for many years to come.  We also stay at Lake Rudolph Campground and love it.  Great clean family oriented campground.  Free mini golf, free playgrounds, free swimming pool, helpful staff.  There is also a great buffet in town next to the grocery store that we go to every year.  THey have both Pizza and fried chicken with veggies.  

  16. Marzclark says:

    Holiday World & Splashing Safari Rocks!!!!! 
    We love it!!

  17. Tammy says:

    Holiday World – HANDS DOWN!!  We have been going to Holiday World for several years and it just keeps getting better.  We usually spend an entire week there camping at Lincoln State Park which is just a few miles down the road.  I would recommend Lincoln State Park over Lake Rudolf.  Lincoln rents out cabins and is much cleaner than Rudolf.  Lake Rudolf is ok but a little busy and noisey for our taste.  We went to Disney World a few years ago when our son was 5 and we were very dissapointed.  It was busy, crowded and dirty.  We could not wait to get back to Holiday World.  We kept comparing Disney to Holiday World the whole time we where there and Disney just could not compete.

  18. Mickeymousegal says:

    Holiday World is a wonderful theme park.  The water park is the best I have ever seen.  The prices for food are family friendly and there is a large variety of options including prime rib.  You can get salads and lower calorie fare if you desire them.  
    The very best thing about Holiday World is the fact that the Koch family continues to invest in their park.  Every year they  add new attractions to the park.  And they work to ensure that the family friendly atmosphere is maintained.  My family has had season passes for years.  We lived 15 minutes from a Six Flags park yet drove the hour to Holiday World because we liked the parks atmosphere and climate so much better.  I would reccommend this park to anyone looking for a great outing filled with good, clean, safe family fun.  It’s true what they say, “We’re number one for family fun!”

  19. Myskat says:

    Holiday World, or Santa Claus Land, as I remember it, will always be number 1 in our family’s book!  We always stay at Lincoln State Park as well, because we always have, and it’s like a second home to us.  All of our family lives within an hour of it, and we wouldn’t let a summer go by without a visit to both!  Thank you for helping everyone see just why Holiday World is so special!!!

  20. Sally Rogers says:

    We love Holiday World!  If my kids had their way we’d go once a month. 🙂  We make an annual pilgrimage soon after school is out with two other families and our campers.  The campground is great as well as the park.  It’s a great time for all ages!!

  21. Michelledirect says:

    Definitely bring a water proof camera! My kids and I absolutely love holiday world, we go every year at least once, but I never thought to bring a water proof camera until someone mentioned it this year. oh the pics I have lost… there is so much to do I think we could spend a week in the water park and my son (4) would be happy 🙂 I rented an RV rental in Rudolph campgrounds one year and it was fun to be able to ride the shuttle over, they also have a pool in case your there longer than the day or so your in the park, we usually camp in lake lincoln camp grounds and they are awesome, we get a spot right at the lake. They gave real bathrooms and showers with hot water and electricity so no worries. I have not rented a cabin there yet but I did look at them and they are very clean inside and cute. We are planning to do the cabin thing next summer. Holiday world, Rudolph campgrounds, and lake lincoln make for a great 1 or 2 week vacation!!

  22. Michelle says:

    Probably not real important to most people but can you tell me if it’s special needs friendly?  My son doesn’t get to enjoy much because he’s in a wheelchair so it would be nice if there was something for him to do Otherwise, I guess i’ll pass and take him to Disney.

  23. Amanda says:

    Yep.  Sure, Disney has characters.  But it also has long lines for many rides.  Last year, after taking my 7 and 11 year old to Disney for the second time, they agreed that Holiday World was better.  And Splashin Safari is the 2nd best water park in America.  And it’s in the middle of nowhere, Indiana.  Who would have thunk it?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think my favorite thing about Splashin’ Safari is that it was still fun for my husband and I, even with 4 and 7-year-olds. The family rides were really fun and thrilling and I even had fun going down the longer kids’ slides with my children.  I’m so used to just enduring their water play since they’re still so limited when it comes to swimming!

      • S. says:

        Hey Lindsay! I always really enjoy reading your posts. But please don’t forget one little thing?… you need to say “it was still fun for my husband and me,” not “for my husband and I.” An easy way to check yourself on this is to cut out the other person in the sentence. Would you have said “it was fun for I”? no, you’d have said “it was fun for me.” Just sayin’……

  24. […] Visit link: Holiday World: Better than Disney? ‹ Suburban Turmoil […]

  25. Mel says:

    In the picture of Bruiser pouting after the shooting game – he looks just like Hubs! I used to live in Orlando and I refer to Disney as “The Rat House”. 

  26. […] fudge, danced at twilight, visited children’s museums and Holiday World and Chattanooga and Gatlinburg and Disney World and did so much […]

  27. […] 25. Load up the car and head to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, a 2 1/2 hour drive from Nashville. You’ll find super clean water and amusement parks, free soft drinks, and tons of rides that will thrill small children, teenagers, and adults. We love this place and go every summer. […]

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