Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Bucket List: Holiday World!

The first item on our summer bucket list: Holiday World!

We had an amazing time two years ago and now that we felt O was old enough (18 months), it was the first thing we wanted to do this summer.  We heard from HolidayWorld on twitter that Memorial Day was one of the lightest crowd days, so we convinced my family (parents & brothers) to join us on Memorial Day in Santa Claus Indiana.

After much debate, we decided to drive up (from Nashville) to Holiday World, stay all day, and then drive back home in one day.  We woke the kids at 6am, put them in the car (still in PJs), and arrived with time to get dressed and apply sunscreen before the park opened (at 9:30am).  My parents and youngest brother pulled in right behind us, and my older brother about 30 minutes later.

O, tickling L

Are we there yet?
Once in the park, we split-up.  My mom, non-roller coaster riding brother, and the kids and I went towards the back of the park.  My husband, dad, brother, and sister-in-law headed for the 3 main roller coasters.  My hope was that most people with small children would stop at the rides at the entrance (in "Christmas") and we might avoid longer lines by going towards the back of the park.  We were right.  We rode on almost all the rides without a single wait.

First Stop, Antique Cars:

We felt like O was still a little young (18 months) to ride any of the "hold on by yourself" rides, but he loved these antique cars that he could ride in his Gran's lap.  I was a horrible driver trying to steer and look around (and take pictures), but E was laughing the whole time.

Gran and O

L and my younger brother
Star Spangled Carousel:

Our next stop was the carousel.  E was literally smiling the entire time.  My mom and I even joked that her face was going to hurt the next day from all of her smiling.

My Big Kids!

O and his Gran

My beautiful E LOVED the carousel!

Indian River Canoe Ride:

This ride was a little slow and uneventful for L (6 years old), but E (almost 4 years) still enjoyed it.

Salmon Run:

This was Ls absolute favorite ride two years ago.  I'm not sure what it is about a little fish going around in a circle and up and down that brings so much joy to a child, but they both loved this one.

All smiles!


The Howler:

L and I rode in the very back car of the Howler.  He was so excited about it, but as soon as we went down the first hill he looked terrified.  He did great, but when the ride was over he told me he didn't want to ride that one again.  E (almost 4) was too short to ride.

Miss Kitty's Tea Party:

We rode these tea cups 3 times.  They spun pretty slowly and E loved the idea of being in a tea cup.

Doggone Trail:

This was another family ride that we could all ride.  My mom and E rode in one car and we let L "drive" O and I.

Front Car

2nd Car

O pressed the horn button about 100 times

"Here we come!"
Map Stop:  

For some reason my kids LOVE maps.  It's been almost a week since our trip and they are still taking our Holiday World map with us everywhere we go!

L with his Map

E with her Map

Dasher's Seahorses:

Time to head back toward the front and check out the "Christmas" area.  Surprisingly, the crowd there was pretty light too.  So I really think we picked a perfect day.  Note to self: Go to Holiday World next year on Memorial Day too.

Very Tired Baby O

Comet's Rockets:

This was L's favorite ride.  It just went around in a circle, but he loved that he had a gun and he could "shoot" people.

Ready to ride!

Reindeer Games:

L bravely rode on this big drop ride.  He looked like he enjoyed it, but he absolutely refused to try it again later in the day. E was still too short.

Nervous Boy

He looked like he enjoyed it.

Rudolph's Round-up:

I'm not sure the kiddos ever figured out how to get the sleigh to go up and down, but they still loved this sleigh ride.

Thunder Bumpers Jr.:

The Only Real Line of the Day

O fell asleep while the big kids were waiting for the Bumper Boats in my dad's arms.  It was barely 11am and he was already so worn out and ready for his nap.

My parents and Baby O

Nap #1

After we had ridden most of the kiddie rides in the regular portion of the park we headed over to the water park.

Kimba Bay:

This area would be perfect on a very hot day.  Unfortunately, the weather was a little cool and breezy while we were there and the kids were pretty much freezing by the time we left this area.

L is in there somewhere.
Here comes E!
Freezing E
Freezing L
Too Cold for O and my Mom

Safari Sam's Splashland:

While we were in this area the sun was shinning bright and the kids were much warmer.  The water might have been a little warmer too.  After O's nap in the stroller he was even able to go down the slides (with an adult).  I would guess the kids spent well over an hour going down the slides or playing in the sprinklers.  If we lived closer, this little splash land would be worth having a seasons pass.

E in the Pool


O and his Daddy

More Sprinklers!

Slowly Landing in the Water

O and I: He loved this Orange Slide.

The kids and I also enjoyed the Bahari Wave Pool, the Bahari River (lazy river), and Monsoon Lagoon.  I didn't have the waterproof camera when we were playing there, but the kids enjoyed it. Personally, I think my favorite thing might have been the lazy river.  I sat O in my lap on the tube and then we slowly followed the big kids around on their tubes.  So relaxing!

This year was Ls first year to really be tall enough to ride the real water slides.  He went down Watubee, Zinga, and Otorongo, before deciding he was too light.  Apparently, he did a lot of flying up off of the rafts and I think he (and my husband) were a little worried he might fall out of a raft.  So, he put off his goal to "ride everything" until next year... and maybe he'll weigh more than 37 pounds by then.

Such a Brave 6 Year Old

After the water park closed, we rode a few more rides in the regular park, and then headed back to Nashville.

L and his Daddy
Pictures to prove that my brothers were there too.  They just didn't hang out with "us" kiddos much so I didn't get many pictures of them.

Ready for the Raven: My Husband, Sister-in-law, and Brother
My Younger Brother
I'm not sure there is a more perfect amusement park for our family than Holiday World and Splashin Safari.  There's Roller Coasters for my husband (30yrs), dad (54yrs), and brothers (28yrs & 22yrs), kiddie rides for the big kids (6yrs, 4yrs, & 1.5yrs), and water slides, pools, and fun for all ages.  Oh, and did I mention free soft drinks, reasonable priced food, free parking, free sunscreen, and only a 3 hour drive from Nashville.  Why would you want to go anywhere else?!

The Group, Minus my Dad

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