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Young children focus of $3.5M in Holiday World upgrades

November 21, 2017

Upgrades are on the way at Holiday World & Spashin’ Safari with a specific focus on young children.

The amusement and water-ride mecca in Santa Claus, in southwestern Indiana, announced $3.5 million in improvements on Tuesday, primarily aimed at younger visitors. They include the elephant-themed Tembo Falls, a water-slide complex featuring eight short slides in a variety of shapes, and Tembo Tides, a junior wave pool with spray features.

“We definitely listen to and observe our guests,” Matt Eckert, park president and CEO, told IBJ. “We see, on those warm days in Indiana, that our park guests spend a majority of their time in the water park. We want to make sure we are providing lots of options for small children, not just for the teenagers.”

The name Tembo, he added, comes from the Swahili word for elephant.

“We’ve become large enough that it’s pretty impossible to do both parks in one day,” he said. “You can easily spend an entire day at the water park and another day at Holiday World.”

Additional upgrades are expected to include a themed maze for Halloween weekends and track improvements for The Voyage, the second longest wooden roller coaster in the world. Most recently clocked at 67.4 mph, the tweaking could take The Voyage to 70 mph.

New features will include a stunt show, a musical magic show and strolling brass bands. New cabanas and an electric car charging station are also in the works.

Some of the park's past expansion projects, including the 2015 addition of the $22 million Thunderbird roller coaster, have required outside financing. Eckert said that’s not the case this time around.

“It depends from year to year what our projects are," he said. "$3.5 million is something we can manage internally.”

The park, which will be adding seasonal workers to staff the new areas, opens for the season in May.

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