Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Santa Claus, Indiana
Louis J. Koch created the nations first theme park as a retirement project. He was troubled that the tiny town of Santa Claus, Indiana was visited by children who were disappointed when they found out Santa was not there. With nine children of his own, Koch loved children, holidays and celebrations. He opened the park in 1946 as Santa Claus Land. It originally contained a toy shop, toy displays, themed childrens rides, a restaurant, and, of course, Santa Claus.
In 1984, Santa Claus Land grew to include Halloween and Fourth of July sections, and the parks name was changed to Holiday World. The Thanksgiving area was added in 2006. Presently, Holiday World features 120 acres of rides, shows, games, and attractions. Louis' son Bill was the chairman of the company until his death in September 2001. Bill's son Will is now the president and CEO of Holiday World & Splashin Safari.
One coaster has left Holiday World: Firecracker (also known as Blitzen) operated from 1981 to 1997. It was a Pinfari Z47 model that started in 1976 as Cyclone at Geauga Lake in Ohio. It was briefly at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City in 1998.
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