Those of us who live in southern Indiana and western Kentucky have known for years a day spent at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari is a day well spent. The theme park in Santa Claus is regularly recognized for being one of the cleanest in the nation and features amenities you typically don't find at most theme parks, including free parking, free sunscreen, and free soft drinks. We also know it offers a wide variety of rides for guests of all ages and thrill levels, many of which have been recognized for being some of the best in the theme park industry. That includes one of their watercoasters which was recently recognized as the best of its kind on the planet.

The Wildebeest Water Coaster Golden Ticket Award for Top Watercoaster in the World

Holiday World Entrance
Alex Pierce/WBKR

Nearly every industry has annual awards to recognize the best people, products, and services it has to offer. The Academy Awards (a.k.a. "The Oscars") recognize outstanding achievements in the world of movies. The Emmy's do the same for TV, the Grammy's for music, so on and so forth. We even have the annual Marconi Awards in the broadcasting world that are handed out by the National Association of Broadcasters. For those in the theme park industry, their version of the Oscars is the annual Golden Ticket Awards handed out by the monthly trade journal, Amusement Today. 

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The awards cover a wide variety of categories all pertaining to the experience of spending the day at a theme park including rides, shows, food, and more like "Most Beautiful Park" (won by Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia this year).

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari are no strangers to the awards. They've won a ton of them over the years for Best Wooden Roller Coaster, Best Waterpark Ride, Cleanest Park, Friendliest Park, and more. Where they have room for all of them, I don't know, but they now have to make space for another as they announced Monday through a press release the Wildebeest at Splashin' Safari took home the 2022 Golden Ticket for Best Watercoaster.

Holiday World / Canva
Holiday World / Canva

The Wildebeest is a two-and-a-half-minute ride featuring a track that's a third of a mile long and full of twists, turns, tunnels, and drops. Four people can ride at once and sit in a canoe-style boat propelled by water jets all along the track and technology called "linear induction motor (LIM) technology" which uses magnets on the boat and under the track to keep the ride moving forward.

This is what it looks like when you're on it if you've never experienced it yourself.

If you've never experienced the Wildebeest, or want to get one last ride in before Splashin' Safari shuts down for the 2022 season, you don't have much time left. The water park will close for the year at the end of the day this Sunday (September 18th) as Holiday World transitions to their Happy Halloween Weekends which run every weekend beginning Saturday, September 24th through October 30th.

[Source: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari Press Release]

See Renderings of Compass Commons - Holiday World's Team Member Housing

The Compass Commons project will offer affordable housing for qualified seasonal Team Members working at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. It is expected to be complete in May 2023.

25 Must-Try Rides at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

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