Holiday World amusement park plans June 17 reopening

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana amusement park plans to begin reopening the popular destination in mid-June with reduced capacity, a virtual queuing system and other safeguards against the coronavirus.

“It’s important that we open slowly and safely, so we want to make sure we have Holiday World operations finely tuned when we open Splashin’ Safari,” park president Matt Eckert said.

Holiday World plans to reopen on June 17 with crowds limited to 50% of capacity. The park’s Splashin’ Safari water rides will reopen no later than July 4.

The park has added hand sanitizer stations and increased the frequency of its sanitation procedures, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

Guests will be asked to use the park’s new reservation system, which creates a virtual line for a given attraction. Guests sign in with their smartphone, or a bar-coded wristband, for each ride, which reduces the amount of time patrons will stand in a physical line.

In place of reservations, the park will sell tickets online for a specific date. Officials ask that guests come with their ticket in hand to ensure ease of entry.

Both Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari will also add three operating dates to the schedule in August.

The park was founded as Santa Claus Land in 1946. It’s located in the Spencer County town of Santa Claus, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Evansville.