This weekend I was watching a documentary about Santa Claus Land/Holiday World.  I had no idea it first opened 65 years ago in 1946, The world's 1st theme park (pre-dating Disneyland by 18 years).  I remember when I was a kid Splashin' Safari didn't even exist at Holiday World, Splashin' Safari came along in 1993. And the name of the theme park was changed from Santa Claus Land to Holiday World back in 1984.  And did you know back in 1955 then actor and spokesman for General Electric Ronald Regan stopped in for a visit.  Bill Koch Sr. had a vision of Santa Claus, Indiana and he made it happen, he built an 18 hole championship golf course, Christmas Lake Village, Lake Rudolph,  in the late 1950's he helped re-route Interstate 64, and let us not forget he developed Holiday World & Splashin Safari that we all know and love today!  He married Pat Koch in 1961, they had 5 children, Bill Koch Sr. passed away October 4th, 2001,  at the age of 86.  Following his death, and in recognition of the many developments he was responsible for, the state of Indiana named Indiana State Highway 162 from Gentryville to Interstate 64 as the "William A. Koch Memorial Highway." Pat Koch still greets guests, and works hard at Holiday World everyday that's probably why they were voted the cleanest & friendliest park for many many years! And we all have to send a special thanks to Holiday World for offering free soft drinks and free sunscreen since 2001. "Holiday World & Splashin' Safari #1 For Family Fun!"