1, Overall, the renovation is definitely an improvement. International Street was looking dated and wore out whereas the 3 International Streets are the most spectacular entrances of any park. KI's version just wasn't living up to its potential before. Seating by the fountain was previously limited and none of it was shaded. The landscaping wasn't much of anything (more on that later).
2. The new pavers look amazing.
3. It looks like all of the buildings were repainted and look like new again. Strange though some of the lights outlining the buildings and windows were burnt out. I would think they would have wanted everything more perfect for the unveiling this weekend. The country flags on each building are a nice touch.
4. All new asphalt around the tower. Which is surprising since they have been replacing asphalt with pavers and concrete lately. Nice they put some seating under the tower. Are the 8 new trees around the tower at each entrance new?
5. LOTS of seating now. That is wonderful. The ugly white tables are gone. The black tables are the same picnic table style, but look much better. Budget must have only allowed for half of them to receive umbrellas, which all of them should have umbrellas as it is miserable to sit in the heat in the open like that. The multi-color umbrellas grouped together by color look great. Let's hope they do upkeep on them.
6. International Street is now very barren looking with the removal of the large trees. Winterfest lighting will be underwhelming now as the lights in the trees won't be a canopy like before. However, its nice there are 22 new trees. What type of trees are these and how big will they grow? My personal wish would be another row of trees between the fountain and seating like KD and Canada's Wonderland, to create a canopy of shade. Overall the landscaping improvements were limited, but the flowers and flower carts at the front look great. Maybe more to come?
The lack of trees also really exposed those ugly, scaffolding looking lighting towers.
7. Stage is extended fully in concreate. Poor performers lost their shade from the previous trees. It will be brutal if they perform before sundown. Off the Charts has 6:00 shows on Sat and 7:00 shows on all scheduled nights. It's going to be HOT for them some of those nights, and the sun in going to be in the audience's faces.
8. The fountain, mixed feelings. My opinion was the pedestals were outdated and I personally prefer jets out of the water like the current design. It is 100% pure water, which is beautiful. There are over 100 jets, but they are smallish in diameter. They do shoot up fairly far in the air however. There is water EVERYWHERE in the air when the new fountains are peaking.
The lighting is not good . It is all from the lightning towers. From the front of the fountain, it looks OK, but from the sides, there are just streaks of light across the water. I am supposing this was a budget and/or maintenance issue. If lights need maintenance, they are not under water. But it's the weakest fountain lighting at any of the International Streets
Are the groups of jets locked together in the same pattern, or is there it possibility of them operating independently to synchronize to music?
Overall, it is a much better feeling and look on International Street compared to last year. Much cleaner looking and more seating makes it a place to "hang out," where before it was a place to "walk through". Improvements will be made with landscaping with annuals most likely. There is definitely room for improvement with the fountain lighting and additional tree installation.