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Everything posted by BoddaH1994

  1. Very cool! I also went there as a small child. It was Santa Claus Land. I don’t remember it. My parents told me that the appeal was that it was Christmas in the summer there. I think a lot of it was the shops and environment and it was much less about the rides. Interesting to see that the dive show has been around that long!
  2. What have you heard? I was under the understanding that they moved on from the “over-promise and under-deliver” phase to the “sucker born every minute” phase.
  3. More like, “Although we advertised bubbles, we will no longer be offering bubbles with the Winterfest Wonder Wand. Terms subject to change. No refunds.”
  4. I noticed that too! That area looks great!
  5. The fact that you want TWO turtle doves is as adorable as it is predictable. You’re so entitled
  6. Certainly more. 40% more? I don’t know about that. I do believe that they bought 2 million lights; however, I think they threw away at least a million, which is part of the lifecycle of these things. Regardless, the park looks better than it ever has!
  7. I'm going to go ahead and post this here for Chad's copy and paste convenience: https://themeparksbydon.com/new-wonder-wand-kings-islands-winterfests-hidden-gem/
  8. This is going to be painful to say. My experience has been that this works better and does more than Magic Band+. You pull a trigger to active spots (the equivalent of the statues) but it has that extra element of shooting the bubbles. It also worked pretty darn well with the shows. Obviously there is the whole element of RFID with Gene+ and admission that this doesn’t touch, but I’m comparing this to the “+” element of Magic Bands. I don’t think this is for everyone, especially at $29.99, but I do think that it’s neat and interesting. If a ton of people had them at the parade or tree lighting ceremony it would be a really cool effect.
  9. Maybe. They also have the five snowmen on the map that are, “coming soon.” Then again, they could have just listed the light up areas and interactive points rather than advertising that you are only getting 2/3 of the experience, then added the snowmen to the map later. This sort of thing would have been a huge visual for their media day. It could and should have been the angle they took for this year. Instead you got two million alleged additional lights. You can see lights at the zoo. They don’t have anything like this. Just remember, much like pixel mapping, if this goes well it’ll be everywhere next year. Then it’s not special anymore. This was their opportunity. That ship has sailed.
  10. I know you’re joking. But given the current… climate… of our favorite place, along with their apparent decision making process, I should probably respond. ”Although I am flatter at the opportunity to return sanity, effort, and results into the department, I must decline the offer. Thank you for your consideration.” It’s cool, though. I’m sure there will be some sort of content on this now that comms has been made aware of the product.
  11. I’m shocked that this hasn’t been made into a big deal. Kings Island is now selling an interactive “Wonder Wand” for Winterfest. This wand is almost like a mix of Magic Band + and the Harry Potter wands. When purchasing the wand for $29.99 (season pass discounts do apply), you are equipped with a map of various locations through the the park where the wand will interact. There are three types of interactions: 1. Unique Locations 2. Glow Zones 3. Show interactions The map also lists five “Snowman locations” as “coming soon.” No word on what these will be yet. Unique Locations These interact directly with the wand, similar to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wands at Universal Studios. Some of these locations include: 1. Antique Autos - The light up plastic statues flicker on and off. It seems like it was supposed to play music but doesn’t. 2. Snoopy’s Dog House - Woodstock lights up and Christmas lights turn on and off while playing music. 3. Mystic Timbers - Truck lights up playing Jingle Bells on the horn. Glow Zones: This was similar to Magic Band +. The wand will light up in the colors of the area. For example, in the Ice Princess area (the old Vortex path), the wand lights up blue and white. Similarly, it turns red and white in Candy Cane Lane. Part of the pattern is the variation of the light colors as well as periodically shooting bubbles. IMG_8744.mov Show Interactions Another similarity to Magic Band + is that the wand will interact with certain shows. For both the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Cool Yule Christmas, the wand will periodically sync up with and match the lighting design language. This effect was particularly well-exhibited during the Tree Lighting countdown. IMG_8741.mov Additionally, I was told that it specifically interacts with the Jack Frost float in the Winterfest Wonderland Parade. While true, I believe that the point of having it interact with that particular float was because it is in approximately in the middle of the parade. For about 80% of the viewing time, the wand was synced with the lights in the floats. This includes pretty precise syncing as the floats changed color. IMG_8745.mov The wands are available for $29.99 at the hut under the Eiffel Tower and at the night vending carts. With this, you can enjoy Winterfest in a whole new way! Check it out for yourself!
  12. What part of 2023 has lead you to believe that there was that kind of forethought put into… anything? And even if so, a well-written blog would have gone far.
  13. The new snowflakes on the fountain looked really good. It also appeared like there were more lights, specifically across from Enrique's sticks out. 40% more? Eh. We ate at Coney BBQ, or whatever it's called for this event. The turkey was fantastic. I also had the corn poutine, which was very good. They also had buttery biscuits instead of hush puppies, which was a huge step up. As many observed, the line for Mac 'n Cheese was pouring into Coney Mall while Enrique's had next to nothing. That poses the question of why didn't KI add the Mac bar when many other parks did, and if this is a referendum on Enrique's at all. They "redid" the restaurant this year, but it was the same food as it has been for.a decade. I was always eyeing that place for a revamp, but it never came. Tinker's, as always, was a gem. It was funny, high energy, and fun! I feel like that show should be a bigger production, though. The show is such a staple and I think more effects, fly-in sets, etc would be appropriate. It's still a huge step up from Charlie Brown, which I thought was a bit of a waste of that venue. Coney Mall is merged with the Coca-Cola Cool Zone this year. The lights don't really go with the music anymore since there's a DJ, but I don't think that's a big loss since the pixel mapping stuff is pretty wide-spread now. The tree looks good with the more dense lights; however, they are still having the issue that they had last year where the moving graphics seem to stutter. Either there's some sort of network issue or the computer pushing out the Madrix software is underpowered. It's one of those things that not everyone would notice, but those who do would REALLY notice. The park put out a promo photo including the inflatable globe. That left last year. I responded asking if it was returning. The park didn't respond, but some others replied saying that it was back with one saying they are working it. I didn't see it though, although I didn't fully go through Action Zone. Did anyone else see it? On the episode of Tower Topics in which Don and I discussed the things that were cut this year, we had mentioned that people were reporting online that they cut the Merriment Characters from 30 to 15. One person responded implying otherwise. We also discussed how this may greatly affect the parade with less people, between the missing characters and the cut shows. I attempted to count the characters during the parade, but it was difficult to keep track because it's hard to tell who is a show (or otherwise) performer and who is a Merriment Character. I am happy to report that regardless, the parade did not suffer this year. It was a "full" as ever and the energy was good! Were the cut shows felt last night? Maybe. Nothing left a huge void; however, I still by my original fear that it will ultimately just feel like there is less to do, without being able to put your finger on it. Blitzen Band, Jingle Jazz, and Holly Jolly weren't exactly the things that sold tickets, but it was certainly an added value. The lights truly do look great, but are people going to spend 4 or 5 hours looking at the lights? That I don't know. But you run the risk of people choosing between KI and the zoo for this sort of thing. People who get into KI for free will go, while people that may spend money may go to the zoo. See also: Haunt. Also, this is something that is interesting. They started a new program where you can purchase a Winterfest wand and interact with things around the park. People were seeing the touch points and texting me asking what they were. This should be a big deal. This could have been a news story. At the least, this could have been a strong social media story. I didn't find out what exactly this was until after I left for the night, but it was never communicated out properly. It will be interesting to see how things pan out moving forward.
  14. I bought my Vortex model with the full intention of painting it. That was 3 years ago. It’s still wood colored.
  15. HP is such a bucket list park! Can’t wait to visit!
  16. They're charging $15.49 for a Cobb salad. An extra $1 is a cash grab.
  17. Presumably Gravity Group is at it again! https://themeparksbydon.com/kings-islands-racer-undergoing-extensive-track-work/ Pic added by @IndyGuy4KI.
  18. “One little spark… of inspiration… is at the heart… of all creation.”
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