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It's beginning to look a lot like...Carowinds!


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This actually makes me wonder - how did Carowinds' Winterfest go in '05? I know it was a bad year weather-wise, but Carowinds is quite south compared to the rest of the Eastern Cedar Fair parks... I know my aunt and uncle live near Williamsburg in Virginia and claim that it rarely, rarely snows and usually temperatures stay in the 40s and 50s during the winter... Since Carowinds is even farther south than that, I imagine that they at least had a better Winterfest than us attendance-wise? Then again, Kings Island is the more well-attended of the two during the regular year.

I honestly think that a low-budget event like Winterfest would work at Kings Dominion and Carowinds given their better temperature. Christmas has become a staple of amusement park events in the last few years especially, with Busch Gardens, Dollywood, & SeaWorld really amping up their winter festivities. Disney and Universal have been doing Christmas events for a few years, and even Six Flags has really gone out of their way to make Holiday in the Park happen. I would like to see Carowinds at least give it a try in the coming years, perhaps with just one or two operating roller coasters (the way that Busch Gardens Williamsburg does). Will it happen? Doubtlessly, no. But I feel like if it did, and the weather cooperated, it might actually work!

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^From what I've read on here, the Carowinds event was not well attended. Terpy can tell you more about that, but for now, here's an old post from him about the subject:

And the Carowinds version was superb, even if the ice rink was about the size of two compact cars parked side by side! The train was a delight, the entertainment, which was largely the same as Kings Island's, was among the best ever seen in the KECO days, and the food offerings were delightful. And yet, The Charlotte Observer ran a review with the relatively famous, and accurate, headline:

WALKING IN AN EMPTY WONDERLAND

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I am a definite supporter of bringing back Winterfest. I am not sure why Carowinds bothers to decorate their tower if they are not going to have the event. I wouldn't

want Kings Island doing that, at all. If Winterfest were operated properly, it would be a great event. The one problem with 05 was, they didn't allow pass holders to get in

and that was a HUGE mistake. I think they could honor passes, and still make a ton of money with the people who would come. They did a great job with it. Toy Factory

was the best show Kings Island ever produced in its show history. The only other one that even came close was the one that ran this past season, Way Too Much TV.

If they hired me as a "Winterfest Director", I would make that park to be almost as good as Dollywood! I know I wouldn't be as good, because the location doesn't allow

for it, but I could make it magical and bright! I am not sure why they gave up after trying it one year, because of the poor marketing they did for it. They should have just

looked at it again and tried to fix the situation, instead of abanding it. I'd like to survey everyone who goes to Kings Island and lives in the area and see who would love to see

it come back and stay this time. I believe one of the reasons it may have failed was, they let the best marketing/PR Director in the history of the park go just as Winterfest

was getting underway. If they hadn't of gotten rid of that great person, we'd still have Winterfest and things at Kings Island would be a million times better than they are now!

But, yes, BRING BACK WINTERFEST!

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Another thing I'd be interested in seeing would be the price for admission. Busch Garden Williamsburg event was extremely well attended in its inaugural season last year (to the extent that the rest of the park is opening up for its second year to accommodate more guests). Many of the "family" rides operated (the scrambler, yo-yo swings, pirate ship, etc). DarKastle (the indoor dark ride), the 3-D movies, and Griffon also operated (the latter was weather permitting, but still). The entertainment was top-notch. The food (as always) was incredible, and the park was decorated in ways that were literally awe-some. All of the shops were open, and many were expanded, with all of the Oktoberfest section being opened as a "marketplace" where local artisans came to display and sell their beautiful artwork and crafts.

The problem is self-evident: Busch Gardens is a place where the 3-D movies, dark rides, shops, entertainment, and shows are the highlight of the park during the regular year. It wasn't a stretch for them to enhance and expand those departments for the Christmas spectacular. Kings Island is, first and foremost, a thrill park. For Kings Island to suddenly shift its attention to in-park decoration, entertainment, food, and shopping would be, to put it lightly, a stretch. Every single shop (with the exception of a few in Rivertown) sells nothing more than generic "Kings Island" merchandise. The food is typical fair fare, and the entertainment (while very good in its own way) is not up to Busch Gardens standards. It's the roller coasters that Kings Island prides itself upon, and when it cannot use them (see, Winterfest), it fails to find a niche that works well.

At least, that's how I see it.

Besides, as has been discussed, Winterfest was CBS's last ditch effort to make the parks look more marketable. "Look, we have a traditional, family-fun style Christmas event that looks incredible in a brochure!" And likely, those beautiful residual images of Winterfest 2005 did help sell the parks. The purchaser, though, didn't even bother pretending that the event would continue. And I don't think that starting a "tradition" was CBS's intention with Winterfest 2005, anyway.

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But, if done right, a winter event at KI can be successful, as the first incarnation of Winterfest proves. Heck, look no further than Festival of lights to see that it is popular. If done right, and I won`t go into all the issues of why 2005`s WinterFest was not a hit, it could enhance the bottom line for Kings Island, and in turn, Cedar Fair. As long as Kinzel and Co. are at the helm of Cedar Fair though, I think Winterfest is as likely to return as it is KI painting the Eiffel Tower hot pink.

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Actually, I think it is even less likely to return under Kinzel & Co. than the Eiffel Tower is to be painted hot pink. I can just see the latter now: There are no limits...Who wants to see a tower pink?

Seriously, the Carowinds event was even less successful than Kings Island's was...it had NO history behind it, unlike Kings Island's, and no reservoir of goodwill built up from past events. It was grand...and empty.

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Not entirely off subject, but one year, for Christmas Week, Cedar Point lit up all the coasters! It was a sight to behold! The cold, crisp, winter air, complete with frost crystals, gave a glitter that even Clement Clarke Moore wouldn't have been able to describe. Of course, Cedar Point is on a peninsula and viewing from several angles is possible whereas King's Island is "off to the side of the road" and there isn't much to view from almost anywhere. It would be a real treat if CP were to turn on the lights and show off their coasters again this Holiday season.

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Cedar Point did do a Christmas Event in 1994. It flopped from what I understand. It is WAY too cold on Lake Erie that time of year to do an outdoor event. Kinzel used that

flop as a reason for not doing it at Kings Island. He wasn't here in the 1980's when it was a grand event and worked out well. So, he is clueless about what a great event

it could be, based on how bad it went at his baby park. Maybe soon, he will retire. As some pointed out that Winterfest would not happen under his leadership. Maybe new

blood in there would bring new ideas and we can revisit bringing Winterfest back at that time. And as I have said, if it's marketed right, and the event itself is done with

grand glory, it would be an awesome event. Just have to get the right people in there doing it, to make that happen!

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It has been said repeatedly by those close to Mr. Kinzel that there is not sufficient turnaround time to do both Winterfest and Halloween Haunt. Given the overwhelming success of the latter and the huge profits it generates, I cannot imagine Mr. Kinzel and Co. giving that up for a Winterfest type event...

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Yes. I remember the final weekend of regular operation in 2005 was a bit awkward at KI. Haunt (at the time Fear Fest) was still in full swing, yet Christmas decorations could be seen along International Street.

I still maintain that the winter season could be another way for KI to extend its season and capture additional revenue, if done right. Yes, turn around time would be an issue. But I think it could be done so that both the Halloween and Christmas events were successes. Of course, back in the time the original Winterfest was held, there was not much competition. It was pretty much the Cincinnati Zoo`s Festival of Lights (started one year after Winterfest debuted). Now, there is the Festival of Lights, The Beach on Ice (formerly HolidayFest), Sharon Woods has a drive through light display, and there are holiday activities and train displays at Union Terminal, to name a few.

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Well, I know at least one person who is probably going to the Christmas thingy (they would want me to say its name, and I would if I remembered it, tee hee) at BGW, of all places...this year. First closing day then the Christmas thingy. Tell me people don't change.

I can and do highly recommend Festival of Lights at the zoo. Tis a fun time, it is.

Terpy, of the nickels...

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You will have a good time Terpy, I went last year and enjoyed myself immensely. The food, shows, and shopping were all at the Busch Gardens standard. When I went, it got so crowded they opened up San Marco to levitate the crowds.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Look Familiar? This was added this week to the exterior of EnterTRAINment Junction.

http://imgur.com/CIrP8

:lol: It looks like Jungle Jim's is not the only one who participates in Kings Island's silent auction, I wonder how much the park sold the Paramount tree topper for? Drats, that would've looked good over our driveway!

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