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Official: WinterFest 2017

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1 hour ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Anyone else think the hours are kind of short.  For as crowded as it was on Saturday we didnt get to do much and we were there from almost open to close.  

It is meant to be an evening event to enjoy the lights. Unless you want them to be open till 11 or 12?

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11 hours ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Anyone else think the hours are kind of short.  For as crowded as it was on Saturday we didnt get to do much and we were there from almost open to close.  

I honestly believe they didn't think it would be that packed. I do think if it's a problem the rest of Winterfest they will make changes in 2018 if applicable. 

I also agree with @IndyGuy4KI. It's also due to WinterFest being a light oriented event.

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Do the train soon after dark. The line gets huge quickly. Also Mystic Timbers has a decent line for a while, but thinned our towards closing. Most of all just wander and explore wherever your eyes take you, you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks sounds great! Can't wait!

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk

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I could also see them doing what Dollywood does for their Christmas in the Smokies event, and opening at 1 or even 3 on Saturdays next year.  It might make sense for the park to stay open until 11pm on Saturdays.  They do it in the regular season.  It would allow extra time to see the lights too.  

Based on the first weekend, I think it is safe to say that Winterfest is here to stay.  (The lines for food in the Festhaus on opening night were quite long).

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On 11/30/2017 at 11:48 AM, Cmhornblessed said:

Any suggestions on what to do first or how to prioritize WF.
 

 

On 11/30/2017 at 11:49 AM, upstop said:

Do the train soon after dark. The line gets huge quickly. Also Mystic Timbers has a decent line for a while, but thinned our towards closing. Most of all just wander and explore wherever your eyes take you, you won’t be disappointed!

And shows!  Don't forget the shows!  There's entertainment pretty much everywhere around the park and everything I've seen and heard has been great.

On 11/30/2017 at 2:23 PM, SonofBaconator said:

I liked the idea of some indoor haunt attractions opening during the day in the fall. It would be cool if Winterfest followed this technique

Ugh... They tried that years ago with some haunts opening at 3:00(?)  As much fun as working Haunt is, working a haunt 6:00-1:00 puts enough wear on one's body... I'd hate to think about another 3 hours each day!

However, I wouldn't mind WinterFest opening earlier.  There's so much to do that it takes more than one visit... or maybe it's genius the way it is now: have so much to do to ensure return visits!

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Re: Winterfest hours...

Many don't know (or arent old enough to recall) that original Winterfest was open all day, every day (weather permitting) in the first 10-year run.  During weekdays it was open from 2-10, Saturdays 10am-11pm and Sundays 10am-9:30pm.  In the last two seasons (if I recall) the weekday hours were shortened to open at 4.

I guarantee that this year's Winterfest hours had everything to do with the park dipping their toes in the water carefully.  Based on crowds, and what is no doubt an overwhelmingly positive response, I would not be surprised to see hours extended (at least for next season.)

When I attended last Sat,  I was baffled by the mad rush to Mystic Timbers.  It was an immediate 2-hour wait.  I figured it would be bombarded and there's so much else to do, I wisely skipped it to take in all the stuff I cannot see or do during normal park operations.  I returned to MT just before closing and the line was only like 30 minutes long... so I got a ride.  

As far as what you should do first:

My advice is, enjoy the Winterfest-specific things.  I was there from 4-until close and didnt get to do half of what I wanted (not because of crowds - rather because there's so much to see and do.)

One other thing of note from an "original pre-Paramount" Winterfest attendee.... I was blown away at how HUGE this version was... all the previous incarnations only utilized like 1/4 of the park.... this one is spread over 75% of the park.  I distinctly recall maxing out, or doing most everything during the original 1982-92 incarnation in about 3-4 hours.  This one far surpasses it and left me wanting more.  It almost requires a return visit.  They've really done a banner job - seriously, it's an amazing experience.

 I'll be back!

P.S.  I will throw in this caveat... attendees that just want to ride, ride, ride will likely be disappointed.  Winterfest isn't, nor has it ever been, about the amusement attractions.  It's meant to be a festive holiday atmosphere.  Getting to ride an attraction is just an added bonus... but the focus lies on the overall event experience.  I encourage everyone that attends to look past the obvious - there's a lot of joy and beauty to be seen.

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^ I thought that might have been the case that they were open earlier back then, but I wasn't sure if my memory was playing tricks on me or not.  Good to see it wasn't.

I agree with you that this year surpasses previous incarnations.  As I posted on Facebook last Sunday, "it beats every Winterfest they've ever done before!"  I love being a part of it, the only bad thing is I don't get to see everything I want.  But that's okay, I'm having a lot of fun!

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Wanted to be sure to spread the word that "What the Dickens?" has moved to Coney Elf Village between a couple of games across from Dodge 'Em. This is one of my favorite shows this season and don't you shouldn't miss it. Show times are still 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30.

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Had a great time this weekend at Winterfest. Between last night, tonight, and last Saturday, I've done everything I've wanted to do entertainment-wise. Tonight was cool as I bought a light-up candy cane and a lot of the characters (specifically, Mr. Tannenbaum, Christmas Carol, Scrooge, an Elf from the Antique car, Jack Frost, and two Toy Soldiers) signed it. In addition, the cane was also signed by the cast of Jingle Jazz, Wayne Deer, and others.

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It actually would be nice to open a little earlier on weekends as the trim is so lush and full of details that you really miss it all once the lights go down. Maybe more “highlighting” like focused pinspots on those would be nice. If you get there early enough to take in the details in the festhaus decor alone is pretty amazing. Dollywood that’s open much earlier on weekends has no where near the level of detail in the decor. 

Bloomers added to Charlie Brown spectacular BTW. That was a note from last weekends run. Looks like a few things got tweaked, but if it didn’t get lit or plugged in looks like they just left it. Some elements in candy cane (giant canes not finished with the edge lights) and some light balls in the trees by first aid were just hanging with the cords dangling. Maybe still finishing. Wonder when you just say “whatever, we’re done” and move on?

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I don't think many know the basic stuff that has to happen before decorating.  Back during the original Winterfest, landscaping crews actually pruned all trees and bushes before lights could be strung.  But the most amazing thing was... on International Street, they hand picked/snipped off all remaining leaves from the trees.  Not sure if they still do it, but even so, its a massive undertaking.

Part of my amazement this year was how quickly they managed to pull it off.  Yes, they did a lot of prep work - but 75% of the decorating was done in a 3-week time period.  That's craaaaaazy.

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Yes, I too was blown away by how quickly they transformed the park.  In 2005, it seemed like they took much of October to transform the park for Winterfest.  This year, they had started putting up some lights on International Street buildings and in the trees, and had started the ice rink on closing weekend (in 2005, they started that in Mid-October).  The amount of things they decorated in the short three week time span was amazing.  

I have visited twice so far, and still want to go back (as I feel like I haven`t experienced everything yet. 

Kings Island definitely has a big hit on their hands.  I think it is safe to say it will return for years to come.  I already am wondering what they will change for next year.

California`s Great America has the same 5-10pm hours this year as they did last year.  But from what I understand, Kings Island has one of the largest season pass base of the Cedar Fair parks.

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18 minutes ago, CoastersRZ said:

But from what I understand, Kings Island has one of the largest season pass base of the Cedar Fair parks.

It makes sense. Kings Island's in the Midwest so there isn't much to choose from for families unless they go east, south, or west.

If I lived out in California, I would be less inclined to buy a season pass for any park because I have a variety of options to chose from like Six Flags Magic Mountain, California's Great America, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Disney Land/California Adventure, Universal Studios, Lego Land and Sea World. 

The same could be argued for parks along the east coast where there's literally dozens of parks at least two hours between one another.

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