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Official: WinterFest 2017


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On 11/20/2017 at 5:35 PM, King Ding Dong said:

The first thing that popped into my mind when seeing that picture was someone decorated Devils Tower for Christmas. :D   I am sure it looks very different in a close encounter. 

 

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this came to mind immediately....kind of has a Christmas sound to it.

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1 hour ago, jimbo t said:

is there going to be a sleigh riding area????? or did I read that wrong on the website ???

Yes, there is, I think if you look far left on Banshee's Live Cam you can see it. It looks to be between and in front of Drop Tower and Skyflyer.

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I just looked at the web cam and it looks like Snow Works (the sledding/tubing hill) will be directly in front of Drop Tower. Also, it looks so weird seeing everything dormant in Action Zone. I may end up going Saturday night even though I won't be there for Opening Night. I'm eager to hear people's thoughts on Opening Night. One more day! 

Also, Happy Thanksgiving all!

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The park was very crowded tonight. 

All in all, my wife and I enjoyed ourselves.  The decorations are wonderful.  I loved International Street.  The lights in the trees in Coney Mall were wonderful as well.  There is definitely lots to do and see, and I would say it would take multiple visits to experience everything.  Sadly, our son lost his sock at some point and was getting fussy, so we left around 8:30, having not done the train, or the Charlie Brown show in the Kings Island theater.  

There are lots of photo spots to take pictures all over the park.  Compared to Winterfest from 2005, there is so much more to do and see at this Winterfest that it makes the 2005 version look like very plan and ordinary.  The amount of characters that were present was wonderful (and reminded me of Disney).  Kings Island has a huge hit on their hands.  We left wanting to go back multiple times just to experience everything we didn`t get a chance to.  If you can, I highly recommend going!

We plan to go back on Sunday night.  (We are headed to the Straight No Chaser concert tomorrow night, otherwise we would be back tomorrow night!)

Robbie

 

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Overall a fantastic first year out of the gate. There were a few things (not) obviously undone, but it looked like those are still being completed. I was talking to the sister of the project manager of WF and she agreed that at 4:30 yesterday things “had to stop” like throw it under the nearest bush we’ll deal with it tomorrow stop. Said the team worked all day Thursday -park fed the team for thanksgiving! The amount of “pocket entertainment” was awesome. The little acts scattered and roaming throughout the park made me feel like I was at Disneyworld during its heyday. This will make it hard to go back to regular season levels of entertainment! I was pleasantly surprised as a little bit of me didn’t believe KI really had it in them anymore to turn out this level of event. 

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My only “observation” was that the “cluster f##% of Christmas lights decor that was Winterfest Way could have gone more in coney mall to bring more energy and lights to that area that felt a little “off” considering the theme of the area. It would have also fit the “time period” of that area more. It felt a little “off” coming out of Rivertown , that actually felt true to theme again going into “disco Christmas” on the way to “artisan village” under the tower. 

Not bad, just thought that could have made both areas stronger. 

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So, I will be going tonight and I'm super excited. Thanks again @chugh43 for the show schedule/listing; I have my night all planned out lol. Along with 3 shows I'd like to see tonight (Drummers, Tinkers Toy Factory and of course, The Plight Before Christmas), I'd like to do Snow Works, visit Al, ride the Train, and the 5 rides (Mystic, Zephyr, Scrambler, Dodgems and Boo Blasters). 

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I've been going to KI since they opened and without a doubt this is the BEST I've ever seen the park!  The theming is WONDERFUL and everywhere you look it's Christmas!  The park has out done themselves and should be very proud they definitely have a winner on their hands with this one.  I thought I would post a few observations since I visit this site every day and don't feel I ever have time to contribute enough.

First let's get the negative out of the way.  Mind you these are by no means "show stoppers" only suggestions that could make the event better in my opinion.  I agree it did look like there were some more things to polish in the next couple of weeks and maybe some of them are included on this list.

First I've been a lover of KI shows, especially pre-paramount.  I took 15 years of tap and jazz and started my own community theatre which highlighted it's first season with West Side Story that I choreographed, directed and produced.  Back in the day KI rivaled Disney in talent and composition.  That being said I was only able to take in 1 show and that was Charlie Brown Christmas Spectacular.  VERY well done, nice sets and props, all the performers were FANTASTIC and definitely up to the pre-paramount standards of the past.  As in all things when something is that spectacular sometimes something sticks out like a sore thumb and it was obvious.  During the section where the girls wear the blue dresses there are several times where the skirts fly up (and one where the girl in front goes spread eagle when lifted) and they have no colored "bloomers" on.  They have on underwear (full underwear) and the nude tights are over them.  This almost makes it look like you're seeing something you shouldn't and detracts from what is intended to be a children's themed show.  I my opinion, they should have on blue leotard bottoms on (to resemble a full-covering swimsuit bottom) since there are so many "up skirt" moments in the act.  Again, the performers are AMAZINGLY talented and did a FANTASTIC job, this is more a note for the costume department and only "mildly" took away from the one section of the show.  I heard other people commenting on it as we left.

Second, and this may be because they didn't have time, they need a height requirement and wait time sign for snow works at the entrance of the attraction (also need do be more prominent where the entrance is.  In addition adding a "one or two rider line" would help out for this attraction.  It takes 6 people and after watching it for 45 minutes (waiting for my grandson and sister-in-law to ride) I saw several times where only 4 people would be on the ride.  The worker at the front of the line kept asking for " one or two" riders but most of the time couldn't be heard or seen or there were groups of more than one or two people.  Giving people the option to ride separately would help the line greatly.

Third the ice carving show (right next to the slide) is in need of narration.  We waited past the start of the 7:30 ice show and all that happened was a guy came over, picked up a chainsaw and started carving ice (I think there was some music playing).  The ice carving is definitely interesting and a fantastic addition and the crowd around it was huge.  It would just help to have someone with a microphone explaining about ice carving (history, techniques, questions from the audience).  I was told this was the first night and they were working over their jitters and plan to put something like that in place.

That was the only 3 things I found to be noticeable.  I would call them complaints, just room for improvement.

I need to wrap this up so let me do that by saying again what a FANTASTIC job KI did and kudos to all the hard work.  It is definitely the "must do" thing in the area.

 

Todd

 

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I was very impressed by Winterfest.  I go to Dollywood every year for "Christmas in the Smokies" so I was curious how this would compared.  All in all I think they did an excellent job.  If anything I feel like the lights here are better than they are at Dollywood.

All of the different photo ops and walk on around characters were great as well.  If you are on the fence about going you should go.  I know the Zoo's Festival of Lights has die-hard fans but this is at another level.  For me the zoo is one of those you do once every few years and Winterfest will takes several visits to see everything.  Yes there are things that could be improved (i.e. food-service lines) but it was a very successful first night and the park and its employees should feel very proud of what they accomplished.

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I have zero complaints. It was a fantastic event and well worth the gold pass renewal! The Mac and Cheese bar was super delicious and on the meal plan! The sights, sounds and smells were awesome! I’m planning on going several times just to take it all in! Normally the group I’m with will circle the park in an orderly fashion but just like kids who are excited about Christmas and the lights, we went in whatever direction our interests took us. There is so much to see and do! Well done KI.... well done!

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I was expecting Winterfest to be a great event, it exceeded my expectations by far. It definitely gives Dollywood a run for its money (which says a lot because Dollywood at Christmas is incredible) and the local Cincinnati events (Zoo, Christmas Ranch, Sharonwoods first come to mind) truly pale in comparison to what Kings Island has done. 

I don’t think it’s possible to see everything in one visit. Between the lights and entertainment, every where you go there’s more to see and do. I missed a lot of the live acts, but the ones we were able to see where good. Roaming characters, music really add to the event.

The mac and cheese bar located where Hank’s is during regular season is delicious. I don’t know how well it would do during regular season, but I would not be disappointed if it stuck around. 

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I am so glad Winterfest is back!  It is even better than the one that I remember from the 80s.  Several years ago I posted on this site about bring back Winterfest and a large portion of people said they would never bring it back because it would be impossible to convert the park after Haunt and it would not be profitable.  First kiddos to the entire Kings Island team that planned and transformed the park into Winterfest in a such a short time span after Haunt ended.  All your hard work has paid off and the park looks amazing.  Secondly based on the crowds last night alone Winterfest looks to be a real hit and I encountered lines everywhere where people were making purchases.  It looks like Winterfest will be profitable for many years to come and a great tradition for so many families. Don't worry Kings Island you made the right decision in bringing back Winterfest and learned from mistake from the past when attempting to bring it back profitability.  Letting season pass holders in for free is a big key to the success of Winterfest.  You made the right decisions and Winterfest is here to stay this time around!

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Everything I've heard and read is that Winterfest has been a big hit!  I know it's just the 2nd night of the event, but if it keeps going this way, could they take home the Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event of 2017?  Dollywood has been the only park to gain this award, and this would be great for Kings Island to show off! :)  

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There are a few extra decorations in the shed but no change to the screens. The Fast Lane queue is now a single rider line (because there is no Fast Lane at Winterfest). Since I got separated from my group on the mad dash over, I made use of the line, and it was very nice. The man I ended up paired with had gone around and rode again afterward, while I was still waiting for my group to get through the regular line. 

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It's fantastic to hear that there's a single rider line on Mr. T. I've really missed those being a thing; regular lines can honestly suck when you're all alone at the park.

I doubt anyone here's been to the other WF's this weekend, but can anyone comment on what CGA's Winterfest was like last year and how it compares to Kings Island? We'll have numerous people comparing it backwards in time, but I'm also wondering what it's like across the nation.

EDIT: \/ I didn't realize Gator was in the show; which one does he play?

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Just got back from Winterfest, and it was amazing! Just to give a run-down on what all I did/experinced, I'll make it in a list format:

4 Drummers Drumming- After walking I-Street, this is the first thing I did once Winterfest officially started, and I enjoyed it.

Center Ice- Played the hockey game (formally the soccer game) and it was really fun! I even won a prize, which I lost after leaving it on the ground to join the dance party near Hank's.

The Plight before Christmas- As you may or may not know, our own @XGatorHead 8904 has a role in this show and I must say, it is pretty funny- I like the show's unique sense of humor.

Tinker's Toy Factory- Saw this twice and it was good; saw some familiar faces, but unfortunately, Santa didn't come out for the meet-and-greet after the show.

Mystic Timbers- Great as always; it was surreal to be riding a coaster in late November. To quote David after Dentist "Is this real life?"

Train/12 Days of Christmas- the last thing I did, and it was good, but I sorta panicked when the train slowed down at parts. 

In addition the things mentioned above, I walked around the park, through Artisan Vilage, mingled with one of the characters (give the guy with the bells a high-five!) and got my picture with Santa.

While tonight was fantastic, I'd be remiss without mentioning one thing that irked me. Everest. The. Elf. I don't know why the Al we all know and love was replaced by an imposter! He still could have told jokes in his deep baritone voice. It was like it was a shell of his former self. But if that's the only complaint, then I had an insanely fun time and kept sayign that this was "the best Christmas party ever". 

Finally, I'm super pumped to go next Friday and Saturday and would love to ride more as well as see the Ice Sculptor, Jingle Jazz, go snow tubing at Snow Works, visit the Giant Snowglobe and also see the Charlie Brown Christmas show (btw, was it any good? It had a long line, but I got out of line for the Farfetch'd. which was #worthit!) 

 

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