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Official: WinterFest 2017


RailRider

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Just wanted to give a quick write up of our visit last night. It was me, my husband, and our two kids (11 and 8). We decided to go and check it out, to see what was there and what we might like to do next time (we live ten minutes away and will go at least one more time).

We knew it would be crowded, so we planned to go early. We got to the parking lot at 3:45 and got a great parking space, got through security, and studied the map while we waited for the gates to open. Also, get a booklet at Guest Relations - it has show schedules and good info in there. International Street opens at 4 on Saturdays, so we entered and checked out all the open shops. Most of the food was open on International Street as well.

My kids wrote letters to Santa, which was a super cute experience (my 11 year old was less than enthusiastic but she got into the spirit). After we saw all the shops, we thought about waiting at the rope to walk towards Mystic Timbers, but we still had 20 minutes to kill so we ended up doing the cookie decorating instead. That was worth the price - we got 4 GIANT cookies to decorate. My only complaint there is that they seemed to be low on green icing (I chose the Christmas tree cookie). They give you a nice box for the cookies so you can take them home (which we did, although we did have to carry the box around, so you might do that later in the evening).

After that, we just meandered around, looking at things. My kids didn't feel like walking to MT, so we rode the Carousel and then made our way back to Coney. It was dead back there at that time, so they rode the Zephyr by themselves. They didn't much feel like riding anything else, so we made our way to Action Zone, saw the ice carving. And they rode the snow tube ride, which they enjoyed (agree with previous poster it could be loaded more efficiently). That's where we were when they "lit" the Eiffel Tower. We could see from where we were and hear everything they were doing - they pumped that out over the whole park on speaker. So that was nice. While they were waiting for the tubes I went over to look at the giant snow globe. I thought it was kind of weird that so many people were waiting in line for that, but then I saw a friend's photo on Facebook and it was a pretty cool photo of her kids in the snow globe. 

After the tower was lit, it seemed to get very crowded quickly, which was ok. We walked around a little more and walked back over to Rivertown. The line for the train was long so we might prioritize that next time. As we walked around, we caught snippets of shows here and there. So much to see and do! It was a bit overstimulating at times. We ended up leaving at around 6:30 (which was our plan for this trip). We don't generally eat in the park so we didn't buy any meals.

We are looking forward to a return trip soon! There is definitely something for everyone!

Edit to say that we are not skaters, so that was never something we were going to do, but we enjoyed seeing others skating! The line to pay for skating was very long when we left.

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Went on Friday; agree with just about everyone in that it exceeded expectations.

Someone made a comment a page or two ago about the Peanuts show in KI Theater.  It wasn't overtly inappropriate- but have to agree... the short skirts with the flip overs................ not awful; but a kids show.

Other than that- the tower lights are great for the most part.  The LEDs on the star have to be the dimmest bulbs they could have bought and the pattern programming is a bit "schizo".... I would contend that it doesn't have to be in CONSTANT motion.

BUT, outside of very few "preferences"- staffing seemed eerily adequate.  The shows were amazing.  Lights were incredible.  

Well done!

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1 hour ago, flightoffear1996 said:

The staff was great on Saturday and really friendly.  Almost Dollywood like.  The park was super packed so we didnt get to do much but what we did do it was really fun.  With the amount of crowds though it was disapointing to see alot of the registers closed.  

I did see some registers closed too, but will say the lines (Especially Christmas Cafe) move pretty fast.

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We went Saturday and like most everyone else WinterFest exceeded our expectations.  There was a lot to see and do.  I think they could have done a better job communicating what everything was.  We mostly just wandered around taking everything in.  But the park looked so amazing, I didn't care that it was packed.

I did a full write-up of our experience at my blog if anyone wants to check it out.

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1 hour ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Did anyone find it strange that the snow globe were you can get your picture taken didnt have a park employee there taking pictures?  

I agree, that's a perfect spot for a FunPix photo, although it may turn some away from doing it as they may think they are "required" to have FunPix to go into it.

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19 hours ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Did anyone find it strange that the snow globe were you can get your picture taken didnt have a park employee there taking pictures?  

It's so that the park isn't liable for if a phone/camera is dropped/broken.

 

23 hours ago, Outdoor Man said:

BUT, outside of very few "preferences"- staffing seemed eerily adequate.

Staffing is actually really good for during Winterfest... Most of the rides are actually overstaffed so they've been sending extra people to Food Service to help out.

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40 minutes ago, mayaman2 said:

It's so that the park isn't liable for if a phone/camera is dropped/broken.

 

Staffing is actually really good for during Winterfest... Most of the rides are actually overstaffed so they've been sending extra people to Food Service to help out.

They could have been using a park in house camera.  My family of 3 came and we wanted to get a picture of everyone in the globe together and would have gladly paid $15 for it.

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I agree.  With as many photo op spots as they have set up, it would be nice if they could have some more Funpix photographers like at the front of the park spread out.  Make it similar to the PhotoPass photographers that Disney has spread throughout the park.  


I noticed as I was leaving around 7 Sunday that none of the Funpix photogs were out front. I’m guessing that’s because 1) the lenses on those actually decent cameras aren’t fast enough for low light and 2) they could use the flash but none of them know how or 3) they have no idea how to make a picture look good with all the Christmas lights in the background.
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2 hours ago, harveyhaddixfan said:

I noticed as I was leaving around 7 Sunday that none of the Funpix photogs were out front. I’m guessing that’s because 1) the lenses on those actually decent cameras aren’t fast enough for low light and 2) they could use the flash but none of them know how or 3) they have no idea how to make a picture look good with all the Christmas lights in the background.

 

They were out around 7 when I got there on Saturday. Picture came out wonderful.

I don't think any of those three points are the case. Might of been not enough workers for a Sunday night.

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On 11/25/2017 at 9:29 PM, MaestroFanatic said:

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?

I play Wayne Deer in The Plight Before Christmas (pictured below in the engineer outfit thanks to Magenta Lizard). ^_^

On 11/25/2017 at 10:56 PM, MDMC01 said:

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.

Thanks!  It's a fun show and I'm extremely proud to be involved in WinterFest in such a way.  I love it when the audiences get involved, and there are so many spots in our show for them to do so!

On 11/27/2017 at 9:34 AM, Magenta Lizard said:

I caught Blitzen's Brass Band last night, they sound very good

 

In the immortal words of my college band director, Dr. Jack Liles, "Where the hell are all the tubas?"  But seriously, even without a tuba, Blitzen's Brass Band sounds great.  

On 11/27/2017 at 0:13 PM, Magenta Lizard said:

IMG_6654.JPG

Something has bothered me since I first watched Plight Before Christmas...

It's a really fun show though!

Is it the cactus that's angry, or is it the ornament that is being stuck by the cactus that's angry?  "When you live in a place like Dry Gulch *cough* you gotta make due," and I'm sure the cactus wasn't too happy about being plucked out of the desert only to get just one more ornament than Charlie Brown's Christmas tree...

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^ "BOOM! Big reveal."

I really like the entertainment they have. Every one I heard when I was walking around sounded amazing. I have to check out 'Plight before Christmas' next visit.

The roaming characters were super cool as well, and very energetic. I think they're better than most of the roamers at Haunt.

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I quite like the Haunt roamers (as well as other important characters such as Twitch and Sam the Butcher), and I think that's why I like the Winterfest characters as well. So far, I've seen a royal-looking mouse, a toy soldier, the guy with all the bells (he was really cool; I'll have to ask him his character's name on Friday), the ice queen/prince, Candy Cane and a sugarplum fairy (also, Santa).

EDIT: Have not ran into Jack Frost yet, I hear he's a pretty swell guy.

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The royal-looking mouse is the Mouse King from the Nutcracker. 

I talked to the guy with the bells some last weekend but didn't think to ask him his character name. He said he's played an evil clown at Haunt as well. 

It is probably much more pleasant to be a roamer at Winterfest than at Haunt. No pressure to try to scare anyone, much less likelihood of getting punched, all you need to do is have fun, dance, and pose for pics with guests.

I had been a little (ok a lot) disappointed when I learned the manic Sugarplum Fairy from the park advertising wasn't going to be our actual actress. But I finally got to see KI's version Sunday when a few roamers started a little dance party during Four Drummers Drumming, and she is a hoot!

 

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