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Winterfest 2018 Discussion Thread

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3 hours ago, Winterfestguy said:

The MT webcam tonight showed the Christmas lights being tested on the whitewater canyon covered arbor that is used as the train entrance during Winterfest - more progress in stringing the millions of lights

Still is. The web cams are fun to watch during the transition!

 

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Stuff I found out via Kings Island's website under Winterfest for 2018:

1. Winterfest activities in Coney Mall will be extended to the full length of the mall; upper half will be named Tinsel Town (which will be retro themed) and lower half will still be Coney Elf Village

2. One of the attractions in Tinsel Town is horse-drawn coach rides

3. There will be a new dining option in Tinsel Town called "Tinsel Town Diner" (will probably be located at the Jukebox Diner)

4. There will be a "Igloo Village" set up somewhere on International Street

5. Smokehouse Christmas (dining) will be in Coney Elf Village (probably at the new Smokehouse)

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For those that don’t have a season pass and may be thinking about purchasing Winterfest tickets for their other guests, note that the on-line ticket processing fee comes up as $6.99 for one advance ticket which defeats the purpose of buying in advance on-line to save money and time at the gate.  Very tricky marketing  by the park when you see savings but only come to find out at checkout the ridiculously high processing fee.

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As excited as I am to have Flight of Fear on the lineup this year, wouldn't Flight of Cheer have been a little more appropriate?  Considering Flight of Fear is in a dark box, it wouldn't be very difficult to add some colorful LED's & a holiday soundtrack that could be turned on or off with the season.  Bonus points if you were boarding Santa's sleigh for a trip to the North Pole.

Similar thoughts on Mystic Timbers & Boo Blasters.  I know the budget and time is limited, but I can't imagine it'd be too much effort to swap Santa out for a Bat creature on some digital media.  I think small changes like these would really excite a lot of people, especially children.  This would also give guests more reasons to visit the park multiple times in a year to experience their favorite rides in new ways.

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1 hour ago, Ffej said:

As excited as I am to have Flight of Fear on the lineup this year, wouldn't Flight of Cheer have been a little more appropriate?  Considering Flight of Fear is in a dark box, it wouldn't be very difficult to add some colorful LED's & a holiday soundtrack that could be turned on or off with the season.  Bonus points if you were boarding Santa's sleigh for a trip to the North Pole.

Similar thoughts on Mystic Timbers & Boo Blasters.  I know the budget and time is limited, but I can't imagine it'd be too much effort to swap Santa out for a Bat creature on some digital media.  I think small changes like these would really excite a lot of people, especially children.  This would also give guests more reasons to visit the park multiple times in a year to experience their favorite rides in new ways.

Not out of the realm of possibility.  They did a little in MT's station, but Boo had a fun handful of decorations.  I wouldn't be shocked if the... guests... at Ft JG Cooper celebrated Christmas with us in some way, shape, or form this year.

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On 10/14/2018 at 10:53 PM, kingsislandfan1972 said:

 

 

On 10/14/2018 at 10:09 PM, kingsislandfan1972 said:

I hear that Kings Island is already putting up decorations for WinterFest, is this true?

Yep! I was there last weekend on Saturday and Sunday (October 20th and 21st), and they added more lights up overnight! But if you think about it, they have about three weeks to set-up from the close of Haunt and the opening of Winterfest. They have a lot of the support poles for lighting out, and have a lot of them just covered in cloth for the Haunt, or are being used for Haunt decorations (the Bayou maze had the candy cane poles up, but covered). Also, I noticed that a lot of the shop and food signage was being taken down (a couple locations already had Winterfest signage up), and the stores were already starting to put out Christmas merchandise. They also had the tree outside of security up, along with at least one other tree in the Coney Mall area in the process of being set up. They also had that troll looking thing out for the Haunt by The Racer. However, putting the decorations up this early do not surprise me, considering the zoo starts setting up their lights in August or September. 

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Just checked out the morning visual for the Diamondback webcam and the train ride looks to be getting a bunch of sparkling lights near the MT turn around.... although these could be the neighborhood across the way. I guess we’ll find out soon.

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Based on my ride on the train on closing day, it looks like we can expect a near identical experience on the train for this year`s WinterFest (using the same lights from last year).  I too think they could have done more.  I still loved the train experience from the 2005 version of WinterFest, that featured some live entertainment in the station and on the train.  It really reminded me a lot of Dollywood`s entertainment.

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1 hour ago, CoastersRZ said:

Based on my ride on the train on closing day, it looks like we can expect a near identical experience on the train for this year`s WinterFest (using the same lights from last year).  I too think they could have done more.  I still loved the train experience from the 2005 version of WinterFest, that featured some live entertainment in the station and on the train.  It really reminded me a lot of Dollywood`s entertainment.

That's a shame. I really enjoy seeing the different lights and scenes on the train at the Cincinnati Zoo and hoped that KI would do something similar. I agree that when Paramount did it in 2005 it was superior. Does anyone know what the train ride was like during the original Winterfest?

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I was not a fan of the train last year as it seemed kinda spooky to me as we were going slow at some parts (maybe that was intentional, to see the lights...). Though, my last two rides were better, IIRC (I only rode it 3 times last year).

-MDMC, who enjoys Haunt, but got freaked out on the Winterfest train lol

EDIT: Upon watching the video, I thought it was cool that they had fireworks and a parade back then. Also, I think having an actor on the train would be a cool idea and probably would have made the train experience better.

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1 hour ago, MDMC01 said:

I was not a fan of the train last year as it seemed kinda spooky to me as we were going slow at some parts (maybe that was intentional, to see the lights...). Though, my last two rides were better, IIRC (I only rode it 3 times last year).

-MDMC, who enjoys Haunt, but got freaked out on the Winterfest train lol

Honestly the train probably went slow in come parts because sometimes it has a hard time making it up the grade in non-typically sunny summer weather. There's a certain section of the track where it usually has the most trouble but I can't remember where it is off the top of my head. I heard that last year there were actually a few times during Winterfest where the train couldn't make it past a certain section because it was just too cold so they had to evac the train

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The parade was a cool experience.  That was back when they were also doing the Nickelodeon Celebration Parade at the Paramount Parks (it rotated across all five parks throughout the course of summer for a couple of years).  Definitely added a lot of energy to the park.

All in all, the entertainment at Winterfest last year was amazing.  Everywhere you turned there was live entertainment of some sort.  That was not the case for Winterfest in 2005.  I did attend the original Winterfest in the late 80s, but I was only three to four years old, so I do not remember much of that event to compare.

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9 hours ago, MDMC01 said:

I was not a fan of the train last year as it seemed kinda spooky to me as we were going slow at some parts (maybe that was intentional, to see the lights...). Though, my last two rides were better, IIRC (I only rode it 3 times last year).

-MDMC, who enjoys Haunt, but got freaked out on the Winterfest train lol

EDIT: Upon watching the video, I thought it was cool that they had fireworks and a parade back then. Also, I think having an actor on the train would be a cool idea and probably would have made the train experience better.

Here is the breakdown of the major stuff from 2005, just off the top of my head:

Santa's Toy Factory - This was in the KI Theater.  Had a much more elaborate set as well as some acts that they couldn't do in the Festhaus.  I liked it in the Theater much better than the Festhaus but that show is excellent anywhere.

I Street - I thought 2005 was BEAUTIFUL

...Until I saw it last year

Then I realized it was crap in 2005.  I'm not kidding.

Train - As discussed, it was a live entertainment experience.  Not only was it a heartwarming story of a man or a woman coming home for the holidays, but you were actually in the show.  You were playing the part of a bystander on the train.  I'm not sure how it would pan out with the large crowds that we are having currently, though.  Still blows away what's there now.  The train was the only thing I can honestly say disappointed me last year.  Its day will come!

Festhaus - 2005 saw live piano players and signers in the FH on a rotating stage in the middle.  2017 had Toy Factory.  See above for my opinion of Toy Factory.

Illuminations - This was a light and music show on the lagoon which is now DB's splashdown.  I very much enjoyed this show.  They don't have an exact equivalent now.

Tree lighting - I'm on the fence.  If you saw the video, you saw the pyro and how it would fly up and strike the tower, igniting the star and the rest of the tree (when it worked, admittingly).  The new show doesn't have that, but is a full blown musical experience.  Both gave me chills, but for different reasons.  They should combine the two and make the PERFECT opening ceremony!

The parade - Meh.  The Nickelodeon Celebration Parade took everyone off guard for its amazingness at a time when the shows were comically second rate so the expectations were a little too high with this.  I have nothing bad to say about it. It just didn't invoke any kind of emotional response that I can think of 13 years later.

So in conclusion, there are small tidbits that I really enjoyed in 2005 that I wish they would integrate, but for the most part no part of me would prefer that event over this one.  All of the KI bigwigs told me that 2005 was nothing compared to what they had in store.  I blew it off thinking that it was all subjective.  Turns out that they were right.

One yeah, the Christmas tree.  2005, cool.  It was tall.  2017 - a treat for eye every time you saw it.  I seriously could watch it all night. 

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I had very fond memories of the original Winterfest as a kid.  I remember being extremely excited about the long-awaited return in 2005.  Then, I remember being extremely disappointed in the overall experience in 2005.

The 2017 Winterfest was the event I'd been waiting and hoping for, and am happy to be sharing with my family now.  

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