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Imperial79

Winterfest 2018 Discussion Thread

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I had fun seeing a few fellow KICers tonight!

Congratulations to @XGatorHead 8904 for spotting me first! He said I could give my M&Ms to someone else, who turned out to be...

@MDMC01! I also saw @DeltaFlyer and @Rallyomalley throughout the night. It was great to see you all again!

I enjoyed my first Park Services shift! Even though I was in Rivertown all night, it felt great to walk nonstop around the big area that it is, and the simple task of using a pan and broom (and occasionally answering a guest’s question) offers a nice break from the more demanding ride operator job. I miss working at Train for Winterfest, but I enjoy Park Services too! Hopefully I can help at Train a couple of times.

Not surprisingly, my favorite place to be tonight was on the connecting walkway in front of Vortex. Yes, there’s the obvious location-related reason, but I also found it to be a quiet, calm and relaxing place to take a break from the action over by Train and Mystic Timbers, all while still doing my job. The accompanying harp music in the area adds a lovely touch.

My next time back won’t be until December 15 at the earliest, since I need all the time I can to prepare for my finals which are in just two weeks! But it’s comforting to know that this lovely winter wonderland will be waiting when I can finally return. :) 

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7 hours ago, RuthlessAirtime said:

How are lines for MT and FoF during winter fest? Would like to go with the family and get some rides in on those while we’re there.

I was there Friday and Saturday and the line for MT was around 45 min to an hour most of the evening. We got in line at the end of the night for MT and waiting bout 25 minutes.

FOF was around 25 minutes each time, but we rode early in the evening. @MDMC01 rode several times through the evening so he can probably answer better.

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I went on Saturday, it was almost empty at 5pm. But once the lights turned on, it got packed. There was 2 people in line at Larosa's when we got to the park, there was 40 in line at Smokehouse around 7pm. Kiddie Land was surprisingly un-crowded, the arts and crafts area looks like it got upgraded from coloring pages to little foam construction kits for Peanuts. One of my girls made Snoopy's dog house, the other made a pop-up present.

I'm looking forward to trying some of the other offerings, Smokehouse had porkloin which looked really nice.

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Went both Friday and Saturday night.  The Lighting Ceremony is not to be missed.  Simply magical!  The new addition of Flight of Cheer as well as 'icicle lane' (where pumpkin eater was) is a great addition.  Winterfest is definitely an improvement over an already spectacular event.  The buffet in the international restaurant is $30 (24.99 for pass holders, i believe) and you can walk up without a reservation.  The best part is to the left of the top of the stairs they have a cash bar!  You can go up and enjoy an adult beverage and enjoy the view over international street!  Definitely a great idea.  Talking with the staff I found out that the international restaurant may be closed during "private events".  I hope they communicate these times to the general public (lookin' at you Don :)) so as to know when it is not available.

It would be nice to have an employee able to take pictures (or even have fun pix) for the snow globe.  Seems like Fun Pix may be missing out on an opportunity there.  

Finally my main suggestion to improve the event is the same as last year: the Ice Carvers should have an announcer!  Just someone to tell information like where the ice comes from?  How long do they last?  Is special oil needed for the equipment?  What kind of equipment is used?  How long does it take to be an ice scalper and how does one go about it?  What is the name and experience of the sculptors?  What is the history of Ice Sculpting (year, country of origin, etc.)?  In addition they could be promoting the company that is doing the sculptures.  Suggesting that they are available for weddings, Christmas parties, etc.  It seems like it would be a small add with big payback.  

Overall a fantastic opening weekend.  Well staffed and everyone was smiling.  KI Keep up the good work!

 

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Went Saturday.  All in all- a great night and experience.  it was packed too.  

Only critique: I'd like to accompany park management to the local hardware store to upgrade the apparent 5W bulbs used on the tower Star to, maybe, some 75W bulbs.  I remember Winterfest back in the 90's... you could see the star from I-75.  This version of the star... you can't see it from the Kroger off 741 in Mason just over I-71.

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3 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

I was there Friday and Saturday and the line for MT was around 45 min to an hour most of the evening. We got in line at the end of the night for MT and waiting bout 25 minutes.

FOF was around 25 minutes each time, but we rode early in the evening. @MDMC01 rode several times through the evening so he can probably answer better.

Between Saturday and Sunday, I rode 6 times, some of which were in the Single Rider Line (where I was the only Single Rider). That wait was probably around 7-10 minutes, mostly waiting for an associate to assign me a seat. In fact, they actully closed the SRL at times as the line was short (only into the saucer). So in summery, it was probably around a 10 minute wait all around (SRL and regular queue).

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1 hour ago, MDMC01 said:

Between Saturday and Sunday, I rode 6 times, some of which were in the Single Rider Line (where I was the only Single Rider). That wait was probably around 7-10 minutes, mostly waiting for an associate to assign me a seat. In fact, they actully closed the SRL at times as the line was short (only into the saucer). So in summery, it was probably around a 10 minute wait all around (SRL and regular queue).

I’ve noticed that much of the park dies down around 8:30, so if you want to catch some rides that is the time.

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It will be a few more weeks before I can make it to Winterfest.  For those who have been, has WinterFest Way been toned down this year?  It doesn't look flashy from the webcam.

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In a word, yes. Winterfest Way is indeed less flashy this year. However, if you are looking for flashy lights, c'mon down to X-Base :P

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The park did a fantastic job of listening to all the comments from last year, and I was surprised to see nothing done with the very weakly lighted star on top of the tower (the same as last season), which had many comments about changing to something different because of being so dim.   Maybe the park should buy back the old Winterfest star tree topper with hundreds of twinkling C7 bulbs to use as a pattern to create something new and exciting for next year.

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I too wish the star was a little brighter.  Either make the border thicker/wider or fill in the entire thing.  Obviously, it would utilize LED bulbs and not incandescent C7s.

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1 hour ago, jtro223 said:

For those who have been, has WinterFest Way been toned down this year?  It doesn't look flashy from the webcam.

I really didnt notice. International Street seems to have gotten more lights. The part next to Diamondback's splashdown no longer have the flashing lights.

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22 minutes ago, Winterfestguy said:

The park did a fantastic job of listening to all the comments from last year

Has the train changed this year or is it the same? I haven't had the chance to go yet this year but last year I was a little disappointed that they just did the 12 days of Christmas. I get there's a budget and time schedule the park has to follow but I thought they'd add something similar to the 2005 Winterfest train ride.

Does anyone know how the park did the train in the Taft years?

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Thanks for the responses.  I am glad they toned down WinterFest Way.  Regarding the stars on top of the Tower--I saw some video from Kings Dominion.  Their stars appeared to be brighter and were also synched to the programming on the light strands.  

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I’m a little surprised they don’t use the tower’s up lighting at all. They installed a ton of it going into WF last year, but my guess is the ultimate decision was the tower looked better without it. I’d have used it for the tree lighting or something, but that’s just one man’s opinion. 

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Maybe if they lit the actual tower with the uplights the actual strands of lights might not have shown up?  It would be cool to use it in some way though.

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25 minutes ago, CoastersRZ said:

Maybe if they lit the actual tower with the uplights the actual strands of lights might not have shown up?  It would be cool to use it in some way though.

I’m sure it’s something like that. The decision to not use them was probably the right decision. Some stuff just comes with time. I remember wishing last year that more of I-Street would interact with the tree lighting ceremony. As it turns out, the park was kind of on the same page with my thought process and they really blew it out of the water this year. There were just some technical hurtles that needed to be overcome and the technicians worked very hard over the past year to make things like this (and The Greatest Show, while we’re at it) happen.

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Yes.  International Street looks amazing with all the lights that they have added.  And as we saw with The Greatest Show this summer, the enhancements they have added for Winterfest have helped the experience in the regular season as well.

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10 hours ago, robintodd said:

It would be nice to have an employee able to take pictures (or even have fun pix) for the snow globe.  Seems like Fun Pix may be missing out on an opportunity there.  

I agree 100%...adding it to Fun Pix would be very nice...especially if it had a Winterfest frame/overlay on it. (Hard to believe the park would miss the chance to make an extra buck.)

10 hours ago, robintodd said:

How long does it take to be an ice scalper and how does one go about it? 

By buying ice at "face value" and then jacking up the price as much as the market will allow? :rolleyes:

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I was there for winterfest on Friday and I had an amazing time, even though fof had broken down and so had mystic later on in the evening, I loved the tree and the lights that were displayed and I also love the refillable hot chocolate mugs( not really mugs but it felt like a mug though) 

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19 hours ago, CoastersRZ said:

I too wish the star was a little brighter.  Either make the border thicker/wider or fill in the entire thing.  Obviously, it would utilize LED bulbs and not incandescent C7s.

 

You could see this from I-75 back in the day:

Image result for kings island winterfest history

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Overall I think that the event has changed since last year and it doesnt seem as bright this year but its still a really good family friendly event! However, in terms of whats available walking wise and stuff along paths it honestly looks amazing. The new lights in Rivertown near BLSC as well as Racer's new lights and X-Base being available it really does look nice. (Hopefully Racers lights are installed for the entire course)

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36 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

Are there any changes to Flight of Fear inside the spaghetti bowl?

They did something with an inexpensive laser projector during the launch, but nothing I noticed inside the bowl.

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On 11/26/2018 at 1:24 AM, VortexBFForever said:

I had fun seeing a few fellow KICers tonight!

Congratulations to @XGatorHead 8904 for spotting me first! He said I could give my M&Ms to someone else, who turned out to be...

@MDMC01! I also saw @DeltaFlyer and @Rallyomalley throughout the night. It was great to see you all again!

I felt it was unfair of me to take the M&M's as I myself was working too.  While I'm sad that the show I was in last year, The Plight Before Christmas, was the only one to not come back this year (it was a funny one!) but I'm having a great time this year walking around as Mr. Tannenbaum!  I'll be mostly in Rivertown and occasionally on International Street, so you can look for me there (only I won't have M&M's to hand out).

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On 11/26/2018 at 4:12 PM, SonofBaconator said:

Has the train changed this year or is it the same? I haven't had the chance to go yet this year but last year I was a little disappointed that they just did the 12 days of Christmas. I get there's a budget and time schedule the park has to follow but I thought they'd add something similar to the 2005 Winterfest train ride.

Does anyone know how the park did the train in the Taft years?

The train is the same.  It's not "bad" it's just not mind blowing in the way that the rest of Winterfest is. 

However, it is pretty obvious that I Street was the focus for 2017, Coney was the focus for 2018, so we can hope and assume that Rivertown will be the focus for 2019 and perhaps the train ride experience will be upgraded with the rest of that section of the park.

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@BoddaH1994 I completely agree with what you're saying, I didn't have a problem with the train ride I was just a little let down in comparison to all the stuff they did around the park. The train ride at the zoo is always a favorite of mine, especially since I got to operate it during the 2015 Festival Lights

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