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WinterFest 2022 Reviews and Updates


IndyGuy4KI
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Really loved the pathway behind the Festhaus, between Delirium and the Kings Island Theater.

The park looked great.  

The loading process at the train was rather unimpressive.  Lots of operators, but they were not filling every row, and not directing guests to empty rows.  Guests were confused which caused delays.  The garland on the coaches of the green car were illuminated, while the garland on the red coaches were not.  Also, all the 12 drummers drumming were dark when  our train went by around 7:15.

Overall, the park was packed.  To be expected for opening night and rather pleasant weather.

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I had a great time tonight! After observing the Adventure Port construction, I rode Flight of Fear and the wait was longer than I expected. Saw What the Dickens, Tinkers and the Parade. What the Diskens was funny and a good way to start the Wintetfest season, but the other two were definitely highlights of the evening. Moving Tinkers from Festhaus to Kings Island theatre really improved the experience, IMO. The set was bigger with more detail, and people could (for the most part) focus on the show instead of other things. Though there was a malfunction towards the end (show ended early for some reason...), I was impressed and enjoyed the show (and I prefer the 2017 version of Tinkers to the fka "The Christmas Fever"... except 

Spoiler

Santa didn't have a fever, he just strained a muscle. This was probably done because COVID is still a thing. The phrase "the Christmas fever" is still mentioned once though, but as another way of saying "the Christmas spirit" instead of a literal fever.

). The parade was fun and way better than last year. Had way more floats and performers this year, so that was good. Of course, I always run into people I know in the park and that's always good. :D 

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Had a great time with a friend who hasn't been to ki in 25 years. Park was packed, looked great and was sensory overload as usual --in a good way. And for the first time that I can remember, I was at ki and rode zero rides.  

Now for the negative: it looks like tower tree has new programming. I did like The Vortex pattern, (small v), but overall it's too strobe lightish. Flashy for the sake of being flashy for the most part. Or flashy vs. classy. 

Why are they only opening one door for Tinker's?  At least that's how the 930 show was. And the show was about 10-15 minutes late. But what a show it was!  Much better there than in the Tannenbaumhaus. 

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Went last night and had a great time.  Cheers againt to the Culinary team for all the new offerings.  The Meatloaf Burger was outstanding and I can't wait to try the other Winterfest goodies.  Saw the Swinging show in the Feasthaus and it was fantastic.  Good amount of audience participation and the band and singers were great!  Also saw what the Dickens and it is definitely a very re-watchable show.  The cast does a great job.  Finished the night with the parade and it was fantastic as always.  Such great energy and a good way to start the xmas season.  

Kudos to all the staff at KI for getting the park ready for Winterfest.  Your hard work and dedication are appreciated!

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1 hour ago, flightoffear1996 said:

We went last night and had a great time!  However the parade stops on the parade route the cast members got of the floats and the parade ended so we only got a see about 1/2 of the parade.  Seemed strange and weird.

If you are at the final stop on IStreet it is always like this - which is a fail if you ask me. I wish they ride the floats all the way back to the start area - or al least stoped again just to let the performers "peel off" at the tower. Its just bad show for anyone past the final show stop. The show ends and elves and drummers just go running and jumping off of floats. The only ones that stay on are the ones "strapped on". They do this with every parade and its just a really unprofessional look to me

 

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I don’t have a picture, but Mystic Timbers got a new lightning package, which looks really neat. It is on the parts of the ride you can see from the midway. However, the light package on The Racer is barely working now. Half of the lift hill is out, and I cannot even remember the last time I saw the third camelback hill lit up on the ride. I hope Kings Island gets those things fixed soon. The same goes for Banshee’s broken lighting package.

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3 minutes ago, FUN&ONLY! said:

I don’t have a picture, but Mystic Timbers got a new lightning package, which looks really neat. It is on the parts of the ride you can see from the midway. However, the light package on The Racer was barely working. Half of the lift hill is out, and I cannot even remember the last time I saw the third camelback hill lit up on the ride. I hope Kings Island gets those things fixed soon.

Agreed, it looks super cool; reminds me of Orion's (Haunt) light package! 

Here's a picture I took from the train:

IMG_1377.jpg

 

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I believe the tower has brand new lights this year. It seems like the lights in previous years are the kind in which are seen hanging over the coney mall midways, now these new ones have the wire going directly through the center of the bulb which makes the lights stay in a straight line rather than rotating around the wire.

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3 minutes ago, Taylor.B03 said:

I believe the tower has brand new lights this year. It seems like the lights in previous years are the kind in which are seen hanging over the coney mall midways, now these new ones have the wire going directly through the center of the bulb which makes the lights stay in a straight line rather than rotating around the wire.

Plus, the lights are twice as dense as previous years on the strands. Definitely new.

Christmas stuff, as a general rule, has about a three year life. This is year four of Winterfest, since we didn't have it in 2020. We are at the point where most stuff has probably been replaced since 2017, and the stuff that hasn't sticks out like a sore thumb. You'll notice that every once in a while there will be a strand that is much dimmer than the rest. That may be why. The Twelve Days of Christmas display looks pretty bad. That stuff is almost certainly all original. My guess is they are decided what they want to do with the train in the future and that's why it hasn't been touched. I'll make that sacrifice this year for something different next year.

With that being said, I want to share my thoughts. This includes observations about changes, so if you want to be surprised, skip the rest of this post.

I only got to do a few things:

1. Tree lighting - Completely reworked show. I'm glad that things aren't getting stale; however, the one show we had so far was pretty bad. Missed mic queues, volume issues, etc. Not the fault of the performers or even the techs. They probably were very pressed for time and had to rehearse this in conjunction with Cool Yule. It will improve with time. I'll hold judgement until next weekend.

2. Tinker's Toy Factory - It's the Christmas Fever edition, except Santa got over his fever (probably best) and now has a back ache. I loved the new set and lighting. The end has completely been reworked, which includes audience participation. They also have confetti on the stage and then two different stances of crowd streamers that are the loudest and most "present" thing you'll hear all night. Tinker's is where it should have been all along - in the big theatre. I loved it!

4. Parade - The parade was not identical to last year, as they added some minor new elements. They did add snow during Jungle Bells at the end, so that added a big "wow" moment at the end. The snow is done differently this year (technology has improve) still "snoap," but made in a central location and pushed with fans. Kind of like how they did for the fireworks. Works much better and it doesn't make a mess like the old way. 

I'll keep reporting back once I experience more things.

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I went last night too and enjoyed it very much.  Glad to get the new Christmas Swing show in the Festhaus.  My only improvement would be the sound.  It is much too loud and would be better at a lower volume.  I know they want a festive atmosphere but it shouldn’t sound like a hard rock concert!

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3 hours ago, FUN&ONLY! said:

I don’t have a picture, but Mystic Timbers got a new lightning package, which looks really neat. It is on the parts of the ride you can see from the midway. However, the light package on The Racer is barely working now. Half of the lift hill is out, and I cannot even remember the last time I saw the third camelback hill lit up on the ride. I hope Kings Island gets those things fixed soon. The same goes for Banshee’s broken lighting package.

I don't think I've seen the third camelback's lights on since 2019. Maybe they removed those lights altogether? The lift lights will probably be broken forever. Like the light in the meteor in front of Flight of Fear, I doubt it will ever be fixed. 

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  • IndyGuy4KI changed the title to WinterFest 2022 Reviews and Updates
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Ryan,  I agree that the lights for the 12 Days of Christmas are looking rough.  Hopefully these get some TLC or replaced. It was nice that they added some lights to the newly planted pine trees along the train route.  They also added some LED uplights, similar to what was seen on Mystic.  I still miss the White Christmas Express from the 2005 version of Winterfest on the train.  The story and live entertainment with the train was a good experience.  I wish they could incorporate some kind of story line into the train for Winterfest.

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My first night at 2022 Winterfest - first off I rode FoF which had a technical delay so had to wait it out. Not too bad just a 20 min delay (catch up on my RCT Classic while waiting). Next run over to Mystic Timbers and THEY HAVE SINGLE RIDER LINE! (So that was a short wait) next went over and got Tinker Toy Factory in it's new location at the KI Theater. I personally was one of the fans of the controversial Charlie Brown Christmas Spectacular Show, however I was really happy to see Tinker take it's place. Let me be clear that I loved that Peanuts show and I'm rooting for a reboot next year, however if it's brought back, it should be moved to a different location because Tinker utilized the KI Theater much better. I always thought the festhaus was too noisy and it was hard to hear the show (Tinker) when it was performed in there. The new sets and slightly modified show were all amazing....so I watched it 3x. (5:30, 6:30, & 7:30) then for some reason there aren't any more showings? Kinda weird because I thought they used to do one at 9:30 because my sister and I would always watch it in festhaus last and then leave the park. Idk it's kinda weird that the last showing is at 7:30 on Saturday but I'm sure it's nice for the cast (who by the way are awesome as always!) So glad to see Santa Jim back again this year in the show (if you believe in Santa he's the real deal...) I'm pretty sure that Poindexter and Tinker are also the same actors from previous years/shows (although I did get shows with different Tinker actors) anyway I'll be back next weekend to check out the remaining shows and rides. So far so good - I do miss Charlie Brown Christmas Spictactular so the new festhaus show had better be stinking awesome (since that's more or less what replaced it) Hope you all are enjoying winterfest as well!

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11 hours ago, johnjniehaus said:

My first night at 2022 Winterfest - first off I rode FoF which had a technical delay so had to wait it out. Not too bad just a 20 min delay (catch up on my RCT Classic while waiting). Next run over to Mystic Timbers and THEY HAVE SINGLE RIDER LINE! (So that was a short wait) next went over and got Tinker Toy Factory in it's new location at the KI Theater. I personally was one of the fans of the controversial Charlie Brown Christmas Spectacular Show, however I was really happy to see Tinker take it's place. Let me be clear that I loved that Peanuts show and I'm rooting for a reboot next year, however if it's brought back, it should be moved to a different location because Tinker utilized the KI Theater much better. I always thought the festhaus was too noisy and it was hard to hear the show (Tinker) when it was performed in there. The new sets and slightly modified show were all amazing....so I watched it 3x. (5:30, 6:30, & 7:30) then for some reason there aren't any more showings? Kinda weird because I thought they used to do one at 9:30 because my sister and I would always watch it in festhaus last and then leave the park. Idk it's kinda weird that the last showing is at 7:30 on Saturday but I'm sure it's nice for the cast (who by the way are awesome as always!) So glad to see Santa Jim back again this year in the show (if you believe in Santa he's the real deal...) I'm pretty sure that Poindexter and Tinker are also the same actors from previous years/shows (although I did get shows with different Tinker actors) anyway I'll be back next weekend to check out the remaining shows and rides. So far so good - I do miss Charlie Brown Christmas Spictactular so the new festhaus show had better be stinking awesome (since that's more or less what replaced it) Hope you all are enjoying winterfest as well!

If you are expecting Swinging into Christmas to be an even swap for Charlie Brown you will be disappointed. It’s great to have a live band and it’s good, but it’s a typical FestHaus review show with a fairly “cheap” set  that is a waste of the stage and capability of that space. That’s an odd space anyway in that it’s a full theater in a food hall. You “could” do a show with legit sets and lighting, but why in a space people barely pay attention as they eat. KI really needs to either upgrade International Showplace or invest in another legit indoor theatre. The show in Festhaus is exactly the type of show that should be in there, but it’s a shame we lost a show with more “production “ for it. I still wish they would bring back an ice skating show that extends the stage out into the dining space more 

 

11 hours ago, CoastersRZ said:

Ryan,  I agree that the lights for the 12 Days of Christmas are looking rough.  Hopefully these get some TLC or replaced. It was nice that they added some lights to the newly planted pine trees along the train route.  They also added some LED uplights, similar to what was seen on Mystic.  I still miss the White Christmas Express from the 2005 version of Winterfest on the train.  The story and live entertainment with the train was a good experience.  I wish they could incorporate some kind of story line into the train for Winterfest.

The lights on the parking booth sign has seen better days as well. Long strands just dangling when they were clearly intended to be attached to the frame. It’s just sloppy and don’t understand when you are putting it Yulo, you don’t do basic maintenance on it. 

 

On 11/25/2022 at 10:48 PM, MDMC01 said:

I had a great time tonight! After observing the Adventure Port construction, I rode Flight of Fear and the wait was longer than I expected. Saw What the Dickens, Tinkers and the Parade. What the Diskens was funny and a good way to start the Wintetfest season, but the other two were definitely highlights of the evening. Moving Tinkers from Festhaus to Kings Island theatre really improved the experience, IMO. The set was bigger with more detail, and people could (for the most part) focus on the show instead of other things. Though there was a malfunction towards the end (show ended early for some reason...), I was impressed and enjoyed the show (and I prefer the 2017 version of Tinkers to the fka "The Christmas Fever"... except 

  Reveal hidden contents

). The parade was fun and way better than last year. Had way more floats and performers this year, so that was good. Of course, I always run into people I know in the park and that's always good. :D 

Parade seemed to have exact same number of floats and way less performers this year (at least tonight) lots of bare spots on the floats where characters should’ve been. 

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On 11/27/2022 at 10:47 AM, Imperial79 said:

Enjoying the pictures and reviews, I hope they bring the carriage rides back for next year's WinterFest. I was planning to do that this year but looks to be cut. 

I noticed it was missing and wondered about that. If it does come back at some point, I hope it is moved to a trail in the woods rather than a midway. I think that would make a great setting and also people wouldn’t have to constantly be on guard to ensure that they don’t get run over by a horse!

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1 hour ago, MDMC01 said:

I noticed it was missing and wondered about that. If it does come back at some point, I hope it is moved to a trail in the woods rather than a midway. I think that would make a great setting and also people wouldn’t have to constantly be on guard to ensure that they don’t get run over by a horse!

That might work, I think they have to put some Christmas lights along the trail, for something for people to enjoy along the way, so it's just not a carriage ride in the dark woods. :)

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Still feel “Sounds of the Nativity” is the most underrated, under appreciated live entertainment option at Winterfest. Awesome vocals, well produced lighting and just a “classy” experience (with sone tweaks). They’ve done a few things in past year to this to draw attention, but think the “light up tombstone “ sign should go further down on the main path. Then line the path back with all the other “tombstone lanterns“ with stained glass designs leading to the big stained glass nativity. Even lining the path with snow drift trees and luminarias. The assorted lanterns they used over the old “Pumpkin Eater” path this year would be beautiful to hang over the path to really draw attention. Then PLEASE put some benches or cafe tables back there in front of the stage. Put the animal food vendor right by the entrance or someplace NOT right by the stage so you could actually focus on the entertainment if you didn’t want to pet the critters. Actually they NEED sone seating at all of these temporary show venues to make more enjoyable to actually watch the show. 

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1 hour ago, Taylor.B03 said:

Random question: Does anyone know what the name of the song is after the *Cause that's Christmas to me*. It's on the speakers that play before you enter the main gate. The song has no vocals and sounds like it's using a typewriter for some of the beat. 

“Valentine” by Wintergatan :) 

The song preceding it is “That’s Christmas To Me” by Pentatonix.

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On 12/10/2022 at 11:52 PM, VortexBFForever said:

“Valentine” by Wintergatan :) 

The song preceding it is “That’s Christmas To Me” by Pentatonix.

I love Wintergatan, and the fact that there's not one but multiple Wintergatan tracks in the Winterfest BGM playlist makes me very happy.

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On 12/10/2022 at 11:52 PM, VortexBFForever said:

“Valentine” by Wintergatan :) 

The song preceding it is “That’s Christmas To Me” by Pentatonix.

Another Winterfest  banger from Wintergatan is Sommar***el, it's been a staple in my Spotify Christmas playlist since Winterfest started a couple years ago!

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Went last Saturday with the granddaughter, had a great time.  Couple things I noticed.  The prarade didn't stop at it's first stop.  Is this normal?  Some of the people on the floats looked surprised that the audience participation part of the music didn't come on.  The parade just stopped, then started up again.  Not sure if it was temp or what.

Also I coun't fin the price of the new picture book, they should have as sign with it on the table where they are displaying them.  I'm pretty sure it's $75, but many were wondering the same thing around me.  Also at the left of the front gate (facing the tower) there was a book I had never seen "goodbye coney island goodbye".  All the covers seemd to have water damage on them.  After thinking about it it made sense that this was on purpose because I believe the book is pictures of coney island after the flood that lead to it's closing.  Anyway thought I'd mention it since I never noticed it before and never saw anything on it here.  Couldn't figure the price on that on either.  I looked on the back but didn't have my glasses so it may have been in the small print.

Either way, another fantastic night, can't believe there are only 2 weeks left in the season and we are already on to weekday operations.  Keep up the good work KI looking forward to ending the greatest season ever with a bang on NYE :)

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