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Pictures from the event

PKICentral.com Winterfest Media Announcement Video

The magic of the holiday season comes to life as an all-new multimillion dollar winter wonderland…WinterFest, Home for the Holidays, premieres November 25 at Paramount’s Kings Island.

“For many years, the most asked question has been when are you bringing back WinterFest?†said Craig Ross, vice president and general manager, Paramount’s Kings Island. “The answer is -- this year, beginning November 25. But this will not be a mere duplicate of the WinterFest of the past; the new WinterFest creates unforgettable family activities and attractions never before seen in this region.â€Â

Paramount's Kings Island sparkles with millions of twinkling lights. In addition, guests will delight in a magical winter parade, gorgeous White Christmas Express train ride, mesmerizing outdoor light show, sumptuous holiday foods, handmade crafts, ice skating, spectacular live stage entertainment, visits by Santa and Scrooge and much more.

“WinterFest 2005 will be a spectacular memory-making event that guests are going to want to share with family and friends from throughout the Midwest. This will be the singular defining holiday event throughout the entire region, with the scope and quality of Christmas in New York and Rockefeller Center,†said Ross.

WinterFest’s signature attractions include:

International Street – International Street transforms into a wonderland of holiday cheer with the majestic Eiffel Tower decorated as the world’s largest glittering Christmas tree. An array of quaint shops, outlined in thousands of twinkling white lights, offer holiday crafters from throughout the Midwest selling unique holiday gifts and mouth-watering treats.

Ice Skating on the Royal Fountain, International Street – Nostalgic holiday tunes echo through the crisp air as ice skaters of all ages glide across the area’s largest outdoor ice rink, adorned with gorgeous metallic fountains. Special guest star skaters – including classic Nickelodeon pals – join guests on the ice for a spin around the fountain. Skates are available for rent at the adjacent skate shop.

The White Christmas Express, Rivertown – All aboard the most enchanting Christmas train ride in Paramount's Kings Island history! Departing throughout the evening from Rivertown’s Holiday Junction, the train journeys into yesteryear. A cast of 1940’s-era characters interact with guests around the station. The express travels through a series of wondrous wintertime scenes before arriving at a quaint snow-covered village. Music and magic enchant families aboard The White Christmas Express.

Holiday Illuminations, Swan Lake in Rivertown– Be mesmerized by an innovative, immersive light show reflecting off the waters of Swan Lake and the surrounding forest. Lights dance and pulsate on larger-than-life Christmas trees to a high-energy medley of old and new favorite holiday tunes – just enough to put that festive magic in your head and in your heart!

Christmas Parade – Santa takes center stage in a spirited parade sure to invoke memories of yesterday’s festive hometown holiday celebrations.

Toy Factory Musical, Paramount Theatre - A holiday family favorite performed several times nightly in the beautiful Paramount Theatre, this lively and nostalgic stage show gives the audience a peek into the North Pole’s secret toy workshop where Santa, his elves and a few other friends – dancing reindeer and singing penguins – take to the stage in musical fun as they get ready for their big night!

WinterFest Haus, International Street – Guests are invited to come inside and enjoy the cuisine of the season while limbering up your vocal chords to sing and laugh with live entertainers on a revolving turntable stage. Also enjoy a roving troupe of international performers as they present traditional holiday songs and dances from their homelands.

Santa’s Christmastown, Nickelodeon Central – Reminiscent of a Christmas department store visit gone by, kids and parents can discover…Santa Claus! Flanked by his helpers and surrounded by trees and presents, the jolly old elf is eager to listen to everyone’s special wishes. Mrs. Claus is also on hand to help spread holiday cheer.

Nickelodeon Holiday Tree Lot, Paramount Story on International Street – Guests can meet all of their favorite Nickelodeon characters in an imaginative Christmas tree lot filled with fragrant, fresh-cut trees. In addition, guests can pose for a special holiday photo with all of their favorite Nick pals. And, if you just can’t wait for that first snowfall of the season, know that it WILL magically snow every day in the Nick Tree Lot!

Bubba Gump’s Yuletide Feast – Interested in a rockin’ Christmas? Head over to the obnoxiously decorated Bubba Gump Shrimp Shack and enjoy shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp…and take in some jingle jams on the enclosed patio, a perfect spot to enjoy a festive light display and holiday decorations along the waterfront.

Scrooge’s House, International Street – He’s back and he’s not happy about the holidays. Be sure to catch all the banter and wit of Mr. Bah Humbug himself! He’ll be sure to give his opinion (and then some) of the holidays!

Nightly Lighting, International Street – Each evening, as dusk settles on International Street, one lucky family is selected to light the beautiful Eiffel Tower Tree, magically beginning the evening’s festivities.

WinterFest debuts on Friday, November 25 and runs weekends through December 18. Nightly operations begin Monday, December 19 and continue through December 23. WinterFest reopens December 26 – 31. Please note that Paramount's Kings Island will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The park opens at 4 p.m. each day and closes at 10 p.m. most evenings. WinterFest ends at 9 p.m. each Sunday and on Saturday, December 31.

Tickets go on sale for WinterFest 2005 Monday, July 25. Specific day tickets are available in limited quantities through November 6 for $17.99. This event may SELL OUT and a specific day ticket guarantees your admission! General admission if available is $24.99. 2006 Season Pass holders can purchase tickets beginning August 1 through November 6 for $16.99.

WinterFest parking is offered at a reduced price of $5.

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They mentioned the other special attractions for the rest of the 2005 seasson. The Nick Celebration Parade, the ground breaking for Great Wolf Lodge is the middle of next month and that Fear Fest returns this year, Fun by day, Fright by Night. Other than that it was mainly focused on Winterfest.

Very awesome event it is going to be.

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I'm happy Winterfest will be back. I'm not totally thrilled with what they are presenting. Being in my mid-30's I remember what Winterfest was and although they are trying to give more to the mix I'm disheartened with the admission price. 17.99 for specific day tickets, 24.99 at the door (unless they are sold out). I inquired how many people would be considered a "sell-out" and no one could tell me. Back when Winterfest used to be around it was relatively cheap to get in. There was a fee for renting skates and the usual expensive food fair found at any park. I can never remember a time when it was "extremely" crowded and that's when season pass holders got in for free. (parking was never charged for, couldn't find an employee to to sit at the front gate in freezing weather maybe? smile.gif ). I'm a bit fearful that they are setting up Winterfest to fail. In the summer choices are pretty limited for theme parks (except for Kentuky Kingdom) but in the winter there is alot more competition. You could almost go to a football game for the same price as Winterfest. They are renting skates as well this year so that will be on top of the price of admission. Like $3 for hot chocolate isn't enough? I guess I would have liked to see them charge less and if they indeed have "sell-outs" then they could raise the price next year. Paramount is an unknown entity in the winter market. I would be better to have it more affordable so they could re-establish themselves in the area than to ask people to pay money to take a risk.

I'm planning on attending this year and will be interested in how many people they get in the park. The public wanted Winterfest back. The one they knew. Affordable and an added value to your season pass. They will be open 4 hours max (6 - 10 even on the weekends?) The carousel, Scooby's Haunted Mansion and the train will be operating and for that they think even 17.99 is reasonable? (plus $5 to park). Just seems a bit greedy to start out in a already crowded holiday attraction market where they actually have competition for family's pre-christmas dollars.

I don't mean to be a scrouge and expensive winterfest is better than none at all. But are they just doing this so next year they can not do it and blame low attendance at this years event???? What happened to the season of giving and how many will be giving to PKI this season.

Todd

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Just did a quick check to verify my memory.

In 1991 they had the dodgem cars and les taxis open in addition to what they are offering this year.

Parking was free.

Children under 3 free. 6.95 per person otherwise.

Hours were 4-10 most days and 2-10(ish) on the weekends.

Just some food for thought.

Todd

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Well Yes, it is the seasson of giving and I will be giving to PKI. Honestly I see what you are saying. I too remember Winterfest years back, but I have also found there to be a lack of Christmas themed events in the area since there has been no Winterfest. In reality the price is not that different when you compare it to the cost of going to the Columbus Zoo to see the lights. They charge around $20 and also make you pay for parking. I think the price is pretty reassonable and that it will be heavily attended. Then again thats just my opinion so take it for what little it is worth. smile.gif
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You can find the brocure at http://www.themeparkbrochures.com. They also did horse drawn buggy rides back then.

And yes the zoo charges 20 but the still have the ANIMALS. It's a ZOO. They are were open in winter before they started the Christmas light thing. Animals need to be feed year round. Cincinatti Zoo has the festival of lights and if you had to spend 25 a person would you do it for 4 hours a PKI or all day at the zoo? Put on your marketing cap. First you create the demand, then you can charge more for your supplies.

Either way it will be interesting to see the turnout. I just want it to be a success so they keep doing it for years to come.

smile.gif

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Yeah prices have gone up, but then again so has the cost of admission during the years, a Reds Game, Bengals Games, and oh yeah Gas. Inflation has driven prices up for all goods not to mention the cost of labor has rissen too. Just a thought
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I don't find the price to be that out of line.

I think the last Winterfest was what 1992, so thats 13 years between Fests.

$6.95 then, and a rule-of-thumb I once heard was to double the price for every decade to allow for inflation, os we are easily talking $14, then a bit more for those 3 years. Also consider that alot of, if not all of the old Winterfest supplies were disposed of so the park is going to have to bear a lot of up front costs to get the train back on the tracks, as it were.

Comparatively, I think Festival of Lights is about $12/person (+ $6.50 to park) and the Zoo has more 'dings' in terms of the Carousel, train, tram and motion theater all being extra cost add ons. (The zoo did offer some live shows last time I did Festival of Lights)

Museum Center Holiday Junction is really cheap but you get one stage show, a model train layout, some lights, and a pay extra kiddie train ride.

Holidy Fest at the Beach is comparably priced, I beleive if you buy the all inclusive admission package.

In other words, I think the event is priced fairly, and remember PKI usually has good discount offers at Meijers and Blockbuster.

The whole advance sale specific date concept worries me though. Let's see they want me to decide now what specific day I want to go in december. What happens if I choose a day and we get those wonderful 18" of snow (or more) like we got this last winter) Local weather in the winter is too dicey to make that kind of decision.

Now talking about what they will offer, it seems they will offer ice skatingwith rink access included in the general admission, in what may be one of the prettiest settings for miles around, multiple live shows with shows in the Paramount Theater, entertainment in the Festhaus and possibly Bubba Gumps, character greetings in Anmation Station, the live show offered as part of the train ride, and the parade. Dark ride fans should not miss the mention of a special Christmas themed overlay of SDATHC.

I do think that PKI has one big advantage, and that is everybody who has FOND memories of the old Winterfest, those of us who were in tears when they announced Winterfest was ending. I think the loclal public at large is predisposed to like the event if it is comparable to what they remember.

I also wonder if we haven't heard the whole story, I mean we know they will have Rivertown open so that people can get to the train ride, we also know that the public will have access to Swan Lake to see the light show that is going on there. Seems that TOmb Raider (an indoor ride) is right in the middle.

And if the Christmas parade takes the same path as the Nick parade, and we know Bubba Gumps is going to be open, I wonder if any part of Coney will be open. It wouldn't be the first time they held back on a surprise or two. Line Coney Mall with crafters and food vendors and you have your winter carnival section. Rock Shop, Coney Mall Emporium, Coney Mall Arcade can all be turned into crafters expo buildings

Maybe not this year, but things I can easily see being added.

It also sounds like the park is really going to upgrade their food offerings for the event.

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The Crand Carousel, The Hanna Barbera Carousel, Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle with a Christmas theme, and the Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad will be operating as the White Christmas Express. Those are the only rides that I have heard mentioned

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Ok Coasterville I can see some of your point. But we are talking about a family attraction. Having free ice skating (unless you rent the skates) doesn't answer to Grandma with the artificial hip.

Inflation you say should be double plus some. Fine, 17.99 would be fair AT THE GATE. Not 24.99. Specific day tickets should be 10.99 and you take your chances on a "snow out". You forget parking used to be free. Now it's $5. Just seems steep. The park makes more money once you're inside the park.

As far as charging more to "get the train back on the tracks" with that mentality if you open a new theme park next year you should charge everyone $250 to get in (since you had to buy all new stuff). You make the money in the long hall. It costs money to make money. They amortize the decorations and such out to as many as 5-10 years when they do something like this. That way you aren't putting a burden on the current year's budget.

With all the money the park makes it always seemed like Winterfest was the "deal" it used to be as kind of a thank you for a successful year. They used some of the budget to "give back" to the people who visited most often; the season pass holders. You don't get many people coming from across the country to go to Winterfest like you do in the summer for KI.

Just my thoughts, for what they are worth.

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I will be going to Winter Fest this year. I was at the last Winter Fest in 1992 had alot of fun. Yes parking was free KI had a sign thank you for the summer visit here is your gift at the gate. The gift was free parking.

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Will the tickets say on the back in the fine print " NO SNOW CHECKS", like no rain checks for regular season tickets? Also I see why FoF will not be open since Coney Mall will be closed. I am still excited that it is here and back.

-Jake

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I remember one of the small coasters being open the last time they had Winterfest. It seems to me tht more rides could be in operation - if not, be prepared for silly excuses.

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I think we should all be greatful that PKI is bringing such an event back. So what if it's not like it was before. Times change. I think PKI is just doing what other events are doing. Such as The Beach, The Zoo etc.... I'm sure alot of research went into this. What I mean is charging for parking, a higher admission price etc...

I for one can't wait to visit PKI in December again. Thank you PKI.

I also heard that to speed up the set up for Winterfest they hired some outside contractors to do this. Think about it, PKI is open until the last weekend in October, so they have about 1 month to get everything set up for Winterfest. I think this is another reason for the higher prices. Kinda like how Fearfest was when it first debut. Heck I was a PKI employee in 2000, and I had to even pay for Fearfest that year. Get over it, and just wait until Winterfest opens before you judge. It may be totally worth the money.

Edited by PKIVortex
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I think reopening for Winterfest is a good idea. There are a few ideas I wish they had incorporated but those could come in later years. There are 4 indoor attraction around the park that could be open during Winterfest. Only 1 is opening this year (that we know about). Scooby Doo is getting a Holiday overlay. I think eventually adding holiday overlays to the others would increase the value to the consumer. FOF could be some sort of high speed sleigh ride themed to one of Paramounts holiday movies. Action theater could get a holiday themed simulator fairly easily. Tomb Raider The Ride was harder to retheme but I think I've come up with a good one. For all of you classic Rankin/Bass holiday special fans, Heat Miser Vs. Cold Miser from "A Year Without a Santa Clause". Yes I know Paramount may not have the rights to that one. If Winterfest takes off, that would be in my mind, the three easiest places to expand.

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One way to look at it is you get 2 more months to visit your favorite park. Although I would much rather see a new ride going in it beats nothing at all. I am shocked at the price. Even with the season pass discount price you’re looking at nearly $70 for a family of 4 to get in.

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I would imagine that they will still install a new ride for next season. I wonder if you get a 2006 parking pass if that will be valid for Winterfest, or if you will still have to pay the $5 parking fee. One can hope that the parking fee will be used to plowing and salting the parking lot after a snow storm.

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I think the reason why none of the Hanna Barbera attractions are open is becuase they will be rethemeing them to Nick Central.Or maybe even the kiddie rides would be cold whil riding. Also the PKI vitual Tour video is up on PKI home page.

-Jake

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