Kings Island is finally bringing back WinterFest for the first time since Paramount has owned and operated the park and is extending the tradition to begin at Paramount's Carowinds this season as well.
PKI will have ice skating, the Eiffel Tower Tree and lighting, crafts and shopping, and Scrooge's house on Internation Street, live music, roaming performers from every land, and a holiday feast under a "canopy of stars" at the Winter Festhaus, The White Christmas Express in Rivertown, Santa's Christmastown, Santa's Toy Factory Musical at the Paramount Theatre, character meet and greet at the Nickelodeon Tree Lot, the Christmas Parade every night, and the Holiday Light Spectacular. Bubba Gump's, Starbucks, and Mrs. Claus's Kitchen will also be open for dining.
Paramount's Carowinds will have Santa's Toy Factory, the Holiday Light Spectacular, Christmas Parade, and Winter Festhaus as well. In addition to that, will be Nickmas with a character meet and greet plus Dora's Adventure, the kid-sized location, redecorated for Winterfest, and ice skating. Carolina Christmas will feature thousands of lights and the Gazebo performance stage for carolers, magicians, and more. Santa Land will be the central area to meet Santa, see the nightly lighting, and the giant Skytower tree. There isn't much about dining and shopping yet at the Carowinds site.
Festivities begin on weekends starting November 25 and then daily from December 19th through the 31st (except Christmas Eve and Day). Operating hours are from 4PM-10PM except on Sundays and Dec. 31 (9PM).
Tickets (I think this is how it works so far, but don't quote me ;)): For PKI, tickets are 17.99 through Nov. 6th (in limited quantities) and 24.99 at the gate. For Carowinds, it's 19.99 online three days in advance and 22.99 after that and at the gate.
One thing that does surprise me that I thought would be an obvious choice to have open was a Christmas retheming of Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle/Mansion. Everything sounds good to me, but I was excited about the possibility of some rides too, but I'll be happy with this. =p
+Danny *** Edited 7/25/2005 6:40:33 PM UTC by +Danny***
When Winterfest first disappeared from PKI, one of the reasons given was the lack of time to prepare the park between the end of Fearfest and the beginning of Winterfest. It'll be interesting to see how well they pull it off this year. Staffing was always their other problem.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I almost certain Fearfest began in October of 2000, and from what I have been told Winterfest stoped in the early 1990's. I always look forward to the holidays, and now with Winterfest to add to my list of events it's going to be better than ever. It's no wonder PKI is the worlds number one seasonal theme park !!!
No, they will not be. A long time ago there was talk of putting a Mack Bobsled coaster at PKI (like PKD's) and the idea was to have it open, if possible, during Winterfest. Never came to be.
Every time I ever went to Winterfest we froze our asses off, it was especially bitter cold making our way across the parking lot to the gate! Even I wouldn't care to ride at those temps.
I've had trips to Great America and SF STL, each, where the weather was in the 30's. Pretty miserable, can you imagine the wind chill factor at 60 MPH? The Chicago park was ready for it, they sold hats, gloves, hotchocolate, etc from carts all around the park. St, Louis, on the other hand was taken by surprise, they were scurrying around trying to crack the ice and throw salt on the sidewalks!
I actually got a little teary-eyed, and was remembering back to when I was a kid, and we really looked forward to Winterfest. And if they pull it off like they are planning to...this Winterfest may be the best yet.
The only question I need an answer to is whether or not (Gold) season passes will be good for admission, or if they will get you a discount on admission, or what?
According to Ultimate Roller Coaster.com "Fearfest" began at PKI on Friday, September 29th, 2000! And IMO...like many movies, the first "Fearfest" was still the best! The Eiffel Tower (of terror), Capt. Jack in 4-D, and "The Mummy" were just awesome. As for Winterfest, it ended in the very early 90's because I was still in high school when they stopped it. *** Edited 7/25/2005 11:02:03 PM UTC by Floorless Fan***
One change is that WinterFest will open at 5PM at Carowinds, not 4PM. That was only listed for PKI. As far as discounts for season passholders, I see nothing (yet) about that on the Carowinds site and PKI's says "2006 Season Pass holders can purchase tickets beginning August 1 through November 6 for $16.99." Parking will be $5 at PKI. I don't believe anything will be extra at the park as far as "attractions" go. The only extra charge should be the normal stuff.. Food, photos, souvenirs, etc.
Called PKI's guest services today, and there will NOT be free admission for Gold or regular season passes. And there will also be NO discounts for having passes.
I know we've gotten used to both at PKI during FEARFEST the past year or two, but it's a no go for Winterfest. The lady did mention the same deal as Danny mentioned above about a discount on pre-purchased tickets, but nothing at the gate. Admission is $17.99, and if you order tickets between 8/1/05 - 11/1/05 you'll get a $1.00 discount. *** Edited 7/27/2005 12:46:15 AM UTC by Floorless Fan***
Glad to hear Winterfest is back but you wont see me or my family there. That is way too much to ask (and parking) to see a few shows and lots of lights and shopping. Hope it does ok but thinks it would do much better with a much lower price.