ParkFans Logo

[Old Concept] Winterfest: Christmas at Kings Dominion

12/18/13 at 09:59pm in [Old Concept] Winterfest: Christmas at Kings Dominion (Latest Edit: 06/05/16 at 04:08pm by Mushroom.)
Post: #1
*
Update: A new, improved concept for a Kings Dominion Christmas can be found here. The new concept is more thorough, cohesive, and easy to follow than the one below.

As we near the heart of Christmas Town and continue to welcome more and more details pertaining to Kings Dominion's wonderful-looking 40th Celebration next year, I remembered this thread.  There are quite a few comments sprawled across KD's Facebook page suggesting a Christmas event similar to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.  When Ben/Dwight Schrute first posted this concept barely more than a year ago, Kings Dominion was still more or less thought of as a rides park.  However, these changes and efforts Kings Dominion is making certainly confirm its intent on regaining the charm, theming, and family togetherness that made it a world class theme park in the pre-Paramount days.  

I'm not going to restate everything that's already said in the above discussion pertaining to whether or not KD could pull off a Christmas event because you can see it yourself, and a lot of what is said there still applies.  Kings Dominion would most certainly have to find an approach that either totally parallels or compliments Busch Gardens' event in some way in order for a KD Christmas event to be successful.    They may never ever ever ever choose to do a Christmas event, which is understandable.  However, with the new theming and character brought on by the park in the coming seasons, perhaps such event would be possible.  

If the family fan base that cares for more than just thrill rides continues to grow at Kings Dominion, then this would certainly be a welcome new event.  If they were to do a Christmas event, it would--as HAJiME said--need to hold more of just a "Happy Holidays" appeal and less of a deep, emotional, mildly religious event like Christmas Town (not that there's anything wrong with what it does).  And as Pretzel Kaiser put it, a good amount of Peanuts theming would certainly come in to play.  Of course, because of Kings Dominion's layout and the character of the park, this event would probably not need to be on as grand of a scale as Christmas Town, meaning most of the park would definitely not have to be open.  I would say about a half to two-thirds of the park being open would be enough space to keep guests happy without being overkill for the park to decorate and take care of.

What follows is my more-or-less detailed concept on how exactly such a Christmas event at Kings Dominion would be run.  I include a name and general theme, but this is perhaps the greatest variable between my concept here and what the park may or may not actually decide to do someday, which, if it were ever to happen, I would not be surprised to see take off within the next few seasons.

Update: A new, improved concept for a Kings Dominion Christmas can be found here. The new concept is more thorough, cohesive, and easy to follow than the one below.

Basic Information
Name: Winterfest
Theme: Winter cheer, lights, Christmas celebration
Current areas of park open: International Street, Planet Snoopy, Old Virgina, Candy Apple Grove
Areas of the park closed: Safari Village, former Wayne's World section of (Candy Apple) Grove, WaterWorks

Park Areas
Area: International Street
Status: Open
What: Grand entrance area
Reasons for inclusion: Necessary for access to the rest of the park; arguably the most beautiful area of the park; old-world, international architecture; many gift shops/eateries
Description: Lights line the buildings of International Street, as do other more majestic decorations.  The fountains are off (duh) and the pool is drained.  Strings of lights line the pool bottom much like Pompeii's pool at Christmas Town's Polar Pathway, and large Christmas trees composed of light strings like this stand where the fountains typically blast.  Uplifting, instrumental brass Christmas music plays in the entrance area.
Special Features: Lights show on Center Street, like a holiday version of Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular.  'Epic' Christmas music plays here, like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's version of Carol of the Bells; gift shops filled with Christmas/event merchandise; restaurants selling cider, hot chocolate, etc.
Attractions: Eiffel Tower [may or may not operate due to cold]; Dominator [may or may not be open]
Shows: A Charlie Brown Christmas [playing of the classic cartoon, assuming permission to play it is granted] - [Action Theater]
Eateries: Panda Express, Peppermint Pattie's Candy Shoppe, Border Cafe (renamed "Christmas Cafe")
Notes: Pathway to the Boo Blasters side of Planet Snoopy is closed off past Dominator entrance [if open]

Area: Old Virgina
Status: Open
What: Country/Old-fashioned Christmas; "Cracker Barrel"-style Christmas
Reasons for inclusion: One of the park's best-themed areas; perfect for charming "old-fashioned" Christmas feel; includes park's only indoor performance venue
Description: Candles light the windows of buildings such as the Country Kitchen; simple red and white lights cover trees and outline buildings; Christmas trees in flower beds; old wooden sleds and props lie beside walkways; old-fashioned country Christmas music plays, setting a calm mood for the area
Special Features: Photo-op/meet-and-greet with Santa Claus in "Santa's Workshop" [decorated/rethemed "Dino Store" from main season]
Attractions: None [Flying Eagles may or may not be a possibility to run]; [Blue Ridge Tollway most likely is not able to run; if it is, a ride through small nativity scenes could be executed]
Shows: Winter Wonders - The singing and dancing of everyone's favorite Christmas/holiday songs at this wild Christmas party will get everybody in the Christmas spirit at this rockin' show! - [Kings Dominion Theater] - [About 25 minutes, full indoor Christmas party-themed holiday revue]
Eateries: Country Kitchen, one of the park's main eateries, same as in normal operating season
Notes: This area varies from the rest as it is the only area with the true "old-fashioned" Christmas theme like at Busch Gardens; the space behind the Liberty Bell (leading to White Water Canyon and Shenandoah Lumber Co.) is mostly closed off, with only the bathrooms still open;

Area: Candy Apple Grove
Status: Mostly open
What: City streets around Christmas
Reasons for inclusion: Largest area of park; contains most operable rides; eateries; classic holiday theme possible
Description: Blue, red, white, and green lights line and/or completely cover buildings; some games are open;  classic Christmas hits plays as the area's music, setting the theme; large "lawn decoration" props in the form of giant wrapped presents stand in flower beds, as do festively-lit Christmas trees; "lawn decoration" deer also stand off the pathways
Special Features: Christmas-themed games, Singing Mushrooms in Santa hats singing Christmas songs; Flower Clock overlayed with decorations
Attractions: Triple Spin; Dodgem; Waveswinger; Drop Tower [may or may not operate]
Shows: Possible singing/caroling revue at the Grove Stage
Eateries: Johnny's, same as normal season; Subway; Victoria's Pizza, same as normal season
Notes: Former Wayne's World section (approximately from Windseeker to Ricochet/Juke Box/Hurler) is closed off.  Pathway leading up to Shockwave closed.  Pathway behind Drop Tower leading to WaterWorks closed

Area: WaterWorks
Status: Closed to public
Reasons for exclusion: No need for waterpark area; extra area that would not need to be utilized for the event

Area: Safari Village
Status: [Mostly?] Closed to public
Reasons for exclusion: Mostly rides that cannot operate in this area, unnecessary space
Notes: Flight of Fear--an indoor coaster--is unfortunately tucked in the back of this area.  I wonder if a path could be determined so only this ride could operate in this area;  Safari Village could open in later years of the event if it proves popular, opening up more rides

Area: Planet Snoopy
Status: Open
What: Beloved, happy, charming Peanuts-style Christmas
Reason for inclusion: Flagship area/theme of park; best, most unique and lovable theme; perfect area for families; beautiful area with many options
Description: Tacky, colored lights light buildings and Snoopy's doghouse; classic Peanuts Christmas music plays, inflatable and colorful decorations abound; fountain in entrance plaza is covered with bricks and decorations
Special Features: Roving Peanuts characters in the area, dressed for Christmas
Attractions: Boo Blasters on Boo Hill (no theme change); Flying Ace Balloon Race; Lucy's Tugboat; Lucy's Crabby Cabbies; Snoopy's Rocket Express; Flying ACE; Charlie Brown's Windup; Woodstock Whirlybirds; Snoopy's Junction (with small decorations in the grass field within the train tracks)
Shows: It's Christmas, Charlie Brown! - Some sort of family musical involving the beloved Peanuts characters celebrating Christmas would delight the young and the young at heart - [Peanuts Playhouse]
Eateries: Chik-Fil-A
Notes: "Flagship" theme/area of the event; Snoopy Showplace closed due to being a large outdoor venue and currently containing the All Wheel Sports sets

Whew!  I am tired now.  If Kings Dominion really is heading in a new, family-friendly direction, then nothing says 'family' more than a wonderful, festive event.  Of course, it would have to parallel Busch Gardens quite a bit to be successful.  If this were to happen, this is how I think it should be done.  What do you think?

Update: A new, improved concept for a Kings Dominion Christmas can be found here. The new concept is more thorough, cohesive, and easy to follow than the one above.

Find Busch Dominion:
BuschDominion.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Thanks given by:  Evan, netdvn, Hoopla, Peter R., SWStevo, Eric
Offline
Quote
Post: #2
*
With the effort that KD is putting in right now I would say that an XMAS event has a lot more of a chance than it did when I made this thread

Glad you brought this back Smiling

“Nothing stresses me out. Except having to seek the approval of my inferiors.” - Dwight Schrute

Former username: Ben
Thanks given by:  SWStevo
Offline
Quote
Post: #3
*
First off, I love it. I could actually feel myself walking through the different sections of the park as I read this.

I think Grizzly should run in Old Va and the Dino's Alive gift shop be transformed into something that has a few Christmas gifts (ornaments, a few old gifts, or "stocking stuffer" items. Dino's Alive would be closed off.

I don't think there is any possibility for FoF to open because it's pushed so far back. Dominator should run just because it's right there at the front of the park, but should have some sort of special lights to brighten it up a bit more than the red chaser lights on the lift. I also wouldn't even think about opening Drop Tower because of the chill factor of it being dropped all the time. Unlike Mach Tower, Drop Tower produces a lot of wind after it's dropped.

I want to say have WindSeeker added to the lineup, but I'm not sure to many people would like how cold it is at the top, but it would provide a really nice view at the top. Maybe string some lights from the top to the base and have a light show there?

Coaster Count: 115

Contact: Private Message

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney
Thanks given by:  Mushroom
Offline
Quote
Post: #4
*
I am a big fan of busch...but I would pay to see KD christmas themed...especially the main entrance, and Old VA, and Midway.

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”
~ Bruce Feirstein
Thanks given by:  SWStevo
Offline
Quote
Post: #5
*
I just split this into it's own discussion because I think this deserves it's own thread. There is a lot of detail in Joe's concept of something that really could happen if the park was/is willing to put forth the effort.

Coaster Count: 115

Contact: Private Message

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney
Thanks given by:  Ben, Mushroom
Offline
Quote
Post: #6
*
Thanks, Evan. Every thing you just said is very, very true. Flight of Fear is definitely an issue because it's the perfect "winter" coaster, but it's in such a poor location to have operating unless that whole area stays open. I totally agree with the Drop Tower issue, as well. I wonder if there is any way for it to not drop somewhat like Nacht Tower; however this may not work because Mach Tower was specifically designed to operate* with that feature, and an observation mode on the tower would be unnecessary if Eiffel Tower were open.

*as if Mach Tower ever operated anyway... Tongue

I also totally forgot about the dino shop. That's definitely a space for some cool merchandise. Finally, I feel like Windseeker would be much too cold for riders, whirling around in the freezing air 300 feet up. Heck, I though I'd freeze to death when I rode it one night during Haunt! I like the lights show idea, though I'm not sure if that would be feasible.

Find Busch Dominion:
BuschDominion.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Thanks given by:  SWStevo
Offline
Quote
Post: #7
*
I'm sure the park could call someone in to add an observation mode to the ride, but it wouldn't be worth it as the ride doesn't rotate around the tower. The riders facing WaterWorks would have the worst ride ever while the others facing the Eiffel Tower had the best view.

Coaster Count: 115

Contact: Private Message

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney
Offline
Quote
Post: #8
*
Joe,

I have not had time to review all the details you wrote up concerning a Christmas event at Kings Dominion. You did put a lot of work into it! Grinning

There was a Christmas event for 2-3 seasons at Kings Island the last few years before Paramount took over (late 1980's - early 1990's). I do remember them turning most of their Intl. Street Fountain pool into an ice skating rink. They also had a Holiday show in their indoor theater (like the KD theater). I don't remember what else they had in the park during that time.

When Paramount took over, KI ended their Winter-Fest event. Years later, while still under Paramount, Kings Island brought the Winter-Fest back; but, it lasted for only one season. (They ended up using the Holiday decorations in the following year's Haunt event in a warped Holiday theme Scare Zone).

If you Google "Kings Island WinterFest" you might find out more details on the former event. I do know someone recorded the holiday show on YouTube. The show was set in Santa's workshop with elves and the old man himself. Again, search on "Kings Island WinterFest".

Unfortunately, based on the last Cedar Fair presentation, (Highlights link on the Cedar Fair thread | from NewsPlusNotes site), the chain is not looking at developing/expanding the Christmas events past what they are currently doing at Knott's and Gilroy Gardens in CA. Cedar Fair seems more focused on expanding the Haunt event even more at a number of their parks. They also were looking at developing some sort of event for the spring.

I do remember 4 or 5 years ago Cedar Fair doing a feasibility study at Kings Dominion to see a Christmas event would work for them (getting a decent ROI on that type of event) and the numbers were not good; so, they nixed the idea.

Course, times change and maybe Cedar Fair will re-visit the idea in a few years.
Offline
Quote
Post: #9
*
Thanks so much for doing this. I've been trying to get the time to do all this, but it hasn't worked out.

I would also throw Avalanche in the ring as a possible open ride. With Flight of Fear, you would have an access issue as well. Maybe they could open up Safari Village after a few years like BGW. Or even have a Flight of Fear tram to shuttle guests.

Dino's could certainly do something festive as well, but I'm not sure of the robotics could function in the cold.

The advantage KD has in the end is that it has more coasters that could be open in cold weather, KD would be a fool not to capitalize on that.
Offline
Quote
Post: #10
*
Just one thought. One way for KD to differentiate itself from CT would be to include non-Christian winter holiday themes. CT is very Christmas-focused. Including other winter celebrations, or having a completely non-religious event, might tap into other markets, and would definitely make a KD winter festival distinguishable from CT.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Offline
Quote
Post: #11
*
Good idea in theory, and they can capitalize on that a bit in International street (Krampus, anybody?). However, that area of Virginia is very conservative and would risk some backlash if they they did that.
Offline
Quote
Post: #12
*
NOVA is close enough to KD, that they could reach out to that market, as well.

They could either go the completely non-religious route, which really shouldn't offend anyone. And anyone who wants Christian themes can go to CT, anyway.

Or they could try to incorporate Hanukkah, Diwali, etc., in addition to Christmas.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Offline
Quote
Post: #13
*
Ehh, ideally, that should work, but with people getting upset over saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", it might cause some controversy. This park is located next to the former capital of the Confederacy after all.

CT works because even though it's mostly nonreligious, it's still Christmas. The religious aspects of CT that are there are probably just enough to keep people happy.
Offline
Quote
Post: #14
*
Honestly, this year CT felt more religious to me. It kinda bothered me.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Offline
Quote
Post: #15
*
    Here is a photo of what Kings Island's International Street looked like during "WinterFest". I am not sure if the photo is from one of the original years of operation or the one-season revival when Paramount owned the park.

Beautiful lighting on the Eiffel Tower. Notice the ice skating rink in the fountain area.
Thanks given by:  Pretzel Kaiser, Zachary, netdvn, Youhow2
Offline
Quote

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | ParkFans Network | Return to Top | Lite (Archive) Mode | RSS Syndication | |
Powered By MyBB, © 2002-2017 MyBB Group.