2018 Christmas Town

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Nov 24, 2009
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So we finished out the season tonight at CT. I was extremely suprised by how packed the park was and honestly I think the park was too. We saw Gloria, Deck the Halls, and Gift and they all ran great. We skipped the train and didnt even go over to check the line.The sky ride did have a line spilling out of extended queue and toward Elmo at 8:30. Had dinner at Festhaus at 5:45 and I have never seen the staff so rude toward guests. The food line went out and toward the front doors. Interestingly enough this was the first time we ate at Festhaus since opening night and tonight they did have the orange cranberry sauce that I was told the first night they did not have this year. I also noticed opening night there were no mashed potatoes this year but they were there tonight. This is the kind of thing that aggrivates me, you should get the same meal every night, they expect us to pay the same price. The turkey tonight did seem diffrent too, not only was it cold but it had a pink color and tasted and had texture of thick sliced jenny-o lunch meat from Food Lion. Josephines was again closed tonight...has anyone seen it open for CT? Most of the lights were working but the trees have about seen their last day....they looked pittyful tonight.
 

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BBW

Jun 10, 2010
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Dinwiddie County, VA
We got there around 3 pm and at that point the parking lots looked so empty, as did the park. About dusk the park really seemed to start filling up quickly, as you'd expect, but though it was far from empty I think last Sunday was busier. Great day -- waited too long for the train, though, and Twas that Night was not scheduled, and I'd hoped to see it again -- but very glad the park was open and I hope they continue keeping CT open til the weekend after New Year's in the future. We weren't ready to close out the holiday season before today for various reasons, and this felt like a great way to cap it off. Looking forward to 2019, and thrilled to think Preview Day will only be a little over two months from now!
 
Nov 24, 2009
957
1,176
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We got there around 3 pm and at that point the parking lots looked so empty, as did the park. About dusk the park really seemed to start filling up quickly, as you'd expect, but though it was far from empty I think last Sunday was busier. Great day -- waited too long for the train, though, and Twas that Night was not scheduled, and I'd hoped to see it again -- but very glad the park was open and I hope they continue keeping CT open til the weekend after New Year's in the future. We weren't ready to close out the holiday season before today for various reasons, and this felt like a great way to cap it off. Looking forward to 2019, and thrilled to think Preview Day will only be a little over two months from now!
Yea, I didnt realize there would be no ice show tonight. Santa wasnt there either.....although I agree with that.
 

horsesboy

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Jun 16, 2013
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Yea, I didnt realize there would be no ice show tonight. Santa wasnt there either.....although I agree with that.
This weekend was a late add. Elvis already had a previous commitment that required him to head home fairly quickly and was not willing to extend his contract passed the first.
 
Reactions: Zachary and Joe
Nov 24, 2009
957
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This weekend was a late add. Elvis already had a previous commitment that required him to head home fairly quickly and was not willing to extend his contract passed the first.
I wasnt espically dissapointed but maybe the park could have conveyed better what would and would not be open for the final weekend.

A couple other things from the last night. I had hoped some of the merch would be discounted. KD had much of theirs on discount and even BGW in past years had theirs marked down.

I just had someone tell me that the entrance to Josephines was actually the exit around to the side.....could it have been open and I just didnt even know? We never walked around to the side or back because Griffon was closed and that area looked empty.
 
Jul 13, 2017
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I was surprised how busy CT was on Saturday. I do hope they continue keeping it open past Jan. 1 next year. It was nice to be able to go since it was technically still Christmas.

Some general observations...I'd love to see more BGW team members stationed in the high traffic areas, especially after it gets dark, to help with wayfinding. The path between France and Ireland became a huge bottleneck every time I was there when it was crowded. It was dark, there were many people there that were unfamiliar with the general layout of the park and then people got confused with the line for Gloria and would stop, thinking that traffic itself was at a standstill.

There seemed to be less stands open that provided popcorn this season and my kids LOVE to get the popcorn bucket filled up. I felt like they could reasonably have the stand right outside of Alpengist open for popcorn and hot chocolate and get enough traffic there.

My 3 yr old pointed out that the boats should be running and I agree with him. Now that Santa has moved and they don't need the pathway down to the Rhine River Cruise for the Santa queue, I think they could throw some lights on the boats and open that ride. It would be lovely to go out on the water and view the lights from that perspective.

Not a popular opinion but we watched Gift of Harmony 4 times and loved every time.

The cookies at Cookies and Cocoa stink. Hard little hockey pucks. Wish they would serve better cookies there.

Overall, I was thrilled to have CT included in our membership this year and visited five times.
 

horsesboy

Silver Donor
Jun 16, 2013
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I was surprised how busy CT was on Saturday. I do hope they continue keeping it open past Jan. 1 next year. It was nice to be able to go since it was technically still Christmas.

Some general observations...I'd love to see more BGW team members stationed in the high traffic areas, especially after it gets dark, to help with wayfinding. The path between France and Ireland became a huge bottleneck every time I was there when it was crowded. It was dark, there were many people there that were unfamiliar with the general layout of the park and then people got confused with the line for Gloria and would stop, thinking that traffic itself was at a standstill.

There seemed to be less stands open that provided popcorn this season and my kids LOVE to get the popcorn bucket filled up. I felt like they could reasonably have the stand right outside of Alpengist open for popcorn and hot chocolate and get enough traffic there.

My 3 yr old pointed out that the boats should be running and I agree with him. Now that Santa has moved and they don't need the pathway down to the Rhine River Cruise for the Santa queue, I think they could throw some lights on the boats and open that ride. It would be lovely to go out on the water and view the lights from that perspective.

Not a popular opinion but we watched Gift of Harmony 4 times and loved every time.

The cookies at Cookies and Cocoa stink. Hard little hockey pucks. Wish they would serve better cookies there.

Overall, I was thrilled to have CT included in our membership this year and visited five times.
On busier nights they usually have someone at the end of Gloria's line holding asign with arrows showing the line on the right and pathway on the left. I have been told that Saturday's crowd far exceeded their estimates so they were staffed lower numbers.

The boats would not be that comfortable on a cold night especially with a breeze blowing and there are safety issues with their decks icing over on cold nights. Also while extremely unlikely if something where to happen I imagine that water is quite chilly which would add significant risk. I believe those factors are also why the bridge down there was also closed.
 
Reactions: Alf33
Mar 17, 2015
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Williamsburg
This is a bit off-topic, but with the higher than expected attendance on Saturday, nearly 2 weeks after Christmas, would the park ever consider remaining open year-round?
 
Nov 24, 2009
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This is a bit off-topic, but with the higher than expected attendance on Saturday, nearly 2 weeks after Christmas, would the park ever consider remaining open year-round?
We joked aboyt that Sunday night. I think the novelty of being open that late would wear off, plus once the Christmas stuff is gone what is there really to do? Very few rides run and there really arent many shows till the busy summer season. I do think it could work though. If they opened on say just saturdays and had special events each week to draw pwople in, things like special menus at the Festhaus and local bands and possibly local brews. With Darkastle empty that too could be used for indoor space for something. The list of rides would be very short though. I would even be happy to see old shows like Pirates shown in the Globe.
 
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lce

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Jan 5, 2018
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would the park ever consider remaining open year-round?
They probably already considered it. But it will never be so until climate change turns our weather into Florida weather.

The months of January and February have too much potential for heavy snow in the region. The risk of having to be closed for large chunks of time, having to do major snow removal to prepare for guests, and the amount of rides that would have to be closed is enough to make it not worth it. I don't see people going to BGW in the dead of winter just because, especially when there is no event going on. It simply wouldn't be worth the pricetag to the consumer, and it wouldn't be a smart business move.

Also, BGW does their mandatory yearly full ride inspections during the off-season, e.g. disassembling the coaster cars and such. It could be done to reschedule how they do this, but I am sure they would just rather not bother.
 
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Jul 13, 2017
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The boats would not be that comfortable on a cold night especially with a breeze blowing and there are safety issues with their decks icing over on cold nights. Also while extremely unlikely if something where to happen I imagine that water is quite chilly which would add significant risk. I believe those factors are also why the bridge down there was also closed.
Yes, I could see that being the case when it's cold. The train and sky buckets are no fun when it's cold either due to the wind once you are moving. I would appreciate it though when it's mild days as another "ride". A couple of our visits this year to CT my kids never put their coats on and one visit we were in short sleeves almost the whole time!
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Also, BGW does their mandatory yearly full ride inspections during the off-season, e.g. disassembling the coaster cars and such. It could be done to reschedule how they do this, but I am sure they would just rather not bother.
For most parks that are year round, they order 1-2 extra trains and take them out of rotation for a month or two at a time. That way once a quarter it’s time to rebuild a car.
 
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lce

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For most parks that are year round, they order 1-2 extra trains and take them out of rotation for a month or two at a time. That way once a quarter it’s time to rebuild a car.
I wasn't doubting there was an alternative. I am just saying I doubt BGW wants to deal with it.
 
Apr 16, 2017
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BGW maitenance is the driving force behind preventing year round ops - other depts however wouldnt mind being open year round
 
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horsesboy

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I want to make to points about last weekend's crowds that I think are being overlooked in the rush say that they support the idea of year round operation. One the weather was absolutely wonderful that is always a crap shoot in January in VA. Two the government was shut down I know many federal employees in Nova were looking for something to do with limited options I think that added to the crowd level. I don't think it would be wise of the park to take last weekend's crowd as a sign that they should be open year round.
 
Apr 16, 2017
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year round ops has been an option interally at the park for years, it was even seriously considered during one of their more recent 5 year plans

the park ops dept (the dept in charge of building the schedule) keeps pushing for year round ops, slowly but surely. look at november, look at the start of HOS, they keep pushing to be open continuously

the biggest hold out is maintenance dept because they dont want to change their schedule up

this has nothing to do with attendance the last weekened, this is all about the parks ambition to actually be open year round
 

lce

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this has nothing to do with attendance the last weekened, this is all about the parks ambition to actually be open year round
I agree entirely.

It's like we give the park too much credit on almost everything. We like to think there is reasoning behind all of their decisions, when more often than not, it is something as simple as "I don't feeeeel like it"
 
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