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Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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KD could repurpose the area that formerly housed the dinosaurs. That area could be transformed and it is isolated enough to keep carriages and pedestrians separated.

Grizzly isn't running either so there's a lot less around to spook the horses - plus there's trees and the pathway is already a loop. Good idea!
 
Nov 1, 2012
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There be some changes for the 2021 KD Winterfest.
  1. Four Drummers Drumming is now being performed in front of the Berserker on I-Street.
  2. Blitzen's Brass Band is now performing in CAG around the big tree in Drop Tower Plaza. (Not sure if they will still roam around the park).
  3. The "Jingle Jazz" show description states the performers as being Dickensian carolers. At least a costume change and/or a playlist change for 2021?
  4. Sadly, nothing listed for a Holiday movie in the Action Theater.
  5. I don't see any other changes for live shows in 2021. The rest are in their same location from 2019.
  6. The Tinsel Town themed area has been relocated to the center portion of the Wind-seeker Plaza. It appears the Grove stage (Mistletones and Holly Jolly Trolley shows) is part of this relocated themed area.
  7. The former Tinsel Town area is now called "Artisan Alley". Maybe all the craft folks are being relocated to one area? I have no idea about the theming/lighting.
  8. There are supposed to be some tweaks/changes to the holiday decorations/lighting around some areas in the park for this year. The only hint I was given was check out the vine arbor between the Country Kitchen and Old VA.
  9. Horse Carriage rides now start/stop around the games building across the street from Victoria's Pizza (Between the CAG east restroom and the corner games building).
  10. KD is using 2 of Soak City's food trucks this year for Winterfest. The "Beach Side Bowls" truck is in the Wind-seeker plaza and the "Captain's Catch" Truck is in Planet Snoopy (near Sally's Sea Planes and the Snoopy Gift Shop area). No clue as to if the trucks are offering their summer fare or if the chef came up with some holiday oriented fare. They both are on the meal plan.
 
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Jonesta6

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Sounds like the park looked at what happened the inaugural year and last year's light version of the event and are attempting to improve operations and satisfaction. Bravo!
 
Nov 1, 2012
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Sounds like the park looked at what happened the inaugural year and last year's light version of the event and are attempting to improve operations and satisfaction. Bravo!
From what I understand, Winterfest will NOT be static year to year as far as lights/decorations/theming. There will be changes each year, some big and some small; Things added to or enhanced; Themed areas will move around and sometimes be retired for something new.

Might have to make my way up there this weekend. The curiosity is burning like a hot coal!
 
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horsesboy

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More later but Winter Fest looks amazing again this year BGW better be taking notes cause KD is definitely bringing competition
 
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horsesboy

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Opening night was great but there is still a lot of work that has yet to be completed. Most notable there were a few sections of lights in the Grove that were not functioning as well as a couple of displays around the ice rink that were not on. Areas that KD still suffers in are a lack of show space which they have addressed somewhat by moving Drummers to it's new location and moving the Grove stage back a little but the combination of Santa's workshops in Grizzly's gift shop, the street shows in the gazebo, and the line waiting for the Peanuts show in the theater still lead to significant congestion in old Dominion. The park once again appears to have drawn a nice selection of craft vendors. I only watched the Peanuts show a 4 Drummers tonight. Both of them were unchanged from previous years. A big thumbs up to the cast of 4 Drummers not only did they go out and engage with the kids in the crowd getting several of them to help play the drums at one point but as they were leaving they pasted out their drumsticks to several of the kids which I thought was a nice touch. Over all I love the lights and atmosphere in the park but would add that I only saw small tweaks to previous years setups which worked for this year being post Covid but I hope to see more growth in future years.

Here is a link to my Instagram post with a few shots from tonight more to come in the near future.

 
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Nov 1, 2012
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I also went to the park last night. The park was busy; but not slammed packed like toward the last 2-3 weeks of Haunt. I can only imagine what the crowds closer to Christmas will be.

I overheard that the park was trying to rush to get everything up and working in a short period of time. I also noted that the ice rink lighting was not 100%. But, there was a tech person who was working at the top of one of the light towers when I first entered the park. I take this weekend as a shakedown time. Staff can review what is not working and work on that during the week. To be honest, I think the park has not finished all lighting and decorating that they want to do. My guess is that they will be working next week to finish up and correct what is not working or incomplete.

Rides:

The flat rides were running, that included Berserker on I-Street. Don't remember that ride being open during the previous years Winterfest events. The antique cars were open with the 12 Days of Christmas light show back in place. I am not sure if Dominator opened last night. Twisted Timbers had a delayed opening; but it was running the rest of the evening with one train.

Food:

I ate at the Christmas Cafe and had the turkey dinner. It came with stuffing, cranberry sauce and a corn bread muffin. You could choose your one side of sweet potatoes, mac & cheese, green beans, and mashed potatoes. I think there might have been another side, I don't remember what it was. I received a hearty portion of turkey; it filled me up. The park chef was in the building talking to folks.

Later in the evening, I got my refillable Hot Chocolate cup. So I am good to go go for the rest of the event. The hot chocolate I had was good (not weak/watered down).

Entertainment:

I saw The Mistletones, Holly Jolly Trolley, Tinker's Toy Factory, and Cool Yule. I think this year's show casts are the best to date! Even the easily jaded me, was wowed by the talent for this season!

Usually, show cast talent can be hit or miss each year and from show to show. Not this year! There was actual cheering heard at the end of a couple of the shows I attended. Cheering at a KD show!?!?! I know the park faithful at BGW do that for the popular long running shows there; but at KD? The KD entertainment department is doing something right this season!

Also, the Merriment atmosphere characters were all over the park and they were very interactive with the crowds! Photos ops galore with these folks.

Activities:

The ice skating rink had a steady stream of folks on the ice. It was not packed. I get the feeling it will be, later on in the event.

Mrs. Claus' Kitchen? The couple times I passed by it, later in the evening, the place was slammed! I have never seen that many folks, this early in the event, decorating cookies! I went to Cinnabon around 9 pm on my out and Mrs. C's kitchen was full, with 6-8 people in line waiting to buy cookies!

I only walked by St. Nick's Pics once, early in the evening, so I don't know what the wait/line was like to see Santa.

Sally's Christmas Crafts was packed with famlies.

Odds & Ends:

The trolley vehicle is not being used for the Holly Jolly Trolley cast. They just walked over and used the stage and plaza area in front of it.

I noticed the shops on I-Street were full of people when I arrived. I went in the one next to guest services and they had some very unique ornaments and home holiday decor. They had those stuffed marshmellow reindeer. I walked back through on my way out and over half were gone! The other shop on the exit side had a line of 10-12 people waiting at the cash register to pay! I think the park made some bucks last night.

I did see some of the food trucks open in the park. The bowl truck was in the Wind Seeker plaza. The bar truck was being used near the water park entrance in CAG. The Captain's seafood truck was supposed to be in Planet Snoopy somewhere near Sally's Sea Plane ride. I did not get over to that area of PS to verify. At least for the Bowl truck, they were serving their summer menu.

Over all I enjoyed the shows, food, and lights/decorations/ holiday atmosphere. I plan to head back sometime Thanksgiving weekend to catch the remaining shows and view the parade.
 
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Dec 20, 2018
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Just visited the event for the first time. Really enjoyed it! This is only the second event I've been to compared to Christmas Town. They both feel different, KD captures the overall Christmas vibe really well, but BGW does a better job with all the small details. Probably still prefer Christmas Town, but Winterfest is really good in it's own right!
 

horsesboy

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The family that flipped the switch to start the lights Saturday night is posting on FB looking for video or pictures of the event. Does anyone have any?
 
May 29, 2021
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We went Friday night and had an absolute blast. I know it's been mentioned about the night time being the main draw, but as a family who drives 2.5 hours every time we go, I wish they started around 2-3pm each day. We felt rushed to try to fit so much in but man, KD really brought it this year! The only thing that wasn't up to par to me was Mrs. Claus Kitchen. We did it two years ago and loved it and all of the staff were so friendly and played along. Not one elf came to our table and to be honest, Mrs. Claus seemed super tired. Granted, we were in there as the parade was wrapping up so I am sure she was exhausted but she did come to our table. There were 5-6 staff members as elves in there and not one came by and said hey to our kids or anything. The food was excellent. Rides were perfect and the atmosphere was awesome. The staff everywhere else including the kids craft area were phenomenal. I do think an extra 2-3 hours to knock out rides would be amazing so that at 5 you could really focus on the lights/Christmas festivities and shows.
 
Jul 5, 2017
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Does anyone know if KD still sells nanocoasters during winterfest? Want to get one as a white elephant christmas gift for a co-worker lol.
 

Ice

DarKoaster Smellz
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Jan 5, 2018
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Solely because you brought it up, you can purchase a variety of nanocoasters and things of that nature online directly from CoasterDynamix incase you can't find anything of theirs in the parks.

Currently, the only one of KD's online is Volcano, of which they have both nanocoaster and a coaster cutout.
 
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Jul 5, 2017
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^yeah I looked into that was concerned about shipping since the party is a week from tomorrow and Amazon doesn’t own them or anything.
 

RollyCoaster

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Jul 31, 2016
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Are we not going to talk about how absolutely beautiful the Wonderland Parade is? Kings Dominion has pulled it all together this winter and isn’t holding back. Such a dynamic energy at Winterfest that seems to be missing at Christmas Town. Everything is staffed up, employees are excellent, food is bussin, music is fresh, and the park looks good as ever. Any KD staff reading this should know you’re doing an absolutely incredible job. Keep it up.
 
Feb 8, 2016
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Are we not going to talk about how absolutely beautiful the Wonderland Parade is? Kings Dominion has pulled it all together this winter and isn’t holding back. Such a dynamic energy at Winterfest that seems to be missing at Christmas Town. Everything is staffed up, employees are excellent, food is bussin, music is fresh, and the park looks good as ever. Any KD staff reading this should know you’re doing an absolutely incredible job. Keep it up.
This was our first year visiting WinterFest. Worked at bg for 13 years and I was completely blown away by what KD has done. It was stunning and an amazing time. I helped implement Christmas Town it's first year and WinterFest has blown CT out of the water.
 

horsesboy

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This was our first year visiting WinterFest. Worked at bg for 13 years and I was completely blown away by what KD has done. It was stunning and an amazing time. I helped implement Christmas Town it's first year and WinterFest has blown CT out of the water.
I agree that it's amazing what KD has done in the short period of time that they have had. But I disagree that they have blown CT out of the water. Honestly I feel like all three of the regional parks have taken a different view and approach to winter events and each have carved their own little niche that makes it hard to compare. You want rides then go to Holiday in the park as SFA's line up of coaster for the event tops both KD and BGW. Want a more festival like atmosphere then Winterfest is definitely the place to go withvgreat photo opportunities amazing interactive light displays a petting zoo and great outdoor shows. BGW has gone more the mature quiter approach with fairly high caliber stage shows, quite softer music and softer more static light displays. Honestly as much as I love Winterfest Christmas Town seems to have a more Williamsburg and Old Country feel to it and I am not sure how well a Winterfest like event would play at BGW.
 
Mar 18, 2017
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Actually it's a close call which park is best for rides. Holiday has the best number of rides, and if it wasn't for it, the other parks probably wouldn't be running as much, for example KD would probably be running Racer instead of TT. But instead KD's running their best 2 sub-70 MPH coasters including the best of the 3 parks. BG is running their best fast coaster (already open) and 2 almost tailor-made for the event. Maybe if the Roar retrack is really good, that will break the tie next year.

As I have said before, Winterfest makes such good use of KD's large classical entrance, it seems the park was designed for this and was just waiting for full use to made of it after all this time. C Town is larger overall and has more great scenes, but lacks a central focus.
 
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warfelg

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I think Winterfest gets an incredible boost from just being new. Between being able to see what people don’t like about CT and their decorations being only 3 years old there isn’t a ton of wear and tear on them.

Now that’s not to take away from what Winterfest is, but rather it’s why Winterfest will tend to have a “leg up” on CT. I think if BGW ever shut down CT for a year and had the money to completely redo CT top to bottom they would be showing out too.
 
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