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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
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Anyone else wanting the cold days to come back? Well, we've got quite a while before the snow falls again, but we can always jumpstart speculation on what to expect at KD WinterFest this season!

Usually when I jumpstart my extremely early holiday event threads, I recap the past year and then speculate on what I want to see. There's WAY too much to cover in the "new for 2018" department since last year was the event's first year, but I will say that every single bit of the event was something to behold. Whether you liked the shows, the characters, or the lights, there was an obvious overload of holiday cheer no matter where you went. My favorite part was definitely the characters... there was always something different going on each night, and it was always fun to play and joke around with them! Even some of the attraction elves were full of cheer! Some would even say that Kings Dominion did in one year what Busch Gardens couldn't do in ten! Oh, I also have to mention that I enjoyed WinterFest better than I had enjoyed any year of Halloween Haunt ever... and y'all probably know that I LOOOOVE Haunt!

I highly doubt that anything will be cut; honestly, I don't think we'll see anything cut for a few years. I expect WinterFest to continuously build upon itself over the next few years and become a behemoth of a holiday event. I know I'm dreaming a bit, but I would love for Kings Dominion's WinterFest to become THE WinterFest event of the Cedar Fair chain, sort of like Knott's Scary Farm is THE Haunt event of the chain.

I'm actually beginning to wonder if 2019 will be a reverse of 2018, meaning that Haunt will get a ton of attention this year and WinterFest will have a couple of small things added. I have a feeling that we'll be getting at least one new show this season; "What the Dickens?" was notably missing from the extensive show list, so I wouldn't be surprised if we see it billed as a new show in 2019! I also want to see Safari Village lit up this season even if none of the rides are operating. The dark area beside Four Drummers Drumming was probably the saddest part of WinterFest last year. I would say that throwing up a ton of lights on the Volcano would work... but that's not an option anymore. Anyway, I also hope to see some new Midway Merriment characters! Yes, there were a ton last year, but the more the MERRY-er (pun intended)! What characters would you like to see added?

What was your favorite part of WinterFest last year? What would you like to see this season? Write your WinterFest wish list below! I (and Santa) will be watching!
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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Plus dancing and singing in freezing temps is no bueno.

I noticed as the season went on that there seemed to be a “Show B” for most outdoor shows on freezing or wet days where the cast only sang and walked, no dancing or intricate choreography.
 

Applesauce

未来の月
May 22, 2010
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Well that's all well and good for those shows, but I was also including the outdoor stage shows, like the one about the elf who has depression. It wasn't a wet night when I saw it, but it was definitely near freezing. Barely anyone in the theater sat through the whole show because it was just that cold. Just because it's in a stadium doesn't make it any better temperature Wise for those performers.
 
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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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Oh I agree. I wonder how feasible it would be to add plastic flaps and heat like BGW does at Il Teatro di San Marco. The Peanuts Showplace is a smaller theater so I'm sure it would be the possible if the park were willing to put down the money.
 
Apr 22, 2019
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I'd like to seem some different rides open. Not sure if that's feasible. Like how about opening Flight of Fear? That one is indoors so that's a plus. Or maybe open Backlot... after they've fixed the effects (but don't run the water jets during winterfest) so you can warm up at the MCBR!
 

b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
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I'd like to seem some different rides open. Not sure if that's feasible. Like how about opening Flight of Fear? That one is indoors so that's a plus. Or maybe open Backlot... after they've fixed the effects (but don't run the water jets during winterfest) so you can warm up at the MCBR!

It is stated by Premier that Backlot cannot operate in weather under 46 degrees. Also opening Flight of Fear would mean they'd have most of Safari accessible but closed to guests, which looks bad even during winter events like this.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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I would love to see the rest of Planet Snoopy open so Boo Blasters is added to the lineup, although it may not be heated either.
 
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Sep 25, 2016
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Yogi's Cave
After Winterfest I got one of those "tell us about your visit" email surveys, no idea if the written comments really get reviewed by KD but well I had my say anyway.

I said that Winterfest was a great event and that my suggested improvement was that instead of setting up their boundary at the entrance of Safari Village, to expand that a bit so that Outer Hanks and Hungry Hippo would be opened. I noted that EVERY restaurant had lines of customers flowing out the doors, and so many people were sitting outside in the cold eating their meals and all that time they had TWO restaurants right across from one another that have a LOT of heated indoor seating and yet they sat there dark every night.

Whether they have them open this coming year, well I guess we shall see...
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
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What a great wish list so far! I especially agree with trying to heat up the Peanut's Showplace!

I have another addition to my wishlist. So I don't know how many people remembered this, but I believe Gary Chadwick (back when he was GM) teased a Peanuts ice show similar to the one at California's Great America. I wonder if it was cut from the inaugural year due to time or space constraints. Either way, it would definitely be cool to see this come to KD in 2019, especially as a direct competitor to "Twas That Night" at BGW. My only concern is I have no idea where "It's Christmas, Snoopy!" could go in the park as I believe all of the venues are currently occupied with other shows.

https://www.cagreatamerica.com/play/winterfest/attractions/its-christmas-snoopy

Also, here's a link to the info about "What the Dickens?!," the show I referenced in my original post.

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/play/winterfest/attractions/what-the-dickens
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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The ice show was advertised as being part of the 2018 lineup back when Winterfest was first announced, so I assume that plan was scrapped and replaced with Charlie Brown’s Christmas Spectacular.

As far as “What the Dickens,” I think the Midway Merriment roaming characters were meant to serve as a replacement for that show, since many of those characters were including in the What the Dickens shows at other parks. Plus, KD lacks another stage venue to put on that production. Personally, I loved how the roaming characters added uniqueness and liveliness to the pathways, so I hope Midway Merriment stays on as a key part of Winterfest.
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
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Personally, I loved how the roaming characters added uniqueness and liveliness to the pathways, so I hope Midway Merriment stays on as a key part of Winterfest.

I spent a little bit of today writing up my views on everything WinterFest that I intend to put on the 2018 thread (similar to my insanely late Haunt review from a couple of days back), and I noticed Midway Merriment plays a huge role in why I love WinterFest so much. KD seriously did an amazing job with them. Like seriously, everything worked with them. I could go on and on and on about how each character brought something different to the table, even some of the more obscure ones like the French Trio (General Napoleon, Cookie Caramel, and Captain Macaroon) in Candy Cane Lane and the Belsnickels. Each time I interacted with them on various nights, they would say and do something different as their characters developed.

The makeup was the best I’ve ever seen compared to the other parks, also. If CF doesn’t use our characters for chain wide advertising purposes, that’ll be a giant missed opportunity on their part because our characters looked and acted worlds better than the ones currently used in the promotions (IMO).

As I say in my original post, I would actually argue for them to expand Midway Merriment if that’s even possible. The only struggle is I’m not sure what characters they can add. The only one that I can see working really well at the moment is if they add a male caroler to harmonize with Christmas Carol (and even then, what would his name be?). The park should also put another page in the WinterFest info booklets that is a checklist of characters to meet and where they could be hanging out. It could create another fun experience, especially for those repeat visitors, and it’ll help the more obscure characters get some more love!

As for that 2018 review, it’ll be a bit before I post it. It’s seriously going to be a giant post because I’m trying to talk about everything and I’m not even close to being done.
 
Mar 18, 2017
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It is stated by Premier that Backlot cannot operate in weather under 46 degrees. Also opening Flight of Fear would mean they'd have most of Safari accessible but closed to guests, which looks bad even during winter events like this.
Well it certainly has operated in colder temps. I hope this winter event business doesn't start making them think about stuff like that. "Also" yes depends on what they're ready to do with Safari area.

Even though FoF is indoors, it’s not heated. So it would still be susceptible to cooler temps.

I've experienced Verbolten being a false hope of warmth. But the FoF queue, at least, has A/C and I seem to recall once feeling some heat.
 
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b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
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Well it certainly has operated in colder temps. I hope this winter event business doesn't start making them think about stuff like that. "Also" -- yes depends on what they're ready to do with Safari area.

Unless they add weather friendly rides to replace Volcano none of the rides in the Safari area will be able to reliably operate in winter temps except for maybe the Crypt. KD will probably look at more Snoopy rides or some of the closed rides they had in Grove before they even think about touching Safari.
 
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