WinterFest, the brand new holiday event at California’s Great America, is just around the corner. With the new information on the event that we received, we thought we would take this opportunity to outline the details of the event, give our thoughts, and gear everyone up for California’s newest holiday event!
It is important to note that this is a much smaller event than Halloween Haunt, and does not seem to include the entirety of the park. It seems as though WinterFest with span from the entrance plaza, down through Orleans Place, and finally extending to Planet Snoopy. As a result, a select few rides will be open during WinterFest. Out of the 20 rides that will run, Gold Striker and Flight Deck are the real standouts and we certainty can’t for some night rides on these. The Carousal Colombia, Delirium, and Star Tower (the North Pole) will also be open, as well as the entirety of Planet Snoopy’s collection. The selectivity of the rides that will run really seems to put emphasis on the holiday theme and create an entirely new and enchanting experience for guests to experience.
“WinterFest will be one of Northern California’s most spectacular winter events, delivering a unique experience where friends and families can create memories and traditions during the holiday season,” says Great America’s Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg, and he’s not kidding. Looming over the park will be one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights with giant Toy Soldiers greeting guests. The event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, which the park claims is enough to be scene from the International Space Station. 7 million by the way, is a huge number. In contrast, much larger parks such as Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Over Georgia have only one million lights.
WinterFest will also include an assortment of themed areas including the whimsical Candy Cane Lane, Hometown Square, the holiday themed Planet Snoopy, and Toy Land. Candy Cane Lane is a portion of the service road near Patriot that has been opened for guests, now lined with massive 20 ft tall Candy Canes. Hometown Square seems to be the entrance plaza area, and will have snow fall. Planet Snoopy will boast Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree, and Toy Land will of course be decorated with over sized toys along with giant toy soldiers brought to life by actors.
(current state of Candy Cane Lane)
The things that excite us most about this event are the special attractions and experiences that will be offered, as it really is quite a unique lineup. The reflection pool in front of the Carousel Colombia will be converted to an ice skating rink for guests to enjoy, setting the tone right from the entrance of the park. I must admit, I’m not much an Ice Skater, but I can’t wait to give it another try in such a cool setting. Kids will be able to enjoy decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, taking a picture with Santa, writing holiday letters to family members and petting reindeer. The petting reindeer in particular should be a big hit with the kids, and it’s certainly not something you get to do everyday.
Live shows will include a nightly tree lighting, carolers throughout the park, “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” ice show and more. In addition holiday crafters will design unique creations and guests will interact with the countless holiday characters, including Jack Frost, Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy. We are especially looking forward to the Snoopy Ice show, it will be nice to see an ice show return to the park.
Lastly, Food specialties will include eggnog funnel cakes, peppermint churros, a turkey dinner sandwich, all-you-can-drink hot chocolate and many more traditional holiday favorites. The park will also host Pavilion Holiday Buffet for $16.49 (plus tax) that includes roast turkey with festive dressing, baked ham, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, vegetarian baked pasta, tossed salad, dessert squares, Christmas cookies and fountain drinks from From December 17-23, from 5pm-7pm.
We are very much looking forward to WinterFest, it seems that the park, and on a larger scale the Cedar Fair chain, have put the appropriate amount of thought and money into this event to make it a staple of the Bay Area holiday scene for years to come.
Thanks very much for reading, make sure to check out our most recent Patriot update here, as well as our latest entry in the Top 50 here! Make sure to leave your thoughts on WinterFest below, and take care.