Last week the inaugural WinterFest at California's Great America kicked off and from all indications it was a great openining for what will hopefully become an amazing annual holiday event in the Bay Area.
Be sure to check out all of the amaznig pictures below and let us know what you think. Click here for more information on WinterFest 2016.
Written by Andrew Cunningham
California’s Great America rolled out their very first WinterFest event last week, and we happily showed up to experience this great seasonal addition to the park.
WinterFest includes a huge variety of holiday lights, some special activities that are exclusive to the event, and limited rides and attractions. Overall, there are nine uniquely themed areas throughout the park: Snowflake Lake, Celebration Plaza, Orleans Plaza, Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza, Crafter’s Corner, Planet Snoopy, Candy Cane Lane, Toyland, and Hometown Square.
When you enter the park, you immediately find yourself at Snowflake Lake. The park’s iconic front entrance has been converted into an ice skating rink, and the neighboring observation tower has taken on a new theme as The North Pole.
Immediately behind Snowflake Lake and The Carousel Columbia is the park’s enormous Christmas tree. The tree anchors Celebration Plaza and is one of the most popular photo spots of the event.
To fit the new holiday theme of Celebration Plaza, the nearby Gold Striker gift shop was rethemed into a Christmas shop, complete with some (awesome) unique park merchandise and holiday displays.
Moving on from Celebration Plaza, Orleans Square was completely covered with very colorful lights.
One thing worth mentioning: Flight Deck and Gold Striker are the only two major thrill rides operating at WinterFest, and both had very long queues. I hope that Patriot will be added to the lineup next year to help spread out the crowds :-)
Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza takes up the area in front of FireFall. This area was featured a variety of nostalgic Coke advertisements, a meet-and-greet with a Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and a ton of red and white lights.
Sitting just beyond the Coke Plaza is Crafter’s Corner, an area dedicated to local Bay Area merchants. There are a series of booths set up in front of Mass Effect, each selling uniques gift items. We took a look at some grilling spices, soaps that look and smell like desserts, and some funny drink coasters.
The park has a backstage corridor, Candy Cane Lane, setup to connect Crafter’s Corner to Toyland, since the back loop of the park is not open past Planet Snoopy. This was a fun little area with cool gingerbread displays.
Closing the loop back to the front of the park, Hometown Square was covered with more traditional Christmas decorations.
Underneath Patriot, the park had live Reindeer for guests to interact with. This seemed like a very popular attraction for the kids in attendance!
That just about does it for my trip around WinterFest at California’s Great America! Many thanks to the park for inviting us out to check out the event. The event is off to a great start and I definitely recommend checking it out!
Today we have our update from the always amazing "Knott's Merry Farm". This year the event is back and better than ever with a plethora of amazing shows, the always amazing food and of course everything else that makes Knott's Berry Farm one of the best theme parks in the country.
Unfortunately on the day we visited it was a bit rainy so we opted to not ruin the DSLR so these are all iPhone pics, but we will be back soon and will get more pictures and see more of the shows.
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to Knott's Merry Farm!!
The tree looks great in it's new location where the stage used to be.
It was my daughters boyfriends first visit to Knott's (yes, ever) so we had to have some fun with Sad Eye Joe, who was pretty surprised it was his first visit too.
Which obviously meant experiencing some of the classic Knott's attractions (shucks). ;)
Christmas on the Calico Railroad is always fun
Love the cold rainy weather
We also had to check out Santa, who was on a break the first time we stopped by. You can get lots of yummy snacks too that were left behind by those Red Barn folks. ;)
Brief interlude for a construction update
Ooooooh ... Aaaaaaah ... New Boardwalk BBQ coming in 2017.
No trip to Knott's Merry Farm is complete without seeing "Merry Christmas, Snoopy" ... On Ice.
Feel free to check out the slide show from this amazing performance. It gets better every year.
Unfortunately due to the rain "It's the Merriest Christmas Charlie Brown" wasn't showing that night. We'll be back soon to check it out.
Rain at Knott's means that pretty much every ride was shut down, but it was awesome just walking around and enjoying the park. Would have made for some nice DSLR pics if I wanted to get it wet. ;)
We checked out the caves in Camp Snoopy, I remember them being bigger. ;)
Back in Ghost Town, all the lights are on. (we sadly missed the snow too)
SANTA!! I KNOW HIM!!
Love the tree, it really fits in this spot.
Thanks to Knott's for having us out for Merry Farm, we will be back at some point over the next two weekends for more holiday fun, more shows, better pics, and obviously more food.
For more info on Knott's Merry Farm click here.