Winterfest is back at Kings Island Amusement Park. As someone who grew up in the Cincinnati metro, I have fond memories of attending Winterfest in the 80’s as a kid. Winterfest had some pretty big shoes to fill with its return as I compared it to my memories filled with the childhood nostalgia of ice skating on the fountain, carriage rides, and holiday shows.
As we entered the park, I was excited to see that Kings Island built on the memories and made them even better. The Eiffel Tower was transformed into an illuminated Christmas Tree that shifted to beautiful colors and imagery. You can still ice skate on the fountain, there is music everywhere both by live performers and with holiday music filling the air. The themed lighted sections throughout the park are absolutely beautiful.
What to Expect
You can ride up to 17 rides during your visit, the most extreme one being Mystic Timbers wooden roller coaster, which is far more ride options than the Smurf Enchanted Voyage ride when I was a kid… but I really did love that Smurf ride!
There are lots of shopping options for holiday gifts located throughout the park including an artisan village with local vendors underneath the Eiffel Tower.
Ice Skating Tips
If you plan on ice skating during your visit, I suggest that you purchase your date and time slot online before you arrive because there is limited availability and the time slots can fill up fast. The ice skating voucher includes skate rental and your skate session. There is still a fee if you bring your own skates.
Winterfest has also created lots of areas that are perfect for taking photos together. The Winterfest Snowglobe near the Banshee roller coaster is definitely one of the most unique. Younger kids will enjoy meeting Santa and older kids will find several areas that are perfect for a selfie throughout the nine winter wonderlands.
The pictures with Santa are an additional fee if you purchase the photos from Kings Island, but you can bring your own camera and take your own pictures.
There is a small sledding hill and holiday shows that the whole family will enjoy. I suggest checking the times for all of the shows and ice carving demos when you arrive, to get the most value out of your visit.
Season Pass Holder Perks
As a season pass holder, I was very happy to discover that our All Season Dining Plan still worked at Winterfest. You are going to eat dinner anyway, either before you go, or while you are there. I’ve found that even if we did eat before a visit, my kids would instantly get hungry as soon as we would enter the park anyway. The All Season Dining Plan has several restaurants throughout the park to choose from with rebranded holiday-themed names. I suggest grabbing a flyer as you enter the park for all of your meal options and locations.
You can also use the 2017 Refillable Drink Cup at Winterfest as well for an even greater value.
WinterFest Souvenir Mug
For $10.99 you can get free hot chocolate in a souvenir mug on your first visit and $1 (tax included) refills when you visit again this season. The cost of a regular hot chocolate is around $4.50 which makes the souvenir mug a greater value if you plan on drinking hot chocolate more than once that night or returning again during the Winterfest season.
*You can use the mug for hot chocolate or coffee at participating locations but Starbucks is not a participating location.
You cannot bring items on Mystic Timbers so you will want to designate a hot chocolate holder. Hot chocolate is an extremely popular menu item so make sure that you allow for wait time in line if you getting a refill before attending a show.
Ways to Save on Winterfest Admission
- Purchase tickets online to save $10 for a ticket around $25
- Go with a Season Passholder on Sunday bring a Friend Days (Gold & Platinum Passholders may bring up to 4 friends to WinterFest on select Sundays for just $19.99 each)
- WinterFest All Inclusive Ticket Save Up to $34 (Includes Admission, Parking, a Single Meal Deal and a Souvenir Mug! $45
- Go as a Group- Get 15+ Tickets Each for Only $21 Buy a minimum of 15 tickets online and pay only $21 per ticket – a $14 savings off the price at the park!
Winterfest will take place select nights November 24- December 30th
I was really impressed with Winterfest and I think that guests will enjoy creating new holiday memories with their loved ones and season pass holders will find that its an added value to their season pass.
You can find additional information on the Kings Island website.
Disclosure: My family already owned season passes to Kings Island but we did receive souvenir hot chocolate cups for media night. All opinions are my own.