What You Need to Know About Kings Island Winterfest (2023)

There is a lot to look forward to for Kings Island Winterfest 2023!

If you grew up in the Cincinnati metro, you probably have fond memories of attending Kings Island Winterfest in the ’80s as a kid.

Those memories include holiday activities like ice skating on the royal fountain, carriage rides, and holiday shows with live entertainment.

Kings Island Winterfest will bring back the nostalgia and continue to build on making new memories each year. Guests will experience more than seven million lights and 12 enchanting winter wonderlands!

Winterfest at Kings Island

When Does Kings Island Winterfest Start?

Kings Island Winterfest 2023 starts on Friday, November 24 from 5-10 PM.

WinterFest at Kings Island

When is WinterFest at Kings Island Amusement Park 2023?

Select Nights, November 24 – December 31, 2023

Holiday Lights at Kings Island Winterfest

Kings Island WinterFest Dates and Kings Island WinterFest hours in 2023 are the following:

  • Friday, November 24(5-10PM)
  • Saturday and Sunday, November 25, and 26 ( 4-10PM)
  • Friday, December 1 (5-10PM)
  • Saturday and Sunday, December 2- 3 (4-10 PM)
  • Friday, December 8 (5-10 PM)
  • Saturday and Sunday December 9-10 (4-10PM)
  • Friday, December 15 (5-10 PM)
  • Saturday and Sunday December 16-17 (4-10PM)
  • Monday- Friday, December 18-22 (5-10PM)
  • Saturday, December 23 ( 4-10PM)
  • Tuesday- Friday, December 26-29 (5-10PM)
  • Saturday, December 30 (4PM- 10PM)
  • Sunday, December 31 New Year’s Eve (4PM-12AM) NYE rides are available until 10PM. From 9:30-10:30 PM The Children’s balloon drop for the NYE countdown in the Festhaus with Tinker cast. Snoopy Rockin Countdown 10PM-12AM at the International Street band stage with the Eiffel Tower countdown and fireworks at midnight. *Fireworks will only be on NYE at Winterfest this year.

The parking tolls will open approximately 30-45 minutes before when the park opens.

Admission turnstiles open approximately 15 minutes before park opening time.

*There are no early ride times.

Purchase Discounted Tickets for Kings Island Winterfest Here

When is the Best Time to Visit Kings Island Winterfest?

The best time to visit Kings Island Winterfest is midweek before Christmas for lighter crowds. Weekends have higher crowds and after Christmas midweek will have more in attendance too.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Visit to Kings Island With a WinterFest Bucket List 4 copy

What’s New For Kings Island Winterfest in 2023?

There are lots of new additions to Kings Island Winterfest for guests to enjoy in 2023.

More Lights This Year

The park will add two million LED lights to WinterFest this season, bringing the total count to more than seven million holiday lights. This includes additional theming in Rivertown Wonderland and previously undecorated trees and spaces throughout the park.

Two New WinterFest Rides To Enjoy

This year our new rides, Cargo Loco and Sol Spin will be included in the WinterFest rides line-up.  That means that the park will have more than 20 rides operating each evening.

The Holly Jolly Trolley

Located near Kings Mills Antique Autos, guests will be able to tour Tinsel Town and Coney Elf Mall aboard the Holly Jolly Trolley in 2023.

A New Location for Songs of the Nativity

Previously known as Sounds of the Nativity, the popular show will now be located near the entrance of Boo Blasters in Planet Snoopy.  Its previous location is under construction as we prepare to open Camp Snoopy in 2024. The show also will feature a new stage set.

WinterFest Wonderland Parade Slight Route Change

The parade will essentially follow the same route but will first go down the south (Sweet Spot) side of International Street before circling around to the north (Starbucks) side of the street.

Re-Themed Adventure Port Restaurants

Adventure Port officially be the park’s 12th winter wonderland.  In addition to the new rides, Adventure Port’s restaurants have been re-themed for holidays.

New Location for Jack Frost’s Liquid Libations

This popular stop was previously located in Oktoberfest but has moved to a new location in Action Zone.

*Subject to change without notice. 

tree at winterfest kings island

Arrive Early to Attend the Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Kings Island Winterfest Tree lighting ceremony starts at 5:30 PM each evening at the International Street Bandstand Stage.

The Eiffel Tower is transformed into an illuminated, tall Christmas Tree. The holiday lights on the Eiffel Tower shifted through beautiful colors and imagery.

Make sure that you allow plenty of time for parking and entry into the park so that you don’t miss it.

Winterfest wonderland Parade at Kings Island

Don’t Miss the WinterFest Wonderland Parade!

The WinterFest Wonderland Parade takes place at 8:30 PM every night and is fun for all ages!

It has dancing, singing, decorated floats that light up, and even features Santa Claus and his reindeer.

Santa Claus at Winterfest

International Street is a popular area to watch the parade which lasts around 20 minutes.

I would recommend arriving about 10-15 minutes early to get your desired spot in the crowd along the parade route.

live show at Festhaus at Kings Island WinterFest

Live Shows at Kings Island Winterfest

There are 10 live shows for guests to enjoy this year with show times every hour or half hour during Winterfest.

Make sure that you download the Kings Island app so that you can plan your visit around the shows that you want to see.

Four Drummers Drumming Winterfest  at Kings Island

Winterfest Holiday Music

These are the live shows at Winterfest and their locations. Check the Kings Island app for show times.

  • Swingin’ Into Christmas – Tannenbaumhaus
  • The MistleTones – Tinsel Town
  • Songs of the Nativity – Charlie Brown’s Christmas Town
  • Holly Holiday’s String-a-long- Enrique’s Christmas Cafe Patio
  • Merri Merriment Midways – Throughout the Park
Tinker's Toy Factory at Kings Island  Winterfest

Family Shows at Winterfest

  • Tinker’s Toy Factory – Kings Island Theater
  • A Peanuts Guide to Christmas – PEANUTS Showcase
  • Cool Yule Christmas – International Street Bandstand Stage
  • Bah Humbug… What the Dickens? – PEANUTS Showcase
  • Ice Carvers- Action Ice Zone
  • Coca-Cola Polar Party – Coca-Cola Polar Plaza
  • Reindeer Roundup – Rivertown Wonderland Midway
Kids Guide to Kings Island WinterFest

What Rides Are Open at Kings Island Winterfest?

The following rides are open during Kings Island Winterfest:

passengers on the train at Winterfest

Family Rides

  • Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
  • Dodgem
  • Grand Carousel
  • K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad
  • Kings Mills Antique Autos
  • Scrambler
  • Shake, Rattle & Roll
  • Zephyr
  • Cargo Loco
  • Sol Spin
rides for kids at Winterfest

Kids Rids

  • Character Carousel
  • Charlie Brown’s Wind Up
  • Joe Cool’s Dodgem School
  • Linus’ Launcher
  • PEANUTS 500
  • Sally’s Sea Plane
  • Snoopy vs. Red Baron
  • Snoopy’s Space Buggies
  • Woodstock Gliders
Mystic Timbers Winterfest

Roller Coasters

  • Flight of Fear
  • Mystic Timbers
  • The Great Pumpkin Coaster (roller coaster for kids)

*Ride operations are subject to change due to weather conditions

*Fast Lane passes are not valid or sold during Kings Island Winterfest.

Kings Island WinterFest in Cincinnati

Holiday Shopping at Kings Island Winterfest

There are lots of shopping options for holiday gifts located throughout the park including shops on both sides of International Street.

Artisan Village Kings Island Winterfest

You can shop at the following stores during Winterfest:

  • Candy Cane Cafe
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop
  • Christmas Collections
  • Trim-A-Tree
  • PEANUTS Holiday Gifts
  • KI Collections
  • North Pole Merchantile
  • Custom Christmas Creations
  • Sugar Plum Sweets
  • Artisan Village Crafters
  • Antique Photo

Make sure that you check out the artisan village with local vendors located underneath the Eiffel Tower.

North Pole Post Office at Kings Island WinterFest

Experiences and Activities at Kings Island Winterfest

  • Snow Flake Lake Ice Skating
  • International Restaurant Winter Buffet
  • North Pole Post Office
  • Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen
  • Jack Frost Igloo Village
  • Snow Works
  • Ice Carvers
  • Holiday Games
  • St. Nick’s Pics
  • Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree Lot
  • Sally’s Christmas Crafts
  • Artisan Village

*An additional fee is required for some of the activities.

ice skating at Winterfest Kings Island

Tips for Ice Skating at Kings Island Winterfest

If you plan on ice skating during your visit, I suggest that you purchase your date and time slot online before you arrive.

There is limited availability and the time slots can fill up fast and sell out.

Save time and fill out your required waiver online before you go.

Ice skating at Kings Island WinterFest

The ice skating voucher includes a skate rental and your skate session. The price is $20/per person online and your session needs to be purchased in advance because they do sell out.

Everyone on the ice skating rink must have a ticket regardless of age.

There is still a fee if you bring your own skates.

Snow Flake Lake Ice Skating Session Times For Kings Island Winterfest:

  • 5-6:30pm
  • 7-8:30pm
  • 9-10:30pm

A supervising companion (age 14+) must accompany all guests under the age of 10.

Snow Angel photo area at WinterFest

Photo Opps at Winterfest

Winterfest has also created lots of areas that are the perfect spot for taking photos together.

Kings Island WinterFest Snow Globe e1574810422741

The Winterfest Snowglobe near the Banshee roller coaster is definitely one of the most unique.

Kings Island WinterFest Bucket List

Kings Island WinterFest Bucket List

Use the WinterFest Bucket List to cross everything off your list.

Younger kids will enjoy meeting Santa Claus (and maybe even Mrs. Claus!) 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. You can bring your own camera and take your own pictures.

tubing at King Island WinterFest

Holiday-Themed Activities at Winterfest

There is a small sledding hill and live shows that the whole family will enjoy. The sledding hill is for guests 42″ or taller. Single tube riders only.

Check the times for all of the shows and ice carving demos when you arrive. That information will help you get the most value out of your visit.

Jack Frost’s luxury Igloos Winterfest Kings Island

Kings Island Winterfest Igloo Rentals

Jack Frost’s Igloo Village is a nice area to relax and a private space at Winterfest.

The Kings Island Winterfest igloo rental includes the following:

  • The igloo can hold up to 8 people
  • 4 hot chocolate mugs
  • VIP seating at select shows
  • Priority access to ice skating and cookie decorating.

*Priority access is given upon purchase of additional experiences)

Kings Island Winterfest Igloo rentals are available to purchase online and do not include Winterfest admission.

*The Winterfest igloo rentals are very popular and can sell out.

Coney Bar B Que at Kings Island

Kings Island Season Pass Holder All-Season Dining Perks

With Kings Island season passes, you receive free parking and unlimited visits throughout the year plus the All Season Dining Plan works at Winterfest too.

You are going to eat dinner anyway, either before you go, or while you are there.

When we did eat before a visit, my kids would get hungry as soon as entered the park anyway.

The All Season Dining Plan has several restaurants throughout the park to choose from. My personal favorite restaurant is the Coney Bar-B-Que.

I suggest grabbing a flyer as you enter the park for all of your meal options and locations.

Holiday Lights at Kings Island Winterfest

Where to Eat And Drink at Kings Island Winterfest

You can find food, drinks, and treats during Winterfest at the following locations:

  • Sugar’s Cake Factory
  • Cafe du Pere Noel
  • Blitzen’s Hot Beverage Bar
  • Cinnabon
  • Prancer’s Pizza
  • Grain and Grill Scrooge’s Sausage Haus
  • Starbucks
  • Wishbone Grill
  • Auntie Annie’s
  • Tannebaumhaus Panda Express
  • Dasher’s Diner
  • Jack Frost’s Liquid Libations
  • Enrique’s Cozy Cantina
  • Enrique’s Christmas Cafe
  • Smokehouse Christmas
  • Skyline Chili
  • Candy Cane Concoctions
  • Tinsel Town Diner
  • Pipers Piping Pizza
  • Claus Confectionary
  • Old Saint Nick’s Potato Factory
  • Blitzen’s Brewhouse
  • Yuletide Tavern
  • Ghost of Restaurant Past
  • Tiny Tots Hot Chocolate
  • Tom+Chee
  • Toy Town Treats
Kings Island Winterfest hot chocolate souvenir cup e1669666167510
Winterfest Souvenir Mug image is from 2022

2023 WinterFest Souvenir Mug

The Winterfest Hot chocolate souvenir mug is $13.99 + tax with unlimited refills on your first visit. It’s only $2 per refill on future visits in 2023.

Hot chocolate is an extremely popular menu item. Make sure that you allow extra wait time if you are getting a refill before attending a show.

There are no season pass discounts and you can purchase your Winterfest souvenir mug online or at the park.

FYI: You can’t bring items on the Mystic Timbers ride so you will want to designate a hot chocolate holder.

International Street at Kings Island WinterFest

Ways to Save on Kings Island Winterfest Tickets

There are several ways that you can save on your visit to Kings Island Winterfest.

Purchase Discounted Tickets to Kings Island Winterfest

You can find the lowest price for General Admission tickets to Kings Island Winterfest below.

Go with a Season Passholder with a Winterfest Bring-a-Friend Admission

Gold & Platinum Passholders may purchase up to 6 friends tickets with the WinterFest Bring-A-Friend discount. Prices start at $24.99 per person online only and guests can save up to $20 off the gate price.

*Bring a Friend Admission tickets are not valid for Saturdays and are not sold at the front gate.

Go to Kings Island Winterfest as a Group

Groups of 15- 99 can purchase tickets for $23.99 + taxes & applicable fees on single-night admission when you buy a minimum of 15 tickets online.

Planet Snoopy at WinterFest

Winterfest guests will enjoy creating new holiday memories with their loved ones. Season pass holders will find that it’s an added value to their season pass.

people walking around at Kings Island Winterfest

More Information on King Island Winterfest

You can find additional information on the Kings Island website.

entrance to Kings Island Winterfest

Where is Kings Island Winterfest Located?

Kings Island is located at 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH.

What You Need to Know About Winterfest at Kings Island

I’m a Kings Island Ambassador which means that I share my love for the park and enjoy perks and behind-the-scenes access.


Enter Kings Island Winterfest Ticket Giveaway

I’m giving away 4 tickets to Kings Island Winterfest plus a parking pass! (Multiple Winners)

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Additional Kings Island Articles


57 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Kings Island Winterfest (2023)”

  1. I’d like to win because I (shockingly) have never been to king’s island and I’ve lived here for over 18 years.

  2. I would love to take my kids to see the lights . We didn’t get season passes this year but hope to get them for the 2024 season as a Christmas present 🙂 we love the lights at winterfest!!

  3. We didn’t renew our passes this year, so we haven’t had a chance to get up there! Would love to win and go before NYE!!! How fun

  4. I would love to get these to take the kids. We haven’t been in a couple of years and they loved it last time.

  5. Hey I am commenting in hopes to win this for myself and 3 older children. Times are tuff this would be a great memory made over Holiday break that would last a lifetime. My oldest are 8, 10 and 11 and have not been to a coaster park in years since they were toddlers and we have yet to go to a holiday lights event this season. So here’s to takin’ a chance. ????

  6. I would love to win these because this has been the Christmas of experience gifts. We aren’t doing as many physical presents so this would fit perfectly for my boyfriend and his two daughters and I.

  7. I’ve never been to Winterfest! Thank you for the opportunity to win tickets! I hope you have a great holiday, Nedra!

  8. Hi my name Joseph my wife and my 16 year old are looking for new attractions every year and I happen to pop up kind Island winter fest were looking forward to go we have to plan it for were from buffalo ny so we need a place to stay if not this year we will plan it fir next year with all my kids

  9. Would you be able to tell me what all is included in the 15+ group tickets this year and how much the hot chocolate mugs are? I hate to be a pain but until I found this thread I was having extreme difficulty finding answers! Lol

  10. Any ticket that includes parking, includes parking for the entire vehicle even if the other members of the party do not have parking on their Tickets.

  11. If we have four people in our group (2 adults, 2 kids) do we all need to buy an all inclusive pass or can I purchase for one adult, get one mug for us share and cover parking and than get the rest a plain one day ticket to save on cost? Didn’t know how that worked with parking and all being in the same car.

  12. The 2018 Hot Chocolate Mugs will be available for sale at WinterFest. The 2017 Mugs will not be refillable.

  13. Thanks so much for checking for me! We are headed there this weekend. My husband and I used to go before when they were open and we are hoping it’s just as fun this time!

  14. Hi Marcy- Great question! I talked to Kings Island and you can use the mug for hot chocolate or coffee at participating locations but Starbucks is not a participating location.

  15. thanks for the input,,, we r going to get teh winterfest cho mug for 10 .99,,, we are going to Carolwinds in Charlotte tomorrow

  16. Holiday Shows, North Pole Post Office, and rides are included with your admission. You can still use your 2017 Season Pass Dining Plan for meals. Skating is an additional fee and so is Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen.

  17. How many of these things listed were free and what did you have to pay to do? I know you have to pay for ice skating but wasn’t sure about everything else.

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