- December 26th, 2017, 1:22 pm
I have to say I was honestly impressed with the lights and decorations! Decorations (garland, etc other than lights) were much more than I expected. I thought the amount of lights was perfect. In fact, I'm not sure I would add more (more would end up being too much in my opinion??)
Even though I'm about to be a bit critical, I really do have a huge compliment about the entertainment. It was a wonderful and pleasant surprise. I couldn't believe the number of live musical acts scattered around the park. The offerings blew me away. Major credit for the music selections to be more than "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty." A great wide-variety of music selections totally unexpected!!!! Along those lines, I'm not trying to be negative, rather simply offering a few "suggestions" for making the entertainment better. I loved the live music at the nativity scene... very appropriate. But I wish the production had been a little more rich/lush... Instead of solos, I would have preferred more group or choral numbers with richer orchestration. I thought the solos were weak (not because of the voices themselves). A single/solo voice was having to fight and compete against crowd noise, roller coaster whirling, screams and general movement. Loved the idea but this is where I would focus on changes in the future. I would prefer a bigger production with orchestration, more voices and candlelights (think Disney Candlelight procession)... respectful of the real meaning of Christmas and make it the highlight of the entertainment offerings. LOVED the 40's singers in the gazebo (wish there had been a place to sit) and thought Harmony Hall radio show was the best. My only true disappointment was the complete waste of a show in the Carowinds Theater (forever Midway Music Hall to me). There should have been a full production show in that facility ... something beautiful... classic... with stunning lighting, costumes and sets. Snoopy could be done elsewhere. Oversized peanut heads really shouldn't have dialogue and can't carry a show in that venue. The lip-sync dancers drove me mad (I was sitting in the very back row where the lip sync issue shouldn't have been as harsh and bothersome). ((This was the moment when I'll show my age and yearn for the OLD Harmony Hall-- the original Winterfest Show in Harmony Hall was charming... the stage was a winter park setting with a gazebo, snow falling, and singers in Victorian costumes with no lip sync.))
Yes, there were VERY long lines at the rides that were open. With so few rides open, there really should be extra staffing to check seatbelts/lapbars to increase capacity! I'm OK without roller coasters at Winterfest. As others have pointed out, Winterfest magnifies the need for "family" rides -- the train and boat were missed. An indoor ride with a Christmas overlay is soooo needed.
But overall, again, I was very impressed and I left hopeful because I saw glimpses that Carowinds really can become a "theme" park once again.