I arrived at the park at around 2:30pm. The gates opened about 10-15 minutes later.
I love the extra booklet available in addition to the map that includes all of the activities and showtimes for Winterfest.
My first stop was Backlot Cafe as I was craving that bison burger that they had announced would be coming back for Winterfest. I believe it was removed from the menu here a year or so ago. It’s one of my favourite food items the park has ever offered.
After eating, I took a quick walk around the park (minus the kids areas that I saved for later in the evening) just to get a feel of how everything looked. It was a bit sad to see Shockwave all wrapped up as I was hoping it could have been a last minute ride addition if they needed it. But it was also cool to have a peek at how they prepare rides for their winter sleep. One of the gondolas was actually missing.
They built an enclosure around the King’s Feast patio. I didn’t take a look inside but it’s nice to have that option for warming up in future visits.
At this point, I started checking out some of the shows. If you’re planning on doing Winterfest on days where it begins at 3pm, come early and use that time to check out the shows as you’ll have the best view then with the lighter crowds.
The Mistletones near Klockwerks were great!
The next show I saw was Jingle Jazz which were an acapella group. They’re situated next to the Merry Mountainside Cafe so it’s a good place to pick up a sweet treat and take in a show.
The last show that I watched around this time was the Four Drummers Drumming which use the covering for the Wonder Mountain’s Guardian lockers as a stage. It’s such a fun and charming show!
After seeing some of the shows, I headed back to International Street to check out the stores for merch I’d like to pick up while waiting for the tree lighting ceremony.
My head all day: 🎶FeLiZ nAvIdAd🎶
I love the tree lighting ceremony so much. So simple, but it made me smile at how EVERYONE was into it… That packed plaza with people counting down, cheering, and dancing along – I don't think I've seen anything quite like that at CW. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/udHA5grJ6p
— Matt (@CoasterCircuits) November 25, 2019
I absolutely love seeing the dense crowd in the plaza getting hyped up for the tree lighting ceremony! It’s definitely something I must be there for every time I go to Winterfest.
After the tree lighting ceremony, I made my way toward the kids areas which have a lot of lights and decorations. It took some time to get into it because Candy Cane Lane is the only way in and out of the kids areas so there were streams of people trying to make their way through.
I love Candy Cane Lane though so it’s not necessarily a bad thing that we move so slowly through that area. It’s a nice path to admire!
After checking out the kids areas, I made my way back toward Medieval Faire. I totally forgot the Polar Party was a thing.
When it was first listed on the website, it had the same description as other parks, essentially a dance party style show with a DJ. I was a bit disappointed when it was changed. It’s just a silent disco…
I caught the end of the Cool Yule Christmas show. What I saw was really good so I definitely need to see the full show next time!
At that point, I met up with Tyler and we took a ride on Viking’s Rage.
After a meal at Marketplace, we saw some of the What the Dickens?! show outside of Canterbury Theatre. It’s a relaxed version of A Christmas Carol with a ton of one-liners. Another show I need to see in its entirety next time!
I nearly forgot about checking out the area in Tinsel Town underneath Vortex’s lift and drop in the dark as I had passed through it earlier in the day when it was still bright out… It’s not listed on the map or anything but it’s essentially Wonderland’s version of the Osborne Lights. It has a few small shack houses along the way that are all decked out from top to bottom in lights. Everything along the path from trees to fences to benches to a trash can are covered in lights as well. It was a surprise and definitely something you gotta see!
It was time to head out. I don’t really know how to skate but throw me on the ice and I’ll figure it out again. I’m inching toward taking a skate on Snow Flake Lake at some point.
After buying a ceramic mug in the very busy Mistletoe store (the CW Store), it was time to say goodbye and goodnight to my first ever Winterfest experience. It was incredible and exceeded already rather high expectations set by what I’ve seen online of other parks. The park feels completely different and there’s just so much to see and do. There are multiple shows that I didn’t get a chance to see, and I took less rides than I had expected I would have going in. I didn’t even have a chance to buy any dessert! The night goes by so quickly! I can’t wait to get back to Winterfest at Canada’s Wonderland again next weekend!
I had the bison burger from Backlot Cafe. It was as delicious as I remember!
My second meal was the baked salmon from Marketplace. It was a very delicious meal with each part of the meal cooked perfectly. I do wish the piece of salmon was bigger (like it was at Brew & BBQ) but I know that’s probably asking for too much.
Marketplace was probably the only negative experience of the evening… They were locking people out as they waited for seating to open up inside. The biggest issues I had with that was that this wasn’t communicated at all to the people waiting outside, and it bars people from getting food at all, even if they would consider standing and eating it inside or take it outside to a heater nearby. I hope this gets fine-tuned very soon because the food in there is great!