The Bay Area’s favorite holiday tradition, WinterFest at California’s Great America, opened for the 2018 holiday season on Friday, November 23 and will welcome guests on select nights through December 31. The six-week celebration will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with daily operations December 19–23 and 26–31.
During WinterFest, Great America is completely transformed into a winter wonderland where guests can ice skate in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admire stunning displays of lights and décor throughout the entire park, watch festive live holiday shows, experience more than 60 rides and attractions, and enjoy scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations.
New for 2018, the entire park will be open and decorated for WinterFest, including two new themed areas and millions more lights than ever before. Five additional rides have been included in the WinterFest lineup, including the West Coast’s first single-rail steel coaster, RailBlazer. Barney Oldfield Speedway, Great America’s classic antique car ride, will be reimagined during WinterFest as “Twelve Days of Christmas,” allowing drivers to wind their way through fanciful light displays depicting all 12 scenes of the beloved carol.
Additional new experiences include cozy and serene horse and carriage rides through the midway, allowing guests a touch of nostalgia as they enjoy the park, and high-end “igloo” rentals in an exclusive VIP area. Igloo rentals include concierge services, such as food and beverage delivery, reserved seating at WinterFest live shows, hot chocolate and cookies, and complimentary ice skating or carriage ride sessions.
For the first time, WinterFest will be open for New Year’s Eve, offering families a new way to ring in the new year in a family-friendly environment. The celebration will include a fireworks show, live bands and DJs throughout the park and will culminate in a special midnight countdown.
“Great America really gets into the holiday spirit with WinterFest,” said Manny Gonzalez, vice president and general manager of California’s Great America. “With the park completely transformed into a winter wonderland, we can’t wait for guests to come enjoy this great event and make unforgettable holiday memories here all season.”
During the holiday season, 11 uniquely decorated areas will guide guests through WinterFest where they can gaze at 20-foot-tall candy canes in Candy Cane Lane, marvel at a larger-than-life gingerbread house in Gingerbread Village and enjoy the warm glow of soft white lights in Hometown Square. Among nine live shows are a nightly tree lighting of a 65-foot-tall Christmas tree, a roving cable car of jolly carolers, the fan favorite “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” ice skating show and more. More than 20 holiday crafters will showcase their talents in an artisan village with handmade holiday gifts for sale.
Specialty holiday sweets and treats will be served throughout WinterFest, including smoked turkey legs, gourmet hot chocolate, frosted churros and more.
Single day tickets are available online for as low as $26, and admission to WinterFest is included with a 2018 or 2019 Gold Pass, Platinum Pass or Pre-K Pass. 2019 Gold Season Passes are currently available online and include unlimited visits to California’s Great America and Gilroy Gardens, admission to Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, free season-long Great America parking, early entry into Boomerang Bay water park, discounts on select meals and merchandise and bring-a-friend discount offers.
About California’s Great America and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and water park located in Santa Clara, Calif. As Northern California’s premier amusement park, featuring thrill rides, live entertainment, and the Boomerang Bay water park, California’s Great America is the top destination for thrill-seekers and families alike. California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and four hotels. For more information, see www.cedarfair.com
On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide, I-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!