Begin a new family tradition this year with Worlds of Fun Winterfest in Kansas City, Missouri! Holiday cheer will surround you with millions of spectacular holiday lights, 10 world-class live festive shows, 25 rides, a 7-story Christmas tree, mouth-watering treats, ice-skating, a 300′ tree of lights, and the best part of it all – every night it snows, regardless of the temperature outside. Here are seven reasons to make Worlds of Fun WinterFest with kids a new holiday tradition.
Worlds of Fun has successfully expanded their open dates from being a one-season theme park (and a brief period around Halloween) destination to a new winter tradition for many families to experience. For the first time ever, for five weeks, Worlds of Fun is being transformed into a magical winter wonderland they’re calling WinterFest.
Here are my seven reasons for you to make plans to visit Winterfest at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City:
It Snows – Every Night!
I don’t know about where you live, but here in Kansas, it’s been nearly 60 degrees. Granted, we just had a cold snap and our high is 37 but next week, it’s back up into the mid-50’s. I’m over it. I want it so cold that I can’t feel my face! I want snowdrifts as high as my roof and I want to have to tiptoe across the parking lot watching out for black ice.
Ok, I’m pushing. But you catch my drift. At Winterfest, I finally got my snow! It was beautiful and everything that I remembered. And it was just cold enough at night that it made the nostalgia of it all erase the Grinch in me that was starting to appear. It’s not the kind that you would want to catch on your tongue (think: soap shavings and bubbles). But it makes for beautiful pictures and happy memories for your kids. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
Worlds of Fun WinterFest Christmas Tree Lighting
Every night at 5:30 p.m., you get to join Snoopy and the Worlds of Fun Holiday Singers kick off Winterfest with a Tree Lighting Ceremony. When I asked my boys what their most favorite part of Winterfest was, they both said the tree lighting. The seven-story tall tree is beautifully illuminated and decked out with more than 6,000 decorations! Each night, a family is chosen to flip the switch. Singers and dancers and your favorite Peanuts characters take the stage to help bring the magic alive. At the end of the lighting, snow begins to fall on the crowd. It’s definitely something you want to experience (especially considering it only happens ONCE a night).
There are fabulous holiday characters all throughout the park. We stumbled upon most of them just meandering around. Santa and Mrs. Claus are the only two who are in one certain spot at all times. St. Nick can be found in the Scandi Elf Village where you can step into Santa’s Workshop and see the elves work hard (and play harder). The elf-themed village is also where letters are specially postmarked for Santa’s review or where your child(ren) can speak to the man in red himself. Mrs. Claus is in her kitchen on Winterfest Way. What do you think Mrs. Claus makes in her kitchen? Cookies, of course! The only person who makes cookies better than grandma is Mrs. Claus!
For an additional charge, you can decorate GINORMOUS cookies (the size of your head) made especially by Mrs. Claus herself. If you’re a Peanuts fan (who isn’t?), you can find most of those guys over in Planet Snoopy. We even caught Linus sucking his thumb. Other characters like Jack Frost, Jingle Bell, Candy Cane, and the Sugar Plum Fairy are usually not too far away. Jack Frost even made it snow for us!
Lights and Sights
Our favorite part was wandering around at our own leisurely pace. If you’re expecting Worlds of Fun Winterfesthujyy to look like Worlds of Fun with some strands of lights strung throughout … you’re wrong. The amount of detail that the crew has put into making this a magical experience is something I can’t put into words or pictures. Every building and bridge and tree and sign has been transformed with a holiday feel. You will find yourself immersed in the holiday spirit with all of the lights, sights, sounds, smells, and activities. I’m not sure I can even begin to estimate how many strands of light we saw. Worlds of Fun staff members went above and beyond to make this first annual tradition a memorable one.
I’ll give you a couple of little tips under the ‘ride’ section of this post on our favorite lights experiences.
Oh, What Fun it is to RIDE
There are 25 rides open during Winterfest, including roller coasters like the Prowler and the Spinning Dragons. In addition, some other favorites include Le TaxiTour, the Worlds of Fun Railroad, Cyclone Sam’s, and nearly all of the rides in Planet Snoopy (aka: Charlie Brown Christmas Town). See a full list of rides here.
You can get into the park at 4:00 p.m. Head straight over to Charlie Brown Christmas Town and you’ll be able to walk on to most of the rides.
If you enjoy looking at lights, the WinterFest Express (the train ride) will take you on a tour through ‘Twas the Night Before Winterfest.
Le TaxiTour lets you drive and experience (or in our car, we sang) the 12 Days of Christmas.
If you’re a thrill seeker, make sure to look to your left once you get to the top of the first hill on the Prowler. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the magical winter wonderland and all of its twinkling lights.
Worlds of Fun WinterFest Shopping
‘Tis the season for shopping! Everywhere we turned there was a store that was just itching for me to go inside. So I scratched my itch.
Orient Lantern Fest held merchandise from all of my (and probable your) favorite holiday movie and TV classics. From A Christmas Story to Elf to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Nightmare Before Christmas, it was by far, my favorite store!
Coco-Cola Polar Bear Plaza had Coca-Cola themed EVERYTHING! From ornaments to Santa figurines, apparel, and more – with a guest appearance by the bear himself!
Peppermint Patty’s Christmas Candy – I’ll give you one guess what you can find here and double-dog dare you to walk past and not go in. Frosty Furnishing and The Mistletoe are two stores that I made my boys wait outside of. With high-end décor and beautiful home pieces, I was in heaven!
Scandi Elf Village allowed my children to create their very own plush character and stuff it – with a little extra help from some of Santa’s little friends. Artisan Alley holds a collection of Kansas City’s finest artisans and craft vendors. You can find just about anything, from famous KC BBQ sauce to homemade signs, and more!
Charlie Brown Christmas Town features a wide variety of gifts, apparel, and more featuring everyone’s favorite Peanuts characters!
Don’t forget to ask about FREE package pick-up at all the retail stores! HUGE bonus points for Winterfest including this!
Eats and Treats
Pretty sure this is also a favorite on everyone’s list. We treated our taste buds to a wide variety of flavors of Winterfest. From hot chocolate to warm your hands to mouth-watering monkey bread and holiday funnel cakes, it was all delicious. We made sure to enjoy every last bite of it all!
Don’t forget to purchase your bottomless mug of Hot Chocolate! For $10.99 you can refill your mug as many times as you’d like throughout the evening. Stop by the Cake Factory for some added whipped cream or Mom and Dad can detour over to Spike’s Cheery Concoctions and add a little spike to theirs (think: RumChata or some buttered rum).
There are still plenty of weeks left to enjoy Winterfest, so make a plan to visit now through December 30th. The park is open select dates from 5-10 p.m., but the parking lot opens at 3:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $25 (plus taxes and fees) per person if you purchase tickets online in advance or pay a bit more at the gate. An all-inclusive ticket is $45 (plus taxes and fees) online, which includes admission, parking, a single-meal deal, and a souvenir mug. Ugly Sweater Day is December 15th so wear your ugly sweater and admission is just $19.99 (a $15 savings off the front gate ticket)!
Remember that the Das Eishaus Ice Skating experience is $15 and available before and after the park hours.
Start planning for next year’s trip! Worlds of Fun WinterFest is so much fun, I am certain that you’ll want to make it an annual event!
About the Author
Amanda Topinka is a Kansas mom of two boys and wife to a man with ADD. A self-proclaimed “Disnerd,” she occasionally writes about Disney as a way of keeping the magic alive. She’s blog creator of The ProcrastinatingMommy where she often blogs about her wild brood of boys. She’s a boisterous traveler who strongly feels that no destination is ever too close to home in order to create lasting memories.
Amanda and her family have a serious case of wanderlust and enjoy scratching the travel itch as soon as it hits. She knows that spontaneous travel can be frustrating, miserable, crazy, and challenging – sometimes all on just one trip. But she wouldn’t trade the memories they make for anything.