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New Holiday in the Park Festival Captures the Magic of the Season at SFGA


29yrswithaGApass
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With opening day almost 9 months ago it feels strange for the park to be closed starting Monday since I have become so used to the park being open. At least the off-season is under 80 days this year although year round operations would be great.

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Saturday was busy, Sunday was so busy that Nitro had an hour wait at one point, Monday had a solid crowd despite a threat of rain and despite a rain threat and drizzle today's crowd was decent for a Wednesday. There's been rain or a threat of rain for the last 3 days... Personally I think besides yesterday crowds have been great considering the weather and honestly what did you expect yesterday?

New Year Day was dead. Year round operation, uh, unlikely with typical NJ weather but good anyhow.

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Was nice today. A bit chilly after sunset. Not busy at all. Got in all my favorites and then some. On the way home we reflected on the last few months. Summer fun followed by fright fest and then holiday in the park. We all thought they went by so fast. Glad they did HITP. Was nice to experience it and hope the next time is even better. No complaints. Weird that opening day isn't too far away from now. Can't wait to get back there again.

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It met my expectations and much more. I think it is one of the best things the park has ever done. I used to dread the end of of October and beginning of November knowing the park would be closed for around 5 months and that extra 2 months was nice and will help make the offseason much more tolerable with it less than 80 days.

 

The ride selection was great, especially having Nitro open and I never expected the park to be decorated with lights as nicely as it was. Polar Point was probably my favorite with the blue lights and icicle lights from the trees all over.

 

I hope it returns for the next season.

 

It was also nice to show the entire industry that a late fall/winter event can be successful with coasters. I know that other parks have tried it before like Hersheypark, Sesame Place, Storybook Land, Kennywood and Lake Compounce but up until this year there hasn't been a park in this part of the country that operated any outdoor coasters other than family or kiddie coasters and people were willing to ride major coasters like Nitro, Batman, Green Lantern and Superman even in near freezing or freezing temperatures.

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I read that it is coming back next year. it will be interesting to see if they decided change what coasters are open or open more. I can tell you this deff pushed Hershey to open some coasters this year and next year Hershey will have more (told to me by a number of Hershey employees that I spoke to when I visited

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HITP was great, and it should return for years to come. I think the path between the Batman Stunt Arena and the Chiller's entrance should be opened to allow guests to get to the Showcase Theater from Movietown instead of taking the long way around, and the park should make the dining pass be good for the whole season instead of the end of Fright Fest.

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Holiday in the Park was awesome and should definitely come back. The lights were all really cool, especially Polar Point and the carousel. Riding major coasters (especially Nitro) in the end of December was great, and the shows I saw were all good, especially for a park with basically none during the normal season.

 

Can't wait for the start of the new season!

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...the park should make the dining pass be good for the whole season instead of the end of Fright Fest.

 

The 2015 Dining Pass ended in November because Holiday in the Park wasn't planned for when they started selling those passes. The expiration date was always set for November. The expiration of 2016 Dining Passes from Great Adventure is in Jan. of 2017, so it will include Holiday in the Park next season.

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Holiday in The Park was great. I went the last day of the season as my only trip for the event. But I would love to see it come back and I think if it does hopefully it will be even better. Not saying it wasn't already good but I could definitely see some areas that could have used some improvements, but overall it was really cool.

 

I was expecting it to be more crowded, because I feel like whenever people went there was always relatively small crowds, especially for how nice the entire month of December was.

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A lot of the days I was there it was crowded but crowds were distributed differently than a regular day. The coasters seemed to have short lines especially early in the day and on all but the most crowded days still had reasonable waits later in the day.

 

The flat rides and kiddie rides had longer lines than normal with some of them having and needing overflow queues. The line for Santa also seemed to always have a very long line whenever I walked past it.

 

The 2nd weekend in December when it was 70, some rides like Sky Screamer had an hour wait.

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It was interesting watching HiTP from here in Orlando. I've been seeing the "enthusiast" side of things on here as well as seeing friends of mine in the area who are passholders and go a few times a year but they aren't the kind who are there all the time. The families all seemed to love it, and visited once but want to go back again next year. The enthusiasts were all counting how many more rides they could get on the coasters. Hopefully it was successful for the park financially, because that will make all the difference. When they did Winter Lights, they got big crowds and it seemed popular, but the park claimed they lost money and discontinued the event.

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I was looking at the posted operating calendar some more. This year there are no closed weekends in between Fright Fest and HITP. They are open from 11 - 8 on both Saturday and Sunday of the 2 weekends in November after Fright Fest. They are also open on the last Friday in September for Fright Fest. Next season is also going to have 180 operating days which I think has to be a record?

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^ Nice find! This is the first piece of proof that HITP is returning for 2016!

 

It also means that the park will only be closed for 11 weekends this entire year and we will only have to go through February without any park visists. Outside of the non-seasonal parks, I believe Great Adventure is the closest thing you can get to being year round!

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The park was lucky that the first year for its Christmas event was mild, they just missed a sub freezing day. If there was a operating day that was sub freezing all day, would the coasters still run in such cold temps?

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Lol where have you been?

 

The general rule is 40 degrees to start a B&M, they can run until 36 degrees once they get going. Cedar Fair and Dollywood follow these rules generally. Six Flags Great Adventure is awesome and they don't concern themselves with that kind of crap. Nitro was running when it was 29 degrees last week. It's been below freezing multiple times over the last few months late at night and at no point did they ever close a coaster due to low temps during this event.

 

This park doesn't care about weather.. at all. And to be fair despite a few close calls on Nitro on some windier afternoons (where they were only loading the first 4 rows to try to keep it from stalling and it almost valleyed a few times) the coasters have all been running very well. Once they run for awhile temperature doesn't seem to be a problem.

Edited by Coasterbill
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