“Christmas is a Baby Shower that went totally overboard”
Since visiting WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland, I’ve been bombarded with the same question: “is it worth it?” Considering there are now TONS of free Christmas Markets & Holiday Pop-ups scattered throughout the city it’s totally a valid question. My answer? It’s one hundred percent SO worth it. Crowd management ALONE warrants a visit to WinterFest. Sure, it IS busy but Canada’s Wonderland has the space & expertise to accommodate larger crowds… unlike other markets **cough, cough** where you’re packed in like a bunch of hopped up holiday-crazed sardines with selfie sticks. Convinced yet? Here’s my five tips for visiting WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland!
5 Tips for Visiting WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland
1. Purchase Tickets Online
You can save up to $13/ticket when you purchase tickets for WinterFest online. Not to mention… it’s one less line that you have to wait in!
2. Arrive When the Park Opens
Enjoy WinterFest at leisure when the gates first open at 5pm on Fridays and 3pm on Saturdays/Sundays. Minimal crowds, zero lines & lots of Insta photo ops without having to body-swerve oblivious photo-bombers. Your first stop without a doubt needs to be Starbucks. The first place people rush to when the gates open is the hot chocolate stand, but Starbucks is empty! Grab your favourite holiday drink from Starbucks STAT. Once that sun goes down, the hot chocolate stands AND Starbucks are quite literally the busiest attractions at the park… it’s actual pure madness. I promise you, this is the most important tip I have for you today!!
3. Plan Your Night Beforehand
Map out your attraction strategy before you arrive. From pictures with Santa to carols to Christmas Markets there’s literally tons of festive live entertainment & activities. Go in with a strategy so that you can take full advantage of everything that WinerFest has to offer. ALSO – most performances aren’t in a theater –they’re scattered throughout the park- so make sure that you arrive 5 minutes early so you’ve got a spot up front!
A must-see? The Mistletones! These women are INCREDIBLE! They perform classic Christmas tunes with a vintage 50s vibe.
Andrei really liked the Mistletones.
Another must-see? The Four Drummers Drumming.
4. BYOS – Bring Your Own Skates
Skating on Snow Flake Lake is free ninety-nine if you bring your own skates! If you DO bring your own skates, make sure that you reserve a 30-minute skate slot when you first arrive at the park *** after visiting Starbucks of course 😉 *** space is limited! Bookings CAN be made online when you purchase park entry tickets; it’s a $10 fee, but this includes skate rental.
What time should you book for? Anytime after sunset! The lights are so so so BEAUTIFUL! If your booking happens to coincide with the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:30pm… even better! There’s a really amazing song-and-dance performance to celebrate the tree lighting each night, & it makes for the perfect backdrop to your skate.
5. Don’t Expect Thrill Rides
You’re going to be disappointed if you expect thrill rides… they’re not open. A majority of the park isn’t actually open. There ARE select family rides, but nothing of the coaster variety.
But here’s what you CAN expect: over 5 million lights, 200,000 Christmas decorations, sweet & savory holiday treats, 12 lives shows & performances, ice skating, Christmas Markets & SO MUCH MORE. Adjust your perspective, don’t go in with the expectation that you’re going to a theme park… instead, think of it as a magical Christmas Experience. We loved it so much, that it’s going to be our new Christmas tradition!
WinterFest even comes equip with it’s very own Christmas Market filled with exceptional artisans and craft vendors from the GTA!
Are you planning on going to WinterFest this year?