From November 25, 2011 to January 2, 2012, a festival of lanterns called the Global Winter Wonderland is taking place from 4:00 to 10:00 pm each night in the parking lot of Great America.
Yes, you read that right – it’s not in Great America itself but in its parking lot. The amusement park is already closed for the winter. Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping to get into the park for a discounted price (the festival ticket prices are as follows: $12 for 13-61 year-olds, $10 for 5-13 and 62+ year olds, and free for toddlers. It would be very nice if these were the prices of tickets to Great America itself).
I paid a visit to the Global Winter Wonderland on Monday (December 26). I took a lot of photos, so I’ll give you a tour of the attractions offered.
It was just my luck that I came on a day when the festival was having some problems. I’m not sure exactly what was going on but they were unable to open the festival at 4:00 as planned. In the meantime, the line got really long.
Thankfully we did manage to get in without too long of a wait (though I guess it didn’t seem long to me because I was sitting in the car reading a book). My mom had suggested that we come before the sky got dark because then we’d be able to see what the place looked like before the lights went on and then after the lights went on. When we first entered the festival through its main entrance (pictured at the top of this post), the first things we saw were mostly those game booths that you would normally see inside a theme park. Perhaps Great America lent them to the Global Winter Wonderland?
There were also some rides, such as a slide:
There was also a jump house, if you brought your kids (I don’t know if adults would be allowed in. xD)
There was also one of those giveaway/raffle type things which I usually see in my town when we have little festivals.
And now for the grand tour. This is a Global Winter Wonderland for a reason; several of the world’s well-known tourist spots have been recreated at the festival. There may be a few more Chinese relics than those of any other country, though, because the people who put together the light displays were Chinese engineers. Can you tell what each place is?
Day and night before and after of Tiantan (from Beijing, China):
There were some statues, as well. Let’s take a closer look.
It’s pretty impressive what people can do with a little porcelain and patience.
And now onto the choices for food:
You can also go inside the Food Court in order to find more edible offerings.
In the food court, there was a performance happening on stage, though I’m not exactly sure what was happening because I only watched for a moment. I think it was something comedic, though.
A cooking show was also happening inside the food court.
There’s also a place where you can get balloon animals made for you, as well as stalls set up both inside the food court and outside where you can buy merchandise (lots of places selling hats, but also other things).
And that’s it for my trip to the Global Winter Wonderland. (: