Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Holiday in the Park 2017
I have never been to a theme park’s winter extravaganza, and Southern California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Holiday in the Park was a fantastic introduction. I sat on a bench, a chill in the air and hot chocolate warming my hands, marveling at the spectacle of colorful blinking lights adorning the trees. It was enough to make me feel like a little kid and believe in magic again.
Starting at 5p in the DC Rockin’ Universe and nearby Gleampunk District, the lights dance to life to a rousing holiday soundtrack. A gigantic Christmas tree stands in between the areas, and an animated projection plays on the side of the Kwerkmas stage showing the inner workings of candy and toy factories. With tens of thousands of lights, it’s truly a sight to behold.
In several areas around the park, snow falls from the sky, icicles hang from above and the trees are lit up like candy canes. Those wishing to take a photo with Santa, or listen to stories read by Mrs. Claus and her elves, can head over to the Winter Wonderland area of the park, past the “ice” sculptures lining the path and head into Santa’s Workshop. There are many other photo ops around the park, including several sleighs to ride (one with a team of reindeer), giant tree ornaments, clockwork snowmen, and huge wrapped gifts. Also, a nice touch: Several non-Christmas decorations were on display, such as a steampunk menorah and large dreidel.
There are many opportunities to sit with a warm beverage and be entertained. Traveling troupes work their way around the park, including an a capella Christmas choir which puts a fun spin on the classics, toy stilt walkers who pose for photos, a formation of wooden toy soldiers (I sadly missed their performance), and punk ice fairies. In the Snowy Nights plaza, you can find live holiday music and games.
My favorite, however, was Kwerkmas, a holiday-themed acrobatics show in the Gleampunk District. Running four times a day, the show was a delightful treat with its energetic steampunk elf dancers, aerial artists, balancing act and more! I was on the edge of my seat, astonished at the performers’ feats and artistry, and the upbeat carols got stuck in my head for a while afterward. The show is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face, kids and adults alike.
The VR Coaster
For the thrill-seekers out there, the roller coasters are all open and lit up, but the one to check out as something a little merrier is the Santa’s Wild Sleigh Ride virtual reality roller coaster, aka the Revolution. We were given VR headsets and strapped into the coaster, now elves sitting next to Santa in his sleigh, flown by several reindeer. The story was a bit lost on me, but from what I gathered, an angry elf stole something of Santa’s and we had to chase him down to get it back. Flying over a snow-covered town and around a large Christmas tree, we gained on the mischievous elf. After catching up to him, we watched as Santa presented the elf with a new hat, thus calming him and resulting in a happy ending for everyone. There were a few lags in the VR, but I really enjoyed the idea of it adding to the coaster.
Other than the lights, the most festive part of Holiday in the Park, for me, was the assortment of holiday treats. For lunch, you could choose from a variety of options including Holiday Leftover sandwiches (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce), lobster mac & cheese, several warming soups or a mac & cheeseburger. For dinner, enjoy comfort foods like turkey legs, baked potatoes, latkes, chili, cranberry chili wings and tamales.
The most extensive menu, however, is dessert! My stomach growled at the sight of chocolate-covered baked pretzels, pumpkin spice churros, pumpkin pie, peppermint and cinnamon bun ice cream, mint and chocolate funnel cake sundaes, deep-fried Oreos and banana pudding. But what would the holiday season be without s’mores and a warm fire for roasting marshmallows? The Metro Park Pub has been turned into the Fire & Ice, where the twinkling lights dance on the grass and into the trees, seasonal beers pour from the taps, and designated fire pits are ready to heat up those ‘mallows for some gooey goodness.
Magic Mountain did a great job of creating a remarkable holiday experience for all ages. From the little ones having story time with Mrs. Claus to the more adventures folks riding the thrilling coasters, there is definitely something for everyone. I’m more of a Halloween person myself, but I was completely taken in by the breathtaking light displays and drool-worthy treats. For this Los Angelino at least, Holiday in the Park brought out the wondrous holiday spirit and a smile to my face.
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