Throughout 2018, our team worked tirelessly to design, manufacture, install, and program a massive winter event at Kings Dominion theme park in Virginia. In 2016 we helped create our first Winterfest at Great America (CA), followed by more Winterfests the following year at Worlds of Fun (MO), Kings Island (OH), and Carowinds (NC/SC). We made it our priority to improve on the artistic designs and the products we used every year, and Winterfest 2018 was no exception. The systems design team, led by director James Sidler, did an incredible job this past winter season, bringing the holidays to life for hundreds of thousands of guests by using custom tailored products throughout 14 uniquely themed park zones.
Due to the large scale of the project, programming utilized several different controllers to maximize the potential of each product. Overall control for the entire project was handled via Avolites Titan over a total of 5 TitanNet Processors. Both Avolites AI and Madrix were used to map and create thousands of effects throughout the park with both controllers taking go commands from the TitanNet system. Avolites AI controlled a whole zone of pixel mapped trees and various decorations, while Madrix provided direct pixel control for a 40' Christmas Tree in that zone, as well as the massive "crystal ball" installation. In the above image, you can see this massive Christmas tree through the lively decorations of Planet Snoopy, featuring large colorful bulbs throughout the foliage.
Our Systems Design team designed a series of 48 strands to be mounted to the iconic Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion, creating an almost 300 foot tall Christmas tree, topped by pixel-controlled stars.
This tree contained over 12,500 RGB “crystal balls”, each about the size of a grapefruit, which, combined with the four giant stars on top, provided over 15,500 pixels of control. Each ball creates an even 360 degree glow of color from all sides, with steel cables keeping the entire strand in position without blocking any light output. This created an amazing canvas for Madrix to create a variety of spectacular effects that could be viewed from literally any angle!
At the front entrance of the park, we also programmed a 70' tall Christmas Tree that provided control for the red, blue, warm white and cool white twinkle strands on each of its branches. This tree, with its 3D star topper, ran chase sequences through the hundreds of branches, creating spiraling and twinkling effects that were especially vibrant during the nightly tree lighting ceremony. This 70' tree can be seen in the foreground of the Eiffel tower here.
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One zone, Candy Apple Grove, was covered by over 80,000 pixels, which spread up every tree in varied lengths, as well as lit color-morphing wreaths, Christmas presents, and color-chasing arches. This multitude of pixels was controlled by Avolites AI. Almost all of the products in this zone were specially designed and manufactured for this project to create the most incredible, bright, and colorful holiday atmosphere.
For the lovers of Christmas carols or a more traditional look, we also manufactured 88 wireframes for the Twelve Days of Christmas! These wireframes were up to 7 feet tall and covered in colorful rope light, lining the popular Blue Ridge Tollway at the park, inviting guests to drive in a scenic sing-along!