This year, after you’re done fa-la-la-la-ahhhh!-ing at RailBlazer, take a breather just down the midway aboard the Twelve Days of Christmas ride. This new ride experience is a seasonal twist on a Great America classic. What guests know as Barney Oldfield Speedway in the summer months has been transformed into a unique holiday experience just for WinterFest!
For the next six weeks, riders will still be able to drive their antique car around the tried-and-true Barney Oldfield Speedway layout, but along the way, they’ll be surrounded by the classic carol Twelve Days of Christmas.
As riders navigate the course, they will pass through intricate light-up displays of the 12 scenes described in the song. The first scene has one lonely partridge in a pear tree, but as riders progress through the song, they’re greeted by increasingly grand sights. By the end of the ride, guests are completely immersed in drummers drumming, pipers piping, and lords a-leaping.
Sean Lee, entertainment manager at Great America, created each scene in-house. Back in April, Sean says he began digitally drawing each of the wireframes before working with an outside company. The wireframe company then constructed each sketch exclusively for Great America.
“The crazy part was that we were thinking about this project back in the spring,” says Sean. “It was a five-month process for the company to hand-bend and weld the wireframes, so I was finishing the designs back in April!”
Not only will riders be dazzled by light-up displays while they ride Twelve Days of Christmas, they’ll also be delighted by six different versions of the carol, all expertly mixed together by the Great America entertainment team.
“We had to make sure the song could clearly be heard above the real engines of the ride’s cars and also that the song was mixed to smoothly transition between the different versions,” says Sean.
The Great America team thinks guests will be completely wowed by the new experience this season. And the best part, says Sean, is that this ride experience can be tweaked each season to provide a fresh experience. More lights, blinking, and animation are all on Sean’s Christmas list.