Winterfest OC’s Night of Lights returns for at least one more season. With a great run last year, we anticipate this drive-through attraction to be a big deal in Orange County. Opening weekend was sold out, and it was packed even with timed-entry. It is highly suggested that you go on a non-busy day if you are able to. We recently reviewed this attraction last season. Therefore, we’ll update you with the differences that we’ve experienced for this season’s Night of Lights OC drive-through.

A noticeable difference upon entry was that there was a Silver (VIP) line and a regular line. The VIP guests are to enter to the left side after check-in. Why did we point this out? Because in the previous season, it did not matter if you got put in the left lane or the right lane; your view was not obstructed. From what we recalled, they duplicated the displays on the left and the right so it did not matter which lane you were in; you would see the same lights and displays. We noticed that both lanes had different displays and you may not get the full view of something on the opposite lane if a big SUV or vehicle is in the way.

We exclaimed last season that this was the longest drive-through we have experienced and that was with one or two vehicles in front of us. Unfortunately, that was not the case this year. Though it was mainly conga line/stop and go/bumper to bumper traffic; we still managed to complete the experience including the photo-op in less than an hour's time. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that this year was much shorter than last year.

While driving through each themed area after the Christmas tree, it did seem much shorter and with less characters. We also caught Santa at a weird moment where Santa was asked a question by a staff member so he had to leave his sleigh. However, his multiple elves did engage with us with plenty of waves and smiles.

Though the differences seem daunting, have no fear because you can still get your cup of holiday cheer here. What’s improved this year are the food vendors. We were able to park and purchase food compared to pre-ordering last season, though that is still an option. They were serving Eggnog shakes, Peppermint Shakes, Peppermint Cheesecake-on-a-Stick, gourmet cookies and various holiday treats and fair-type foods! We also liked that there was an actual restroom on-site as some drive-throughs do not provide that service.

Speaking of treats, what we also liked was the area where giant insects seemed to be working together to collect all the goodies that Christmas has to offer. From the spider collecting a candy cane to the bees going after cranberry honey; this was definitely a new experience as we’ve not seen insects being utilized this way before. We liked that each area had a sign so you can differentiate which area is which if needed. What was memorable as well was “Steam Engine Springs”, which was a town that featured miniature trains and a live conductor over the PA system which really added to the theme and feel of the town name.

Even though overall the event is shorter, you can still pack your vehicle up to a certain amount allotted and get your money’s worth. Night of Lights OC is still a great holiday drive-through experience and kids of all ages can still have a good time. The music is synced to your car radio but the event is just as enjoyable without the music because certain areas will have their own audio. There are enough new zones and areas to make it worth a trip here. Last but not least, as an added bonus; they give you 3D Snowmen Glasses! What are these things you ask? They are specialized 3D glasses where when you put them on, it’ll turn every light source into snowmen. We thought that this was probably one of the most incredible things that has been given to us. Hint: You can make Frosty dance by tilting your head from side to side. (Look at our photos for reference!)

(Click on Image for Photo-Journal)

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