Most roller coasters aren’t my thing, and they never will be. But it would be a total lie to say I’ve never enjoyed going to theme parks. Especially during the holidays, when everything throughout the park is Mariah Carey-level festive. Due to the pandemic, many people are quarantining so they don’t risk catching COVID-19. If you’re staying home, but feeling desperate to do something involving a theme park for the holidays, let us lead you to a wonderful solution: a theme park simulation game called Planet Coaster.
Players have created holiday-themed parks you can virtually tour either online or in-game; we have a few we’d love for you to join us on. It may not be the same experience as walking through an actual theme park on a frigid December evening with a cup of hot chocolate warming your hands. But it’s without a doubt the next best, and the safest, option.
First up we have “Arctic Valley – Pixel’s Christmas Experience” by Wesley Fabry (PixelWess89)
Entering Arctic Valley is reminiscent of stepping into Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Past its welcoming shops and restaurants, a decorated castle awaits admiration as the park’s centerpiece. Atop the highest tower, a joyful princess watches over everything else adding to Arctic Valley’s charm. We see a beautifully crafted gingerbread neighborhood; a bobsleigh ride built into the surrounding mountains; and a thrilling coaster that twists and turns over the guests roaming around the pathways lined with big gifts. All this and much more of Arctic Valley’s holiday glory awaits below.
Another great creation by Wesley is the “Christmas Factory” ride
This ride takes us through the Christmas Factory on round track cars that look a bit like mugs. Inside, there are different “departments.” You’ll find nutcrackers lending a hand in assembling toys and decorations and making sweets for Santa to deliver all around the world on the big day. Though this ride is standalone and isn’t part of Arctic Valley, it’s too good not to share along with it.
Next, hop aboard “The Polar Express (A Christmas Miracle),” created by Coaster Rex
This theme park, inspired by the 2004 animated film, is faithful in its recreation while adding new things to make it a fresh experience. Take a train ride through Hero Boy’s quiet, snowy neighborhood and go all the way to the North Pole. Oh, and don’t worry about getting your ticket punched; the conductor here won’t mind.
Fourth, we’ve got Christmas Village (Winter Wonderland) by DeLadysigner
A smaller yet charming park with a Ferris wheel that allows those at the top to get a clear view of the park’s festivities, vintage rides, and the snowscape wrapping around it all. Though already lively enough, Christmas Village truly comes to life during the transition from day to night, when the lights on the rides and buildings illuminate the park. We can’t go on without mentioning that each building you see in the park, such as the one the elaborate merry-go-round is built inside of, was made from scratch thanks to DeLadysigner’s incredible architectural skills. In addition to her cinematic tour below, check out the video series of her step-by-step process creating the park here.
For our final—and lengthiest—tour, we’ll be making a stop at Matt Lowne’s “Mistletoe Peak”
Aside from the quaint village plaza and festive, custom-built rides, another of this park’s greatest attributes is how the castle on the mountain is the focal point. No matter where in the park you are or which of the rides you’re on, it’s always in view. It behaves like a ghost (the Ghost of Christmas Past, perhaps?) who wants you to know it exists, creating this eeriness that contrasts nicely with the brighter, merrier areas of the park.
And that concludes our tours! We hope you enjoyed them, and what we hope most is that this could help bring you a little Christmas spirit if quarantine life has got you down. If you have Planet Coaster for PC and would like to explore these creations in your own game, they’re all available to download from the Steam Workshop here: Arctic Valley, Christmas Factory, The Polar Express (A Christmas Miracle), Christmas Village (Winter Wonderland), and Mistletoe Peak.
Planet Coaster is available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.