Carver’s Edaville Revamps Former Thomas Land Into New Alpine Village
CARVER (WBSM) — With lots of paint, elbow grease and creativity, Carver’s Edaville Family Theme Park is about to launch the next chapter of a beloved portion of the park.
The Alpine Village makes its debut when the park opens for the Festival of Lights season on November 9. It’s a complete rebrand – and in some ways, a rebuild – of what was formerly known as Thomas Land.
Brian Fanslau and Hannah Harriman, who run operations for Edaville, have spent quite some time prepping the Alpine Village, and now it will be ready to welcome back visitors for the first time before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of being associated with an outside property, Edaville has now been able to brand the Alpine Village in a way that makes it more, well, Edaville. The rides now have the Edaville or the Atwood Cranberries logo on them, connecting them to the park’s history and its founder, Ellis D. Atwood.
“We think the park today is more in line with what Ellis did when he was running it,” Harriman said.
It also features some vintage Edaville decorations, accessories and even train parts that were just waiting around for the right opportunity to be put on display again.
It's also Santa Claus's new home for taking photos with park visitors.
What Rides Are at Edaville's New Alpine Village?
The Alpine Village features the same 10 rides you and your family loved under its previous name, but each with a new look and a new name.
They include: Cuckoo Caboose, Kinderbus, Alpine Autobahn, Alpine Railworks, Dutch Windmill, Mountain Fire Brigade, Tannenbaum Drop, Rocking on the Rhine, Matterhorn Mining Company and Alpine Air.
Combined with the other rides throughout the park, there are now a total of 28 rides to enjoy during your visit.
Harriman’s personal favorite is the redesigned party room, which is available with the park’s birthday party packages. The walls feature a connected mural that depicts Edaville’s original steam engines in loving detail.
A new feature for this year’s Festival of Lights will be an incredible model train display set up in the former gift shop attached to the museum building, something that was first done during this year's Christmas in July celebration. A local model railroad club has taken over the space and is creating an innovative and interactive display for railfans of all ages.
Another way Fanslau and Harriman are keeping Edaville “old school” this season is their plan to exclusively run steam trains all season. The two have worked hard with their crew to resurrect a great portion of Edaville’s original line, and run some of its original trains along it.
Edaville's 2023 Festival of Lights and Ticket Pricing
Edaville’s Festival of Lights runs from November 9 through December 31 (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. You can see the complete schedule and purchase tickets on the Edaville website.
Once again, Edaville will be offering tiered packages so you can customize your experience. Admission starts at just $12.95 for the Bronze ticket, which gives you admission to the park, access to shopping and dining, and a visit with Santa. The Silver ticket ($29.95) includes all of that plus a steam train ride, and the Gold ticket ($42.95) adds unlimited amusement rides.
However, this year, Edaville will also give you the option of purchasing tickets to be able to ride each ride individually, much in the same way as a carnival or fair. You can also do the same for a steam train ride.
Special Train Packages Available at Edaville
Edaville is also running two special packages this season. The first is the North Pole Limited package, with the theme of “Yes, There Really Is a Santa Claus!” The steam train will take you to the “North Pole” at the end of the line to meet Santa and see all of the lights, while you’re served hot chocolate and cookies. Santa will board the train at the North Pole and give each child a special gift.
There’s also the “Santa’s Express” Edaville VIP experience, which is completely new this year. Guests purchasing this package get to arrive before the park opens and board the train on a newly-constructed platform at the front of the park. You’ll then be served milk or juice and a cookie while Santa and Mrs. Claus visits each child and presents them with a gift. Your ride will then bring you inside the park to enjoy the rest of Edaville.
In speaking with Fanslau and Harriman about this season’s plans, one thing shines through: they are the right people to be leading Edaville into a new generation, because they are looking to try new things while always keeping the tradition of Ellis Atwood’s creation front and center.
Behind the Scenes at Edaville in Carver, Massachusetts
Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg
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