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Old 12-12-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
whatname
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Oblebay Festival of Lights, Wheeling, WV

Has anyone been and do you have any tips? A friend went the the line of cars getting in was extremely long. Just wondering if anyone knows the ins and outs of this, what to do there, how long to plan to spend, etc. You know, Disney-like planning for West Virginia.
thanks.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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It's been about 10 years ago I went. It is about 2 hrs from where I live. I made dinner reservations beforehand at the Ogelbay Lodge. I had my DM and youngest DS with me. If I did it again I would have stayed over-night at the lodge so we wouldn't have had to drive home that late.

It is very pretty and certainly worth the trip!

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
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Oh, I absolutely LOVE Oglebay! I live about 1.5 hours away, and we've gone to see the Festival of Lights every year for the past 22 years (started when my oldest was 9 months old), plus a weekend trip at various times of th year. We used to stay overnight for the Festival of LIghts, but once our boys went to college, it was too hard to coordinate everyone's schedules, so now we'll just drive down and back the same day. My boys are 22 and 20, and they insist on going every year - it's part of our family Christmas tradition! Each year, they sell a new ornament commemorating that year's festival - brass with one of the light displays. I have an ornament from every year on my Christmas tree.

If you're staying overnight, they'll include a vehicle pass in the cost of your room. Otherwise, it's only $10 or so for a car to drive thru. If you stop at the main lodge first, they have trolley tours of the lights - I'm not sure of the cost now, but a couple of years ago it was $7 a person. The driver used to narrate the tour and tell all about the different light displays - how many lights were used, how cold it was when a couple got married in front of the candy cane display, etc. But now they just play Christmas music, no narration.

Anyway, for a day trip, depending on how much time you have: Go down early in the day. There's a small zoo open all year, complete with a deer petting area. Also in the zoo complex is a train display, great gift shop, and an auditorium where they do a neat laser light show set to music. Definitely worth seeing!

Plan to have dinner a little early, maybe just as it's getting dark. There are 2 restaurants in the main lodge: The Ihlenfeld dining room has a huge buffet with yummy food. Next door is the Glass Works Lounge (where we eat when the boys are with us) - a little cheaper than the Ihlenfeld, and they have tv's showing whatever football games are on. There's also a restaurant near one of the golf courses that has some decent food - we've eaten there on occasion, too.

If you get to Oglebay for an early dinner, you'll miss the traffic coming up the hill (esp. on weekends). You'll finish dinner right when it's getting dark, and you'll be right there ready to drive through. You can spend all the time you want driving thru the displays, even going back to see certain ones again. (I like to take lots of photos) FYI - the "etiquette" when driving thru is to just use the parking lights on your car, not full headlights.

Any other questions, feel free to ask. Oglebay is one of my favorite places, and I love to talk about it!
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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We are about 30 minutes from there but new to the area. Looking forward to going this year. Thank you for all of your great tips!

We have been to Oglebay for a day trip. What a nice place. They offer a wristband that you can enjoy the zoo, pool, lake and mini golf. Sorry to get off topic...we really had a great time there!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the great tips! Exactly the info I wanted. We are thinking of going to week after Christmas. I appreciate your expertise!
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