Stone Mountain Cristmas... Worth it?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by rnorwo1, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. rnorwo1

    rnorwo1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Hi,
    We live in Southern Louisiana and my kids have never really seen snow (other than once on vacation in DC) so they keep asking to go someplace where they can just play in it. I was thinking about Stone Mountain since it's probably the closest place with guaranteed snow, an 8-9 hour drive.

    I haven't added up all of the costs yet, but I was wondering if people generally thought this was a worthwhile trip and good value? If so, how many days should we spend there to do the snow, explore, and then the Christmas activities? Any suggestions on hotel stays that are affordable, but nice? We like suite hotels usually since there are 5 of us. Any other budget info would be great also! Thanks!
     
  2. Agent7

    Agent7 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    120
    I'm not sure if you are talking about the Stone Mountain in Georgia or not but its the only one I'm familiar with that would be in your driving range. So I'll tell you a little about it (sorry if its the wrong one!) I live in Georgia and I've been to Stone Mountain but never for the snow (although I am familiar with it and have friends who have been and I'm considering going with my boyfriend when he visits from Texas this year). Now Georgia rarely gets snow, so unless we have a freak storm all the snow that will be there will be artificial. So it won't be like a Christmas card with snow in the trees, on the sidewalks, and in the air - it will just be cold (bring layers! And waterproof gloves!). It has a snow zone area and a tubing area, you have to make reservations to tube and you can only do so for 2 hours a day.

    Ticket prices depend on what you want to do. To just play in the Snow Zone and to tube its $28per person per day. That doesn't include the character meet and greets, the train ride, the shows, the summit skyride, etc. You only get the snow. You can buy a second ticket on another day and do all the character stuff and shows/attraction which is another $28/$22 ($22 for kids, kids don't get a discount on the other tickets it appears), or you can buy a combo which lets you do all of that stuff on one day for $45 (all). So how many days you want to spend depends on how much money you want to spend really and how many/much activity you want to do per day (or how many days you want to play in the snow). It is, however, designed to basically be a one day attraction. If you wanted to do all the attractions + snow then you might need two days. The Snow Zone area is fairly big and the website says you can build snowmen (they provide everything down carrot noses) plus there is a snowball fight area which seems pretty neat. But it won't be like a New England winter scene. Its kinda like a snow theme park.

    That being said if I went it would be a 1.5 hour drive and I wouldn't have to stay in a hotel so its more of a 'value' activity for me than it possibly could be for your family. I wouldn't have to have a hotel or spend as much on gas or tickets. Maybe someone who has come from farther afield can tell you if they thought the drive was worth it. I guess it depends on how much your kids want to play in the snow and what they expect (like I said we probably wont get any snow flurries and their probably won't be snow outside of the designated areas). Just doing a rough calculation it would be about $140 a day for 5 people just for the snow area.

    I'm not sure what other Christmas activities are in the surrounding area (like less than a 30 minute - hour drive). You could perhaps do the Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta or catch one of their other Christmas shows. I'm sure some of the Atlanta neighborhoods have awesome Christmas lights up.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. rnorwo1

    rnorwo1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Yes, Georgia, sorry! My kids don't know enough about the snow to notice it's not real, and DH and I both lived in the Northeast as teens/during college, so we each had our fill then! We will take them on a ski trip when they get a bit older, we were just looking for an easy way to ease their curiosity about it now.

    I figured it could be done in two days, so thanks for confirming that and for all of the other info, very helpful! Would love to hear others' opinions, especially how kids like it... Would be very upset if kids were bored after an hour!

    Thanks again!
     
  5. toystory1130

    toystory1130 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    479
    I would be more worried about them being tired! They have a belt to pull you up with your tube but after about 2 hours all of us were beat. It was a really fun activity but I don't know if I would drive 8-9 hrs for it, we have family there in Atl so we didn't have but a 30 min drive.
     
  6. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    12,131
    Sorry, but I don't think you can 'count' on Stone Mountain, GA having snow! :sad1: If it's cold enough, there will be machine snow, but the temps can still be iffy to base a long trip on.

    We lived in that area awhile, and snow is pretty rare. In fact it's hard to have a guarantee of snow anywhere in the southern half of the US at any given time. Sometimes even in the northern areas it's hit and miss, except extreme north.

    I do wish you all the luck as I know your children would enjoy snow. I am a LA girl and remember the excitement of our rare snows.

    Did you not live in LA when the 'freak' snowfall of 6"-10" came in Dec. a few years ago?

    Boy, was that an exciting time!!!

    Again, the best of luck! :goodvibes
     
  7. ShelliRenee

    ShelliRenee Disney Princess trapped in a fat girl's body!

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Messages:
    162
    I have not done the Snow Mountain, but I have done the other Christmas Activities at Stone Mountain. It is great fun, just make sure you plan on staying late. The train ride around the mountain at night has great lighting display (You can also drive around the park and see some lights.)
     
  8. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    15,979
    :thumbsup2
     
  9. rnorwo1

    rnorwo1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    I think we would definitely do other things in Atlanta also, since we would already be there, but we def will not go if Stone Mountain is a bust. I also now have visions of us having to trek uphill carrying our tired 4yo, so that's def something to think about!

    I thought the snow was a guarantee? That's definitely problematic if not! Yes, I've lived here my whole life, except for attending college, and that snow (2009, I believe) was something! We had about 6 inches on the ground, it lasted less than a day, and we were out of electricity for 4 days, lol! Our poor electric company didn't know what to do with it! The kids were young and only my oldest remembers it though... We used a snow picture for our Christmas card:rotfl2:

    Thanks, if we go we definitely will. Was it very busy?
     
  10. Rafiki31

    Rafiki31 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    433
    There is a resort near Lake Lanier that does the Magical Night of Lights. It is the Lake Lanier Islands Resort. I know you can get a ticket to just drive through and see the lights and there is a Christmas Village where you can roast smores and such. Its about an hour from Stone Mountain, but might be a fun place to stay to get in the holiday spirit. I went years ago when work gave us free tickets and we really enjoyed it.
     
  11. MAD4EEYORE

    MAD4EEYORE DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Hope I can help with some questions you may have.

    Yes Georgia doesn't get much snow but they make snow with a machine. Snow Mountain opens Nov 24. Most schools are out the whole week of Thanksgiving so it may be busy. It's usually less busy on the weekends. Snow Mountain will run through Presidents weekend. Not sure when you were thinking of coming.

    If you like them on Facebook they offer 19.99 deals throughout the year. Right now it's Stone Mountain Christmas. They also have deals if you get both Sm Christmas and Snow Mountain. I believe it's 30% off. It also includes a lunch and unlimited soda refills. With your SM Christmas in addition to the Christmas things the other attractions like mini golf, train ride, sky lift, sky hike and the movies are included. They have 2 Marriott brand hotels inside the park. If you stay there they offer discount tickets. Last time we were there it was next day free but it wasn't Christmas time. Another thing is they charge a 10.00 parking fee. So if you stay off site it will be 10 each time you go in the park. If you stay onsite it's 10 once and they validate it for you to come and go.

    Snow mountain ticket is a 2 hour ticket to snow tube. You can play in the snow play area all day but can only tube for 2 hours. I'm not sure if there is a discount for multiple tubing times.

    Hope this helps you some. If I can help more please let me know. We live locally and go quite often. Haven't been to SM Christmas in a few years. Looking to go back this year.
     
  12. rnorwo1

    rnorwo1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    It looks wonderful but will be even further to drive for us, unfortunately.

    So the snow should be guaranteed, even if its warm? Thanks so much for all of this info, it is very helpful, especially the discount info!
     
  13. MAD4EEYORE

    MAD4EEYORE DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    I don't see why it wouldn't. I can't imagine them not doing it even if it's on the warmer side. They sell the Snow Mountain tickets in advance and you pick a 2 hour tubing session. Some sessions could and can sell out.
     
  14. fizbobunny

    fizbobunny Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    To the OP, did you end up going? Was it worth it?
     
  15. rnorwo1

    rnorwo1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    We did, and it was fun! My kids are very spread out in ages, so some of it was too babyish for our oldest, but we all enjoyed the snow play and tubing. Keep in mind this was 5 years ago that we went, so I don’t know what the changes have been since.
     
    Judique likes this.

Share This Page