I made a trip down to Christmas Town this past weekend, and it was a blast! Very temperate. I got a few rides in on Verbolten, which was fun. I still liked CT better when Alpengeist was open, but what can you do? What little line there was moved very fast since they had 4 trains running. I definitely think back is the way to go on this coaster, since you actually get some fun little air time here and there, and it really whips you around in the show building!
Obviously the pasta coaster is now visible from the pathways, as the supports have risen above the fence. I honestly don't know why they haven't announced it yet, but I've decided to think of it less as a coaster, and more of a flat ride. Sure, it's technically a coaster, but honestly, the niche of the park it fits in for me is a flat ride.
Whatever they were doing back on the DF site earlier this year is done, and there's no signs of it. It's just being used as storage for coaster trains/rapids boads, and they're also putting pieces of the flume trough there while they work on the upgrade. It was weird riding the train past the flume and seeing the supports just stick up in the air with no flume on it!