As it soon turned out, my idea of what was level appropriate for those zones wasn't correct anymore as the mobs in both were about five levels lower than they used to be, but they still gave me experience (just about) and I was already there, so I decided to just get on with it.
One of the most defining features of both Felwood and Winterspring are the furbolg: the infamously rep-grindy Timbermaw and their corrupted enemies, the Deadwood/Winterfall. They are all still around, but the Timbermaw reputation gains have been buffed massively. I remember that whenever I did the Felwood quests in the past, I would end up barely neutral with the Timbermaw by the time I got to their big tunnel, and maybe reach friendly in Winterspring. By the end of my questing this time around, with no extra mob grinding or anything, I was revered. Yowza. Makes me want to go back on my main to do those quests; with the reputation she already has, she should be able to get to exalted with no effort whatsoever.
Also, in what felt like an effort to make the whole "we have to kill our own kind because they've been corrupted" thing seem a little less dire, they added a couple of quests centred around two little furbolg children that get up to crazy hijinks. I actually thought that they were quite cute.
Overall, Felwood is another zone where I feel that Blizzard really managed to hit the spot while combining old and new. Aside from the additions mentioned above, the furbolg quests are still present. You still get asked to kill satyrs and other demons, and descend into the Shadow Hold to kick some Shadow Council butt. The only old quest that seemed to have gone without a trace and that I really missed was the escort to rescue
However, there are also loads of new and highly entertaining quests. There's the chain featuring the night elf mage and the imp (rainbow power!), the little talking tree whom you help to grow (I thought he was very cute, even if some of the things he said also sounded slightly creepy to me), and a cool quest featuring some Illidan lore. There's a new green quest hub established by the druids, as well as a worgen outpost (they seem to be really good at growing massive, old and twisted looking trees very fast). I'm guessing the Horde works for the goblins here. It's really a nice mix of new and old and I had a right blast levelling through this revamped zone.
Scrubbing dirty squirrels gives the words "cleansing the forest" a whole new meaning.
As I emerged into Winterspring, the fun continued pretty seamlessly. Again, the furbolg quests had been kept and tweaked only slightly, but pretty much everything else has seen changes of some sort, and only for the better as far as I'm concerned. Are We There, Yeti? still exists, but it's much, much more straightforward. The old quests to hunt for a couple of named mobs (they may have been Horde only, I can't remember for sure) have been transformed into a fully fledged hunting camp à la Nesingwary. This could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing depending on whether you like killing dozens of bears, owls and frostsabers, but I had a real blast doing these. Much to my amusement I also found myself getting really hungry while reading the quest text - no, I don't really care for eating owls myself, but these guys sure were very convincing in their passion!
About halfway through my frostsaber carnage I ran into the local Wintersaber Trainer. Still covered in the gore of a dozen innocent kitties, my warrior walked up to the guy and assured him that sure, he loved sabers! I was then pleased to discover that Blizzard changed the Wintersaber rep grind to use the same model as the Ravasaur quests on Horde side, which I absolutely loved. In other words, you get a little cub that gives you a daily quest to feed it and you can watch it grow into a proper mount over time. Awww! It goes without saying that I was happy to pick that one up, even if my little cat is likely to grow into a very disturbed individual, considering that I spent the rest of that evening slaughtering more of its relatives.
I also loved what they did with the old E'ko system. I always thought that the way it used to be was pretty rubbish, having to carry that cache around, gathering a whole bunch of different items to combine for different buffs... keep in mind that the average character's bag space was considerably less back then than it is now and it was just too much of a pain to be worth the bother. Nowadays you just get a couple of quests explaining what E'ko is, and then you can randomly gain various buffs from killing the right creatures.
I also ended up discovering a part of the zone that has apparently been there since vanilla, but that I never even noticed in all my years of playing: the Ban'Thallow Barrow Den. Good job at making me feel like a noob again, Blizzard. And I don't mean that in a sarcastic way at all, I'm amazed that it can still happen after all these years!
If I had to criticise anything about the new Winterspring at all, it would be that it would have been nice if they had added another flight path closer to the Timbermaw Hold, but that's really a very minor thing.
On a concluding note, I ended up finding a disgusting oozeling in the aforementioned barrow den and immediately had to think of Tam's old post about the different stages of insanity he went through while trying to intentionally grind for one. Typical that someone like me, who doesn't care much about pets, would get one on an alt without even trying. I considered selling it since several thousand gold are still a decent amount of cash and I'm not that rich on that server, but then I thought that I didn't really need more money for anything either and just allowed my warrior to learn it. At least I'll have something tangible to remind myself of his adventures in Felwood and Winterspring, and they were definitely memorable!