We were fortunate enough to be asked back to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens again this year. This event transforms the park into a winter wonderland of lights and sounds.
You can visit the Highland Stables where the signature Busch Clydesdales live (Busch Gardens Image)
Or enjoy the “Polar Pathway”, normally Escape From Pompeii (Busch Gardens Image)
Or visit Sesame Street Forest of Fun, Santa’s Workshop, get pictures with the cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or watch a live performance show- they’ve got music, dancing, and even ice skating! You definitely won’t want to miss the “O Tannenbaum” light show outside Das Festhaus.
As far as our visit, we had a few snafus- first that we had to get our tickets in a separate area than our family who came with us. If some of you order offline and some are purchasing in person and some have discount tickets that need to be redeemed, it can end up being a little complicated to enter the park as a group, so I highly recommend all getting your tickets from the same source.
The park is lovely during the day, and there is definitely a lot to do, so I recommend arriving at opening time and enjoying all the playtime you can. One thing you definitely want to keep in mind about this event is that NOT ALL RIDES ARE OPEN. That means that if you have a grumpy 13 year old who just wants to ride the roller coasters, he’ll only have 2 to choose from- Verbolten and Tempesto. And, roller coasters don’t run if the temperature drops below a certain mark. However, lots of your favorites are open for business including Snowman Summit (musical express) and Peppermint Twist (the teacups), which are two of my go-to rides.
Night time is definitely why you come, though. The lights at Christmas Town are AMAZING.I’m not sure my iphone photography skills show you even 1/10th of the amazing work that the artisans put into hanging over 8 million Christmas lights!! The tree on the rights has EVERY branch individually wrapped- there’s not a spotlight on that tree, it’s just that bright!
I’m always amazed by the talent at the shows, especially the ice skating! (Busch Gardens Photo)
You can see Santa, too, and even purchase a photo-key so that your entire experience is recorded for you and you don’t have to pay for individual pictures on every ride, experience, and interaction. It’s a great way to ensure you take home all your memories! A premium photo key includes Santa Experience photos and is $60.
We had a fun time at Busch Gardens this year, but I was a little disappointed that the train wasn’t working, because it is absolutely my favorite part of Christmas Town. When you go, be sure that you take it! It’s the highlight of the experience for me because it’s a great way to see all the lights and decorations that have gone into making this event magical. I definitely felt sad we didn’t get to ride it.
Christmas Town tickets start at $16 with various add-ons, discounts, and group packages available. I think that it is an especially good buy for families with younger children as the majority of the rides that are open are for a younger crowd. However, just enjoying the lights is quite the experience, and when you add in the shows and the rides, anyone will have a festive fun time.
Disclaimers: I was provided with free tickets to visit Christmas Town. All opinions are my own, and I was not further compensated for this post. Images marked “Busch Gardens Image” are Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration; November 27, 2011. ©2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.