When Busch Gardens (Williamsburg VA) sat down to plan out their annual holiday park-wide celebration, Christmas Town, this year, they must have just said to each other “Alright, let’s blow every previous year completely out of the water!” And they absolutely succeeded.
Now through January 3rd, Busch Gardens has transformed their park into a spectacular winter wonderland, boasting eight MILLION lights (yes, eight MILLION!), Six holiday shows (including the new ‘Twas That Night On Ice with Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko), delicious holiday fare to munch on, and of course, Santa Clause in the North Pole.
Now, I don’t want to ruin it for you, because I really think you need to see how amazing it all is with your own eyes, but I DO want to let you in on my personal MUSTS- for adults and for those with little ones!
MUST: Scrooge No More (Show)
Get to the park early (Christmas Town opens at 2pm) and see this show first thing in the Globe Theater in England! It tells the classic tale “A Christmas Carol” with awesome music and some pretty spectacular effects. My kids are pretty iffy on park shows, but they absolutely LOVED this. The talent is through the roof!
This is another one of the attractions you’re going to want to do early, because as I’m sure you know, Santa is a pretty popular guy, and his workshop is pretty frickin’ awesome. I’ve never met kinder elves (and man, have I met quite a few in my time!) and my boys were given all the time in the world to detail exactly what they wanted for Christmas to the guy in charge. Scoot over to his workshop in the North Pole, you won’t regret it!
MUST: Skyride over the park
This was seriously SO magical. The Busch Gardens skyride has always been something to love, getting a bird’s eye view of all the attractions, but when it’s lit up for Christmas, it’s a whole new level of magic. (I take not-so-great night photos, but just consider it me preserving the magic of experiencing it all yourself for you. You’re welcome!)
MUST: O Tannenbaum Tree Light Show
Once the sun goes down, head over to Germany to watch the 50 foot O Tanenbaum tree’s lights dance to holiday music. This happens every 30 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about missing it!
MUST: ‘Twas That Night (show)
Busch Gardens created a lot of hype before their new ice skating spectacular, ‘Twas That Night, starring Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko… and I can see exactly why. This is an absolute MUST see. Get in line EARLY- I can’t stress that enough- the Palace Theater in France is large, but it fills VERY quickly.
‘Twas the Night tells the story ‘The Night Before Christmas” complete with sugar plum fairies, nut crackers, and Santa- yes, including all eight reindeer! ON ICE. Did I mention it’s on ice? All the shows are included as part of your park admission, but you can head to guest services and pay extra for reserved seating if you’re worried you won’t snag a seat.
Extra MUST for the adults: SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE!
I didn’t catch the name of it, and it isn’t on my map, but in between Dickens’ Tavern and the England Skyride, there is a bar, oh yes there is. What’s better than hot chocolate (which they also serve for the kiddies and non-booze enthusiasts, which you can purchase a mug and get it refilled for all of Christmas town for 1.29)? SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE! And spiked apple cider. And hot toddies. You can also find Baileys Coffee in Germany, and a selection of beverages in Annie’s in Ireland.
Extra MUST for the kiddies: The S’mores Stand
A stand. That makes s’mores. Need I say more? (find it in England across from the Globe Theater)
If you’re hungry for more than just hot chocolate, grab a panini in Italy, traditional holiday fare in England, an all you care to eat buffet at Dasher’s Diner in Holiday Hills (Festa Italia), or grab a loaded baked potato and chili all over the park!
What I’m saying here is GO! Go and enjoy, and then go back again, because there is SO much to do and see! Maybe I’ll see you there!
Active Busch Gardens pass members can purchase a Christmas Town Pass online for $30, a $5 savings off the general admission price. The Christmas Town Pass allows unlimited admission to Christmas Town during regular operating days. Active pass members also receive their regular membership benefits like free parking and discounts on in-park dining and merchandise. Complete details on purchasing a Christmas Town Pass can be found at www.bgwpass.com.
For guests without an active pass, a Christmas Town Fun Card is available for $35 and will provide unlimited admission to Busch Gardens Christmas Town. The Fun Card does not include membership benefits.
More information about Christmas Town and details about purchasing a Christmas Town Fun Card as well as other in-park amenities can be found at www.christmastown.com/va.
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