Busch Gardens Tampa is getting ready to launch the biggest Christmas celebration ever! Christmas Town will transform the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests’ senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and creating a beautiful new tradition for Tampa Bay families.
For the first time in the park’s 53-year history, visitors to Christmas Town will experience all-new evening attractions, shows and shopping from 6 to 11 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, Nov. 30 through Dec. 23.
I was able to get a sneak peek of Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, and I couldn't be more excited about the event when it open this holiday season! Christmas Town will be a separate-ticketed night event, meaning it is not included with regular daytime admission, Fun Cards or annual passes. Christmas Town will offer a lot of value with advance tickets at $29.99 for ages 10 and up, and $9.99 for ages 3-9. Pass members can enjoy an advanced rate of $24.99 for adults and $9.99 for kids, while night of event tickets are $39.99 for adults and $14.99 for children. Your best best is to buy tickets in advance!
Here's a look at how Busch Gardens will be transformed in Christmas Town:
-- Celebration Village brings together the rich, warm colors of Christmas and heartfelt voices lifted in song to welcome guests as they enter Christmas Town. Draped in jewel-tone ornaments and glowing lights, the Moroccan Village comes alive with local choirs in the Marrakesh Theater and shops full of holiday gifts.
-- Family and friends will cozy up to brave the chill in the air along Ice Wonder Way. The frozen pathway sparkles and shimmers in the night as snowflakes dance down the front of the Moroccan Palace, welcoming guest for special performances of the all-new Christmas Town ice show.
-- Wild colors, exotic decorations and intricate animal patterns create the kind of Christmas found only in nature! Stretching along the Cheetah Hunt walkway, Jungle Jubilee welcomes guests to Florida’s only triple-launch coaster and the iconic Crown Colony restaurant, featuring special holiday fare and the new Carol of the Bells light show.
-- Just around the bend, Candy Cane Lane gives Christmas Town a peppermint twist. Red and white lights twinkle in the trees throughout the Nairobi area, calling to mind the beloved Christmas confection and pointing guests down the path to the Christmas Town Express and Santa’s House.
-- Experience the humble magnificence of that first Christmas night and remember the real “reason for the season” and along Miracle Way. Guests will marvel at a topiary representation of the Holy Nativity and illuminated angels, set along the Stanleyville Bridge in the warm glow of Christmas lights and sacred holiday music.
-- Christmas has come to Sesame Street! Elmo and his friends are all dressed up in their holiday best at Sesame Street Season of Fun, ready to pose for pictures and plenty of hugs with kids of all ages who stop by to wish them a funny, furry Christmas.
-- When its warm in December and there’s more sand than snow, celebrate a Floridian Christmas with a touch of the tropics in the Enchanted Flamingo Valley. Guests will be “thinking pink” as they encounter decorated palm trees and a flock of festive flamingos created from thousands of twinkling pink lights.
-- Christmas is in full bloom along Poinsettia Parkway, where guests can lose themselves among hundreds of the traditional holiday flowers and feast their senses on delicious holiday treats.
-- On your way to play in the snow, stop by Jingle Bell Junction and climb aboard a pint-sized train for a holly-jolly ride designed especially for young guests, located at the crossroads of Christmas Town in Gwazi Plaza.
-- Guests can find the perfect holiday gift or indulge in a delicious seasonal treat as they explore Christmas Town Village. Set along the Gwazi Park walkway, tiny Christmas cabins will scent the air with seasonal treats like apple pies and strudels, gingerbread cookies, eggnog and roasting nuts, as well as a delicious array of flavored popcorns, roasted nuts, waffles with ice cream, fruit-filled
crepes, rustic sandwiches, homemade potato chips and Starbucks coffees and hot chocolate.
-- Enjoy a nostalgic white Christmas – in Florida! – in Christmas Town Park. Guests can experience real, frozen snowdrifts in the Show Wonderland snow play area, meander among quaint cabin shops, pose for pictures with strolling snowmen, and finish off the night with an exclusive concert with the Grammy Award-winning group Jars of Clay.
And while Christmas Town will offer guests the opportunity to ride some of Busch Gardens’ most popular roller coasters, including Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra and Gwazi, the special event will also offer some equally special rides and attractions exclusive to the nighttime experience:
- All aboard the Christmas Town Express for the biggest Christmas carol sing-a-long on wheels! Friends and family are invited join in singing traditional songs of the season like “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while circling the park on a beautifully lit vintage-style steam locomotive.
- The Claus family invites you into their North Pole home at Welcome to Santa’s House. While the elves are busy preparing for Christmas, Mrs. Claus is in the kitchen baking holiday treats, but even Santa himself will take a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with families in his private study.
- Straight from the South Pole, the Christmas Town Penguins have brought a bit of ice and snow all the way to Florida! Come chill with these dapper little creatures and marvel at their underwater antics at the penguin habitat, located near Candy Cane Lane in the Nairobi area.
Guests who have come to love Busch Gardens’ traditional holiday shows will still be able to see Christmas on Ice, Christmas from the Heart and Christmas Celebration during the day. But at Christmas Town, new shows and surprise guests who will provide a very special evening of family-friendly entertainment:
- Busch Gardens’ Crown Colony House restaurant sets the stage for an stunning ballet of music and light each night under the stars. The Carol of the Bells features tens of thousands of Christmas lights covering the façade of the stately building, set in motion to a choreographed presentation of stirring seasonal songs.
- World-class skaters will bring to life favorite Christmas songs both traditional and contemporary, in a cool, all-new snow-inspired ice show, produced especially for Christmas Town by the creators of Christmas on Ice and Iceploration.
- Jimmy Osmond’s Christmas Jukebox features Jimmy Osmond and his family singing favorite Christmas tunes and sharing special holiday memories each night in the Stanleyville Theater. In the true spirit of Christmas, Busch Gardens is joining Jimmy in his work with the Children’s Miracle Network, and will be making a donation to local Tampa Bay-area kids in need.
- Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian artists Jars of Clay will provide an uplifting finale each evening with an exclusive concert in Gwazi Park. Performing both original hits and holiday favorites, the group will send guests on their way with music in their hearts and the spirit of Christmas in their souls.
- For those who can’t wait to get their night at Christmas Town started, guests are invited to pull up a chair at Mrs. Claus’ Family Feast for a special evening filled with stories, songs, a delicious buffet of traditional holiday fare, plenty of opportunities for holiday hugs and photos with Mrs. Claus and her favorite elves, and exclusive no-wait access to Welcome to Santa’s House and Snow Wonderland after dinner. Seating is $20 for adults, and $14 for children 3-9 (plus tax).
For more information, or to purchase tickets to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, visit www.ChristmasTown.com
I was invited as media to preview Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. All opinions are my own.
Goodness, I am NOT ready for Christmas 🙂 It looks like an amazing place to visit.
I was at Busch Gardens for this yesterday and we had such a great time yesterday. I didn't know you were there too!
Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy
Wow, looks like it's going to be quite the event. I'd love to be able to see it in person.
Looks like a ton of fun! I'm so ready for the holidays! Or at least the cooler temps that they'll bring!
I sometimes like to visit the Christmas Shops in Pigeon Forge in the summer. 🙂
Sounds like such a fun event!!
I need to get over to Busch Gardens to see this!
I went to Busch Gardens a lot as a child, but don't think I ever say Christmastown. I love it! Would love to take the boys there.
Anne - Mommy Has to Work
It looks amazing!
Sounds incredible! Makes me ready for some cool weather.
Our Small Hours
looks like so much fun!
This looks like a blast!
That looks like it is going to be wonderful.
Oh my goodness! Christmas!?! WHEW! I better get crackin!
Oh I'm planning a trip there this year I may have to go during that time frame it looks so cool!
I would love to visit and I know my mom would too how fun
I would love to visit with my daughter!
This looks so beautiful!
Sounds like terrific fun!
I have to go...I live close enough to drive there and I haven't been in years.
This looks like so much fun! Jealous you live so close!
I love Christmas and everything that goes along with it, so this just looks wonderful and super fun!
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