Nick

A Look at Christmas Town; Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Guests to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA have been enjoying a winter wonderland called Christmas Town for a few years now. This year, it comes to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Recently, they invited us for a preview of how the Tampa park will transform into Christmas Town this holiday season. 

It was a nippy 94 degrees in Tampa, FL as the BG team greeted guests with a hearty Merry Christmas and a wintry drink. Luckily it was an iced coffee topped with whipped cream and a candy cane. The presentation began with a welcome message by parks president Jim Dean. Christmas Town is a separate admission event, similar to Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas Party, that will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from November 30th-December 23rd. The ticket prices are extremely reasonable too.

General Admission (Advance Purchase): $29.99 (Ages 10+), $9.99 (Ages 3-9)

General Admission (Night of Event):  $39.99 (Ages 10+), $14.99 (Ages 3-9)

Pass Member Advance Ticket: $24.99 (Ages 10+), $9.99 (Ages 3-9)

Carolers came out on stage to warm up the crowd…

Then three wise men appeared on stage… a sign that Christmas Town would have a decidedly different feel than the other theme park Christmas celebrations.

They were followed by some Florida elves and a big snowman. Busch Garden’s Christmas Town will have something for everyone. And of course…

…there will be animals. Some playful (and stubborn) penguins were brought out on stage.  From elaborate Christmas walk-throughs, to world class shows, to trains filled with carolers and even Santa’s workshop, Busch Gardens version of Christmas seems like a welcome variety to the candy cane celebrations at the other Florida theme parks.

Beautiful decorations and shows.

Fun for kids!

The Christmas Town village will offer shopping, food and activities.

This is a Florida Christmas afterall.

I can’t wait to see the Crown Colony House all decorated with dancing lights!

Busch Gardens dives right into the true reason for Christmas unlike the other parks.

Christian group Jars of Clay will provide the headlining entertainment.

There will be plenty of Christmas themed treats.

Including delicious chocolate covered pretzels.

Menu and Pricing Board

And of course there is merchandise.

Guests were already clamoring to purchase items at the Christmas Town Preview Center. There were plenty of animal themed ornaments and logo mugs to go around.

I expect Christmas Town to be a fun and exciting addition to the Central Florida Theme Park scene. Busch Gardens can certainly be one of the most beautifully decorated parks at Christmas time. They plan to theme the decorations to each area as well. For example, the Cheetah Hunt location will have a safari look to it. And then you have Miracle Way with it’s manger scene. I’m also very excited to take a ride on the Christmas carol filled train. This is truly a different experience. You can really only visit the mouse every few years… the high price for similar entertainment year in and year out gets old. Universal has the Macy’s Day Parade and Grinchmas, but it is mostly eye candy. Sure each park is great to visit, but Busch Gardens is offering something new, different and interactive. Something for all tastes and ages. There is a preview center open right now located in Timbuktu, check it out. There, guests can purchase merchandise, candy and tickets to Christmas Town at a discounted price.

There are of course add on packages your family can purchase featuring dinner with Mrs. Claus. This $20 (Adults), $14 (Children) ticket gets you food, entertainment and a front-of-the-line access pass to see the big man himself… Santa.

I had the chance to chat briefly with Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Parks President Jim Dean when he stopped by to check out the preview center for himself.

He is very excited for this new entertainment addition to the Tampa Bay location… and so am I.

 

Nick
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