Busch Gardens Christmas Town Review
Our Christmas time visit to the Historic Triangle was full of history and education. Although this education was really fun at all the living museums, after a few days, my brain began to hurt. I was on information overload for sure.
Luckily, Busch Gardens opens to reveal ChristmasTown during the holidays. The park is open from 3pm until 10pm and decorated with over six million lights!!! These pictures don’t do it justice, you just have to see it to believe it. Did you know that roller coasters have minimum operating temperatures for safety? They do! Therefore, only one thrill ride is open (Verbolten), but all the swings, kiddie rides and rocking boats are open too. But don’t worry, there are tons of extra holiday shows and fun things going on too.
I had never been to a Busch Gardens before this trip. Each area of the park is a different country. So there were traditional Christmas events, products, etc. in each “country”. Christmas Town wouldn’t be complete without the North Pole! This is where you can visit Santa in the most beautiful workshop/library/home I have ever seen. They have even slowed down the Nacht Tower so that you can view all of the lights from high above.
You can also visit penguins at the Ice Palace. These penguins arrive from the Columbus Zoo in a limousine from the airport and even get to walk down a red carpet. However, I have to say the exhibit consists of 3 enclosures, and made me a little sad. There were about 2 penguins per enclosure standing on patches of snow. One of them even had water for swimming, but the penguins were molting when we visited so they just sat or stood around looking miserable. Maybe the enclosure is a letdown after the VIP travel treatment they received. The boys were less than impressed, and I know that I wouldn’t stand in line to see them again.
I am not a big fan of theme park food, and this park is no exception. Although, I do think the variety is a little better due to the influences found in each “country” of the park. Hubby was happy to have the traditional turkey and dressing dinner, and the boys each got a dessert as big as their head. I’m not kidding, it was ridiculous. We ate at the Festhaus while watching one of the 4 shows available at Christmas Town. We saw Deck the Halls, which is a secular Christmas variety show complete with dancing, singing, and a cute little band. The show is done in the round, so good seats are easy to find. The dancing Gingerbread men that reminded us of Gumby were definitely our favorite part.
Just outside the Festhaus was O Tannenbaum, a computer coordinated lights and music show centered around a large Christmas Tree. It was great fun, and only took about 10 minutes. Hubby and Duke went to the nativity show called Gloria, while I rode rides with the other boys. Gloria is reported to be THE best show in the park with the most talented singers. We skipped out on the show called Miracles which was described as a slow moving ballet type show. Although I did ballet as a child, sometimes I reap the rewards of having all boys.
I purchased our tickets on the internet before we left home and saved at least 25%. Not to mention the time I saved not having to stand in the ticket line at the park entrance. ou can pay extra to gain front of the line access, which I deemed not worth it for one thrill ride. Although it would also get you to the front of the line for Santa’s Workshop and the Ice Palace Penguins. We were there on December 30th and accomplished almost everything we set out to, and left as the park was closing for the night. We were tired, full and happy!