I have to admit: I love Christmas. The sights, the sounds, the memories – it's a holiday season I look forward to each year. And in Central Florida, we get to enjoy it for 2 months! On the other hand, Christmas hard-ticket events are more rare than Halloween events, and I was a little skeptical about what Busch Gardens could bring to the table to justify the extra cost.
Armed with minimal information about Christmas Town (it does have a precedent in that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has offered it as a yearly event), we went to the media preview of this new Busch Gardens offering. And when the presentation was done, I found myself excited to see it for myself. With plenty of theming and quality entertainment, I expect this could be a yearly tradition for us. The highest priced ticket is $39.99, but we picked up passholder tickets with a heavy discount (just $9.99 this week!) Standard passholder tickets will be $24.99. (For those who live in the Central Florida area, annual passes to Busch Gardens and Sea World are well worth the cost!)
Before I talk about our experience yesterday, here are a few concept images from Busch Gardens. Included is artwork for Celebration Village, which will include local choirs singing in the Marrakesh Theater. And just down Ice Wonder Way, an all-new ice show will debut at the Moroccan Palace! Busch Gardens already added a terrific show, Iceploration, this year. The yearly Christmas on Ice will still be playing for day guests to Busch Gardens over the holidays (as will other holiday shows). And Busch Gardens isn't forgetting the reason for the season, with a topiary display of the Holy Nativity.
We arrived early to Busch Gardens, which was decked out around the Moroccan Palace with a blue carpet and festive decor. It was the quickest walk ever, but I was able to take a handful of photos as we posed for a picture and were handed a delicious holiday beverage sample. I'm not exactly sure what the drink was, but there was plenty of chocolate and I may have tasted a hint of coffee. We even passed by a couple of Santa's elves!
The announcement was made as a series of performances, photos and concept art. This was not only a media event, – there were also passholders invited, and it was interesting to hear the crowd murmur louder as different aspects of Christmas Town were unveiled. I mentioned earlier that I wasn't sure what to expect, and it exceeded almost everything that I could have imagined for a first-year event.
Ice skating shows are a big part of the 53 year history of Busch Gardens, and having a new show will be a huge draw for Christmas Town.
Jungle Jubilee will include exotic decorations along the Cheetah Hunt walkway. Cheeta Hunt – Florida's only triple launch coaster – will be available for guests to ride!
Busch Gardens' Crown Colony House will be transformed into a festive display of lights and music, Carol of the Bells.