Concept art of the nativity scene:
Three Wise Men perform:
Real snow drifts will delight young and old in Christmas Town Park, with snow men strolling along the walkways for photos:
During the presentation, we were told that Busch Gardens has secured world-class entertainment. I wasn't sure what that meant – maybe a talented local band. This ended up being the most exciting part of Christmas Town for me. There are two acts that will be familiar to many guests. The first one is Jimmy Osmond's Christmas Jukebox, where Jimmy Osmond and his family will sing Christmas tunes and share holiday memories. The second musical act was more surprising to me, and I'm not sure how Busch Gardens was able to secure them for so many nights. Jars of Clay is a Contemporary Christian group that has been entertaining audiences for nearly 20 years, and recorded a popular Christmas album. Jars of Clay will be offering an exclusive concert each evening in Gwazi Park.
There will be a penguin habitat set up for the Christmas Town Penguins near Candy Cane Lane in the Nairobi area of the park!
We were able to get up close and personal with some of the penguins from Sea World, some of whom may be there for the exhibit.
Busch Gardens President Jim Dean:
And here is a look at the Busch Gardens Christmas Town Preview Center, which will give guests a look at what is planned. Guests can also purchase tickets here.
This was one of the most animated snowmen I've ever met!
More of the preview center:
General admission to Christmas Town is $39.99 for adults and $14.99 for children, but advance tickets will run only $29.99 for adults, and $9.99 for children. Pass Member advance tickets are $24.99 each for adults, $9.99 for children. The hours are from 6pm – 11pm, though the tickets we purchased noted that we could arrive at 5pm (and we will). Christmas Town will be available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from November 30th – December 23rd.
The highlights for me of Christmas Town? The new ice skating show, Carol of the Bells at the Crown Colony House, real snow at Christmas Town Park, and especially Jars of Clay. I think Jimmy Osmond's Christmas Jukebox will be a pretty special experience as well. And there is so much more I never wrote about, including:
Sesame Street Season of Fun (Elmo and friends will be dressed up in their holiday finery for photos!)
Candy Cane Lane, which will lead guests to Santa's House.
Christmas Town Express, for the "biggest Christmas carol sing-a-long on wheels"!
Welcome to Santa's House, where guests can meet the big guy himself.
And guests will be able to ride some of Busch Gardens most popular roller coasters, including Cheetah Hunt, Gwazi and SheiKra!
After the announcement, we checked out one of our favorite Busch Gardens exhibits, Walkabout Way. The kangaroos and wallabies had recently been fed, and were enjoying a rest. When it's feeding time, guests can buy food and interact with the residents here.
The flowers and topiaries all over Busch Gardens are extensive and beautiful.
We got caught in a storm as we prepared to leave, so we spent an hour or so in the shops.
Busch Gardens has left no stone unturned with the debut of Christmas Town this year. Jeff and I are always looking for new and unique ways to celebrate the holiday, and Christmas Town will likely start a new holiday tradition for us. The Busch Gardens website has more information! The Busch Gardens event page can be found here.