Christmas Town at Busch Gardens will include a new 40-foot pixelated holiday tree and new light displays that will take over the Jungala area for the holiday event that runs from November 11th, 2023 through January 7th, 2024 (all included with park admission!) There will be much more to Christmas Town from character appearance to shows and seasonal food and drinks.
Read below for more information about Christmas Town at Busch Gardens for 2023!
TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2023) – It’s that time of the year for thrills and holiday cheer at Busch Gardens Christmas Town, the biggest and brightest holiday celebration in the Tampa Bay area. From Nov. 11 through Jan. 7, the park transforms into a bright winter wonderland of seasonal entertainment, unique and up-close encounters with animals, culinary masterpieces as well as attractions such as Serengeti Flyer and the award-winning hybrid coaster, Iron Gwazi.
Iconic and beloved entertainment options will take over the entire park and will be available through the 58 consecutive days of the event, all included with regular park admission.
All new this year, guests can celebrate the season with new light displays that will take over the Jungala area, extending all the way though Pantopia featuring a light-up walkthrough dragon. Located in the Bird Gardens area of the park, guests are sure to step into wonder through a marvelous light tunnel, presented by Coca-Cola and composed of thousands of glimmering LED lights seamlessly synchronized to a symphony of holiday tunes. Also, a brand-new 40-foot pixelated tree will deck the halls at Cheetah Plaza.
Celebrating the holidays for more than a decade, Christmas Town returns with some of the fan-favorites that guests hold near and dear such as Santa’s North Pole Experience, presented by Coca-Cola, a unique experience where jolly elves interact with guests as they guide them to see Santa in his workshop. Also returning is Storytime with Mrs. Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Friends at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, where guests get to meet and greet the most famous reindeer of all. Other returning entertainment options are:
- “Christmas on Ice” – Back by popular demand, this energetic and mesmerizing seasonal show returns to the Moroccan Palace. See amazing thrills on ice and moments of wonder as talented skaters perform to traditional and popular Christmas songs. Multiple showtimes throughout the day.
- “Elmo’s Christmas Wish” – Families are sure to have a jolly good time as they help Elmo realize his Christmas wish! Sing-along, during this festive show featuring appearances by Elmo, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover, and Zoe. This show takes place in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun area of the park.
- “Three Kings Journey” – The famed journey of the three wise men to Bethlehem is celebrated in this inspiring musical tale. Only during select nights at the Dragon Fire Grill from Nov. 11 through Jan. 7.
- “Holiday in the Sky, a Nighttime Spectacular,” presented by Bad Boy Mowers – The evening sky comes to life with a colorful display of festive fireworks choreographed to a soundtrack of classic holiday tunes. This fireworks display will take place on the Festival Field on select event nights.
- Holly Jolly Express – The jolliest and brightest train will transport guests into the celebration as it loops around the park. While on their journey, guests are encouraged to sing-along to favorite songs of the season. All aboard for Christmas Cheer!
- Character Appearances – Guests will not want to miss the chance to capture memorable photos with special seasonal characters located throughout the park including princesses, lovable snowmen, and many more!
Festive and Heartwarming Seasonal Menu
From delightful mealtime moments to delectable food samples, Christmas Town offers an abundance of festive flavors to satisfy the holiday cravings. In addition to the traditional hot cocoa, which will have a dedicated cabin with options to choose from, guests can immerse themselves in a seasonal culinary journey, located throughout the entire park, with dishes and cocktails such as:
All-New, Returning and Reinvented Menu Items
- New! Chicken coq-au-vin served with red bliss mashed potatoes
- New! Holiday Poutine, served with gravy, cheese curds and cranberry relish
- New! Smoked turkey, stuffing, cranberry relish, gravy and Texas toast
- New! Seared scallop, ruby red couscous and goat cheese crumbles
- Returning Fan-Favorite! Red curry shrimp and jasmine rice
- Returning Fan-Favorite! Wild mushroom tart with boursin crema
- Reinvented! Festive Cheese & Berries – Brie tart with blackberry jam and sliced almonds
- Reinvented! Not-So-Traditional Holiday Ham – Pork shank braised with spiced pineapple & brown sugar with green beans
All-New Signature Christmas Town Cocktails
- New! Mistletoe Margarita – Tequila, Monin pomegranate and a splash of lime
- New! South for the Winter – Jack Daniels, Jack Daniels Honey, Monin cranberry, ginger and lime
- New! Jack Frost – Coconut rum, blue curacao, mint and a splash of lime
- New! Ginger Snap Mule – Spiced rum, Amaretto, ginger and a splash of lime
- New! Candy Cane Lane – Vodka, Monin Peppermint, grenadine and a splash of lime
The absolute best way to experience the jolliest of all seasons at Busch Gardens is with a Christmas Town Sampler Lanyard. Starting at $45 and redeemable at the numerous cabins located throughout the entire park, Samplers offer the best value for guests and will be available in quantities of five and 10. An exclusive 12-item Sampler for the same price as a 10-item is available for all Pass Members. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.
Jolly Upgrades, VIP Tours and Even More Holiday Cheer with Passes and Fun Cards
In addition to a Christmas Town Sampler Lanyard, guests looking for an extra dose of holiday cheer can opt to enhance their Christmas Town experience by selecting from a nice list of jolly upgrades. For Santa’s North Pole Experience, presented by Coca-Cola, and meet and greets with Rudolph and Friends, a Santa/Rudolph Priority Access Line is available for purchase. And for merry memorable experience, guests can book a Christmas Town VIP Tour which will include Front of the Line access to Santa’s House and Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, a complimentary souvenir mug, reserved seating to the Christmas on Ice show, an opportunity to feed Flamingos, and more. A Christmas Town Elite Tour is also available, including everything the VIP Tour offers plus a meet and greet with Santa and reserved seating for the fireworks show.
For as low as $14.50 per month and with the Best Benefits Ever, a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Annual Pass will allow guests to get an exclusive experience of this year’s Christmas Town, with dedicated viewing time for Christmas on Ice, priority 2-hour access to Santa’s North Pole experience on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12. Also, pass members get to be the first to ride Phoenix Rising, upon opening in 2024, and have unlimited admission to enjoy amazing seasonal events that are included with the park ticket.