Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Returns

Christmas Town



More Snow, More Event Nights and More Than a Million Lights Create the Bay Area’s Biggest Christmas Celebration Ever

Tampa, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2013) – `Tis the season for family traditions! Last year, Busch Gardens® Tampa launched the biggest Christmas celebration ever, and this year, Christmas Town has even more jolly times in store! This year, Christmas Town has more snow, even more event nights and more than a million twinkling lights! Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests’ senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and continuing a beautiful tradition for Tampa’s families. What’s even better than that? A portion of the proceeds from Christmas Town will benefit All Children’s Hospital here in the Bay area.


This year’s event has added even more nights to experience all-new evening attractions, shows and shopping. Christmas Town is open 18 select nights from 6 to 11 p.m., Nov. 29 through Dec. 23.

NEW THIS YEAR! Enjoy unlimited admission to all 18 nights of Christmas Town with the Christmas Town Unlimited ticket for just $89 plus tax for adults and $29 plus tax for children.

NEW THIS YEAR! This year’s event also introduces Discovery Dollars, a new cashless wristband that can be preloaded with cash or linked to a credit card. Dollars can be used at merchandise and dining locations around Christmas Town to make your family’s night even merrier!  Guests who set up accounts with cash can visit Guest Relations upon their exit to have unspent money returned. Unclaimed monies will be donated to SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

And while Christmas Town brings exclusive Yuletide experiences, guests will also have the opportunity to ride some of Busch Gardens’ most popular roller coasters, including Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra and Gwazi.  The special event includes attractions exclusive to the nighttime experience:

This year, SnowWorld® Presented by Coca-Cola® brings real snow back to Florida! This guest favorite is bigger than ever for even more snow-filled fun! Slide down eight new slides, make a snowman, play in the soft white snow or pack the perfect snow balls to test your aim in the target practice area.

All aboard the Christmas Town Express for the biggest Christmas carol sing-a-long on wheels. Friends and family are invited join in singing traditional songs of the season like “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while circling the Serengeti on a beautifully lit vintage-style steam locomotive.


The Claus family invites you into their North Pole home at Welcome to Santa’s House. While the elves are busy preparing for Christmas, Mrs. Claus is in the kitchen baking holiday treats, but even Santa himself will take a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with families in his private study.

Straight from the South Pole, the Christmas Town penguins have brought a bit of ice and snow all the way to Florida! Come chill with these dapper little creatures and marvel at their underwater antics at the newly expanded Penguin Point, complete with a giant penguin photo opportunity in the Nairobi area.

Even Busch Gardens’ most familiar fans will barely recognize the portions of the park that convert to Christmas Town through special entertainment, live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and more than one million twinkling Christmas lights:

NEW! Enjoy a trip back in time to celebrate Christmas in the good ‘ole days in Holiday Hills. In this nostalgic town, a live brass band sets the mood for seasonal fun with everyone’s favorite Christmas tunes while Mrs. Claus cooks up delicious holiday fare for the whole family at Mrs. Claus’s Family Feast.

NEW! Journey into Jungala to see a nature-inspired Christmas, including a new tree light show in Christmas Time Terrace. A larger-than-life Christmas tree comes alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights. The breathtaking light show on this 40-foot tree is the perfect place for this year’s family photo.

NEW! Sneak a kiss with your sweetheart in the beautiful garden walkway of Mistletoe Memories. Here, romantic topiaries, flowers and sparkling white twinkle lights fill the trees overhead and set the scene for sweet moments with loved ones and beautiful photos worth cherishing.

Celebration Village brings together the rich, warm colors of Christmas and heartfelt voices lifted in song to welcome guests as they enter Christmas Town. Draped in jewel-tone ornaments and glowing lights, the Moroccan Village comes alive with local choirs in the Marrakesh Theater and shops full of holiday gifts.

Family and friends will cozy up to brave the chill in the air along Ice Wonder Way. The frozen pathway sparkles and shimmers in the night as brilliant white garland wraps the front of the Moroccan Palace, welcoming guests for special performances of Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice.

Wild colors, exotic decorations and intricate animal patterns create the kind of Christmas found only in nature! Stretching along the Cheetah Hunt walkway, Jungle Jubilee welcomes guests to Florida’s only triple-launch coaster and the iconic Crown Colony restaurant, featuring special holiday fare and the Carol of the Bells light show.

Experience the humble magnificence of that first Christmas night and remember the real “reason for the season” along Miracle WayGuests will marvel at a topiary representation of the Holy Nativity and illuminated angels, set along the Stanleyville Bridge in the warm glow of Christmas lights and sacred holiday music.

Christmas has come to Sesame Street! Meet Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Zoe and Abby for photos and plenty of hugs for a funny, furry Christmas in Sesame Street A Very Furry Christmas at Busch Gardens. Stick around to see the characters in the all-new, heartwarming show Elmo’s Christmas Wish.

When it’s warm in December and there’s more sand than snow, celebrate a Floridian Christmas with a touch of the tropics in the Enchanted Flamingo Valley. Guests will be “thinking pink” as they encounter decorated palm trees and a flock of festive flamingos created from thousands of twinkling pink lights.

Christmas is in full bloom along Poinsettia Parkway, where guests can lose themselves among hundreds of traditional holiday flowers that set the scene for breathtaking pictures.  Make a family memory in front of an enormous tree made entirely of beautiful red poinsettias.

On your way to seasonal shops, delicious treats or to play in the snow, stop by Jingle Bell Junction and step into a larger-than-life-sized greeting card for fun family memories beneath a thousand dazzling Christmas lights, located at the crossroads of Christmas Town in Gwazi® Plaza.

Explore Christmas Town Village’s quaint holiday cabins while shopping for the perfect gift and indulge in a delicious seasonal treat like hot chocolate, waffles with ice cream, warm-baked cookies and rustic sandwiches along the Gwazi® Park walkway. Kids can climb aboard the Jingle Bell Express, a pint-sized train for a holly-jolly ride.

Steps away from the playful flock at Penguin Point, bright and colorful lights line the pathway and fill every branch of every tree surrounding the North Pole. Savor holiday treats and sights as your family prepares to meet the big man himself on the way to Welcome to Santa’s House.

Guests who have come to love Busch Gardens’ traditional holiday shows will still be able to see Christmas on Ice, Christmas from the Heart and Christmas Celebration during the day. But at Christmas Town, new shows will provide a very special evening of family-friendly entertainment:

NEW! Join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe and everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends in Christmas Town’s all-new show, Elmo’s Christmas Wish. Sing and dance along with Elmo as he makes a Christmas wish to Santa and learns the meaning behind Christmas.

NEW! Christmas Time Tree Show brings a larger-than-life Christmas tree alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights.

NEW! Join the adventure as everyone’s favorite Madagascar friends including Gloria, Alex, King Julien and the penguins go on a vacation with a Christmas twist in Madagascar Live! Operation: Christmas Vacation. Fun and colorful holographic ornaments fill the trees overhead on the plaza pathway leading to this all-new show.

World-class skaters will bring to life favorite Christmas songs both traditional and contemporary, in a cool, angel-inspired ice show, Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice, produced especially for Christmas Town by the creators of Christmas on Ice and Iceploration.

Busch Gardens’ Crown Colony House restaurant sets the stage for a stunning ballet of music and light each night under the stars. The Carol of the Bells features tens of thousands of Christmas lights covering the façade of the stately building set in motion to a choreographed presentation of stirring seasonal songs.

Local church choirs, school choruses and professional performance groups from around Florida raise their voices in joy and fill the Marrakesh Theater with song and Christmas cheer in the Hallelujah Showcase. Performance groups will change nightly and feature traditional, classic and new holiday ballads and favorites.


For those who can’t wait to get their night at Christmas Town started, guests are invited to pull up a chair at Mrs. Claus’ Family Feast for a special evening filled with stories, songs, a delicious buffet of traditional holiday fare, plenty of opportunities for holiday hugs and photos with Mrs. Claus and her favorite elves. Space is limited for this exclusive dining experience and reservations must be made in advance at             


“Christmas Town is a unique holiday tradition for Tampa Bay-area families,” says Jim Dean, Busch Gardens Tampa’s park president. “We’ve creating a season-long celebration for family and friends unlike any other event our guests have ever seen – the kind of Christmas fun only Busch Gardens can provide.”


Christmas Town is a separate-ticketed night event, and regular daytime admission is not required or included. General admission for Christmas Town is $60 for adults and $20 for children plus tax. Busch Gardens annual pass members will receive the deepest discounts with advance online pricing starting at $25, and special offers are available for guests wishing to upgrade their paid daily admission toBusch Gardens. Gift cards and tickets are available at Bay area Publix and AAA locations and additional discounts are offered through promotional codes from Coca-Cola® at Dunkin Donuts® and Fantastic Sam’s®.  Families with children ages 3 to 9 will enjoy a special advance-purchase price of $10 for their youngest members.


Christmas Town will also offer some magnificent new opportunities for groups looking to book a unique holiday party. For details, call the Busch Gardens Events Team at (813) 987-5523.

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Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens sign decorated for Christmas Town
Busch Gardens sign

If you are looking for a new way to experience the holidays in a theme park, look no further than Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay! This new nighttime event takes places on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from November 30 – December 23 from 6 – 11pm. We were fortunate enough to get to take part in this great new offering from Busch Gardens on opening night, and I cannot wait to go back again.

There are so many great things to do and see during this after hours party that requires a separate ticket for admission. Annual Passholder and advance discounted tickets are available so get your tickets ahead of time to be able to maximize your savings. Throughout the park beautiful decorations of gorgeous flora and spectacular lights are showcased with Christmas music floating around along with unique holiday food and beverage offerings.

We started off by exploring the schedule of shows to try to catch as many of the things with set times that we could. First up was the ice skating show Angels of Peace in the Moroccan Palace Theater. This was a beautiful presentation of nationally ranked ice skaters to some of your favorite Christmas carols. Next up we went to see the Hallelujah Chorus, which this evening was a local high school madrigal group performing classic Christmas songs.

After we explored Morocco and the gorgeous lights around the entrance to Christmas Town, we decided to head to Cheetah Hunt to catch a couple of back to back rides since it was a walk on. This was the case with practically no wait on Gwazi and Sheikra later too. While we rode, our friends watched the Carol of the Bells show projected on the Crown Colony House. This dancing lights show was amazing, especially catching it from Cheetah Hunt.

One of our favorite activities of the evening was the Christmas Town Sing-Along Train. We had so much fun singing Christmas carols with other guests while riding around the park on the Serengeti Express Train. We even got to see a few animals while riding around the Serengeti Plain! I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys Christmas carols or even just having fun as a group.

If you have little ones in your family I’m sure they (and you) will enjoy the dancing of the elves at Club Elf by Sheikra. You can even get your picture taken with the elves at the end of their set. This is a great interactive dance party for the young ones or those just young at heart. Also in this area you can find some unique holiday treats to Christmas Town. The Candy Cane Sprite Delight was one of our favorites.

Great light displays are dispersed around the park featuring some of the animals found at Busch Gardens like cheetahs, zebras, elephants and flamingos. These were some of the most beautiful areas of the park lit up at night. Next up we explored Christmas Town Village with great crafts, food and drinks to choose from. My snack of choice was delicious in the warm ham and swiss cheese sandwich on pretzel bread and honey mustard.

Gwazi Park plays host to the Contemporary Christian band Jars of Clay each night of Christmas Town. We were treated to a great show of Christmas carols as well as their hit song Flood. Definitely make this a don’t miss part of your evening! Next to the park you will find Snow World, a play area where kids can slide down a small snowy hill on inner tubes and kids big and small can throw snowballs at targets.

We ended the evening watching a performance of We Three Kings who sang and told the story of the nativity. On our way out of the park we caught the Enchanted Flamingo Valley, which was lit up with brilliant pink lights on the trees. All in all it was a fabulous evening filled with food, fun and Christmas spirit at Busch Garden’s Christmas Town. I am looking forward to going back again soon to catch several things I didn’t get to experience like Sesame Street: A Very Furry Christmas, Santa’s House and checking out some of the other amazing sounding dining options special to the Christmas Town celebration.

If you get a chance, hook up your sleigh and head on over to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to take advantage of the great special event that is Christmas Town! There are tons of fun things to do, great shows, live entertainment, animals, and of course some of your favorite rides. What better way to spend time getting in the holiday spirit than by visiting Christmas Town with family and friends.

Have you been to Christmas Town? What did you think? What are you most looking forward to seeing?

Read more about tickets for this special event here.


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Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tickets Available Now!


Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Santa is ready to celebrate the Season with Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, starting November 30th!


Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay launched the web site for the park’s biggest Christmas celebration ever. Tickets are now available online for Christmas Town, an event that will transform the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests’ senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and creating a beautiful new tradition for Tampa’s families. The event takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, Nov. 30 through Dec. 23.

On the Christmas Town web site, guests can also find information about the event’s all-new attractions, special entertainment, live music, festive treats and holiday shopping and display of thousands of twinkling lights.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay ticket information:

  • Children’s tickets purchased in advance online are $9.99 (ages 3 to 9)
  • General admission for Christmas Town is $39.99 plus tax
  • Busch Gardens will share a special promo code for tickets at $29.99 on the park’s Facebook page
  • Busch Gardens annual pass members will receive the best discounts, and special offers are available for guests wishing to upgrade their paid daily admission to Busch Gardens and through promotional codes from select retail partners
  • Christmas Town is a separate-ticketed night event, and regular daytime admission is not required or included

Christmas Town will also offer some magnificent new opportunities for groups looking to book a unique holiday party. For details, call the Busch Gardens Events Team at (813) 987-5523.

For the latest park news, “Like” Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on Facebook.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwitteryoutubetumblrinstagram