Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s signature Christmas Celebration called Christmas Town opens today, Friday, November 23. Busch Gardens Christmas Town features lights, decorations, entertainment, and a new expansion called “Holiday Hills.” Continue reading for more details and photos from Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
From Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Press Release
Williamsburg, VA – The wait is over. Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration is now open with traditional favorites guests have come to love, and all new experiences harkening back to simpler times when life seemed less hectic.
Holiday Hills is the latest creation at Busch Gardens’ annual Christmas event and celebrates mid-20th-century Christmas traditions. Tin toys, painted Christmas lights and miles of garland transform the park’s Festa Italia area into a picture-perfect memory of a time not so long ago. Holiday Hills expands Christmas Town’s footprint with additional ride and dining opportunities along with the over-the-top thematic elements that have become a Christmas Town tradition.
Holiday Hills joins Christmas Town’s other signature attractions that have become favorites among park guests during the Christmas holiday. Walk among six million twinkling Christmas lights and sip Busch Gardens’ signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate while visiting the park’s iconic themed villages. Guests love gathering around Busch Gardens’ 50-foot-tall, light-dancing Christmas tree and then browsing the artisan-made crafts at Mistletoe Marketplace. Others take their children to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop at the snowy North Pole.
Many of the park’s world-class rides and attractions are also open (weather permitting), including the all new Verbolten, an indoor/outdoor, multi-launch roller coaster that debuted this past spring. The park’s tallest ride, Mäch Tower has been renamed Nacht Tower for Christmas Town. The attraction will operate in observation mode so guests can take a leisurely 240-foot ride above Christmas Town for a view of the park usually reserved for Santa and his eight tiny reindeer, then descend slowly back to the ground.
An evening at Christmas Town begins in England as a bustling city scene comes to life with Dickens-style carolers strolling amid traditional greenery, red bows and candles that flicker in every shop window. Leave the city lights behind and explore the Scottish countryside where sheep and horses roam under a star-filled sky. Guests floating high above the park aboard a Flight of Lights gondola are afforded a breathtaking view of the park’s Christmas lights and decorations.
Follow the path to the Irish village of Killarney for a dazzling Christmas festival. Pull up a stool and warm up at Grogan’s Pub with a selection of hearty soups and stews, then stroll across the courtyard to the Abbey Stone Theatre for Busch Gardens’ newest show, Gloria!, where the greatest story ever told comes to life as only Busch Gardens can imagine.
In France, explore an ice-filled wonderland with dazzling lights, falling snow and an up-close penguin encounter. Grab a turkey leg at Cafe Lulu and then head to New France to enjoy a down-home Christmas where the sights and aromas of a country Christmas fill the air. Trappers Smokehouse has a variety of smoked meats, salads and desserts that will satisfy even the most discriminated taste.
Visit Santa at his workshop at the North Pole for a picture with the jolly old elf before heading to Germany’s Oktoberfest for Virginia’s tallest light-animated Christmas tree. Climb aboard Nacht Tower for an awe-inspiring view of Christmas Town’s six million twinkling lights. Thrill seekers up to challenge Verbolten will experience Busch Gardens’ newest thrill coaster that propels riders through the mythical black forest.
Warm up afterward with an assortment of pretzels at Beste Brezeln und Bier. New menu options include chocolate fudge stuffed pretzels and a variety of new dipping sauces.
Guests who need more than a snack can head inside Das Festhaus for an all new buffet-style dinner featuring signature Christmas Town entrees and priority seating for Deck the Halls, a high-energy Christmas production that is fun for the whole family. Walk through Germany’s Mistletoe Marketplace for a perfect holiday gift from one of Christmas Town’s visiting artisans.
Miracles in Il Teatro di San Marco offers guests an uplifting celebration of the Christmas spirit through powerful music and dance. Accompanied by live vocalists, this ensemble of dancers will inspire guests to believe that anything is possible. Experience peace on earth with a quiet stroll through the park’s formal Italian gardens all decorated for the holidays. Head over the bridge to Holiday Hills and a trip back in time when life seemed simpler and Christmas decorations were bold. Stop in Dasher’s Diner for a piece of apple pie and then take a spin in the teacups aboard Peppermint Twist for a bit of holiday cheer. Finish the evening at Polar Pathway, a walk-through attraction featuring breathtaking waterfalls of light and other sensory delights.
Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration opens Nov 23 and runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec 9. The park is open daily from Dec 14 through Dec 31, except on Christmas Day. Check out www.christmastown.com for complete details.
As part of the holiday-themed activities, the 2012 Christmas Town Dash 8K, will take place on Sunday, December 2nd. The family fitness event will run through Busch Gardens Christmas Town, and is a benefit for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign. All participants are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will also go towards the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.