Unofficial Guide to Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town
Get your Tickets! Christmas Town Fun Cards. are available so you can keep coming back or if you want to visit Colonial Williamsburg too? Try a Christmas Town Bounce Card! – Busch Gardens +Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Town Bounce Ticket. Keep scrolling down for all the new things this year at Christmas Town!
The annual Christmas Town celebration starts Nov. 24 and runs select days through Jan. 1, 2018. This year’s event is bigger and better than ever with a roomier home for Santa, an all-new show called Gift of Harmony™ PLUS new yummy food options. Try the new cookie shop in the Germany village – it is a must. Cookies, beverages and a heated seating area will be available here. Best of all there are more lights than ever—more than 8 million across the park—giving Christmas Town the most lights of any holiday event in North America. Unofficial Guide to Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town
So, if you are in Williamsburg anytime between mid November and the January 1st, you do not want to miss Busch Garden’s Christmas Town. There is something for everyone in your family. There are rides for all ages including InvadR™, Busch Gardens’ new wooden roller coaster, and Verbolten® will be open to ride, along with 22 other rides, shows that the entire family can enjoy, several dining options that offer both great food and wonderful entertainment, and World-champion figure skater Elvis Stojko! Wait, did we mention Santa Claus is there too? (The real one!)
TIP: Beat the crowds and head to Santa’s workshop for photos as soon as the park opens. Santa has moved this year – his home is now in Dark Castle!
TIP: Get a great view of the lights from the Skyride, the train, or Mach Tower (or Nacht Tower), which descends slowly so you get the bests views! Or check out O’Tennenbaum, a music and lights show at the 50-foot Christmas tree in front of Das Fest Haus (usually runs every half hour).
The weather in Williamsburg is not usually freezing but Busch Gardens is a huge park and you will walk quite a bit so bring a jacket, mittens and a hat if it is chilly, though they have lots of shops where you can buy warmer items, like beautiful Irish hats, scarves and sweaters if you catch a chill. There are several heated eating areas as well.
Since the park is divided into European countries, the shops in each country offer items of that land. Check Busch Gardens website before you go as they often have artists from Europe who come to create and sign their works at the various different countries’ shops.
Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™ also will be all decked out for the holidays. Guests can meet their favorite Sesame Street characters, including Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster, and capture a special holiday photo. Families can ride Grover’s Alpine Express and take time for some Christmas shopping at Abby Cadabby’s Treasure Trove. The splash pad area is transformed into a play area of lights and greenery for the kids to wander through.
Live entertainment is a fundamental part of the Busch Gardens experience and Christmas Town keeps this tradition alive. We took our children to see Gloria this year and sat in the second row of Ireland’s Abbey Stone Theatre. My children have never sat so close to an orchestra. They watched the strings section intently. The singers were fantastic and the show opens with the performers behind a lit scrim; my daughter thought is was a film for the first few minutes, it was so beautiful.
The Globe Theater in England has returned to its musical roots; presenting live musical productions, which started with London Rocks!, Christmas Town is continuing the live musical theater programming with “Scrooge No More!” This rendition of the classic Christmas Carol story focuses on Scrooge’s transformation from Humbug to Christmas Ambassador Extraordinaire.
For a full-scale ice show check out Royal Palace Theatre in France. Inspired by the classic poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas, ‘Twas That Night features two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko. This show really captured the magic of Christmas Eve — I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, me or my kids! They loved seeing Santa and his reindeer on skates – and there are a few more surprises but I won’t spoil it for you! This is an outdoor space so if it is a chilly night – mittens and coats and some yummy hot chocolate will do the trick.
TIP: The Royal Palace Theatre is in an open-air venue with tons of seating, but I recommend going early if you want the best seats on busy nights (you can also pay extra for reserved seating online before you go.)
Das Fest Haus located in Oktoberfest offers great food with options for everyone and huge benches of seating. The show “Deck the Halls” is filled with the holiday tunes you hear on the radio and grew up singing. We loved hearing the live band, and the dancers perform on both sides of the stage, so any seat in the house will be pretty good. This is a fun, sure to please show and a great place to sit down, eat dinner or just grab a hot chocolate and enjoy a good performance.
TIP: Near the Fest Haus, duck into the Mistletoe Marketplace and find a traditional Germany outdoor market and with unique treasures for everyone on your Christmas list.
Stop by Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland and see Rudolph and his Friends – this is perfect photo op for your kids (and you) to jump in a picture with your favorite childhood characters.
Christmas Town has added a new offering to its array of yuletide shows. Gift of Harmony™ features a modern a cappella sound with stunning and complex vocals performed by a group of talented singers. The musical set will include traditional Christmas songs and some newer holiday favorites.
Also new this year Santa has a new workshop and it is bigger than ever before! The larger home allows for more children to meet ol’ jolly St. Nick, take pictures and drop off their Christmas wish lists. We are excited to check out Santa’s new place!
Places to dine:
Christmas Town offers an assortment of special dining experiences, including Dine with Rudolph and Friends and Tastes of Christmas Town which features a buffet luncheon with a carving station, pasta and salad bar, kid-friendly foods and other holiday favorites.
If you want to plan a special dinner for the family Santa’s Fireside Feast in Ireland’s Castle O’Sullivan is a wonderful meal with everything from meatballs to a turkey dinner on the buffet, and an intimate setting where Santa comes out and recites “T’was the Night Before Christmas”. Mrs. Claus came and chatted with our delighted children at our table. Santa is waiting on stage for little ones to climb on his lap and tell him their hearts’ desires. It is also the perfect photo op.
One of my favorite places to eat year round is always the Trappers’ Smokehouse, where you will enjoy hand-carved smoked turkey, ham or brisket dinner and special kid’s choices too.
For all the dining options visit Busch Gardens website.
Planning on shopping at Busch Gardens – and why not, they have package pickup. Purchase your item and ask to have it taken to Parcel Pick up right near the exit of the park. We did it and it was easy as pie!
MONEY-SAVING TIPS: Here are a few special offers that can save you a couple of dollars – especially if you are a repeat visitor to Christmas Town:
- You can always use your refillable drink cups from past seasons to get a reduced rate on refills of soda.
- Thirsty? You are welcome to bring in a water bottle to the park or you can ask for ice water at any concession stand – and it is free.
- You can save up to 45% on your meal by purchasing online in their Meal Deal section before you head to Christmas Town.
- Purchase the Christmas Town™ Souvenir Hot Beverage Mug for $5.99 and get additional refills for $1.79 during Christmas Town 2017. Souvenir mug (12 oz.) can be filled with coffee* , hot chocolate and fountain soda. (*Starbucks, Ghirardelli and alcoholic beverages are not included.)
- PhotoKey membership – your photos taken by Busch Garden’s photo team in the park will also be linked to your account so that you will be able to share, or create one-of-a-kind memorabilia from your trip to Busch Gardens – purchase and set it up before you go so that you can easily scan the QR codes on your phone app as you have your picture taken by staff at various locations. Here is the link for more info on Busch Gardens website
- If you are an season pass holder, you can still use your pass for free parking and 10% off food and retail items!
This is a separate ticket event so even Annual Pass holders need to purchase either a Christmas Town Fun Card or Single Admission Pass. If you want to visit Colonial Williamsburg try a Christmas Town Bounce Card! – Busch Gardens +Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Town Bounce Ticket. For ticket discounts visit our Busch Garden’s ticket discount page.
TIP: Please, please, please buy your tickets online before heading to the park – this will save you tons of time waiting in line!
If you have not been to Busch Garden’s Williamsburg before please check our Unofficial Guide to Busch Garden’s Williamsburg. It will give you the insider’s scoop on where to eat, snacks you can bring in the park and helpful tips.
Here is our page with the latest Busch Gardens promotions and special discounts like the special single day tickets starting at $15 (special pricing ends Nov 6).
This review was written in 2014 but was updated in 2015, 2016 & 2017! Unofficial Guide to Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town