Unofficial Guide to Busch Gardens Christmas Town
Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Christmas Town
November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020
(Member Sneak Peek is Friday, November 15 from 2pm-10pm)
There are big ticket savings this year including Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town Fun Card Unlimited Admission and you can also save big until Dec 2nd by going with an annual Membership. Memberships include Howl-0-Scream and Christmas Town and starting at the Unlimited Membership level they include parking too. Memberships are ON SALE! That is a big money saver if you are a repeat visitor! Details and tickets here!
Here is our Busch Gardens Discounts page that keeps up on discounts and memberships at Busch Gardens Williamsburg! Keep scrolling down for all the new things this year at Christmas Town!
The annual Christmas Town celebration transforms Busch Gardens into one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America runs select days through January 5, 2020. Highlights include more than 10 million lights, Christmas Town Express holiday-themed train ride, Santa’s Workshop, and festive food, drinks and unique holiday shopping. New for 2019 is an inspirational holiday music show and all-new Christmas tree maze, where guests will experience holiday traditions celebrated around the world. So, if you are in Williamsburg anytime between mid November and January 5th, you do not want to miss Busch Garden’s Christmas Town. There is something for everyone in your family. Wait, did we mention Santa Claus is there too? (The real one!) Purchase tickets here!
Here are some top things to do this year at Christmas Town:
1. Santa’s Workshop: You can explore Santa’s Workshop in the NewKastle (formerly Dark Castle) building. Take pictures and children can personally drop off their Christmas wish lists!
TIP: Beat the crowds and head to Santa’s workshop for photos as soon as the park opens.
2. New Traditions Tree Maze presented by Coca-Cola© – Featuring nearly 500 fresh-cut Christmas trees that create a spectacular maze where park-goers can stroll around the globe and explore cultural and winter holiday traditions from places like South Africa, Japan, Israel and Mexico. Country of origin themed craft-making stations for the kids, picture-taking moments, music and lights make this immersive experience like no other.
3. Christmas Town Express: – The familiar Choo Choo of the Busch Gardens Railway will have you singing along to favorite holiday songs while enjoying the lighted decorations along the park’s popular train route. They have caroling, two million stunning Christmas lights and themed holiday vignettes meticulously placed around the 1.5-mile tour. It is a great place to sit with the whole family and take in the park. Little ones will enjoy the real train ride and everyone else will enjoy a little rest as you tour the sites.
4. Wilkommenhaus – located in the park’s German village (where the Escape rooms are during Howl-O-Scream) will transforms into an amazing visual Christmas spectacle through beautiful projection mapping. The sweet smell of Christmas treats from the Cookies & Cocoa Shop wafts through the air as virtual gingerbread men bring this festive village to life every 15-minutes during Christmas Town. Kids will love watching this light show.
TIP: Get a great view of the most of the lights from the Skyride, the Christmas Town Express train, or Mach Tower (or Nacht Tower), which descends slowly during Christmas Town so you get the bests views!
5. O’Tannenbaum – There is a hot chocolate stand near by – so grab a mug and get ready to watch the multi-colored spectacular light show O’ Tannenbaum located in front of the Das Fest Haus. Gather with friends around our majestic 50-foot Christmas tree, sip your hot beverage and dance to the booming holiday musical score. The iconic tree creates a sense of community that will stay with you long after you leave the park…and everyone has a photo with this tree in their Christmas photos!
6. 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 Das Fest Haus, duck into the Mistletoe Marketplace and find a traditional Germany outdoor market and with unique treasures for everyone on your Christmas list.
7. Sesame Street® holiday show: Elmo’s Christmas Wish –Elmo’s Christmas Wish debuted last year on the stage at Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™. Guests can enjoy this holiday musical show with Rosita, Grover, Zoe and Cookie Monster as they help Elmo find his Christmas wish. Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™ also will be all decked out for the holidays. Guests can meet their favorite Sesame Street characters, including 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.
8. New Believe: Dine while enjoying festive holiday music performed by a solo pianist in the Italy’s San Marco Theatre. The performance is beautiful.
TIP: The San Marco Theatre is an outdoor space so if it is a chilly night bring the mittens and coats.
9. Gloria: 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 last 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.
10.”Scrooge No More”: The Globe Theater in England has returned to its musical roots; presenting live musical productions, which started with London Rocks!, Christmas Town continues 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. We have seen this show every year and love it!
11. NEW Finnegan’s Flyer™ – Take in the festive sights of the newest ride in Ireland swinging 80 feet above the cliffs of the Celtic coast. This extreme swing is not for the faint of heart, testing the bravest of riders as they swing at speeds of 45 mph. InvadR™ and Verbolten® roller coasters also will be open.
12.‘Twas That Night: 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 headlined by former Olympic skater 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 – 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.)
13. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™: 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. The classic Christmas character is back and joined by friends Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, Bumble and Sam the Snowman. Also, enjoy a multis-ensory presentation of the timeless Rudolph story at Rudolph’s Movie Experience.
14. Caribou Pottery: Take a break from all the excitement and sit down with your kids and paint. Select the pottery pieces you would like to paint like holiday decor, bowls, plates and mugs and paint them. They will fire them and then you can pick them up or have them mailed to you. We enjoy hanging our ornament on the tree every year! Located in New France.
Places to Dine:
Christmas Town offers an assortment of special dining experiences which feature a buffet luncheon with a carving station, pasta and salad bar, kid-friendly foods and other holiday favorites.
One of my favorite places to eat is the Trappers’ Smokehouse, where you will enjoy smoked signature ribs, smoked chicken, BBQ sliders, and kid-friendly options.
There is a warm seating area to take a break from the cold and enjoy a warm and delicious meal.
15. Santa’s Fireside Feast : 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.
For all the dining options visit Busch Gardens website.
16. Parcel Pickup: 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 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 and then get refills at a discounted rate during Christmas Town 2019. 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.
- If you have an Annual Membership, depending on your level, you will receive free or discounted parking and discounts on food and merchandise. Check your membership levels to see your discounts before you go!
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 .
This review was written in 2014 but was updated in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019!
WilliamsburgFamilies.com is happy to be a Thrill Chaser Official Blogger for Busch Gardens. Staff is given tickets to attend opening performances and rides and special events that we then review and share with our readers. This post and site has affiliate links.