Busch Gardens Christmas Town has become a family tradition, we have attended almost every year since it began in 2012. Over the last 5 years we have attended every Christmas season with our son Jordan and his wife Savannah. It’s one of her favorite holiday traditions. Every October she says, “We are going to Christmas Town this year, right?” Savannah’s mother and brother are coming to Florida for Thanksgiving so we are hoping to bring them along as well.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns as the longest holiday celebration in the Tampa Bay area offering brand new experiences to celebrate the holidays and create memories to cherish for a lifetime. Christmas Town joyfully bundles millions of twinkling lights, uplifting shows, iconic holiday light displays, culinary delights and award-winning attractions such Iron Gwazi every day from Nov. 14 through Jan. 9. Running for 57 consecutive days, the beloved event is included with park admission.
- New! Holiday in the Sky – The evening sky comes to life with a colorful display of festive fireworks while an added spectacular water fountain show dances to the rhythm of a reimagined soundtrack with classic holiday tunes. Holiday in the Sky will take place on the Festival Field on select event nights.
- New! A mesmerizing and enchanting musical light and projection show will adorn the Serengeti Overlook building. Guests will not want to miss this spectacle, which will run daily every 15 minutes starting at 6 p.m.
- Christmas with the Celts – A wonderful combination of Christmas Carols and Irish dance will captivate guests with the spirited and energetic entertainment of Christmas with the Celts. The renowned group of vocalists, musicians and dancers will perform live at Stanleyville Theater’s stage Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 16 through Dec. 25.
- New! Land of the Sweets – At this sweet winter wonderland, guests will findthe Sugar Plum ballerina stilt walker and her Cavalier soldier, the newest characters to join the Sugar Plum Princess in her magnificent new realm.
- New! Right in the heart of Jungala, guests will be in awe with a new 32-foot-tall Christmas tree surrounded by a red and white winter wonderland.
Returning fan-favorites include:
- Santa’s North Pole Experience, presented by Coca-Cola, a unique experience where jolly elves guide guests to interact with Santa in his workshop as he prepares for the holiday season. Parked outside, guests will see Santa’s sleigh for the merriest photo opportunity.
- Joyful songs fill the air and holiday tales come to life for Storytime with Mrs. Claus.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is joined by Clarice and Bumble at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, where guests get to meet and greet to find the most famous reindeer of all.
- “Christmas on Ice” – The Moroccan Palace Theater is the home of Busch Gardens’ longest running holiday show, a winter-wonderland on ice and an unmissable skating show set to classic holiday tunes.
- Elmo’s Christmas Wish – Guests can join Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover, and Zoe in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun area of the park as they help Elmo find his Christmas wish! Families are sure to be singing and dancing along while watching this fun holiday show.
- Three Kings Journey – The musical tale of the three wise men famed journey to Bethlehem is celebrated at Dragonfire Grill. Only during select nights from Nov. 18 through Jan. 8.
- Holly Jolly Express – All aboard for Christmas Cheer! The merriest train will transport guests into the celebration as they loop around the park aboard this sing-along journey playing the favorite songs of the season.
There are lots of new and returning entertainment options but I was really hoping that “Christmas Is..”, “The Most Wonderful Time”, or “Christmas from the Heart” music spectaculars would be returning. I don’t ride many rides at Busch Gardens so the shows are what make me happy.
Of course we will be riding the Holly Jolly Express, that is a family must-do as is singing at the top of our lungs the entire ride. We are a family of musicians so its a lot of fun!
New Seasonal Menu Items
- New! Red Curry Shrimp and Jasmine Rice
- New! Wild Mushroom Tart with Boursin Cheese Crema
- New! Braised Beef and Roasted Garlic Smashed Potato
- New! Unique cabin serving Wine and Chocolate Truffles
- New! A “Decorate Your Own Cookie” Cabin for kids
And because the holidays are all about tradition, guests will also enjoy the signature Christmas Town Hot Chocolate located in various locations throughout the park. YUM! Christmas Town Hot Cocoa is a requirement on our visit! Hopefully having additional locations will make it easier to get. We have often waited in 30+ minute lines to get hot cocoa on a warm Florida night.
The absolute best way to experience the jolliest of all seasons at Busch Gardens is with a Christmas Town Sampler Lanyard. Starting at $40 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.
For as low as $14 per month and with exclusive benefits valued at more than $400, a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Annual Pass will allow guests to get a sneak preview of this year’s Christmas Town. Also, pass members get to be the first to ride Serengeti Flyer, the park’s all-new 2023 ride opening in 2023, and have unlimited visits to the park’s seasonal events that are included with admission.
For a limited-time, guests looking for not just the best gift but also great savings can pay for a day with Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Fun Card which provides unlimited access to the park’s world-class attractions, award-winning entertainment, up-close animal encounters, and vibrant seasonal events through 2023 with the rest of 2022 free.