Thank you to Busch Gardens for inviting me to their Media Day to learn about Christmas Town. Information in this post is accurate for Christmas Town 2019.
Haul out the holly-Christmastime is officially here! And with Christmastime comes Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s annual holiday celebration, Christmas Town. Are you planning a visit to Christmas Town this year? Here’s what you should know before you go!
Should you be there when Christmas Town opens?
Busch Gardens opens at noon or 2pm, depending on which day you visit, during Christmas Town. That gives you three to five hours of park time before the sun sets. If you are traveling with little ones, especially those who will appreciate the “Elmo’s Christmas Wish” show in Sesame Streets Forest of Fun, you’ll want to get there early.
Kids-and kids at heart like me-won’t want to miss the Sesame Street characters in their winter best. No offense to Santa, but my photo with Elmo was my favorite from the day. The rides in the forest are also operating in the daytime, letting the littlest guests get an early start on the fun.
Who else should get to Busch Gardens early? If you love rides, earlier in the day is the time to knock them out. Finnegan’s Flyer, Nacht Tower, Der Autobahn, Der Wirbelwind, Invadr, Verbolten, Kinder Karussel, Le Catapult, The Battering Ram, The Flying Machine, Peppermint Twist and Snowman Summit will all be operating, weather permitting.
If you’re visiting more for the lights and shows, wait until a little later in the day to enter Busch Gardens. You should plan to arrive by 5pm at the latest, no matter what your Christmas Town priorities might be.
What are the Christmas Town Must-Sees?
It’s not Christmas Town without a visit to see Santa! You have two Santa options for your visit. Santa’s Fireside Feast offers a buffet meal, storytime with Santa and a visit from Mrs. Claus. Reservations are required. You can also visit Santa in his workshop at NewKastle in the North Pole. The purchase of PhotoKey or Quick Queue gives you priority access to Santa’s Workshop.
PhotoKey also gives you digital access to gems like this. 😍
You’ll want to hop aboard the Christmas Town Express for a 1.5-mile tour through themed holiday vignettes and two million Christmas lights. The train ride begins and ends in France, and all other train stations are closed for the season. There is a Christmas Town Express-exclusive Quick Queue available for purchase so that you can skip the lines for this one ride.
Things To Do During Christmas Town
Words cannot express just how much we enjoyed grabbing a fresh cup of hot chocolate during our visit. As a matter of fact, we loved it so much we ended up with three cups each by the time we left. Grabbing a mug of hot chocolate before you hop on the Christmas Town Express is highly recommended.
The Traditions Tree Maze was a new edition to this year’s Christmas Town. It combines almost 500 freshly cut trees with winter traditions from around the world.
Christmas Town is full of holiday-themed shows for you to enjoy. You can watch “Deck The Halls”, a Christmas singalong, inside of Festhaus, and you can watch the festive lights and music of O’Tannenbaum every 30 minutes just outside. Other shows include “Scrooge No More” in the Globe Theater, “Believe” in Il Teatro Di San Marco Theatre, “Gloria” in the Abbey Stone Theatre, and “‘Twas The Night” featuring champion figure skater Elvis Stojko in the Royal Palace Theatre. Make sure you get the show schedule online before your visit so that you can plan everything you want to do!
The 10 Million Lights Of Christmas Town
The stars of Christmas Town, of course, are the 10 million lights you will see throughout the park. In addition to the Christmas Town Express, hop on the Aeronaut Skyride in England, France or Germany for a birdseye view. Nacht Tower, which usually is a thrilling drop ride, slowly descends during Christmas Town, giving you another great view of the lights from high in the sky.
You can visit the 10 million lights of Christmas Town for yourself on select nights at Busch Gardens Williamsburg through January 5, 2020.