Full disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets to Busch Gardens Christmas Town in exchange for an article about my experience at the annual event. Any opinions expressed are my own and do not represent Busch Gardens or any other entity.
My family and I hit the road on Saturday for an evening at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for their annual Christmas Town event. The weather on Saturday was perfect for a day at a theme park. It’s normally hot whenever I visit theme parks, but it was in the mid-60s on Saturday.
Immediately upon entering the theme park we encountered a few of the local workers dressed in excellent holiday outfits which made for great photo ops. If you are trying to take some family photos, Christmas Town is filled with props and characters to help build some great memories.
We decided to hit the ice skating show first called “Christmas on Ice”. I tried to hit this show last year, but arrived too late to enter the show. You need to arrive early if you want to watch this show, I recommend 30-40 minutes before the show at the minimum for good seats.
“Christmas on Ice” was a really great show with some exceptional ice skaters and plenty of different themes that can appeal to families, couples, kids, and various groups. I really enjoyed this show and recommend it to anyone visiting Busch Gardens during Christmas Town.
After the show we made our way over to the Christmas Village. They relocated the village this year to the lanes by Gwazi due to construction in their old zone. There was a good number of food and drink options, but it did feel slimmed back a little.
I had a turkey panini that was excellent here, however there was quite a line and wait for food, which was definitely frustrating. I also tried the Chicken N Waffles, which were delicious but went a little too heavy on the apple butter.
I recommend hitting up Christmas Village earlier if you’re going to get food because some booths were overwhelmed by crowds and didn’t seem to have a proper system in place to handle them. It have also been the fact that the booth I was mainly at was making mac and cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, which may be logistically difficult.
A nice added feature was wine tastings and a whiskey addition, which gives you some liquor options unless you to venture over to Dragon Fire Grill & Pub or one of their other restaurants for some libations (we eventually did).
After we grabbed some food, we wandered over to the Serengetti Overlook Restaurant to watch the Carol of the Bells light show which is always fun and great for kids. After that we ventured back and headed towards the Sing-a-Long Train which is always one of my favorite things to do at Christmas Town and great for when you’re tired of walking and need a break.
We wanted to hit up Santa Clause and Rudolph but the wait times were over an hour so we decided to skip it since we didn’t have much time left until the theme park closed. Busch Gardens does sell priority access to these areas for $24.99 for those who would rather pay to skip the line.
One thing we didn’t see this year that I expected to see was the snow machines, which I appreciate quite a bit living here in Florida. Hope those come back in the future.
Overall, my family and I had a great time at Busch Gardens Christmas Town. The lights were beautiful and we enjoyed all the Christmas trees and cheer as well as all the photo opportunities to make some memories. Christmas Village could be improved a bit more logistically, but it was still enjoyable overall.
I recommend getting there early so you can get the most out of it or return back multiple times if you are a passholder and take your time going through the areas of the park and enjoying the holiday spirit.
Happy Holidays everyone!