Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: A new holiday tradition filled with joy and inspiration
Upon entering Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, I was immediately in awe of the simple beauty of thousands of multicolor lights setting the mood for my holiday experience. As joy filled the air, we made our way to the first attraction.
Angels of Peace – A Christmas Journey on Ice is a show combining angel imagery with ice skating. Especially enjoyable was the artistry of the acrobatic work in combination with the skating. Outside of the theater you’ll find a living angel statue – great for people watching.
You can click any photo to view it full-screen, and don’t miss the complete photo gallery at the bottom of the post.
As you walk around the park there are plenty of photo ops with festive decorations and lights — you can even turn the pictures that Busch Gardens photographers take of you into Holiday cards at the photo center. Especially pretty is Poinsettia parkway with thousands of the plants displayed festively as Christmas trees. There is a peaceful area called Miracle Way dedicated to the Holy Nativity. It is beautifully and simply decorated with candles everywhere including a walkthrough archway.
Penguin Point has some critters new to Busch Gardens: the penguins from the South Pole. This area lets you take a break and delight in the little penguins’ antics.
The Sesame Street Safari area has photo ops and interactions with characters like Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Bert and Ernie in their holiday wear. It is decorated with lights in bright primary colors. Of course Santa’s house in the North Pole is the most popular meet and greet area and had a very long wait. Santa and Mrs. Claus invite you into their house and you get to take pictures and have Christmas cookies!
The Christmas Town sing-along train across the Serengeti was a lot of fun. Singing Christmas carols really puts you in the spirit of the season, plus it was funny to see the giraffes in the dark — they looked a little perplexed about the train running so late and with singing people on it!
Snow World is another very popular area, especially for locals who normally don’t get snow for the season. There was a long wait the night I went but if you can get in, there is tons of fun to be had. You can build your own snowman, play in the snow and even snow tube! There are also a few giant snowmen walking around this area for photo ops and just to add to the festive atmosphere.
One of my favorite attractions was the facade of the Crown Colony House restaurant festooned with thousands of twinkling lights. Every 15 minutes they are choreographed to music-the popular Christmas tune “Carol of the Bells.”
The Christmas Town Village has holiday snacks like eggnog and hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies, as well as turkey and fresh baked ham sandwiches and much more.
This is also where they have the holiday “cabins” selling unique ornaments, hand made glass, wood art and seasonal Busch Gardens and Christmas Town souvenirs.
The Three Kings show is a must see as far as I’m concerned. It is inspirational, with wonderful singing and the telling of the Christmas story, it really should be in a larger space allowing for better viewing, instead of the gift shop where it is playing.
If music is your preference, there is also a concert by Grammy award winning Jars of Clay and a Jimmy Osmond family Christmas show.
I really enjoyed Christmas Town, and I think it will become a Central Florida holiday tradition for many years to come! If you’d like to experience it this year, you’ll have to hurry up because this event is only held on select nights, and this weekend is your last chance for 2012. Learn more: http://seaworldparks.com/en/christmastownbgt.
Christmas Town at Busch Gradens Tampa Bay – photo gallery
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