Busch Gardens Christmas Town 2013

Over the weekend I attended Busch Gardens Christmas Town in Tampa for the first time with my mom and sisters. What a blast! Christmas Town is a separate ticketed event from normal park admission and runs on select nights from 6-11 p.m. through December 23.There are a number of things to do at Christmas Town. So many in fact, that we weren’t able to see every single thing. So note to readers – arrive right at the event start!

If you attended Christmas Town last year, you’ll be happy to know that Celebration Village, Penguin Point, Jingle Bell Junction, Poinsettia Parkway, Madagascar Live: Operation Christmas Vacation, and Elmo’s Christmas Wish all have returned! In addition, this year, Christmas Town has added:

  • Holiday Hills, an area where Christmas tunes play and Mrs. Claus cooks up the food at Mrs. Claus’ Family Feast
  • Christmas Time Terrace in Jungala, where an awesome tree light show takes place on a 40-foot Christmas tree every 15 minutes
  • Mistletoe Memories, a beautiful garden walkway filled with flowers and sparking lights

One of our favorite areas of Christmas Town was SnowWorld, a Coca-Cola branded area filled with all things snow (well, as close to snow as you can get in Florida anyway). There were 3 separate areas within SnowWorld – the target practice area (snowballs), snow slides (our favorite area), and snow play. There was a separate line for each which was helpful but as expected, this area was the most crowded at Christmas Town.

Overall, our top 3 must-dos at Christmas Town are:

  • Snow slides at SnowWorld – the longest line we waited in but well worth the 3 second slide
  • Singalong train – riding on the decorated train and singing Christmas songs, so fun!
  • Santa’s House – a chance to walk through Santa’s house, eat some cookies baked by Mrs. Claus herself, and tell Santa what you want for Christmas (the kid favorite); this has the longest wait but you receive a pager so you can walk around instead of standing in line

Snowball Area
Some wild and fun facts about Christmas Town?
  • 6,000 candy canes are used for the Christmas Town specialty drinks (enough to cover the length of the entire Sky Ride
  • 350 Christmas trees are placed throughout the park
  • 17,000 poinsettias are lined up throughout Poinsettia Parkway
  • 1,000,000+ lights illuminate Christmas Town 
  • 30,000 cookies are freshly baked – and if stacked, they’d be the height of five Skeikras!

Tickets purchased online ahead of time will receive an advance purchase discount – $10 for kids and $40-50 for adults (depending on the night). The only downside to the night was paying the standard $15 for parking despite the event only being 5 hours (and that’s if you arrive on time) – hopefully next year they’ll reduce the amount.

Are you planning to attend Busch Garden’s Christmas Town this year? We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!

* Disclosure: I was provided 2 complimentary tickets to the event for review purposes. All opinions are my own.