Thursday, July 12, 2012

Busch Gardens Unwraps New Christmastown Holiday Offerings

Today's post is brought to you from our correspondent Christina, who represented us at the Busch Gardens Press Event earlier this week.

It did not feel like a July morning in Florida at Busch Gardens in Tampa. Snow fell, carolers sung, and penguins waddled across the stage to announce the new Christmastown Event. The first ever event of its kind, Christmastown will be a separately ticketed night time extravaganza taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings November 30th through December 23rd. Regular theme park admission is not required, and tickets are $39.99 for adults, and $14.99 for children ages 3-9, there are a multitude of discounts currently available for early purchasers, as well as Annual Passholders.

The Christmastown preview center is now open in the Timbuktu area of the park, and it offers a glimpse into what will be an amazing holiday transformation.  The entire park will be shining with over one million lights, which would span a distance of 50 miles laid end to end. There will be 300 Christmas trees, 600 glowing lanterns, and 4,000 arranged poinsettia.

The true meaning of the season is front and center at Christmastown along Miracle Way, where glowing lanterns illuminate the path to the topiary Nativity scene, and local choirs sing heartfelt music to welcome you to the event through Celebration Village. Jimmy Osmond and his family will share holiday memories and song during Jimmy Osmond's Holiday Jukebox, and Busch Gardens will join him in his donation to The Children's Miracle Network. During each night of the event, Gwazi Park will come alive with the sounds of contemporary Christian band Jars of Clay.

At Sesame Street Seasons of Fun, all your favorite characters will be out in their holiday best showing off for pictures. Jingle Bell Junction will offer a special train ride for children, and the parks popular Steam Train The Serengheti Express will be transformed into a moving party of lights and Christmas Caroling called The Christmastown Express. There will be a new Ice Skating show at the Moroccan Palace theater for all guests. Gwazi Park will feature REAL snow with slides, tunnels, and plenty of opportunity for play and pictures. Throughout this area cabins will be scattered offering holiday gifts and seasonal treats like Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels for $2.99. Also on the menu is Mrs. Claus Holiday Feast, a separately ticketed dinner event featuring Mrs. Claus, her playful elves, a traditional Holiday Buffet, and a retelling of the night before Christmas. This dinner is $20.00 for adults, and $14.00 for ages 3-9.

The Carol of the Bells light show decorates The Crown Colony House with an electric symphony of over 3,000 lights all choreographed to your holiday favorites. At Jungle Jubilee see how Christmas and the Jungle meet, with illuminated topiaries of your favorite animals, themed Christmas Trees, and The Flamingo Habitat a swath of over 4,000 twinkling pink lights. In Nairobi, Candy Cane Lanes illuminated pathways wind you to the newest members of the park, penguins, available only to Christmastown guests (the penguins are on vacation from SeaWorld in Orlando).

At The North Pole, the entire Claus family welcomes you into their home, full of holiday spirit and memories to be made. Tour the North Pole before getting a picture with Santa Claus himself. If all that was not enough for you to start looking for your holiday sweaters, during Christmastown most of your favorite attractions will also be in operation, including Cheetah Hunt, Gwazi, and Shiekra. Christmastown promises to be an event with something for everyone, and remember there are discounts if you buy your tickets now.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.