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Busch Gardens announces 'Christmas Town' for 2009

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The new hard-ticket event will debut in November 2009 at the Williamsburg, Virginia park.

From Robert Niles
Posted December 4, 2008 at 12:49 PM
Here is the parks' website for the new holiday event, which will debut in 2009 at Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Virginia.

From the press release:

For the first time in the park's 34 year history, visitors will experience all-new attractions, shows and shopping that will fill them with holiday spirit. Guests can look forward to an immersive experience amid more than a million twinkling lights while they explore the best holiday traditions from around the world. Santa Claus will visit the park each evening to hear Christmas wishes from the young and young at heart.

Christmas Town opens at Busch Gardens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4 - 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 27, 2009. The park will open each evening Dec. 18-27, 2009, excluding Christmas Day. Some sections of the park will remain closed for the season. Some rides and attractions are weather dependent.

Christmas Town admission tickets will be available for $19.95 beginning January 2009. Guests with active one-year and two-year Busch Gardens' passes save 50 percent on Christmas Town tickets as well as free parking and in-park discounts.

Thoughts?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From James Rao
Posted December 4, 2008 at 7:44 PM
The average temperature for Williamsburg in December is about 40 degrees. Make sure you bundle up if you are heading out to the park! ;)

From Jason Jackson
Posted December 5, 2008 at 8:07 PM
As a season pass holder, I am disappointed that they make this a hard ticket event, especially since they went ahead and changed their passes to annual passes.

From Derek Potter
Posted December 5, 2008 at 10:55 PM
I remember some frozen nights at Kings Island's old Winterfest. Obviously no rides were running at 10-20 degrees, but it was a great event with a lot to do, and the fountain was always frozen over and full of ice skaters.

Busch Gardens may have a hit with this event. The theming of the Williamsburg park lends itself perfectly to a Christmas style celebration, and I could only dream of 40 degree winter days in Ohio.

From Peter Stephens
Posted December 6, 2008 at 6:09 PM
Derek is right. The "Grand Illumination" in the Colonial Area of Williamsburg is a regional attractor and the BGE Christmas opening should piggy-back well, giving the tourist a reason to spend the night (or nights), travel farther, spend more in restaurants, etc. Look for Great Wolf Lodge to benefit, as well. Sounds like a winner and my family will be there (but if I can't ride Apollos Chariot and Alpengeist, it just won't satisfy, no matter how pretty it might be!)

From Charles Reichley
Posted December 11, 2008 at 8:07 PM
The average high temperature for Busch Gardens in December is 53, not 40. It will includes days below freezing, and days that could be 60 or more.

They don't get a lot of snow there either, because of their proximity to the coast (although two springs ago it actually snowed during opening week, and it was too cold for Alpengeist at opening because it won't run below 40 degrees.

Williamsburg itself is a Christmas destination for it's "historical" christmas themes, and I would guess this will be a great tie-in to help both organizations.

It would be nice to get in on the "year passes", but they'll probably have no trouble getting lots of people to come to the park even with the half-price admission for season pass holders. And they are trying to make money.

I'm glad they haven't charged for Halloween like some places do.

I'm looking forward to doing this next year. I'm doing Dollywood this year.

From James Rao
Posted December 12, 2008 at 4:12 AM
I can only go by what I read on weather.com. Average high: 53. Average low: 32. Split the difference and I get about 40 degrees.

However, having just been to BGE over the summer (I have a trip report out there somewhere from my June visit), I am sure no matter what the weather, BGE will be immaculately decorated and beautifully prepared.

My guess though, is that most of the time, you'll want to bundle up in some heavy winter garb.

And, if you happen to go on one of those 40 degree days, I am pretty sure you will freeze to death if Apollo's Chariot is running and you are lucky enough sit in the front row! ;)

From Drew Petzold
Posted December 24, 2008 at 9:39 AM
I do also think it will go over well. Honestly, I am surprised it took them this long to do it. Each year, this area has what is called the "100 Miles of Lights" which goes from Richmond to Virginia Beach. This event would fit right into that theme. I find it interesting though, that they are going to start selling the tickets for this event in late January. I'll be interested to see if this is an open dated ticket, or if we'd have to choose a specific day when getting the ticket. At least as a passmember, it's only $9.95 (which is about on par with the cost for all the other holiday light displays along the 100 miles of lights).

From Christy Shuman
Posted December 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM
BGE is already a beautiful park, I think this will be wonderful. This may be the only way I can drag my mom to BGE.

From M. Ryan Traylor
Posted December 24, 2008 at 8:21 PM
hopefully it will be better than the "Christmas Town" at the Yankee Candle store in Williamsburg. also, for anyone who goes there, bring a small bag of coffee beans to sniff. don't use their bean shakers, since i saw some kid sneeze on one.

From Drew Petzold
Posted January 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM
I wrote into BGE to ask them some questions about when tickets would become available, and would they charge the full parking price of $10 even though the park will be open for only five hours on each day it is open. Below is the response I got today.

-------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Petzold:

Thank you for your interest in Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We hope to have our Christmastown Celebration tickets available for purchase on our Internet within the next two weeks. Once you purchase a ticket, it will be valid for any day during this event - you do not have to specify which date you would like to visit. Also, there is a $10.00 charge for general parking, but if you have a passport, general parking will be free.

Thanks again for visiting our website. Should you require additional information, please contact our Customer Service & Information Center at 1-800-343-7946. I hope you can visit with us during our upcoming 2009 Christmastown Celebration!

Sincerely,

Teena
Guest Correspondence Team

From James Rao
Posted July 8, 2009 at 3:40 AM
More details about Christmas Town as well as a park map for the event have emerged on the BGW website.

From dan dipenta
Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:09 PM
This site has tickets a bit cheaper than the actual Christmas Town site: ReserveWilliamsburg Christmas Town Tickets

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