Christmas Town coming to Busch Gardens Tampa

July 10, 2012, 4:27 PM · Christmas in July! I never thought it be possible either, but today Busch Gardens invited media and pass holders out to get a sneak preview at the new hard ticket event coming to Tampa this winter. What has already been a big success at Busch Gardens Tampa's sister park in Williamsburg is now finding it's way to the sunshine state. Busch Gardens Tampa beginning November 30th will invite visitors to come out and enjoy it's Christmas Town celebrations every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 6 to 11 p.m. through December 23rd. Christmas Town will include all new attractions, shows, and shopping opportunities.

The streets throughout the park will all be filled with thousands and thousands of Christmas lights.

BG Celebration Village

First to greet visitors as they arrive are the rich, warm colors of Christmas in the Celebration Village. The sounds of local Choirs singing live will fill the air at the Marrakesh Theater and the shops will be full of holiday gifts.

BG Ice Wonder Way Fountain

The pathways in front of the Moroccan Palace will have sparkle and shimmer in the night as snowflakes fall down in front of the theater. Inside there will be a special performance of a new Christmas Town ice show(which will be different from the day time special Christmas ice show).

BG Miracle Way

Next throughout the Nairobi area the trees will be lit with red and white twinkling lights in what will be called Candy Cane Lane. Next among the paths along the Stanleyville Bridge is "Miracle Way", which will allow guests to experience the humble magnificence of that first Christmas night with a representation of the Holy Nativity and illuminated angles. Even the Sesame Street area will include Elmo and his friends all dressed up for "Sesame Street Season of Fun". December in Florida is typically warm and Busch Gardens invites guests to celebrate a Floridian Christmas with a touch of the tropics in the "Enchanted Flamingo Valley". Here palm trees will be decorated with lights and a flock of festive flamingos will be created from thousands of twinkling pink lights.

In Busch Gardens fashion there will also be hundreds of traditional holiday flowers in what will be "Poinsettia Parkway". A pint-sized train designed especially for the young guests will be located in "Jingle Bell Junction" at the crossroads of Christmas Town in Gwazi Plaza.


Inside Gwazi Park, along the walkway, in what will be "Christmas Town Village", little tiny cabins will scent the air with seasonal treats like apple pies and strudels, gingerbread cookies, eggnog and roasting nuts, as well as a delicious array of flavored popcorns, roasted nuts, waffles with ice cream, fruit-filled crepes, rustic sandwiches, homemade potato chips and Starbucks coffees and hot chocolate. To top all the decorations and shops off, guests will be able to enjoy a white Christmas, in Florida of all places, in Christmas Town Park. There guests will get to play in real, frozen snowdrifts, meander among quaint cabin shops, and pose for pictures with strolling snowmen.

During Christmas Town, Busch Gardens' popular coasters including Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, and Gwazi will all be open. There will also be some exclusive nighttime experiences, one of which is the Christmas Town Express. The Christmas Town Express will invite riders to join in on the biggest Christmas carol sing-a-long on wheel which will include traditional favorites like "Jingle Bells," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Another exclusive nighttime experience will be the "Welcome to Santa's House" attraction. Here you can take pictures with Santa himself as he takes some time out of his busy, busy schedule. And of course what kind of Busch Gardens Christmas would it be without some cute animal visitors from the South Pole.


The Christmas Town Penguins will only be there at night and can be seen at the penguin habitat located near the Candy Cane Lane in the Nairobi area. (The penguins take over the otter habitat during the event.)

Busch Gardens will continue it's traditional holiday shows like "Christmas on Ice," "Christmas from the Heart," and "Christmas Celebration" during the day. At night during the special Christmas Town event there will be new shows for guests to enjoy.


Busch Gardens' Crown Colony House restaurants will be center stage for "Carol of the Bells." The entire facade will be covered in tens of thousands of Christmas lights, which will all be choreographed to a selection of seasonal songs.

Inside the Moroccan Palace will be an all new Christmas show produced especially for Christmas Town by the creators of "Christmas on Ice" and "Icepolaration".

Jimmy Osmond Jukebox

Each night in the Stanleyville Theater, Jimmy Osmond and his family will sing favorite Chrismas tunes and share special holiday memories in "Jimmy Osmond's Christmas Jukebox."

Jars of Clay

To top off each night, Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian artists "Jars of Clay" will bring the night to an end with an uplifting exclusive concert in Gwazi Park. They will be performing both original hits and holiday favorites.


“When Christmas Town opens in November, it will be the beginning of a unique holiday tradition for Tampa Bay area,” says Jim Dean, Busch Gardens Tampa’s park president. “We are creating a season-long celebration for family and friends unlike any other event our guests have ever seen – the kind of Christmas fun only Busch Gardens can provide.”

Christmas Town will be a separate-ticketd night event, and regular daytime admission is not required or included. General admission with advanced purchase for Christmas Town is $29.99 for adults and $9.99 for Children (ages 3-9). The Night of the Event, General Admission tickets will be $39.99 for adults and $14.99 for Children (ages 3-9).

Busch Gardens will also be offering advanced reservations for "Mrs. Claus' Family Feast" which is a dining experience hosted by Mrs. Claus and some of her most entertaining elves. This dining experience includes front-of-line access to see Santa. Prices for these reservations are $20 for adults, and $14 for Children (ages 3-9).

Until the event starts, Busch Gardens will have it's Christmas Town preview center open inside the park. There as you walk in you'll be greeted with "Merry Christmas" and receive a free candy cane. You will also be able to purchase many different christmas ornaments, purchase a selection of the candy that will be offered at the event, and take a picture with Frosty the Snowman. Also you will be able to conveniently purchase tickets for the event right inside the preview center and for this week only, pass holders will be able to purchase a Christmas Town General Admission ticket for $10 inside the preview center.

For more information on the event visit

It sounds like it will be a nice event. Though a bit to my concern is that it is a hard ticket event while it's sister park, SeaWorld Orlando, pulls off a terrific Christmas event included in admission. I can however also see the advantage to just going at night and enjoying the event over paying the full day admission price. Would you pay to go to Busch Gardens Tampa's Christmas Town?

Replies (6)

July 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Any discount for pass members? In Williamsburg, passmembers get about half off for their tickets.
July 10, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Definitely on the top of my Orlando Christmas to do list (or should I say wishlist!).
July 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM · @Marc

Yes passholder's receive a discount. It's $24.99 for adults and $9.99 for children under 9. And for this week only passholder's can get tickets at the preview center for just $10.

July 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM · I must say that the Williamsburg Christmas Town is spectacular and "sells out" many nights! I hope Tampa has just as much success!
July 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM · I like how they bogarted the Happy Potter font......
July 13, 2012 at 6:29 PM · I don't know if I'd go every year, but I'll probably go this year. I have platinum passes and try to go as often as I can considering I live 6 hours away, so I'll treat it like the disney hard ticket nighttime events and go once every 5 or 6 years or so.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive