Christmas Town opens Nov. 24 at Busch Gardens

Jimmy LaRoue

Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town opens for the season Nov. 24 with a new show, new food, a bigger home for Santa and more than eight million lights across the amusement park — which the park touts as more than any other holiday lights display in North America.

“Traditions are important during the holiday season, and we’re grateful so many families have made Busch Gardens Christmas Town a part of their annual celebrations,” Busch Gardens president David Cromwell said in a news release. “Every year, we add great new features while staying true to the many elements guests have grown to love about this one-of-a-kind event.”

Christmas Town will run from 2-10 p.m. on regularly scheduled Christmas Town operating days from Nov. 24 through New Year’s Day. through Jan. 1, 2018.

Santa’s larger home will be in the castle that houses the Curse of the DarKastle ride.

“As a father of young children, I understand what a big deal it is to visit Santa,” Cromwell said. “We truly believe our Santa experience is the best anywhere around, and we have made changes this year to make sure families don’t have to wait as long.”

The new show, Gift of Harmony, is dubbed a modern a cappella sound with traditional Christmas songs and newer holiday favorites.

For children, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer returns with friends Clarice, Yukon Cornelius Bumble and Sam the Snowman, with people able to meet and have their photos taken at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland in Holiday Hills while enjoying a new production of the TV show at the new Rudolph’s Movie Experience.

Busch Gardens will also have 24 of its rides open during Christmas Town, including InvadR and Verbolten.

The new cookie shop is in the Germany village of the park.

For those who visit Christmas Town to sample culinary delights, a trip to the new cookie shop in the Germany village is a must. Cookies, beverages and a heated seating area will be available here.

Unlimited visits are $49 with a Christmas Town Fun Card, and current annual pass members, for $39, can buy a Christmas Town pass with benefits such as parking and in-park discounts. Single day tickets go on sale Nov. 2, with a five-day introductory sale before prices increase afterward. Those prices will then vary by day throughout the event.

For more information on programming and tickets, go to

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at or on Twitter @jlaroue.

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