'Tis the season for celebration at Busch Gardens Tampa with the return of Christmas Town, which is bigger and better this year! After debuting last year the park has put even more effort into making a magical celebration for park guests to visit, and this year that includes more than one million twinkling lights, special live entertainment, shopping, and plenty of attractions.
Christmas Town "transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests' senses with season sights, sounds and flavors, and continuing a beautiful tradition for Tampa's families." In addition to all the holiday activities, the park has its famous rides and attractions open as well, such as Cheetah Hunt and SheiKra.
The list of special activities during Christmas Town is extensive, to say the least. Above is a shot of Mrs. Claus' Family Feast, a special dinner show that includes stories, songs, a buffet and plenty of time with Mrs. Claus herself. Other shows include the brand new Elmo's Christmas Wish, where Elmo learns the meaning behind Christmas, dancing lights on the Christmas Time Tree Show, and even a special version of the popular Madagascar show, named Madagascar Live! Operation: Christmas Vacation.
Animals are included in the event as well, seen above in Penguin Point. Expanded this year, guests may check out the little guys in their habitat and take part in a giant penguin photo opportunity. The park's train becomes the Christmas Town Express, complete with carol sing-a-longs, and Celebration Village is a special section filled with "jewel-tone ornaments and glowing lights" where plenty of holiday shopping can be done.
Experiencing real snow in central Florida is something special, and that's what you can do in SnowWorld - Presented by Coca-Cola. Expanded for 2013, the area features eight new slides and plenty of play space to make snowmen, or perhaps have a snowball fight. Different sections of the park are aglow at night with those million lights we mentioned earlier, including Ice Wonder Way, Jungle Jubilee and new this year Mistletoe Memories. Jungala will feature a new tree light show in Christmas Time Terrace, and with the tree standing an impressive 40 feet tall it will be hard to miss!
With so much going on we can't forget the big guy himself, Santa. In Welcome to Santa's House visitors can get some facetime with Santa, have their picture taken, and perhaps even let him know what they're wishing for this year!
Christmas Town is a separate ticket event at the park, different from daytime admission. The celebration runs select nights through December 23rd, 6 to 11 p.m. For more information, check out the Christmas Town website.