Christmas Town is now in it’s 6th season at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and has already become a holiday tradition for many RVA families. Visitors can stroll beneath the glow of eight-million twinkling lights, see penguins up-close and get in the holiday spirit with unbeatable musical productions and the best Santa experience I’ve ever had.
I was happy to see that Busch Gardens has partnered with Toys for Tots this year. Guests are invited to bring an unwrapped toy to the park Nov. 21 through Dec. 14. All toy donations support the Hampton Roads Toys for Tots chapter. Busch Gardens’ Welcome Center near the park’s front entrance will serve as the park’s official toy drop-off location. Busch Gardens will also donate $5,000 in toys to the Toys for Tots toy drive.
As you may know from our 2013 review, we REALLY love Christmas Town. Check out that review to hear me gush about the Fireside Feast with Santa. That is the real Santa, folks. He tells the children a story by the big fireplace and Mrs. Claus brings out cookies for everyone after dinner. And he actually spends time with each child. It’s really amazing! Fireside Feast tickets are 50% off black friday through cyber monday – get on that! You won’t be disappointed! This experience truly is priceless.
Here is a little clip of Santa’s story time:
This year we were also able to check out the Ice Palace: A Penguin Paradise and give the new Photokey a test run. The kids loved the Ice Palace experience. It was a quick trip through the exhibit, with penguins on loan from the Columbus Zoo. But it started with an individual opportunity for each child to pet a penguin and have their photo taken. It was really sweet. One of the trained animal handlers sits holding the penguin in her lap, while the child sits next to her for the photo. Everyone was quite happy with this experience, including Maggie – the penguin. Of course, my son’s favorite part was “seeing the penguin poop on the floor.”
The new PhotoKey provides an easy option for capturing and sharing in-park photos. There are 8 spots throughout the park where the photo team will snap a shot of your family and automatically add the image for your account. It’s available via smartphone apps to share instantly and also in your online account. You, of course, have the option to order anything from mugs to phone cases with the images as well. (gifts for grandparents?) But you can download the images for free, once you purchase a membership, which is only $10 during the Black Friday Sale. I’m pretty sure our Christmas card picture is coming from our Busch Gardens visit and all the images in this post came from our PhotoKey. Totally worth $10…not sure I’d pay the full $60 for it though.
Scrooge No More! ™, presented at the park’s Globe Theatre, is Busch Gardens’ newest live musical production. We didn’t have enough time to see the show, but I’ve heard great reviews and hope to catch it next time. We were just having SO much fun in the rest of the twinkling park. It really is so beautiful.
If you miss the Black Friday Sale, the regular $32 Christmas Town Fun Card that offers unlimited admission for the 2014 Christmas season. Active annual pass members can purchase a Christmas Town pass for $25 and receive unlimited admission to Christmas Town for the 2014 season along with regular pass member benefits like free parking and discounts on park purchases. Visit www.bgwpass.com for complete details.
Busch Gardens opens at 2 p.m. on regularly scheduled Christmas Town operating days. Visit christmastown.com for complete Christmas Town details, including ticket information and operating schedule. Guests can sign up for Busch Gardens’ email updates for the latest information about upcoming Christmas Town special offers, tickets and other exclusive holiday deals.
As a Busch Gardens Thrill Seeker, I received free passes to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% true and all mine.