Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town will be back and ‘bigger than ever’

(Courtesy Busch Gardens)
(Courtesy Busch Gardens)

With Halloween barely a week away, the holiday season will be here in no time.

The holiday spirit is about to fill Busch Gardens as Christmas Town takes over the park with over eight million twinkling lights and more than a month of Christmas-themed programming.

According to a news release from the park, this year’s event will feature many new additions, such as a Sesame Street-themed “Forest of Fun,” where fans can meet their favorite Sesame Street characters, including Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Christmas Town will also boast an expanded ride lineup this season. Busch Gardens will run two of its major roller coasters, Verbolten and Tempesto, during the Christmas season for the first time. Guests will also have access to 20 other rides throughout the park.

“We have made Christmas Town bigger than ever, with more attractions and more time to enjoy them,” Busch Gardens President David Cromwell said in the release. “Christmas Town has grown in popularity each year, and we’re gratified that so many families have made this a must-do holiday tradition.”

Some of the fan favorites, like the popular ice skating show “‘Twas That Night” will return this season. This year the show features world champion skater Elvis Stojko.

And it’s not Christmas without Santa Claus. Old Saint Nick will be found at Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole. Children will be able to sit on Santa’s lap, ask for Christmas gifts, and have their picture taken with jolly Chris Cringle.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble will also join Christmas Town this winter. Guests can have their picture taken with the iconic holiday characters and relive the classic film at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland in Holiday Hills.

Holiday Hills will also play host to an all-you-can-eat Christmas buffet at Dasher’s Dine. For those craving other varieties of cuisine, Marco Polo’s Marketplace will debut in Christmas Town this winter and will provide the fare from Italy, Asia and the Mediterranean.

Christmas Town opens on Friday, Nov. 25, and will be open on select days through Monday, Jan. 2. After last year’s high attendance numbers, Busch Gardens has added an extra day of operation and extended the hours from 2 to 10 p.m. every day.

Guests can purchase a Christmas Town Fun Card for $38, which offers unlimited visits during the event. Active Busch Gardens and Water Country USA 1-Park and 2-Park Platinum pass members can purchase single-day tickets to Christmas Town for themselves and guests for $24.

For more information, including a complete operating schedule, visit

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