Apologies that this took so long – I got blindsided some very sad things – but I am back now!
I had the opportunity to attend Busch Gardens Christmas Town on November 21st, 2014 in Williamsburg, Virginia. As always, this is one of the best Christmas events in the country. It was just the thing to cheer us up after all of what we had just been through. We were guests of the park through the Ambassador Blogger Program. They left us this up front:
The first thing we did was buy some of the Guinness Chili in Ireland. I think this is a Christmas Town exclusive item but I am not sure. It was DELICIOUS:
We also got one of these. Harknell’s favorite is anything with bacon and pretzels. These were also excellent:
Here is Harknell enjoying the Cocoa Cafe in Italy. They served many types of Hot Cocoa here. We tried Salted Caramel, Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla, and regular. They were all very good. They were not too sweet or overpowering. Pumpkin Spice can be especially overpowering if done wrong. They did it right:
Yes, the Instagram effect is hiding (poorly) that I am absolutely exhausted and distraught after the past few weeks. The Hot Cocoa helped a lot:
The park is lit up all over with twinkling lights. It’s gorgeous:
We had the Christmas Dinner at Trapper’s Smokehouse in New France – complete with gingerbread and pumpkin cheesecakes. Also superb:
We have been attending Busch Gardens Williamburg’s Christmas Town for 2 years now and have enjoyed it every year. The focus of this event is not on the rides – it is on a festival for the whole family. Some rides are not running and others are re-themed for Christmas during this time so that they can make room for shopping. You can see a complete list of rides here. For example, Mach Tower is in Observation Mode (no fast drop) so that the entire family can ride up high and see the park all lit up for the holidays.
Christmas Town is all about seeing the lights, shopping in special Christmas shops, watching the 5 shows that are just for Christmas Town, meeting Santa, and partaking in the holiday food and drink that they offer. They also have live penguins here during this time – and they are super cute!
We didn’t get to do this one but they have a dining experience called Santa’s Fireside Feast where you get to have a meal while Santa tells Christmas stories:
They also just debuted PhotoKey, which is a service where you can have the park photographers take your photo. Later in the day or after you get home you can purchase the best ones.
We thought that Christmas Town was (as always) a high-quality event. The day we went the crowds were a little too thick for our liking so maybe everyone else is figuring out how cool this is. We had some trouble getting to a heated tent to eat due to the crowds. I hear that this has been fixed since we had attended on a discount day which attracted higher than usual crowds. It is a challenge to do an event like this outside of Florida due to the weather so I like that they have heated areas. They needed a few more on the day that we went – and since then have added them. BGW is always listening to park guests. This is why I like their park so much. To be on the safe side you will want to come as early as you can to make sure that you have an opportunity to see as much as possible.
Even if you do come early they have so much at this event that I don’t think it is actually possible to see everything in one night. I mean – they have 5 shows just for this event. 5! It’s not even advertised but in their iPhone app there is a scavenger hunt with which you can win Christmas ornaments for free! There’s stuff to be done all over. It’s like, the clown car of Christmas festivals.
They sure don’t mess around when it comes to producing stuff for each event.
Plan to spend 2 days or choose the things that you absolutely must see in advance. If you have an epileptic in your party please note that there were some flashing lights in the France area.
I think that Busch Gardens Christmas Town can’t be beat for food quality and holiday shopping opportunities. I love that theme parks up north are branching out into “off season” events. We certainly need some cheer after the Summer is over and Busch Gardens Williamsburg always delivers.