Christmas Town is a new event for 2012 at Busch Gardens Tampa that just kicked off on November 30. It runs weekends through December 23, with a wide array of holiday themed activities, from playing in snow to enjoying colored light displays and carols to meeting Santa.
Christmas Town is a hard-ticketed event that starts after Busch Gardens Tampa closes down for the day. Is it worth the extra ticket price? Here are my top three reasons to visit Christmas Town:
1) Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice: I’m always a huge fan of ice shows, and I enjoy Iceploration, the park’s regular daytime ice show. Angels of Peace is an all-new show created especially for Christmas Town. It features amazing feats of skating, especially considering the limited space in which the performers work. It also has some aerial components and the cutest little girl who will win your heart.
2) Carol of the Bells: I’ve been a sucker for coordinated light and music shows ever since I saw the viral “Wizards of Winter” Christmas video many years ago. This year, the Crown Colony restaurant is decked out in lights that perform to music throughout the night. It feels so festive to stand and watch the show, especially when snow falls toward the end.
3) Welcome to Santa’s House: This is a cute experience for the kids, and I even had fun as an adult. Kids enter Santa’s house, where they’re greeted by his elves. The elves lead them in games and tell stories to keep them busy until it’s time to go into Mrs. Claus’s kitchen. Of course she has cookies ready, and then she sends you on your way to meet Santa himself and give him your Christmas list. The detail in the house is amazing.
Runner-Up: Snow World: This one will especially appeal to Floridian kids who’ve never seen the real thing. There’s a target wall set up for snowball throwing and tubing down a snow hill. Coca-Cola sponsors this chilly fun spot.
Click the slideshow at the top of this article for scenes from Santa’s house. Go on to part two of this article for a slideshow from the ice show.
My top picks barely touch the surface of all there is to do at Christmas Town, from watching penguins frolic to singing carols on the train to shopping and enjoying treats in the marketplace to seeing Jimmy Osmond and Jars of Clay in concert. It’s pretty much impossible to fit everything into one visit, so you have to pick and choose carefully. Hopefully my top picks will help make that a bit easier if you visit this year.
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