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Busch Gardens Tampa’s Christmas Town adds new open-air festivities

by Attractions Magazine Staff

Busch Gardens Christmas Town in Tampa Bay, Fla. is being modified this year to add open-air festivities to the family-favorite holiday tradition, including new holiday fireworks and the first-ever outdoor production of “Christmas on Ice.”

Busch Gardens Christmas Town, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Photos courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The park’s award-winning holiday event will run daily from Nov. 20, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2021. New this year is a preview weekend on Nov. 14-15 with light displays and select entertainment elements.

This seasonal park-wide event included in park admission will allow guests to enjoy their favorite holiday traditions with a twist, from millions of twinkling lights throughout the park’s 335 acres to physically-distant holiday shows and contact-free visits with Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town Entertainment

Busch Gardens Christmas Town, Christmas on Ice

“Spark the Night” Fireworks Show – This year, guests will have several opportunities to enjoy bursts of Christmas colors as they cover the sky in a dazzling firework display offered on select nights at the Festival field with plenty of space to enjoy the sights safely.

“Christmas on Ice” – For the first time ever, park guests will be able to enjoy Busch Gardens’ longest-running holiday show at a new outdoor location on the Festival Stage. This fan-favorite skating production will be performed for physically distant audiences every Friday through Sunday and on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

“Elmo’s Christmas Wish” – Families can sing and dance along with Sesame Street friends Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Rosita, and Grover as they learn the meaning of Christmas during a fun holiday show in the outdoor Sunny Day Theater with physically distant seating.

“Three Kings Journey” – The musical tale of the journey to Bethlehem is now offered alongside festive eats at the spacious Dragon Fire Grill.

Holly Jolly Express” – This locomotive celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with favorite songs of the season and limited capacity as guests travel through the park.

Contact-Free Photo Opportunities

Busch Gardens Christmas Town, Santa's Merry Meet & Greet

Santa’s Merry Meet & Greet (open from 3 p.m. daily) – Jolly elves will escort park guests to meet Santa for a physically distant photo at a spacious new outdoor location.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (open from 3 p.m. daily) – Guests will find the most famous reindeer of all at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland, where they can snap contact-free pictures with Rudolph and Clarice.

Original Christmas Town Characters – The Poinsettia Princess, Sugar Plum Princess, Ice Princess, and jolly snowmen will all be on hand for socially-distant photos.

Sesame Street Friends – Kids of all ages won’t want to miss the chance to snap physically-distant photos with favorite furry friends in their festive holiday attire.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town Holiday Bites and Sips

Guests will want to explore the Christmas Town Village filled with drinks and dishes from an all-new chef- and mixologist-created holiday menu and unique gifts from Busch Gardens’ collection of exclusive 2020 holiday merchandise, which is only available during this special event.

In addition to a selection of fan-favorite seasonal beers and mulled wine, guests can also choose from a variety of new beverages inspired by classic Christmas traditions, like the “Winter Wonderland Hot Toddy” made with winter cider, honey whiskey, and a chai infusion or the festive “Spiked Hot Cocoa” with gingerbread crumbles, caramel, and whipped cream.

Holiday bites include sliced pork tenderloin, smoked turkey legs with pumpkin cider glaze, harvest turkey and prosciutto sliders with Swiss cheese and cranberry jam, and of course, dozens of delicious desserts like festive mini donuts topped with raspberry and white chocolate sauce and holiday sprinkles.

The best way to enjoy the savory treats, festive sweets, and holiday beverages is with a Christmas Town Sampler Lanyard ($34.99 for a 5-punch lanyard and $49.99 for a 10-punch lanyard). Pass members can enjoy an extra special offer with an exclusive 12-punch lanyard for the price of a 10-punch lanyard.

Click here for more details about Busch Gardens Christmas Town.

Check out our video below for the full “Christmas on Ice” show:

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