I have to admit, Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg far exceeded my expectations. The lights this year are more spectacular than ever (my personal favorite is the amazing river of lights on Escape from Pompeii-- mind-boggling!).
But DON'T visit the park until you've read these tips I learned on my recent visit.
Park Hours (plus what you DON'T know)
Running on weekends and on select days of the week Nov. 21-Dec. 31, the park is open Fridays through Sundays (Nov 21-23, Nov. 28-30, Dec. 5-7, then daily Dec. 12-24, and 26-31 (with the exception of Christmas Day). Park hours vary by day, so here's a guide:
Parking is $15 per car per day. No discounts there (including with a Fun Card). If you don't want to pay for parking, buy a pass, or a 3-day Bounce Ticket.
Quick Queue Passes & Extra Experiences
Busch Gardens Williamsburg also offers a Christmas Town Quick Queue Pass which gives you priority seating at shows and lets you hop to the front of the line on select rides.
Quick Queue Passes are $35 per person. There are five Quick Queue options which vary depending on the time you want reserved show seating.
Plus, you'll get unlimited priority access to Santa's Workshop, Ice Palace: Penguin Paradise, and one-time priority access to Verbolten.
The Quick Queue Pass is certainly not for everybody since the cost is in addition to the regular admission fee. (Ouch!) so it's really best for hard-core amusement park afficionados, or those who've really want to maximize their time.
Like the concept but wrong season? For details on Quick Queue Passes during Howl-O-Scream, click here.
If you're willing to pay more, the park offers a variety of extras, including Santa's Fireside Chats, wine tasting, insider tours, Santa's Photo Packages, and more.
Best Places to...
Best places to eat while being entertained:
Best places to see the lights:
Must-Sees and What to Skip...
My highlights of Christmas Town include all the shows (especially Glory (the true meaning of Christmas in song), Miracles (a little song, a little ballet), Deck the Halls, and the new show in the Globe Theatre, Scrooge No More.
As I mentioned, at Christmas, Mach Tower is now Nacht Tower, giving you all the joys of a great view without the scary, sudden drop (a good or bad thing depending on whether you like to be scared).
Take my advice: Do NOT waste time in line to see Ice Palace: Penguins if you have to wait more than 5 or 10 minutes. We waited for an hour to see it opening night and WOW what a let down. It's just a few rooms with maybe 10 penguins behind glass, nothing you can't see at a good zoo. B-o-r-ing.
Must-wears and How to Save Money...
Once Christmas Town gets dark, you'll be amazed at how hard it is to see your friends and family (particularly in the Scotland/Ireland/France part of the park, which is considerably darker than the rest). It's a recipe for losing the little ones. So take my advice: Skip buying the brightly lit hats, wands, and other things at the park to find each other. Stop by the Dollar Store ahead of time and buy glow sticks or light up necklaces for your party so you can find each other in the crowd.
As for saving money on food at Christmas Town, try these tips:
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