Get ready for evenings filled with warm holiday memories when Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration opens Friday. Walk among two million twinkling Christmas lights, explore one-of-a-kind shops, feast on culinary treats and marvel at the spectacle of Christmas Town's signature shows.
New for 2010, explore Italy's Christmas traditions featuring Italian culinary favorites, Busch Gardens' exclusive capodimonte gifts and a new entertainment production that will leave guests with a feeling of peace on earth.
"The addition of Italy to Busch Gardens' Christmas Town lineup expands the park's transformation into a holiday wonderland," said Busch Gardens' President Carl Lum. "Guests can now walk a complete loop around the park and experience all of Busch Gardens' holiday offerings while they are surrounded by the beautiful sights and delicious aromas of Christmas."
Christmas Town begins in England as a bustling city scene comes to life with Dickens-style carolers amid traditional greenery, red bows and candlelit windows at every shop and restaurant. New this year, guests can experience Christmas Town while relaxing 80 feet in the air aboard one of Busch Gardens' high-flying gondolas. Flight of Lights offers breathtaking views of all of Christmas Town's themed villages and showcases Busch Gardens' holiday decorations."
Travel back to simpler times and leave the city lights behind while exploring the Scottish countryside where sheep and horses roam under a star-filled wintery sky. Then step into Ireland as the village of Killarney transforms into a dazzling holiday festival filled with the magic of Christmas on Emerald isle. Pull up a stool and warm up at Grogan's Pub with a selection of hearty soups and stews. Stroll across the courtyard to the Abbey Stone Theatre for "Rejoice," a Christmas show that fills the audience with the Christmas spirit through moving imagery, choral harmonies and a full, live orchestra. The little ones can even dine with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa's Fireside Feast and have their picture taken with the jolly old elf himself.
In France, explore an ice-filled wonderland with dazzling lights, falling snow and an up-close encounter with live penguins on the Polar Pathway. Then join a down-home Christmas in New France where the sights and smells of a country Christmas will fill the air.
Make sure to visit Santa's Workshop at the North Pole before heading to "The Stocking Stop," the park's newest "KIDsiderate" store. This store features pre-wrapped gifts that children can purchase to surprise their friends and families on Christmas Day. Don't miss a trip to Oktoberfest to view Virginia's tallest light-animated Christmas tree. The culmination of a visit to Christmas Town unfolds in a larger-than-life format with the spectacular light show, "O Tannenbaum." This show features the park's iconic 50-foot Christmas tree with choreographed lights and music that fill guests with Christmas spirit.
Round out the Christmas Town experience with a visit to Italy, the park's newest Christmas wonderland. Gather friends and family around the table while dining on a traditional Italian Christmas dinner and enjoying the park's newest production, "Miracles." Live vocalists and an ensemble of dancers inspire guests to believe that anything is possible.
Busch Gardens is extending its Christmas Town operation through New Year's Eve, concluding with a 10 p.m. fireworks extravaganza on Dec. 31. Christmas Town will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 3 - 10 p.m. starting Nov. 26, and will open daily from Dec. 17 through Dec. 31, excluding Christmas Day. The park will close at 9 p.m. on Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and on Christmas Eve.
Event details are available on the new Christmas Town website at http://www.christmastown.com