I am trying to fit the color scheme with the whole pasta theme. I get the orange. I'm thinking a vodka sauce, mmmn. But the blue track has me stumped. Maybe smurf pasta ? Meatball colored cars maybe? This is going to be fun seeing how it all ends up. OK, Me be quiet now.
Hopefully, with the progression on the ride that seems to be going, it will be open by April, as we plan to go to BGW and KD then. It's sortta our early season parks to go to because the crowds are lower and the weather isn't usually too bad for us floridians.
^And then they could have a great them song to play in the loading station. (from back in my childhood) On top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed, LAAUNCH ! I hope they do have previews in April, if not, looks like another trip. Yipee !
TPR was invited to check out this year's version of Christmas Town at Busch Gardens on Friday, November 21. And it really felt like Christmas Town that night with temperatures in the low 30s and some pretty wicked wind chill. But, hey, "Jack Frost nipping at your nose," and all that--it just helps set the mood. Well, that and more than eight million Christmas lights.
The entire park, with the rather odd exception of the Sesame Street Forest of Fun, participates in Christmas Town. Holiday Hills in Festa Italia sports "retro" decorations, much like you would've seen in a small town in the 1940s or '50s. Italy glows with silver and gold lights, while Oktoberfest's decorations are more colorful and boisterous. France is, once again, celebrating the "12 Days of Christmas" with white trees and, lavender lights, and penguins (yes, the Antarctic birds are back again). Ireland is, of course, very green. The single most spectacular display is the Polar Pathway by Escape from Pompeii, where you can have your picture taken with a Coca Cola polar bear.
So, what's new at Christmas Town this year? The big attraction is the new show in the Globe Theatre: Scrooge No More, which is the park's take on Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the story: Ebeneezer Scrooge, thanks to the intercession of three different Christmas spirits, transforms from a miserable, miserly misanthrope into a rather giddy, good-heated, "God bless us, everyone" generous gent--all in about 30 minutes (at least at Busch Gardens). Yes, it is a rather fast-moving version of Dickens's story, with an original score. While I don't think you'll be humming the tunes when you leave, the show takes full advantage of the new projection and sound upgrades the park made this year, and even includes a little flying around (I didn't know they'd installed a flying rig, too). Good staging and an energetic cast playing multiple roles make for a good addition to Christmas Town--very enjoyable for families. All of England is pretty much themed to enhance the new show (much as it was for London Rocks and Monster Stomp on Ripper Row earlier this year).
The park's other shows are all holdovers from previous seasons: Deck the Halls in the Festhaus, Gloria in the Abbeystone Theatre, Miracles in the Teatro di San Marco, and O Tannenbaum, the synchronized lights-and-music show in front of the Festhaus.
There is, of course, plenty of holiday fare to choose from at the park's restaurants. The park treated us to Santa's Fireside Feast in Castle O'Sullivan in Ireland, which featured a very nice turkey dinner, as well as a chance to have your photo taken with the "Right Jolly Old Elf." Santa also tells the story of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and Mrs. Claus and her elves work the room to make sure all their guests are happy (and that they've saved room for some very good cookies). One odd thing: the only beverage available was water, from what I could tell. I don't recall seeing a single soft drink there. You can get a steak sandwich, as well as turkey, at the Festhaus. Dickens' Tavern (or Squire's Grill) in England offers clam chowder and carved ham. The park also offers a buffet in heated tents in the Black Forest picnic area behind the Festhaus, as well as Dasher's Diner in Holiday Hills. There are traditional Christmas goodies everywhere, and a good selection of adult beverages, such as egg nog at Grogan's, spiced wine in Germany, and an intriguing gingerbread IPA (which I still need to check out) in England. You can also purchase a souvenir mug, which you can refill with hot chocolate for only 99 cents.
Verbolten is the only coaster that runs during Christmas Town, and you can also ride the sky way (called the "Flight of Lights"), the train, and most of the park's flat rides. Mach Tower operates in "elevator mode" as "Nacht Tower."
Here's a look at how Busch Gardens celebrates the Holiday Season.
The ever-festive bag check area.
The park is also working with the US Marines' "Toys for Tots" program this year. I'll be sure to bring something to donate when I visit the park again.
I wonder if the creepy "Cursed" guy from Howl-o-Scream had to decorate this tree. His cell was here just a month ago.
England is all dolled up for "Scrooge No More."
Here's a bit of "repurposing": This creepy pub from Howl-o-Scream is now the equally creepy offices of Scrooge & Marley for Christmas Town.
These wreaths are new for this season.
This is one of many photo-op spots in the park.
"Dickens Tavern: Serving the Public since 1843. Have some ham. You know you want it."
Here's where they were serving the gingerbread IPA, as well as other Christmasy concoctions.
The highland cows wish you "Happy Christmas."
Coca Cola is sponsoring the Polar Pathway this year.
Careful--you just might end up on You Tube.
The soccer game has been replaced with snowballs.
There was a brief lighting ceremony at the Festhaus to kick off Christmas Town.
Park president Carl Lum said a few words, . . .
. . . which were hard to hear because of this helicopter.
A switch was thrown, streamers went up . . . then nothing happened until, I guess, someone plugged in the extension cord. ;) But all the lights came on, and Christmas Town was officially open!
Festive gaming and gambols, anyone?
Who could turn down a Minion for Christmas? They really are taking over, aren't they?
Mistletoe Marketplace is also open for all your Christmas craft needs. DarKastle is closed, but I'm sure King Ludwig charges these vendors a pretty hefty rent.
From Germany . . .
. . . to the North Pole. (You can visit Santa here, too.)
This drummer in the Christmas store in Germany is almost as creepy at the animated snowman in Holiday Hills.
Need a nativity scene? What size? Busch Gardens has you covered.
This tree is decorated all year long.
My, what big balls you have.
You can purchase a Christmas Town ornament for each country represented at the park this year . . .
. . . or just a plain Christmas Town one, if you prefer.
Heading out of Germany.
"One of these days, sweet vengeance will be mine! Mine, I tell you! For now, I shall saw this candy cane--patiently."
"On the [fill-in-the ordinal] day of Christmas . . ."
What the heck am I gonna do with "9 ladies dancing"?
Of course, I'd rather have them ladies than 10 leaping "lords."
The penguins were very excited that night.
Well, except for these guys, who had just been fed.
Need gift ideas? Just check out this tree. More to come.
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