Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town

Your guide to Busch Garden’s Christmas Town event

Lots of special things are included with your Busch Gardens’ ticket this holiday season!

Busch Garden’s Christmas Town is an annual holiday event where the park turns into a Christmas wonderland. It is include in your regular park admission and includes holiday shows, so many Christmas lights and Christmas character meet and greets.

I have been an annual pass holder to Busch Garden for years and our family goes to Christmas Town regularly. We love this holiday event and hope this information helps your family make the most out of their visit.

Below we highlight all the special Christmas-themed attractions so you don’t miss any holiday fun. We also share our tips and tricks for visiting, based on our years of experience as passholders.

Let’s learn about Christmas Town!

General Information

Jungala has a Candy Cane Theme.
  • LOCATION: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
  • DATES: Nov 11-Jan 7, 2023 from park open to close
  • COST: Included with admission
  • PARKING: starting at $30, free for annual pass holders
  • Website

NOTE: While Christmas Town runs until Jan 7th, Santa and friends meet and greets stop after Christmas.

Christmas Town is Busch Garden’s annual holiday celebration that runs from mid-November through the first of the year. They add holiday-themed shows, meet and greets and so many Christmas lights to get you in the holiday spirit.

Chirstmas Town is included as part of park admission so you don’t need a special ticket. You can also visit on your annual pass (we recommend grabbing annual passes during Black Friday if you plan to get one. Don’t miss our round-up of annual pass Black Friday deals in our area.)

3 Tips for Visiting Christmas Town

Before you go, here are a few tips for making the most out of your visit to Christmas Town:

  1. Arrive early to Christmas on Ice performances on days the park is busy because it can fill up fast.
  2. It is helpful to get a good seat at Elmo’s performance since they allow you to stand and dance, so views may be obstructed for little kids.
  3. Mrs. Claus’s meet and greet line forms to the right side after her show so head that way to beat some line.

Now let’s take a look at all the holiday fun to check out during your visit.

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Holiday Shows

Busch Gardens offers a number of holiday-themed shows throughout the park to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Below you’ll find information on each of the shows, including where to find them and the ideal kids’ ages for each show. We also include tips, like which shows you’ll want to be early for to score a seat.

Christmas on Ice

Cast of Ice Show taking a bow

πŸ“ Moroccan Palace
πŸ›– Indoor Seating
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Great for all ages

Their award winning Ice Show takes a holiday turn for the season as it becomes a beautiful, breathtaking holiday spectacle.

Man lifts partner in air while skating.
Lady's ensemble skating and doing stunts

It includes 3+ different scenes and ensemble, duet and solo skaters and so many Christmas songs you will love! It is an absolute must see for all ages!

Be sure to arrive early especially on busy days β€” it fills up fast!

Elmo’s Christmas Wish

Cookie Monster and Elmo Nutcrackers

πŸ“ Sunny Day Theater in Sesame Street Safari of Fun
πŸ›– Outdoor Seating
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Best for 6 year old and younger

The regular Sesame Street Show is on hold while the stage is taken over by this cute, heartfelt holiday sing-a-long. Its a cute little show that everyone could appreciate but is geared toward children up to 6 years old.

Elmo and Friends in scarfs singing
Cookie Monster singing about how he wants cookie for Christmas

Best part (besides Elmo’s choice of a Christmas Wish) is Cookie Monster singing “All I Want for Christmas”! Can you guess what he was singing too?

I would recommend showing up early enough for a good seat. They allow standing and dancing at your seat so your view can be blocked easily.

The area has other cute photo spots and Meet and Greets with characters in the theater as well as between the theater and Grover’s rollercoaster at select times.

Three Kings Journey

Three Kings singing at Dragonfire Grill.

πŸ“ Dragonfire Grill in Pantopia
πŸ›– Indoor Seating
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Appropriate for all ages, but better for adults

This great concert features “Three Kings” singing traditional Christmas songs you are likely to hear in a church. There is no plot to it, but they sound wonderful.

Dragonfire Grill is also a great place to grab dinner. The seats to watch the show are the same as the dinning area.

Fireworks: Holiday in the Sky

πŸ“ Festival Field
πŸ›– Outdoors
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Good for those who like fireworks

Enjoy a great firework show that will make you oooo and awe. Check showtimes, but it is normally once a night right around closing time so be prepared for a late night.

Storytime with Mrs. Claus

πŸ“ Coke a Cola Stage
πŸ›– Outdoors
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Good for 8 and younger

Children get to sit on the rug in front of the stage and be entertained by Mrs. Claus and an enthusiastic elf with a Christmas book. It is short, but good and ironically relaxing for the adults.

It is followed by a meet and greet/photo op with Mrs. Claus. Line is to the audiences right of the stage. If you want to do the meet and greet I would suggest jumping into line quickly.

Train Sing-A-Long

πŸ“ Serengeti Express from Nairobi Train Station
πŸ›– Outdoors/Ride
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Fun for all ages

Not sure if it counts as a show, but it is a fun Christmas experience! In the evening the Serengeti Express only picks up and drops off from the Nairobi Train Station and turns into a sing-a-long to Christmas music and seeing lights.

Christmas Lights

Near Nairobi

In addition to holiday shows, Busch Gardens does an amazing job with Christmas decorations, and they really went above and beyond with their Christmas lights this year!!!

Each area of the park has a different decor theme so you will want to walk the whole loop! Here are some pictures to give you of an idea of the beautiful lights.

Near the Sesame Street area
Near the Penguins
In Stanleyville near their train station
Near the Ice Show

Holiday Meet & Greets

Another Christmas-only addition to the park are holiday theme character meetings. In addition to the Sesame Street characters and the other regular meet & greet photo opportunities, here are some extra ones this holiday season:

  • Santa is available near the Nairobi Train Station.
  • Rudolph is available at the Pantopia Theater (This is the old dolphin theater).
  • Mrs. Claus is available after each one of her shows in the Coke a Cola theater.
    • TIP: The line for Mrs. Claus forms to audiences right by the stage.
Rudolph’s meeting entrance
Mrs. Claus Meet & Greet

There are also several princesses and fairies throughout the park. Times are posted on a sign outside their mini stages telling you when they will be there. The pictures below show a couple of the princesses we met on our visit.

Is Busch Garden’s Christmas Town Worth a Visit?

We really enjoy Busch Garden’s Christmas Town for some holiday cheer. It is especially worth the trip if you already have an annual pass, or would be planning a visit to Busch Gardens anyway. There is a lot to do so it may be hard to do everything and all the normal park stuff in one day, so it’s nice to approach it as a bonus holiday visit than a regular park day.

Read More:

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