This past week my family and I finally got to check out the Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration event at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. If you are planning on going please know this is NOT Christmas Town (no matter what some of the merchandise says). As with everything in 2020 the park has had to scale back. And while I feel like they did a great job (heads above the Halloween Event) it’s not the same.
How Do I Go to The Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas 2020 Event?
As with their other special events this year there are a limited amount of spaces and reservations are required. Membership holders (not season ticket/annual pass holders) will not have to pay for the event- otherwise single day tickets begin at $39.99. Children under 3 do not require a ticket or reservation.
If you are considering paying for a one night ticket and have thought AT ALL about grabbing a membership take a moment to consider that again. A Busch Gardens One Park Unlimited Membership is $159.99 (on sale right now!) per member and then you could go to the Christmas Event as many times as you can get reservations. Plus you will enjoy unlimited admission to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for 12 months, including Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town, FREE General Parking, 2 FREE Guest Tickets, up to 20% In-Park discounts, FREE Annual PhotoKey, exclusive member events, monthly rewards and more.
If you are curious what a visit is like right now check out my Busch Gardens Williamsburg Covid Visit to see their safety measures.
Things I Loved
As with all previous 2020 trips the park feels very safe and clean. We saw every ride being cleaned, tables being wiped down and the staff made sure everyone had their mask pulled up. And I was CRAZY impressed with the screening at the entrance to the park. They have it down to a science now and it did not feel invasive at all.
The park is still beautiful. I was really scared it would be underwhelming and it wasn’t. It’s still wonderful to walk around and look at lights.
Hearing live music in the park again made me so happy. While I understand they can’t do shows the way they used to it I thought the performers there were amazing.
After the lack of decoration in England during the Halloween Event I was scared they would do the same for the Christmas Celebration. But it was beautiful as always with the live voices rising over it. And I was VERY impressed with the sound quality combined with the masks. They were not muffled at all. Be sure to take a moment and enjoy the lovely four part harmonies.
Inside Das Festhaus is a beautiful piano with an amazing piano player. After the craziness of outside it was nice to come into the warmth and hear the music being played. Performers who can do so much from memory always impress me. It set a lovely tone in the building.
In New France I loved the traditional carols with a simple guitar and vocalist. It’s a lonely place to sing and he did a great job.
We caught the tail end of the performers in Ireland and I wish we had seen more of them. Grab a hot chocolate and prioritize seeing them- they sounded fantastic.
No matter how strange 2020 has been some of the changes have been positive. And one of those is the table set up in Das Festhaus. Instead of being crammed in the long tables all squished together you can get your own table. If you want to grab a meal in the heat be ready for long food lines but they move VERY quickly. The staff at the park was working hard to keep things going.
We discovered the ring toss game. (I almost didn’t post this picture because we look so close to other people but I promise there was plenty of distance.) For $10 you get a giant bucket of rings to throw around the neck of bottles. This was a great game for everyone to play at the same time. I’m not sure how it happened but playing games is part of our tradition at Christmas Town (never any other time of year). So it was nice to keep up this one tradition.
Check out these prizes! Who doesn’t need a giant Mario!
Things I Did Not Love
The kids had been excited all week to try the new Gingerbread Spiced Funnel Cake. We grabbed one for the six of us to split and were really disappointed. As far as funnel cakes are always good it was yummy but there was pretty much no gingerbread flavor. It was a normal funnel cake with a squirt of weak Gingerbread Spice sauce on the top. So if you are going to funnel cake route grab one of the other flavors- the Cinnamon Bun looked AMAZING.
As is tradition we went to the cookie shop in Germany to grab hot chocolate and cookies. While thumbs up was received on all the cookies I was the only one who liked my hot chocolate. I was the only one who got regular hot chocolate- apparently the flavors were just overwhelming in all the other selections. So maybe stick to the regular hot chocolate.
This isn’t anyone’s fault but I want everyone to know- if it gets below about 40 outside you can plan on most of the rides shutting down. We managed to get on Invadr after a significant wait but it did not make it too much longer. Also even though the train is open there is nothing special about it this year so even that ride is kind of a let down.
Would I Recommend Going?
If you have an annual membership I absolutely would recommend going. I would do both shifts so you can ride the rides during the day when the temperature is higher and then go back at night to see the lights and listen to the music. The food is still just as good and a stroll with a hot chocolate is great.
Would I recommend paying $40 for a ticket? Honestly probably not unless you are grabbing them day of and know the weather will make the rides cooperate. And it pains me to say it because I so badly want the park to succeed. But as a member it was so nice to feel something “normal” and enjoy a night at Busch Gardens celebrating Christmas!