Due to illness Joel and I had missed our normal “early in the season” trip to Busch Gardens Christmas Town. So the park was a little fuller than we prefer since we went so close to Christmas but it was still beautiful. We had two new things we specifically wanted to see- the Traditions Tree Maze and the new show “Believe.” But first we had to get through the Toll Booth.
Starting With Confusion at the Toll Booth
I had a voucher from Busch Gardens for free preferred parking. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the system that just means I get a hanging tag for my car so I can park closer and not have to ride a tram. It’s a very nice perk they offered me for this one visit and I was excited to use it.
When we got to the toll booth I said hello and handed the attendant the voucher. She processed some things through the computer and then handed me back the voucher and a receipt- no hang tag.
Here is how the conversation went:
Her: “When you get inside the park take this to guest services and they can help you out.”
Her: “On the top it says this is a non-admissable voucher so you can’t get into the park with it.”
Me: “I know. It’s for preferred parking.”
Her: “Oh we ran out of preferred parking hours ago. We just have regular parking now.” As a side note the park had been open for 90 minutes so I think some hyperbole might have been used here, which I often engage in as well.
Me: “Okay so all that is available is regular parking.”
Her: “Yes. So just take your voucher to guest services and they can help you with it.”
Me: “But this voucher is for free parking. We will already be parked.”
Her: “Right. Just take it to guest services and they will help you.”
Me: “With what?”
Her: “It’s a non-admissible voucher. You can’t use it to get into the park.”
Me: “I know. I have a season ticket. This is a voucher for free preferred parking.”
Her: “Oh we ran out of preferred parking hours ago.”
Me: “Right so I am confused. The car will already be parked. What are they going to do for me at guest services?”
Her: “Well you can’t use that to get into the park. They will help you with it. Guest services will know what to do.”
Me With My Head Ready to Explode: “Thank you. I am sure we will figure it out.”
If You Do Not Have Tickets Here Are Your Options:
Christmas Town Fun Card: $51.99 and available now. This allows you to go as many times as you would like on any date. This is $10 off the normal price and we don’t have an end date.
Christmas Town Single Day Ticket: The discounted Christmas Town Single Day Tickets are on sale now! If you look at the graphic you can see the prices. Click here if you have any other questions and they are probably answered!
Membership Members: Remember Christmas Town is now included in your pass so you don’t need to buy tickets!
A Beautiful but Hidden Maze
One of the new things at Busch Gardens Christmas Town 2019 is the Traditions Tree Maze. So far few of my friends who have attended the park have done it because they can’t find it. All of the commercials said it was to the right of the Festhaus. During Howl O’ Scream there is a haunted house back there so I figured you could get to it the same way. Go to Festhaus, turn right- WALL. However if you look through the slits in the fence you can see something that MIGHT be a tree maze.
Fortunately I remembered a few years ago one of the haunted houses had an entrance back closer to Wilkommenhaus. So we went back and found the very poorly lit sign for the maze. It is absolutely beautiful being back in the trees. And it smells great.
Inside the maze are five booths from different countries and each has some information about the holidays in the country. You can see them above the trees so it’s easy to make sure you go to each.
At each booth there is a craft that goes with the holiday traditions. And nicely they have a tent set up so you can get out of the elements to do the craft.
Someone had dropped their mask so I rescued it. There were some other items to color as well. We are taking the kids soon and I am excited to see what they create.
It really was beautiful and peaceful in the maze.
Not to mention great for pictures. So don’t miss it!
“Believe” That I Could Not Believe
The other new item this year is a show called “Believe” in Italy. It replaced the acapella show they have had the last few years. The idea was simple- a single person playing piano and singing.
While the stage is stunning the show really isn’t. She began with one of my favorite Christmas arrangements. It was out of her vocal range and she struggled to sing it. And the piano playing was average at best. I’m saying that as an average piano player myself- it’s exactly how I would have had to play it to get through it. (I do want to say I feel not great saying something bad about a show that is just one person working so hard by herself. I have been that person myself many times. I am sure she was just doing what she was told to do and very thankful for a paycheck for performing. I just feel the show could have been better put together.)
The sound also wasn’t good- her voice kept coming in and out as they messed with levels. They had the piano set up so you could not really see anything of her that was interesting to watch. Like her facial expressions. The show honestly felt like a big budget cut- especially when you consider they just threw a DJ in there during Howl O’ Scream. I wish they had paid a really good piano player and a really good vocalist and let them play off each other on stage for some amusement. Or just a top notch piano player who was entertaining to watch.
Either way I would recommend skipping it and watching any of the other shows. Unless you happen to already be in Italy eating (which I do recommend highly).
Where is the Wassail?
Every year I tell someone “you know they have Wassail at Busch Gardens right? You can get it instead of hot chocolate.” So we took a picture. It’s by the Smokehouse.
And a Few of My Favorite Things
Don’t miss the light show in front of the Festhaus. It’s absolutely beautiful and has wonderful music.
“Scrooge No More” is playing at the Globe Theatre and always fun. When Joel had gone with his family the Ghost of Christmas Past and Scrooge had not flown during the show. He wasn’t sure if it was a technical issue or something they had changed in the show. So we had to go see it. Fortunately they flew during our show.
Don’t miss the Christmas Town Express. The line may look long but it moves very fast since they are running two trains most nights. It’s a sing a long while you look at beautiful lights!
“‘Twas That Night” is easily my favorite thing in the park during Christmas Town. It’s an ice skating show with amazing music, beautiful lights and incredible talent. I will warn you they don’t do the show often and it gets VERY full so be there as early as you can. Joel got in line about 50 minutes early while I got hot chocolate and we got good seats.
And Some More Pictures Because They Are Beautiful