Alright chasers, it’s that time again. Time to break out your hot cocoa mugs. Christmas Town is officially open!
In it’s 11th year, the park continues to amaze me with their lights and decorations. With just two weeks between the end of Howl-O-Scream and opening of Christmas Town, the park had a lot of work to do, tearing down Halloween decorations and putting up 10 millions lights and Christmas decorations around the park. Two weeks. But somehow they manage to get it done.
Back in its second year, the Christmas Town Express is still one of my favorite highlights of Christmas Town. I highly recommend getting into the line early as on busier nights the wait can be extremely long (upwards of 2hrs), but even then, the wait is well worth it. Like last year, the train only uses one station, Caribou in New France, making this a full 20 minute ride around the park. Keep an eye out a you pass through the Festa Italia station as you can see the latest work on the construction for Pantheon, the new coaster opening in 2020.
The park has two new highlights this year. The first is the Traditions tree maze. This is a must see, even if you only do it once. Located to the right of Das Fest Haus, this maze of lighted trees features booths from around the world that explain how different countries celebrate Christmas. The booths also act as craft stations for kids. The tree maze is simply beautiful and since it’s tucked away from everything, giving you a bit of peace and calmness from the crowds.
The second new attraction this year is the new show in Italy, simply titled, Believe. It features a live pianist singing Christmas carols. I still miss Miracles, and honestly would love to see the two shows merged together, but I’m thankful that they replaced Gift of Harmony.
Scrooge No more, Gloria, O’Tannenbaum, and Deck the Halls round out the rest of the shows.
Families might be bummed to find the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie is no longer playing in Festa. It has been replaced with a count down to Christmas photo op location. Disappointing but the photo op is cute. But don’t worry, you can still visit and get your picture with Rudolph and his friends.
Don’t forget to visit Santa’s workshop. His elves are on hand to help your kids write their letters.
I will say this….one of my favorite things this year as been the big tree at the end of the pathways between San Marco and Festa Italia. Typically by Christmas Town it’s leaves are completely gone, leaving the bare outline wrapped in lights. This year we’ve been treated to the leaves holding on (thanks to the wacky Virginia weather), adding just a splash of color and shadowing to the popular photo spot.
While you’re walking through Oktoberfest, don’t forget to visit the merchants of Mistletoe Marketplace. I love shopping the various crafts from these great local vendors.
If you’re looking for food, Das Fest Haus still serves the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cornbread stuffing and Trapper’s Smokehouse has their BBQ Sliders. I wish they would carry the sliders during the regular season.
And don’t forget the parks ever popular peppermint fudge hot cocoa. Bring your mug for $2.39 refills!!
Christmas Town is now open daily through January 5th. For tickets and more information, visit their website https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/christmas-town/