If you click on the links in this post, we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post, at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclaimer here.
Christmas Town, an annual event at Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park, is one of the biggest holiday light displays in all of North America.
But it’s also so much more than that. From amazing live shows to the Christmas Town Express to photo opportunities with characters and much more, there is so much to do at this fun event.
Are you planning on visiting Christmas Town Williamsburg in 2023? Use this travel guide to find out what to expect! We also have tips for what kind of ticket is best for you… and your budget!
The Christmas lights all over the park are breathtaking. No matter what time you arrive, you definitely want to stay until after the sun goes down, because that’s when the magic happens! The holiday lights are absolutely incredible after dark. While there are a lot of fun things to do at Christmas Town, I definitely recommend spending some time walking around and just taking in the sights.
For instance, check out how the Escape from Pompeii ride is transformed:
And every area at Christmas Town is covered in lights. In fact, throughout the park, there are over 10 million lights!
Holiday Shows & Entertainment
While the lights are impressive, there are many other fun things to do at Christmas Town! From singing to dancing to even ice skating, there’s a lot to love about the live entertainment and holiday shows.
A new inspirational show is debuting at the Il Teatro di San Marco Theatre, which is the open-air theater in the Italy section of the park. You can enjoy a delicious meal while being entertained by three musicians. They’ll perform holiday ballads and share their own favorite memories and traditions. Tip: the higher levels of the theater are both covered and heated.
Up On The Haustop
Like Unto Us, the show Up on the Haustop is a great production that first debuted in 2021. And this show is also a great choice to watch during a meal. You see, Up on the Haustop is located inside Das Festhaus, which is one of the dining locations at the park. Located in the Oktoberfest area, Das Festhaus also has the distinction of having indoor seating. (This is often very appreciated in the winter!)
One of my favorite shows at Busch Gardens Williamsburg during Christmas has always been Gloria over at Abbey Stone Theatre in Ireland. Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t at the park the last few seasons.
But this year, it is back! It is a retelling of the story of the first Christmas. it blends contemporary and traditional music. They also use great costumes and scenery.
‘Twas That Night
This entertaining show combines the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas (aka ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) with world-class ice skating. You can even enjoy listening to original holiday songs! And if that wasn’t enough, ‘Twas That Night features champion figure skater Elvis Stojko. You can catch a performance at the Royal Palace Theatre in France. Please note that since it’s an outdoor theater, the show can be cancelled due to inclement weather (including the temperature actually being too high!).
Want to get spoiled? You can see a video of the ice show here:
Please note that this show does not open until November 24, 2023.
Scrooge No More
Enjoy the classic tale of Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. This musical is held at the Globe Theater in England. The indoor theater is located very close to the park entrance.
This is a light show celebrating the giant 50-foot Christmas tree, which can be found outside Das Festhaus in Oktoberfest. You can watch the beautiful lights and enjoy the holiday music.
Elmo’s Christmas Wish
Will Elmo find his Christmas wish? If his friends Grover, Cookie Monster, Rosita, and Zoe have anything to do with it, then the answer is yes! You can watch this fun musical at the outdoor stage in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun.
Polar Pathway: Spectacle of Lights
So you know how I mentioned how Escape from Pompeii is decorated so beautifully? Well, this year, it is even better. Because for the first time ever, it will come alive with an all-new light spectacular, complete with over a million twinkling LED lights. And they’re choreographed to music!
Throughout the day, you might catch one of these performances:
- Carolers in England
- The Killarney Village Band in Ireland
- Country Christmas in New France
If you want to go shopping at Christmas Town, stop by Mistletoe Marketplace in Oktoberfest. This is a traditional outdoor market that has a selection of handmade items from local craft vendors. They make unique Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers!
Other places to shop include:
- Christmas Town Shoppe (Emporium)
- Emerald Isle Gifts
- Toys O’ The Leprechaun
- La Belle Maison
- Caribou Pottery
- Trapper Dave’s General Store
- Acadia Traders
- German Gifts
- Rudolph Shop
- Der Marktplatz
- Ornament World (Festhaus Gifts)
- Bella Casa
Sesame Street Forest of Fun
- Abby Cadabby’s Treasure Trove
More Things to Do
Looking for more fun in the park? Choose from some of these activities and attractions.
Meet some fun Christmas characters and take some memorable photos!
- Santa Claus at Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole
- Father Christmas at Kidsington Palace in England
- Frosty the Snowman and Gingy the Gingerbread Man in Germany
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Clarice at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland in Wilkommenhaus
Take a fun photo with the Clydesdale horses!
Holiday Scavenger Hunt
This year’s brand new scavenger hunt celebrates holidays around the world! In England, you can pick up a clue sheet, so that you can identify holiday symbols around the park. These symbols are related to different traditions, such as Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. And if you can find them all, you’ll receive a sweet treat at Emporium. This activity is great for families to enjoy together.
Christmas Town Express
Board this colorful and cheerful holiday train in New France – and be prepared to sing along with some favorite Christmas songs!
In addition to the train ride, a few other attractions become holiday versions:
- Peppermint Twist (the teacup ride)
- Snowman Summit (the speedy bobsled ride)
- Reindeer Run (the bobsled ride)
Other rides you can enjoy during Christmas Town include:
- Apollo’s Chariot
- Finnegan’s Flyer
- Le Catapult
- Der Autobahn
- Der Wirbelwind
- Kinder Karussel
- The Battering Ram
- Grover’s Alpine Express
- Oscar’s Whirly Worms
- Oscar’s Yucky Forest
- Prince Elmo’s Spire
- Li’l Clydes
- Der Autobahn Jr.
- Der Roto Baron
- The Little Balloons
- The Little Gliders
Food & Drink
If you’re looking for great seasonal treats and drinks, you’ll find it at Christmas Town! There are a number of locations for dining and drinking.
- Das Festhaus (Oktoberfest)
- Squire’s Grille (England)
- Trappers’ Smokehouse (New France)
Festive Beverages & Seasonal Brews
- Cobblestone Ale & Spirits (England)
- Grogan’s Pub (Ireland)
- North Pole Nightcap (Oktoberfest)
- Brauhaus (Oktoberfest)
- German Pretzels & Beer (Oktoberfest)
Holiday Treats & Sweets
- M. Sweets Confectionary (England)
- Cocoa Café (Festa Italia)
- Three Rivers Snacks (New France)
- La Belle Maison (France)
- German Gifts (Germany)
- Acadia Traders (New France)
- Bella Casa (Italy)
- Mistletoe Marketplace (Oktoberfest)
Bürgermeister’s Hideaway is a new speakeasy experience, hidden somewhere in Germany’s Rhinefeld Village. Advanced reservations are required; you can book them here.
Santa’s Fireside Feast
Character dining gives you the opportunity to interact with fun characters while enjoying delicious food. At Santa’s Fireside Feast, you’ll get to hear a classic Christmas story from Santa Claus. Mrs. Claus will join in on the fun as well! And elves will prepare the “all-you-care-to-eat” meal, which includes:
- Carved ham with a brown sugar glaze
- Mashed potatoes
- Carved turkey with gravy
- Cornbread stuffing
- chicken alfredo
- Trapper’s Smokehouse Chili
- Hot dogs
- Macaroni and cheese
- Vegetable medley
- Dinner rolls
- Chicken nuggets
- Tossed salad
- Assorted desserts
- Coca-Cola beverages
Your group will also receive a 6×8 photo, which makes an excellent souvenir!
This dining experience costs $45.00 for adults and kids ages 10 years old and up. The price is $22.00 for children ages 3 to 9 years old. Kids younger than 3 years old can eat free, but you will need to make a reservation for them. You can purchase this character meal – and choose lunch or dinner times as well as your date of visit – here.
Please note that you should check in 15 minutes early at Castle O’Sullivan in Ireland, which is where Santa’s Fireside Feast is held.
Christmas Town Tickets
Ready to plan a trip to Williamsburg to see Christmas Town in person?
If you plan on attending the event more than one day, we highly recommend getting a Christmas Town Fun Card. This lets you visit unlimited times during the holiday season. And at $76.99, it’s actually cheaper than getting tickets for two different days.
Speaking of which, if you can, we do recommend spending at least 2 days at Christmas Town. That way, you can have plenty of time to take in the lights all over the park, watch multiple shows, ride as many rides as you’d like, etc. And if it happens to rain one of those days, you can stick to indoor shows or shopping then, and enjoy the outdoor attractions the other day.
And if you are planning a longer Williamsburg vacation during the holiday season, you might want to consider a Christmas Bounce Ticket (instead of the Fun Card). That’s because this will get you admission to Christmas Town and also Colonial Williamsburg. We go into more detail about the Christmas Bounce Ticket here.
Finally, if you become a Busch Gardens member, you can get unlimited visits to the park year-round, including Christmas Town. If you are planning on taking multiple trips during the upcoming year to Williamsburg (or you live in the area), this is also a great option.
Any visit to Christmas Town is going to be special. But if you want to make the experience extra special, considering getting one of these upgrades! (To purchase these upgrades, click here. We recommend doing so before the day of your visit.)
An up-close seat is guaranteed if you purchase reserved seating for one (or more) of these shows:
- Scrooge No More!
- ‘Twas That Night
With Quick Queue at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, you get “skip the line” privileges. Now, you may still have to wait in line, but you do get priority access and will bypass the majority of the line.
There are two different Quick Queue options at Christmas Town.
Christmas Town Quick Queue
Click here to get priority access for a single time for each of the following rides:
- Apollo’s Chariot
- Peppermint Twist
- Battering Ram
- Der Autobahn
- Snowman Summit
- Der Wirbelwind
- Finnegan’s Flyer
- Kinder Karussel
- Le Catapult
Christmas Town Express Quick Queue
Click here to get single time priority access to taking a Jolly Sing-A-Long Train Ride on the Christmas Town Express.
Christmas Town PhotoKey
By purchasing the Christmas Town PhotoKey, you can get access online to all of your digital photos taken during Christmas Town. This includes photos taken at the following locations:
- Adventure Photo
- 1-2-3 Smile with Me!
- Apollo’s Chariot
- Park entry
- Grover Photo
- Highland Stables
If you choose to take part in the Santa Fireside Feast during a visit to Christmas Town, you can also add those digital photos to the PhotoKey at Adventure Photo by giving the table number and dine time on the day of your reservation.
Click here to get Christmas Town PhotoKey.
Christmas Town Ultimate Santa Experience
This experience is ideal if meeting with Santa is a top priority for your Christmas Town visit.
Click here to purchase the experience, which includes:
- VIP entry for up to 6 people to meet Santa & his elves
- Ultimate Santa Photo Package
- (2) 6×8 photos
- (2) 4×6 photos
- (8) wallet photos
- (4) Christmas Cards
- digital downloads of printed images
Christmas Town Festive Tour
This three and a half hour guided tour of Busch Gardens Williamsburg includes:
- Reserved Seating for 3 Christmas shows
- A cup of hot chocolate
- Priority Access to Santa’s Workshop
Christmas Town All-Access Tour
This is a five hour tour that includes:
- Reserved seating at the popular Christmas Town shows
- Priority access & photo with Santa
- Dinner at one of the Christmas inspired venues
Click here to book any of these tours.
Christmas Town Video Tour
If you want to see Christmas Town for yourself but you can’t wait until you visit Williamsburg, then check out this virtual tour from 2019: