Lights, the Smell of Fresh Pine, and Gingerbread Cheesecake: Christmas Town 2017
Busch Gardens Williamsburg kicked off Christmas Town 2017 over Thanksgiving weekend, but I couldn't get there until last Friday. Much is the same as last year: You can still roam the Polar Pathway; visit small-town America (and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends) at Holiday Hills; witness the transformation of miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge into the yuletide's number-one fan at "Scrooge No More"; and take in the sights from the Flight of Lights (skyway) or Nacht Tower (aka Mach Tower in elevator mode).
But there have been some notable changes:
1. For the first time, the Sesame Street Forest of Fun is open for Christmas Town. Grover's Alpine Express was running (along with two other coasters--Verbolten and InvadR), and the other rides (except for the tiny flume ride) were open.
2. Santa's Workshop has moved from the ice-cream/gift shop in Germany to DarKastle. I didn't queue up to see the Right Jolly Old Elf, of course, but there was a two-hour wait for a audience with Santa last Friday. I wonder what Mad King Ludwig thinks about all this?
3. There's a new show in Italy: "Gift of Harmony," an a cappella group singing Christmas classics. This replaces the old "Miracles" show. You can still "Deck the Halls" at the Festhaus, feel reverential during "Gloria" in Ireland, take in "O' Tannenbaum" in front of the Festhaus, and shiver during "Twas the Night," an ice-skating show inspired by "A Visit from St. Nicholas," in France.
4. There's a small preview center for the new VR ride in Ireland.
Christmas Town has become an important part of Christmas in Williamsburg (along with Colonial Williamsburg's Grand Illumination, which happens tonight). It's nice to just stroll around, take in the lights, and have a nice holiday-themed meal (or some treats, of course).
Merry Christmas! Let's go in.
It’s always good to see a sign that assures you that you’re in the right place.
Just in case you want to play freeze out on any rides, here’s what’s open.
No, I did not count the lights. You’ll have to take BGW at its word. And did they all "twinkle"? I have no answer.
This Christmas tree really has big ornaments. Ha! You thought I was going to say “balls,” didn’t you?
Hmm . . . what to do first?
I could always grab some “traditional Christmas fare” in Dickens' Tavern. This would include hamburgers, which I guess were very big in Dickensian London.
Well, it is almost time for “Scrooge No More.” Might as well see it.
Oh, look! It’s the classic “pulling down a spotlight with an invisible rope” bit.
Er, are you sure this isn’t Howl-o-Scream?
Whew! That’s more like it.
“Out of my way! No one’s doing that ‘invisible rope’ bit while Scrooge is here!”
Bah! Humbug! Etc., etc. . . . I think you know the rest of the story.
Time to leave England . . .
. . . unless you want a beer or some other adult beverage.
As usual, Scotland is having a blue Christmas.
This is the first time that Forest of Fun has been open for Christmas Town.
This looks like Sesame Street’s idea of a Christmas tree lot.
“There’s a nice donut stand near the entrance of the Polar Pathway. Could you get a nice bear some nice donuts? Please?”
Polar Pathway is the prettiest spot at Christmas Town. I like the music they play there, too.
Italy is Yukon Cornelius Approved. Gold! Silver! Yahoo!
This is how Yukon would decorate a Christmas tree.
My next favorite spot at Christmas Town. I like the "old school" decorations (reminds me of my hometown when I was a kid).
There’s a little theater showing an edited version of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It has bench seats and bean-bag chairs.
The Bumble Snow Monster gets a bad rap.
Santa Claus is the real villain of the story. He’s a bad boss who treats everyone (especially Rudolph) like crap, and in this scene he sort of “blames” Rudolph for the disappearance of Rudolph’s parents and Clarice (even though Santa's rejection of Rudolph and the other reindeer's desire to earn his favor drives the whole plot). “King of Jingle-ling,” my butt. Santa’s a jerk.
The Rudolph meet and greet is in the Apollo’s Chariot queue house.
I like how they re-themed the games. Yes, you can help Herbie pound on teeth here.
“‘Jerk,’ am I? You will kneel to the Claus!” Ulp! Guess I'm getting coal in my stocking this year. More photos to come.
Awesome report of an awesome event! I like the idea of a preview center for new rides, so curious guests who don't constantly scour the Internet for new ride rumours can get excited about the new attraction. Makes me wonder why more parks don't do that.
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