Christmas is on its way at Busch Gardens Tampa

Written by Amy VandenBoogert. Posted in Busch Gardens Tampa, Orlando Parkhopper

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Published on November 11, 2012 at 5:02 am with 3 Comments

When visiting Orlando, many forget that there is an amazing park just an hour away.  Busch Gardens Tampa is a 335 acre theme park and zoo that offers high entertainment value year round.  One event that folks can look forward to this winder is Christmas Town.There is a ton of cheer to see in the park too.  We also have interesting Rhino Rally news.  Could they be expanding this ride? All this plus a tour through the animal habitats of lemurs, kangaroos, and tigers, OH MY!


Christmas is coming to Busch Gardens! The park’s first ever Christmas Town event kicks off on November 30 and will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through December 23. Christmas Town is a separate ticket event that takes place from 6:00pm to 11:00pm with special shows and attractions. Tickets are already on sale online (a discount is available for passholders). For more information on what Christmas Town will be offering, visit this link.

In the meantime, Santa’s Christmas Workshop is already open with a wide array of holiday ornaments, trinkets and other goodies available for purchase.


Some Christmas decorations have already sprung up in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun area of the park.

Over in the Nairobi section of the park, some decorations are up at the train station.


Busch Gardens has installed a new digital display that gives information regarding park hours, the day’s weather forecast, show times, attraction wait times, “Meet the Keeper” schedules and more! The display is underneath the “figure 8” tower of the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster. We’ve been told there is a second info display over by the SheiKra roller coaster.


Rhino Rally is currently closed for rehab. There have been rumors floating of an expansion, which is something this attraction could use, especially since a big part of the ride was cut when Cheetah Hunt was built.

In the Timbuktu section of the park, this banner in the carnival games area is a lone remnant of this year’s Howl-O-Scream.


One of the best things about Busch Gardens Tampa is that it is a brilliant mix of zoo and theme park.  Let’s round things out by cruising through some of the animal habitats.

It was feeding time over at the tiger habitat when we visited.

Over at Jambo Junction, the red-tufted lemurs that were born earlier this year at the park are out on the display. They’re so FLUFFY!

Also at Jambo Junction is this cute little red kangaroo joey.

Well folks, that wraps up this little update from Busch Gardens Tampa. It’s a truly wonderful time of the year to visit the park. Everything looks wonderful, the weather is great and Holiday magic is rolling in fast. Give the park a try and be sure to share your photos on the MiceChat forums.

About Amy VandenBoogert

Amy is lucky to live in beautiful Tampa Bay, Florida and frequently visits the Busch Gardens theme park in that city. You can find Amy's updates on Busch Gardens and other Central Florida attractions in MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper columns.

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  • Busch Gardens is such a charming park. So much larger than I expected and a much higher quality than most regional parks. Although the theme doesn’t rise to Animal Kingdom levels, it does offer much more entertainment and thrills for the money.

    Really appreciate the update on what’s new Amy! Looking forward to seeing the Christmas photos!

  • Rick Wright

    We make a point of visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay nearly every time we are in Orlando. (It helps that admission is free with our Sea World San Diego Platinum Annual Pass.) We LOVE this park. It is such a study in contrasts. You can ride on multiple heart-stopping steel coasters and then enjoy a slow meandering train ride through the animal park. I do lament the loss of Rhino Rally, though – one of my all-time favorite theme park rides.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    I love how “up close and personal” you can get to the animals at Busch Gardens. How many animal parks let you hand feed and pet kangaroos and wallabys, go on a safari and feed giraffes, play tug-of-war with a tiger…