It’s Christmas time at Busch Gardens, our favorite time of the year in the park. In today’s update, we’ll show you the holiday daytime offerings. Plus, Falcon’s Fury construction and other news from around this wild park.

Falcon’s Fury Construction and Pantopia Announcement

Finally some visible progress at the Falcon’s Fury construction site! The tower pieces have arrived from overseas and the first section has been installed! The next pieces should be installed soon.





And that’s not all! Busch Gardens has announced that along with Falcon’s Fury, the entire Timbuktu section of the park is going to be re-imagined into a magical new land, Pantopia™ – a creative haven inspired by centuries of world travelers and will offer something for the whole family.

From a press release the park sent out:

“In addition to the power and allure of Falcon’s Fury™, Pantopia™ will celebrate the spirit of animals, welcome adventurers from the four corners of the earth, explore ancient lore and display fantastic architecture,” says Busch Gardens Park President Jim Dean. “Guests will find multiple portals and doorways and learn about the legends that have drawn journeyers from around the world to Pantopia™. Plus, family favorites like the Scorpion, Phoenix, Bush Flyers, Desert Runners and the Kiddie Train will return.”


The park also released the following renderings of the re-imagined Pantopia™ and it looks like it will be a beautiful, colorful and fun area of the park to enjoy.




Ride Closure Update

The following attractions are currently closed for refurbishment and/or Falcon’s Fury & Pantopia™ construction according to the park’s website:

Busch Flyers: Jul. 1 – Dec. 31
Desert Runners: Jul. 1 – Dec. 31
Kiddie Train: Jul. 1 – Dec. 31
Jungle Flyers – Sept. 3 – Dec. 19
Skyride Sept. 17 – Nov. 10
Tidal Wave: Oct. 21 – Dec. 24

New Cell Phone Charging Station

Busch Gardens recently installed a cell phone/electronic device charging station free to use, sponsored by Southwest Airlines. It’s located in the Timbuktu section of the park in front of the Desert Grill restaurant (in between the Falcon’s Fury construction site and the Scorpion roller coaster).



Santa’s Christmas Workshop

The Sahara Trading Co. shop has converted from its Howl-O-Scream Shop of Horrors overlay into Santa’s Christmas Workshop. Here you’ll find everything from ornaments, nutcrackers and other decorations to get your home in the holiday spirit. The shop also offers ornament personalization for a special keepsake to bring home and remember your visit by.






Daytime Christmas Offerings

Christmas Town starts November 29, but daytime guests aren’t left out of the holiday fun. There are decorations all over the park as well as three shows to entertain the masses.





















Christmas Celebration:  This show plays multiple times daily at the Desert Grill restaurant. This is a cute show that is a good mix of traditional and contemporary holiday tunes along with tap dancing toy soldiers, Santa and fun for the whole family!




















Christmas On Ice: This ice show performs multiple times daily at the Moroccan Palace Theater (ICEploration is on hiatus during the holidays) and brings a beautiful winter wonderland to life.


Christmas From the Heart: This show is performed at the Marrakesh Theater and features inspiring holiday gospel tunes performed by a live choir.


We will be attending Christmas Town (a separate ticket nighttime event) on December 7 and will have a full report on this magical holiday wonderland for you here on MiceChat.

Around The Park

Let’s wrap things up with a quick look around the park and its many animal inhabitants.











And that’s how the holidays look at Busch Gardens Tampa. It’s really a charming time of the year to visit the park. Why not carve a day out of your schedule on your next trip to Orlando to visit this wonderful park located less than an hour away from Orlando. Speaking of carving, have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Eric Davis

    GREAT article! I can’t wait to check it out!

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      Thanks! Busch Gardens has really upped their game with the holiday offerings. It’s a pretty amazing time to visit the park.

  • ufmaule

    Thanks for posting the new Pantopia update and renderings. So glad they are going to try something new, even if it does just look like a new paint scheme. The current section is really old and faded looking, and then there’s the strange transitional walk way with the salute to the troops flags and music. I’m all for supporting the troops, but this has always seemed a wierd place to put this. Great article!

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      Well to be fair, the current Timbuktu is themed to a desert, so Pantopia is going to be a nice change and will be more than just a new coat of paint. Looks like more greenery and some water features will be added for some kinetic movement. From what I’ve learned, they’re going to be converting some of the shops/food stands to new offerings. If you look at the renderings closely, you can see one shop is going to be transformed into a bakery called the Painted Camel. It also looks like the Desert Grill will be getting a new name (it’s covered up in the renderings).

      I do agree the support the troops tribute is in an odd place but I’m not sure where it could be relocated to.

  • Rex Dopey24

    nice pictures thanks

  • Love all the shows and Christmas offerings! This is a great park!

  • Country Bear

    Thanks for sharing Amy.

    Busch Gardens is such a beautiful park and it must be wonderful with all of the Christmas colors in it now. Glad to see them putting the effort into dressing the park up for the season. Also great to see the special shows.
    Anytime that they are adding attractions or coloring up the place, it encourages me to visit again. Not that you had to twist my arm with this park.