Florida Guide > Other Parks
Christmas at Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is one of our favourite theme parks and we try to visit it at least once on each of our trips to Florida. This trip was our first visit for Christmas to Busch so we were excited to see how the park differed from our normal trips.
The drive to Busch took just over an hour and we arrived on a sunny but very chilly day, so most people were dressed in fleeces and trousers/jeans, although we did spot some very brave people in shorts and a tee shirt! There was a huge Christmas tree once inside the parks, with photo opportunities for the kids with various Christmas/Animal characters.
The rides were just as good as usual, with Sheikra top of our list to ride – this is definitely our not-to-miss roller coaster and the one we would queue for as long as it took to ride. Luckily, as we had arrived early, the wait was less than 5 minutes, so we managed two rides before heading down to Montu on the Sky Ride, the cable car which gives a panoramic view over the Serengeti Plain and its animals – and is a quick means of getting from one end of the park to the other. Montu was just as short for queues, so we managed 3 rides in succession, including once in the front row, before it started getting busy.
Then back on the Skyride to ride Kumba – by this time the park was filling up, so we made our way to see the Critter Castaways show, which is a live show with animals and their trainers interacting to entertain us. Most of the animals are rescue animals and they obviously love the attention and affection they receive from their trainers, and the audience. It was a great show, and the animals (including a skunk) stayed around the edge of the stage at the end of the show so that people could meet them, pet them and ask the trainers questions.
We decided it was a good time to visit Timbuktu to ride Scorpion and Cheetah Chase (you may have realised by now that we love roller coasters) and afterwards made our way to Stanleyville Theater. This was where the seasonal show, Christmas on Ice, was – a show with nationally ranked skaters performing to Christmas themed music. The show opened with a trio of singers harmonising to Christmas favourites, and then the skaters came out. The round stage had been converted to an ice rink and although it was not huge, it was large enough for the skaters to jump and spin around the stage, putting on an amazing show. The standard of skating was very high and the choreography was fab, and it was definitely the highlight of our visit. The show lasted 25 minutes, but seemed to be over in a flash and the packed audience loved it.
We took a stroll around the parts of the park we had so far missed, and decided to end our visit with our normal tradition of eating a hot fudge ice cream sundae – absolutely delicious - before returning to the car for our journey back to our villa.
As usual, Busch Gardens was worth the drive, and the Christmas shows added something extra to the day. We will definitely be back!
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