Yes, we did our first theme park during the pandemic and it was safe and enjoyable. Busch Gardens Tampa Christmas Town is a beautiful experience running through January 3, 2021.
Safety first. Let’s chat about the safety of the park and how they are helping their guests and staff stay healthy.
Advance tickets: You’ll need to grab your tickets in advance because they are limiting their park capacity this year.
Parking & Tram: I would recommend walking into the park instead of taking the tram. That was the only part of the day that didn’t feel socially distanced.
Temp check & masks! Before you can enter the park everyone walks through a thermal tent that checks for temperatures. Don’t forget your mask because they are required throughout the entire park at all times (unless you’re eating). It was nice that the employees monitored the masks and kindly requested guests to keep them over their mouth and nose.
Animals! Walking through the park felt open and allowed for plenty of space to distance from others. We really enjoyed walking around the Serengeti Plain, a 65-are natural habit filled with zebra, giraffes, elephants and other animals. Florida almost always has beautiful weather this time of year so it’s a good time to visit the park.
Rides! The lines for the rides allowed for social distancing from other guests with stickers spaced every 6 feet. They limited the capacity on the rides also by skipping rows and seats between parties. This did slow the lines down a bit, but with limited park capacity it felt like a normal wait time (most rides had 30-60 minute wait times).
Sanitize! There are sanitizing stations around the park for guests to use and they do a deep clean every night of high touch areas around the park. Honestly we felt pretty safe and just found ourselves touching less rails and sitting less. We did bring our own sanitizer along with us too because I’m picky about the ingredients in sanitizer.
Christmas Town! Admission to the park includes their Christmas Town. The park is decorated with millions of lights and trees and decorations – and holiday music playing throughout the day to put us all in the spirit. The decorations come to life as the sun goes down and the lights begin to twinkle. It’s absolutely beautiful to walk around the park at night.
Come hungry! Grab a Sampler Lanyard to get the best deals on dining around Christmas Town. Each punch on the lanyard allows you to get one drink or food from specially marked food cabins. This is usually our favorite part of all of the Busch Gardens events but this year the food just wan’t as good as previous years. We did enjoy the sweets – the hot cocoa and deep dish cookies were divine – even on an 80F degree day. If you’re visiting with adults the festive drink menus were exciting – I mean who can say no to Frozen Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey S’mores?!
Characters & Santa! If you have little kids they did a great job with safe character experiences. You can meet Rudolph, the Ice Princess, the Sugar Plum Princess, a Jolly Snowman and of course, Santa Claus! All experiences are contact-free and allow for you to talk to the characters and have your picture taken. For those wanting to stay further away, you can write a letter to Santa and leave it in his mailbox.
Shows! The Christmas on Ice was staged in the Festival Field and seating is spaced out between parties. Christmas music is playing while you wait and food & drinks are available for purchase. The show is about 30 minutes full of yuletide melodies and beautiful seasonal costumes. Fun for the entire family.
I’m glad we went this year because it really did put us in the holiday spirit.
To buy your tickets or food lanyards visit Busch Gardens Christmas Town online.