Busch Gardens Williamsburg announces Christmas Town details

Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 1:04 PM | Contributed by ridemcoaster

The theme park's newest attraction will be set up like a Christmas version of the park's popular Howl-O-Scream attraction, with decorations, themed characters, shopping opportunities and rides focusing on the holiday season. Opening on weekends beginning Nov. 27, this is the first time the park will have a winter schedule since it opened in 1975.

Read more from The Daily Press and The Times Dispatch.

Friday, July 10, 2009 1:23 PM

$19.95 for admission?!?! Thats incredibly cheap considering the coasters will be opened, wish I lived closer...

Friday, July 10, 2009 1:34 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Not all coasters will be open. And it depends on weather and temperature.

Btw.. Took some photos from the media day.. There were over 100 elves in Germany that day.. was way too funny!


Friday, July 10, 2009 1:57 PM

If Dollywood can keep most of their coasters running in Dec in the Smokey Mountains, I'm sure Busch can too.

Friday, July 10, 2009 2:40 PM

Right now, only Griffon is slated to be open, and as mentioned, weather depending. More or less, the B&M 40 degree mark.

The parks GM told us at the ACE event in May that this is the experimental year and they hope things will grow in years to come.

I always go to Dollywood for a few days towards the end of Dec and I still will, but I have been pushing BG to do this for SOOOO many years. Its a dream come true for me.

Danny Biggerstaff CoAsTeRDaN
Friday, July 10, 2009 2:42 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Last I checked, Dollywood isnt owned by BEC, therefore not subject to same policies. Their decision on this has already been made and doubt Dollywood policy will change that. Just because manufacturer says one thing, doesnt mean park cant say another.

1 major reason all coasters arent running:

The entire park will not be open during holiday season.. Thus all the coasters in that park will not be open.

As far as weather.. Virginia can dip below the 40s very easily.. They wont run any coasters if it drops below that. Sides, who really wants to ride below that temperature (other than some enthusiasts).

Now if history dictates, I doubt we will see too many bad days that would close down a coaster.. But they wont go without the disclaimer just in case someone arrives expecting it.

Either way they arent doing Christmas town for the rides. Our area really lacks a lot of holiday lighting locations, so Busch is making what I feel is a good move in adding to the seasonal festivities.

EDIT: afterthoughts

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Friday, July 10, 2009 2:59 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009 3:01 PM
kpjb's avatar

You could run the coasters at whatever temperature you wanted. On course, it doesn't really matter that much. The problem is with the trains getting tight. We overcome this problem during testing (but not while open to the public) by heating the trains for an hour or so before operation, and in the station during cycles.

They could easily set up some turbo heaters underneath the track to heat up the wheels and chassis in between cycles. They may have to intentionally slow up load and unload times, though, to make it work.

I think the biggest thing would be that below around 40°, though, is if it has an adverse reaction on the riders... frostbite, etc.? Much of this may be saving themselves from lawsuits from people who would ride in a 35° snowstorm and then complain when their nose falls off.


Friday, July 10, 2009 3:12 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Hmm, but them coming off with red noses would be more into the festivities..

A train full of Rudolph's.

I did Apollo's one year on Season Pass preview and it was just below 50 (without the wind chill) and it was semi painful then.. I cant imagine I would ever want to ride below 40 degrees.

Friday, July 10, 2009 3:35 PM

So they have Griffon open but not their snow themed invert? Seems odd to me. What is the part of the park they plan to have open, they have now had an event for the event in Ireland and Oktoberfest. I assume then that they are going to just close the Italy section?

Friday, July 10, 2009 3:50 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Sesame, and both Italy's will not be open.. Correct..

As we speak its just Griffon.. But that hasnt been solidified that it will be the only one at this point.

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Friday, July 10, 2009 3:50 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009 3:57 PM

Not having Sesame open is a mistake, throw on scarfs on the characters and kids would love it.

Friday, July 10, 2009 4:01 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Possibly.. But this is a brand new event for them.. Who really can say what is or isnt a mistake?

Edit (yet again):

Also the sesame play area isnt open.. That doesnt necessarily mean they wont have the characters around. Sesame has a lot of water play areas.. Im thinking not having that open will probably be ok. The characters can just as easily hang in England as they sometimes do.

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Friday, July 10, 2009 4:04 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009 4:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

I've been on a B&M below 40, and it was Raptor. 38 or 39 that day I think. Really stupid thing to do.

With average highs in the 50's in Virginia that time of year, I think they can handle it. We do it every year now on the north coast in October.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Friday, July 10, 2009 4:40 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Agreed, however, I dont think anyone is debating whether a coaster can handle it or not though..

Fact of matter.. Below 40 Busch operations will not run them.. Above 40 they may run it. 50s.. Barring no rain, which we get a lot of during that time of the year, they will run it.

But keep in mind Jeff, Christmas Town is in the late afternoon/evening. In late November we rarely have temperatures in the 50s when the sun goes down.. Least in my 20+ years living here.

I would say your best bet is go for the holiday theme. If the ride is open.. Bonus :)

Friday, July 10, 2009 4:51 PM
rollergator's avatar

ridemcoaster said:The characters can just as easily hang in England as they sometimes do.

Hmmm, hanging in England in the cold, with no rides running? How Dickensian... :)

Friday, July 10, 2009 4:54 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

LOL Rollergator.. I hate you ;)

Friday, July 10, 2009 5:53 PM

Jeff said:
We do it every year now on the north coast in October.

November now, rode my first November north coast coaster on the 1st of November last year. :) (Yes, I know what you meant, I'm just being a smart-a$$)


You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009 10:21 PM

Actually, the article says the Griffin roller coaster will be open. :)

If the park can be flexible, they may decide to open more attractions based on crowds and weather. It's better to say they'll open a few rides and actually open more, than to say they'll open more rides and end up running fewer. You know somebody would complain-- "But you said they'd be open..."

Friday, July 10, 2009 10:33 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Ha.. I wonder where the Griffin is? Guess I will seek it out tomorrow when I go take photos.

I have no doubt the weather permitting signs will be posted everywhere to minimize (of course not eliminate) the supposed-tos.

I wouldnt hold breath on the extra attraction thing though.. When they officially publish whats open.. that's whats open for this year.. They will, however, see how this year goes and probably refine what will be open in subsequent years im sure.

Friday, July 10, 2009 11:44 PM
Vater's avatar

Maybe they mean this Griffin.


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