Busch Gardens Thanksgiving – Day 2

On Day 2 (Thanksgiving Day), we were ready to go! The forecast predicted an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms the entire day, but we lucked out with just a few scattered showers. We also lucked out with a thin crowd, and again enjoyed walking on the popular rides.

The park is equally as beautiful in the daytime. Though overcast, I was still able to snap some great photos.

Stinky and Blinky were all about the rides, while the DH and I were more interested in seeing a few of the shows. Top of my list were Christmas Celebrations, Opening Night Critters, and Christmas On Ice. With a little bribery and some convincing, we were able to see all three.

Christmas Celebration is performed in the food court. Dragon Fire Grill comes alive when singers, dancers and Santa himself fill the stage with Holiday cheer during Christmas Celebration, a traditional Christmas extravaganza. It’s a cute little show featuring traditional favorites like Dreaming of a White Christmas and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

We literally had to drag the kids off the rides to make Opening Night Critters. We saw a similar show last year at Sea World and I knew they would enjoy it. See what happens when two ambitious stage hands find themselves sharing the spotlight with more than 100 furry and feathered co-stars.  Featuring rescued animals, Opening Night Critters is an over-the-top tale of what can happen when humans and animals come together in kindness, compassion and cooperation. Afterward, we had the opportunity to meet a few of the human and furry stars.

While we enjoyed all of the shows, Christmas On Ice was easily our favorite! Christmas on Ice captures the holiday spirit as world-class skaters celebrate the many wonders of Christmas in our family-favorite show. Stunning skating, breath taking moments and Yuletide memories all come together in a holiday spectacular for the entire family. This show is very elegant and romantic. Blinky especially enjoyed the extravagant costumes and acrobatics.

Needing to get to the other side of the park, we opted to utilize the SkyRide, which afforded a stunning bird’s eye view of the park and its inhabitants.

After more rides to appease the kids, we sought out character meet and greets. Santa’s Place (very clearly sponsored by Coca Cola) was super sweet! You ring a door bell and are invited in by a cheerful elf. She leads you into the living room where Mrs. Claus shows you around. Another elf leads you down a hallway, through a magic door, where you finally meet Santa Claus.

The following exchange was priceless:

Quote of the Week:

Santa: “What’s your name?”
Stinky: “Stinky”
Santa: “And what would you like for Christmas, Stinky?”
Stinky: “That depends…what’s your budget?”

The DH and I could not stop laughing at Santa’s expression!! Clearly he was not expecting that!

Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland was equally exciting. We met the Abominable Snowman, Yukon Cornelius, Sam the Snowman, and Rudolph and Clarice. The photographers were so accommodating and we did not feel rushed to move on at all.

We had a nice dinner in the Nairobi section of the park, took the kids on a few more rides, and left minutes before closing.  Check back for my Day 3 post about our African Plains adventure.

As a full-service travel agent, I would love to be of assistance to you. I am passionate about what I do and pour that energy into crafting perfectly planned itineraries for you. Email ebony@familytraveladventuresllc.com to learn more.


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