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13News Now Vault: Christmas Town celebrates 13 years at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The Williamsburg theme park was decked out in "only" 1 million lights in 2009. It is now ten times what it was back then.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Christmas Town is now in its 13th year.

The theme park has transformed into one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America, celebrating the spirit of the season on select nights from Nov. 11 through Jan. 8, 2023.

It’s a logistical feat and holiday tradition we’ve been covering since its inaugural year in 2009. That year, the Williamsburg theme park was decked out in 1 million lights.

It is now 10 times what it was back then.

Park-goers will have the chance to gaze at over 10 million lights, ride the Christmas Town Express holiday-themed train ride, visit Santa’s Workshop, and enjoy festive food, drinks, and unique holiday shopping.

This year also includes more coasters to ride, including the all-new Pantheon.

When the holiday tradition first started in 2009, it opened the day after Thanksgiving.

This year the Christmas Town is almost a two-month affair, thanks to its growing popularity each year.

RELATED: Pantheon vs. Iron Gwazi: Which Busch Gardens can boast the best coaster?

Busch Gardens said that there will also be an all-new dining experience this time: Santa’s Fireside Feast, presented by Coca-Cola.

"Families can enjoy a hearty meal and a special Christmas story from the big elf himself during this festive encounter," the park said in its announcement.

Santa's Fireside Feast is available on select dates and can be found in the Killarney area of the park. Make your reservation here on BuschGardens.com.

Additionally, several fan-favorite shows are also returning for the holiday season:

  • Up on the Haustop: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Warm up with modern-day Christmas classics in a festive performance in Das Festhaus.
  • Unto Us: A choral celebration of the greatest story ever told. The first Christmas comes alive in this inspiring show in the open-air Il Teatro di San Marco Theatre.
  • Celtic Fyre: A Christmas Celebration: Voted USA Today’s #1 Theme Park Entertainment, this iconic performance adds a Christmas touch to the Killarney classic.
  • ‘Twas That Night: The Royal Palace Theatre is transformed into a spectacular ice-skating show that reimagines the classic story of The Night Before Christmas.
  • Scrooge No More: Join Scrooge live on stage in this musical at the Globe Theatre as he is swept away by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, who teach him the importance of family and friends being together at Christmas.

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