Like the changing of the leaves and the end of daylight-saving time, this time of year marks the return of another annual ritual: anticipation of Christmas Town ticket sales. Our recent announcement of the expansion of the event has only stoked the excitement for Christmas Town 2016.
Friends, family and even strangers who learn I work at Busch Gardens are all asking, “Are you going to have a sale on tickets, and when is it?”
I’m excited to say that not only will we offer huge savings on Christmas Town admission, but you will have more options than ever to find the deal that best fits your needs. That’s because we have gone to a new ticket system that will offer discounts on every day of the event, starting today.
Unlike past years when we had a limited-time flash sale for tickets restricted to certain days, value pricing will be available for most days long into the event. The price for a particular day will gradually increase as the quantity of tickets for that day is depleted, but in most cases you will be likely to find a lower price on our website than the $38 general admission.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the best deal to enjoy the best holiday event in the country.
1. Walk, don’t run, to your nearest internet-enabled device. When tickets go on sale today, it won’t be a flash sale like past years, when we offered deeply discounted tickets for only a few days. (Yes, that means no more Twinkle Tickets.) There still will be great deals – almost half of the days will be just $16, a significant savings off of the gate price of $38 – but the discounts won’t evaporate at some magic deadline. Instead, prices will gradually increase based on the number of tickets sold. Also, prices posted when sales start today will stay in effect for at least 24 hours, and increases generally won’t occur more than once a day at the most.
2. Buy early to get the best price. Even though you will be able to find savings on certain days throughout the event, the earlier you can commit, the better chance you will have at getting the lowest price. Prices for each day will start to increase – say, from $16 to $18 to $20 and so on – as the quantity of tickets available for that day is sold. Some days may increase faster than others, based on their popularity, so don’t delay too long.
3. Pick your date. For the best price on a single-day ticket, pick the date you wish to visit as soon as possible and buy your tickets. On our website you will be able to see the calendar of available days and corresponding prices, so you can choose the day and price that works best for you. The sooner you can lock it in, the better price you will get.
4. Can’t decide on just one date? We have options. For Members with an active Pass, you may purchase a Christmas Town Pass for $32, which gives you unlimited admission throughout the event, plus parking and in-park discounts. If you’re not a Member, you can get a Christmas Town Fun Card for the same price as general admission ($38), which provides unlimited admission, but none of the Member benefits.
5. Don’t panic about park closures. We have you covered. On rare instances in the past, we have had to shut down entry to the park due to guest capacity. Should we find ourselves approaching a capacity situation, we will limit entry to accommodate those with dated tickets for that day. In the event the park does not open due to severe weather, we will extend the valid dates for that day’s tickets, so you can visit on another day within six days.
6. And don’t fret if you need to change plans after buying your tickets. We understand that plans sometimes fall through. So whenever possible, we will try to help you exchange your tickets for another day, based on availability. You may have to pay the difference between the price you paid and general admission, but you won’t lose your initial investment because of an illness or a traffic tie-up. Just call our customer-service center at (800) 343-7946 for assistance.
7. However, don’t just show up on another day and expect to get in. First of all, dated tickets will scan for entry only on the date designated. Don’t expect to breeze through the turnstiles to get in on a different day; the system just won’t accept the ticket. If you do come to the park on a different day than noted on your ticket, you may inquire about an upgrade at Guest Services, and if tickets for that day are still available, they will be happy to assist you in making the exchange.
8. Be prepared that there still will be busy days. Christmas Town has grown in popularity every year since we started in 2009, and that means some days can be a bit crowded. We have expanded the event this year, with more attractions and time to enjoy it all, so we will be able to accommodate more guests each day. And having a designated allotment of tickets for each day will help manage capacity. But there still will be a number of guests with Passes and any-day tickets that may show up in greater numbers on a particular day, so it’s possible we could still max out on a day or two.
9. Arrive early. We say this all the time, but it’s the best way to ensure you get the most of your day, no matter what you paid or what ticket you have. The park officially opens at 2 p.m. every day of Christmas Town. But the parking lots generally open an hour earlier, so you can get a great parking spot and take your time getting through the park entrance so you are ready to go right at 2. Even before the sun starts to set and you get the full impact of our 8 million lights, there’s plenty to do, including shows, rides, dining and shopping.
10. Don’t wait for a better deal. Prices for each day will only go up, not down. So the first price you see will always be the best price for that day. How quickly those prices increase will depend on the pace of sales, so some days may remain at a low price for some time, and others may start to ramp up more quickly. Chances are you will still get a good deal on most days, even if you have to wait a while, but the sooner you can zero in on a day, the better price you will get.
No matter when you visit or which ticket you choose, there’s no better place to get immersed in the holiday spirit than Christmas Town. We can’t wait to welcome you.
-Dan, Marketing Vice President