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Sep 28, 2009
Snow at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
December 31, 2010
By Nora Marien​

When I was very little, I used to dream about what Busch Gardens Williamsburg looked like in the snow. Most kids would peer out their window and watch the falling fluffy flakes; thinking about snowball fights or building a snowman. Not me. I would try to imagine what the Loch Ness Monster Roller Coaster looked like all covered with snow and ice; sparkling in the winter sky.

What happened in the park when it snowed? Did anyone get to walk around and experience the acoustic nothingness that only comes when snow falls? Did the Rhine River Freeze? All these questions plagued me back when there were no social networks updating fans with a constant stream of photos or Blog posts. Heck, you couldn’t even e-mail the park for a quick answer! You had to send in a handwritten letter; yeah, remember those folks? The paper and pen kind? Oh, how times have changed!

Still, a few decades later, my ultimate winter questions were answered. It only took two miraculous things to happen; Busch Gardens opened their doors throughout December with an event called Christmas Town and Virginia was hit with one of the largest snowstorms in decades. Of course the bad news was that in order to safely open the park, the employees had the arduous task of clearing over a foot of snow on all the pathways, bridges, steps, railroad trestles, and more.

Most of us get tired after cleaning off our cars and shoveling the driveway. Imagine doing that over 350 acres! The dedication of everyone involved in the clearing process allowed the park to reopen three days later. Knowing this, I had my camera charged up and ready to go with heartfelt appreciation. This was a real snowfall and the park had to be spectacular!

I got there as soon as the park opened; set out for the sole purpose of gathering the ultimate Busch Gardens winter photo showcase. I was not disappointed; icicles dangled from the roof tops like prisms, snow blanketed every inch of the landscape, the Rhine River was frozen solid, and the frosty air made Christmas Town at Busch Gardens reminiscent of a winter themed lithograph by Currier and Ives.

Being at the park after a snowfall was just as I imagined in my youth; it was magical. Perhaps Santa was finally answering some of my Christmas wishes on those old “handwritten” childhood letters after all. However, I am still waiting for my own personal roller coaster. Santa, I hope you are listening.



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We took my parents, who were visiting from CA for the holidays, to Christmas Town on Wednesday, December 29...right after the snow! Nora's descriptions are spot-on; the park was beautiful!!! The icicles hanging off the eaves, the glow of the snow on the banks of the Rhine with all the lit trees, the sheep out in the field.

Das Festhaus changed up their menu for Christmas. As much as I was looking forward to splitting an Alpiner (?) sandwich with my husband, we shared the sausage plate with awesome garlic mashed potatoes. And the pumpkin cheesecake was yummy!

Between the Christmas Town 8K and going to the park after a kick-butt snowfall, Busch Gardens really was the place to be for the holidays!
I didn't read the whole right up due to class registration but the sky ride at night with the snow made it! Looking down and seeing gleaming lights through the reflective ice crystals of the accumulation was beyond breathtaking!
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