Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Hello and welcome to part 2 of Busch Gardens Christmastown with your host, Herr Punkinstein.  In the previous installment you were treated to scenes of Busch Gardens decorated for Christmas leading up to the Festhaus, where I had my dinner.  Come along for the remainder of the journey.

Look!  Festhaus!  Decorated trees abound.  The usual wonderful German Sausage sampler platter is replaced during the Christmas season.  Or rather it is modified.  See the normal menu that runs from opening day through Howl-O-Scream features a sausage sampler platter that includes a smoked sausage, a bratwurst, a knackwurst, German potato salad, red cabbage, sauerkraut and a roll.  During Christmas they put a Christmas Turkey Dinner on the menu.  You can still get the sausage platter, but your side are now mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetable medley (which is two types of green bean and some carrots) and a roll.  Not as tasty.

Oh, tannebaum?  Yes.  And after dark it has a synchronized music-light show.

Interior of the Festhaus decorated with hanging baubles. 

A crappy shot of the Festhaus interior because even now, after all this time, I don't really know how the camera works.

Tannenbaum at night.  This is after we've eaten, and sat and waited for the "Deck the Halls" show, which replaces the Halloween show, which replaces the normal operating season's Polka Show.  It's not a bad show really with its medley of Christmas songs and "poor man's Rockettes" dancing.

This is a nice shot of the exterior of the Festhaus with its "snowflake" lights that move across the facade.

Frau Punkinstein took this snap of the Bavarian alley at my request.  On the left and into the background you see the store that sells the clocks/steins/nutcrackers.

My wife just really liked this tree and wanted a picture.

Santa's Workshop by night.

The Beer and Pretzels part of Oktoberfest (formerly Bavaria) where Frau Punkinstein molested the statue of Frankenstein's monster during Howl-O-Scream.

As we approached the bridge that lead to Italy (a section lit mostly in white and gold) I took this picture of the trees across the water.

The streets of San Marco.  In keeping with the Italian flavor the colors are brighter (white and gold) with emphasis on the "religious" aspects of the holiday vice the benevolent gift-maker of the Frozen North.

This tree (seen in close-up below) is an example of the effort the park goes to in bringing the holiday spirit alive.

That's a lot of lights.

Water rides are always favorites of hot summer days in a theme park, but once the summer season ends they are usually left alone.  The log flume and roman rapids, for example, sit idle for the Halloween and Christmas seasons, but not so with Escape From Pompeii.  At Halloween Pompeii becomes a walk-through haunted house attraction and for Christmas...

It gets lit.  The draped white lights stand in stark contrast  the flowing blue lights where the water flumes would be and the soft glow of the purple trees.  Giant Santa is just surreal bonus, really.

Polar bears.

Giant Santa, lord of the Polar Bears.  Don't think to hard on this.  We are still in Italy, and yet we've turned back to the North Pole setting.  Just go with it. It really is an attractive display.

The train: Motion Shot

The train has been lit in lovely blues and purples and reds and this would all be clear had I taken these shots while it was standing still.  I had literally minutes to accomplish this.  Nope.  I decided to shoot it as it passed.  Clearly I do not understand optics.

Scotland by night.  Blue trees, white trimmed buildings and dangling snowflake-lights.

These would be the dangling snowflake lights I told you about.

And here we are in Dickens's England.  A cup of hot wassail in hand (not pictured) we head toward the exit gates at a leisurely pace.  The wassail at BG Christmastown is potent, despite being non-alcoholic, but tasty.  A blend of hot apple cider and spices (which certainly includes cinnamon and orange essence) it is a fair version of the seasonal classic that Frau Punkinstein puts together in a crock pot at home (only with a bottle of red wine to boot).

Exactly what it looks like.  Dickens era London Carollers.  They sang well, but when a dude in shorts walks past it really breaks the suspension of disbelief, yeah.

Until next time, keep your Yule Logs lit.

No comments:

Post a Comment