Lake Lanier Islands Resort® in Buford will flip the switch on its Magical Nights of Lights for the 20th year on Friday, Nov. 16. During its debut on Nov. 20, 1993, occupants of an estimated 76 cars saw about 40 animated light displays and stopped to visit with Santa in a large tent at the end of the tour.
Over the past two decades, the show has drawn an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 people through the gates of Lake Lanier Islands for the holiday lights driving tour. The 20th anniversary edition will include favorite light displays and introduce a few additions.
“It means a great deal to my family that Lake Lanier Islands Resort holds such a special place in the hearts and holiday traditions of so many people throughout the Southeast,” said Mike Williams, CEO of Lake Lanier Islands Resort and a member of the Williams family, who purchased the lease rights to the resort in 2005, in a press release announcing this year’s holiday lights tour.
“Each year, we look forward to the sight of cars and minivans loaded with everyone from the new baby in the family to the grandparents as they take a modern sleigh ride through the resort’s streetscapes to enjoy the animated holiday light displays and stop over at the Holiday Village for some good old-fashioned holiday fun. Because this is the 20th Anniversary of Magical Nights of Lights, we wanted to make it particularly special for all of our guests.”
Here Are the New Features This Year:
- Exciting Unveiling of New Sections of Holiday Lights and Attractions including the Animated Dancing Lights at “Holiday House” and Illuminated “Diamond Wonder” Light presented by Audi Gwinnett.
- Old Fashioned Ice Skating Rink at the Holiday Village – Guests of all ages are invited to strap on a pair of skates and take to the ice, as Lake Lanier Islands brings its own twist to the classic Currier & Ives/“Rockefeller Center®” outdoor experience.
- Thanksgiving Weekend Canned Food Drive – On Saturday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Nov. 25, Magical Nights of Lights guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit Free Chapel’s His Harvest House, a local food bank ministry in Hall County. As thanks, they will receive one free carnival ride per canned good*. (Limit 4 free carnival rides per carload.)
- Opportunities to See the Show Aboard Lake Lanier’s Vintage Islands Trolleys – While enjoying delicious treats and warm beverages, a shiny new fleet of golf carts also will be available for an open air experience.
- The Much-Anticipated Return of the Live Nativity Show starting Dec. 1 through Christmas Day.
- $10 off Coupons Through Magical Nights of Lights Partners: Publix, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Quik Trip, Lenny’s Subs and Audi Gwinnett plus special opportunities to save, including double coupons throughout the month of November (representing a $20 savings on admission).
Traditional Magic Night of Lights® Favorites:
- Driving Tour of the Islands – With the radio dial set to 103.7 FM, cherished carols and holiday cheer will fill the cabins of automobiles along the route of The Magical Nights of Lights® as guests pause to reflect on the twinkling illuminations from The Twelve Days of Christmas, Santa’s Elves at Work, the North Pole Express, Jack & The Beanstalk, the stunning Icicle Tunnel and more.
- Holiday Village – This must-see stop along the route features enormous bonfires for roasting marshmallows, vendors selling hot cocoa, a petting zoo and pony rides, carnival rides and games, holiday shopping, new ice skating rink, and a chance to visit with Santa Claus. Bring your Christmas Wish List and your camera.
- Night Light Canopy Tours – Zip and glide through the night sky by the light of the moon on the Express Tour featuring four exciting zip lines and one scenic sky bridge. Be sure to bundle up and reserve about 30 minutes to complete your treetop trek.
- Magical Nights of Lights® Buffet – As you make your way through the lights, you’re bound to get hungry. The Legacy Lodge and Conference Center will offer a festive feast prepared by Lake Lanier Islands’ new Executive Chef Michael Klein.
- Breakfast with Santa – Families are invited to enjoy the time-honored tradition of Breakfast with Santa at Legacy Lodge and Conference Center on Saturday and Sunday mornings in December, in addition to every morning the week before Christmas. Breakfast buffet served 9 a.m. to noon.
- Magical Nights of Lights® Accommodation Packages – A special Magical Night of Lights package is available at the Legacy Lodge. Experience a luxury overnight stay combined with a vehicle pass to the Magical Nights of Lights, amusement rides for up to two children at the Holiday Village, and Breakfast with Santa on select dates.
Admission to Magical Nights of Lights is priced per the carload. Open nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 16 through Dec. 31, regular admission to the 2012 Magical Nights of Lights® is $60 per carload. Discounts are available with double coupons in November.
For larger vehicles, gate admission to the Magical Nights of Lights is $90 for ten to 19 passenger capacity vans; or $250 for 20+ passenger capacity buses. For more information about the 2012 Magical Nights of Lights® and to purchase passes online, visit www.lakelanierislands.com.
~ Duluth Patch