Lake Lanier Islands Resort in nearby Buford flipped the switch on its Magical Nights of Lights for the 20th year, 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 Is What You Can Expect 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.
- 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 a classic 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.
- 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. 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 more information visit the Lake Lanier Islands website.