ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The BioPark is getting ready for the holiday season with a long-awaited attraction. A new type of shuttle is coming to the park.

The new shuttle will be up and running just in time for the River of Lights. This year, a new event called “Santa’s Magical Experience” will give guests a chance to check out the brand-new shuttle. 

Attendees will get to participate in fun activities at the Tingley Station before they board.  

“This has been a long-term project. We have paved the entire path from the zoo through Tingley to the Botanic Gardens and Aquarium,” said Arts and Culture Department Deputy Director Brandon Gibson.

The new electric shuttles are replacing the old rail system. They are a lot faster than the trains, bringing the round-trip time from 45 minutes down to just 15 minutes.  

For the shuttle system’s debut during the River of Lights, guests will start at Tingley with a build-their-own smores station and hot chocolate prepared by elves. 

They’ll also get a visit from Santa Claus before he escorts guests onto the shuttle to the River of Lights at the Botanic Gardens. Guests will be treated to more than 700-light displays along with animated and 3-D sculptures. 


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“We’re really excited about the opportunity to be able to use Tingley Beach and that the city has offered us to use that this year, Santa’s super excited as well. It’s going to be a whole fun, new experience that really takes kids into a new immersive experience,” said New Mexico BioPark Society Events Director Kent Berry. 

“Santa’s Magical Experience” is a fundraising event that will directly support the BioPark Society. 

City officials said this event is an exclusive chance for people to ride the shuttles before they become open to the public in mid-January. 

River of Lights tickets are currently on sale for BioPark Society members. Tickets will be available for non-members starting on Friday. To buy tickets for Santa’s Magical Experience, people can click on this link