Changes aimed to ease traffic headaches at Christmas Magic

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

York County officials are changing Christmas Magic ticket sales this year in hopes of easing congestion at the popular holiday attraction.

York County Parks will present the 35th annual Christmas light display at Rocky Ridge Park beginning in late November, as usual, but folks hoping to visit on a weekend will have to buy their tickets in advance.

All tickets for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays must be purchased ahead of time, either online or in person at John C. Rudy County Park. Weekend tickets will not be sold at the door, and advance tickets will have specific time reservations for admittance.

In a news release announcing the change, the county said the purpose is to provide a better experience for attendees, meaning shorter lines, less traffic congestion and a smaller crowd walking through the trail.

Rachel Albright, program coordinator of the county parks department, said the biggest issue has been the line to get to the parking lot, as well as the heavy traffic on the roads coming into the park.

Wait times can be more than an hour in the car, and up to another hour in line, she said. With timed reservations, attendance can be more evenly distributed during the event's busiest nights.

"We want the experience to be joyful, and not a long tedious wait to get to our light show," Albright said.

More:York Community Christmas Tree to arrive Tuesday

More:PHOTOS: Christmas Magic takes shape at Rocky Ridge

If you go: Christmas Magic will run from Friday, Nov. 23, until Monday, Dec. 31, and will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hours of operation are Monday to Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.

Tickets sold at the door (available only Monday to Thursday) are cash only. ATMs will be available on-site.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors ages 60 and older, $5 for children ages 4 to 12 and free for children younger than 4.

For more information, visit, click on the "events" tab and navigate to Christmas Magic.

York County Parks and Recreation employee Mike Leiphart affixes a string of lights to a display at Rocky Ridge Park, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, while preparing for the Christmas Magic event. The event, featuring 600,000 lights along a half-mile trail, is in its 35th year. Christmas Magic runs daily from Nov. 23 through December 31. It is closed on Dec. 24 and 25. Hours for the event are Monday through Thursday, 6-9 p.m.; and Friday through Sunday, 5-9 p.m. Tickets will available online starting in early November, according to the department's website. Friday, Saturday and Sunday require pre-purchased ticket sales. Bill Kalina photo