Annual Mozart’s holiday light show disappointing, expensive hassle to attend


Analisa Flores / Hilltop Views

Mozart’s annual holiday light show has been an Austin tradition for years. The light show lasts from November to the beginning of January.

Holiday lights at Mozart’s are an annual Austin tradition for most. The yearly  Christmas lights show started Nov. 11 and runs through Jan. 6. Prior to the pandemic, attending the light show was free of charge; however, due to social distancing protocols, Mozart’s has changed their policy regarding admission. You can either reserve a table or reserve a general admission ticket for a standing area only. 

Mozart’s requires reservations to be made in advance and the cheapest table reservation, which allows for four people, is $24.36 after taxes and fees. There is also a free option where you can be in a standing-room-only area by the “Bavarian Marketplace standing group.” 

I love Christmas, I really do, and maybe I was expecting too much from this light show, but I was severely underwhelmed. Not only did I find their website extremely confusing, but people commenting on the page also complained about not knowing the best reservation to make or having trouble reserving tickets.

Maybe it was the combination of the expensive table, only being able to get a reservation in the 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. timeslot and the lack of instruction, but I was quite disappointed. Upon arrival, I looked for an employee to check my ticket or at least direct me to the correct table. After walking around for a few minutes and not finding an employee to ask for guidance I moved on. I then walked down some stairs and found the table I reserved in advance only to find a group of people sitting at the table. 

Sure, I could’ve asked them to move or told them that that was my table, but considering there were other tables open I just sat at a different table. Other visitors also had trouble understanding the admission process. 

“We had to ask someone inside what we were supposed to do because there was no direction,” Mikella Trevino said, another visitor at the light show. A friend she was with mentioned, “I came last week to an earlier show and directions were much clearer from the employees.” Perhaps since it was the last showing of the night, the staff was sparse. 

On the other hand, the hot chocolate was exceptionally delicious, as well as the bavarian pretzel. The food was a much more enjoyable experience than the seating logistics. Additionally, the lights and piano singer, McKenna Michels, were really enjoyable. Michels asked the crowd for song requests and played the ones she could sing like “Love Story” by Taylor Swift and “Easy on Me” by Adele. 

Here are my tips for having a great time at Mozart’s: 

1. Reserve the standing room-only tickets because they’re free and the table wasn’t really worth the price.

2. Use the money you save from reserving a table to buy food, drinks and merchandise.

3. Take as few cars as possible if you are in a big group because parking is scarce.

4. Lastly, if you can, go on a night when it is cool so that you can indulge in the Christmas spirit.