How to make the most of a trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg?
Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the most popular attractions in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. Other Williamsburg attractions include the Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown and of course the living history museum Colonial Williamsburg.
If you’re planning a trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, it’s much like planning a trip to any other amusement park. You want to be familiar with the park and what it offers before going on your trip so you can make the most of your time there. You want to know what to expect, and at least have a general lay of the land in your mind.
Of course, you also want to know more about logistics as well, such as lodging, transportation,and parking.
The following are some things to know if you want to maximize your trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is often described as one of the most beautiful theme parks in the country. It’s divided into European-themed villages. You can make your way through England, Germany, Scotland, France and more. To go along with the European theme, there are also event themes such as Oktoberfest.
Busch Gardens is a great theme park for kids to visit. They have more than 40 kid-friendly rides and attractions and areas of the park like the Forest of Fun and Land of the Dragons.
When you’re planning your visit, be aware that summer is the peak season because kids are out of school and families tend to flock to the area during this time. The park will be especially crowded during summer weekends.
Some of the family-friendly rides that work well even if you have younger kids include:
- The Aeronaut Skyride features a birds-eye view of the park, and you can use it as your transportation around the park.
- There is something called the Rhine River Cruise which is a relaxing and authentic boat river cruise.
- The Busch Gardens Railway is a 20-minute scenic train ride through the park.
While Busch Gardens is family friendly, there is plenty for thrill-seekers to do here. Some of the notable attractions and thrill rides include:
- Apollo’s Chariot is themed after Apollo. There are drops into a ravine, and then you follow eight hills on the ride meant to feel as if you’re with Apollo in his chariot. In 2012 Apollo’s Chariot was named as the fourth best steel coaster by Golden Ticket Awards.
- Alpengeist is another notable coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It’s an inverted coaster, so your feet hang from the ground. During the ride, the idea is that you’re soaring through the Alps. It’s 195 feet and offers a great view of the park. It also has six inversions.
- Griffon is a dive coaster, meaning it’s wide and floorless. You are held at a 90-degree angle over the big drop of this coaster. When you get to the top of the lift, you get a great view of the James River. The drop goes from 205 feet, there are two inversions,and it can go up to 71 mph.
Where to stay?
There are plenty of places to stay near the park. One option is Kingsmill Resort and Spa, which tends to be a favorite, particularly among families with kids. It features free shuttle service to Colonial Williamsburg, a pool and lazy river, and the accommodations are well-suited to groups and large families.
The Parkside Williamsburg Resort is directly across the street from Busch Gardens and features bedrooms with one- or two-bedrooms. These rooms are also equipped with full kitchens and laundry facilities.
Also close to Busch Gardens and incredibly budget-friendly is the Quality Inn Historic East. The suites can accommodate up to seven, and there are both microwaves and refrigerators in the rooms.
While Busch Gardens is known for the rides and similar attractions, they have some great shows you shouldn’t overlook. The shows are in-line with the European theme of the park, so you can see great entertainment that’s often better than what you’ll find at pretty much any other amusement park in the country.
There are a lot of festivals held throughout the year as well. For example, there’s the Bierfest and the Food & Wine Festival. There’s a Christmas Town and Howl-O-Screen. Some festivals are included with park admission while others do require an additional pass to attend.
Finally, a good rule of thumb when going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg is to buy your tickets ahead of time. The highest prices will be at the gate.