From roller coasters to light shows, and more: find out how to plan the perfect day in Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We'll show you everything you need to know about this special spot!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg and its sister Busch Gardens Tampa are two amusement parks boasting gorgeous landscaping (hence the "gardens") with thrilling roller coasters. The Tampa park has an African theme, and Williamsburg park is rich with European flavor.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been rated the "most beautiful theme park in the world" 28 years in a row by the National Amusement Park Historical Association, and it's easy to see why. The stunning landscaping here puts most gardeners to shame! Some locals get a seasons pass or "summer fun card" just so they can walk through the gardens, interspersed with roller coasters and concessions stands.
Early birds can hit the ground running at 10 am and stay for hours until the evening. The park closes between 7-10pm (usually at least 9 pm starting June 24th) so you can easily pack in a full day of adventure! If you get a FastPass, you can blaze through dozens of roller coaster rides, which really maximizes the trip!
The park typically opens for the season in March and is open in various capacities throughout the year.
During October, the main attraction is "Halloween Harvest," with select areas of the park open for festive fall favorites like Halloween scares and seasonal food and drinks.
Mid-November through December you can enjoy the magic of the season at Christmastown. With millions of lights and beautiful themes, yummy seasonal treats, and meet-and-greets with Rudolph and Santa, you can experience Christmas like never before in the country's most beautiful theme park.
Who wants to find Busch Gardens discount tickets? Definitely me! You used to have to scour Coke cans to find coupons, but now there are lots of options online. Check the website for the latest offers! They often include great deals on seasons passes.
The list price for the Busch Gardens 2019 season is $86.99 and a Summer Fun card which offers unlimited visits to the park until September 8th is $91.99. You can almost always get big discounts online, though, so search their website and book online.
When you get your tickets, discount options may include a full meal package or a multi-park pass, so you can also visit Water Country USA, other SeaWorld-run parks, or other local attractions like Colonial Williamsburg. These options might be a little more costly upfront but could save you a lot later.
Perhaps you want the Busch Gardens annual pass? That's another great value item since you can pay a small monthly fee starting at $7.99 for unlimited access to the park, or pay upfront. This includes admission to Busch Gardens Howl-o-Scream in the fall and Christmas Town in the winter. So a season pass can keep the fun going all year long!
Even better: season pass holders enjoy free parking year-round at all the parks! This is a $20 savings every time you enter the park. Insider tip: Busch Gardens fun passes let you go to the park all summer long, but they don't include free parking. If you have just one family member upgrade to a season pass, you can get free parking (or 50% off depending on your level), discounts on concessions, and even free tickets so you can bring a friend or two.
Busch Gardens offers fantastic attractions for the whole family. Thrill seekers might love roller coasters. From the iconic Loch Ness Monster (which celebrated its 40th birthday last year!) to the newer InVadr (the park's first wooden roller coaster.) Yes- there's even a roller coaster for kids, "Grover's Alpine Express," based on the popular Sesame Street character. Many adults might even have more fun on it than the kids!
Our personal favorite? The Griffon! It's smooth, quick, and doesn't shake you too much. Of course, the Loch Ness Monster always has a nostalgic place in our hearts! And Tempesto is fun, too.
Even if they're not tall enough to go on most roller coasters, your little children will love the rides at Busch Gardens! They can climb around at the Land of the Dragons, or go on smaller rides like airplanes or boats. Even if they're just rolling around in strollers, your kids will enjoy the colors and excitement throughout the park.
Busch Gardens covers several European countries (and Canada). You can start the day with a French croissant, head over to the German Festhaus for a show and lunchtime bratwurst, and finish up with some pasta and cannoli in Italy. Your kids might be more enticed by the colorful candy store with homemade fudge and candies. So save room for dessert!
In Germany and Italy, you can often enjoy a performance with your meal, so be sure to check showtimes for different performances. Though not a dinner theater, the Celtic Fyre show in Ireland is especially popular now. It was voted the "Best Amusement Park Entertainment" show by USA Today readers, so you don't want to miss it!
Also not to be missed: the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival! Enjoy the 43 specialty entrees and desserts, and pair them with specialty cocktails, craft beers, and wine from around the world.
After you've ridden the roller coasters and seen the shows, why not spend another day at Water Country USA? This is a waterpark owned by Busch Gardens. Get a multi-park ticket with discounts into both parks, and you can have fun at the largest waterpark in Virginia. Whether you want a relaxed journey on the lazy river, or prefer the thrill of a massive waterslide, Water Country offers fun for the whole family!
Do you want to visit Water Country, or attractions like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, or Yorktown? There are several area hotels to choose from at Bush Gardens. You can reside at the luxurious Williamsburg Inn or more budget-conscious locations like the Country Inn & Suites or Red Roof Inn. With so many great attractions in the Williamsburg area, many visitors plan a short vacation here. Be on the lookout for packaged deals including hotel and park admission, which could be another great way to save.
Busch Gardens offers a great experience for everyone in your family. You can make it as active or relaxed as you want. Spend the whole day screaming from the top of a roller coaster, or have a calm day indulging in the culinary delicacies at the Food & Wine Festival. However you want to enjoy your time, be sure to share your memories on FamilyApp!
What are your favorite parts of Busch Gardens? Any favorite rides or extra tips? Let us know below, or your favorite family app.