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7 Busch Gardens Williamsburg Tips Every Visitor Should Know

I’m a theme park nut. And really, what’s not to like? Thrilling rides, exciting shows and indulgent food are at every turn. At Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which has been rated the most beautiful theme park in America again and again, the appeal is even higher.

However, even at this park it’s all too easy to mess up your day by not being in-the-know. Don’t let that happen to you! These Busch Gardens Williamsburg tips navigate the do’s and don’ts of this European-themed amusement park.

Busch Gardens¨ Williamsburg offers adventures for the entire family. Attractions at the European-themed park range from world-class coasters to scenic river cruises. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Rhine River at Busch Gardens Williamsburg ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Buy Your Tickets at the Gate

This is the first epic fail to avoid. At the gate you’ll pay full price. Who wants to do that? Book your tickets in advance with Reserve Williamsburg to save you time and money. Currently, Busch Gardens one-day tickets are only $62/adults–$15 lower than what you’ll fork over if you pay the day you play. Plus, the tickets are barcoded so you simply go straight to the gate, scan and go. So easy.

The legendary Loch Ness Monster¨, a double-looping serpentine roller coaster, looms over Busch Gardens¨ Williamsburg. Reaching 13 stories in height, this creature offers a spine-tingling ride at speeds approaching 60 mph. Loch Ness Monster¨ celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The legendary Loch Ness Monster ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do Scream Your Face Off

There’s no doubt about—Busch Gardens has some seriously excellent thrill rides. If you can only muster the courage to ride one, make it Griffon. And get ready to scream! A 205-foot, 90-degree, 75mph free fall will make your pulse pound and belly flip. Best (or worst) of all, is the anticipation before the drop.  Of course, roller coaster junkie’s need even more of a fix. Therefore, check out Apollo’s Chariot, a super smooth steel coaster with drastic drops, as well as Loch Ness Monster, a double-looping coaster with 60mph speeds and a 114-foot drop. I can’t leave out Verbolten though—that would be verboten! The multi-launch, indoor/outdoor roller coaster combines a tour of the autobahn with a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest. It’s more than a roller coaster—it’s an experience!

Roll Out The Barrel debuted at Busch Gardens¨ in spring 2015. The live show, performed in the parkÕs Festhaus dining hall, follows a fictional German town as its residents celebrate their 40th annual town beer brewing festival. Roll Out The Barrel incorporates the best elements of the parkÕs repertoire of shows. Live musicians, singers and dancers join high-flying acrobats in this interactive musical about the intrepid brewers of this delightful German village. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Roll Out The Barrel ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Skip the Shows

Most people spend their day hopping from ride to ride, totally skipping the entertainment on-hand.  Big mistake. Huge. For one, Busch Gardens, with its European-theme, has a unique advantage over other parks: culture. The shows at this park feature the arts, music, customs and pop culture of our friends from across the pond. London Rocks take guests on a musical journey through the root of rock ‘n roll, while Roll Out The Barrel is an acrobatic showcase set in a German brewer’s village. Trust me when I say these shows can’t be found at any other amusement park.

BGW Fireworks 1
Fireworks on a summer night at Busch Garden: Busch Gardens/Facebook

Do Stay Late for Fireworks

During the summer season, roughly Memorial Day to Labor Day, Busch Gardens hosts nightly firework shows. With this in mind, I recommend arriving later in the day so you have plenty of stamina to stay up late. The park comes alive at night, with roaming entertainment and light shows. Similarly, riding roller coasters in the dark makes them a little bit more terrifying and that much more fun! Firework shows generally occur at 9:30pm, so plan accordingly.

Celebrate the spirit of the season at Busch GardensÕ Christmas Townª. Enjoy heart-warming shows, holiday dining and shopping amid the glow of more than eight million lights. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Miss Busch Gardens Festivals

As if Busch Gardens wasn’t entertaining enough, they go ahead and add festivals to the mix just for good measure. Most festivals, like the Oktoberfest-themed Bierfest and Food & Wine Festival, are free with admission to the park. Howl-O-Scream, a terrifying Halloween-centric event, is also included with Busch Gardens One-Day admission. In fact, the only festival requiring a special ticket is Christmas Town. This transformative holiday event turns the park into a winter wonderland inspired by the European towns Busch Gardens recreates. It’s a must-do during any Williamsburg Christmas vacation.

Guests cool off with refreshing treats amidst the lush European landscapes at Busch Gardens¨ Williamsburg. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do Eat at the Park

Theme parks aren’t always known for their food. It can be overpriced, basic and bland. Luckily, that’s not the case at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Yes, they may have the standard burgers, pizza and chicken fingers fare, but there’s also a thriving culinary scene. The European influence of the park has carved out a smorgasbord of flavors from around the globe. Menu staples range from English fish and chips, handmade pasta from Italy, savory crepes from France and more. One tip: Pace yourself!

Sesame Street¨ Forest of Funª at Busch Garden¨ Williamsburg features family-friendly rides, playgrounds and Sesame Street's beloved characters. ª/©2016 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2016 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Forget to Be KIDsiderate

What does KIDsiderate mean? It’s Busch Gardens’ promise to make your visit a family affair. The park embraces the challenges of parenthood with strollers, baby changing tables, nursing rooms and kid-sized menu options. In addition, there’s a height-check station at the entrance of the park so you can easily find out which rides fit your kids. KIDsiderate also refers to designated areas designed especially with little ones in mind.  Land of the Dragons and the Sesame Street® Forest of Fun are two park areas that are bursting with kid fun.

With these Busch Gardens Williamsburg tips you know what to do—and what to avoid. Now, you’re ready to spend the day at one of the most enchanting amusement parks on the East Coast.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
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