About Busch Gardens Williamsburg:
Any traveler would love Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It's a European-themed park, allowing you to travel through several European countries in just one day! ;-) You won't even need your passport this time!
There are over 50 rides/attractions, awesome coasters, beautiful landscaping, live stage shows, a kids area with Sesame Street theme, and food from around the world!
Tickets & Entry:
There are a number of options forentry into Busch Gardens Williamsburg. 2 in our party were guests of Busch Gardens (thanks so much guys!!) The rest of our party had caught a great promo on Groupon for 7 day tickets with unlimited entry to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as well as Water Country USA.
You can also purchase tickets online or at the gate.
Here are the official 2017 rates at the park:
Adult (10 and up) $90
Children (3 - 9) $80
Children (2 and under) FREE
1 Park, One Year Pass: enjoy 12 months of unlimited fun, parking and discounts for $12 per month on EZpay or a one-time $144 payment.
2 Park, One Year Pass: enjoy 12 months of unlimited fun at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, parking and discounts for $16 per month on EZpay or a one-time $192 payment.
Platinum One Year Pass: enjoy 12 months of unlimited fun at 11 amazing parks, parking and discounts for $19 per month on EZpay or a one-time $228 payment.
Free 2-Park Preschool Pass: children ages 3-5 can enjoy unlimited admission to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA all summer for free through Sept. 10. This offer must be redeemed in-park by May 31.
Busch Gardens Fun Card: pay for a day and visit as much as you want through Sept. 4 for the price of a single-day ticket.
Busch Gardens and Water Country USA 2-Park Fun Card: for only $25 more than a Busch Gardens Fun Card, add unlimited visits to Water Country USA all summer.
Busch Gardens has a lot of great rides for the whole family. We're really into the coasters and there are some great ones! I don't think I rode any coaster that I thought "I would never ride that again!" That happened to me at Cedar Point. Some rides jolt you around so much you end up with a bad neck ache or even smash your head on the "protective" parts of the ride and kind of ruin the mood. Anyway, I didn't experience that at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Here are some great action shots from some of the coasters (and at the classic swings *wink*)
If you want an official list of rides and attractions in each area of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, scroll to the bottom and click "read more" under the heading "Ride List"
Der Wirbelwind offers a sky-high view of Busch Gardens®. Enjoy thrilling roller coasters and rides, animal encounters and great dining amidst a backdrop of charming European villages at Busch Gardens, the world’s most beautiful theme park. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Griffon®, the world's tallest, floorless dive coaster carries riders 205 feet up, then hurtles them 90 degrees straight down at more than 75 mph before passing through a water brake finale, making the dive coaster fun for onlookers as well as riders. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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.
Guests daring enough to take on Tempesto™ will race into unbelievably tight turns at 63 miles per hour and defy gravity as they roll through a complete inversion 154 feet in the air. This Busch Gardens® thrill coaster features three launch experiences and Tempesto’s signature loop-the-loop. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Verbolten®, Busch Gardens’ thrilling multi-launch roller coaster, features a daring “wrong-way bridge” that leads riders to an 88-foot drop toward the Rhine River. Verbolten’s passengers experience a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest with multiple launches, environmental-theme elements, sound and light effects and high-speed turns that must be experienced to believe. ©2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Entertainment varies annually and throughout the season.
Check the schedule on the map when you get to Busch Gardens for the entertainment schedule. We caught:
One of two new shows at Busch Gardens for 2017, BritmaniaTM is a musical revue featuring British hits from the 1960s to today. Music from an assortment of genres, including pop, rock-and-roll and funk, will be performed by live singers and dancers on stage. The show debuts June 30 and will be performed throughout the day in the Globe Theatre.
[I wasn't overly impressed with this one. For a family park and show, I found some of the costumes to be on the distasteful side. Still, it was a nice break for walking around and the theater is air-conditioned.]
This new show, performed in Das Festhaus® in the Oktoberfest village, features German music and dances with a modern and new approach. Guests can enjoy a German meal in the large dining hall while being entertained by cultural singers, dancers and musicians.
[We missed most of this show and I was so sad. The food line took much longer than expected. Still, the last five minutes or so that we saw I really, really loved. I would make a point on a future visit to get to this early and see the whole show!]
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is currently offering 3 options under their Dining Plans
[We went for option three for a one day visit to the park. I think this is a great option. It's a comfort to know you're not going to starve all day because you don't want to spend park prices on food. You're still paying for it, obviously, but the discount makes it much more bearable! Also, on scorching days like when we went, you will really value the unlimited refills to keep your fluids and electrolytes up! No one wants a hospital visit for dehydration to be their last stop for the day after the amusement park. No amusement there.... The entrees must be spaced 1 hour apart. So you can't get 2 entrees at the same time. No problem, you're there all day!
I did find it confusing that there is no real listing of where you can use these or what meal items are included. At Cedar Point, not every item at every restaurant was included in their meal plan, for instance.
So here's what we learned.
I loved my visit to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It's a great amusement park with a lot of variety and of course I love the design based on different countries and cultures. It has something to offer for everyone in your family in terms of rides and entertainment. And it's not too overwhelming to visit. Although it was scorching when I went, it was a perfect day because lines were short to nonexistent!!! We rode several coasters multiple times which on an average day would probably have had waits of 30 minutes or more whereas we walked right on or only had to wait 5 minutes! Total score! I can't wait to come back!!!
Below is a list of rides and attractions in each area of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and a description. The rides in Green are rides I rode and highly recommend. Yellow = it was just okay to me. Red = I don't recommend. Fortunately, I have no red ones!
Anything else I did not ride or experience first hand on this visit.
This review is broken down into the following categories which you will find below:
Check in & Staff
The drive from Pittsburgh to the Sandusky area of Lake Erie is around 3 hours, making it a great destination for a close-to-home weekend getaway. Traveling on I-80 is smooth and quick and once you're in Ohio you are going to have access to the awesome Service Plazas on the Ohio Turnpike. They are convenient because they are on the Turnpike, meaning you don't have to exit the Turnpike and pay a toll to use the bathroom or get a snack and then get back on. The set up saves you money and time. They also look similar. I think that's nice because you feel comfortable entering them, knowing what to expect.
A close-to-home getaway can be just what the doctor ordered whether to celebrate a special occasion or to break up the monotony of your daily routine. Here's one way to spend time around Lake Erie's Shores & Islands:
Ohio Day One:
Ohio Day Two:
Ohio Day Three:
Ohio Day Four:
Stop back for blog posts on each bullet point! :)
Need Help Planning Your Trip To Lake Erie Shores & Islands?
Visit the fabulous Shores & Islands website for tons of great info!
If you're looking for an awesome pool house for family and friends to convene near Fort Myers Florida, boy have I got a place for you!!!
I found this place on Home Away/VRBO which is located on the Canals of Cape Coral Florida. The Villa was built in 2012, so it is very new yet and extremely well cared for.
It boasts 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, swimming pool, jacuzzi, fire pit, dock with paddle boat, bikes, beach toys and chairs, laundry facilities... it is SUPERB!
It's a great place for families to be able to come together, yet still be separate based on the way it is laid out. Want to take a tour? Join me!
Master Bedroom One
Beautiful furnishings and an abundance of space await you in this bedroom. The bathroom is immense with two separate sink vanities. Each complete with very nice bathroom toiletries. There is also a spa tub and a shower with rain shower head. A door to the outside area is available directly from this room. The closet here also houses more towels than your party could ever need as well as a lot of hanging space, extra pillows, laundry baskets and so on.
Bedrooms 2 & 3
Located on the owner's property, Getchell Cottage is a cute little place just minutes from the town of Gualala, California. The cottage has it's own walkway from where you can park your car (with a nice view of the ocean!), but everyone at Paula's house is really nice and you will probably see them on your way in or out, so do say hello!
You'll pass the Sea Ranch Lodge, a boutique hotel with a spa and art gallery, about 12 miles or so before you reach the cottage.
The town of Gualala took it's name from it's river when the Pomo Indians chose the name Gualala for it's meaning "water coming down place" according to www.gualala.com. There is some interesting historical information there as well as valuable traveler information and fun facts including famous movies and shows that were filmed in the area!
Cute and tiny, I enjoyed driving through the main street of town, but did not have the opportunity to stop as we already had other things planned. There is a lot to do around here for the active and outdoorsy person who loves hiking, biking, kayaking, horse riding, fishing, and the like.
A Few Of My Favorite Things!
The airbnb listing offers so many photos that help you appreciate the layout of the cottage. I felt compelled to capture the personality and details that I loved. Let's start at the back of the house:
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Growing up I thought I would never leave my home town, but in my 20's I caught the travel bug and if I'm not traveling you can bet I am dreaming about my next adventure.
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