Busch Gardens Williamsburg - July 8th and 9th

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg - July 8th and 9th

Postby rotlex » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:28 am

Took the family on a quick trip to Busch Gardens this past weekend, as we still had time left on our fun passes, and we all needed a weekend getaway after some stressful times these past weeks. :D

We arrived on Friday around noon, checked into the local Hampton Inn, great hotel by the way, and headed right to the park. It was a HOT day, pushing 95, but crowds were very, very low. I'm assuming Water Country was mobbed, but who am I to complain - Saturday was the same crowd wise, no waits over 10-15 minutes, which was awesome.

First, let me say, the park truly lives up to the most beautiful park in the country banner it flies. The grounds were very well maintained, clean, and just generally lovely to stroll through. The staff from rides to food were friendly and courteous, and made a point of talking it up with our kids, daughter 9, son 3. All in all, a great experience. Now to the rides.....

I'll keep it short, but in a nutshell, this is one of my favorite coaster parks. I can't even list the number of times we rode each, my daughter and I, as the crowds were so low, but let's say, we got on everything we wanted, and then some.

First order of the day - Griffin. If you have never ridden it, your truly missing out. (Especially if you get, or wait for, the front row). It's a truly fantastic ride. Huge, fast, smooth and just plain fun. Seating is 10 across, which is very cool, and makes for a neat experience not only to ride, but watch.

Up next was Alpengeist. It's their version of Talon, Batman the ride etc. Awesome, ride, that, while I don't know for sure, seems about twice the length of Talon? Great ride and theme.

Apollo's Chariot - Love this coaster. Picture Steel Force with Hydra style seating. While there are no loops, the track path\route, corners etc. are a true joy. I think this MIGHT be my favorite coaster in the world right now.

The Lochness Monster - What can I say? I rode it back in junior high school a few years after it opened. It's still a great ride, and IMO, can keep up with the best of many newer coasters out there today.

Yes, the Big Bad Wolfe is gone, and very, very sad, as it was a truly one of a kind ride, that I still remember from probably 30 years ago. On a good note, there is a LOT of construction going on in the former area, and on the train ride, as you pass, they state they are working on a new coaster for 2012. Guess we'll have to go back again........

Roman Rapids - Thunder Canyon BG style. We got soaked, had a great ride, but it was\is a typical river raft deal.

Escape from Pompeii - PIcture White Water Landing type splash down ride, with a theme. The ride takes you up into a large building where you ride through Pompeii as it is being destroyed and burned. While it is a short ride, it's pretty cool. OK, actually very hot as you drift past the raging fires in the city while it burns. :mrgreen:

LeScute Log Flume - Typical bigger park flume. It's an old ride, but still fun.

Of course the park has a ton of flat rides, as well as some great kiddie type stuff spread throughout. I really wish Dorney would have kept the kids stuff more spread throughout the park, rather than isolating families with kids of different age ranges to Planet Snoopy. BG was GREAT for this. On that note, our son, who is a train FANATIC, loved the trains at BG. He rode them over and over again, got a free engineers hat from one of the engineers, and even got a quick up close tour of the blue engine. He went nuts over it. Again, cheers to BG and their staff for being so friendly, and truly making visitors feel like there were welcome.

I also give fairly high marks for food. We bought the "platinum" dining pass on line before heading down, roughly $15 per pass, but in my opinion, it was well worth it. We ate at Festhaus in Germany, and probably had $25 worth of food per person for that cost. We also at at Grogan's Grill in Ireland, and Trappers Smoke House in the frontier type area. All were very good for theme park food, and pretty reasonable, especially considering it was "real food", and not burgers and fries.

Lastly, they are doing nightly fireworks and light shows through August I believe. The fireworks were great, and the lighting in the park at night really added to the atmosphere.

Overall, we had a great trip. I love this park for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is the atmosphere and theme throughout. I love not seeing into the "real world", as it is pretty secluded amongst the trees, and in a very nice location.

I guess I have to add a few complaints, but they are minor. Parking costs for one. While $13 is not super high, a park like this, that offers multi day passes and such, should offer some type of parking plan for multi day visitors. Even with that, the biggest annoyance in the kids ride sections are what appear to be newly installed "Dorney style seat belts". You know, the ones that require a pin, pen, or something else to unlatch? Who in the heck thinks these are a good idea anyway? Yes, I HATE these things, and find they do nothing in the way of safety. All they do is hold up a parent waiting to help their child off of a ride, or, worse case, HOLD the parent on the ride if they are riding with them, while the child attempts to slip out of the belt anyway. :evil:

As a side note on traveling. We decided to head down 81 to 66, to 17 to 95 rather than taking 95 directly. (We take 81 to Disney every year as well, as I really hate 95). This was the best, most stress free route we ever took to get to that area. Nice scenic drive, no traffic, lots of places to stop, and only a few more miles than 95 direct.

Again, overall a great trip to a fantastic park. Now, if only the end of August would get here so we can get on with our 2 week Disney exursion! :D
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Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg - July 8th and 9th

Postby Yoshi » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:11 am

Interesting about the other road instead of 95. When we go to Disney and get into the Washigton DC and Virginia area, traffic can sometimes be horrible and it would be nice to avoid that.

Last time I was at BGW, I only rode Loch Mess Monster and the Wild Mouse and really have wanted to try Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot and Griffin. Nitro is my 2nd favorite steel coaster so I'm sure I'll really like Apollo's Chariot.
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Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg - July 8th and 9th

Postby rotlex » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:35 pm

The last 4 drives to Disney we have used 81 to 77, to 26, to 95. I will probably never head straight down 95 again. It really is a nice drive scenic wise, and if you take traffic into account, can actually be a bit quicker.

Regarding Apollo's Chariot and Nitro. Yeah, if you like Nitro, although I have not ridden it in years, you would probably really enjoy Apollo's Chariot. Very similar, with better "views" due to location. :) Griffin is just plain awesome. I had seen it in pictures, but didn't know that they stop the train, right at the top of the drop as it is about to go over. If you are in the front seat, you are pretty much staring straight down the past 90 degree hill for a solid 5 seconds or so. :mrgreen: It's very, very cool!
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