Thursday, July 7, 2016

Busch Gardens: How We Did It

The last time (also the first) I went to Busch Gardens was over 12 years ago and regrettably don't remember a thing about it. So when we planed our vacation, I was excited to add Busch Gardens to our itinerary...something essentially new for me and I knew the kids would love all the rides. Our "Fun Card" ticket option gave us unlimited admission during our entire stay in Williamsburg, and we didn't get sick of it after a week there. Overall, I recommend Busch Gardens for those who are local to the area -- it's so affordable and the park itself is just beautiful!
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-- We bought our tickets (2-Park Fun Card) back in February and they were $77 each. It is now $102 online. Tip: Plan ahead and buy early! (Will was eligible for the free Preschool Pass, but the pass had to be redeemed by early June, so we couldn't take advantage of it.) We also bought a 7-day parking pass for $25, instead of paying $15 daily.

-- We visited the park 4 times. For each visit, we stayed 3-4 hours, except for the last visit which we stayed less than an hour (just stopping by to get some raccoon stuffies for the kids). Between all those visits, we managed to ride all the rides that we wanted/could go on.

-- There are "KIDsiderate" rides for children throughout the park, but there are two specific areas where it is ALL kiddie rides - Sesame Street Forest of Fun and Land of the Dragons. The rides at Sesame Street is a tad more thrilling them the Land of the Dragons. The Land of the Dragons is actually really babyish, but there is a tree house and rope obstacle course that the kids really enjoyed.
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^^Mini Ferries wheel^^

-- Buying extra is something I never go for, but Luke is a sucker for those carnival games, especially when the kids beg for them. I was not happy that we spent $15 on a couple of games and we didn't win anything in return. Finally at Sesame Street, at this particular station where "everyone wins!", the kids got their souvenirs.
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^^So happy about those raccoons! They each got 2.^^

-- However, I had no problem paying $5 for a cup of nectar to feed the birds in Lorikeet Glen for some photo opportunities.
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-- Anna surprised me with her willingness to try all the rides (at least all the ones she met the height requirement). Somehow she has become an adrenaline junkie. I, on the other hand, am definitely not. I was happy to sit out on most rides. I told Luke, "I am like an old lady now." He didn't disagree.

-- We watched several shows -- London Rocks, Celtic Fyre, and More...Pet Shenanigans. There are several showings throughout the day so it's easy to squeeze them all in, even if you are just at the park for a day. I thought they were all very nicely done :)
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-- We only ate once inside the park, at Das Festhaus in Germany, so I don't have any food recommendations. The food was decent (I liked the meat platter), but, not surprisingly, expensive. A big money saver for us was my friend's Busch Gardens Souvenir Cup. Using that cup, we could go to any ice/water machine and fill up for free. Soda is 99 cents to fill up, but we don't drink soda.

-- Busch Gardens is dubbed the World's Most Beautiful Theme Park and I can see why. The park is landscape in detailed European themes and just very pretty to walk around...it kind of reminds me of the World Showcase in Disney's EPCOT. Lots of lush greenery and beautiful blooms. My favorite part of the park is the small replica of England near the park entrance (first picture in the post).
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-- But the VERY BEST part of Busch Gardens was seeing the kids' big happy smiles and their good attitude to try new things. I also loved the water rides (La Scoot and Roman Rapids) that we got to go on as a family. We were all soaked by the end!
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-- We will most likely go to Busch Gardens again next year, especially since the kids LOVED the water park too. A post on Water Country USA is coming up next!

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a marvelous time! And made all the better when you save money and don't get "gouged"!

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  2. Looks like a great trip. Anna's reaction to Luke holding the parrot is priceless

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