|Busch Gardens opens up in phases, and the opening times for each section are provided on park maps (check this when you enter the park). Verbolten will probably open with the park, so you might want to head there first, then hit Tempesto, Apollo's Chariot, the Loch Ness Monster, Griffon, and Alpengeist--all subject to the opening times on the park map. A full-queue wait for Verbolten is only about 40 minutes with five-train operations, so you might want to factor that in, too. Other not-to-be-missed attractions are Curse of DarKastle and Escape from Pompeii. Note that you will probably get soaked on Pompeii, the Roman Rapids, and the LeScoot log flume. Europe in the Air, a simulator, can draw long lines, particularly after the Celtic Fyre show lets out.
The park sometimes offers a single-rider line for Griffon. |
|Busch Gardens offers better-than-average theme-park food in its three main dining locations: BBQ ribs, chicken, and brisket in the Trapper's Smokehouse; German sausage, pizza, and corned-beef and turkey sandwiches in Das Festhaus; and fresh pasta specialties and Asian cuisine can be found in the Marco Polo Marketplace. Families can dine with Elmo and his other Sesame Street friends in Castle O'Sullivan (reservations are required), and the Bistro 205 near Griffon offers a fried-chicken buffet (but this location is only open on busy days). The Brauhaus Craft Bier Room offers a wonderful selection of local brews. You can find great desert items throughout the park|
|The park is usually open on weekends starting in late March, with seven-day-a-week operation in the weeks surrounding Easter (then reverting to weekends only). Regular all-week operations usually begin right after Memorial Day and last until Labor Day. The park is open weekends in September and October for Howl-o-Scream.|
|Established Seasonal events|
|The park holds a number of popular events throughout the year, but the two biggest are Howl-o-Scream (weekends, late September-October) and Christmas Town (Thanksgiving weekend-New Year's Eve). |
All attractions except for water rides operate during Howl-o-Scream.
The park runs Griffon, but not other coasters, during Christmas Town (if the temperature is above 42 degrees), along with DarKastle, Europe in the Air, the train, sky ride, and a number of flats.
Glory at the Gardens is a Christian-music festival that usually runs in July, while classic rock bands take over for the Summer Nights series in August. The park has also experimented with Illuminights, a series of brief shows in each country, followed by a fireworks display, in August.
|Access & Location|
|The park is located at One Busch Gardens Blvd. in Williamsburg, VA. Exit 234A off of I-64 will take you right into the park. Note that interstate traffic getting in and out of Norfolk can be very heavy in the summer. |
Williamsburg is also served by Amtrak, and there is a city busline that serves the park.
|Hotels are available along Rt. 60 in the Kingsmill area near the park. Note that there is no safe way to walk to Busch Gardens from any local hotel, and staying at Kingsmill can be a bit pricey. The "tourist corridor" on Richmond Road offers a greater variety of hotels and restaurants and it's only a 10-to-15-minute drive to the park from there.|
|Virtual Queue Options|
|Two versions of Busch's Quick Queue are available. Regular Quick Queue gives you one-time front-of-the-line access for all the coasters and water rides, along with Curse of DarKastle and Europe in the Air. Quick Queue Unlimited Plus is exactly what it says for the same rides and gives you one priority ride on Verbolten (save this for a night ride, if you can). Note that some attractions using Quick Queue restrict you to a particular row of seats. Quick Queue also includes mazes during Howl-o-Scream. |
|The polka dancers and band of "This is Oktoberfest" ( in the Festhaus) is Busch Gardens' oldest show, but there are a variety of others: Irish music and dance ("Celtic Fyre"), Italian music and dance ("Festivale Italiano"), and "stupid pet tricks" ("More Pet Shenanigans"). The Sesame Street Forest of Fun also offers "The Sunny Days Celebration" for the little ones. The park also offers more seasonal shows for Howl-o-Scream and Christmas Town. Show schedules are printed on park maps.|