Located three miles outside of Williamsburg, Virginia, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is easily accessible from three airports: Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News. Newport News is by far the closest; it’s about a half hour drive and a straight shot from this airport to the theme park. This park ranks among the most beautifully themed and landscaped parks in existence. It’s the home of Apollo’s Chariot, consistently ranked among the top ten steel coasters in the USA, Alpengeist, a highly rated inverted coaster, and Griffon, an awe-inspiring dive coaster which hangs the riders over a precipice at 205 feet in the air before dropping them abruptly at a 90-degree angle.
The park is divided into sections themed to represent different areas of Europe and features over 50 rides and attractions. In Festa Italia, you can ride Apollo’s Chariot, raft ride Roman Rapids, the bobsled ride Elephant Run and a couple of others. In Rhineland is Alpengeist, themed to resemble a ski lodge or chalet, a carousel and a Ferris wheel. In Aquitaine is the amazing Griffon. Heatherdowns is the home of the Loch Ness Monster, the first coaster with interlocking loops, while Oktoberfest is the location of the park’s newest coaster, Verbolten. These are just a few areas of the park, which also features a sky ride and numerous flat rides.
Dining options at this park are among the most eclectic to be found at any theme park, with restaurants featuring English, Scottish, Irish, German, French and Italian type fare. A food and wine festival takes place during a limited part of the operating season. Also on the menu is live entertainment, most notably IllumiNights, a show featuring performances and fireworks, and multiple shopping options. Park guests can also get close to Clydesdales and collies.
As of 2013, Quick Queue access to selected rides is available at two levels. $30.00 will get you one-time priority access to rides but for unlimited access the price goes up to $55.00.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a gorgeous and imaginatively designed theme park. 5 out of 5 stars. Photograph courtesy of www.coasterimage.com/. For more information about the park, visit seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg