What Keeps Me Coming Back to Busch Gardens Williamsburg
For many across the United States, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a bucket list theme park. The park was always near the top of my list of thrill destinations, but as a Kansan, it was difficult to make the long journey across six states. Despite living nearly 1,300 miles away, I took my first visit to the park in 2019 and fell in love with its ride selection and charm. Four years later, I found myself on the East Coast and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the park again. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the few parks outside of the Midwest that I have had the opportunity to visit more than once, and that still isn’t enough! Here are all of the reasons why I keep coming back to Busch Gardens Williamsburg:
1. The incredible Busch Gardens Williamsburg coaster lineup
Busch Gardens Williamsburg doesn’t have a ton of coasters. But what the park doesn’t have in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Every coaster in the park is one that I want to come back to over and over again, and it’s generally regarded as one of the most balanced coaster lineups in America. In fact, when I made my initial visit to the park, I chose to go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg over other parks in the area because of the amount of highly regarded coasters I could ride in one park.
One of my favorite things to do is to compare how people rank coasters in a park. Busch Gardens is unique in that almost everyone has a different answer. At Busch Gardens, there truly is something for everyone, from families enjoying a day together, to thrill-seekers craving a wild ride. There is such a variety of coaster experiences, from inverts to launches to themed storylines, that even people with wildly different coaster preferences can all leave the park feeling like they rode something they loved. While I have my thoughts about which of the park’s ten coasters are the best, the people that I visit with may have different thoughts, and I find that makes each new visit all the more special.
And I wouldn’t be a coaster enthusiast if I didn’t mention the two new credits I was able to pick up after visiting the park again in 2023. Pantheon is an incredible addition to the park and offers yet another unique and thrilling experience to guests looking for an intense ride.
On the other hand, DarKoaster serves as a fun family ride with a themed atmosphere that calls back to the park’s history.
And as if the last few years weren’t exciting enough, the park has announced that Loch Ness Monster, its historic Arrow looping coaster, is getting a full restoration in 2024.
2. The food and drink options
It’s no secret that amusement park food has taken a massive step forward in the last several years, with many parks widening their variety of food options available. Busch Gardens is no exception. I ate lunch in Das Festhaus on my most recent visit, and I was in awe over all of the German food options served. Yet, there were so many other options I wanted to try, including Marco Polo’s Marketplace’s Italian and Asian dishes, and any of the many full-service bar locations. The variety of cuisines tied to each area’s theming makes the food lineup at Busch Gardens Williamsburg truly unique, with more options than I could try in just two visits!
3. The atmosphere and theming
From the second you walk through the park entrance and into the England area of the park, your tour of Europe has begun. There are only a few parks, in my opinion, that are able to pull off one cohesive theme as well as Busch Gardens Williamsburg does. Every attraction fits into the area where it was built, and the park is decorated beautifully with elements from different areas in Europe. It’s a great place to just wander around, admiring the sights and sounds of each themed area. The Rhine River running through the park makes for some charming bridges that add lots of character to each section of the park as well.
That commitment to quality theming bleeds over into a few of the heavily-themed rides in the park. Verbolten and DarKoaster’s theming elements in the queue make waiting in long lines during the summer months much more tolerable, and the rides themselves offer an engaging storyline. Escape From Pompeii surprised me, as I had been on lots of shoot-the-chute rides, but the effects provided a totally unique experience. And while some of the park’s coasters leave much to be desired in theming (we’re looking at you, Pantheon!), the overall atmosphere of the park makes up for it.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a beautiful park with a great lineup of coasters and food. I had two great visits there, and I can’t wait to start planning a third!
About the Author:
Dani Lasher is a public relations specialist and aspiring writer from Wichita, Kansas. Intrigued by watching Disneyland’s rides on TV as a child, she became a coaster enthusiast at a young age. She enjoys visiting her nearby parks, Silver Dollar City and Worlds of Fun, as well as dragging her friends and family to theme parks all across the United States.