Are you planning a family trip to Virginia? Busch Gardens, Virginia, might be on your bucket list as a fun-filled getaway. Sometimes referred to as the oldest and most beautiful theme park in North America, Busch Gardens offers a variety of exciting attractions and entertainment options.
With over 50 rides and shows featuring everything from roller coasters to water parks to live music events, Busch Gardens is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
The Basic Details
Busch Gardens is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, and generally operates from March to October each year. Before you visit, it’s always best to check for any changes in operating hours, current show offerings, and show times. You can also check to see if any special events are going on when you plan to visit.
In general, the park opens at 10 am and closes at 8 pm during the summer, with extended hours on weekends and select holidays. The cost of tickets starts at a discounted price of $25 per day when a multi-day pass (3+ days) is purchased or $70 for one day of fun.
If you live nearby or plan to stay a while, Busch Gardens also offers monthly and annual passes or membership plans that can fit an individual’s or family’s needs. You can also purchase tickets to their sister waterpark, Water Country USA.
Stay Up to Date
Busch Gardens frequently offers different shows and events. For example, some of their most significant events of the year include Howl-O-Scream and Bier Fest. For up-to-date information on current offerings, they recommend downloading their app.
How To Get Your Tickets
It’s best to purchase your tickets online instead of at the gate for easier access. You can choose from various packages, including season passes and multi-day tickets. Check out their discounts for military personnel, AAA members, and seniors.
You might also find an all-in-one vacation package that includes your tickets without the need to purchase them separately.
You can purchase tickets at the gate if you’d like to wait until you arrive at the park. It’s important to remember that sales end one hour before closing time, so make sure you plan accordingly.
What To Expect
Arrive ready for lots of fun and adventures. Busch Gardens has something for everyone, with over 50 thrilling rides ranging from family-friendly roller coasters to extreme water slides. For a more relaxed experience, the park also features a variety of shows and exhibits, like the Animal Care Center and Eagle Valley Birds Show.
Busch Gardens has plenty to offer in entertainment and dining if you’re looking for more than just rides. With a mix of dining options from quick snacks to full-service restaurants, as well as events like live music performances and special festivals throughout the year, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Things To Do at Busch Gardens
Before arriving at the park, it helps to know what you want to do. Trying to see everything in one day is not typically recommended.
Busch Gardens has:
- Rides and coasters
- Tours via train or bus (or book a private tour)
- Animal encounters
- Restaurants for snacking and dining
- Shopping for souvenirs and fun memorabilia
- Youth and child camps (check for current offerings)
- Special events, such as Bier Fest and Howl-O-Scream
To plan your day ahead of time, look at the map and plan a practical route. You can also use their posted queue times to plan the order in which you would like to visit rides and attractions.
Tips for Your Visit
Want to get the most out of your visit? Follow these tips.
- Take advantage of coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs available. Busch Gardens offers a variety of discounts for seniors, military personnel, and AAA members. They also offer reward card programs that can provide plenty of benefits for frequent visitors.
- If you hate lines (who doesn’t), consider upgrading our ticket to a “quick queue” that allows you to skip the lines.
- Plan ahead and familiarize yourself with Busch Gardens’ layout. The park is divided into ten sections, each with its own identity (by country) and attractions to explore.
- If you’re unsure what to see, consider booking a tour for guidance. Tour options include animal encounters, a look behind the scenes of the rollercoasters, family fun, and VIP tours.
- Don’t try to see it all in one day. Especially with little ones, it’s the most fun to spend a few days exploring the park if time alls, rather than trying to cram it all into one day.
- Download the Busch Gardens app for updated wait times and maps.
- On a budget or have picky eaters? Bring a refillable water bottle and snacks. While there are plenty of food options available within the park, outside food and drinks are allowed and can help you save some money. You can also purchase a food plan before entering the park to get the best possible deals.
- Don’t forget to check the forecast and dress for the weather. Busch Gardens is primarily outdoors, so wear comfortable shoes and bring a light jacket or umbrella. Also, carry essentials like hats and sunscreen.
Busch Garden’s Top Attractions
These are some of the top attractions and thrill rides you don’t want to miss at Busch Gardens:
- Griffon: The world’s first Dive Coaster. This one-of-a-kind roller coaster offers a thrilling experience with an 85-foot drop and speeds up to 57 mph!
- Escape from Pompeii: This state-of-the-art water ride takes you through the Roman ruins of Pompeii with fire blasts, fog screens, and geysers to keep your heart racing.
- DarKoaster: This newer ride is the first all-indoor straddle roller coaster.
Best Attractions for Thrill-Seekers
If you’re looking for a good adrenaline rush, here are some of the best thrill rides and attractions Busch Gardens has to offer:
- Apollo’s Chariot: Climb aboard one of the highest roller coasters in America and prepare to drop nearly 200 feet at speeds up to 73 mph!
- Tempesto: Dare yourself to experience this steel inverted coaster that launches you up a vertical tower and drops you at speeds of 60 mph!
- Verbolten: Take an adventure into the Black Forest for a roller coaster experience, with multiple drops and speeds of up to 55 mph. (Note: This ride is temporarily closed as of September 2023.)
Best Attractions for Families
Busch Gardens is an excellent place for the whole family! Here are some of the top not-to-miss attractions for you and your kids:
- Sesame Street Forest of Fun: This classic park area features Elmo’s castle for water fun, themed kid-friendly rides, a playground, and a chance to meet some characters.
- Busch Gardens Railways: Take a scenic park tour aboard this miniature steam engine train ride — a fun, leisurely ride for all ages.
- Kinder Karussel: This classic carousel features kid-friendly animals, including horses and chariots.
- Land of the Dragons: This park area is perfect for younger kids, featuring classic fun like tree houses, climbing nets, and ladybug rides.
- Animal encounters: Throughout the park, there are animals to see and learn about, including Clydesdale horses, wolves, sheep, birds, and reptiles.
Busch Gardens Virginia: FAQ
Below are some commonly asked questions.
Is Busch Gardens Williamsburg Worth It?
Yes, absolutely! Busch Gardens offers thrilling rides, live shows, and events. Plus, with various ticket packages available, you can find an option that works best for your budget and family size.
What City Is Busch Gardens, Virginia, In?
Busch Gardens is located in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Is There a Hotel Near Busch Gardens?
Yes, there are many hotels and resorts within close proximity to Busch Gardens. Many of these offer special rates for park visitors. You can also purchase package deals that include airfare, hotel, and tickets in one.
Which Is Better, Busch Gardens, Florida, or Virginia?
It depends on your preference and what kind of experiences you seek. Both parks have unique attractions and shows, so it’s worth researching to see which better fits your needs.
Florida may be the better choice if you want access to a wider variety of amusement parks, including SeaWorld or LEGOLAND.
How Many Busch Gardens Are There in The United States?
Currently, there are only two Busch Gardens parks in the United States: one in Tampa Bay, Florida, and the other in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Are There Water Rides at Busch Gardens, Virginia?
Yes, there are several water rides at Busch Gardens, Virginia. These include Escape from Pompeii, the Grand Expedition Rapids, and a kid-friendly Elmo-themed splash park for kids.
Busch Gardens: Fun for All
Busch Gardens is an amusement park offering something for all ages. From thrilling rides to family-friendly attractions, there’s plenty of fun to be had at this Virginia destination. With various ticket packages and services available, you can find an option that fits your budget and ensures a great time for the whole family!
Susan is the owner of Travelin’ Coupons, a website focused on finding the best deals for attractions, tours, museums, hotels and more! Susan has over 20 years of experience working in the travel industry, spending half her careers working in hotels and the other half working for attractions.