Busch Gardens® Williamsburg is a European-inspired theme park and home to six countries—England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy—spread out across 383 acres. The park has received numerous awards including:
- World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park—National Amusement Park Historical Association
- Best Landscaping—Golden Ticket Awards
- Best Amusement Park Entertainment—USA Today
- Top 25 Amusement Parks in the United States—Traveler’s Choice
- Best Food Destination—behindthethrills.com
- Best Theme Park Food—About.com
Roller coasters at Busch Gardens® Williamsburg offer plenty of adrenaline pumping excitement. For most people, they’re the stars. Of course, there are other rides that provide fun-filled adventure for the entire family. Whether you want to ride the rails, go upside down, spin around, free fall or get soaked, it’s all possible during a vacation to this Virginia theme park.
The legend of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster swimming in the Scottish Highlands is largely based on folklore. The steel monster roller coaster of the same name found twisting through Williamsburg, Virginia is 100 percent real. In fact, it has not only been spotted, numerous coaster enthusiasts have ridden it opened in 1978.
The Griffon once terrorized French villages, now it’s inside Busch Gardens. You can face the creature and go for a harrowing ride on this drop coaster that sends riders plunging 205 feet down at a 90-degree angle. It’s one of many tempting reasons to explore this Medieval-themed attraction where the exciting allure of Europe is calling.
Mach Tower looms high in Oktoberfest. At 240 feet, it’s the tallest ride in the park. Take a seat and climb up the spire to dizzying heights while enjoying spectacular views of the park and surrounding countryside. Once at the top, you’ll begin an exciting fall all the way to the bottom.
Rock back and forth on a pendulum ride known as the Battering Ram. Though you won’t be breaking down the doors to any castles, you will feel weightless as you swing higher and higher into the air. At times, it may seem as if the seat you’re in will turn completely over; but then gravity kicks in, pulling you out of the sky and back to the ground.
“You will get wet on this ride” is an understatement on Italy’s Roman Rapids. This water-soaked adventure sends you on a drenching course through waterfalls and canals filled with endless twists and turns.
For those too young to enjoy the park’s biggest thrills, KIDsiderate® rides like Oscar’s Whirly Worms, Grover’s Alpine Express, Der Autobahn Jr. and Land of the Dragons provide plenty of excitement.
Families who wish to see the park from different vantage points can choose to do so by air, land or water. Soar above the treetops in the Aeronaut Skyride. This open-air car gives you views of all six countries located inside the park from heights of 80 feet. Explore 100 acres of scenic beauty floating aboard the Rhine River Cruise. Become a passenger on the Busch Gardens Railway and enjoy a 20-minute excursion around the park. This steam-powered locomotive is a nostalgic way to add even more excitement to your Virginia theme park vacation.
Braving the ups and downs of award-winning roller coasters and thrill rides can test your mettle—and make you hungry. Fill up by eating your way across the great continent of Europe.
Here’s a sampling of restaurants you can dine in throughout the park:
With homemade treats like freshly dipped caramel apples, chocolate covered strawberries and chunks of fudge, England’s M. Sweets Confectionary is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Add a Starbucks® espresso or coffee to make your indulgences even sweeter.
Pigs in a Kilt is a popular place to relax with your family and grab a bite to eat during your visit to Scotland. Order up some chicken tenders or try the classic corn dog. Both are hand-dipped in a delectable batter and come with an enormous side of fries.
Hearty meals are always on the menu at Grogan’s Pub in Ireland. Specialties at this restaurant include seasoned pork, thick and savory stew and freshly carved corned beef sandwiches. The calorie conscious can choose from a variety of salads and wraps.
Take a break from the amusement attractions and refresh yourself with a frosty lemonade at Café Lulu located in France. Smoked turkey legs and soft pretzels are extremely popular at this dining establishment, as are the nachos—bon appétit.
Trapper’s Smokehouse in New France lives up to its name with hickory- and oak-smoked ribs and chicken transferred to a mesquite grill to finalize cooking. Also available is juicy beef brisket smoked for 10 hours before serving.
It should come as no surprise that Beste Brezein und Bier has the best pretzels and beer inside Busch Gardens Williamsburg. You can conduct your own taste test by visiting the Oktoberfest hamlet anytime of the year.
Stop off at Das Edelweiss in Germany and witness funnel cakes being made right before your eyes. After they’re fried and puffed to a golden color, these tempting dough desserts are covered with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
When in Italy, be sure to visit Marco Polo’s Marketplace and explore a world of cuisine. From Asian fare and mouthwatering Mediterranean to traditional Italian favorites, you’ll find it all in the center of this village.
There’s no end to what you can enjoy at La Cucina—that’s because it’s all you care to eat. Feast on pizza, pasta, salad and desserts. Then go back for more. The chefs in the kitchen will make sure that there’s always another slice or two available.
Sample handcrafted brews from around the world at Brauhaus Craft Bier Room located in Das Festhaus’ main hall. With seasonal varieties and 30 rotating craft beers on draft, it’s a beer lover’s paradise.
Shopping & Keepsakes
Want to remember your vacation for years to come? Shop for some handcrafted jewelry or souvenirs emblazoned with the Busch Gardens logo. We recommend waiting until you’re ready to leave so you don’t have to carry bags around during the day. Besides, souvenirs are not allowed on the rides and you’ll just have to leave them sitting at the station docks.
After an exhilarating day at Busch Gardens,® your family can relax and revive at Bluegreen Patrick Henry Square.™ This resort is located less than a block from perfectly preserved historic Williamsburg. Yorktown and Jamestown are also close by where the 17th and 18th centuries are very much alive and well.
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