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Old 01-07-2014, 11:28 AM
 
46 posts, read 110,938 times
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We are planning a trip to Busch gardens/water country usa in VA in the summer, and need help on advice.

First of all I live in philadelphia area, I have 2 kids (10 and 14 years old), so I am first wondering is Busch Gardens VA worth the 6 hour drive from philadelphia area?

We all LOVE thrills, but also like theming as well, and LOVE water parks also. We have been to amusement parks near by us but we thought hershey park and Dorney park sucked, and six flags great adventure was ok, but getting booring after a while especially the lack of theming and water park rides availible. So I thought We would try something new and take a trip down to Busch Gardens and enjoy all of those nice things. Never been there. Also shows and water rides say like rapids are nice as well.

So I am first wondering how many days should we go there for? I was thinking to spend 3 days at Busch Gardens theme park, and 2 days at Water Country USA. Is that enough time?

Secondly I want to know about some good hotels between both. I herd that they are not in the same parking lot, they are about 3 miles away from each other, but they are the same company right?
Yeah so what are some good hotels nearby, I am referring to chain hotels like say: holiday inn, best western. Those kinds.

Next I am wondering how does Water Country USA compare to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor NJ? Is it better? I know it has much more water slides and better ones, but I am also a fan of wave pools as well and the one at HH in NJ is very huge, so I'd like some input on those that have been to both? And how is the lazy river at water country usa? I read some where it pushes you fast. Is that right?

Now at both parks I need to know how are the crowds there? Where should I start in the parks? And is there any kind of system to skip the lines, say similar to flash passes at six flags. I am willing to pay extra for those as I never like going to parks without those things.

I also want to ask about dining in each country in Busch Gardens? I heard that there are countries divided there and I am wondering how is the dining in each country? Do they have full service sit-down restaurants there or I need to go out of the park for that? I prefer not to get any dining plans, I avoid all of those.

And what kind of tickets should I buy for that kind of vacation? I thought season passes are the best deal for that kind, but is there any cheaper way I am missing?

Thanks for any help you give me.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Coastal South Carolina
6,191 posts, read 551,974 times
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Hey there, I moved from Tidewater, but have been to both places and Water Country. They are both very cool and fun. I can't compare them to the northern park, but I know Busch Gardens is great, and one of the best in the country. Great themes, shows, great roller coaster rides, and very pretty park.

Water Country is very cool, and fun, but can easily be done in 1 day. To me, we only went to Busch Gardens for 1 day, all day too, but I guess you could go for 2 days to Busch Gardens if you wanted.



If you want to save a little cash, leave the park, and go out for lunch right across the street. The food is very expensive, and just fair in most countries.

If you are going in the summer it is going to be hot as H*ll! The best time to go is fall or spring. It will be ok at water country, but if you go in the dead of summer or July or August to Busch Gardens it will be very hot!

If you want to avoid the long lines, and waits you must go when school is in, or on a weekday. Do not go on a weekend.

If you have to go during the summer, go during a weekday like Tuesday or Thursday. I never heard of express passes, I don't think they have them there.

Sorry , I don't know about the hotels, I grew up in Virginia Beach, and you can get there in 45-55 minutes if you want to drive from Williamsburg.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:11 PM
 
Location: From TX to VA
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Have you thought about vacation 'packages' at Busch Gardens? They may be too costly but it's worth checking out.
Busch Gardens Virginia Vacations | Busch Gardens Williamsburg

This is the home page.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg | Williamsburg Virginia Theme Park & Attractions

If you're interested in season passes you can buy them at the link above or you can also set up monthly payments.

I can't find a current link for this part, but in 2013 the park did have a feature called Quick Queue or Quick Queue Unlimited that would allow you to bypass the lines of people waiting to ride the attractions. Quick Queue Unlimited allows unlimited rides. With the other one, you're limited to one ride per attraction. In September 2013 the cost for the Quick Queue Unlimited was 49.99 per person but that is probably higher for the spring and summer seasons.

I'm sorry I don't have information about individual hotels. I'm sure someone else will have that information.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
203 posts, read 435,951 times
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Well, my wife is a coaster freak so we've been to many parks. I grew up in NJ and live in VA now so I've spent time at Great Adventure, Hershey Park, Busch Gardens, King's Dominion. We've also camped at Cedar Point Ohio, and a few others. Her favorite around here is King's Dominion for all the award winning coasters. I always enjoyed Great Adventure. I can't ride coasters anymore due to my disability but I get to sit and people watch. The food at Busch Gardens has greatly improved since the ownership/management change. Still expensive but in line with most other amusement parks.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:59 AM
 
Location: From TX to VA
8,578 posts, read 6,522,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyTed View Post
Well, my wife is a coaster freak so we've been to many parks. I grew up in NJ and live in VA now so I've spent time at Great Adventure, Hershey Park, Busch Gardens, King's Dominion. We've also camped at Cedar Point Ohio, and a few others. Her favorite around here is King's Dominion for all the award winning coasters. I always enjoyed Great Adventure. I can't ride coasters anymore due to my disability but I get to sit and people watch. The food at Busch Gardens has greatly improved since the ownership/management change. Still expensive but in line with most other amusement parks.
My family goes up to Kings Dominion but no where near as often as they go to Busch Gardens. In your opinion, think KD would be the better park for the OP?
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
203 posts, read 435,951 times
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With the op posting about liking theming, I believe BG would be a better place to go. My wife just prefers the thrill rides. I used to hate the food at BG but the past two years it has been much, much better.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:48 AM
 
150 posts, read 542,482 times
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Yeah I would definitely recommend Busch Gardens. The shows there are over the top, definitely wouldn't expect these quality of shows happening right next to a coaster.... the food is above normal that you would find at a Six Flags (Trappers smokehouse BBQ is very good. Best BBQ in the state IMO) Water Country is very fun too. I'm not even a water slide type of guy but just seeing my 3 year old son having the time of his life there and we can enjoy things like the lazy river (Hubba Hubba Highway) together as a family and the wave pool is enough for me. As far as hotels go, any of those mentioned should be fine. I personally like La Quinta (because they are pet friendly) but to each their own. Williamsburg isn't very big so all the hotels are no more then a 10-15 minute drive from Busch Gardens/Water Country. Both are conveniently located next to interstate 64 and hwy 199. Maybe if I'm around during the times you come I can get you free parking into Busch and Water Country.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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hey everyone, sorry for my late reply here, had no internet for 3 days. Anyway yeah it seems busch gardens would be good then. I will always be going on a weekday, on weekends I have other things to do. How are the coasters at busch gardens compared to great adventure by the way? are they better at busch gardens?
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