Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Five - Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I hope everyone had a great week!  It flew by for me because it was only a 4 day workweek since I had taken Monday off work for Busch Gardens, Williamsburg.  We had a great time and I thought I'd share 5 things about our mini-vacation.  It's also time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.

1.  Discounts - The whole reason we ended up taking this trip to Busch Gardens is that we got a Groupon for park tickets.  They were $60 included both the theme park and the water park, and could be used for 7 days!  That was a great price for even the 2 days that we were at the parks.  The other way we saved some money is going Sunday and Monday.  Hotel prices were pretty expensive Saturday night but we were able to find a good deal on a room about 11 miles away on Sunday night.

I'm sure the park is always fun but discounts definitely lead to bigger smiles!

2.  Animals - Both the water park and the theme park were beautiful.  They were really well kept, clean, and tons of fun.  But I think the thing that really set Busch Gardens apart for me was that I loved the animals!  They had Eagles, Wolves, Sheep, Horses, and others I'm sure I don't remember.  They had two shows that featured the animals, one was with predators (wolves, hawks and owls) and one was with rescue pets.  They also have special tours that let you get up close nad personal with the animals.  I'd love to try one of those next time I'm down there.

Sheep, just hanging out and grazing - not fazed by the people at all

3.  Shows - Speaking of shows, there were some pretty good ones!  Like I mentioned, there were two shows that had animals but there were several great cultural shows as well.  The park is themed after various countries in Europe and that pulled through in the shows as well.  There was a fun night time show in "France" based on the three musketeers.  It had pyrotechnics and plenty of swash buckling stunts.  There was also a really good show featuring Irish dancing in the Ireland area.  There was a British music show and a German oktoberfest type show that we weren't able to catch but they sound fun too.

One of the wolves showing off his tricks

4.  Rides - I'm sure the main reason most people go to the park is for the rides.  And they were pretty spectacular!  The park is known for their roller coasters and I tried out several of them.  They were pretty intense.  I have to say I was scared away from the one that looked the most was called the Gryphon.  But I did manage several others and had a great time.  The roller coasters were pretty unique and my favorite was called Verbolten.  It was themed like a drive through the Black Forest in Germany.  There also appeared to be a lot of fun things for little kids.  I do think that there weren't many rides for adults who aren't thrill seekers.

A view of some of the roller coasters from the sky tram

5.  Waits and weather - We were at the parks Sunday and Monday.  We started Sunday at the water park and then, after a break at the hotel, went to the theme park Sunday evening.  The lines were pretty long on Sunday.  We got to the water park right after it opened and still had to wait in a fairly long line for the first water slide we went on.  The lines at the theme park were pretty long in the evening too.  I think we waited about 40 minutes for the first roller coaster we tried.  We kind of stuck to shows after that.  But Monday was completely different.  First, we got to the park early, maybe 15 minutes before it actually opened.  It felt like we were the only ones in the park at the beginning!  Also, there was a slight drizzle and I think that kept a lot of people away.  We pretty much walked on to every ride we wanted.  There was a brief period of heavy rain but thankfully it was around lunchtime so we were able to duck into a restaurant and grab some food and the rain was over by the time we were finished.

The park sure does empty out during the rain

However, if the lines are bad when you're there, the park does have a pass you can pay for that would allow you to skip to the beginning of the lines at both the water park and the theme park.  We didn't use it but we saw other people using it on Sunday and it seemed to work pretty well for them.

So that was our brief little trip down to Williamsburg.  We didn't get to see any of the historical stuff unfortunately.  But that's my goal for next time we're down there!