Thursday, June 13, 2013

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Brandon and I thought we were just Disney Junkies.

Well... then we took the kids to Busch Gardens and we decided that we are really just theme park junkies and that we can enjoy ourselves even without the Disney brand.

Pause here for the audible gasp. 

I know, I know.

Seriously!  We've lived an hour away from BG for almost FIVE YEARS and had never been.

*hangs head*

A few weekends ago, we were looking for something fun to do with the children.  It was beautiful outside and wanted to do an outdoor activity.  I remembered seeing a deal for FREE funcard passes for "preschoolers" to Busch Gardens.  I happen to have two preschoolers. 

So while we were rocking on the porch, we googled the rates for Busch Gardens.  Then we figured that if we combined birthday money with our entertainment budget, we could get fun cards for the four of us that are not preschool age, that require a ticket.  (Isaiah does not require a ticket.)

We filled out the forms for Xander and Solomon, grabbed their birth certificates and off we went.

We didn't tell the children where we were going.  But the girls figured it out when they saw this:

And the crowd went wild!

After a short visit to the ticketing booth, we were a family of upgraded Fun Card holders.  We found out that the boys' passes included Water Country USA, so we upgraded ours to be good at both parks.

I don't think I've ever been to a Busch Gardens Park so we had to fly by the seat of our pants a bit.

First, we grabbed a map.

 And then we stumbled into a long line and asked what the line was for.  It was for height check.  I love this.  It makes me so giddy.

So, sometimes when you are at a theme park, the attendant disagrees that you are eligible for a ride and you have to do a height check. This holds up the line and can be particularly devestating to a small child that just stood in line and now can't ride.

To prevent this, they have height check at the beginning of the park, and they give you a wrist band to show the attendant.

Big puffy heart love!

Solomon wasn't so sure though. 

Julianne was thrilled with her band:

And Lainey is tall enough that she doesn't have to wear a band.  She can ride anything!

The first place we went to was the Sesame Street area and we watched a show.

But the area was very crowded so we decided to see what else we wanted to do. 

We found The Flying Machines and Julianne decided that this was something she wanted to ride.  Julianne has never been on a height restricted ride, ever.

Here she is giving a thumbs up for her first "big girl" ride as she called it.

And here is her reaction after:  

 Bless her!

We did get her on a few more rides though.  She is certainly NOT the ride junkie her big sister is.

The four "bigs" rode The Little Gliders and Isaiah and I played peekaboo.

Then the girls and I rode Trade Winds.  We all went to see Pirates 4D.

We really enjoyed the All You Can Eat Pizza Buffet... and they were SO good with answering questions about food allergies. 

And then we utilized Rider Swap to ride Europe in The Air, which is kind of a combination of Star Tours at Disney World and Soarin' so the girls got to ride twice in a row.  First, they rode with Daddy, while I sat with the littles and then they rode with me, while Daddy sat with the littles.  Julianne LOVED this ride.

We walked around a bit, trying to learn the layout of the park, walked through some shops, had a snack and then headed out of the park at closing.

We both completely agree that Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the most beautiful park we've ever seen and we understand why it gets the awards it does.

We are proud to call it our "home park." Can't wait to return! 

We never imagined we would make it from early afternoon until closing with the Fantastic Five, but we did!  We can't wait to get back. 


Erika said...

What fun!! So do you have some kind of season tickets? I've always wanted season tickets for a park! This sounds like a beautiful one!

Frank Forrester said...

I found this post while doing a google search on Busch Gardens. It looks like you really enjoyed the park and at least your kids got to see Pirates 4D as the last day of it was this past Sunday. I highly recommend upgrading to season passes especially if you know that you will be going a lot more often. The one thing I recommend is doing their Flex Pay option for annual passes. You pay the same amount for the pass, but it is spread over 12 months for most passes except the Platinum which is spread over 24 months. The great thing about the Flex Pay option is that once your initial commitment is completed your pass will be renewed automatically on a month to month basis and you will be locked in at the rate you started at even if the cost of the pass goes up. If any of your girls like dancing I highly recommend checking out the Celtic Fyre show in Ireland. I also highly recommend their Christmas Town during November & December as the park is completely decorated for Christmas. The cost for Christmas Town is usually around $27 and Annual Passholders get in for 50% off that price as it's not included in the Annual Pass.