williamsburg stop #4: busch gardens

On Saturday, we headed to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The kids (who love amusement parks) were super excited. We immediately blown away – Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been voted the world’s “Most Beautiful Park” every year since 1990 by the National Amusement Park Historical Association… and it shows. It was gorgeous setting, filled with fun rides and great attractions like shows and animal exhibits!
The first thing we did upon arriving was stop and get the kids measured. They each got a colored bracelet with their height – which made choosing rides so easy. What a great idea!
We headed straight to Sesame Street Forest of Fun, at Colin’s request. He was dying to see “Elmo’s World” as he called it. He was so so so excited!
We rode several rides in Sesame Street Forest – but the favorite by FAR was Grover’s Alpine Express. This was Colin’s very very first roller coaster. I think he liked it. He claimed this was his very favorite thing at Busch Gardens!
We explored a ton of rides – the kids had a blast in the Land of the Dragons and loved classics like the train and sky ride. I was impressed how friendly and nice all the employees were at Busch Gardens. Every employee we encountered on rides and in stores or restaurants was polite and friendly. So often amusement park employees look bored and grumpy. But not here!

One of the biggest highlights was visiting Lorikeet Glen and Wolf Valley. Both are amazing exhibits – our kids could not stop talking about them. Especially the bird that landed on Daddy’s head! This was my animal lover Ellie’s favorite part of Busch Gardens!
We caught a couple shows as well – Pirates 4D was so funny. And we all loved the Celtic Fyre show! It was absolutely amazing! I was very impressed by the quality of the production and the incredible talent of the performers. You have to see this show if you go!!  My little dancer, Gracie, was enthralled. She said this was her very favorite part of Busch Gardens!
She loved it so much, we had to wait until after the show so she could meet some of the performers!
We had such a fantastic time at Busch Gardens. It is a beautiful park, with tons to do for everyone. Both my girls said it was the most fun park they had ever been to. (And this year, this was our 6th amusement park. Yes, really. We’re not sure how that happened.) We had such a great experience here — this is one of our top parks we’re ever visited and its so affordable! We will definitely be back!

Tips for Busch Gardens Williamsburg with young kids:

  • Buy a water bottle. When you buy a Busch Gardens/Water Country USA water bottle (for $8) you get refills for just 99 cents for soda and $1.99 for frozen drinks. It was a super hot day, so we just kept refilling the water bottle we bought at Water Country USA with frozen lemonade all day and spent less than $10.
  • Bring swimsuits if its hot. There are several water playspots just for kids to cool off.
  • If Sesame Street Forest of Fun is too crowded, head over to Land of the Dragons. There were hardly any lines and a huge play area for kids to run around in!
  • In the afternoon, take a rest by catching a show in a nice, air conditioned spot!
  • Dining with Elmo and Friends is available, so if your child has his or her heart set on meeting characters, this is your best bet. Kids 3 and under are free, so its a really affordable dining option for families!

For more information on travel to Williamsburg, visit www.visitwilliamsburg.com.

disclosure: we were provided complimentary admission to the busch gardens williamsburg to facilitate this post. as always, all opinions are my own.

About Melissa

Melissa is founder of Girlymama and co-founder of the mom fashion blog, All Things Chic. You can also find her designing blogs at Eliza Grace Design and on Twitter as Melissa Angert.


  1. 1
    laura says:

    i LOVE busch. a lot. glad you all had so much fun!

  2. 2
    anna dubois says:

    sounds like such a nice trip.

  3. 3
    Melanie says:

    We went the day before you on Friday and had a blast. My 2 year old developed a fever on the way to the park. (He was fine when we left Richmond, but very hot by the time we got in the park.) In “Elmo’s World” I asked one of the employees if there was a drugstore in the park because despite packing everything I could think of, I naturally did not bring Tylenol. He promptly sent over a First Aid worker who gave us some Tylenol Chewables. He saved the day! We take the kids once a year and we always have a great time. It’s a fantastic place. I love it SO MUCH! Glad you had a great time.

    • 3.1
      Melissa says:

      wow! that’s fantastic. and it doesn’t surprise me at all – like i said, the employees were so helpful and kind!
      glad your day was saved 🙂 (and i ALWAYS forget tylenol too! and band aids!)

  4. 4
    Jen says:

    Another money saving tip – go to Busch Gardens website and buy meal vouchers before you visit. For under $15, you can get an entree, two sides (salad and a dessert) and a drink. Or for around $25, you can a voucher for lunch and one for dinner, plus a voucher for the souvenir cup, which as you already pointed out, are $8 by themselves. If you’re a season pass holder, you’ll save 10% on top of the discount prices.

    • 4.1
      Melissa says:

      thats such a great tip, Jen, thanks!!! i was impressed with how affordable the food was. usually amusement park food is, well, gross. and pricey.
      but there were so many YUMMY places to eat, we had a hard time deciding what to eat. (England for fish and chips? Germany for bratwurst and beer? DECISIONS!!)

      • 4.1.1
        Jen says:

        BG’s food is fabulous. My favorite place to eat is in Italy, mostly because I love the breadsticks! When we go for Howl-O-Scream or Christmas Town, the bread bowls with soups/chowders in Ireland are so hearty and warming. Of course, this past weekend, my husband was (as usual) jonesing for Das Alpine, the corned beef sandwich in Oktoberfest, so that’s where we ate this time. Actually a great option for families, because along with the traditional German fare, there’s also a line for pizza and sandwiches, it’s air conditioned, and there’s tons of seating.

  5. 5
    Jen says:

    Oh, and we were there on Saturday too! Which Celtic Fyre show did you attend? We were at the 4:30 one. It was a great show!