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Robert Niles
Editor

Busch Gardens 'Virginia' now?

Published: March 29, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Just looking at Busch Gardens Europe's new website... err, there's no longer any reference to Busch Gardens "Europe"; now it is Busch Gardens "Virginia" in the page headers.

The logo has the large "Busch Gardens" letters, with "Williamsburg, VA" in tiny type underneath it.

The Busch Gardens Africa site appears unchanged.

I was prepared for the name of these parks to change upon new ownership, so I'm not much in the mood to start changing references to the Williamsburg park right now. (And have to change them again later.) I would, however, entertain a spirited, creative discussion among TPI readers over what *you* think the name of the Williamsburg park should be.

Creativity encouraged. ;-)

Replies (9)

Mark Mahoney

Published: March 29, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Personally, I think Busch Gardens Europe is a better name. Busch Gardens Virginia is quite generic. On the other hand, the name can be misleading, because from the name a lot of people infer that the park is actually in Europe.
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: March 29, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Busch Gardens Williamsburg or North (while Tampa is South)


I have noticed the change on their commecials, no beer now in the ads

Brian L

Published: March 29, 2009 at 9:42 PM

I always preferred Busch Gardens: The Old Country because it gave off more of a an old world European theme than even Busch Gardens: Europe did. Going back to the Williamsburg moniker i guess erases some confusion of tourists actually trying to find a Busch Gardens in Europe and then being disappointed; which honestly is really freaking funny to imagine.
W McDougal

Published: March 29, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Busch Gardens Europe is probably confusing to most of the public as they'll think it's in Europe itself. Adding the Old Country moniker at least makes it clearer that the name is about the theme of the park not its location.
Raul Araoz

Published: March 29, 2009 at 10:55 PM

It really should be "InBev Gardens:The Highest Bidder".

Seriously though, I was always partial to "The Old Country". It had an exotic and mysterious ring to it. It was also more accurate since the park doesn't really represent present day Europe, but has a more medieval vibe.

James Rao
Writer

Published: March 30, 2009 at 5:10 AM

I kind of like "Busch Gardens: The Park That Will Be Out Of The Best Ride Tournament Unless They Do Something Creative And Get Their Fans To Show Up For The Vote Today."

But my wife tells me that name is a bit too long. What do you think?

Maybe an acronym would be better? BGGO? Busch Gardens: Game Over?

In all seriousness, I like BG: The Old Country best as well.

Joshua Counsil

Published: March 30, 2009 at 5:53 AM

I like Raul's suggestion.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 30, 2009 at 12:18 PM

I'm going with Busch Gardens Voldemort, because it appears to be the park that cannot be named.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 31, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Got this via email from Dan Dipiazzo, VP of marketing for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg:

It’'s great to see the discussion about the name of our park. Let me try to clarify a few points.

The true name of the park is Busch Gardens. It always has been. What has changed over the years are the “locator” descriptions attached to the name.

For the past year or so, we primarily have used “Williamsburg” or “Virginia,” depending on the use. For instance, in our current Busch Gardens television commercial that airs nationally, we use “Virginia” and “Florida.” We believe those are stronger geographical points of reference than the city names for a national audience. However, in regional advertising we typically locate the park in Williamsburg, or sometimes Williamsburg, Va., because the city is better known to these consumers. Sometimes the city is included with the logo, but sometimes just noted in copy.

As you noted, we used “Europe” (and Busch Gardens in Tampa used “Africa”) as differentiators for about two years, in conjunction with a national advertising campaign themed “The Worlds of Busch Gardens.” I think we did too good of a job of reinforcing this positioning in our communications, because now many people have adopted “Busch Gardens Europe” as the park’s name. The last place this was used prominently was on our Web site, which changed when we launched a redesigned site a couple of weeks ago. (Busch Gardens in Tampa will switch to a similarly redesigned site soon, and also will lose the “Busch Gardens Africa” logo.)

We know there also is great affection and nostalgia around “The Old Country” moniker, which was used when the Williamsburg park opened in 1975. No doubt a lot of TPI readers have fond memories of their first visits to “The Old Country” to ride Loch Ness Monster or Big Bad Wolf (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year). That descriptor was used to highlight the park’s European theme, but didn’t reflect the modern thrills that were added to the park, and it was phased out by the early 1990s.

In the end, to paraphrase a saying, people can call us whatever they want, as long as they call us -- or better yet, come visit.

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