Second, we are also considering getting Platinum Passes for BG Europe. Has anyone tried to use their PP from Europe to get ride again privileges to BGA or Seaworld. This would be a nice benefit.
Finally, if you could only go to one, would you choose BGA or Disney Animal Kingdom?
Our clan is two adults and four kids, aged 5-10. They may be not be ready for the big coasters at BGA, but how is the rest of the park?
There is a land of the dragons at BGA very similar to the one at BGE. Overall, BGA has a better layout, and is a little larger. There are also a few extra kiddie rides scattered throughout the park...some in Timbuktu, one in the bird gardens. Of course, Jungala should be open by the summer, and that will be a great area for kids.
The animal exhibits are extensive, and the Rhino Rally is a must. You get really close to the animals, and it is a lot of fun. But be warned, a water feature that enhances the ride frequently goes out of order...look for the sign at the ride entrance. They will also make announcements within the park if that portion of the ride closes down. If your children enjoy animals, I think BGA would be a fun trip for your family.
How were the crowds at BGA when you were there? What day of the week did you go? Were most of the rides walk-ons?
Will my kids be too old for the Dragon area?
The youngest are 5, 6, and 7. The oldest is 9. Based on this, do you think they will enjoy BG Europe enough to get season passes there? I am seriously considering it, and I think we will attend on 3/16 to check out the park. I have not been to BGE in over 20 years. I think a lot has changed!
Land of the Dragons (BGA) some of the rides your older child has possibly outgrown. A lot of the kiddie rides have a 56 inch height maximum, if that helps. But there is a large netted climbing area/obstacle course that my older niece still enjoyed on her last visit. Outside of LotD there are a few rides your older child may enjoy: cheetah chase is a small family coaster, the log flume ride, several small flat rides like the sandstorm, or the rapids. But there are many attractions the whole family can enjoy together: Rhino Rally, the show Katonga, the animal attractions...
I have always said that there is an awkward period for some older children when they are in between the kiddie rides and the adult rides when there is less for them to do. Some kids are ready for the coasters before they reach the bottom of the height stick. Others (like my two children) will cling to the safety of the kiddie rides for as long as possible. But I truly believe there is something for everyone at all of the Anheuser Busch theme parks. It's family time...and should be fun as long as its enjoyed together.
What are your thoughts on BG Europe? I don't think I will get Platinum Passes unless we enjoy this park enough to visit twice a year. We live three hours away in Raleigh.
We went to Kings Dominion once last year and they really enjoyed it. I think there is more there for kids to do, but I know it isn't nearly as nice or pretty as BGE.
My wife and I will probably go to BGE on 3/16 to check it out, but I am interested to see what you think. Certainly I am hesitant about plunking down $1500 for six Platinum Passes for parks 3 hours and 9 hours away from home. But I DO love amusement parks; and my kids do too!
As far as I am concerned, the platinum pass is a great deal. It gives you both the chance for day (or weekend) trips to Williamsburg a couple of times per year, plus if you vacation in Florida you don't have to pay for tickets to Sea World or BGA. My family has now taken 3 trips to Florida, and they have been very affordable because we don't have to pay for tickets to the parks. The free preferred parking is another valued benefit to my family.
I think you will find there is plenty for your children to enjoy at BGE. There is a Land of the Dragons there as well, with lots of rope nets and bridges that even your oldest should enjoy climbing and exploring. There are several other areas of children's rides throughout the park: some in Oktoberfest, some in San Marco, one in Heatherdowns. Your older child may enjoy Curse of DarKastle or Corkscrew Hill, and maybe some flat rides like the Battering Ram, the Flying Machine, the bumper cars, Roman Rapids, etc.
My favorite time of year is during Howl-O-Scream. Saturdays are very crowded, but the park is so festive. We go (with our children) just about every weekend during that time. You may want to consider a day trip during the fall if you choose the platinum pass.
Anyways, I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoy your trip to the park in March! If it is on the 16th, I should be there, too!
I'm not sure about the plat. passes but if your going in the middle of the week I doubt you'll run into major crowds and need to worry about reserved seating anyway. However, it never hurts to call up the park and ask if they accept that!
The height requirements are 54" for the big coasters (SheiKra, Montu and Kumba), 48" for Gwazi and 42" for Scorpion.
Hope that helps!
It's especially handy on Sheikra because the lines are usually longest there and the ride is so short. If you wait it out for front row seats, thats front row seats twice : )
Using them for Kraken, Montu, Kumba and Sheikra and being able to ride everything twice is such a great feature.
I noticed your dream park would be one with very little waiting time in lines. I think Busch ll do just fine, but you should also seriously consider Universal and their express passes.
I gotta get back down there soon...
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Hollywood