Hershey Park vs Busch Gardens WilliamsburgBusch Gardens Williamsburg: Please help me choose.
From Jean Seo-ParkHP or BGW?
Posted May 31, 2010 at 9:07 AM
I am cross-posting this "poll". I favor roller-coasters over midway rides. And I don't care for inverted coasters much, because I often feel my field of vision is obscured. I will consider quality over quantity as I know BGW has fewer coasters than HP's 11. And I also do not mind spending a little extra $$ on park food if it is a cut above the typical pretzel/hotdog/churro fare. I guess I am looking to see which park has the better package of ambience and thrill rides. Also, I am not interested in water rides exclusively, though I will probably ride them if I go in August. I have no kids. Thanks in advance.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Mike GallagherAs much as I love BGE, for me, the choice is Hershey. I was disappointed with Apollo's Chariot, although I like Alpengeist and love Nessie. Haven't been on Gryffon. I did ride Sheikra at its sister park, and liked it a lot.
Posted May 31, 2010 at 10:50 AM
Hershey's closer, cheaper, it's easier to find discounts and has more to do. Two good woodies (Comet, Wildcat) and one GREAT one..Lightning Racer. Storm Runner and Great Bear are rides that I've really come to enjoy after a "meh" feeling the first time I rode them. SooperDooperLooper was the first looping coaster I ever rode. Tame by today's standards, but it's still a fun ride. Farenheit is over-rated, and Trail Blazer,Sidewinder, and the Mouse are simply what they are. Never rode Roller Soaker.
Food at both parks is better than average.
Jean, take it from a fellow New Jerseyan (would I lie to you?) You can't go wrong either way.
If you're just planning a day trip, Hershey's your only option.
From Bob MillerJean, I agree with Mike, both are good places to go but I'd pick Hershey. It has a wave pool and water area, and in August, you might love the cool water.
Posted May 31, 2010 at 11:54 AM
I love their woodie coasters and their steel ones are good too. Both parks are built on hills, so be prepared to walk up and down alot.
Hershey also has some great shows.
From David WhiteI haven't been to either (that will change in three weeks) but BGW looks to be the no-brainer... Other than a few rides at Hershey, everything looks very average. BGW may only have a few rides, but the coasters are of very high quality and I would think you could ride them all day without being tired. BGW is also without a doubt more scenic...
Posted May 31, 2010 at 12:21 PM
From Russell MeyerThis is a pretty tough one, and while I think BGE is one of the best theme parks in the world, Hersheypark has a charm that is so well suited for families, I couldn't argue against anyone saying that they preferred Hersheypark. Hersheypark has more of that old-time amusement park feel, and tons more rides than BGE. While no single ride at Hersheypark is the greatest ride of its kind, they are all really good. Wildcat is a much-improved experience with the Millennium Flyer trains and retracking. Lightning Racer was already one of the best dueling/racing woodies in the word. Comet is a classic woodie that still runs great. Great Bear is probably one of my least favorite B&M inverts, but it provides one of the most unique layouts you'll find on an inverted coaster. Superdooperlooper is another classic that was the first upsidedown roller coaster experience for so many people. Storm Runner is a really good launching coaster that packs a lot of punch in a small space. Same goes for Fahrenheit, yet I still think they could have done a little better with that one. Add the waterpark and all of the flat rides and dark rides, and Hersheypark probably has the highest density of rides per square foot of any park in the country. I would also put Hersheypark's carnival-style food up against BGE any day.
Posted June 2, 2010 at 5:01 PM
In the end, it really depends on what you're interested in, and if you're into a fun day with the family, Hersheypark is probably a better choice, whereas BGE probably is the more complete and more sophisticated "theme" park.
From Ali SalemWhile I enjoy Hershey very much for me, Bush Gardens is the obvious winner. No Doubt Busch is superior with theming (it is one of, if not the, most beautiful park in the world). And as far as thrills, the 4 current coasters at Busch are world class and DarKastle is quite cool. I also have heard Europe Up In The Air is phenomenally done though I haven't rode it yet. The shows at Busch are also superior as is the food (Especially in Germany and Trappers Smoke Haus). Storm runner at Hershey is an Amazing coaster but short and Lighting Racer is awesome too but the others leave you wanting more. So, unless you hate walking, Busch is the Park For You! Btw if your gonna be in the area of Busch I'd check out Kings Dominion with their new 300 + foot Coaster. Though I still prefer Busch over that! Hope this Helps!!
Posted June 2, 2010 at 7:08 PM
From Mike GallagherI know my eyes are bad..it's the diabetes...but I'm seeing double. This question is not only posted twice, but one of the replies appears on both threads!
Posted June 2, 2010 at 7:19 PM
Reading these makes me feel like I'm riding both Lightning and Thunder at Hershey..I can go to sleep happy now....Good Night, John-Boy!
From Derek PotterAs great as Busch Gardens is, Hershey Park is one of my personal favorites. There's always a lot of hype surrounding Busch on this site and rightfully so, but Hershey has a lot of great rides and a nice traditional amusement park atmosphere. It's not themed like Busch is, but they do a lot of landscaping to help with the atmosphere, and the constant aroma of chocolate in the air doesn't hurt either. Hershey Park's coasters are pretty good across the board. There aren't a lot of throwaways at all in their collection. They also have some other things, such as a collection of good shows including a Sea Lion show and a North American zoo. In all, Hershey is just as much a worthwhile experience as Busch Gardens is....tough call.
Posted June 3, 2010 at 1:05 PM
From Donna TolliverThis IS a tough call, but the good news is it's pretty much a win either way! Looks like it comes down to which is slightly more preferable to you, the theme part or the thrill part, recognizing you said in your post you like both. I've been to Hershey but it's been YEARS but BGW is my home park. BGW as you and everyone else have said has fewer coasters but the ones they have are world class, and you are going to get a much more immersive theme. Good shows, good food, pleasant, shaded and leafy, nice animal exhibits (again, only a few but what they have is very nice).
Posted June 4, 2010 at 8:07 AM
Another aspect you might consider in finalizing your decision are the "extra" tours and things you can do at each park. We've been to several behind-the-scenes tours at BGW and loved them all -- go to the website for the details. I don't know what Hersheypark offers by way of "backstage" experiences but if you'd like an enhanced experience in that regard it may be one more factor to consider in weighing the two parks.
Can't say as much about Hershey as my info is so dated but it, too, was a clean, nice family park, just a lot more standard-type rides and so forth. But there are more of those coasters!
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive