Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Part of a DC trip. Any last-minute tips?

From Caroline Davis
Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:52 AM
Just booked a last minute trip to Washington DC. Going to Richmond and Williamsburg as well to go to Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens.

Any tips? Anything you can tell me about the two parks? I booked the flights two hours ago and I'm leaving tomorrow. Eeek!

From dave simpson
Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:25 AM
If possible I would avoid KD on Saturdays. This is by far the busiest day and the lines can get pretty long.

If arriving at KD early I would suggest getting rides on Volcano and Flight of Fear first. These lines will get longer during the day so its best to get them out of the way early. Volcano has a low rider capacity which backs up the line pretty quick.

Initimidator can be ridden at any time. The ride ops are great and generally you won't have to wait any longer then 15-20 minutes.

Dominator I would wait till later in the day to ride since its sits in the front of the park it generally is at its busiest in the morning/early afternoon.

The waterpark I would also do later during the day. When it opens it gets really crowded in the afternoon.

The rest of the rides you should have a short wait. If you are going during the week most of the rides will be a walk on.

Hope this helps! I don't have any real advice for BG. I have only been to the park a couple of times.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM
To piggyback on Dave:

Dominator opens at 10, and rides are allowed before the ropes drop at 10:30 to the rest of the park. If coasters are your thing, get a few rides in's a ride I like a lot.

Avalanche is a bobsled coaster located next to Volcano. Follow Dave's advice, but Avalanche is a semi-unique, fun ride. It doesn't usually open until 12, so get FOF and Volcano, but take a spin on Avalanche before heading to I-305 (my favorite steel coaster ANYWHERE!) Avalanche usually only runs one, low capacity train, so the line grows quickly. Don't miss it if you have the opportunity. I don't know if Grizzly has re-opened yet, but that's my favorite woodie at KD. I rank the others:

Rebel Yell
Ghoster Coaster


The space is there for a reason.

I haven't been to BG as often, but it's a beautiful park to see. Unfortunately, I consider their roller coasters inferior example of their types:

Griffon (Sheikra is Better)

Alpengeist (Afterburn, Talon, and Batman are Better)

Apollo's Chariot (Nitro, Intimidator, Magnum, and a few others are better)

On the other hand, I ALWAYS love me some Nessie! It was one of the first large coasters I ever rode back in 1978, and it's still a fun ride with a great tunnel and drop over the water.

Have a blast!

From Brian Engelmeyer
Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:48 AM
Good thing you are going now. We went to BGW this time last year and we expected HUGE crowds to only find the parks (BGW and Water Country USA) to be almost empty. We asked some park employees why they weren't busy and they said that the schools there were not out for the summer yet. In Wiliamsburg the school system goes a little longer than the rest of the country. We were so pleasantly surprised and had a wonderful time. BGW is an amazing park and it is so beautiful.

From Terry O'Neal
Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:37 PM
at BGW, you should check out Apollo's Chariot, move around to DarKastle, then hit Alpengeist, then Griffon. Alpengeist and Apollo are two of my favorite rides anywhere. Then take the skyway from France for a unique view in between the coasters. Celtic Fyre is great for a show, Europe in the Air is good, and the Loch Ness Monster is cool. Mach Tower is rumored to be opening this weekend, but they may be running it early, barring any other setbacks.

At King's D, the previous posters were right. Intimidator 305, Flight of Fear, Volcano and Avalanche are all great. Grizzly is a smooth for a ride that old, and I suggest it. Also, for an interesting take on a flying trapeze ride, Flying Eagles is there. I like it as a change of pace. Drop Tower is huge.

From Will Chilcote
Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:55 PM
take lots of sunscreen and wear it. There is no shade at KD. Wear walking shoes and not flip flips but i would recommend taking shoes that can get wet. BG is built on a series of steep hills u will be tired. Both parks have several good water rides. KD's raft ride is one of the best outside of orlando or California. I haven't been to either in about 8 years but, I grew up in the DC area and have been to both more times than I can count. BG is still one of my favorite theme parks.

From Caroline Davis
Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM
No Saturdays for me. :)

Thanks for all the advice everyone. It is duly noted and very appreciated. Keep rolling if you care to. I'm flying out tomorrow but 2 out of 3 of the hotels I'm going to have free wireless.

From Tom Rigg
Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:00 AM
I come from the other side of the camp from the first replies. I have a season pass at BG and only visit KD maybe once or twice a year. I disagree about the inferiority of BG's coasters, at least in the case of Apollo's Chariot. It is absolutely a MUST DO. The best coaster I've ever been on. It's not the tallest or fastest and it doesn't invert, but it is a wonderful ride. Also make sure to check out some of the rides that many other parks have lost over the year's that BG has kept: the sky ride, the train, etc. Also, the log flume at BG is really great.

As for KD, I was there this past weekend. I had 19 students in tow. We showed up at noon and rode everything we wanted. They are right about the lines for Volcano and Flight of Fear. I personally think Volcano is a snooze. Its got a neat launch at the beginning followed by 1 1/2 minutes of forgettable track. On the other hand, Flight of Fear is possibly the best coaster they have in the park.

The other ride that gets a long line quickly is White Water Canyon. And like a poster above said, its one of the best raft rides outside of Orlando. It opens at noon and you should try and get there right when it opens or you are likely to wait 45 - 60 mins.

The wooden coasters at KD are great. The grizzly will rattle the fillings out of your head, but its a classic. The Hurler is pretty standard, but the first drop and turn are a lot of fun. The Rebel Yell is an out and back racing coaster with a lot of history. ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) was founded on the Rebel Yell. And best of all, there is almost never a wait for the woodies. Often you can just stay on and ride again.

My only other two pieces of advice are this:

AT KD there is only a Burger King and a Denny's off the exit so if you want to eat a meal outside of the park, I suggest driving 1 exit south to Hanover and there is plenty there.

At BG there is a great selection of food down Rt. 60. Also, if you are into it, I would check out the Yankee Candle Store in Williamsburg, its waaay more than Candles, and just a neat place

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted June 15, 2011 at 9:41 PM
How was your trip? I was also there this past weekend. Busch Gardens on 6/10 and Kings Dominion on 6/13.

I got in a ton of rides. Friday was kind of brutal until the rain. Monday was almost perfect.

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