Let's talk tickets for Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Need some help finding the right package of tickets for a short trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens

From Robert Niles
Posted June 24, 2009 at 10:02 PM
Let's talk Williamsburg, shall we?

I'm trying to plan two and a half days in the the Williamsburg area, and I need to see Busch Gardens and Williamsburg, and would like to run over to see Jamestown and Yorktown as well.

However, trying to figure out tickets is driving me slightly mad.

Basically, I've got six potential admissions here:

  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Jamestown Settlement
  • Historic Jamestowne
  • Yorktown Battlefield
  • Yorktown Victory Center

    I can get a Bounce Pass to Busch Gardens and Williamsburg for $99.

    I can get a one-day ticket to Busch Gardens for $50 and a one-day ticket to Williamsburg for $36 ($41 if I include the Governor's Palace tour)

    I can get into Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield for $10. I'm inclined to do those, and skip the extra admissions to Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center, given my tight schedule and desire to see BG and Williamsburg first.

    I'm thinking I should go for the one-day BGE tix at $50 each and the one-day ticket to CW for $36 or $41, instead of the bounce pass, since I'm only there for two days. Assuming I do the Governor's tour, that's $344 for tickets for a family of four.

    Thoughts? Is this reasonable? Am I nuts? Is there a better option that I've overlooked? And is the Governor's Palace worth the extra $5?

    Thanks, as always.

    From Robert Niles
    Posted June 24, 2009 at 9:51 PM
    Just to throw more on y'all, let's hear your best one-day itinerary for BGW. Staring at park opening, of course. How long should I plan to spend there that day? (We're talking a Thursday in late July.)

    My must-do list:
    Apollo's Chariot
    Loch Ness Monster
    Curse of DarKastle
    Escape from Pompeii
    Emerald Beat

    My might-do list:
    Roman Rapids
    Le Scoot Log Flume
    Turkish Delight

    Suggestions welcomed.

    From James Rao
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 5:14 AM
    Robert, I went to Williamsburg for a week last year, during a time when schools were still in session and crowds were light, and as efficient of a planner as I am, it was impossible to accomplish everything on my list, a list that looked a lot like the one you are trying to accomplish in three days. Now, I am not saying you shouldn't shoot for the stars, but as the author of the FOUR HOUR TOUR, I think you will really be dragging your family around if you try to do everything you have listed above.

    You can accomplish the main attractions at BGW in a day if you work open to close and if crowds cooperate. However, you will need at least a day and a half to see and do everything.

    Colonial Williamsburg is a multi-day event, as there are different presentations and reenactments each day of the week, with the finale culminating in the announcement of WAR with the Brits. You can get a taste for the venue in a day, but your experience will be diminished and you will be left wanting. And yes, the Governor's Palace is worth the $$.

    The Yorktown Victory Center is very cool, and should not be missed. Nor should the Jamestown area (forget the actual site, the cool stuff like the fort and replica boats are all at the new site). We went to both Yorktown and Jamestown in one day, but ended up literally running through the Victory Center to try and accomplish everything.

    If you are only going to be in the area for what appears to be two and a half days, then just plan on BGW and Colonial Williamsburg. Get the Bounce pass and save Yorktown and Jamestown for another visit next year when you come back to the area for KD's new GIGA.

    As for a general touring plan for the theme park, I think the "STRATEGY" on the TPI page for BGW is very sound. There is a lot of backtracking in the plan, but it really does seem to be the most efficient way for you to visit the key attractions. To it I would add that you have to see a couple shows (Emerald Beat, for sure), visit the Animal area in the upper right corner of the park, and eat lunch at Das Festhaus for the A/C and the show. Furthermore, do NOT miss Big Bad Wolf. It is an excellent whole-family coaster and should be on your MUST DO list (it is also rumored to be on the "soon to be removed from the park" list, so ride it while you still can!). Also, if you are only going to ride Griffon, Apollo's Chariot, and Alpengeist once - go ahead and wait for the front row in each case. Furthermore, the attractions on your MIGHT DO list can be skipped, though the Log Ride is above average and Da Vinci's Cradle is a better option than Turkish Delight. Lastly, add Corkscrew Hill to your MUST DO list, as it is one of the most underrated attractions in the park and is one of the best simulator rides I have experienced.

    And be sure to check out the discussion threads I started last year before I went on my BGW Trip as they contain tons of very useful info about the entire Williamsburg area.

    From Robert Niles
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 12:04 PM
    I don't know how willing the rest of the family will be to do the big coasters at BGW. By that point, we will have visited Holiday World and Kings Island. If the coasters at those parks have warmed up the kids and the wife to bigger rides, then we'll all do the top coasters at BGW.

    If not, then I am on my own. And in that case, I'm leaning toward springing for the Quick Queue, and knocking off those coasters ASAP while the kids do stuff like the flume and the rapids.

    Does anyone have any insight on the various hourly capacities for BGW's top rides? Not the theoreticals, but what they actually do - based on number of trains, etc.

    From William Clark
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 12:27 PM
    When I eventually make it out to Worlds of Fun, I'm hiring James as our tour guide. That was an extensive review of Busch Williamsburg from year old memory. Impressive indeed.

    Front of the line pass to Red Baron Biplanes for you. ;)

    From James Rao
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 8:53 PM
    LOL. I remember everything as if it happened only yesterday! When you spend $3000 - $5000 on a trip to Williamsburg, you want to make sure to lock in those "good times"!

    Robert, you just made a good argument for including the Big Bad Wolf in your touring plan. It may be the only coaster your family is willing to ride after they are permanently scarred by The Voyage at Holiday World!

    And William, here is your touring plan for my local park:
    1) Ride Prowler
    2) Ride Mamba
    3) Ride Patriot (front row)
    4) Exit Park and enjoy the rest of your drive to wherever you were headed before you took a 60 minute pit stop at Worlds of Fun.

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