Busch Gardens Illuminights Williamsburg VA – Best Amusement Park in the World

Map of Busch Gardens

One of the most memorable quotes we heard during this trip was when one of the kids shouted

“This is the best summer ever!”. The kid’s not wrong. In fact he’s absolutely right and Busch Gardens is in fact voted as one of the best amusement park in the world! And here’s the reason why…

Map of Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA
Map of Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA

1. Huge. The whole place is huge! It has separated itself into different regions using names of different countries. Hence, as you enter a “different country” you will see a change in the “theme”. These countries include Germany, France, Italy, Scotland, England and Ireland.

2. Wild Crazy Exciting Rides! There is no shortfall of rollercoasters at this amusement park. Boasting some of the wildest rides, even the names of these rides at Busch Gardens makes one stand in awe. The famous rides include Alpengeist, Loch Ness Monster and Griffon. If you want some wet rides, head for the Roman Rapids and Escape from Pompeii at Italy.

3. Fun for the whole family There is pretty much something for everyone here at Busch Gardens. For the kids, there’s Sesame Street Forest of Fun where you can meet all your favourite Sesame Street characters such as Big Bird, Ernie, Bert and Elmo. For those who fear the rides, there are performances all over the park. As Kate has some fear for the rides, we pretty much covered all of the performances in Busch Gardens. As for food, you can savour all the different delicacies from the different countries. So there’s really pretty much something for everyone here at Busch Gardens.

As Kate and I drove for our weekend getaway at Busch Gardens, we pretty much anticipated it with excitement because of the excellent reviews from our friends. As we arrived at Busch Gardens, we pretty much anticipated free parking. However, to our dismay, the parking costs $13USD per day!

The price of the admission tickets to Busch Gardens was about $65USD per adult. This translates to about $80 SGD but is totally worth it and you will see why.

The queue was relatively short as we timed our arrival to the opening of the park.

Entrance to Busch Gardens
Entrance to Busch Gardens

Souvenir Shops at Busch Gardens
Souvenir Shops at Busch Gardens

We ventured into one of the many souvenir shops and saw the miniature of the Griffon roller coaster ride.

Miniature of Griffon Roller Coaster
Miniature of Griffon Roller Coaster

The Actual Griffon Roller Coaster
The Actual Griffon Roller Coaster

Kate and I headed first to the Sesame Street Forest of Fun re-live our childhood memories!

Sesame Street Forest of Fun @ Busch Gardens
Sesame Street Forest of Fun @ Busch Gardens

We were just in time for the performance by the Sesame Street Characters and we even got to have photos with Big Bird and Ernie.

Sesame Characters performing at Forest of Fun Busch Gardens
Sesame Characters performing at Forest of Fun Busch Gardens

As we’re afraid of rides with “too much excitement”, we took the Elmo “mini giant drop” (See the Elmo King in the background) as well as the Oscar wormy ride, sort of like a Viking for the kids…

Oscar Viking Ride
Oscar Viking Ride

The most exciting ride we had for the day was Escape from Pompeii. It’s actually like a log ride that brings you through the ruins of pompeii (complete with fire and everything). Then as you finally “break out” of the darkness and as the window panel opens, you see light but you’ll also be able to see the far distance, there’s when you know you’re dropping down!!!

Dropping down from the Escape from Pompeii
Dropping down from the Escape from Pompeii

To save on the walking, Kate and I decided to cover the park via the “skytrain” which circles round the whole park. There’s even a river in the middle of the park!

All aboard for the Train ride round Busch Gardens
All aboard for the Train ride round Busch Gardens

La Belle Maison in
La Belle Maison in “France” as seen from the Train

Escape from Pompeii as seen from the Train
Escape from Pompeii as seen from the Train

After circling round the park within 20 minutes, we decided to have an early lunch at “Germany” where Kate and I shared the Das Alpine sandwich which was huge! The sweet tea was not that fantastic though. Both Kate and I thought that the portion was huge enough to share as we noticed many tables not being able to finish their food. So share and dont waste food!! There was also live performances put up by the actors similar to that of Oktoberfest!

Inside Das Festhaus in
Inside Das Festhaus in “Germany”

Queuing up for food
Queuing up for food

A Beer Garden
A Beer Garden

Das Alpine Sandwich at Busch Gardens
Das Alpine Sandwich at Busch Gardens

Oktoberfest Performance
Oktoberfest Performance

Oktoberfest Performance II
Oktoberfest Performance II

The performance was really professional. The musicians played really well and brought the audience alive with its lively music. The performers were able to do traditional Bavarian dances and some acrobatics that really engaged the audience. Of course the singers were great as well.

As we headed out of the festival house, we saw the haunted house – Curse of the Darkastle!

Curse of the Darkastle at Busch Gardens
Curse of the Darkastle at Busch Gardens

There was also a Carousel as well as a “Land of the Dragons” in “Germany”

Carousel in
Carousel in “Germany”

Land of the Dragons in Busch Gardens
Land of the Dragons in Busch Gardens

We then headed to “Ireland” where we caught a musical as well as some street Buskers

Intricately designed structures at Busch Gardens
Intricately designed structures at Busch Gardens

Irish Musical
Irish Musical

Song and Dance at
Song and Dance at “Ireland”

Again, the performance was excellent. The singers and dancers did really well. Particularly enjoyed the tap dancing portion :)

Busking in the Hot Mid Day Sun
Busking in the Hot Mid Day Sun

In order to cool off, Kate and I decided to head to “Italy” for the Roman Rapids. Unfortunately, we cant show pictures of the ride as the ride was really wet and drenched our whole body. But it was really refreshing especially when the weather was 35 degrees celcius!

Then we headed for the last performance of the day at Teatro Di San Marco and saw a vibrant performance of singing and well synchronised dancing.

Teatro Di San Marco at Busch Gardens
Teatro Di San Marco at Busch Gardens

Well Choreographed and Synchronised Movements
Well Choreographed and Synchronised Movements

However, what really made the tickets worth it was because in the summer, 2 things happens. It is called Illuminights because there was fireworks display as the amusement park closes. In addition, there would be guest performers and this week, we happen to catch The Bangles!!

Open Air Concert - The Bangles
Open Air Concert – The Bangles

The Bangles performing Manic Monday
The Bangles performing Manic Monday

The Bangles still looking young!
The Bangles still looking young!

It was really nice to reminisence in hits such as Manic Monday and Eternal Flame. The Bangles still looked like there’re in their 30s eventhough quick calculations tell us they should be more like in their 50s.

Overall, Kate and I thoroughly enjoyed the day and given the chance again, we would definitely head to Busch Gardens and discover it all over again. Perhaps this time we would conquer Alpengeist , Loch Ness Monster and Griffon! :)

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