Busch Gardens Williamsburg Touring Plan Request

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
DC's rush hour gets underway before 6am and wanes around 10am. Then it gets going again in full force around 3pm and will last until usually 7 or 8. 11am to 1pm is generally a good time to get around on the interstates without hassle, unless there's an accident or construction then all bets are off.
Thanks

Ann
 

KBO

New member

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
Thanks. This ride looks like it is going to be rough for me. I like the restraints that come down over your shoulders. Do you feel secure with the Y restraint? I handled rip rocket over in universal so I hope I can handle AC. I guess I will close my eyes and hold on for dear life.:RpS_tongue:

Ann
 

Enjoralas

New member
Thanks. This ride looks like it is going to be rough for me. I like the restraints that come down over your shoulders. Do you feel secure with the Y restraint? I handled rip rocket over in universal so I hope I can handle AC. I guess I will close my eyes and hold on for dear life.:RpS_tongue:

Ann
Apollos Chariot has far more "airtime" than any coaster you will have been on at Disney or Universal. If that's not a sensation you'll enjoy, push the bar down good and hang on to the handles. The pad that sits on your lap has substantial, well placed handles for holding on.

As far as a touring plan, I would head to Griffon first because it will likely be the first thing open besides Loch Ness. After that I would go straight to Verbolten, even walking past Alpengeist and DarKastle to get there, unless they open Germany in stages. If all of Germany opens together, Verbolten is the priority because the capacity is lesser. Alpengeist, Apollo and Griffon are people eaters, and can move the lines like no one's business. If Germany proper opens before the Oktoberfest section, by all means hit Alpengeist on the way by.

After Verbolten, I would hit Mach Tower since it's right there, and again, low capacity. Head back the way you came and hit DarKastle and Alpie if you bypassed. By this time it might be time for lunch and you are right between Trappers Smokehouse (my choice) and Festhaus, probably the consensus two best choices for eats although the Italian joint is pretty good too. I recommend picking up some pre-paid meal vouchers from the parks website:

http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg/book-online/extras/diningdeals/

The wife and I usually buy two platinum certificates, which get you an entree, two sides/dessert and a regular drink. We usually split lunch at Trappers, getting the sampler platter (includes 1/4 chicken, couple slices of brisket, 2-3 ribs I think, a roll and some waffle fries) and then add an order of the fried pickles and a dessert. BGW had som GREAT desserts. As you can see, the dining certificates are a very good value for the money. We then use the other cert for dinner at either Festhaus or the Italitan, doing something similar with the sampler platter from either place.

After lunch head toward Italy. If I were at Trappers I would go back the way I came, and hit Loch Ness on the way. Move into Italy and hit up Apollos Chariot. If you're into getting wet, Roman Rapids and Escape from Pompeii are both worth riding. Re-ride any coasters that you liked (they're all pretty good) and fill in with shows and other rides. The shows are all well reviewed as well. One think we like to do is visit the Lorikeet Glen over past Ireland, and spring for the little cup of nectar that brings the birds right to you. It is a potential poop zone though.

Some other tips: The front is definitely worth waiting for on Griffon. The front is also great on Apollo, but the back is even better for airtime. The train is worth riding and a good way to make it across the park if you're looking to take a break. Same goes for the skyride. The middle path through the park is generally to be avoided unless you want to go down there and take the Rhine River Cruise. It's a steep hill on one side, and steep stairs on the other. The routes through Ireland and Italy are much easier.
 

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
Apollos Chariot has far more "airtime" than any coaster you will have been on at Disney or Universal. If that's not a sensation you'll enjoy, push the bar down good and hang on to the handles. The pad that sits on your lap has substantial, well placed handles for holding on.

As far as a touring plan, I would head to Griffon first because it will likely be the first thing open besides Loch Ness. After that I would go straight to Verbolten, even walking past Alpengeist and DarKastle to get there, unless they open Germany in stages. If all of Germany opens together, Verbolten is the priority because the capacity is lesser. Alpengeist, Apollo and Griffon are people eaters, and can move the lines like no one's business. If Germany proper opens before the Oktoberfest section, by all means hit Alpengeist on the way by.

After Verbolten, I would hit Mach Tower since it's right there, and again, low capacity. Head back the way you came and hit DarKastle and Alpie if you bypassed. By this time it might be time for lunch and you are right between Trappers Smokehouse (my choice) and Festhaus, probably the consensus two best choices for eats although the Italian joint is pretty good too. I recommend picking up some pre-paid meal vouchers from the parks website:

http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg/book-online/extras/diningdeals/

The wife and I usually buy two platinum certificates, which get you an entree, two sides/dessert and a regular drink. We usually split lunch at Trappers, getting the sampler platter (includes 1/4 chicken, couple slices of brisket, 2-3 ribs I think, a roll and some waffle fries) and then add an order of the fried pickles and a dessert. BGW had som GREAT desserts. As you can see, the dining certificates are a very good value for the money. We then use the other cert for dinner at either Festhaus or the Italitan, doing something similar with the sampler platter from either place.

After lunch head toward Italy. If I were at Trappers I would go back the way I came, and hit Loch Ness on the way. Move into Italy and hit up Apollos Chariot. If you're into getting wet, Roman Rapids and Escape from Pompeii are both worth riding. Re-ride any coasters that you liked (they're all pretty good) and fill in with shows and other rides. The shows are all well reviewed as well. One think we like to do is visit the Lorikeet Glen over past Ireland, and spring for the little cup of nectar that brings the birds right to you. It is a potential poop zone though.

Some other tips: The front is definitely worth waiting for on Griffon. The front is also great on Apollo, but the back is even better for airtime. The train is worth riding and a good way to make it across the park if you're looking to take a break. Same goes for the skyride. The middle path through the park is generally to be avoided unless you want to go down there and take the Rhine River Cruise. It's a steep hill on one side, and steep stairs on the other. The routes through Ireland and Italy are much easier.
Thank you so much for this information. Very helpful.

The air time is what scares me the most. I can deal with speed, loops and twists and turns but when my butt is coming off the seat and I feel like I am going to fly out it freaks me out some. But if I can pull the restraint down tight and hold on for dear life hopefully I will be good. I at least have to give it a try.

Ann
 

loveysbydesign

New member
following along as we have yet to get to BG. I didn't realize they had food and wine festival there or we may have gone this year to try it ;) Found out about it but there were only 2 weekends left and we had no $$$ to go!
I haven't been there since I was 10 y.o.
 

DisneyMom

Nice grab; this username is going to be worth more
Are you back yet Ann? Any good tips? We go soon.
I think the OP may still be on his trip - sounded like a long trip, starting late July.
 

GrandCanyon

New member
Will post more tonight, but we just went yesterday and our longest (and only wait) was 2 minutes ... for the ladies bathroom, haha. We did every ride and every show, other than Sesame Street stuff and the fireworks and we were walking out of the park at 6:30. Walked 7.38 miles (10, 000+ steps) according to my Fitbit. Details tonight, but for now: there at ropedrop, lunch at 11:30, dinner at 4:00 ... only thing we did not do as we normally tour was take an afternoon break ... only because we were only there for 1 day and had never been before.
 

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
Are you back yet Ann? Any good tips? We go soon.
I think the OP may still be on his trip - sounded like a long trip, starting late July.
Yes we are back and had a great time. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites Central. Very convenient to both BG and CW. Do not buy the quick queue ahead of time if you planned too. Lines were very manageable. I was shocked how little we waited. Our first day we arrived at BG around 3pm and were able to do a few of the coasters with very little wait. Verbolten had the longest wait and it was probably about 15 mins. We ate dinner at Trappers Smokehouse and it was nasty. I know people say it's good but we didn't find it so. Me and DD got the ribs sampler and the spare ribs were uneatable. They only gave a few waffle fries. DH and DS got the smokehouse sampler and it wasn't great either. Would never go back to eat there. Didn't eat anywhere else during our times at BG. Looked at Fest Haus but DS16 and DD18 would not eat most of what they offered. We did find the refillable mugs were worth it. We had a bag and glasses/sunglasses with us so we had to use the lockers anyway so carrying the mugs around was no big deal. If you plan to bring in bags you have to use the lockers. They are very strict about loose items on the coasters. Sunglasses can be worn but they have to be worn on your face not your head. Flip flops are put to the side of the ride. The lockers use 3 tokens which is equivalent to $1. There are token machines located near the lockers. They accept either $1 bills or $5 bills.

For our full BG day we arrived at the tollbooth at 9:25am and they were not letting cars through. They held us there until 9:45am. Not sure this is the norm or not. Then we were put in one of the further parking lots. I thought being one of the first they would have us in a closer parking lot but that didn't happen. We took the tram. They have a quick bag check and do a fingerprint scan with your ticket. Once in the park we headed to Griffon which we rode 4 times in a row with no wait at all. We then headed over to Alpengeist and it still wasn't open so back to Griffon we went and rode again with little to no wait. Then headed to Alpengeist and it was open with no wait. I had a tour plan but basically chucked it and we just did whatever we wanted. We left the park for lunch because we were not thrilled with any of the food offerings. We went to Oceans and Ale and had a nice quiet meal there. Stopped at the Food Lion next door to pick up some adult beverages for the room. Dropped off the beverages and headed back to BG. We stayed there until about 8:30pm. We did not stay for the fireworks.

I did find the park very disorienting. Even trying to follow the map was difficult. Some of the paths didn't look like major pathways. They kind of looked like they went behind a building. After while we got a little better idea of the lay of the land. We did feel like we walked a lot. The place is a bit hilly. We did 2 of the water rides. Not the log flume. We got soaked on both. I was good at first on Escape from Pompeii until someone got me with one of the water canons.

One day we had planned to go to BG in the morning, take a break and then go shopping and take a ghost tour at Colonial Williamsburg. We woke at 7:30am and it was pouring and thundering and lightening. We turned the alarm off and went back to sleep. Woke and got changed and headed out for breakfast. Normally we just grab something in the room or at the hotel free breakfast. We headed to Five Forks Cafe. It's a small hole in the wall type place but it got good reviews and it did not disappoint. We had a nice tasty breakfast. After this we headed to the Yankee Candle flagship store. It was not what I was expecting. It had the candles but had all these other shops as well-housewares, christmas stuff ect. Then we went to BG around 1pm and again lines were very manageable. We stopped in at Fest Haus for a break at some point and DH got a beer while DS, DD and myself just relaxed,drank some soda and watched Oktoberfest show. We checked the radar and there was rain coming. We tried to make it to Italy because DD wanted gelato but it started pouring so back into Fest Haus we went and got dessert there. It cleared up and we did a few more rides and then high tailed it out of the park because a nasty storm was on it's way. We got five guys and brought it back to our hotel room and had a relaxing evening with burgers, beer and mikes hard lemonade.:RpS_thumbup:

We did Colonial Williamsburg as well. Definitely go with a plan or you will miss a lot of stuff. I used the events planner on the Colonial Williamsburg website where you can enter the date you will be there and it will show what is going on and the times. I tried to have us not criss crossing the place because it is big. We arrived a little later then planned due to 1 bathroom and 2 teenagers. :RpS_rolleyes: We did the palace tour and got out too late for Storming of the Palace. We got back on track and were able to accomplish everything we wanted. We ate lunch at Shields Tavern and it was very enjoyable. It opens at 11:30 and we got there at 11:15 where they were taking names. We were taken in right at 11:30 and had a table downstairs in the basement. It was a very nice atmosphere. At some point during the meal a violinist came around. We liked the food and would definitely return here again in the future. Be sure to check what is open. While doing research I had looked at Kings Arm Tavern and then realized it was closed on Wednesdays which was when we would be there. Not everything is open every day. It seemed liked they closed certain things on certain days. Our CW day was so hot and humid. 94 Degrees real feel of 102. CW definitely requires more then 1 day to see and do everything so I made sure to pick out the things we wanted to do most. When arriving at CW there is free parking and you can take the shuttle or the walking path to get to the Revoluntionary city. We always walked. It is a pleasant walk. The path goes by Great Hopes Plantation which was closed our first day at CW but open on our last day.

Our departure day we went back to CW and got to see Storming of the Palace which we missed the one day. Then we went and shopped at Merchant Square and had lunch at DOG Street pub. Good food nice atmosphere. Then it was time for our 6 hour drive home.

I'll try to answer any questions if I can.

Ann
 

runDisneygirl

Well-known member
Regarding CW, it sounds like you purchased the tickets, yes? I think that's the only way you get inside the buildings. I see your kids are older than mine, were they bored with the history aspect? Mine are 12, 10, and 7. 12yo is somewhat interested in history, but I don't think it would last longer than an hour before she got bored too. I'm thinking to skip the tickets to enter buildings and simply walk around, shop and eat, and see the free things they do outdoors. There's 5 of us, so it'd be very expensive and I'm thinking not worth it.
Glad to hear you enjoyed Shields Tavern as I'm thinking of that for lunch as well, seeing as how it'll be the only way we get to go inside a building! (besides the stores) DoG street pub is on my list as well!
Did you end up doing the Ghost Tour? And if yes, which one? I'm thinking of doing that too, but it can't be an extreme one due to the younger kids.

Thanks!
 

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
Regarding CW, it sounds like you purchased the tickets, yes? I think that's the only way you get inside the buildings. I see your kids are older than mine, were they bored with the history aspect? Mine are 12, 10, and 7. 12yo is somewhat interested in history, but I don't think it would last longer than an hour before she got bored too. I'm thinking to skip the tickets to enter buildings and simply walk around, shop and eat, and see the free things they do outdoors. There's 5 of us, so it'd be very expensive and I'm thinking not worth it.
Glad to hear you enjoyed Shields Tavern as I'm thinking of that for lunch as well, seeing as how it'll be the only way we get to go inside a building! (besides the stores) DoG street pub is on my list as well!
Did you end up doing the Ghost Tour? And if yes, which one? I'm thinking of doing that too, but it can't be an extreme one due to the younger kids.

Thanks!
Yes we purchased a bounce ticket which allowed us to bounce between Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. DD will be starting college this fall as a history major. She is specifically interested in US history so this was right up her alley. We did the Public Audience with a Founding Father and the speaker was Thomas Jefferson…DD's favorite founding father so she was in her glory and got her picture taken with him. DS liked it too and will be having an AP US history class this year so this was good for him too. We basically closed CW down. We were there from opening to close and never got bored. I think at the ages your kids are at my kids would have probably been bored. We took them when they were younger and they had no interest in any of the history stuff. If you think your kids would be bored then I wouldn't buy the tickets. Check out the events calendar on the CW site to see what activities are available without a ticket. We did not end up doing the ghost tour but I had done my research and the Tavern Ghost Walk is the one you want to do. It is the better of the two tours and family friendly.

Ann
 

DisneyMom

Nice grab; this username is going to be worth more
Thanks so much Ann for the detail - all great info.
I haven't been able to get my head in the planning like I normally do because of a bunch of things going on and feel very unorganized for this trip and it's stressing me out.
Was it you posted an itinerary for CW on Tripadvisor? I've been reading the forums there but posting more in the DC one as we're spending time there too. I may borrow that plan as a starter.
We will probably only have 2.5 days in Williamsburg because the boys want to do a ball game and there is only one we can make.
Good to hear about short lines at BG. We are maybe going to do the fireworks cruise there. Have you heard good or bad about it?
Again - thanks so much - very helpful!
 

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
Thanks so much Ann for the detail - all great info.
I haven't been able to get my head in the planning like I normally do because of a bunch of things going on and feel very unorganized for this trip and it's stressing me out.
Was it you posted an itinerary for CW on Tripadvisor? I've been reading the forums there but posting more in the DC one as we're spending time there too. I may borrow that plan as a starter.
We will probably only have 2.5 days in Williamsburg because the boys want to do a ball game and there is only one we can make.
Good to hear about short lines at BG. We are maybe going to do the fireworks cruise there. Have you heard good or bad about it?
Again - thanks so much - very helpful!
If the itinerary on trip advisor was long then that was me.:RpS_smile: Just make sure to check times for things on the events planner for CW in case they change times up.

I have not heard whether the fireworks cruise was good or not. I did see that a good viewing area is the bridge between Italy and Oktoberfest and the bridge below Lochness is good too. If you decide to get the refillable mugs at CW the refills are free as opposed to BG which the refills I think are 99 cents for soft drinks but you can get slushies too for a little more money. With the CW mugs you can get soft serve ice-cream, root beer slushies and lemonade slushies or make a root beer float with the soft serve ice-cream plus root beer soda for free. You can get the slushies/soft serve at Dubois Grocery. I believe the map you get at visitors center has a symbol where you can get refills. DD loved the refillable mugs from CW because they had a tricorn hat as the top.

Oh also want to point out we had to wait a decent amount of time to get on Lochness and it was not worth it. We all hated that ride. It was like space mountain on steroids. My head and neck got rattled around. It was very rough and if we ever went back we would skip that ride.

At BG they handle getting on the ride vehicles so much differently then Disney. It is kind of a free for all. There was no one there asking how many people and then telling you which line to go into. Some of the 2 seater rides we weren't even sure if we would be on the same ride with the 4 of us.

Ann
 

runDisneygirl

Well-known member
Thanks for the info Ann!! And CW has refillable mugs too? Sold. I love the history part, but I think I'll have to just give it up for this trip and go with the kids' flow. That's OK though. We can always return.

Lochness is still there, huh? I rode that 35 years ago and didn't like it either. Of course I was only 5 at the time and was dragged onto it....
 

vatmark

wears a coca-cola shirt to club cool just in case
Thanks for the info Ann!! And CW has refillable mugs too? Sold. I love the history part, but I think I'll have to just give it up for this trip and go with the kids' flow. That's OK though. We can always return.

Lochness is still there, huh? I rode that 35 years ago and didn't like it either. Of course I was only 5 at the time and was dragged onto it....
The kids will appreciate CW more when they are older.

One thing I found very interesting at CW is that all the people in costume throughout CW stay in character the whole time. They talk to you as though you are of that time period. They can not come out of character. For many of the outside things they stage people throughout the crowd of visitors there watching and they make comments and talk to each other as though this stuff is really happening. Throughout the place they have people just going about life as if they were in colonial times.

Ann
 

GrandCanyon

New member
We are on day four of a twelve day trip that started with the Revolution in Williamsburg, now in DC uniting these great states, and culminating in New York with Newsies, Aladdin, and Les Mis (not sure where that fits into the birth of America); ha. Party consists of family (53, 53, 24, and 19 … all lifelong Disney enthusiasts). In Williamsburg, we stayed at Wyndham Governors Green in a 3-Bedroom Deluxe … same thing in DC, very nice. I think I previously said that we went to Busch on a Monday, but we were actually there on a Sunday.

We arrived in the car line at 9:30 … swing over to the right of the bell curve to get the car through the gate, paid for platinum parking (only because you get parked faster and closer). In short, we did everything, and were out of the park at 6:30. We bought four Platinum Dining cards, and split two meals. 11:35ish at Trappers Smokehouse, “disgusting” was a nice word for it … broke two plastic knives trying to saw into the ribs. At 4:00, we went to the Festhaus and the food was the dog-gone same thing, only they called the sausage a German sausage … but it looked like the same sausage we had at Trappers. I did get some good red cabbage, but that was all. The four platinum dining cards, for four people, was too much food … mediocre food.

We started with Loch Ness, then worked our way counter clockwise (if that’s to the right) doing every roller-coaster … got to Germany and it hadn’t opened, so we waited ten minutes, and then continued working around the rest of the park. “All” the roller coasters were walk-ons … and our choice of first row or last row, or any row. We only had to use lockers twice, and they were just $1 and right by the coasters where we needed them. The longest wait we really had was for the women’s restroom, and it was only three minutes.

Shows were just okay … but the Celtic show was the most enjoyable, I would see it again. We were all done at 6:30, and didn’t care to stay for the fireworks. We’re glad we went one day, but wouldn’t want to spend two+ days there. We were active … walked seven miles, but we’re all about walking, no lines, and enjoying the park.

We wanted to eat at Oceans and Ale, but couldn’t find anyone that had ever heard of it, but we did eat at a “FANTASTIC” restaurant – “Food for Thought”—it was outstanding!!!

We did Colonial Williamsburg the next day, followed everything right off the Website and their brochure … the only difference was that we were able to tour the Randolph House at 9:00, and then still had time to go to the restroom and make it over to the storming of the palace. We followed the gaggle of people from reenactment to reenactment, dropping into shops along the way … ate lunch at King’s Arms Tavern at 11:30, right when they opened, and then left after they went to York.

Other than that, we did the Yankee Candle store … a “lot” of candles, and shopped.

I way over thought Busch Gardens … no touring plan needed if you get there at rope-drop, eat lunch at 11:45 and dinner at 5:45 (or 4:00 in this case). We do that in every park we go to, and when vacationing out … has worked for us all the time … even at Disney World on New Year’s Eve.

Gotta go ... a presidential appointment awaits us in the morning.
 

GrandCanyon

New member
Oh, and by the way ... about being the "prettiest Amusement park" ... I would agree with that. The flower beds, and attentiveness was just as good as Disney, but Disney will "never" have all the trees that Virginia has ... and the trees do make it a very beautiful park. AND we were also glad that it wasn't flat, hilly was enjoyable and also added to the beauty.
 

DisneyMom

Nice grab; this username is going to be worth more
Ann - the itinerary was long. :) The amount of detail (typical of an easyWDW planner) and name (Ann) tipped me off. :) Good to know about the refillable mugs at CW. Especially with that heat - yikes. We did California last August and I was worried about the heat, this will be a whole different level I think.
GrandCanyon - thanks - I've got lots of great tips to file away! Glad to hear from you too that I don't really need much of a plan.

With 2.5 days - I'm thinking we should be doing 1.5 at CW and 1 at BG based on both of your feedback.
 

GrandCanyon

New member
Howdy DisneyMom, I would do Colonial Williamsburg first, and then spend your extra time at Busch. If I was going to spend more than one day, it would be at Busch. Colonial Williamsburg, we love, but it's basically ... watch reenactment, walk to the next reenactment, sit, wait, watch, shop, and then repeat that process throughout the day. Here's our one day at Colonial Williamsburg:

9:00 Tour Powell House (30 minutes)
10:00 Storming of The Palace (10 minutes)
11:00 - 11:30 Response to The Crisis
11:30 - 12:30 King's Arms Tavern
1:00 - Declaration of Independence (15 minutes)
2:00 - Order in The Court (30 minutes of funniness ... love it)
3:00 - Meet a Nation Builder (come-n-go)
4:00 - A Public Audience With a Founding Father (come-n-go)
5:00 - On to York Town

Other than that, we make a point to step inside Bruton Epicopal Church, and the William & Mary College bookstore, and buy 1 pound of fine-grind coffee from Aroma's for the condo.

In between, we go into the various shops, look at stuff, and then call it a day. If I was going to spend another half day in the Colonial neck of the woods, I think I would drive down the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown, but we've not actually done that and it might take more than a half day. We drove part of the way, and it was very beautiful.
 
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