As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
I remember visiting Busch Gardens as a teenager. That trip stuck with me because my mom actually rode the Loch Ness Monster on that trip and I couldn’t believe it! Several years later, Brian and I visited on our honeymoon trip to Williamsburg (and I got really sick on The Big Bad Wolf, which no longer exists). Our next trip was 10 years later when we introduced our 2 little girls to the park. It’s been about 15 years since that last visit, and we thought it was high time for a return visit to Busch Gardens!PSA: Don't go to a timeshare presentation for free tickets. Buy Your Tickets! #totallyworthit #notimeforthatClick To Tweet
We visited on a Sunday in early September. Our longest wait was the wait to get through the parking turnstiles (and, as it turns out, it was worth the wait because we got free parking! We’re still not sure why.)
Fill fall nights with fright at Busch Gardens ® Howl-O-Scream ® on select nights from Sept. 23 – Oct. 29, 2017. Guests can enjoy their favorite rides, roller coasters, attractions and fall décor during the day. Then, at 6 p.m. the park brings the spirit of Halloween to life, becoming home to a host of creepy creatures hungry for unsuspecting victims. Fear abounds in the Virginia theme park’s collection of elaborate haunted houses, immersive themed Terror-tories ™, and darkly entertaining live shows. It’s a spooky holiday experience you won’t want to miss.
Guests should consider the park’s elevated scare factor when deciding whether Howl-O-Scream is appropriate for young children. Please be advised that some of our spooky decorations are visible during the day, but our scare actors, dim lighting and fog will not start until 6 p.m.
I’m not a huge fan of Halloween and scary things, but the Howl-O-Scream events take place at night. During the day, the decorations are cute and fun to look at. Please take the above into consideration if you are planning to visit this fall!
For kids, they are offering a fun, less-spooky Halloween alternative:
This year, we’re offering a Halloween event just for kids. Every weekend in October, children 9 and younger are encouraged to come dressed in their best Halloween costume to dance and play with their favorite Sesame Street ® friends Elmo, Cookie Monster and more at The Count’s Spooktacular at Busch Gardens ® Williamsburg. Kid-friendly rides, family activities and trick-or-treating will be offered around the park for kids to celebrate the fall season.
Make sure to stop by our Height Check Stations in England to find out what rides your child can enjoy. You will also receive information about this event, including show times, trick-or-treat locations & more.
This daytime event runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from October 7 – 29.
Italy & Festa Italia
For this trip, Gracie was getting around via wheelchair, due to being sick all summer. (Thankfully, she’s finally on the mend!) We would have all loved to ride Pompeii, but being that it’s fall now, we thought it would be a little too chilly to get soaked. Notice, there weren’t a ton of people crazy enough to ride! It certainly was fun to watch, though, and I’d definitely give this ride a spin in the hot summer months!
Ian and Ashley enjoyed riding The Battering Ram, and Brian joined Ian for The Trade Wind (he complained about a spinning ride, but when I tried to take a picture, he was smiling and laughing – to me, that says it all!)
We entered the Oktoberfest and, right away, Ashley drug Ian into the line for Verbolten. We thought it looked like a fairly mild roller coaster, but they were in a for a big surprise! Apparently, the ride enters a dark area where it stops and then suddenly drops a few stories! Ashley said that Ian screamed bloody murder and clung to her for the rest of the ride. LOL I wish I’d have that on video!
After that, Ian enjoyed a ride on the Mach Tower while Ashley and I found a nice, adult beverage to share. It even came in a fun souvenir cup (plastic) that we saved and brought home with us. Yummy and refreshing on a sunny afternoon.
We were hoping to take a trip to the haunted house – Curse of Darkastle – but it was closed when we were there (I think they were preparing it for Howl-O-Scream).
By this time in our visit, Ian was willingly walking onto the lines for roller coasters! He definitely gave Alpengeist a big thumbs up. In fact, he said it was his favorite ride of the day. Brian, Gracie, and I waited and watched for them and we were happy to a few lazy minutes to sit and relax.Be sure to buy the refillable cup at @BuschGardensVA. #greatdeal #familytravel #familyvacation @HeidiSaysClick To Tweet
New France & France
We didn’t spend a lot of time in the France/Canada section of the park, but Brian and Ian did take the time to ride Le Catapult (which is like a merry mixer). The girls and I sat and people watched. I did use the bathroom in this section of the park and it was amazingly clean and I was impressed with the theming (so much so that I suggested the girls go to the bathroom too!)
The scents wafting from Trappers Smokehouse …. YUM! If the kids hadn’t already decided what they wanted for supper, we’d have definitely eaten here.
We also boarded the train here and took the full ride around the park – very relaxing and nice ride with lots to see along the way.
Gracie, Brian, and Ian rode the Skyride around the park, starting in France and going to England, Germany, and back. Ashley and I had quite a while to wait for them, so we bought delicious coffee drinks at Creamery de Chocolat (which was a Ghiradelli shop).
We split a few orders of specialty fries from Les Frites for supper, and washed them down with some yummy crepes for dessert.
The walk from France to Ireland was a LOT of hills and not so fun with the wheelchair, but we made it. We all enjoyed stopping to watch the wolves along the way. Ashley and I would have loved to eat at one of the dining options in Ireland, but the rest of the family had voted for the fries!
This section of the park seemed very decorated for the Halloween events, making it not my favorite portion of the park!
The kids were winding down and NOBODY was up for a trip on the Loch Ness Monster. I was a little disappointed as this was the only ride I really remembered from past visits! Oh well!
We did enjoy spending some time watching the Clydesdales. They are such beautiful creatures and one of my favorite things to see at all the Busch parks!
We enjoyed shopping a bit in the England section of the park. We each picked out a Busch Gardens pin for our pin collection.
Obviously, because my kids are older, we skipped the Sesame Street portion of the park (though it sure looked fun to me!)
We will definitely return for another visit next time we’re in the Williamsburg area. We very much enjoyed our day at Busch Gardens!