Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA ļ»æ- Your 2023 Insider's Guide

February 7, 2023

Always at the forefront of innovation, Busch Gardens has added exceptional new experiences for the 2020 amusement park season. From entertainment to thrills, the new attractions at Busch Gardens Williamsburg do not disappoint.

Stunning architecture, spellbinding nature, and European charm intersect seamlessly at one of Americaā€™s most beloved and beautiful theme parks: Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg. Consistently voted the ā€˜worldā€™s most beautiful theme parkā€™ since 1990, a vacation here means top-notch rides, exciting live entertainment, and exotic animal encounters.

Explore 383 acres of family-friendly paradise, as you meander through nine villages centered around six European countries. Whether you are searching for the adrenaline rush of Apolloā€™s ChariotĀ®, hankering for some schnitzel at Das Festhaus, or entertaining little ones in the Sesame StreetĀ® Forest, there is truly something for everyone at Williamsburg Busch Gardens, one of the best amusement parks in USA.

To make sure you donā€™t miss a moment of family fun, keep this official Insiderā€™s Guide to Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg handy and get ready to plan your trip!

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Tickets

Now that youā€™ve picked the perfect day to visit, itā€™s time to buy your Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg tickets.Ā 

We offer a variety of ticket options ranging from one-day park passes to two park three-day passes that include sister park, Water Country USA. If youā€™re planning a trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and on a more extended stay in historic Williamsburg, try bundling your activities and accommodations together with one of our Williamsburg vacation packages.Ā 

Who says family fun canā€™t be educational? Take a deep dive into Americaā€™s colonial history during your stay in Williamsburg, VA. Save money and seek out some of their very best attractions and entertainment, including Colonial Williamsburg and Americaā€™s Historic Triangle Pass.Ā 

guests on Alpengeist Inverted Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg virginiaWhen to Go

Unlike many other theme parks, Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg operates seasonally. This means that they are only open specific months of the year:

  • March - September
  • October - special hours for Howl O ScreamĀ 
  • November & December - for Christmas Town events

As always, we suggest double-checking the official Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg calendar before you visit the park. This way, you can keep up with any last-minute schedule changes or event updates. But if you happen to be in town and the theme park is closed for the season, you can always explore things to do near Busch Gardens VA!

Generally, if you want to experience the best day to visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg and avoid heavy crowds and long lines, we advise:

  • Visiting later in the season
  • Avoiding holidays, summer masses, and weekends
  • Arriving early, when the park first opens and the parking lot is still empty
  • Picking a cool(er) day to visit - dipping temperatures mean fewer crowds!
Close up photo of roller coaster seat at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
via Facebook

Park Strategy

While Busch Garden Williamsburg may not be as massive as some other theme parks (weā€™re looking at you, Mickey), it still pays to strategize your park visit. There is no Busch Gardens Williamsburg tours, but your own unique ā€˜park planā€™ will vary depending on if your group is more into spending time with Elmo in the Sesame StreetĀ® Forest of Fun or flying high in the sky with Finneganā€™s Flyer!

Our go to park strategy for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg Virginia consists of:

  • Arrive early, at least 15 minutes before the park opens
  • Hit the ā€˜big ridesā€™ first, when the lines are shortest (there isn't a super reliable Busch Gardens crowd calendar Williamsburg)
  • Take an early lunch as soon as restaurant dining opens
  • When the crowds thin in the late afternoon, hit any remaining rides or attractions you missed!

guests splashing through water on the Griffon Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, USABusch Gardens Williamsburg Quick Queue

If youā€™re anticipating your Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg visit coinciding with heavy crowds and long wait times, it could be helpful to invest in a Quick Queue pass. Quick Queue allows you to get to the thrill rides faster by allowing you one-day, single priority access to Busch Gardensā€™ most popular rides. No need to worry about Busch Gardens Williamsburg queue times and you can just focus on experiencing the best things to do at Busch Gardens Williamsburg! This is also the best option for saving time!

For a whole day of nonstop riding fun, you can even purchase an unlimited Quick Queue pass, which affords guests an entire day of unlimited priority access.

Popular Add ons

Want to take your Busch Gardens experience to the next level? Customize your very own theme park escapade with some of the most popular Busch GardenĀ® Williamsburg add-ons and upgrades.Ā 

Foodies and beer aficionados will flip for the All-Day Dining deal and Bier Fest Sampler. At the same time, animal lovers will appreciate getting up close and personal with their favorite critters on the Clydes & Collies Animal Tour.

Aerial view of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Busch Gardens Williamsburg via Facebook

Canā€™t Miss Experiences

Honestly, there is not much that can be missed at Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg! This humble park strikes the perfect balance of culture and family fun with its amazingly lush gardens, picturesque European villages, and exhilarating roller coasters.Ā 

However, if we had to whittle down our Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg greatest hits, we can never skip the best rides in Busch Gardens Williamsburg:

  • Loch Ness Monster (ride)
  • InvadR (ride)
  • Apolloā€™s Chariot (ride)
  • Griffon (ride)
  • Finneganā€™s Flyer (ride)
  • Verbolten (ride)
  • Food & Show at Das FesthausĀ 
  • Animal Encounters - the grey wolves by Ireland and the Clydesdales by Scotland

Busch Gardens New Ride Williamsburg

Whether this is your first or your fiftieth time visiting Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg, there is always a new ride, attraction, or show to enjoy. Even if you've already visited Busch Gardens Williamsburg, create new memories on your next trip with the newest additions to this esteemed park:

  • Tempesto (ride)
  • Battle of Aire (Virtual Reality ride)
  • Pantheon (ride) -Ā 
Wide shot of a roller coaster at Busch Gardens with the sun setting behind it in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Restaurants

A day of traveling and trekking all over ā€˜Europeā€™ will undoubtedly build up a hearty appetite. Although you are allowed to enter the park with unopened snacks and water bottles, you would be remiss in bypassing some of the incredible dining provided by Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg.

So let us introduce you to our four-star foodie recommendations, aka Busch Gardens Williamsburg tips for foodies:

  • Quick bite - Beste Brezeln und Bier
  • Festive German fare & entertainment - Das Festhaus
  • Finger-licking-good BBQ - Trapperā€™s SmokehouseĀ 
Two people clinking beer mugs at Busch Gardens Bier Fest in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
via Facebook

What to Bring to Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Preparation is the key to a successful theme park day. To make the most out of your Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg vacation, it pays to pack a fully stocked day pack. Essential items that always save the day include:

  • Portable phone charger
  • Water bottle & snacks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Poncho, raincoat, or jacket (weather dependent)
  • Bandaids
  • Stroller (if required)

Pro Tip: Donā€™t fret if you forget your portable charger! Busch GardensĀ® now provides a reusable, portable charging system called Fuel Rod, available for purchase at specific locations parkwide.

If you forget anything, drop by the gift shop for extra shirts, hats, and sunglasses!

Williamsburg, VA

Stately Williamsburg, VA was once the capital of the original Virginia colony and is over three hundred years old. So if youā€™re not a Virginia local, do yourself a favor and spend a few nights appreciating the historical preservation and unique appeal of the ā€˜Colonial Capital.ā€™Ā 

No matter your vacation lodging preference, there is a medley of options for Williamsburg hotels and resorts. In fact, recommending some of the best hotels is part of our Busch Gardens Williamsburg guide!

You can opt to stay close to Busch GardensĀ® or Colonial Williamsburg and cut down on your theme park commute. Or choose one of many hotels near Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and delight in first-class dining, shopping, and gallery viewing, all within walking distance.

drummers marching in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, USA

Credit: Colonial Williamsburg via Facebook

About the Park

At nearly fifty years old, Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg is an iconic east coast theme park with a fascinating history. When the park first opened in 1975, it was owned by beer giant Anheuser-Busch, who owned a beer plant facility next door.Ā 

Today the park offers over fifty rides, including nine roller coasters and three water rides. The parks nine European-themed villages are:

  • Oktoberfest
  • Germany
  • New France
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • England
  • Italy
  • Festa Italia

Virginia may be for lovers, but theme park lovers will find all they desire and more at Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg.Ā 

This idyllic park is packed with 17th-century charm, state-of-the-art rides, and unparalleled animal encounters.Ā 

Regardless if you are experiencing a multi-sensory dash through the Black Forest on Verbolten, or making friends with the gentle giant Clydesdales, a Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg trip simply canā€™t be beaten.

Now that you are armed with our best tips for visiting Busch Gardens Williamsburg, tricks, and insider knowledge, itā€™s time to reserve your own Busch GardensĀ® Williamsburg vacation. Now is the best time to visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

Have You Been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg?Ā 

What was your favorite experience? Leave us a comment below!


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Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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