Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Located just a few miles from Williamsburg proper, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the sole recipient of Amusement Today’s prestigious Golden Ticket Award for “Most Beautiful Park.” Okay, admittedly they only had that particular category for one year (2004). I guess they dropped it because it sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Busch Gardens Toll Plaza Busch Gardens Williamsburg

We don’t get up there as often as we should, but when we do we always enjoy it.

Entrance Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The last time we were there was 2009, so you’ll have to excuse some dated photos.

British section Busch Gardens Williamsburg

While the Busch Gardens park in Tampa is themed to Africa, the Williamsburg park is themed to the many countries of Europe.

British Section 2 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

What this means is that each individual section of the park is environmentally themed to particular European countries – Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, France, and the UK. Guests enter the park in the UK-inspired Banbury Cross section.

British Clock Tower Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The most prominent feature of this area is a pseudo-replica of St. Stephen’s Clock Tower (Big Ben). I guess I can see the similarity if I squint my eyes the right way.

British Area Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Obviously when you’re doing a theme park representation you have to keep it simple. That means you stick with the basics – common architecture, big red phone booths. Fine, it’s kind of dated and quaint, but it gets the point across in broad strokes.

British area 2 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

It took me ten minutes to figure out that “London Britches” was the name of the gift shop in this picture.  I’m a dummy.

Brewmasters Club Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The Brewmaster’s Club is unfortunately gone.  Here, guests could sign up for a beer sampling and learn about appropriate pairing.  Some folks are really, REALLY still pissed about this going away.  They’re called drunks.

Pirates Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The most popular (and only) attraction in this section of the park is this recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. For years, they ran different 4D movies. At the time of this picture, they were showing “Pirates 4D,” which was a mildly entertaining lark starring Leslie Nielsen and Eric Idle.  Currently, there live stageshow consisting mainly of British music entitled “London Rocks.”

Karen in the Stocks Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I ain’t saying a damn thing here. She knows where I live.

Stream Busch Gardens Williamsburg

In addition to the one-off “Most Beautiful Park” award, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has won the Golden Ticket Award for “Best Landscaping” for the last 16 or so years.

stairs

Landscaping’s nice, but these stairs are a bitch.  Let’s go up and see what that pretty yellow track is.

Lochness Monster sign Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The Scottish area is smallish, but it contains one of the biggest treats in the park: the Loch Ness Monster coaster.

Lochness Monster theming Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The theming here is pretty obvious, so I’m going to instead take this opportunity to instead be annoyed that I couldn’t find a way to slip in a “Synchronicity II” reference.

Lochness Monster 1 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

When Nessie opened back in 1978, she was the world’s tallest coaster.  That initial drop of 114 feet must have been absolutely terrifying.

Lochness Monster 3 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

What really makes her unique, though, are these two interlocking loops.

Lochness Monster 2 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Loch Ness Monster doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It’s just one hell of a fun ride.

Lochness Monster 4 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I guess Loch Ness Monster has the same problem as Six Flags Over Georgia’s Mindbender coaster: when you’re an older coaster in a park full of younger, sexier B&M machines, it’s hard to get the attention you deserve.

Lochness Monster 5 Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Part of what I really love about this coaster unfortunately cannot be shown. In between the two loops, the train enters a lengthy tunnel section.  While inside this tunnel, the train passes through a massive helix with nearly three complete rotations.

IMG_4320 resizedOkay, we’ve moving on out of the Scottish section…


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