Busch Gardens is an adventure park with something for everyone and it has been drawing folks to Williamsburg year after year. It features a European atmosphere along with a host of thrill rides and is a favorite among visitors to The Liberty Rose, especially around Halloween and Christmas.
Located just a few miles from our Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast, it has been voted the world’s most beautiful adventure park. The 100-acre park has more than 50 rides and other attractions, along with stage shows, a variety of eating and shopping locations, and a Sesame Street-themed children’s area.
Busch Gardens has been awarded the accolade of Most Beautiful Park every year since 1990 by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. The park’s stunning landscape is one of the main reasons for the award. Busch Gardens’ staff grow more than 30,000 plants and flowers in greenhouses to use at the park. Landscapers spend about six hours each day tending to the plants there.
To create its old-world European feel, the park has replicas of landmarks and towns from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, and Italy. The park’s creators have carefully tried to recreate the European setting in authentic and accurate detail, including cobblestone streets, building facades and statuary.
England is the first country you will encounter as you enter the park. Here you will find English shops, a bakery and replicas of Big Ben and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. The park has tried to accurately recreate 17th century England with authentic door handles, cast-iron mailboxes and streetlamps. Even many of the plants are those traditionally found in Western Europe.
In the Scotland area you will find the Highland stables, with Scottish Blackface sheep, and border collies. The exhibit displays Scottish traditions that extend back hundreds of years.
The Ireland section of Busch Gardens features an authentic replica of an Irish hamlet, complete with tavern, shops, stone castles, flower boxes, and Celtic music.
Moreover, the park has tried to recreate the real feel and atmosphere of Ireland with architecture from the country’s Stone Age era up through the 19th century. Castles imitate the building style during Ireland’s feudal age.
Also in the Ireland area, visitors can take a simulated journey through Europe on one of the rides, and enjoy shows with singing, Irish dancers and musicians.
The French section features street cafes, French architecture and sidewalk artists. The town center of the German area is home to an imitation 17th century Glockenspiel, that’s three stories high! The Italian area is decorated with authentic statues, fountains and gardens, modeled after original ones found in Italy.
The rides at the park provide thrills to even the most seasoned daredevil. There is the Griffon, a roller coaster named for the mythical creature that is half lion and half eagle. It is the world’s highest dive coaster, and the first without a floor. In one part of the ride, passengers plummet 205 feet at 75 miles an hour.
Another ride, Curse of DasKastle, takes riders on a trip filled with simulated drops, fog, breaking ice and other three-dimensional special effects.
The Loch Ness Monster is one a fan favorite. It is an interlocking, double-looping roller coaster that takes riders into the air, over water and through a dark cave at 60 miles an hour.