Travel & Leisure

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Virginia: Top 5 Tips Before You Go

The Lochness Monster Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Virginia: Top 5 Tips Before You Go

A few weeks ago, my family traveled up to Richmond, Virginia to visit family. We decided to spend the day at Busch Gardens with our kids on Labor Day weekend. I have always heard great things, but I wasn’t prepared for how amazing the theme park really was. We wish we hadn’t picked such a busy holiday weekend, but we have no regrets going. Are you new to Busch Gardens? Then you will want to read my Top 5 Tips When Visiting Busch Gardens For the Very First Time. We were provided complimentary tickets for our review, but all opinions are our own.

Tip 1: Check out as many roller coasters as possible.

If you’re going to Busch Gardens, you have to take some time to enjoy the roller coasters. There are other things to do besides roller coasters, of course, but I am a firm believer that you have to find a ride that challenges you.

The Lochness Monster Roller Coaster

My family loved The Lochness Monster, one of the original roller coaster rides at Busch Gardens VA. I’d choose that ride every time. But there are some awesome water rides available too! We had no fear of getting a little wet on Le Scoot ride.

Tip 2: There are a lot of food and drink options – so eat and drink up!

When going to a theme park, you know there will be food and lots of it. Busch Gardens has a variety of great restaurants to choose from. Deciding where to eat is always my favorite part. You can grab an All Day Dining Pass, which gets you access to a lot of options. We ate at the Trapper’s Smokehouse and it was filling-so much food! Sometimes they (Busch Gardens) have specials on tickets and dining plans, so keep an eye out.

We also went during their yearly Bier Fest. Every year in September, they hold this beer festival to end the summer with a bang! They serve a variety of craft beers from around the world, as well as local brews. You can even sample traditional German food, listen to festive music, and experience a Bavarian celebration.

Tip 3: Take advantage of the shopping options.

Some of us go to Busch Gardens for the food and for the roller coasters. Some of us go for the shopping options. Okay, I went for all the reasons listed above. I loved walking around Busch Gardens and seeing the beauty of it all and shopping along the way. I picked up souvenirs for some of the family members back home. Germany’s German Gift Shop is a fun place that you’ll need to check out while you’re out shopping.

Tip 4: Leave the whole day for Busch Gardens.

Going to Busch Gardens isn’t something you only want to do for a few hours, leave the whole day open for this adventure. We did not arrive early enough and was caught in some parking lot madness upon entering. Well, it was a holiday as I had mentioned, but it took an hour before we finally made it inside the park. I would advise getting their when they first open and staying to till they close. There is so much to take in that you’ll want the whole day to do this.

Tip 5: Save time to explore the animals and see some amazing shows!

I have heard great things about Busch Gardens, but I wasn’t prepared for how much we’d learn while there. There are tons of hands on experiences to explore at Busch Gardens.

Bald Eagle Abigail - Eagle Ridge at Busch Gardens

Seeing the different animals is exciting and my girls couldn’t get enough of Eagle Ridge and the Bald Eagle Abigail. Connecting with these animals at Busch Gardens is a must for a first-time visitor.

We also adored the Pet Shenanigans show! Seeing dogs, cats, and pigs doing tricks will keep you laughing. You definitely will want to sit in on this one and get a front row seat. The kids will love it, but the parents and grandparents will too!

My Final Thoughts:

Going to Busch Gardens for the first time means taking in a lot of “first time experiences.” I’m glad I was able to go with my family and experience this first time visit with them. Busch Gardens is a place everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime.  It’s no wonder, they have been voted the World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park year after year since 1990. We hope to come back next year!

Yearly Events at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Food and Wine Festival

Enjoy authentic tastes from around the world with dishes and beverages served exclusively during Food & Wine Festival. May – July.
Summer Nights presented by Coca-Cola®

Special entertainment, culinary experiences and a fun nighttime atmosphere will give guests a new reason to visit during summer evenings in July and August.
Bier Fest

Raise a glass to toast the end of summer at Bier Fest with a variety of craft beers from around the globe. September 1-17.


Fill fall nights with fright at Howl-O-Scream as the park brings the spirit of Halloween to life. September 23 – October 29.

Christmas Town

Christmas shines brightest at Christmas Town with more than eight million lights throughout the park. November 24, 2017 – January 1, 2018.

Sign up today to receive once a week travel tips, recipes, crafts, parenting advice & occasional giveaways delivered right to your inbox.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Winona Rogers
Winona is the author of Southern Family Lifestyle, a national blog focusing on food, family and travel. Her site was nominated this year as the Top 10 Parenting blogs in Atlanta according to In her spare time, she loves to travel with her family and cook. Winona and her husband have four children and five grandchildren living in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

Leave a Response