Busch Gardens

April 28, 2017

In another rare move, we woke up early at 7am to catch the ferry across the James River to make our way to Busch Gardens. Included in our Williamsburg Spring Bounce Pass was entry to Busch Gardens Amusement Park! To anyone traveling this way during early spring, we wholeheartedly recommend this deal, really the best experiences in Williamsburg area for a steal of a deal! There is no compensation for us telling you to buy it other than the joy in our hearts knowing what incredible memories your family will make!! (We are already plotting how we can do it all over again in a couple of years!)

We arrived right when the park opened and left after it had shut down – adding to our numbers another place we closed down on this trip, it’s becoming a thing for us, hard not to do when you are living each day to it’s fullest! It was an epic day, full of adventure.

We started off in Sesame Street’s Forest of Fun catching Elmo’s Show and taking in many of the smaller rides that wetted the kid’s appetite for more and a bigger adrenaline rush. Other than our stop at LEGOland in Florida, this was really their first forray into amusement parks and big roller coaster rides. One of those moments as a parent when you realize that you’ve made it! We have survived infancy, toddlerhood and now get to have shared experiences with our big kids who somehow grew-up overnight! Really so cool to share this day with them, taking it in through their eyes!

The kids will tell you again and again that the thrill ride, Escape from Pompei was their favorite! As the day warmed up we took in several of the water rides (well, just Nolan and I – as Cortney and Hadley were not very keen on being wet all day). Cortney took the kids on the Turkish Delight Teacup Ride, which Nolan terrorized Cortney & Hadley with his strength and desire to spin out of control. Spinning in circle rides are not my ‘cup of tea’, so while they were making their way around (pun intended) that park of the park I took in a couple of the bigger roller coasters on my own.

In the center of the park is a splash pad play area that included some high ropes courses. The kids enjoyed cooling down and climbing high, really they could have hung out here all day without complaint! This is their dream for a backyard one day…we’ll see!

Today we also enjoyed a crazy big and fast wooden roller coaster that surprisingly the kids were tall enough to enjoy. It was a little harrowing and in true wooden fashion rickety. In short it was a blast and in the process Nolan blasted our ear drums out with his high pitched shrills, much like he did at LEGOLand.

Made our way to another land of smaller rides for the kids that included bumper cars and flying airplanes! Reminded us of our days growing up in Southern California at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Camp Snoopy. Truth be told, other than the bumper cars this area did not satisfy their newfound need for adrenaline so it was a quick visit before they moved on to the big stuff!

They had eyed Da Vinci’s Cradle, which was anything but a peaceful rocking experience. It is one of those platform rides you sit on that defies the laws of gravity as it plunges to the ground and soars to the sky. Cortney’s stomach was turning in line watching groups ahead of us ride, she kept eyeing me, as if to say, “Are you really sure about this? The kids going to keep their cookies down, really?!” She prompted the kids with several questions in line attempting to get one of them to chicken out with her, while not letting on that she was terrified. Long story short, we all survived, cookies stayed down, Cortney and Hadley both got off looking a bit green, shaking at the knees with white knuckles but the kids adrenaline rush had been satisfied! They were giddy from sheer excitement of having experienced a rush like none they had ever known!

By the end of the day the kids – and us parents – were near spent! But we needed to eat and the thought of sitting down after an entire day on our feet sounded so good! We headed over to the German Oktoberfest Land and took in Das Festhaus Show complete with traditional German music, dancing and sauerkraut! It didn’t take long to realize that sitting wasn’t going to happen, everyone was on their feet and a part of the show. Nolan & Hadley had a blast on stage!

Before we knew it the time was 8:00pm and the park was closing down and guests were asked to leave! Kids fell asleep in the car ride home, which never happens, so we must have really worn them out! As we sat waiting for the ferry, they run so sporadically late at night, Cortney & I secretly wished we had brought the RV to Busch Gardens so we could fall asleep ourselves.

April 29, 2017

On the ferry again this morning for Day #2 at Busch Gardens! It was an effort to peel our tired bodies out of bed but the thought of adrenaline was enough to motivate the kids to muster their energy to make forward progress.

With the park now engrained in their minds, they each had their lists of rides – it was going to be another full and fun day. Some rides they wanted to ride again like Escape from Pompei and Invadr, the wooden coaster. Thankfully, Da Vinci’s Cradle did not make either of their lists! So thankful for the Spring Bounce Pass, giving us an opportunity to hit up parts of the park we missed the day before.

It was 95 degrees today and we all could hardly wait for the water rides! (Cortney and Hadley included). We dressed intentionally well ventilated, in clothes that would dry quickly after getting drenched! It was our only hope to survive the heat, no idea how people do this in August but apparently they do and now all the splash pads throughout the park make sense!

We got to everything we wanted to again today except a 2nd ride on the wooden coaster – too long a line. We enjoyed some shows and overall took it easy as we attempted to stay cool!

Left the park before it closed and stopped for pizza in town – a rare day leaving before the place closed down, must be a sign of exhaustion! To the ferry we went for a final trip across the James River, tomorrow we leave Virginia heading to Maryland!

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