We took a two-day trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg last week after spending an overnight in the Norfolk area to visit family. One day at Busch Gardens and the second day at Water Country, USA. If you’re military, you can get free tickets to Busch Gardens (or any of the other parks that they own like Sesame Place) once per year through their Waves of Honor program. We also got discounted tickets to Water Country USA, so our out-of-pocket costs were low.
If you don’t qualify for military discounts, take advantage of the deals on their website or do a quick google search for discounted Busch Gardens tickets. There are a lot of hotels in the area and some townhome/condo set ups so you’ll have plenty to choose from. We used hotel points that I had with Hilton to stay at the Hampton Inn in Williamsburg. It was a great hotel; decent hot breakfast and the room was spacious for our family of five. They also have an indoor and outdoor pool and fitness center if you’re the type of crazy who works out on vacation.
We had the King suite which is a king bed and a pull-out sofa bed. Elisa and Jeremiah share the sofa bed and I brought this inflatable bed for Noah to sleep on. It worked out well for us as everyone had plenty of space to spread out.
So, not gonna lie Busch Gardens was HOT y’all. We didn’t get crazy crowds and it’s probably because the heat index was like 100. It worked in our favor though becasse there was little to no wait for any of the rides, even the major coasters. Here are a few tips to beat the heat and make the most at Busch Gardens if you go during the summer (and any theme park really):
- Cooling towels! These were the best in the parks. You just wet them, wring them out and it keeps you nice and cool. We drpaed them over our necks and used them to wipe sweaty faces. If it starts to lose the cooling sensation, just wet them again.
- Free water – Busch Gardens (and most theme parks) offer free ice water. They also had water fountains but those skeeve me out so Noah and I popped into the small food kiosks to get ice water. Also, we used the ice water to refresh our cooling towels so win-win. Another tip is to start hydrating your body before you even leave for the park, maybe about a week or so before. If youre a natural water guzzler then you’ll be fine.
- Find the fans! Busch Gardens had a few misting fans set up throughout the park. If you want to know where they are, just ask an employee. I think we found one in France while we were there.
- Divide and conquer – If you have a split family like I do, the best thing you can do is split up. If you have family members that love thrill rides and others don’t, there’s nothing that will meake your trip more miserable than trying to keep everyone together. Lamar and the older two usually go off to ride the coasters and Noah and I hang out and do the kiddie rides. This way, everyone gets to do what they like. We meet up at certain times to eat and touch base then split up again until we are ready to leave.
5. Hotel break – We usually take a break in the middle of the day when the sun is the hottest depending on where we are and where our hotel is. When we went to Hershey Park, we left the park and had lunch near the hotel. Then we chilled for about an hour and a half and went back to the park until it closed. At Busch Gardens, we stayed in the park but took a break to eat lunch. Do whatever works for you but I don’t advise running around from open to close without stopping.
6. Come up with a plan – We used the map to work our way through the park. Nothing is worse than zig zagging all over the place and honeslly, Busch Gardens can be tirng since it is so hilly.
7. Stroller – Bring (or rent) a stroller even if your kiddo doesn’t use one much at home. It’s a lot of walking for little feet.
We didn’t have a stroller and Noah started to get fussy towards the end as he was tired of walking up and down the hills. That’s the only think I would’ve changed. Otherwise it was a great trip! Let me know if you have any questions!