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Kings Dominion & Busch Gardens Williamsburg tips

Discussion in 'Other U.S. Theme Parks' started by sierrak5, May 6, 2013.

  1. sierrak5

    sierrak5 Rookie

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    My fiancé and I will be taking a trip to Richmond and Williamsburg Virginia this July and I was hoping those of you that frequent the parks could give me some tips to make the most of it. We will be spending one day at each park as the rest of the trip is for site-seeing and exploring the cities.

    We will be going up after July 4th weekend. The current plan is to do Kings Dominion on Sunday July 7 and Busch Gardens on Wednesday July 10.

    I'm looking for any tips you can give me such as:

    What rides should we do first?
    What rides should we avoid due to roughness or just lack of fun? (I am not one who cares about getting "coaster credits" so I have no problem skipping something if it's no good)
    Best place to dine in each park?
    etc.

    I know both parks offer Quick Queue and Fast Lane and I will purchase them if necessary, but we would like to avoid the extra expense if possible.

    The rides I am most excited about are Intimidator 305, Volcano, Apollo's Chariot, and Verbolten!

    Tips for each city in general are appreciated too if you have any.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  2. Disneyhead

    Disneyhead Veteran Member

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    Williamsburg:

    As far as sight seeing, you have to do Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. They really are National treasures.

    My 2 favorite places to eat in Busch Gardens are the Das Festhaus in Octoberfest and the Trapper's Smokehouse in New France. The Das Festhaus is great German food and they have an entertaining show while you eat. Trapper's Smokehouse is a ribs, and roasted chicken kind of place.

    Don't skip The Curse of Darkastle. It is very similar, but not quite as good a The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man. Also Alpengiest is an amazing B&M Suspended coaster. It is the largest one in the world. Loch Ness Monster is also a classic.

    Celtic Fyre in Ireland is a very entertaining show. It is like Celtic Women meets Riverdance.

    Richmond:

    The Museum and White House of the Confederacy is the best Civil War Museum in the country.

    There is also a great dining district in Richmond called Shockoe Slip and my favorite place to eat there is The Tobacco Company. Here is more info on Shockoe Slip.

    As far as King's Dominion goes, there isn't any notable dining, but Outer Hanks isn't bad. And the other attractions I recommend are Flight of Fear and The Backlot Stunt Coaster. Dominator is also an entertaining B&M looper.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  3. Octobers Fade

    Octobers Fade DEAD inside Premium Member

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    Apollo's Chariot, at BGW, is not to be missed, best ride in the park IMO! The animal show is a good, a nd great way to see the wolves.
     
  4. TheMackMachine

    TheMackMachine Member

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    Apollo, Griffon, Alpengiest, Lock Ness, and DarKastle are must do's. I haven't ridden Verbolten as I missed it by 3 weeks, but I would imagine it is also a must do. The quick-service next to the stage in Italy has good food. Be careful with Europe in the Air. It's like Soarin', but the ride system is like the Despicable Me simulator cars. I like the old show Corkscrew Hill a lot more.
     
  5. sierrak5

    sierrak5 Rookie

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    Thanks everyone for the tips so far!

    ^I already planned on skipping Europe in the air as it doesn't seem like my type of ride anyway, but thanks for the warning.



    Your Richmond suggestions sound great. That's the area of the trip I know least about so that was really helpful. We will definitely do the museum, and Shockoe Slips looks like a great place for the evening. We also plan on booking a white water rafting trip on the James river.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy aka Hatetofly V.I.P.

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    Places to eat

    BGW- Das Festhaus or Smokehouse
    KD-Try to stick with National Brands because IMO there food in general is subpar
    Williamsburg area-Food for thought, very good local restaurant! If you like Seafood I highly recommend here if not I still recommend this place.

    Rides you cannot miss
    BGW-Apollos Chariot, Alpengiest, Griffon, Loch Ness Monster, Darkastle, and Verbolten
    KD-Intimidator, Flight of Fear, Volcano, Dominator, Windseeker, and Drop Zone.

    Rides I recommend you miss
    BGW-Skip Europe in the Air because it sucks and Mach Tower if time is an issue. Do Dropzone at KD for a real free fall attraction
    KD-Grizzly, Hurler, Rebel, Shockwave, and Backlot Stunt Coaster. The wooden coasters here, at least the last time I visited made Gwazi feel like steel coaster. I thought for sure I wasn't going to be able to have kids after shockwave and on top of that was expecting to urinate blood after the Hurler. Skip the Backlot Stunt Coaster for time as its capacity is horrendous for a very weak attraction.

    Hope this helps and have fun!
     
  7. jtsalien

    jtsalien Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run. Premium Member

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    I second the warning for Backlot Stunt Coaster! It's a Superstar Limo level of failure :lol:
     
  8. sierrak5

    sierrak5 Rookie

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    So far there is one vote for Backlot Stunt Coaster and two against it :lol: I'll put it on my "if there is time" list.
     
  9. JungleSkip

    JungleSkip Premium Member

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    I'll go against the grain and say DarKastle is very, very skippable.

    I've been on it about 5 times in the past 3-4 years and not once has my vehicle synced up with show scenes, effects, or sound. Just a terrible experience overall. Hit it if you've finished all the coasters, but not before.
     
  10. Disneyhead

    Disneyhead Veteran Member

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    That's sad to hear. I haven't been to Eastern VA since 2009 so I'll take your word for it. I would hope that during the off season they would have fixed it. But if you have experienced the problem several years straight, my hope is low.

    But I will say that Busch Gardens Williamsburg usually has top notch maintenance and grounds keeping.

    And concerning the coasters at KD, I personally would not skip Rebel Yell. Rebel Yell is a John Allen coaster. John Allen is the 2nd most famous/important coaster designer ever behind his mentor John Miller. Rebel Yell is an ACE Coaster Landmark and is a quasi-clone of The Racer at Kings Island. John Allen and The Racer introduced the renaissance of coasters in 1972. I also really enjoy Grizzly. You couldn't pay me to ride Hurler or Shockwave. And concerning The Backlot Stunt Coaster, it is not my favorite, but I thought it is a fun little ride. I am more familiar with the Kings Island version. I have only ridden KD's version once. But most are right that if the line is long, move on.

    Oh, and one thing that most people skip that is always a must do for me at KD and KI is going to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

    Here is a link to a trip report with a few pics from my last BGW (Howl-O-Scream 2009) trip.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  11. JungleSkip

    JungleSkip Premium Member

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    Yup, which is why I always give it a chance and it's always so frustrating. To this day I still have no idea what some scenes are supposed to depict. :lol:
     
  12. andrew

    andrew Newcomer

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    I blacked out on the Intimidator at Kings Dominion. Apparently, this is not uncommon (two others in my party blacked out, too). I recommend doing that coaster at the end of the day so you don't feel like death the rest of the day.
     
  13. sierrak5

    sierrak5 Rookie

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    Every single report I've read about Intimidator 305 mentions "greying out" so I am prepared for that. Still can't wait to ride. Personally I grey out almost every time I ride Hulk (from the beginning of the Cobra Roll until the top of the Vertical Loop) so I know how it feels.

    I booked the "Verbolten Insider Tour" for our BGW visit. :thumbs:
     
  14. TheMackMachine

    TheMackMachine Member

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    It worked fine my last trip in April '12. Maybe that's because it reopened three weeks before. Though I never had a problem with it.
     
  15. sierrak5

    sierrak5 Rookie

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    Can anyone who goes often tell me what kind of wait times to expect at these parks? Our days have somewhat changed putting Kings Dominion on Sunday July 7 and Busch Gardens we will visit both on that Tues and Wed for two half days.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  16. Frogki

    Frogki Veteran Member

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    That's really sad to hear, as Darkastle was my precursor to Spiderman. I absolutely loved the ride when I was younger, I thought the story was really cool. Sad to hear that it's become so sub-par...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hmm... Well, I remember that when I went to Busch Gardens (keep in mind this was years ago), we were there all day and experienced minimal lines. We realized when it got dark, and kids started coming in, that school was still in session up there. I don't recall when we went, but I'm going to assume that school will be out in this case, so expect some lines and be prepared for a typical day at a theme park. (If there are minimal lines, you'll be pleasantly surprised :thumbs: )
     
  17. Jakemeister

    Jakemeister Premium Member

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    I used to go during the middle of the summer and still wouldn't be bombarded with lines. You'd get your 15 and 20 minute waits but I never experienced anything crazy. I think it comes down to time of year though. I think the evening is the best time to go to the parks though.
     

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