Busch Gardens opened for the 2014 season this past weekend. Saturday was a pass member preview day, and Sunday was the official opening day. Along with all of the thrilling roller coasters, family fun rides, shows and other attractions, the Williamsburg theme park was full of pretty spring flowers, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and lots of fun surprises. It was also the Busch Gardens/Water Country USA Ambassador Blogger Meet-Up day.
Back in November, at the park’s Christmas Town Media Event, park Communications Manager Koy Grant told us about a new blogger program that was in the works. Basically, it would be an extension of the park’s partnership with media members, bloggers, vloggers and writers.
The application came out sometime in December, and I quickly applied. I got the “congratulations” email in early February. This Theme Park Examiner is officially a Busch Gardens/Water Country Ambassador Blogger, otherwise known as “Thrill Chaser.” There are 18 Thrill Chasers who write about everything from theme parks, family fun and general travel to deals, coupons and giveaways. There is even a vlogger (video blogger) and a couple of local Virginia Beach TV celebrities.
On Saturday, we all got to meet each other for the first time at Castle O’Sullivan, site of Breakfast with Elmo, for an early morning breakfast and introduction meeting. As a freelance writer, I don’t often get to meet my fellow writers and bloggers, so this was a really fun time for me. I got to meet a great group of bloggers from as far away as New Jersey and North Carolina and as close as right here in Richmond, as well as several from the Hampton Roads area and Northern Virginia. It was cool to see some familiar faces as well as meet the new ones behind the names.
Without further ado, I will introduce you to the most fun group of folks to ever walk through the gates of a theme park.
2014 Busch Gardens/Water Country USA Ambassador Bloggers – “Thrill Chasers”
- Christa – www.richmondmom.com - Christa is the owner/operator of Richmondmom.com, the go-to source for all kinds of parenting, education, family, travel, health and kid-related news, events and attractions.
- Christina – www.christinadagnelli.blogspot.com - Christina shares her story of life with a child with autism.
- Emily – www.insidethemagic.net/ - Emily blogs about Busch Gardens for Inside the Magic, the ultimate source for theme parks, conventions, movies and themed entertainment.
- Jenny – www.holdinholden.com - Jenny is a mommy blogger with a hilarious take on kids, family, spouses and anything else she decides to discuss.
- Kaitlyn – www.youtube.com/user/iMAGINEblank - Kaitlyn is a vlogger (video blogger). I am looking forward to watching her videos of attractions and events around the park.
- Kira – www.757Lifestyle.com - Kira is a Hampton Roads blogger who shares lots of information on fashion, entertainment, events and local businesses as well as giveaways, contests and reviews.
- Krystel – www.armywife101.com - Krystel is, as the name implies, an army wife who blogs about military life, military discounts, recipes, news, travel and product reviews.
- Laura – www.afrugalchick.com - If you are looking for deals, printable coupons or freebies in the Hampton Roads area, Laura is the one to see. She does a Sunday morning segment on WVEC Va. Beach on frugal living and deals. She is also very into theater, and I can't wait to read her reviews of the the park shows.
- Maria – www.stayingclosetohome.com - Maria is another Richmond writer. She blogs about recipes, crafts, entertaining and does product reviews and giveaways.
- Melissa – www.adventuresfrugalmom.com - Melissa shares her family adventures and shows you how to save money at the same time. She does double duty as an elementary school teacher and a blogger. Check out her site for lots of great coupons, giveaways and product reviews.
- Micaela – www.gokidtrips.com/kid-trips-nova-blog.html - Micaela blogs about family travel, tips for traveling with kids and events in Northern Virginia.
- Mickey – www.ahelicoptermom.com - Mickey writes about travel, beauty, crafts and recipes as well as giveaways and product reviews.
- Naoma – www.asknaoma.com - Naoma is a Virginia Beach blogger/vlogger that appears on WVEC Va. Beach on Saturday mornings for a social media segment. Her blog is all about social media, Hampton Roads events, photography and her family.
- Olivia – www.williamsburgfamilies.com - Olivia blogs about all sorts of fun happenings in Williamsburg, from events, shopping and things to do to coupons, deals and advice.
- Oni – www.onezumiverse.com - Oni does a little bit of everything, from art, comics and blogging to reviewing haunted attractions and starting her own showcase of online creativity known as InterventionCon.
- Russell – www.themeparkinsider.com - Russell writes for Theme Park Insider, a popular consumer guide to theme parks around the world. He is the only male in the group, and a brave one at that.
- Sandy – www.examiner.com/theme-parks-in-richmond/sandy-allen - This is me (you really should know that by now). I cover theme parks, attractions, beaches, music and family fun all around Virginia and beyond. I've been a theme park junkie for as long as I can remember.
- Victoria – www.giveaways4mom.com - Reviews, giveaways, blogger resources, product reviews and mom talk are what you'll find at Victoria's blog.
Be sure to check out their sites for each unique perspective of Busch Gardens and Water Country USA's thrills and attractions. Another blog that I find very interesting is Inside Busch Gardens, the park's blog that gives a peek into behind-the-scenes things such as animals, landscaping, rides, food and special event planning.
As an official Thrill Chaser, I will be sharing all of the fun events and attractions the park has to offer, along with some insider tips and behind-the-scenes events. I’m especially interested in the park’s animal ambassadors, special events and exquisite landscaping. If there is anything you would like to know more about, please feel free to let me know. If you don't already, be sure to “like” the Richmond Sightseeing and Theme Park Examiner on Facebook so as not to miss any of the fun.
Check out some more photos of Busch Gardens' opening weekend by clicking on over to SomewhereInTheSand.
If you browse through the slide show, you'll see photos of two of the most adorable Irish setters. These two brothers are the newest additions to the park's "staff." In addition to being too cute for words, they will be sharing the stage at the Celtic Fyre show. Their names are Finn and Conner, and if you're near the Highland Stables in Scotland, you just might see them. They like to nap in the hay.
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