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Northeastern theme park goers: Amtak holds the park pass to Six Flags and beyond

Family fun destinations including Six Flags New England, Six Flags America, Busch Gardens-Europe, and Colonial Williamsburg are conveniently a train ride away.
David Kriso

Has anyone been to Busch Gardens-Europe in Williamsburg, Virginia? It’s one of the top and classiest amusement parks in the northeastern United States. Does anyone like Six Flags parks? Six Flags parks are absolutely amazing and a ton of fun. There’s nothing more fun than heading to the amusement park for a day of thrills. With the fun to be had, the sky is the limit. There is so much fun, excitement, and memories in store. There is however one question to be asked of all theme park goers. Has anyone ever traveled to any theme park location by train? Amtrak holds the ticket to enjoy them all.

There are many theme park and family destinations on the east coast conveniently served by Amtrak. There are three cities in the northeast which are well associated with thrills and family fun. Springfield, Massachusetts is home to Six Flags New England and Hurricane Harbor. Washington DC is home to Six Flags America and Hurricane Harbor. South of Washington DC is the historic town of Williamsburg, Virginia. Williamsburg is home to Busch Gardens-Europe, Water Country USA, and Colonial Williamsburg. There is so much to choose from. All it takes is a phone call or an internet click. It’s time to get on with the fun!

The train ride to Springfield, Washington DC, or to Williamsburg, Virginia is very relaxing. For families who wish to get away from the stress of dealing with highway traffic, the train is the ticket to all the fun. Making a train reservation with Amtrak is very easy. It’s a quick phone call or mouse click away; 1-800-872-7245 or Springfield, Massachusetts is served by Amtrak’s Northeast Regional service. Washington DC is served by both Northeast Regional and Amtrak’s Acela Express. The difference between the two services is simple. Amtrak’s Acela Express features both business and first class. The Northeast Regional trains feature a business class car and coach class, including the quiet car. In the quiet car, passengers must keep their voices low and keep their voices low, and their cell phones on silence or vibrate. In business class, every passenger is allowed one free non-alcoholic beverage when presenting their business class ticket. First class on board Amtrak's Acela Express is bit more ritzy, with a variety of hot entrees on the menu.

Once a train reservation is made, it is time to get rolling. Here is a helpful tip. Passengers must arrive at the station approximately half hour to forty-five minutes prior to their train’s departure. Also, passengers should give themselves enough time in case they need to wait in line at the ticket window. A week day can easily spell out a busy traveling day. Whether the reservation was made on line on line or via phone, the tickets can be picked up at the ticket window. Passengers can also pick up their pre-paid tickets at an Amtrak Quik Trak kiosk. When using the Quik Trak kiosks, passengers must insert the credit card which they used to purchase their Amtrak tickets. The credit card acts as their proof of identity. The newest ticket service Amtrak has added is the E-ticket. Passengers can have their tickets emailed to them prior to their day of travel. The ticket printout is presented on both trips. The E-ticket has a QR code on the top left corner. A crew member scans the QR code. It is that simple!

During the northbound journey to Springfield, or the journey south to Washington DC and Williamsburg, the train cruises past scenery that is nothing shy of picturesque. On the way north to Springfield, the train crosses over the massive Hell Gate Bridge connecting Queens and the Bronx. Later, the train will cross over the Bronx, Hyannis, Saugatuck, and Housatonic Rivers. In New Haven, the train will change engines from electric to diesel. Underway again, the train will accelerate past the beautiful New England countryside. The scenery in the New England area is gorgeous during the spring and summer. Passengers might want to bring their cameras. They’ll be glad they did.

Traveling south to Washington DC and Williamsburg, the scenery is just as amazing. Traveling southbound, the train will cross over some notable rivers. Between New York City and Philadelphia, the train crosses over the Raritan, Delaware, and Schuykill Rivers. In Maryland, the train crosses over the wide Susquehanna, Bush, and Gunpowder Rivers. When traveling to Williamsburg, the train will stop for a crew and engine change in Washington DC. Having departed from Union Station, the train pulls through a long tunnel under the north end of town. Immediately afterward, the train crosses over onto the CSX main line. The train will then cross over the Potomac River. Heading south, the train follows the Potomac River to where it will drop out of sight. As the Potomac River flows eastward towards the Chesapeake Bay, the train continues south. Later, the train will then follow the James River near downtown Richmond. Forty-five minutes after stopping in Richmond, the train will arrive at Williamsburg Station, before terminating in Newport News.

When arriving in Springfield, Washington DC, or in Williamsburg, passengers would be wondering how to reach the theme parks and entertainment areas. In Springfield, the taxi cab ride to Six Flags New England is approximately ten minutes. In case passengers need to stay overnight, there are a handful of hotels located in the heart of downtown Springfield. La Quinta Inn & Suites, Sheraton, and Marriott are a few choices to consider. Amtrak Guest Rewards members can earn points if they stay at the La Quinta Inn & Suites. La Quinta Inn & Suites is an Amtrak Guest Rewards commercial partner.

In Williamsburg, the cab ride to Busch Gardens-Europe, Colonial Williamsburg, and Water Country USA is ten minutes. An array of Choice, Hilton, La Quinta Inn & Suites, and Wyndam hotels are located within a ten minute taxi ride from Williamsburg Station. In Washington DC, Six Flags America and Hurricane Harbor are easily reached by the Metro subway. Washington DC’s Union Station is located on the Metro’s red line. Passengers need to travel west to Metro Center. There they will switch to the blue line. On the blue line, they will travel east to Largo Town Center. There, a Metro bus will take them directly to the park entrance. The Metro subway and bus take visitors anywhere in the Washington DC area they wish to go at any time. If passengers wish to stay overnight, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City is well recommended. Hyatt is also a valued member of the Amtrak Guest Rewards network.

The spring and summer seasons at Six Flags America, Six Flags New England, and in Williamsburg, Virginia are a ton of fun. If any of these theme parks and family entertainment locations are on the to-do list, Amtrak holds the golden ticket to all of the excitement. Whether going to Six Flags America or Six Flags New England, or staying in Williamsburg to experience Busch Gardens-Europe and its neighboring attractions, theme park goers will be glad they chose the train to get them there. Spring and summer are not the seasons to be sitting in the car sweltering and pondering the never-ending traffic tie-ups. Spring and summer are the seasons to enjoy the clicking of wheels on rails. If there are roller coaster enthusiasts or thrill ride seekers looking for a new experience, it is time to not just pull out the theme park map, but also check the train schedule. Amtrak will most definitely get them to the front of the line. This season, it is going to be a fun “ride” to remember.

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