One of our favorite places in the world to take Noah for some family fun is Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. It is about a 5 hour drive from this area, but after driving to Florida twice, it is a piece of cake. We make sure to stop 2-3 times on the way down for needed leg stretching and bathroom breaks (especially since Noah has to see every bathroom apparently in the continental U.S.)
For 2014 there is much on the line up to plan a great family trip, including the Food & Wine Festival (May 23-June 29), the opening of London Rocks, revamping of The Land of the Dragons. The costs are low, Busch Gardens is very family oriented, and has a program for kids with special needs. Plus, this is an ideal setting for both thrill ride junkies, and those who prefer to just enjoy the ambiance, and perhaps some not so thrilling attractions. Busch Gardens is incredibly clean, friendly and beautifully landscaped. Fully deserving of the title America’s Most Beautiful Park for the past 23 years.
For more detailed information be sure to click through the photos and for top tips for visiting with special needs kids, click here.
Visiting Busch Gardens in Spring
Spring Break begins April 4th through April 21st so the park is open daily, then on the weekends only until May 23rd when it will be open for summer. You can purchase a 7-day Spring Bounce ticket which gives you admission to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Colonial Williamsburg for 7 consecutive days, must be purchased by April 24th. (You can use 3 of those days at BG and the remaining at Colonial Williamsburg) There is also a Springtacular vacation package (March 16-May 19) that will combine accommodations, dining, quick queue with tickets and a fun card (good until September 1)so they can return so guests can have the most bang for their buck, less worry, ease of vacationing. Link-
Thrill Rides for Sensory Intergration
The season pass is the best value for people wishing to visit more than once, or who would enjoy using Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA. The passes cost about 10.00 a month or 12.50 for all of the parks (which is both Busch Gardens and Water Country in Williamsburg; both Busch Gardens and its water park in Tampa, all 3 SeaWorld’s and Sesame Place). With a season pass or Platinum pass, you get free parking, free preferred parking to your home park and a 10-30% discount on everything else. Even though Noah is older now, he still enjoys Sesame Place in the summer for the water rides, anything else he isn’t too big for, and the parade and shows.
Special Needs Program helps make kids feel like Super Heroes
The special needs program works by allowing your child and your party to fast pass all rides, or use the exit for rides that do not have fast pass. Most of the time you are allowed right on the ride through the Quick Queue return, if the park is exceptionally busy (as it is on Saturdays for Hallowscream and some of the summer) you will be given a time to return. We have been in the park over 20 different days and have only had to return to a ride (Dark Castle or the Halloween Haunted Houses) maybe 5 different times. Those are good odds, and it was always in an area where there are other things to do and see, so it’s never been a meltdown type of problem. The program helps kids who have concept problems and anxiety. Both of these makes waiting in long lines impossible, regardless of the pay-off.
Time is ticking, don't miss out on the Free Preschool Pass
This year Busch Gardens is offering a Free Preschool Pass for children under 5 (proof of age is required) unlimited admission to both parks through September 1st, you have until May 31st to get this pass. (Children 3-5 at time of purchase, children under 3 are always free) You can register here. You can only do this online, fill out form and print E ticket. Once registered you will take it to the front gate on your first/next visit and provide proof of age through birth certificate or passport.
Land of the Dragons gets makeover
The Land of the Dragons is receiving a makeover and will reveal the new Land on April 26th, the voice of the Dragons will be returning and guests who listen closely will be able to hear the roar. More shade trees and fans will be added for families to rest while little ones climb and adventure in the enclosed land. This is perfect stop for gross-motor sensory input. There are nets to climb and a huge tree house, as well as plenty of activities for the little ones.