European Adventures :: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Last week while I was in Williamsburg, I popped by Ireland and decided to go on a trip around Europe while I was at it. Passed the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge and soared over the Roman Colosseum. Of course this was all aboard Europe in the Air, a simulator ride claiming to be a “two week trip in a matter of minutes.” It was actually very cool, and the best part too was that it made me laugh in a good way, and got me thinking “hey, I need to go there.”
While typically theme parks aren’t high on my list when I travel as soon as we arrived near the “England” entrance and I realized that this visit to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg was going to be on a trip around Europe – France, England, Scotland, Italy, New France, Ireland, Scotland – I was pretty pumped. Of course it’s extra ironic, seeing as I live in Europe and went to Virginia to experience it, but I’m always pro anything that encourages travel, of any sort. Country specific music was playing and I couldn’t help but feel like skipping, dancing and being a kid again as a huge grin came over my face. It reminded me of an experience I had as a kid, which was one of the first times I really did get to experience a “foreign” culture. Even the shops, and food (we ate in Germany!), along with the rides help give a fun flavor to the park. It’s amazing how a theme park can transport you to a different world for the day.
Voted most beautiful theme park in the world since 1990, Busch Gardens really is an amazing production, where I regularly found myself admiring the landscaping (another pleasant surprise of the visit). I also enjoyed there was more of an educational component than parks I remember visiting as a kid – particularly with an entire area devoted to animals, from several bald eagles (rescued as they cannot fly) to wolves.
As soon as they told us that you could come before the park opens to scope out the rollercoasters and have a physics lesson, I was totally disappointed we didn’t get up early just for that. The Griffon was completely and utterly insane. While I’ve little by little overcome my fear of roller coasters with age, the vertical drop on that one was just mind-boggling; with its 205-foot, 90-degree, 75 mph free fall it is the world’s tallest dive coaster. I couldn’t help but stare at it from all angles in complete awe, and cringing during the drops. Parks sure have come a long way from when I was a kid, and I’d totally go back and hang out at Busch Gardens Williamsburg anytime! But, honestly, I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough for the Griffon…ever.
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