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Disney vs. Universal vs. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Big Phil, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I could get a little bit of a review of Busch Gardens Willamsburg. I am a veteran of the Tampa version and have always loved it. But it seems that the Williamsburg version is almost unanimously thought to be better. It is ranked the most "beautiful theme park" constantly year after year.

    I am just wondering where it ranks among Disney/Universal parks to the ones who have been there. It doesn't seem like it has the animals quite the same as the Tampa version and it is a little different that way. Would it be like Dollywood? Does it have shades of Epcot since there are themed countries there as well? There is a ride called "Europe in the Air" which appears to be quite like "Soarin'" but from a European perspective.

    Would it be a notch below the Disney/Universal parks or would it be a big notch below and closer to the Six Flags parks? Thanks.
     
  2. CSJORDAN

    CSJORDAN New Member

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    Hi!

    Busch Gardens in VA is a great theme park! Would very much agree that it deserves the beautiful theme park award. The park has some of the best coasters I have been on (Griffon, Apollo Chariot, Verbolten), dark rides, and entertainment. My family agrees that it is above Busch in Tampa as well as SeaWorld.

    I'd venture to say the storytelling of the attractions are not as compelling or full as Disney/Universal, but it is still a great park worthy of a visit.
     
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  3. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member

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    I grew up going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as I'm from Virginia. BGW has always been a gorgeous theme park. It definitely doesn't have the animal presence like Tampa. We have the Clydesdales, sheep, dogs, etc - animals you would typically see on a farm. It's a very themed park with different countries themed to medieval Europe. The depth of theming is similar to Dollywood but completely different. The food in the parks have been tied to the land they are in but not as elaborate as EPCOT. BGW also has several nice shows in each country. Europe in the Air is not comparable to Soarin at all - Soarin is so much more. That incarnation of the ride has been my least favorite. So BGW to me is a notch below Disney (but has more thrill rides so it could rank higher if that's your thing). I've yet to do Universal so I can't compare. However, BGW is definitely a big notch above Six Flags. That to me is comparable to Kings Dominion, located a couple hours up the road in Doswell, VA. Those are just amusement parks. I've been amused by Busch Gardens lately in some of the things they are taking from Disney. Wristbands to make payments, the new photo key option, behind the scenes tours, etc.
     
  4. Big Phil

    Big Phil Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Okay, thank you for your insight.
     
  5. Lets Respect

    Lets Respect Well-Known Member

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    BGW's landscaping and layout is beautiful. But it's a coaster park. There are a few shows which are cute. But there isn't much to do there unless you are into coasters. There are some kiddie carnival type rides too. Not many animals really

    I haven't been to BGT so I can't compare it to that. It's definitely closer to a Six Flags than WDW or Universal....it's no where near them.
     
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  6. ryguy

    ryguy Well-Known Member

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    Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the prettiest theme park I have visited. The Tampa park is hideous in comparison. I would agree with another poster that it's hard to compare the 3 parks because Busch Gardens really doesn't have the dark rides that Uni/Disney has now. So I would put BGW more in line with Six Flags than Disney. If your not a huge fan of coasters than you might be disappointed. But I can assure you that you will love the scenery.
     
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  7. njDizFan

    njDizFan Well-Known Member

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    BGW is a nice little park. Imagine if the WS in EPCOT was an entire theme park but filled with flat rides and steel coasters(in a medieval setting...okay that's quite a stretch). The food is on par with table service so no real exceptional dining experiences. Some of the dining places do boast some nice little shows(Biertgarten German pavilion and Italy). The rides that they did attempted to be more immersive(Darkcastle, Europe) are pretty mediocre but the 4 coasters are pretty amazing. Also there is a nice little Sesame Place section and an additional play area for the under 5 set.

    Overall it's a nice park, the theming is really nice, there is a some nice greenery and you could definitely make it a 2 day experience. Also there is the bonus of Colonial Williamsburg and the historic triangle just a few minutes down the road. Add Water Country USA, a day trip to Virginia Beach and this is definitely a full weeks vacation spot in my opinion.
     
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