Busch Gardens has been voted the world’s “Most Beautiful Park” for 20 consecutive years by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. More than 50 thrilling rides, attractions and shows fill the park, 40 of which are kid-friendly.
Exit 243A on I-64
Nearby airports include:
- (ORF) Norfolk International Airport
- (RIC) Richmond International Airport
- (PHF) Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport
Banbury Cross (England)
Fashioned after England, complete with stereotypical red telephone booths and common English architecture. A variety of shops await guests in this small hamlet. Guest Services windows are next to the turnstiles of the Main gate. A simulacrum of the famous St. Stephen's Clock Tower (Big Ben) is the central element of this area. Banbury Cross also includes The Squire's Galley, serving breakfast and lunch, as well as a funnel cake shop, ice cream shop, and candy store. Banbury Cross also contains the skyride station nearest to the Main Gate. The Aeronaut (first leg) of the skyride departs to Aquitaine, France, while the Zeppelin (third leg) skyride arrives from Rhinefeld, Germany.
- The Globe Theatre. 900-seat 4-D theater. A double-sized replica of William Shakespeare's performance home is the most prominent attraction in the area
- a double-sized replica of William Shakespeare's performance home, is the most prominent attraction in the area. A quaint Scottish hamlet situated at the top of the hill on the path leading from Banbury Cross, England. It is the second of Busch Gardens' European hamlets. Tweedside Train Station offers a 20-minute ride through the park with additional stops in Festa Italia and at the central train station, Caribou, in New France. Tweedside Gifts is adjacent to the train station and offers a variety of gift items. Heatherdowns is also home to the Highland Stables featuring Scottish Blackface sheep, Border collies, Clydesdales and birds of prey. The stables highlight Scottish traditions dating back hundreds of years. Guests can interact with the animals and see them in action as they demonstrate their skills during daily demonstrations. Other points of interest include Pigs in a Kilt, a counter service walk-up.
- Loch Ness Monster is a looping Arrow Dynamics roller coaster. It is the only roller coaster in the world to feature interlocking loops.
- Li'l Clydes is a ride for young children, in which they ride a carousel of Clydesdales.
This area prominently features Celtic Fyre, at the Abbey Stone Theatre, an engaging celebration of Irish dance, showcasing world class performers.
Outside the gateway next to Dining with Elmo, the walkway makes a sharp left turn and begins a long, moderately steep climb toward Aquitaine, France. Several animal sanctuaries and an animal performance theater are situated along this path.
- Grogan's Grill. Irish cuisine
- Emerald Isle. gifts, crafts, and jewelry from Ireland
- Eagle Ridge & Wolf Valley - Animal exhibits just outside the village.
- Europe in the Air - An immersive, motion simulator above the wonders of Europe, including Stonehenge, Neuschwanstein Castle (the inspiration for the park's The Curse of DarKastle attraction in Germany), and the Coliseum in Rome, using video projection nearly seven times clearer than broadcast HD, according to the park's website.
- Pet Shenanigans Theater - An outdoor venue that hosts the More Pet Shenanigans show.
San Marco (Italy)
When Italy/San Marco was opened, it completed the outer circle walkway around Busch Gardens. Part of the park's expansion included a high pedestrian bridge across the Rhine River into Oktoberfest, Germany. The bridge houses a salute to the various branches of the United States military. San Marco is based upon Renaissance-era Italy. A prominent feature within San Marco is Da Vinci's Garden of Inventions. This garden features Italian statues and flowers set amid rides based on sketches by Leonardo da Vinci. Also in the area is Ristorante della Piazza, featuring Italian cuisine and the outdoor show "Festivale Italiano." Guests can often watch master Italian artisans handcrafting Capodimonte porcelain flowers.
- Da Vinci's Cradle - A standard magic carpet amusement ride that swings back and forth, gaining in height until it rotates over the top. It's relatively tame and does not invert riders.
- Escape from Pompeii - A shoot-the-chutes boat ride featuring an extensive indoor portion within the city of Pompeii, featuring fire and water effects.
- Little Gliders & Little Balloons - Family-sized carnival rides themed to Da Vinci's inventions.
- The Battering Ram - A high-capacity, high-thrill swinging ship.
- The Flying Machine - A lightly themed troika ride that spins riders.
- Festa Italia (Italy) Festa Italia is themed around a fair celebrating Marco Polo's return to Italy from his famous visit to China. It has a general "party" atmosphere, and contains many of the park's midway games, all given a festival theme. It attractions are themed around Roman mythology.
- Apollo's Chariot - A B&M Hypercoaster reaching over 200 feet high, featuring dives towards and around ponds and hills. Apollo's Chariot also features a deep purple and gold color scheme.
- Roman Rapids - A circular-raft rapids ride among Roman ruins.
- Tradewinds - A permanent-placement music express ride.
- Turkish Delight - A typical spinning "teacup" ride.
This section is based upon Germany. It is largely themed to a runaway ski resort in the German Alps. The third leg of Busch Gardens' skyride arrives and departs from this section. Also in Rhinefeld is Land of the Dragons, a large children's play area featuring a playground, five rides, and seasonal shows.
- Alpengeist - A Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster, Alpengeist is themed to a ski-lift taken over by a local legend, the Alpengeist (Ghost of the Alps).
- Kinder Karussel - The park's antique Herschell Carousel.
- Land of the Dragons - Interactive children's play area featuring a treehouse, children's rides and a Ferris wheel.
Like Rhinefeld, this section is based on Germany during the annual celebration of Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest features many of the park's flat rides. It is also home to a large assortment of carnival-style games. Das Festhaus is a large, air conditioned eating facility where guests can purchase authentic German food or American classics. While eating in Das Festhaus, guests can experience This is Oktoberfest, an upbeat show featuring German singing and dancing, or listen to a brass quartet, playing a variety of well known tunes and German folk songs. This section has a 246-foot drop tower called Mäch Tower, and a "multi-launch" roller coaster.
- Der Autobahn (Bumper Cars).
- Der Autobahn Jr. (Kiddie Bumper Cars).
- Der Katapult (Katapult) - a basic carnival scrambler
- Der Roto Baron (Red Baron).
- Der Wirbelwind (Waveswinger) - classic yo-yo swings ride
- Mäch Tower - A 246-foot tall free-fall tower. Riders are seated in a 30-person ring around the tower, which rotates as it makes its way to the top.
- The Curse of DarKastle - An indoor, technologically-advanced dark ride/haunted house in which an ancient German king terrorizes guests through 3D and 4D effects in a motion-simulator style.
- Wirbelwindchen (Kiddie Swings).
Centering on the quaint French village of Aquitaine, this section is based upon France. It is home to many French boutiques and one of the park's skyride stations, where the first leg of the skyride arrives from England and the second leg departs for Rhinefeld, Germany. The Royale Palace Theatre in France hosts numerous shows throughout the season.
- Griffon - The world's second tallest and fastest Diving Machine roller coaster, named after the legendary creature, the griffin; contains a ninety-degree drop from over 200 feet and a "splashdown" finale.
New France (French Canada)
It is based on French colonial Canada. It consists of a hub of Canadian-themed shops with a colonial tone throughout the area.
Rides in New France include the Busch Gardens Railway departing from Caribou Station and Le Scoot Log Flume, featuring a 50-foot (15-m) plunge through a saw mill.
New France also houses the Canadian Palladium Theater.
- Trappers Smokehouse. An outdoor grill centrally located. Trappers Smokehouse offers grilled and smoked items such as chicken, ribs, and beef brisket
Guests also can paint a variety of colorful ceramics in the quaint Caribou Pottery shop.
- Bistro 205 (France) All you can eat buffet that includes: fried chicken, hot dogs, salad bar, macaroni and cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, cut corn, potato salad, cole slaw, dinner roll, hot apple crisp, chocolate pudding, tea, assorted soft drinks
- The British Baker (England) Sweet shop offering: funnel cakes, assorted pepsi products, water
- Cafe Lulu (New France) Cute cafe offering: smoked turkey legs, jumbo soft pretzels, nachos with chili and cheese, fresh churros with sugar and cinnamon, fresh fruit smoothies, frosted lemonade, iced coffees, assorted pepsi products, lemonade, fruit punch, coffee, milk, water, hot chocolate, Anheuser-Busch beverages
- Dine at Castle O'Sullivan (Ireland) Dine with the Sesame Street gang at this buffet. Reservations recommended. Offers: chicken tenders, hot dogs, pork loin with red onion marmalade, tortellini with a buttery white sauce, BBQ chicken, macaroni & cheese, cheesy hash browns, pasta salad, tossed salad, rolls, soft drinks, assorted desserts
- Das Edelweiss (Rhinefield) Traditional German ice cream and sweet shop. Includes: funnel cakes, strawberry parfait, fresh cut watermelon, fresh fruit smoothies, milk, fresh brewed iced tea, coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade,assorted pepsi products
- Das Festhaus (Oktoberfest) Large variety of lunch and dinner meals available.
- Trapper's Smokehouse (New France), 1 Busch Gardens Blvd. Large variety of lunches and dinners available such as ribs, chicken, and desserts.
- Colonial Williamsburg - A few miles northwest of Busch Gardens in the historic district of the town of Williamsburg, this "living history museum" in recreates Virginia's 18th-century capital as it appeared preceding and during the American Revolution.