Hello, friends! My family has been on vacation this past week, so yes, I am absolutely cheating on this blog post. Today we have a special guest, my soon-to-be 12-year-old son Isaiah. Since we spent the last week in Williamsburg, Virginia, I’ve asked him to write up his top ten favorite rides from Busch Gardens theme park. Side note: my first “real” job was at this park back when I was 16, so it holds a special place in my heart.
If you’re new to my blog, usually my topics are at least loosely writing related. Today’s gives my guest blogger some writing practice, but that’s about it. We’ll get back on track next time, though. 🙂
Without further ado, here’s Isaiah’s top ten:
10. Le Scoot
Le Scoot is a log flume ride. You sit in a small boat, go up the incline, float along for a while, and then enter a sawmill with a big spinning blade over your head. Just before you’ll get sawed in half, your boat drops down the plunge, where you’ll be splashed with cool water. The drop isn’t big, but it’s a good warm-up for the other rides.
The only wooden roller coaster at Busch Gardens, Invader is a really fun ride. It’s a great choice for younger kids, as there are no inversions and plenty of hills for weightlessness. My seven-year old sister loves this ride. It doesn’t have the same thrills, though, as some of the bigger roller coasters.
8. Escape from Pompeii
This ride is my favorite water ride at Busch Gardens. It’s pretty short–the boat takes you up, you ride through scorching heat and earthquakes where you worry you might die, and then you plunge down a short drop into the water. If you really want to get soaked, stand on the viewing platform and watch the boats come down.
You can describe Tempesto in one word: inversions. This short track coaster has one giant loop-de-loop full of inversions and a small 90-degree drop. It’s pretty fun but not my favorite.
6. Loch Ness Monster
This ride is a classic. Forty years old and still going. Unfortunately it’s rather rattly, but it has a great drop at the start down toward the river. Also, fun fact–it has interlocking loop-de-loops.
5. Battle for Eire
Battle for Eire is a 360-degree virtual reality ride. You sit in a small theater and wear a VR headset. The seats move as the story line progresses. When you turn your head, you see in different directions in the headset. Another bonus–this ride is air-conditioned, making it perfect for a 95-degree day.
4. Apollo’s Chariot
With the largest drop in the park at 210 feet, this ride is in a class of its own. It doesn’t go upside down and has only one turn. Instead, there are a lot of hills where you feel weightless.
This ride is so fun because it’s a hanging coaster, where instead of the car sitting on the tracks it hangs beneath it. Your feet dangle because there is no floor. Don’t wear flip-flops. There are corkscrews, loop-de-loops, and drops. It’s worth the wait for the front row because it’s such a great view.
Verbolten is the other launch coaster (besides Tempesto) at Busch Gardens. It launches you into a dark tunnel full of flashing, spooky lights, random drops, and twists. There’s a big surprise at the end of the tunnel too, but we won’t spoil it for you. The last drop is a straight up, straight down fall toward the river.
1. The Griffon
You’ve seen the 90-degree drop. You know it will be scary. You feel anxious, but you think it will be fun…hopefully. You get buckled into your seat–they seem pretty strong. You probably won’t fall out. You’re feeling really good about this ride, thinking it was a good choice. Then the train starts up the incline, and you realize, “what goes up must come down.” But you won’t really be regretting your decisions until you’re hanging face down over the 205 foot 90-degree drop.
Then you fall, and it’s so exhilarating you know you’ll be getting back on again. This ride actually has two 90-degree drops, along with two loop-de-loops right after the drops. If you ride in one of the outside seats, you’re not over the track so it feels like you’re flying. Don’t forget to take in the awesome view of the park and water before you plunge.
Thank you, Isaiah, for your great review of the top rides at Busch Gardens! How about you, readers? Have you been to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg? What are your favorites? Feel free to leave us a comment below!
Image credits: Kellie VanHorn