Busch Gardens Europe (formerly Busch Gardens Williamsburg) is a Euro-themed park that’s a cut above your average seasonal park. Everything from the food to the buildings are themed after the ‘Old Country’. They breathe a life and character into the park that’s miles from your average Six Flags park. BGE is very green with an abundance of nature around the park’s seven themed sections. The sections include: Banbury Cross (England), Heatherdowns (Scotland), Killarney (Ireland), San Marco (Italy), Festa Italia (Italy), Rhinefeld (Germany) Oktoberfest (Germany), Aquitaine (France), and New France (French Canada).
Busch Gardens has a track record of having fewer roller coasters than most theme parks. Over the past decade there have generally been about four major roller coasters operating at one time or another. Luckily, they only install world-class coasters. Which makes the addition of Griffon to their spotless lineup, that much more exciting for enthusiasts. Their model or approach to adding attractions seems to be “quality over quantity”. Admission can be a bit steep, but you really do get what you pay for, Busch Gardens Europe is not to be missed.
Notable Rides & Attractions
Busch Gardens Europe offers a good range of family rides and attractions. Aside from your standard water rides, they have three different indoor, multi-sensory attractions. Corkscrew Hill and The Haunted Lighthouse are 4D adventures. Corkscrew Hill has a moving room while the Haunted Lighthouse is in a movie theater. Curse of Darkastle, which opened in 2005, is a state-of-the-art dark ride similar to the highly acclaimed Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure. Lastly, the park has several animal reserves. In the past they’ve featured bald eagles, wolves, and of course the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.
Theming & Atmosphere
Busch Gardens Europe has been rated “America’s Most Beautiful Theme Park” for 16 years running by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. Like I said above, Busch Gardens has plenty of foliage and a rolling terrain that the roller coasters interact with. All of the four existing coasters interact with the Rhine River at some point. It’s a far cry from some cloned coaster that’s thrown together in an asphalt clearing or flat plot of land like you’d find at most theme parks. Also, Busch Gardens Europe is pretty clean and has more of an upscale, high quality theming experience. It’s more like what you would expect at a Disney park.
Coaster Breakdown – Small But Stellar Cast
A World-Class Lineup
Arrow looping coaster that’s stood the test of time. Great use of the terrain and rare interlocking loops. Check out my complete review along with an on-ride video.
Griffon – Steel Dive Coaster – 8.5
2007 has been “The Year of the Griffon.” The dive coaster’s 20-story, 90-degree drop was quite an experience. Go to my full review including a coaster video and pics.
Quality – 8.8/10
Quantity – 5
Mix – Average
Get There Index – 4 out of 4
(A Must Visit for Anyone With a Pulse)
The amazing lineup and great atmosphere make Busch Gardens Europe a 4 out of 4. The only knock on the park that most mention is their lack of a wooden coaster and their relatively low number of total coasters. But the park more than makes up for the number of rides by installing nothing but the best. Would you rather own four Mercedes Benz’ or a BMW, a Honda and a handful of Kias? With a reputation like that, BGE must be a destination on your parks to visit this year.