BGW and KD advice?

My wife and I are planning a road trip to Williamsburg during spring break (March 27th - April 4th) in 2021. Neither of us have been out that way before. Our plans are to visit Busch Gardens for two days and King's Dominion for a day, if it is open that is. We will be travelling with our kids, one who hasn't graduated to hyper coasters and another who hasn't quite tackled inversions yet. Our lodging is already booked.

Any advice you can give for either park and things to do in Williamsburg (places to visit, eat, etc.) would be greatly appreciated!

OhioStater's avatar

Not sure where your lodging is, but you are never too far from a public beach (although some are certainly better than others). We are also headed to BGW this summer staying a little south in a town called Willoughby (literally just outside the underwater tunnel that takes you to Norfolk and Virginia Beach). Just across that tunnel you will the find the Virginia Zoo (not huge, but nice and inexpensive), and the Norfolk Botanical Garden. The Virginia Aquarium is also not far and really impressive, but that's a significant upcharge attraction on your roadtrip.

The Fort Monroe National Monument is also a fun site to see (in Hampton right off 64 South on the water)....and there is also an incredible seafood restaurant there called The Deadrise; not sure if seafood is your thing but if it is, this is a must.

Aside from that, what do you guys like to do? You will be surrounded by a ton of options.

Apollo's Chariot would be a perfect first hyper :) Your family is bound to love what BGW has to offer. It's easily one of our favorite parks in the United States, especially as a family park with little ones that aren't binging on huge coasters.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

We are staying at the King's Creek Plantation in Williamsburg. Our family usually likes amusement parks, national parks, and historic sites.

We do enjoy seafood! Thanks for the recommendations!

Last edited by Mulfinator,
kpjb's avatar

I don't remember any outstanding restaurants in the area, but when in BGW there's a little place next to the drop tower that has a carved ham sandwich on a fresh baked pretzel bun with homemade beer cheese and beer mustard, and they usually have a decent Marzen on tap year round. Might be my favorite meal in any park.

Last edited by kpjb,


That sounds delicious!

Keep an eye out on the Colonial Williamsburg website. They offer a seasonal Bounce Pass that, depending on the time of year, provides admission to all of the CW sites, Yorktown, Jamestown, Busch Gardens (includes parking), and Water Country USA. The Bounce Pass also includes bus transportation throughout Colonial Williamsburg. Huge cost savings.

Go to the Cheese Shop in Merchants Square, they make the most unbelievable Ham, Turkey, and Cheese Sandwiches. If you like peanuts, stop into the Peanut Shop of Williamsburg. I have never left that store less than $50 poorer. In CW itself, be sure to tour the Capitol, Governors Palace, the Magazine, and as many of the smaller buildings you can fit in. The narrated tours are outstanding. If you can, and they are being presented, take in one of the nighttime performances.

Busch Gardens is by far our favorite park in the Country. It is a beautiful park, outstanding collection of rides, and really good food. Agree, Apollos Chariot is a great choice for a first Hyper Coaster. Verbolten is a fun ride with a nice surprise. The flats in the Italy section are underrated. The Festhaus has as many choices for food and drink as you need.

Kings Dominion is a great park. Very similar, although maybe a little smaller, to Kings Island.

We absolutely love the entire Hampton Roads area.

Colonial Williamsburg is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s a whole day if you like and is so cool. We as park enthusiasts tend to do a lot of fake stuff and knowing it’s actual history there was awesome. And that goes for the entire Hampton Roads area, battlegrounds, etc.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Can King's Dominion be done in one day? We would mostly be hitting up the coasters and opening the place up.

Absolutely. But for Twisted Timbers, if you visit on a weekday you've got a good chance for near walkons for all the major rides. Avoid Dominator early in the day as it suffers from Raptor syndrome where everyone goes there and fills the queue because it's the first thing they see. I-305 never seems to have a wait.

OhioStater's avatar

And don't forget to clench your butt cheeks tight as you go down and pull out of the first hill of I-305, even if it is a weekday.


Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

That trick works well for me on Millennium Force (and on, of all coasters, the old Geauga Lake Double Loop which would gray me out a bit on a hot day) but no amount of clenching helped on I-305. I *love* that ride, but even when it's a walk on I can usually only do 2-3 laps at a time before I need to go do something else and come back later.

I've heard the gray out is bad on I-305. I usually gray out on Millennium into the first air time hill. I'll try the clenched butt cheeks trick!

It's one of those rides that I can't believe no one ever went "wait a minute... we're going to subject people to that?" during the engineering phase. Then again, #intamin

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I've only been on it the first year at the media day, butt the butt trick definitely helps. It's a neat ride, but not one I would typically be anxious to ride again.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

I might never ride in the front seat of I-305 again. It's not too bad in the back, but up front is just awful going through that turn, and for me it kind of ruined the rest of the ride. Which I didn't care much for anyway.

On the other hand, the Grizzly, except for the high first turnaround (which is STILL faster than the one in Santa Clara) was a surprisingly good ride, especially compared to at least one of its clones. Seriously, how do you built three copies of a ride and screw one of them up so badly that the Internet declares it the worst wood coaster in the country for something like 30 years? The one at Kings Dominion is NOT the one with that dubious dishonor.

Don't miss the Avalanche, either. It's just a surprising bit of fun, especially considering its age. It really does make the Intamin bobsleds look really bad.

Oh, and Rebel Yell or whatever they're calling it now. Loads of fun hindered by the worst entrance queue design they could come up with. But unlike it's near twin in Ohio, I can easily and comfortably ride it!

One last note: If you missed out on riding Dominator/Batman Knight Flight at Geauga Lake, the huge surprise is that at Kings Dominion it *feels* exactly the same as it did at Geauga, right down to the little wiggle going into the big loop. I expected that the mere fact that it's now sitting on a solid foundation rather than on reaction blocks on pilings driven into the muck would make a difference; it did not.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

I visited in 2018 and rode Dominator/Batman for the first time since the Geauga Lake Series Finale in September 2007. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it had held up for being at the time a nearly 20 year old coaster that has been relocated. It's not as exciting without the water surrounding it, but it's still one of my top looping coasters.

Vater's avatar


Nah, Dominator is decent, but far from one of my favorites. I think that has more to do with my age and tolerance than anything, though. Positive Gs and lots of inversions just don't hold the appeal they once did.

OhioStater said:

And don't forget to clench your butt cheeks tight as you go down and pull out

See what you might miss if you don't click on this thread for a few days?

Vater said:

Nah, Dominator is decent, but far from one of my favorites. I think that has more to do with my age and tolerance than anything, though. Positive Gs and lots of inversions just don't hold the appeal they once did.

That may be why I liked it so much. I have more and more trouble with the loopers as the years go by, but I had no issue at all with several laps on Dominator. Then again, I could have also just been riding the Geauga Lake nostalgia and didn't notice as much.

It was always one of my favorite B&M loopers.
What I could never understand at KD is why they flipped it so the entrance and the front of the ride is what was formerly the back. At Geauga I loved that the first drop went toward the midway, which positioned the low fan turn so that the entrance to the ride was directly under it. I get that it would’ve sent the station further down the path toward (and behind) KD’s kids area, but still. It’s weird and disappointing placement, because it was so visual before.

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