I am planning a spring break trip to the Washington D.C. area, and I have the choice of PKD or Busch Gardens. After looking at both websites, I am still undecided. I thought I'd check here and see what you all had to say. Remember, this is a key decision for my trip, and I'll probably trust your judgement, so don't steer me wrong. :)
I vote Busch Gardens on almost all accounts. It is, in my opinion, the best looking park in terms of setting and landscaping in the country. It has a great set of steel coasters. The food is good as is the entertainment. It is an easy decision. But that is me...
P.S. I love wooden coasters, but still recommend this park without hesitation.
I've never been to BGW (hoping to remedy that this summer), but I can say this. What are you looking for? Are you a quantity kinda guy, or a personal, quality kind of guy? I've heard nothing but good things about BGW. With BGW, you get a good quality park with 4 good quality coasters, and good quality food, entertainment, themeing, etc. In fact, some say the best quality, right up there with Disney.
PKD is a good quality park, IMHO, but it is definitly more about Quantity. Where BGW themes the heck out of each and every ride, PKD has some theming, as well as thrills that aren't so themed. You will have fun at both parks, it just ends up as what would you prefer?
Do you want to add a bunch of (fair to good) coasters to your count? Anaconda is a good Arrow. Despite what Moosh says, Volcano is fun, and Flight of fear is great. I haven't done Hypersonic yet, but Ricochet is a lot of fun, Grizzley is fun, and maybe Hurler and Rebel Yell will have gotten some love for this year.
Shockwave isn't as Bad as Gator says, Avalanche is interesting, Scooby...err...Farily Odd Coaster is good, and if you have a kid, the Taxi coaster can be had as well.
PKD has a couple decent flats (and I hear Drop Zone is great), and some nice water rides, and it's waterpark is included.
BGW is my recommendation. It has an excellent selection of rides and shows, food is good. PKD is a nice park as well, but myself, family and friends have a better time as a whole at BGW since their is something their for everyone to do.
If you have never been to either and can only do one, I would say BGW. It's one of my favorites. While PKD is a decent park, BGW is more of an experience. Whichever one you don't do though, put it on your short list to do in the future.
Personally I would choose BGW, allthough it only has 4 roller coasters they are all fantastic. LNM is the smoothest and best Arrow looper Ive been on, AC is a super smooth airtime filled Hyper, BBW is the best Arrow suspended and quite unique (be sure to ride it after dark as this ride is 3X better then) and Alpengeist is beyond words.
On top of that you have themeing and shows on par with the Orlando parks and their new ride, the Curse of Darkastle, is a dark ride using the same ride system of Spiderman @ IOA.
Also Williamsburg is one of my favorite places to visit if you want to stay a few days you can buy a combo pass that will get you into BGW, Water Country USA (a top tier waterpark) and Colonial Williamsburg a spacious and well run historical re-enactment park that focuses on the years surounding the Revolutionary War.
PKD is a great park, but they dont have a single "knock your socks off" roller coaster, in my opinion, BGW has two. Regardless of what you choose youll have a great time.
*** Edited 1/27/2005 3:00:34 PM UTC by Touchdown***
I totally agree that Hypersonic was a huge letdown, probably one of my least favorite roller coasters there. But I loved Volcano and FOF and Drop Zone was an awesome ride too. Of course, I've never been to BGW so I can't compare.
Busch Gardens is one of my favorite amusement parks and hard to find a reason why not to go there. With the new Spiderman type ride (forget the exact name) it seems like there is enough to do there to keep me happy.
I have been to PKD as well a few years back. I missed out of Hypersonic and didn't find the wooden coasters that impressive. Volcano and FOF are pretty good coasters, but I would take Loch Ness Monster over Anaconda as far as Arrow loopers are concerned. Hopefully you will get to experience both if that is possible.
I think you should go to BGW for the overall experience. Its an amazing park with Amazing rides you can't find anywhere else. Though they lack wood, They have a great inverted coaster and hyper coaster. Loch Ness is awesome and Big Bad Wolf is just an amazing coaster as well. On top of that they have wonderful scenery and great shows. You can't go wrong with BGW.
I loved Volcano at PKD. But that was about it. Nothing else there got my attention.
BGW for sure... A place you will not forget. PKD was amazing as well, but like other people said, they do have alot of mediocure rides.. Alpengiest and Apollo are just two amazing rides you debate between all day plus the bratwurst... yum.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It doesn't have as many thrill rides as PKD, but what it has are of the most memorable coasters you'll ever see. The white gorgeous twisting beast of Alpengeist glowing in the sun, and Loch Ness Monster is probably the most beautiful coaster on the East Coast. The food is really good in the park too. BGW has the quality, man. I'm taking my boyfriend there in June for his 30th birthday.
I like BGW, but I love PKD. Sorry, but I am not impressed by BGW's theming or setting. It is by far the better looking park, but that is not what I go to parks for.
BBW is so overrated...Avalanche at PKD is better. LNM is still just an Arrow looper and PKD has one. Alpie is not even close to my favorite invert...it needs to be smaller with quicker changes and stronger forces. AC is awesome...but not as awesome as a front seat ride on Volcano at night. A front seat ride on Hypersonic is not to be missed either. If you hit Volcano early, try a night time marathon on Grizzly and test different seats. If the line on Shockwave is short, try that a few times. Try to put the restraints as low as possible and then press yourself up as high as possible. Once you get to the point where the ride does not beat you up...the ejector air on that standup is amazing. I can do 10 days at PKD for every one at BGW.
PKD was my home park for many years and I miss it. I am not that motivated to get back to BGW.
However...you can have a great day at BGW too. It is a very nice park.