We've been visiting Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for years, but this is the first year that my tween was tall enough to do ALL the roller coasters. So on a gorgeous day during Spring Break, he and his dad did just that and rode every single one -- at least half a dozen times. My husband was happy to finally have an enthusiastic roller coaster buddy and I was relieved to pass the torch. Here is our family run down (with minimum height restrictions in parenthesis):
Loch Ness Monster® (48") is a fun starter roller coaster with fast 60 mph speeds, smooth turns and loops. This is a good roller coaster for anyone who meets the height restriction: it's thrilling, but not terrifying. Located in the Scotland area.
Verbolten® (48"): we were fooled by this one. The cars look like friendly race cars, which attracted the younger kids in the family. And from the outside, the dips and turns look manageable, so our whole family (from my 7 year old daughter to my 70 year old mother) climbed in for a ride. Big mistake. This coaster packs a lot more jolts and surprises than we realized: racing through a darkened Black Forest, dropping unexpectedly, and then accelerating rapidly. My husband and tween were impressed and couldn't wait to ride it again, but the rest of us were a bit shaken! Verbolten is located in the Oktoberfest area.
Apollo's Chariot (52"): the ups and downs on this roller coaster make it advisable to eat your lunch AFTER riding it, not before. Speeds reach up to 73 mph at incredibly steep angles. My thrill seekers LOVED it. This is an intense ride meant for speed demons. Located in the Italy area.
Alpengiest® (54"): this is by far my favorite coaster. As you travel at speeds up to 67 mph with your legs dangling freely below you, the sensation of flying is incredible. There are multiple loops and incredible heights too (200 feet). Anyone who loves roller coasters will love this one too -- but if you're scared of heights -- beware! Located in the Germany area.
Griffon (54"): this is one INTIMIDATING coaster. Just before the enormous drop, riders are dangled over the edge…just waiting for the fall. It's a perfect ploy to wring the maximum about of terror from its riders. Because of this dangling trick, riders in the front row have to be very brave…or close their eyes (like I did). In fact, I was so terrified I had to repeat a yoga mantra to get through it. The straight down 90 degree drop is so much like a free fall that I was literally floating in my seat as my breath was sucked out of my lungs. Needless to say, this my tween's favorite coaster -- and the fact that it scared the heck out of his mom was just a bonus. Griffon is located in the France area.
All in all it was a thrilling day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Spring is the perfect time to visit -- the weather is mild and there were no lines for many of the rides. While my husband and tween rode coaster after coaster, the rest of us had a wonderful time with the attractions on the ground. With the variety of rides and extreme thrills offered, I don't know of a better place for a family to experience great roller coasters!
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