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Friday, April 8, 2022

Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2022

Spring has finally come, and that means the amusement park offseason is over. My first trip of the year was with my high school orchestra to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. Our time at the park was cut due to a stomach virus, but I'm grateful we had the time we did. The fourth Busch Gardens park (originally named "The Old Country") is themed to European countries, and even at the start of April, the park was many times lusher than my Western Pennsylvania home, with lots of flowers and budding trees.
The attraction I was looking forward to the most was the new Pantheon coaster, which just opened on March 25th. It's the closest I've ridden a coaster to its grand opening date, and it's hundreds of miles away! Pantheon, my first roller coaster of 2022, completely blew me away. It's been a really long time since a steel coaster left me so impressed. You go forwards, backward, 200 feet in the air... a great ride.
Busch Gardens had two of its three steam engines circling the park. It's hard to see in this image, but the Alpen Express has a snowplow on its front.
Der Hochbeinige approaches, steaming across the trestle bridge.
You would be shocked at how many of my friends said they rode the bumper cars and swings when they could've ridden a real steam train!
The Busch Gardens Skyride is another fantastic ride. Tracing a one-of-a-kind triangular path, the one-way Skyride has three stations. It has been at the park since opening day in 1975.
Just for fun, here's a picture I took of the Cedar Point Skyride with the colors lined up in sequence. Von Roll Skyrides are some of the most relaxing rides anywhere!
Back at Busch Gardens, here are some buckets setting off across the river valley the park is built around, nicknamed the "Rhine River."
Multiple coasters use the park's natural terrain, but none are more legendary than the Loch Ness Monster.
Opened in 1978, Loch Ness Monster is one of the most iconic rides built by Arrow Development. It was the first coaster ever to feature interlocking loops, in an age of ever-more convoluted rides, the comparingly simple interlocking loops still leave an impression (and are cleverly worked into the ride's sign).
Just a little rough after nearly 45 years of operation, this coaster is one of the most charming I've ever ridden.
In the foreground is the Rhine River Cruise attraction, which was not yet ready for the season.
We're setting off towards France on the Skyride now. I hope you enjoyed this look around Busch Gardens Williamsburg on a beautiful spring day!