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Old 01-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
loveysbydesign
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HELP!!! Williamsburg, VA and Busch Gardens?? Yea or Nay?

Thinking of going to Williamsburg for the 1st time! Want to do DL or WDW but looks like our budget may not allow for that this year.
Our kids would be 14, 10 and 6 if we go this summer.
Trying to keep it cheap and fun. Can anyone recommend a place to stay for the 5 of us? Hotel, motel, condo??? We'll be planning to eat some meals wherever we're staying so need at least a fridge and micro, mini-kitchen would be a plus.
Looking into tix. options but I can;t find much right now. Had read about a "Bounce" ticket on trip advisor but I can't seem to find any info. as to where to buy it for 2013.
Any tips for going to BG, Water Country or Colonial Williamsburg would be great
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!

Last edited by loveysbydesign; 01-23-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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We went last year for the first time and I think as a family we enjoyed it better then our Disney/Orlando trips! It was great and so much to occupy a wide range of ages. My kids were 12, 9 and 5 and they all had a blast. We got the "bounce pass". It was good for as many entries to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch gardens and Water country as we wanted for 7 days. We spent a full day at each place and another half day at Colonial Wiliiamsburg and two more half days at Busch gardens. Definatley check out Yankee Candle Factory Outlet, so much more then just a store. Can't really give you advice on a hotel as we stayed in a time share condo. We also went on a "ghoost walk" one night and it was alot of fun. One restaurant that we all really enjoyed was Food for Thought, it was very busy but service was fairly quick and the food was great.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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We stayed a couple of days in Williamsburg and went to Busch gardens a few days this past summer with our girls who were 11, 9 and 6. We were stopping through on a move from RI to GA, and since we had BG annual passes we decided to make a mini -vaca of it. DDs LOVED BG. They are still asking to go back. I can't give you much info about what else to do there because we just went to the park for a couple of days and the water park for a day. The parks are absilutely beautiful to just walk around and DH and DDs said the rollercoasters were the best especially Verbolten.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, can't really help on the hotel thing 'cause we lived there so didn't need a hotel. I will say that there are LOTS of them. If you have a chain preference, you will find it there.

DH and I had season passes to BGW...we would go several times a year just to wander around.

Never went to Water Country.

As for CW, spent my summer working there.

The bounce passes may be harder to find right now because BG/WC are closed and I don't think they've finalized their 2013 pricing yet. But I'm sure that will be available as it gets closer to your trip.

DH lived in the area his whole life and I lived there for 20+ years. We just moved and I miss it sooooooo much. Let me know if you have any specific questions, it will give me a chance to "reminisce" a bit.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
loveysbydesign
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Thanks everyone! I just need to convince the fam. that we'll have a great time...all they want is Disney, Disney, Disney!

hiwaygal we love pizza and I know we'll want to eat it at least twice ...can you recommend any good pizza places?
We also love nature, can you recommend a good state or local park to visit while we're there?
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!

Last edited by loveysbydesign; 01-23-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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There is the Sesame Place Super Grover Season Pass for $169. This gets you unlimited admission to BG and Water Country USA. If you happen to make it to Florida, it also gives you unlimited admission to Sea World, Aquatica, and Adventure Island. The season pass for 2013 is $169, but if purchased by March 1, it's 20% off.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehn View Post
There is the Sesame Place Super Grover Season Pass for $169. This gets you unlimited admission to BG and Water Country USA. If you happen to make it to Florida, it also gives you unlimited admission to Sea World, Aquatica, and Adventure Island. The season pass for 2013 is $169, but if purchased by March 1, it's 20% off.
I did see that as a friend of mine does get these every year...but I thought the $169 was with the 20% off. If you get another 20% off that would be a great price, although the Bounce pass is around $100 and includes CW which we want to tour as well.
Hmmm...will have to check it out again! http://commerce.4adventure.com/EStor...Passports.aspx

Ok...editied to add I went through the checkout and it was $181 w/tax total for 1 ticket..so i guess $169 is w/the 20% off already.
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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We did this about 3 years ago.
It was a good trip!

We stayed thru time-share at GreenSprings. Full condo with full kitchen.
There are many options.
Yes, I can definitely recommend GreenSprings.

LINK: Note: this is for both diamond resorts in the area. Powhatan is an older resort.
https://www.diamondresorts.com/Virginia-Resorts

If it is still the same, the BOUNCE passes are the way to go.
I imagine that you are just not seeing them for 2013 yet, as mentioned. I believe now that you can get them right from either BG or HW.
If it is still the same, you must pick up your passes at the front of the Park you purchase from.
We knew we wanted to visit HW first in the week, due to their activity schedule... So, we purchased our Bounce Passes ahead of time from them.

We did enjoy Historic Williamsburg, Busch Gardens is a great park!, and Water Country is a good way to spend a hot day. (Everyone MUST have water shoes at this park!!!!)

We tried to go off season, just before Memorial, but it still became very hot that year, and fairly crowded.

From the condo, we also took a bus day-trip to DC. We were covering American History with DS, and vacationing at the same time!

There is just so much to offer at all of the Parks and Areas we covered.
We had a really good trip!
Spend some real time on their web-sites and on Trip Advisor.

I think that going in the heat and crowds of summer would really have an impact. But, that might the true at many vacation destinations. We always travel off season whenever possible. We made this trip in May, just before Memorial, as we wanted the water park to be open. OMG, that year there was already record, triple digit, heat index. And, while not over crowded, there were a more people than I would have liked.

We REALLY wanted to get into Christiana Campbell's at Historic Williamsburg, and began calling the day before... We never could get in... There were so many people wanting reservations that they set up tables outside on the covered porches... We decided that it was way to hot for dining al Fresco! Man, I really wanted those delicious sweet potato muffins, and the stuffed shrimp appetizer for my entree!

So, do realize that you might need to plan ahead and make some reservations for dining and activities.

If you decide to go, you can ask me for more specific details!

Last edited by Wishing on a star; 01-22-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
loveysbydesign
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Also forgot to ask..is there a beach within 1-1 1/2 hour drive from there?
__________________

May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
Thanks everyone! I just need to convince the fam. that we'll have a great time...all they want os Disney, Disney, Disney!

hiwaygal we love pizza and I know we'll want to eat it at least twice ...can you recommend any good pizza places?
We also love nature, can you recommend a good state or local park to visit while we're there?
I'd go to Anna's for pizza.

Anna's Brick Oven Pizza‎
2021 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185

annasbrickoven.com


As for nature, you can head out toward Jamestown (that's probably one of the better "parks") on the Colonial parkway. Part of it is Historic Jamestowne (the national park) and part of it is Jamestown settlement (kinda like CW but you can do it in a day).

However, CW has lovely gardens and you can walk around the area for free. You need a ticket for any of the interpretive sites, but anyplace you can buy something you can go in for free ( ) Keep in mind that some hours during the day they may block access to some parts of the historic area for Revolutionary City scenes. It's usually only for an hour or so and then it re-opens.

Waller Mill Park is a nice place too. You can also venture down the peninsula for some other neat stuff (Virginia Living Museum or Mariners Museum in Newport News, Air and Space Center in Hampton)
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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Also forgot to ask..is there a beach within 1-1 1/2 hour drive from there?
Yes. There are beaches nearby.

One in Yorktown, one in Newport News (I wouldn't go there), and one in Hampton (Buckroe Beach). The Yorktown beach is freshwater maybe brackish (not sure); Buckroe Beach is the Chesapeake Bay so more on the salty side.

If you get really adventurous, you can try driving down to Virginia Beach, but if you get a bad traffic day, it would really suck.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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I answered your question on trip advisor. How funny its that!!!!

Here is a link to our trip report. Our kids loved it!!!!

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._Virginia.html
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveysbydesign View Post
Thanks everyone! I just need to convince the fam. that we'll have a great time...all they want os Disney, Disney, Disney!

hiwaygal we love pizza and I know we'll want to eat it at least twice ...can you recommend any good pizza places?
We also love nature, can you recommend a good state or local park to visit while we're there?
http://www.salsristoranteitaliano.com/

Go here for amazing pizza! This is one of my favorite pizza places in the world (of the parts of the world that I've been to!).

We go once a year to BG for Hallowscream, and usually once each summer to WC, love both of them. We also enjoy the shopping district near CW, but we've never done the actual exhibits. We also enjoy the cheese shop a lot.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiwaygal View Post
I'd go to Anna's for pizza.

Anna's Brick Oven Pizza‎
2021 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185

annasbrickoven.com


As for nature, you can head out toward Jamestown (that's probably one of the better "parks") on the Colonial parkway. Part of it is Historic Jamestowne (the national park) and part of it is Jamestown settlement (kinda like CW but you can do it in a day).

However, CW has lovely gardens and you can walk around the area for free. You need a ticket for any of the interpretive sites, but anyplace you can buy something you can go in for free ( ) Keep in mind that some hours during the day they may block access to some parts of the historic area for Revolutionary City scenes. It's usually only for an hour or so and then it re-opens.

Waller Mill Park is a nice place too. You can also venture down the peninsula for some other neat stuff (Virginia Living Museum or Mariners Museum in Newport News, Air and Space Center in Hampton)
I would agree with all said here. I lived in Williamsburg 2010-2011 and now I live in Newport News, actually about 5 miles from Yorktown beach- which is an awesome little area to visit it is on the banks of the York river, a few restaurants, ben and jerry's ice cream, they also have a few different boat cruises you can go on too. There are some really great outlet malls in Williamsburg, and if you are looking for a wonderful park you should look into Newport News Park, it is situated on a lake and you can rent canoes, paddle boats and jon boats. We go there quite often. Lots of walking trails and its very close to Williamsburg. There are a lot of pizza/italian restaurants in the area but I agree go to Anna's brick oven. Good pizza, good people who own it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:28 PM   #15
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Until we decided to remodel the kitchen this summer, I was all set on Williamsburg.

I joined www.redweek.com and kept an eye out for something at Wyndham's Govenor's Green-- for my family that looked like the best of the Williamsburg resorts. (It would enable my 14 year old son, who is 4 inches taller than I am, to sleep in a BED, as opposed to on a sofa bed, for a week. And the location is great.)

Everything I've read about redweek has been great!
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