Trip Report (Not Disney 🙁)

Trip report. (Not disney)

Hoping to head back to the most magical place on earth in February if not next summer. So this summer a more budget friendly trip to Virginia was on the cards. Sorry if this is out of place here but I know many mentioned VA trips in posts so here’s ours

Day one. Woke up at 2:00 AM to drive to Kings Dominion from CT. Made it past DC before the huge rush hour. Breakfast and then the park. Got the feel and went straight for Intimidator 305. Was expecting to love it. Maybe I’m just getting old but I kinda blacked out. :grimacing:. It’s a huge coaster and we love thrill rides but this one pushed my brain in a way I wasn’t ready for and I probably should be worked my way up to it. Only went on one more time with same experience. It was hot so we made our way through the park quick. Best ride for us was twisted timbers. Very strong hybrid coaster with a fun layout and long track. We enjoyed flight of fear, dominator and backlot stunt coaster but I got spacey again on anaconda. Volcano was closed. Park was clean and not too big. Overall park was decent but not a destination park by any means. Fun to include as we did with Busch Gardens or D.C.

Then it was off to Williamsburg and the Kingsmill resort just outside Busch Gardens. Made our way over to the lazy river and had bar food and swam for an hour. Unfortunately we were attacked by these biting river mites that had hatched and were pestering the people at the pool. So we took her food back to the room watched TV and the night was pretty much a fail. Kingsmill is not hugely expensive and is very nice. But if I had to do again I would have stayed a courtyard or something more economical. The resort was not worth the price.

Day two.

We woke up had a good breakfast at the resort and drove to Jamestown settlement. One of the highlights of the trip. I highly recommend doing the historic site and not the reproduced site. My daughters found the archeological digs very interesting.

Pocahontas statue !!!:blush:
It was highly educational. Made our way back grabbed some lunch and then it was off to Busch Gardens.

Bush Gardens Williamsburg is a fantastic park. Really impressed. Kind of a combination of Epcot and SixFlags. Countries themed into food, music and shows with the element of some first class roller coasters. A bunch of fun rides highlighted by Griffin, Apollo’s Chariot and the surprisingly super fun Verbolten. This ride belongs in Disney as a complement to Rockin roller coaster. It would bring a elevated thrill aspect to Disney that I feel could really enhance the experience. The virtual ride Battle for Eerie was a disappointment. Not even close to FoP or Universal. We loved Celtic Fire a show on par with almost any at the magical place, and closed the park down.

Day three.

Went to colonial Williamsburg to walk around and see the exhibits. Ashamed to say I felt a little bit of a tourist trap. Some of the stuff was cool like the silversmiths in the festive music, but the pricing of the tickets and what you get for it is a complete insult. I understand that you are helping fund the historical reenactment but the money is excessive and was highly disappointing. Jamestown was far more educational and I was motivated to donate money there where I felt taken advantage of at Williamsburg. Then we drove over to Yorktown which is a drivable his historic journey. It’s mainly open fields and a trek into the woods to see George Washington’s headquarters, which is only trees and bushes but you do get the sense of being somewhere incredibly special driving around. A quick lunch back over to Busch Gardens for another loop and a complete day.

Day four.

Breakfast and a drive to Washington DC where we hit the Smithsonian natural museum and air and space Museum. The butterfly exhibit is super cool, worth the money. And my daughters really enjoyed our day of learning about all kinds of history. Got back in the car fight off some traffic and made our way to New Jersey for a quick bite to eat. And some needed rest.

Day five.

Six Flags great adventure which is a once a year excursion for us. After going on the rides at Busch Gardens we didn’t even go to every attraction there. We focused on what we came for which are the coaster of all coasters kingda ka and the best drop ride I’ve ever been on zoomanjaro, El Toro and some of the other headliners at GA. If you are a coaster junkie, kingda ka is a must.

Then home and sleep to reflect that although we had a great trip it was reinforced there is only one most magical place on earth. Time to set the count down…



Very cool, I hope to visit all of those historical sites with the family, thanks for the tips!

Was thinking about a VA/DC trip (but decided no for this summer). Good info! Looks fun if not magical,

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It was a fun trip but a lot of driving and work too. We get spoiled with the organization of Disney. Looking into our next trip right now :crazy_face:

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El Toro is truly an amazing woodie. I was expecting it to be a bit rough, but it was so smooth and and awesome ride experience.

I didn’t do Kingda Ka mostly because I’ve been on Top Thrill Dragster many times and just find the ride, other than the launch itself, not really worth waiting more than 15 minutes for. My kids rode it, though, and felt it wasn’t really any better than TTD. TTD/KK should be experienced at least ONCE by people. But after that, it isn’t really worth the wait. El Toro is a far better ride than KK! I also found Nitro and Bizarro to be quite enjoyable. And Green Lantern.

What I remember most about SF:GA, however:

  1. The guests at the park were quite rude, and ignoring rules (line-jumping, etc) which weren’t terribly enforced.
  2. The safari attraction there is better than the one at Animal Kingdom.
  3. Security was extremely intimidating. They certainly aren’t trying to make you feel “magical” on park entry, unlike Disney. You enter, and start fearing for your life right from the get-go! :slight_smile:

Coming from a person who has been going to SF since it first opened in the mid 70’s. Security is that way because it has to be. In the 80’s and 90’s that had stabbings and shootings. It is close to major cities like Philly, Newark and Ny City, They would have rival gangs in the parks at time which caused a lot of problems. They have turned that park around in the 90’s the park was empty, which was a great time to have a season pass. We would go at RD and do everything by lunch no waits. If it was not for the safari the state would have shut them down back then. It is now the 2nd or 3rd largest park in North America. But unlike Disney they are not Pooh friendly so I don’t go that often anymore.

Interesting to hear the history. We did Six Flags Great Adventure the same trip we did Six Flags Great America (near Chicago) and there was a night and day difference in terms of clientele. But the park itself was great. One more thing that we noticed…they have something growing in one area of the park (if you go to the RIGHT instead of LEFT when you first enter) that I was terribly allergic to. I mean, my eyes started running/itching, I started sneezing, sniffling like mad. Not sure what it was. But when we moved out of that area, I was okay again. I went back into that area once more, and it immediately started up again!

Thanks for the report!! Glad you and your girls had a great time!!

Sounds like a great trip. We have had season passes to Great Adventure for 2 years now. My daughters are 13 and 16 now, and we love the rides and the waterpark. We were there yesterday and spent 2 hours just floating through their lazy river. We usually don’t go on a Saturday, but it was finally cool in the northeast so we gave it a go. The Safari isn’t as much fun as when you could drive through it. You can still see the monkey section when going up the hill on Bizzarro. But the Safari guides are great. There are a few that have YouTube channels and a great knowledge of the park animals. And those kids are hard workers. Our favorite guide also works at the Wawa outside the gates. He made an announcement to the store crowd that my 13 year old was the only one who laughed out loud to all of his jokes and knew the answers to all of his animal questions.
We went to the Massachusetts Six Flags at the end of June and while it was newer and cleaner, we saw fights, kids stealing food and merchandise and experienced the highest number of people who " don’t speak English " when cutting through the lines or fighting with the ride operators when they don’t fit or board the ride correctly. It took quite a few visits to Great Adventure to see all of those scenes, but one half day in Massachusetts to see it all.