New at Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion for 2013

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Mar 14, 2013 | Updated: Apr 16, 2018

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Virginia’s theme parks are preparing to open for the spring and summer season – one as soon as this Sunday. If your family LOVEs to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, as well as get the first coaster-induced adrenaline rush of 2013, here are a few fun things you should know.


Alpengeist is just one of the thrilling coasters at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

Alpengeist is just one of the thrilling coasters at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia opens this Sunday, March 17 at 10 a.m. If you’re an annual pass holder, you get in a day early! Pass members will be treated to a preview day this Saturday, complete with a Black Forest picnic. Reserve your spot.

The newest ride at Busch Gardens is Verbolten. It opened mid-season 2012, so if you visited the park early last year, you missed out on this gem. It’s an indoor/outdoor multi-launch coaster that departs from a German tourist center. With various scenarios, you never know which path your autobahn will take.

Don’t miss the inaugural Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival. It’s happening every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 31 through June 23. As you make your way through the park you’ll encounter foods and beverages authentic to each country of Busch Gardens with a few extras thrown in, like sangria from Spain. The Festival experience is in addition to your park admission. Each of-age guest will be able to pre-load a card to swipe at each station, taking cash-fumbling out of the equation.


  • Sesame Street Forest of Fun Preschool Pass – Register online and redeem at the park by May 31, 2013 for your preschooler (ages 3-5) to enjoy unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens and Water Country USA through September 2, 2013. Valid for Virginia residents only.
  • Fun Card – The single day admission for Busch Gardens is $70 and the Fun Card is $70. If there’s the slightest chance you’ll go again before September 2, 2013, get the Fun Card and enjoy unlimited admission.
  • Meal Deal Package – One price ($22) gives you two meals – a lunch and a dinner. That’s a 40% savings available online only.
    • Kid’s Dining Certificate – One kid’s meal and a fountain drink for $5.99. It’s not discounted, but it goes to show that you can feed the kids without breaking the bank.


Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, opens Friday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m., rolling out a brand new, re-imagined Planet Snoopy. Eight new rides bring the total to 18 and doubles the space at nearly 14 acres. That makes it the world’s largest PEANUTS themed children’s area. Check out the webcam to monitor the process.

If the all-new kid fun isn’t enough to pull you to KD, maybe the largest entertainment line-up in years will do the trick. Seven brand new offerings take the total to 10, giving you plenty of options to sit and take a break. Expect to see a BMX-style show that will include semifinalists from Season 7 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” and a new “On Broadway” musical revue that brings you the classic shows from New York City.


  • Everyone Pays Kids Price Offer – Buy your single-day ticket online and pay the kid’s rate of $39.99. That’s a $22 savings for adults and only available online for a visit by June 16, 2013. Note that you have to pick your date of visit to complete the purchase.
  • Silver Season Pass – Visit KD as much as you want until September 2, 2013 for only $72. The regular adult single-day admission is $61.99 at the gate, so for just $10 more you can come back again and again. This pass is valid for ages 3 and over. A perk to being a Silver Season Pass holder is the 10% discount on in-park dollars, called Beagle Bucks.

What are you waiting for? Get your tickets and plan your Virginia Theme Park vacation before the deals – and time – are gone.

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