In a Nutshell: Busch Gardens & Kings Dominion

by Virginia Blog | Posted: Jul 6, 2015 | Updated: Jul 6, 2016

Comments: 8 Comments

Have you ever wondered what the major differences are between Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion? Here’s a quick glance at the basic facts of Virginia’s two famed theme parks.



Williamsburg | 383-acre theme park, 60.4 miles northwest of Virginia Beach


Single Day $77 (age 10+) and $67 (ages 3-9)

Busch Gardens and Water Country USA “Fun Card” $102

Groups of 15-75 tickets single day $55, Group Dining Package $74.75

One year pass $144, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA one year pass $192

Open most weekdays in the summer from 10am-9pm, and 10am-10pm on weekends.

Purchase Tickets


To See & Do:

There are seven main roller coasters plus some children’s coasters, seven different shows, and four different festivals and themed events.

Last year, the park introduced a new launch coaster, Tempesto, at 63 mph and 154 feet. The newest addition will come in 2017 with InvadR, the park’s first wooden coaster. The ride tells the story of Vikings plundering a French village, and you will have to help defend the inhabitants from the invaders.

Tempesto at Busch Gardens

Tempesto at Busch Gardens

Eight different themed areas in the park let you experience visiting different countries such as England, France, and Germany. In each of these areas there are places to shop for souvenirs and specialty theme gifts for each country.

The park has been open for 41 years and has been voted the world’s most beautiful theme park since 1990.

It supports and takes part in conservation by supporting and working with more than 100 environmental organizations all over the globe, grants millions of dollars in wildlife research and has many different animal exhibits and shows to encourage this in the park’s visitors.

More than 15 different places to eat throughout the park, Dining Deals are available starting at $6.69 for children and $15.29 for adults, and an opportunity for children to eat with Elmo and other characters.


Busch Gardens offers an online vacation planner to make the entire experience easier in a package form:

A Blast of Summer Fun package (starting at $50 per person/night), Design-Your-Own package, and Whole Lotta Williamsburg (which includes Colonial Williamsburg as well as Busch Gardens).

Each of these packages includes hotel accommodations and dinner certificates. There are also different packages offered for each season of the year.




Doswell | 400-acre theme park 20 miles north of Richmond, 75 miles south of Washington, D.C.

Opened May of 1975


Whenever you buy online you can save up to $10

One Day Sale (July 9-July 24): $29.99

Single Day $50, After 4pm $40, Admission and Fast Lane $104

Military $38, Groups (15-99) $34.50, Fast Lane $48, Fast Lane Plus $63

Silver Season Pass $83, Gold Season Pass $125, Platinum Season Pass $210, Silver Season Pass + Dining $188

Open most days during the summer from 10:30am-10:00pm.

Open until midnight for special events during the fall season.

Kings Dominion: Soak City

Kings Dominion: Soak City

To See & Do:

There are 60 rides, shows, and attractions, including 15 roller coasters with Intimidator 305 at 305 feet tall and reaching 90 mph as the highlight.

Kids love the PEANUTS themed children’s play area and characters.

The Eiffel Tower is a major attraction and well-known figure of the park, standing at 315 feet with an observation deck at 264 feet.

Find 36 different restaurants and vendors are placed throughout the park.

The brand new 20–acre water park, Soak City, is found inside the main park. Soak City is open most days in the summer from Noon-8:00pm.


On-site lodging and campgrounds are offered including a Best Western Kings Quarters (offering free shuttle service to the park), Camp Wilderness Deluxe Cabins, and Camp Wilderness Campsites.

Off-Site Services include Country Inn & Suits, Days Inn, and La Quinta Inn and Suites in Doswell. Others include Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn, and many more located close by in Ashland or a little farther away in Glen Allen, Ruther Glen, and Fredericksburg.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


John Q says:

I met a group of people from the A.C.E. (American Coaster Enthusiasts) at Busch one day and talked to them. I had recently seen a billboard that touted KD as having the most coasters on the East Coast. I asked the ACE members which of the two had the BEST coasters. They told me about their group outings. The previous week, they had been to KD and had unlimited access to one of their coasters for an hour before the public was allowed to ride. One said he only rode it twice in that hour because he couldn’t stand being beat up. The day they were at BG, they had that same access to Apollo’s Chariot and he said he rode it 10 times and felt fine. No bumps, no bruises.

Rachel Humphrey says:

There are reasons I pick bg over kings. The water park is trashy at kd and far into the park. Wish there was another entrance into it and it was cleaner. Food maybe more at bg but it’s way better. Black asphalt at kd. It’s just hotter but I’m not sure why maybe the black asphalt.

Brandon Landers says:

Meal deals have gone up at BG. To 23 for adult. Not worth it

SP says:

BG and KD… two more reasons Virginia is the best! Virginia rollercoasters are as good as you will find anywhere. BG has three of the best B&M coasters and KD has two of the world’s most unique Intamins. Most states would love to have EITHER of these parks.

Anonymous says:

Kings Dominion also offers a military season pass that is $80 for the whole summer. IMO Kings Dominion is an amusement park and BG is a theme park. Huge difference between the two.

sandra says:

Kings Dominion is black asphalt top hott as hell and too many “trashy” people going there…in my opinion

Chris says:

Busch Gardens is open until 9:00 or 10:00 during the summer, not 6:00 as stated in this post.