Podcast Episode

Ep 51- Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA


Sorry no news and trivia this week! We recap our experiences at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water country USA. See the website for a transcript!








Autumn: Hello there. And welcome back to the Easy Diz It cast, a podcast, all about travel planning through the lenses of mindfulness and behavioral health.

My name’s Autumn. I’m a clinical Social Worker and a new to Disney enthusiast. In,

Justin: I am Justin, I’m a behavior analyst and a hyper nerd travel planner.

Autumn: So we hope you enjoyed today’s episode. We warn you. It is gonna be different. It’s not going to be quite a regular show because we are just nine hours back from vacation and we got in at about 3:00 AM.

Yeah. But, but we have some experiences that, that we wanna share and that we think might be helpful to you.

Justin: Yeah. So let’s have happened to that. Let’s have like a post vacation, chit chat. That’ll be the format for today’s show chat, little coffee chat Chi chat. And we have until Darwyn, our two and a half year old daughter wakes up from her nap.

Yes. So let’s get started. Let’s get started on well, what it was, well, we went to Busch gardens, Williamsburg. We did, which is approximately a 550 mile drive from where we are here in Connecticut. Mm-hmm we [00:01:00] rented a car through. Turo which is a ride she renting. So it’s like Uber, except they don’t drive you like you just pick up the car.

Yeah. Significantly cheaper than what rental places are costing right now. Right. For the week it ended up costing $450, which for a 2000 Nissan Altima. Would you

Autumn: 2020, 20, sorry, not a 2000, not a 2000. That’s not for a 22 year old car, but for a two year old car

Justin: what did you think of the car?

Autumn: Well it drove nice.

Mm-hmm it was roomy in the front and the back. Both of our cars are significantly older than that. So it was, I mean, we were like, ah, what there’s like apple music play and there’s basically like a tablet in the front that, you know, that’s like a touch screen. Super quiet. It drove smoothly. So yeah, mean, it was always nice to have, have.

A new car. You’re like you, then you’re like, oh, that’s right. New car. This is why people do this. You know, you get you forget. And I love our cars and they’re comfortable enough for our day to day, but it was certainly nice to do a long ride [00:02:00] in a, in a more comfortable


Justin: So, yeah, we used the Turro app T U R O.

I, I gotta say pickup was relatively easy. You just take some pictures in the app mm-hmm and drop off was easy too. I can’t, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this service yet to any of like my clients or friends. This is something I think I need to sure. Maybe experience again. Maybe look into a little bit more it worked out for us maybe, you know?

Right. We’ll see. Time will tell . Yeah,

Autumn: yeah, we’ll see. Exactly. But, but yeah, we it’s safe. Yeah. We made it there. We made it back.

Justin: So the drive down there with a two and a half year old daughter how did we accomplish that? On the drive down?

Autumn: We left at midnight. So, you know, she went to bed at her regular.

Eight o’clock bedtime. And then we transferred her to the car. And so, you know, the first hour she was still kind of up, but she was like, like she said, I think maybe eight words. Yeah. And was just really dozed off and like looking at the lights. And then after that she fell asleep for about three hours.

Justin: Yeah. And some of those words, I think Mo most of those [00:03:00] words where she was like mumbling her own version of the Bluey theme song. Yes.

So she, she was dreaming with her eyes a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. So, so the right down with her was, was pretty good. and that

actually, that was one of my favorite things I think about that first day was I feel like that was really fun for her, that like half dream car ride, cuz she was smiling the whole time and she was like fascinated by everything.

Yes. And very sweet. So I think that was a lot of fun for her. Yes. Yeah.

Autumn: And we got there and we were like, Beach and there were new things, so,

Justin: right. So we, we drove through the night mm-hmm and we stopped we, so we’re going to Williamsburg, but we ended up driving to Virginia Beach that drive included at the end, a 17 mile bridge.


Autumn: 17.88, six, yeah, six, eight. I can’t remember. What is it? A ch channel bridge.

Justin: Yeah, it was the Chesapeake bay channel tunnel bridge tunnel bridge,

Autumn: which is the fourth longest in the country. So this was cool. Cause it was a surprise. It you are, when I say, I mean, you [00:04:00] are over the ocean on just a two-lane.

Yeah. You know? And so normally you’re used to a bridge that might go over a small body of water it’s too. I, I find that those are normally at least four-lane bridges. Yeah. And this it’s a, it’s pretty narrow. You’re two lane. And on one side, alls you see are like the, I don’t know what they’re called, but like the rosters pylons that hold up the bridge in just the water up super high.

So it’s beautiful, but it’s very unnerving because it’s so narrow. That it’s not like being over most like, you know, small bridges that go over water. Like, you’re kind of like my I’m in the middle of the ocean. Like there’s no turn of 17, almost 18 miles of that. Yeah. But it was beautiful.

Justin: So it was, it was two, two lane bridges.

Yes. So while you’re on one bridge, you see oncoming traffic on another bridge? Yes. And just, yeah, for me the same thing, seeing that other bridge floating on the water, or it wasn’t floating, but it looked like it was floating. It was just. Yeah. Unnerving

Autumn: Because you don’t see an end. Exactly. I think that’s what you’re just on the there’s no, I mean, you’re looking and you’re like, I don’t see [00:05:00] land yeah. Well, we, you normally do

Justin: when we approached the bridge, we didn’t know this bridge was happening. No, I’m like, where is the end to this bridge? And we couldn’t see it. And I’m like, this is a bad dream. Yeah. Did we?

Autumn: Yeah. Yeah. Can we turn around?. Is there an end and then so I’m like, let’s, we can’t still be on this and then there’s like three tunnels.

Yeah. So you’re under the ocean. Yeah. For about three or four times. Yeah. And so I looked it up. Yeah. And it is, it is the fourth, fourth largest. So there

Justin: it is in Virginia. So we arrived in Virginia Beach around 8:00 AM and we, we just went right to the beach. We parked near the beach. We had a cooler in the car.

We did, we had our chairs in umbrella. And we went right to Virginia Beach right past the Neptune statue. Yes. It was a cool beach. It was. And the waves

Autumn: were, I think the waves were insane, which was like, cool. Mm-hmm in like consistently, like they were big, like they were pushing Justin mm-hmm . But it was hard.

It was hard Wynn didn’t really, she didn’t get to get in as much as, no, I think she would’ve liked her. We would’ve liked her too.

Justin: Yeah. She was a lot better with the Hampton beach science waves. Yeah.

Autumn: Yeah, yeah. But we played in the [00:06:00] sand. We hung out there. We had a nice morning cuz we couldn’t check in either.

So we said, why don’t we start the day doing something? Right.

Justin: Cause we knew we wanted to drive through the night to like maximize the time she was sleeping mm-hmm so we could drive and we only took it like eight hours to get down there. Eight and a half hours. Yeah. Which was pretty good. Yeah. It was pretty good.

It was less than eight. So that was the plan, but then we’re kind of left in this position. Well, what are we do until check-in. So we hung out into the beach until noon. I think we got to Williamsburg around one and asked really nicely for a check-in and they really nicely said, no, come back. We’ll we’ll call you when it’s ready or come back at four.

Yeah. And I, when they said, or come back at four knew we were coming

Autumn: back at four. Yeah. So. what did we do? We will,

Justin: you had a drop off some mail for you. That’s right. Yeah. And I became progressively more delirious and unfit to drive .

Autumn: So you took a nap, the post office. There’s a lot of people in there and it was the end of the day.

So that took a while. So Justin took a nice nap in the post office parking lot. Yeah. With Wynn while I was in there.

Justin: And when she came back in the car to wake me. [00:07:00] I thought I was, I was dreaming that I was driving. Yeah. And so I was like, really scared. I’m like, what did I do? And that’s when we realized I was done driving.


Autumn: so I drove back and then the nice thing was once we got back and we were ready to check in my brother and sister-in-law nieces were there. Yeah. We pulled in like at the same time they had gone out to eat. I think so. So that was, that was great. Oh, we also went out to eat. We did. Yeah. Where did we go?

Justin: We went to the Golden Corral. Justin’s favorite place. Well, it’s my favorite place cuz it’s $10 for lunch and three and under eat free. Yeah. And the food is divine mediocrity. Yes. It is a great selection of mediocre food that your whole family can enjoy. Yeah.

Autumn: That was Wynn’s first buffet. It was. So that was cool.

She was still tired delirious too, though. She had been.

Justin: she loved it though. I was like, do you want some of this? She loved it. Yeah, no, no, no. She, it, you want some of this? Of coy (course) how about this? Yeah,

Autumn: yeah. no, she did. We got, we got some, I got some cute pictures and video of that. And [00:08:00] yeah, so then we went back to the hotel, kind of got settled.

Mm-hmm mm-hmm When was this, this was Monday.

Justin: It was the Patriot in, in Williamsburg. We paid less than a hundred dollars a night for a, a suite, basically. Right. That had like the fold out queen full kitchen a nice pool. Yeah.

Autumn: Really nice pool. Yeah. Yeah. It was one of the best pools. I’ve I’ve experie.

Yeah, it

Justin: was experience small, simple, but it had like four fountains. It had a shelf for sitting and it had that really nice 10 inch. Height zone, a big 10 inch height zone for kids to splash

Autumn: around. Yeah. You could walk right into it, which is nice. And then progressively get a little deeper. Yeah. And just the wa just like in the, the pool itself was very smooth.

Mm-hmm it was it was like a very smooth, which I, you know, normally they’re like a little grippy. Yeah. Which I understand, but I was like, oh, this is nice. I like the smoothness. So Check that out. Yeah.

Justin: I, I think that’s another place where the jury’s out on whether I can recommend that to clients yet, but I think our experience was pretty good.

Autumn: It was good. And it was a nice, I mean the size, it was a [00:09:00] nice, like you have like a granite countertop mm-hmm kitchen. Mm-hmm you got everything you need in there. So it was a nice space the next day. So Tuesday there was a thread of storms pretty early. So what we did is we ventured out to some pretty cool grocery stores where there was like one specialty market.

Yes. Which I love cuz it had cool like chocolate goodies and nuts. So we went grocery shopping mm-hmm and then we got back and just. Again, with our rest of our family, it was great. We just hung out by the pool for a few hours instead of trying to go to the parks. Yeah. And it turned out no, no kind of weather came at all much till about five, then there was rain, but we just enjoyed a really.

Relax day at the pool and we grilled and had lunch and dumplings out there. So, yeah, that was nice. That was one of my favorite days. So for

Justin: the next three days we did a combination of Busch gardens and water country USA. Mm-hmm Busch gardens. Williamsburg is a pretty heavily themed park. It’s not quite Disney world, but much better than six flags. It has some really good world class coasters quite a few B and M’s, which are known as [00:10:00] UHA enthusiast as some of the best. I am a, B and M enthusiast personally. It has two great themed children’s areas.

Autumn: just have to say the, the park itself is really just beautiful, like with trees and lights and it’s manicured,

Justin: did you know, it’s voted one the most beautiful park in.

Autumn: I did someone told me this, a bird told me this about a few, I don’t know, four or five times

Justin: a day.

Yeah. I tried telling everyone four or five times a day. So tell me about the, the children’s themed areas

Autumn: well, they were awesome. And why they were awesome was in each section while they, they had sections geared for ages mm-hmm , there was still some sort of mix of rides mm-hmm mm-hmm , which was really great.

But they were just clean and accessible and very family friendly. So the, the restrooms, there are always family restrooms, anything win went on, I enjoyed or could go

Justin: in. You just made a point. I want to just highlight that, that there, while there are kids sections, mm-hmm, , there’s also kids ride scattered around in all the different sections.

Yes. Yeah.

Autumn: That’s [00:11:00] a good point. Yeah. And so we, we were in that first day, Justin went off with his brother and did a lot of the big rides,

Justin: Bro Coasters!.

Autumn: And my sister-in-law and I and nieces, we all yeah, we did some of the things that were. As grand.

Justin: So you went to the Sesame, the Sesame street themed place.

I think it’s called, we did magical forest. Yes. Or

Autumn: enchanted forest enchanted forest.

Autumn: And again, shout out to the nieces because they’re much older than Wynn and they hung and spent time with her and enjoyed Sesame Place though. That even is a bit young for them. Yeah. So they’re the best. There

Justin: seemed to be a couple cool rides.

There there’s a little roller coaster. There. There

Autumn: was. That’s what I mean? Yeah. So there’s a roller coaster. That was, I mean, it was a roller coaster ride. I mean, it went, it wasn’t, you know, Pantheon, which Justin will talk about. But so so it was a nice mix. There’s a splash area. There’s like a playground area.

There’s a show mm-hmm and then a meet and greet with the characters. So we did [00:12:00] this show that day. We went on a boat ride, so it was just, it was really nice. It was a great size. For walking around with a toddler. I feel like no matter wherever she went, because toddlers of course are constantly vying for autonomy.

I could let her do that. So that was great Sesame

Justin: street area. That was Sesame. It was kind of self-contained. I like that. There’s just the one exit, right?

One exit that’s what’s cool about that for sure.

Autumn: Yes. Yes. And there there’s another section too. Is it dragon something land of the dragons land of the dragons? Yeah. Which had the rides that she really like ride wise had about three things that she. That she enjoyed. Yeah. And we did a few times over there.

It it’s this CRA- like you’re like as an adult, you’re looking up and you’re like, I wanna play in this Treehouse. It is when I say giant. Yeah. I mean, like it’s giant three stories. You feel small as

Justin: an adult in it, three stories with force perspective.

Autumn: Exactly. Rope bridge crossings. When you have these huge rollers going over you.

So you’re just on this giant rope. I mean, just as I’m I can’t, I feel like [00:13:00] I. I can’t do it just as explaining it. Yeah. But it is really cool. Like I’ve never seen anything like that. You

Justin: mentioned the rollercoaster flying above you and that’s one of the cool things about the park is that the park is like built around and under the rollercoaster.

Yes. So there’s tons of great vantage points to watch rollercoaster, which Darwyn our daughter loves to do. She loves she’s excited. She loves roller coasters. All right, cool. So you liked that one that had a ride down there. Mm-hmm one of her names is Bug-A-Dug. We call her bugger Bug-A-Dug and there was a ride called Bug-A-Dug

so that was fun, which was terrifying for her.

Autumn: She didn’t like it is when she too fast could go on. We can’t go on it by herself, but it just went too fast. The idea of the ride, we were hoping, but I think it went too fast for her. And then there’s a chugga tug, which was her favorite, which is right next door boat.

You just go in into circles and a boat. And she,

Justin: I think she rode that the whole trip probably eight times times. Yeah. there was no line, so she could just keep riding it, which was really nice. Yep. Shout out to Gaston at chugga tuck by the way. Cool guy Gaston So yeah, that was a cool area.

The shade was good. Mm-hmm there were some good, like shade, [00:14:00] alcoves, low stim alcoves, where if you were having a hard time with over stimulation, you could get away from some, some noise, you know, there’s still, yeah, it’s a theme park, but there’s some, I think Busch garden does a good job of scattering.

Those alcoves around. Yes.

Autumn: Agreed.

Justin: All right. So that was Busch Gardens do you wanna hear about the roller coasters, rode yeah, I think you gotta, I’ll do a quick, quick rollercoaster run down quick time you, yeah, I could talk about these for hours, so we’ll go. We’ll go. And order that we wrote them.

The first one is Pantheon. This is a brand new coaster, multiple launches L Lim linear induction, motor engines or motors rather that, that launch you. Yeah. It starts. It’s it’s fantastic. This is the new breed of roller coasters. It’s I think not unlike Velocicoaster, although I haven’t actually, I have not rode that, but in that, like, there are the top hats where you go up, but instead of just going.

like, eh, like, like up and down, like you hit the top hat sideways. There’s like a lot of sideways and swinging in fun ride elements. Yeah. [00:15:00] Would I drive 500 miles just to ride that roller coaster once? No, but if I was guaranteed, I could ride it a few times. Right. Honestly, just for this ride, I’d probably make a nice long ride to Busch Gardens Williamsburg just for that ride.

Oh, for. Luckily, we didn’t have to just ride that ride. And we walked right across, we, we rope dropped and we were on the second train for this. And then we, right, we went on Apollo’s chariot, which is B and M’s first hyper coaster in the United States opened in 1999. And autumn, we heard a great Podcast The Ride about its inaugural ride.

We did autumn. What happened on the inaugural ride of Apollos char in 1999. .

Autumn: This guy named Fabio got hit ed with a

Justin: goose. Yes, yes. And the inaugural ride. Yeah. In 1999 they got Fabio. They’re like, Hey, we want you to dress up like a Roman God.

He’s like, no, I’m gonna wear my Jean jacket. So we wore a Jean jacket. Yeah. And he just got smashed in the face with a goose. Yeah.

Autumn: Flew apparently hit the, hit the coaster and. Min and got him in the face. Yeah. Freak

Justin: accident. It does not happen. It has not happened since it’s not something that frequently happens, [00:16:00] but it happened to Fabio poor guy.

Right. Anyway, Apollo’s chariot is a great ride.

Autumn: It looks, it’s beautiful to watch a lot of the ones that just everyone that Justin’s talking about are like it was, I just was, we would just stop and watch them. Yeah. You know, and, and it’s just

Justin: beautiful. This is the one you can see, like when you’re approaching the park too.

So I think Darwyn sort and she got excited. She’s like coaster me, me try. I’m like you still do small. She’s literally two and a half years old, but she wants to ride these she’s on the hyper

Autumn: very small two and half year old. She’s below average weight wise.

Justin: It’s a great ride. Is it the best hyper coaster?

No, I think Nitro Six Flags Great Adventure is much better, but a lot of fun. So we went from there to another B and M coaster that I have not actually ridden yet called the Griffin, which is a dive coaster where it’s just three rows. And these, these coasters are mainly focused on like these straight down drops and they dangle you.

Right. Super exciting. Great. The fourth one we went on is probably one of my, my favorites, my old time. Favorite roller coasters, or it was the Alpengeist, which once again is another B and [00:17:00] M inverted. That means that your feet dang. Tons of fun.

Autumn: That’s so that I would just have to talk about this.

Yeah. This is the most beautiful to watch. Yeah. It just looks like these people are just flying yeah. Through the air and, and it just has like a it’s it’s it seems like the ride is dancing. Like it’s built so that it’s not like, again, just like this super fast up and downer drop. Right, right. But there’s this elegance and smoothness and curve and flow to the ride where it’s like, oh my goodness. You’re just watching these people. Yeah. Fly or dance on this piece of

Justin: metal. It is, it’s a, it’s a mostly graceful coaster. And the second half, there’s a couple turns that are a little unexpected and sometimes your stomach doesn’t travel with the rest of your body.

Sorry, Josh. But that was great. That was the fourth coaster. We, we got those done in an hour and a half. We basically only waited because we did front row. Right.

Autumn: Yeah. That’s wild. Yeah. So there’s again, the power of rope dropping. Yep.

Justin: And then the last coaster that I did later in the day was Verbolten, which is a family coaster.

Mm-hmm, pretty intense though. I’d say probably more intense than [00:18:00] slinky dog. Probably closer to like rock and roller coaster. Yeah. Mostly indoor has a really cool surprise element that I won’t spoil. If you ever plan on riding this, you can look it up. But it’s a fun, surprising family coaster mm-hmm so those are the four coasters that I.

Nice. All right, autumn. We also went to a water park, water country, USA,

Autumn: water country, water country. So this is really fitting one of the first things I said to Justin, the first day we left was like, whatever amount of money we paid for, this was absolutely worth the amount that is there. I mean, I even feel.

Yeah. I, I feel like we underpaid to some extent, like there was, there was actually, there

Justin: was, that’s a really good point. Can, can I mm-hmm now just talk about money cuz you brought it up. Yeah. So we bought what are called fun passes. They’re like season passes. They’re good. For the whole year we paid $105 each for autumn I, and that gives us unlimited access to both parks for the entire summer.

Right. We only went like four days and then Darwyn was free cuz she’s under. [00:19:00] But Busch gardens actually has this deal. If you register your kid with it’s called the pre-K pass three to five are also free. So five and under are

Autumn: free at Busch gardens. That’s you don’t get that in parts at all now. So tell us, I’m

Justin: sorry, not for interrupting there,

Autumn: but it just, the, the, not, not only the amount, but the amount, the quality the way in which the sections of the water park were spaced out.

Mm-hmm the variety of kinds of rides. Mm-hmm was so well. executed and I’m not a theme park person. I don’t do roller coasters. Really? Mm-hmm I’m not. So, so water parks tend to be what I do enjoy. And it, it just was the best hands down, the best water park that I’d ever been to. So you. you go in and there’s again similar to kind of Busch gardens in that you have these different sections, but even within sections, you have this kind of mix of yeah.

Rides, which is awesome. Like we only have one kid, but most everyone there was there with multiple kids and multiple age ranges. And there were some, you know what I mean? [00:20:00] And there were some things in each section. also beautifully, like beautifully laid out. Mm-hmm access, very clean, lots of bathrooms.

Lots of bathrooms, lots of lounge chairs. Yeah. And they hands down one of the coolest, lazy rivers that I have ever been in is. Really, really awesome. And then they have this cool section. That’s kind of, you know, it’s like a little, it’s not quite a wave pool, maybe a little bit because the lazy river has a little bit of wave that pushes you along.

Yeah. In this awesome lounge section with these cool, like, I don’t know what they’re called scrambled

Justin: Shade scrim

Autumn: which is awesome. So we found a great spot there. Yeah. But I mean, everything from like the tiniest little, two year old, little, just like a slide, like at a park with water on it.

Yeah. So, you know, to these big, open and closed tunnel slides to two rides, to just different kinds of splash stations, it just was like, wow. Okay. I am, I am in Water Country. Yeah. Like this is. There is water in all sorts of [00:21:00] ways.

Justin: now like, so like all ages comparing it to Hurricane Harbor which is the water park in Six Flags, New England mm-hmm , there’s, there’s two little kids, SW slides.

And then there is a splash area, you know, with the jets and all that stuff. But what I think is cool, and I think what you enjoyed is in the little kid area. In water country, there are tube slides that you can put a little kid on and ride together. Yeah.

Autumn: So you like adults, you can be with your little kid and still get some kind of tube.

It’s not like together, you can’t fit on anything. No. Like nothing, you know, like there are, or, you know, there’s a big slide, like right there. So if you have an older kid, like they could, they can walk and you could still see, you know, it’s not like this.

Justin: Yeah. There are cooler across slides nearby. But I think this here, that there is a ride that mom and your two and a half year old can ride together. Mm-hmm and it’s fun for both of you, you know what I’m talking about the longer, yes. There’s like, they’re, they’re not steep, but they’re longer slides. Yeah. They’re not just like a little dinky slide. It’s like a [00:22:00] fun slide. It’s a water slide. You went on it by yourself and you had the biggest smile on your face.

Autumn: I loved it. Yep. Yep. That’s my, that’s it. That’s my thing. That’s what I wanna do all day. That if that, if that could just Lia me into the lazy river, that’s, awesome. But that’s it. So it’s like, okay, you’re doing a water slide. It’s not like a huge tube one that’s, you know, a straight job, but not everybody needs that or wants that anyway.

Like you still get to go. So I just. It. I just thought that was great. And there’s still a lot of sections in water country. We didn’t even get to, but, and it was almost okay. We didn’t, a lot of, we were so happy. Like we just wanted to spend more time in the two. Yeah. In the two areas we were in. But man, does it live up to its name.

Very it’s a whole clean whole country. Very I could the cleanliness, the family friendliness. Yeah. Again, family restrooms all over the place,

Justin: air conditioned, family restrooms, which is nice air conditioned family, which is nice. You need like a minute, you know? Yeah. So yeah, we didn’t do, I did like one slide here.

I didn’t, we didn’t really do the slides. We mostly stuck to the kitty areas. Yeah. But had fun. So there was two rivers. One of them is [00:23:00] a lazy river, which we actually did not experience. Right. Which is typical, lazy river with a tube. The other one is the hubba-bubba highway, which is not tubes.

Autumn: Right. And this is more comparable to volcano bay. The, the, what is it? Oh, it’s not, I forgot what it’s called. Volcano bay.

Easy Diz Bot: I believe Justin is referring to the Tawa fearless river at universal Orlando volcano bay.

Autumn: e

But it’s basically you put on a life vest. And you just go around this kind of rapidly moving river. And that was a blast.

That was awesome. That’s was you’d cool. Cuz you just float you float through floating by.

Yeah. And there are will say too Wynn did not like this. It was

Justin: too fast and two out at first, the third time around she yep. She did. Okay.

She managed it the fifth time around. She did great though. the sixth. Not so much. Yeah. Yeah. But she kept wanting to go back. That’s my thing. She, yes. And that’s Darwyn.

Like she will freak out on something and then she’s right. Puts her chin up and she’s like, “more”.

Autumn: And if she doesn’t, she tells you, she tells you no, but she [00:24:00] did. She, she managed it, but, but understand, it’s not like it’s not like a toddler thing. Yeah. That’s definitely for adults, every adult that was around me, I kept hearing the whole time saying, oh, this is it.

Like, just . Yeah. Just keep me here all day. What was

Justin: so autonomy? What did you say about autonomy? She was vying for autonomy. I think that’s what she was. She wanted us to let her go on the river. Yes. She wanted us, but also she’d go under, even with her life vest. She’d like dunk that’s. Yep. So I think that was the balance she was trying to like cope with.

Yes. And we kind of figured it out. Like I let her hold onto my life vest and I didn’t touch. Unless she went under and then I pick her up.

Autumn: Yes, yes. Yeah. That was it. I, I think she will, like, I think she loved what I think at some point, but she just. yeah. She’s

Justin: yeah. She’s motion. She’s sensitive to motion.

Autumn: She is sensitive to motion. Doesn’t do well in the car. Yeah. So, and, and I will also say what’s cool about the Hubba Hubba highway. I’m not sure if the other lazy river has it. But if you’re on it and you’re on, you wanna [00:25:00] get out or you’re with a kid that is freaking out, there’s like four exit. Like you can, you can stop and get off and you’re still, and you just.

Stairs and get out and just walk back to your sitting area. Yeah. You know, that, that wouldn’t be super far. So I also thought that was really cool that they had exits like that. Mm.

Justin: All right. So we’ve talked a lot about both the parks. What did we do? We did highs, lows and kudos. I dunno. We have time for that.

I feel like she’s gonna wake up any minute. Yeah, we don’t have, but maybe let’s talk about some of our favorite things. And then some of the things about Busch gardens and our water country. Are not the best. Okay. Well, what are your favorite things about Busch gardens in terms of layout service, customer experience?

Autumn: Well, I love the shaded areas. The shaded areas are like, they’re beautiful. Tons of shades clean. I oftentimes, when I’m in a water park, I feel like there’s several times I try to like, hold my breath cuz they’re just little stinky intense smells. Yeah. Yeah. I’d say the same

Justin: for you saying the same for Busch gardens as well.

It was clean and well shaded. Yes. Yeah, definitely. I agree.

Autumn: No clean, well shaded if you are someone that is, that gets eaten and is very [00:26:00] sensitive.

Justin: Oh, don’t go to the negative stuff yet. Keep going with the positive stuff. Any more positive stuff about these

Autumn: parks positive. I, you know, Sesame place, I think in and of itself was really, it was good.

That was awesome. I mean, I have a show to have a meet and greet. I think they could easily in Disney could, would even. Could charge extra money for those things. And they did. Yeah, they did put it

Justin: in the price five minute meet and greet after the show. Yeah. Darwyn got to hug Elmo. Yeah. And high five, everyone.

Autumn: It was great. Exciting. So, you know, it was great. And we could have pretty much so between those two sections, I just thought I thought that was great. I

Justin: gotta say the themeing at Busch gardens is really good. Yeah. It’s not like, I, I, you can’t compare it to Disney cuz Disney like puts a lot more.

Like it’s Disney, is it, but, and if you take Disney out of the equation, if Disney does not exist and universal does not exist, Busch gardens is the best.

Autumn: Yeah. And honestly, I think even if you were to just look at like theming for a particular ride, mm-hmm, like theming per ride, like theming, [00:27:00] themeing, not necessarily throughout the whole park, but I think the theming in, in the theming, in Busch gardens for particular ride.

wasn’t far away from Disney in particular ride, you know, like it’s not like a yeah. Inside ride, like haunted mansion where you have this whole no, you know what I mean? There’s just not the facade for all of

Justin: that. I would say maybe the best Busch garden theming ride theming is comparable to the worst Disney ride theming, maybe.

So like like I’m thinking Alpengeist that roller coaster. Yes. It’s themed after a ski resort, I’d say that’s on par with. The mad tea party. You know what I mean? It’s not any worse than the MAd tea party. Yeah. That’s yes.

Autumn: Yeah. Yeah. I think there, like, and I thought there was several times there where I’m like, This is, there are aspects of rides and Magic Kingdom that I think aren’t like overly themed in Disney.


Justin: just, we saw a stage show as well. So I want to give that as one of the pluses too. I was surprised at the quality of the stage show. I was surprised the set was good.

Autumn: Yes. What was it called? Celtic [00:28:00] Celtic Fyre yeah. It was, it was just awesome. These dancers were amazing dancers, singers singers, step dancing, half hour show you’re in this cool.

Indoors you have AC, which is a nice break. Of course mm-hmm but is beautiful, beautiful setting. Beautiful stage. Yeah. Set. But it was, it was great and Wynn loved it just, she did singing. She was, she was, I had her on my shoulders. She was like bouncing around and clapping her hands. Yeah. So that was that I would highly recommend is that show, if you like shows this is this again.

And I said, Justin, I feel like we could have paid. We should have paid separately for that

Justin: show. Well, no, I’m not trying to pay separate ,

Autumn: but, but you could have like the quality of the, of, I thought the show was not, I was not expecting to get that. That was like a. I don’t know. I feel like I could go to Disney and see that.

Exactly. Yeah. I wouldn’t

Justin: be surprised. Like if that, if I saw that in Disney, I, I wouldn’t be surprised. Put it that way. Right. It’s not like the best Disney show again, but I’d put it up there with like the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, for sure. Sure. I haven’t seen that one though. I. And there are other [00:29:00] shows too.

There’s an October Fest show that actually takes place in a dining hall. So you can go get a quick service meal yeah. And watch a stage show that that’s cool. That’s a cool deal. And yeah, there’s a couple of, ’em like that. There’s also animals here. If you’re into that. That’s really nifty .

Yeah. Yeah. All right. So those are my pluses on Busch Gardens What what don’t you like about Busch Garden?

Autumn: The bugs! If you are prone to getting eaten, I, the first day I just. Yeah, I didn’t think about it. I’m like, ah, it’s probably not gonna be too. Oh my gosh. I got eaten next day. I thought we brought the bug spray sprayed myself, but I still, yeah, it was they’re bad.

Yeah. They were thick at night evening they were thick. What else? Is there any other negatives? I wish that there was some more… toddler and toddler together rides. They’re a little spread out and it’s a lot mm-hmm, like, it’s a lot of walking.

And like when I had first went all the rides, I had taken a picture of. So I knew like I could ask or refer to a map. Yeah. I, I, I [00:30:00] almost like, I, I think to some extent it might have been a little too spread out, especially the little kid ride. Really. Okay. Yeah. I was hoping some of ’em would be a little more.

I don’t know, a little more together. All right.

Justin: So I disagree with this. I think there’s two centralized children’s rides location. One of them is right up front. The other one is a hike to get to yes. The land of the dragons is hard to get to. And then I think there are some spread around the park, but most of them are in those two locations.

Autumn: Yeah. Maybe it’s just variety. Sesame. Isn’t really. There’s one ride. There’s no ride there, right. There’s playground. And that’s what was tough. There’s two free ride there. Even in, for the, for, for em, Z, that it was, it was great. And I think in the morning she wasn’t quite ready cuz she was exhausted for, but then I think there was a point and it was kind of like, okay, like she splashed in the water, the show.

Yeah. But the rides were really those three other ride for toddlers three. Then there was an airplane in the little bumper car. So there might be [00:31:00] five. For like toddler age, where

Justin: in the park? Total. Oh, there’s way more than. There’s way more than that. So top there’s there’s in the land of the dragon.

There’s three in Elmo’s land. There’s three there’s three, plus the playgrounds around it. And then each one of the land has at least one toddler ride like Scotland has the horses. Oh, that’s right. You don’t have the horses. And when you go to Italy, there’s the little flyers. There’s two kids rides over there.

Two or three kids that I was including

Autumn: the flyers, the balloons. So I was thinking the little, I was thinking the small bumper cars. Yeah.

Justin: Germany has the airplanes. As well as the little bumper cars, the baby bumper cars in Germany, which you don’t see a lot of places. Yeah. And might been nine months Ireland.

I can’t think of it off the top of head. I think there was a toddler there, there, I think there’s only one ride in Ireland. The Finnigans flyer. They used to have a family dark ride in Ireland, which is no longer there.

Autumn: Unfortunately, I wish I, that would be cool if there was more dark rides too. That would be cool.

All right.

Justin: So I’m, I mean, not to invalidate you, but it might have been our experience cuz there was one day where we, we really wanted to get around these mini. [00:32:00] Bumper cards and we hoofed it. Yeah. We came back and we walked all the way across the park. We went down huge stairs and up huge stairs just to get to this ride.

And we got there at 8 0 4. It was closed and it

Autumn: was closed. That might be it. She also, and maybe it was just the I’m thinking of the rides too, that like she, yeah, enjoyed right or was comfortable. And there was even fewer that she. It’s

Justin: not Disney world that we can go to Fantasyland and ride eight different rides together.

Right. You know? No, it’s not like that at all. They’re much more spread out. So I, I compared to Disney for sure. I agree. Yeah. But that whole hoofing it thing. So this is, here’s one of my complaints. It’s there’s a lot of Hills. So if you’re pushing a carriage, it’s there are some tough spots, right?

Mm-hmm so it’s not incredibly flat. It’s not incredibly easy to get around. There is a train, so confusing. Yeah. And there are a Skyway, but it’s not super easy to get around. And if you want to get from one side to the other you either have to walk a long time or go up and down a lot of [00:33:00] stairs.

Yes. To take

Autumn: the shortcut. I think my biggest recommendation to Busch Gardens too, would be that they have like a. Yes. But there’s a, but they’re, they’re not well spread out throughout the park to tell you where you are. And then the app was very, like when you try to zoom to see where you are and to see where you wanna go, everything just kind of became on top of one another.

And I gotta be honest. I just want an old school. Yeah. I just wanna map, I just wanted a paper map I’m with you. So I didn’t have to have my phone out a bunch more than I needed it to either. Cuz you have to worry about, okay. I’m not trying to forget my phone. I’m not trying to have it. Get water damaged.

If I’m. . And so I, I think it for, for both parks, that would be my thing. Like, could you just have some paper maps available? The phone map, the app map didn’t work very well.

Justin: So as someone who’s very much in interested in like the communication of information around theme parks, this is the most unsatisfying thing for me about Busch Gardens.

Yeah. Is the communication of information, the app as Autumn said, is trash. It does not have wait times. The [00:34:00] map is not easy to navigate. Yeah. It’s not there. Isn’t a button to center on yourself . Yeah, that’s crazy. Just put a button to center on yourself. Yeah. It’s it’s not very good itself.

Autumn: Don’t just print out a paper version of the map.

I agree. Let me know. Maybe have some better signs too, of the land you’re in. Yeah. You might not always know.

Justin: There should always be paper. You can’t count on people to pull up their, yeah, that’s not fair. And it’s not, like I said a great app. Okay. So that that’s one part of the information thing. And then.

So when it rains and lightnings, these rides will shut down, right? Yes.

Autumn: And we had a bad storm, six flags

Justin: crushes them in this area. First of all, six flag has an app that reports times they’re not super accurate. But they do tell you when the rides shut down, That’s not hard to do this does not have that.

Right. And even if you want to, then there’s no, as my brother pointed out that they don’t post this on social media when the park closes

Autumn: it’s not on their website. We looked, yeah. Cause Friday there was bad. It was like hail 60 mile an hour wind storms. Yeah. So they closed, we left, we were [00:35:00] driving home.

But again, our family were still, they were still in the parks. so they were sharing. What they did receive was there was like a hu you know, huge Intercom that says the park is, you know, we need to, you need to close. All the slides are closing down.

Justin: If you’re not in the park near an Intercom, you don’t know,

Autumn: you don’t know what’s happening.

And so, and, and like then when it, when it clears up, when you go back, when is the thing? So, yeah, so what we ended up doing is I asked we, we did a train ride around the park. Day and had asked. Cause I was curious like how do you, where do you get this information?

Justin: Wait don’t don’t don’t tell this part.

Yeah, so. I was thinking, we were thinking about going back to the park, right? Yeah. I was thinking about going back to the park, I wanted to ride some more roller coast.

Autumn: We were done. It was long day

Justin: but so I called, but I didn’t know if it was open because it was rain, but the sun was now out and I figured, well, if it’s Disney, you know, like it would be open.

Right. But let’s call first you, because there’s no social media, it doesn’t tell you in the app. So I actually called the actual number. I had to press seven different buttons. One of ’em I had a lie about, because if you’re not a member, they’re not talking to you. So I told them I was a member by pressing two, and then the person I get on the phone, [00:36:00] it’s like, well, what park are you going to.

And I already pressed the Williamsburg button, you know? So I’m like, well, Williamsburg and she’s like, okay, sir, how can I help you? I’m like, well, I just would like to know if the park is open. And she said, okay, sir, well, today is Wednesday. So the park closes at 9:00 PM. I’m like, well, there was some rain.

So I just wanna know if the Park’s open right now. She said, well, if everything goes, according to plan the park will be open at nine today. Yeah. I said so you don’t know if the park is open? ” Um, No, sir, I do not”. Thank you. She was very polite about it. Right. But she, she didn’t have the information.

And I said, well, well, there’s fireworks scheduled tonight, right? Will they be going off? And she said, well, let me see here. Yes. I see that fireworks are scheduled for 9:30. If everything goes according to plan yes. They will be fireworks at 9:30. And I’m like, so, but do you know, because if, if the rain, if there will be fireworks tonight? “No, sir. I do not”. So it’s like, this person obviously is not at the park, you know, and they have the internet information that I have, which is limited. And that was really frustrating. So Autumn, [00:37:00] the next day talks to cuz she likes to chat. You chatted up the train station guy.

Autumn: Yeah. And I said, I’m curious what, like with the storms, with the storms yesterday, What was the deal?

Like, did the, you know, and, and so the gentleman had shared, he had come in and they had already closed some rides and then a half hour after he was there, they closed the park. And I said, yeah. So like, what, what’s the typical protocol? When does the park reopen? How do we, and he was like, oh yeah, no, no, we, we stay closed.

And I said, so yesterday, did the park just stay close. He goes, yeah. When you have lightning like that, we just, we just stayed closed. Because at that point it was like six o’clock. They were open a little later cuz of the fire. I think, but or they would have been but no, they just, they clothed which, which is kind of what I, which I figured, you know, with two or three hours, You know, and it was, there was still lightning for a while.

It had dried up, but there was still lightning that they just, yeah, they, they close everything. And so I’m like, okay, but there’s like no way to, to know that if you wanted to come back and he’s like, no,

Justin: and that’s my thing. Like the parks opened late, [00:38:00] you know, they open at 10 o’clock every day. And they closed at nine during the week and 10 on the weekend.

And that’s fine. I get staffing is still a. And when you get there, half the rides, maybe aren’t open, you know, or one of the lands that Josh tried to get to my brother wasn’t open that they went to right away. Right. And then they had to go to another place and that wasn’t open. Like I get it. That was hard staffing.

I get it. But you need to communicate this to people. You need to have the infrastructure to communicate this to people.

Autumn: Right. So that’s, I will say that was tough too. Again, with the toddler, there were things about this trip with the toddler. I. It’d be great if they were a little better, like the Park’s not opening till 10, like she’s already like on second breakfast slash snack at that point.

Yeah. You know, so we get really only have like an hour and a half, two hours not factoring in the transportation and then getting there and then walking to the place before it’s nap time. Yeah. And then we gotta go back and then she naps and then you gotta eat. Yep. And then, you know, so it was, it was hard to.

Split a day. And I think for Justin to get enough time in the parks, because like, [00:39:00] you know, again, when you’re, when you are, and I’ve talked to moms everywhere that I meet at the park that like, why aren’t more things open. Yeah. For little kids at like seven little kids are up at 7:00 AM.

Justin: Just open the, just open up those two kids areas, just eight kids areas.

Yeah. So we can get out of there. Everything else could

Autumn: be closed. if you need to get some kind of special kid pass or whatever, that’s cool. We’ll do it. But it was that that’s also, I think, made it just made it tough yeah. In with her and the heat and yeah. So, so that was tough. I ideally, and

Justin: it wasn’t just her, like, I, there were a lot of toddlers experiencing yes.

Elmo’s world at nap time. I could tell. Yes. It was obvious that some of these kids needed naps. They should have been home napping by now. Yeah. But because the way the

Autumn: other siblings. they’re not napping, you know? And so what are you gonna do? So that, I mean, that stuff, which, again, isn’t, isn’t a particular or the fault of, I don’t think of at all Busch Gardens or Water Country, that’s a lot of, I think staffing is a big piece of it.

Yeah. And they’re, they’re not, they’re not, it’s not a place that’s [00:40:00] designed with toddlers. They have toddler things, but it’s not.

Justin: I would say Busch gardens more so than Six Flags is designed for toddlers yes.

Autumn: No more so than Six Flags, but amusement parks. On on a whole are not designed. They’re not, they’re not, they’re not a lot of things in the world are not meant for little people.

Justin: Yeah. Yeah. And let’s, and then I think we, maybe we ended on this, we bring it back to price. Right? Mm-hmm so we paid $200 for effectively two season passes, right? So that would’ve cost, you know, Wellow, if we got the, without blackout dates, I mean, it’s tough to make a comparison cuz Disney. Year round.

Yeah. It’s a much bigger park, much more rides. Be about $3,000, right? Yeah. Wild

Easy Diz Bot: When it was available, the Disney Incredi-pass was $1,299. This does not include the water parks, which would have been an additional $99 note that pass sales have been suspended since November, 2021.

Justin: So I mean, 15 times more. [00:41:00] So is Disney world 15 times cooler than Busch gardens. Maybe it depends on the person. Yeah. I don’t know. I

Autumn: don’t, I would say no, no, probably not. It was it’s really like if you like amusement parks, if you have kids.

No. With Busch gardens is at the time, I would say second to pro and I haven’t been to like all the amusement parts. No, but my guess would be that Busch Gardens is pretty next to is gonna remain pretty next to Disney. It’s not gonna, yeah.

Justin: I’ll tell you what Adamu you’re gonna love Dolly Wood and Silver Dollar City when we go

Autumn: there, we’ll have to check it out. And I would love to go again here, here. I would go again, if we could. fly or take a train. Yeah, the ride back was tough. It’s driving’s a joke. GE driving is a joke. I think Justin and I both think that the, the distance, the length of driving isn’t as bad or as exhausting as it ends up being. And then, yeah, we have toddler. Amazing and so many things and I’m not gonna complain. But she is a rare thing, is that she? [00:42:00] Yeah, she just does not do well in the car.

So like, on the way back, it was like the first two hours she was out. And then it was like every 45 minutes she was up and like screaming, cuz she’s like disoriented. Oh yeah.

Justin: When at night? Yeah, that was

Autumn: tough. That was tough. Yeah. I don’t wanna do that again. And at this point I’m still hesitant about driving down to Disney next year, unless, unless the she changes, I can’t do

Justin: the plan was to do to a two day drive down to Disney World back and forth.

And I would not do that right now.

Autumn: No, I would spend the money on the plane tickets.

Justin: Absolutely. Yeah. And figure it out in a rental car or whatever, figure out transportation. Yeah. You can take a train down. Maybe stay at a, like, stay at a cheaper resort and buy plane tickets.

Autumn: Now I would, I know Disney’s long I would train because we do, we trained to DC.

We’ve done that. We train

Justin: ever riding a train train

Autumn: in Virginia. you wouldn’t take a train in Virginia?

Justin: No, not with Darwyn. No. I think that could be very similar where we’re in a situation where she’s screaming and now, instead of being in the. We’re on a [00:43:00] train, cuz she wakes up disoriented on the train.

So yeah, but

Autumn: I think we’ve, I think if we get it like If we do it during wake hours, I think the people you can get up and walk on train there’s food,

Justin: but it’s

Autumn: a 24 hour, but movie we can be right next to her. She can be in our lap, like all that is different compared to

Justin: so maybe just a shorter ride to Williamsburg maybe, but not to, not to Florida where

Autumn: they were moving.

No, I meant, I meant like if we go, cuz we do have season pass. Maybe we wanna go down in September. Let’s just take a train down. Yeah, we’ll look

Justin: at it. We’ll look at that. We’ll look at the.

Autumn: All righty, but all in all, both were amazing. If you enjoy water parks, if you enjoy amusement parks, then I would say water country.

Absolutely. In Busch gardens, check them out almost on your list definitely. Definitely a value food also at Busch gardens. There’s an amazing smokehouse that’s like you would good value. You would not ever guess that you were eating amusement park foods. Yeah.

Justin: And smoke really good. Like we were saying like smokehouse um, barbecue’s always expensive and it was just like barbecue.

Autumn: It was probably price that was value. Like I, I almost think they [00:44:00] might. Yeah. They, again, it could have been a little more, I was surprised that it wasn’t for the amount of food we got and the tastiness of it.

Justin: We shared a, a $22 combo platter. Yeah, yeah,

Autumn: yeah. That’s that’s it was good. That’s good. It was good.

So yeah, so maybe we’ll see down there, if you have plans to check out Busch garden,

Justin: water country, tell us what we did wrong. Yes. Tell us we love your suggestions. Yeah. Yes.

Autumn: Cause I know that there’s a lot of people listening that have been. Several times. And I also would like to shout out to, to Annie, my coworker who grew up going to both of these every summer.

Really? Oh, shoot. Yes. And so and so anyway, so she was really jazz that I was jazzed and said that she just has the fond, her fondest memories going up are of, of spending time in water country. Yeah. And Busch gardens,

Justin: I think are great parks for families. Yeah.

Autumn: Thanks

Justin: everyone. We’ll be back next week with news trivia and all our be we’re not gonna be here next week.

Oh shoot. So now we gotta figure something out. We might be, we’ll be back next week with something. We will have to record it early, cuz we’re gonna Disney world

Autumn: on it. Yeah. But we’re gonna be gone

Justin: on Friday. Yeah, we’ll have to we’ll throw up something. There will [00:45:00] be something on the feed next Monday.

there’ll be something on the feed next Monday. It might not be new, but it will be something and we will see you then. All

Autumn: right, we’ll see you then. Bye everyone.

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