GIVEAWAY: Busch Gardens and Water Country USA Weekend Getaway!

Our family turned a free summer weekend into a majorly marvelous summer vacation, simply by hopping in the car and heading to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. We spent a full day at each park, spending one night in Williamsburg in between, and we created a season’s worth of amazing memories with our children.

Water Country USA is just a few miles down the road from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and these two parks are the perfect pair for your summer getaway. Water Country USA offers fun for the entire family in a cool beach vibe, with resort-style amenities and a great selection of water rides and attractions.

Busch Gardens has dozens of rides in an array of thrill levels, as well as incredible shows, fabulous food and drinks. The park is divided into different European country-themed areas, and each section has great food, rides for all levels and is uniquely picturesque. It is such a gorgeous park!

Our crew was able to enjoy both parks thanks to the 2 Park Flex Deal which allows you to enjoy both parks as often as you like for seven consecutive days through September 10th — which saves you $50 or more per ticket! We used the Busch Gardens Vacation Planner to put together our fab mini break itinerary and make the most of our two day trip.

We opted for Busch Gardens as our first stop, arriving just as the park opened at 10 a.m. on Friday. We did not overheat thanks to Busch Garden’s very shaded campus. We also made sure to hit all of the sprayground areas (Alice and Eve are pictured above in the Land of the Dragons Brook Play Area with water buckets and jets) and water rides, which all five our family members enjoyed for both the easy thrills and the cooling splashes.

Another awesome aspect of Busch Gardens is their big selection of KIDSiderate (kiddie) rides and animal exhibits. Toddlers and preschoolers will have their own thrills and never be bored. We saw the wolf pack playing and receiving treats from their zoo keepers, admired the bald eagles and got to pet and greet the iconic Clydesdale horses.

During the hottest times of the afternoon, our entire family enjoyed the truly entertaining shows at Busch Gardens. Our family favorites are Pet Shenanigans – featuring hilarious and highly-trained rescue animals, Celtic Fyre with top notch Irish dancing and singing, and Britmania’s ’60’s British rock Broadway-style revue. There is also All For One, a Musketeers swashbuckling spectacular in the Busch Gardens open-air Royal Palace Theatre.

Our teen, tween and the parents enjoyed taking shifts on the thrill rides. We rode the brand new and newly-opened InvadR – the new wooden coaster, an awesome addition to Busch Garden’s collection of world-class coasters. This ride is so exciting, but it is very smooth and does not invert, so this was a favorite with our cautious 11 year old as well as the hard-core thrill seekers in our group.

The wild coasters were a hit with our 13 year old, and the parents took turns accompanying him on the take-your-breath-away Alpengeist, Apollo’s Chariot, Tempesto and more.

Thankfully, my stomach always recovered just in time for another libation or treat.

Although we were not able to make it through to the summer evening fireworks, after a full day of fun we checked in to our family resort hotel, the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites. There the kids loved the salt water pool, the big splash pad and complimentary mini golf.

We had a wonderful meal at the on-site Huzzah’s Eatery, where Chris and I ordered wine and fresh seafood while the kids crafted their own pizzas to be fired in the pizza oven. The next morning’s breakfast buffet was included for all hotel guests, and the kids chowed down on fruit, bacon and Belgian waffles.

Saturday, our second day in Williamsburg and included in our 2 Park Flex Deal, was all about the swimsuit-clad adventures at Water Country USA. Due to the nature of walking around in my suit all day without a pocket or a magically waterproof iPhone, I was not able to capture as many original photos to show you. Here’s my last one, snapped by Chris at the Surfers Bay Wave Pool that was our family’s “home base” at the park, before putting the camera away.

But the kids LOVED that Mom and Dad were not able to access our phones! With our lifelines to work and parent photography stashed safely in a locker, we gave Charlie, Eve and Alice our complete and undivided attention as we hurtled down slide after slide with them. Hitting a water park with the kids means you have completely unplugged time with them, which is rare and a bonding treat for everyone.

There are more than 20 different slides or water activities at Water Country USA. Unlike other amusement parks that may have simply a small water slide section, Water Country USA is huge and completely dedicated to water-centric fun.

Our favorites included racing each other as a family down the Nitro Racer, cruising in pairs down the Malibu Pipeline, and watching Charlie brave the big drop of Vanish Point. Colossal Curl, the newest thrill raft ride, is brand new and so exciting! The ride starts with a funnel feature that swishes and swirls your raft of up to four people, before whisking you through the ride’s enclosed colorful tubes on to a wave element high above the park.

All five members of our family had a completely glorious time at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. And the folks at the parks would love to invite YOU to experience it too! One lucky A Parent in Silver Spring reader will win a family vacation including….

  • Four (4) 2 Park Flex tickets for Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA

  • One hotel room night’s stay at a Busch Gardens partner hotel (exact location TBD based upon date of travel)

  • One parking pass

This prize is valid to be redeemed through September 10, 2017. One winner will be randomly drawn through all forms of entry in the entry form below. Enter multiple ways to increase your chances of winning! 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Vacation!

Disclosure: My family and I received the same items for review as included in the giveaway package: park tickets, one night hotel stay and a parking pass. All meals and other expenses covered by me. All opinions are mine. 


  1. We would love to go we have never been

  2. Kim Trebel says

    Awesome – we have never been, but heard its tons of fun! Glad your family had a great time.

  3. My family would love to go- sounds like so much fun and the kids would have a blast!

  4. We have never been! I grew up near the one in Tampa and have always wanted to bring my kids. It would be a blast!

  5. We’d love to win this because we are all driving each other a little crazy, and this would be such a great way to have fun together! Plus, there’s no chance of us going to actual Europe together anytime soon. This is the next best thing!

  6. I remember going as a child but it’s been years…Hope to visit again!!!

  7. Anne Hoffman says

    We’re new to the east coast and having so much fun exploring everything it has to offer. Your blog has been great inspiration for us!

  8. We haven’t been to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in a long time, excited to see what’s new!

  9. We would love to go again — my kids talk about it all the time!

  10. We have never been to bg or water country. Bring it on!

  11. Roselle Flesner says

    Being Active Duty in the Military and taking care of my ill husband had been a challenge for me and my family. It would be a really nice break to actually give the kids some fun they deserve before school starts. Thanks for the opportunity! Have a great day!

  12. We haven’t been on a family vacation in over a year. We’ve never been to Busch Gardens but have always talked about going. My daughter loves looking at roller coasters online…she keeps saying she wants to try one in real life!

  13. My family has never been to Busch Gardens or Williamsburg, so we would love to check it out! My son is having a medical procedure done at the end of the summer and will be in casts for several months, so the water park especially would be a fun last hurrah before being forced to take a few months off from swimming.

  14. Lori Shell says

    We Love Busch Gardens and last time we went there our car broke down in the parking lot. This trip would help change those troubling memories into good ones

  15. Angela Escobar says

    WOuld love to go! We have never been!

  16. Patti Lalley says

    Never been to Water Country… than ever for the giveaway!

  17. Alex Berkley says

    My family would love to go on this mini vacation. Between the Delta airlines meltdown ruining our spring break plans and not being able to take a family vacation until November. To now having family members crash our summer by staying with us. We DESERVE to have an excuse to leave our guests at home!

  18. Carrie H. says

    I want to go because with 4 kids and a spouse who works 2+ jobs, we very, very rarely go anywhere that isn’t staying with relatives- and a vacation with family isn’t a vacation. They need to do something fun they haven’t done before!

  19. Courtney sundquist says

    I need a vacation we haven’t been able to do anything this summer due to work and schedules. This would be nice

  20. I need a vacation!! Steve and I might even take the boys ?

  21. Lane Windham says

    We’ve not done the water park and would love to try it.

  22. Andrew Miller says

    Our family would LOVE to have a special time of just the four us to to be together and create special memories! 🙂

  23. We have never been there! Would love to take my family!

  24. Eve Weisberg says

    We would love to go there! My kids have never been.

  25. This would be my first time going if I won! Thanks for the chance!

  26. M Clarkson says

    Would love to take the wife and kids here!!

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