Did you know that when you are a Season Passholder at Busch Gardens Williamsburg you get a free ticket for a friend each summer? You have the chance to make someone’s day and get them into the park at no cost. Plus since you are a Season Passholder you park for free too- it’s the perfect frugal deal!
I LOVE going to Busch Gardens. It is one of my favorite places on earth but there is one small hiccup for people who go with me.
I don’t like roller coasters.
Busch Gardens has some REALLY incredible roller coasters but the only one I ride is Verbolten. I’m not a fan of going upside down, or hanging over the edge of a cliff before I plummet over the side or that “click-click-click” slowly up before you plunge to your impending doom. It’s just not my thing.
For most people going with me to Busch Gardens is pretty boring. I log many steps on my Fitbit. I like to see all the shows (which are fantastic). I love to eat things (fried pickles).
I don’t mind waiting while people go on roller coasters. I have my phone, I sit at the bottom and wait with no issues at all. But it tends to make people feel guilty. And then I feel guilty when they don’t go on the roller coasters. It’s a giant guilt fest.
At the end of August my friend Joel (above in the glasses) and I decided to take our friends Leigh (rockin the KALE sweatshirt) and James (dude with the beard) as our free tickets for the summer. James and Leigh haven’t been to Busch Gardens since before the world knew what an iPhone was. No way were they going to want to go to the park and NOT go on the big coasters.
Problem was we couldn’t get to the park until 4 p.m. The park closes at 10. Fire works are at 9:30. We had stuff to do and not much time to do it. And it was HOT so waiting in lines was going to be miserable.
This is what you do when you don’t ride roller coasters! I got ice water for all the bottles so we could stay cool walking around!
Since we were getting James and Leigh into the park for free I did some research the night before about the Quick Queue at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I have always been curious about it and how it works.
The availability and price on the Limited Quick Queue varies by day. According to the website prices can be as low as $17 per person and the reviews online have showed prices as high as $55 per person. It allows you to cut the line at Verbolten®, Alpengeist®, Apollo’s Chariot®, Griffon®, Le Scoot®, Curse of DarKastle, Escape From Pompeii®, Europe in the Air and Roman Rapids® once per attraction. Plus you get an additional BONUS ride which lets you on one of those rides again. There is also a more expensive Unlimited Quick Queue that lets you cut the line as many times as you want.
On the day we went the price was $30 but with my season passholder discount it went down to $27 a person. The price was not cheaper on their website before we left the house but I have heard if you grab it a few days ahead of time it might be a little bit less. I decided to grab us four of them as an experiment to see what it was like.
This is the newest thing. Has anyone had it yet? Soft serve ice cream inside a pineapple!
Here is what I learned:
Plan the rides that are not included: Notice that Loch Ness Monster and Tempesto are not included. So if those rides are a priority you may want to try to hit them first during less busy times of the day. Lines for Tempesto are usually pretty long.
Know the Park to Maximize Your Time: I’m at the park so often I can pretty much run through the map in my head. I didn’t want to be walking all over the place to get to everything- we didn’t have much time and we needed to try to hit things in a good order. Plus we had a certain place we wanted to eat and I needed to work that in to. So if you don’t know the park grab a map at the entrance or download the app and make a plan. Take 5 minutes to save 40 by figuring out a game plan.
**Side note: When we got to the park entrance Leigh looked at me and said “you are going to be the mom today right? Hold our stuff when we are on the rides and tell us what to do?” It’s like music to my ears.**
Look For The Entrances: Quick Queues have special entrances. On some rides (especially the newer ones) they are at the main entrance. But the older rides weren’t designed with a Quick Queue in mind so they may be tricky to find (this is actually our theory as to why Loch Ness Monster does have one- it’s too old and trying to add it would mess stuff up). Just look for signs (like the one Joel found) and you can cut in line! Ask for help if you need it.
Cutting In Line Doesn’t Mean You Are In The Front: This was very eye opening to me. After my friends rode Loch Ness (during which I filled the water bottles and read my book on my phone) we cut across the park to ride Curse of DarKastle. Normally I would skip it but hey- if we don’t have to wait in line why not.
Yeah- you still have to wait in line. And at DarKastle it’s not even really the front of the line. Your special entrance let’s you in about 3/4 of the way to the actual ride. We were still in line another 15 minutes or so before we got seats.
Other rides were a little bit faster. Verbolten lets you in right where you pick what row you want to sit in. So you may have to wait for three or four cars to go by but it’s not too bad. Escape from Pompeii puts you in your own corral and four people at a time go in each boat. So that one moved quickly. I didn’t go on Alpengeist but I barely had time to get to the exit before they were done (although using the Quick Queue means you will not be in the front row on that one).
So just know this doesn’t mean in and out in a few minutes- you still have some wait time.
Don’t Lose The Card: The Quick Queue system isn’t exactly mind boggling. They print you a card. When you get to the ride the attendant looks at the card, scratches off the name of that ride and sends you on your way. (I believe for the Unlimited Quick Queue there is a bracelet). If the attendant happens to “forget” you could go back through and go on the ride again. However if you lose the card you are out of luck. So keep it somewhere safe and dry. I was paranoid about losing mine all day.
Don’t Forget Your Water Bottles: This has nothing to do with Quick Queue but it’s something I feel like I can’t say enough. You can take an empty water bottle with you to Busch Gardens. They are pretty generous with the water and the ice around the park. On hot days (when you likely would want the Quick Queue it can be worth it’s weight in gold).
Was It Worth It For Us?
Yes I think it was worth it for us. It will NOT be a regular thing. Generally I am a person who is willing to put in the time for something to cost less. In this case I literally had no time. It was still less than I would have paid for the two tickets to the park.
Want to go to the park yourself? Don’t forget the Busch Gardens Virginia Coupons!