On Friday (the second day of my spring break), we took a family day trip to Busch Gardens. We get 4 free tickets a year through races that we run (ChristmasTown Dash and Run for the Dream). We also had free roller coaster Quick Queue passes that we picked up from our Roller Coaster Insider Tour last summer, which let us cut to the front of any coaster line. I couldn’t use mine in my current pregnant state (Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Expedition Everest were enough for my little one at Disney!), but it was nice for my husband to cut the lines while I waited with our toddler. (He still gets into the park free.)
We decided not to bring a stroller because we haven’t used ours since our son was a few weeks old. Luckily, he woke up at 5 AM, we left at 7, and he slept most of the 2.5-hour drive to Williamsburg, so that was his nap for the day. He loved every inch of Busch Gardens, running full-speed ahead of us for the 10 hours we were in the park!
I know Busch like the back of my hand, having grown up in Williamsburg. I’ve been in the park hundreds of times, so it was neat to just take it easy and see all the details through the eyes of a toddler. It was a bit chilly, but I loved being able to wear jeans and a jacket – no purse needed! Despite the frost, the gardens were at their PEAK. I could not get over the landscaping that day. The flowers were breathtaking!
We visited the clydesdales, a baby bald eagle, and a porcupine, then we watched Pet Shenanigans for the zillionth time – he LOVED it but kept asking where our dog was in the show! We rode the SkyRide and played around in Land of the Dragons for a little while, but he wasn’t too interested in any of the rides that he’s FINALLY eligible to ride! But there was still plenty for him to explore and do:
He’ll look at the camera if we ask him to stick out his tongue, so that’s how we snagged several pictures that day!
After a picnic lunch in the car, it was back into the park for some Sesame Street action in the Forest of Fun and then more gallivanting around the park. He was up for meeting Ernie but not Cookie and sitting on the (baby) swings but not on the Easter Bunny:
All day long, we kept hearing that the Easter Bunny was in Germany, so we just had to find him! E was NOT interested.
We didn’t buy any of the $20 professional photos from the day (with Ernie, with the Easter Bunny, or the really nice family picture with Aiden the baby clydesdale). Nevertheless, who knew I’d get my favorite photos from the day from the park bench where we changed his diaper??
We had a run-in with a semi-famous person – Stephanie, the owner of our favorite natural parenting store! I KNEW she was in the park – I spied her abandoned baby carrier earlier in the day in Land of the Dragons and even said something to my husband about it! I chatted with her a bit. So exciting, people!
We rounded out our evening at Busch with some shopping, dinner in the smokehouse, and a visit to a (very crowded) Irish pub. I had to stop and admire the flowers once more before heading out into Williamsburg for some very important party-planning shopping for my husband’s 30th and a relaxing evening with him in Barnes & Noble with white mochas and a delicious cannoli before the long drive home.