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Rides & Thrills
Thrills Await at Virginia’s Amusement Parks
Whether you are interested in thrill rides, roller coasters, theme parks, water parks, or family rides, you’ll find big-time thrills when you visit Virginia. There are enough parks here to keep everyone in your family happy. Kings Dominion in Doswell is the state’s biggest amusement park. It’s located just off Interstate 95 roughly halfway between Richmond and Fredericksburg.
This popular park spans 400 acres and is the spot to find more than 60 rides and attractions, including 12 roller coasters. You could easily spend a day here! The park is divided into several themed villages, including International Street, Old Virginia, Candy Apple Grove, Safari Village, Planet Snoopy, and Soak City.
The kids love the rides in Planet Snoopy, which is full of pint-sized rides like Flying Ace and Joe Cool’s Driving School. Safari Village is where you find Intimidator 305, which is one of world’s tallest coasters, as well as Scrambler and Volcano, The Blast Coaster. Elsewhere, riders head for WindSeeker, Xtreme SkyFlyer, and Anaconda. Everyone loves to get scared in the fall at Halloween HAUNT. When it’s time to cool down, head to Soak City, a water park with three pools and tons of slides and inner tube rides. Entry to Soak City is included with your Kings Dominion pass.
Kings Dominion also has several special events – there’s the Spring Bloom festival and special Spring Break events.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is barely an hour northwest of Virginia Beach and is just off Interstate 64 on U.S. 60. Here, the rides are built to match the themes of European countries: The United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany, France – and French Canada.
Head to San Marco, representing Italy, to ride Escape from Pompeii and the Battering Ram. At Heatherdowns – which is “in” Scotland – you can stand by red phone booths and ride a train through the countryside. Live the sweet life in Festa Italia, where you can find thrills on Roman Rapids, Tradewinds, and Apollo’s Chariot. You’ll find a transplanted ski lodge when you enter Alpengeist in Rhinefeld.
Busch Gardens has tons of special events throughout the year. The park is open daily for Spring Break, and through the spring you can sip and sample at the park’s food and wine festival. There are also special wildlife shows, a Halloween show, and Christmas Town, which pairs holiday festivities with Broadway-style shows and the park’s signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate.
Williamsburg is home to Virginia’s largest family water park – Water Country USA. You can find 17 rides here, including Big Daddy Falls, Malibu Pipeline, Hubba-Hubba Highway, and Aquazoid, plus plenty of pools and a lazy river.
Also, in Williamsburg you can find Go-Karts Plus. This family-friendly favorite has mini-golf, blaster boats, bumper cars, and an arcade. Kiddieland has the Crazy Elephant, Happy Kangaroo, and the Cartoon Kiddie Train.
Ever heard of Great Wolf Lodge? This spot in Williamsburg is a massive indoor water park that families love. Plunge into the Howlin’ Tornado, test your skills on the slide board, hop on River Canyon Run, scream your way through Alberta Falls, surf on Wolf Rider Wipeout, play ball in Raccoon Lagoon, and soak in one of the hot tubs.
In Alexandria, Cameron Run is a regional park. Here you can find water slides, mini-golf, batting cages, picnic shelters, a splash deck, and a lake with a fishing pier.
When you are in Sudley and seeking a cool down, head to Splashdown Waterpark. This spot keeps the summers cool with a boat slide, water raindrops, bubblers, a long lazy river, two four-story waterslides, two cannonball sides, log walks, a lily pad play area, and two twister waterslides. There is also a zero-entry beach area, a children’s area with four water slides, and a 25-meter lap pool.
Massanutten might be known best for its downhill skiing, but the resort also has a fantastic indoor water park. This park has a lazy river, a water tower to explore, plenty of slides, and more – make sure to check the park out from the outside – most of the slides actually zoom out of the building, loop around, then head back inside! For the summer there is a four-lane outdoor slide and a big beach area for swimming and playing.
In Virginia Beach, Ocean Breeze Waterpark is absolutely huge! This park has it all – twisty slides, speed slides, a huge wave pool, swimming areas, and a pool just for kids with pint-sized slides and other play areas. Nearby is Motor World – this race-themed park is full of mini-race cars and you can speed down figure-eight tracks and several twisting road courses. There is also mini-golf, bumper boats, a roller coaster, and Kiddie City, which has 10 rides just for little ones.
Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston has three twisting tall slides, splash buckets, a zero-entry pool for kids, kid-size slides, and an island for kids to swim to.
When you come to Virginia back your bathing suit and get set for thrills – there are plenty of wild times waiting for you!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Ready for a fun day full of rides and entertainment in Williamsburg? Try a day or two at the 383-acre Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the Virginia Beach area. Since 1975, this incredible theme park, located southeast of Williamsburg, has focused on family fun in an old-world European setting.
Not only does the park feature world-class roller coasters, it also features water rides, children's rides, family rides, shows and animal exhibits.
The Kinder Karussel, Skyride, and Der Wirbelwind are favorite rides enjoyed by families, while the Loch Ness Monster and Alpengeist satisfy thrill-seekers.
Partake in the Animals Up Close Tour, or one of the other Exclusive Park Experiences, to learn more about this fascinating park.
Thrill seekers in the Capital area of Richmond have a reason to celebrate. Kings Dominion, a premier themed amusement park, is located twenty miles north of Richmond, in Doswell. This incredible 400-acre amusement park, established in 1975, has expanded throughout the years to include seven main areas of the park: International Street, Old Virginia, The Grove, Congo, KidZville, Planet Snoopy and WaterWorks.
Be sure to schedule plenty of time to ride the park's fifteen roller coasters and sixty rides. Take a break from the rides and make a splash in WaterWorks, the 20-acre water park. Kids love riding the variety of rides in KidZville, while adults love to get a rush on the Intimidator 305, the fastest, tallest coaster in the East. Complete your park visit by checking out the Dinosaurs Alive! animatronic dinosaur park and the park's live entertainment. Stay close to the action as a guest of Best Western hotels and enjoy a peaceful night's rest.
Featuring five parks in one, SplashDown Waterpark is the largest of its kind in northern Virginia, and is lives up to the slogan, “It’s like a day at the beach without the drive.”
Set in Manassas, SplashDown Waterpark offers a 770-foot lazy river, a 25-meter lap pool, and two four-story waterslides. Enjoy sunbathing on Big Kahuna Beach, and grab lunch at Coney Island Café, Paradise Pizza, or Sweets ‘n’ Treats.