Williamsburg 2020 Trip

Honestly I can’t recall if I have done a post about this prior. But in October of 2020, I visited Virginia during the Covid 19 pandemic. Not just any part of Virginia…Williamsburg! The main reason I went there was for Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. But I will get to that in a minute. We got there—to Williamsburg—at around 4 or 5pm on October 9. That first day, my parents and I went to the Williamsburg General Store and another gift shop we frequented when I was a kid. Yeah, they’re cheesy touristy gift shops, but for sentimental purposes, I’m glad we went here. Plus the General Store has fudge that is to die for!

That first night, and actually the whole weekend we were there, it rained. But that did not stop us from having fun. That first night, we did the Williamsburg Ghosts and Witches and Pirates tour. And I’m sorry, but I am a sucker for ghost tours. I’m not big on haunted houses but damn if I don’t love a good ghost tour! This tour takes you all through Colonial Williamsburg and gives history of piracy in Williamsburg as well as local haunts. I actually decided to be ballsy and knock on the door of the most haunted manor in all of Williamsburg. Nothing happened, but it was still a cool opportunity.

Day two was the day I visited Busch Gardens. But that was not until the afternoon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you cannot just walk in to the park. You have to make a reservation. With that reservation you get a three hour time slot. My slot was from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. So during the morning till the time of my reservation, we went to Virginia Beach. My parents and godparents went sightseeing and I went to the Virginia Aquarium in downtown Virginia Beach. The aquarium, while fun, I was kind of “meh” about. It was all one level and I was in and out in about two hours. I did get a cool clock with a crab on it, so that’s neat. But not only that, but unbeknownst to me, like Busch Gardens, the aquarium required a reservation…and was at capacity the day I visited. I got in by pure luck because they had one slot available and I was by myself. It was PACKED! So I was not sad to leave so soon.

From there, we headed back to Williamsburg so I could go to Busch Gardens. On the way there, it started POURING! It was so bad, we were second guessing whether it’d be worth my time to go. But I decided to bite the bullet and go anyway. Half the roller coasters were closed, but that was expected. They were closed for the season. So I did not get to do the B&M inverted coaster, Alpengeist, the B&M dive coaster Griffon, the wooden coaster Invadr, or the drop tower Mach Tower.

However the rides that were open for Howl-O-Scream were the B&M hyper coaster Apollo’s Chariot, the Zierer launched coaster Verbolten, the Arrow Dynamics classic coaster Loch Ness Monster, and the Premier Rides multi-launch coaster Tempesto.

Loch Ness Monster was the first ride I went to. I opted to ride in the front row on this ride. And actually, this was the one I rode most that day. Reason being, 1 it didn’t have a line all day and 2, it’s a fun ride. The two loops on Loch Ness Monster actually interlock, meaning they go through each other. It’s the only roller coaster in the world to do that. And for a ride that has been around since 1978 is still mostly smooth. The ride never had more than a five minute wait all day, so I took advantage of that. And actually the last ride of the night I got was really cool. I rode Loch Ness Monster at sunset in the rain BY MYSELF! Yes, I had an entire roller coaster to myself! And to prove that, I have this attached video. Now before you chew me out about how dangerous this is recording on a ride, I had permission from park management to do so. They gave me a special pass that allowed me to film on the rides.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oIcFiTqrgA&t=1s

After the Loch Ness Monster, I hit Apollo’s Chariot. This ride was easily the most painful ride that night. And I don’t mean that in the regard that it was rough or shaky or whatever. No, I mean painful as in I was getting pelted with rain hitting me in the face going 75 miles per hour. And oh dear God that hurt! But it made the ride memorable, that’s for sure.

So after three rides on Apollo’s Chariot, I decided to ride Tempesto. This thing was fun. It was a launched coaster with a loop 150 feet off the ground. The pain in the but part of this ride is its capacity. It has one train with only 12 people. That is because of the model of ride. It is a roller coaster that goes forward and backward on one continuous track so it is physically impossible to run more than one train. That and you could not pick your seat. They assigned seating on the ride due to social distancing. So I was assigned the front row one ride and the very back on the other.

The last coaster was Verbolten. This ride was fun. It starts off mild but then launches you into a tunnel with a tight helix and lighting effects. From there it has a drop track. The track actually drops you about 20 feet down and drops you into a ravine. The ride is a little shaky but it was fun. Not my favorite ride in the park, but still fun. I only did this ride once simply because it had a longer line than the other rides and I did not feel the need to repeat my ride.

Now I wanna discuss the general ambiance and atmosphere of Busch Gardens. This park is BEAUTIFUL! I’ve been to Busch Gardens numerous times and it is always stunning! In the rain, not so much. But the Halloween decor was cool! They had people in costumes walking around. I got a photo with some of them. I also tried some seasonal beer. I even drank a drink out of a syringe. The idea behind it was cool, it did look like blood, but it tasted DISGUSTING! I actually threw it out. It tasted like spiked jelly and had the consistency of it, too. But the lager was good!

While on my way out, I went into a gift shop to buy some merchandise. I wound up buying an LED light up hat. Funnily enough, it was the only hat in the gift shop that worked and the employees did not even know how to turn it on. They had to call park management to show them how to turn the hat on. So that was a little annoying.

Now I want to bring this up because I feel it is worth mentioning. I used to go to Williamsburg all the time—either around Easter or Thanksgiving—with my grandparents and family when I was a kid. So for me, it brought me back to my childhood to revisit all the places I went to when I was a kid. It really did take me back to my youth. I love Williamsburg! I can’t wait to go back again!

So those are my thoughts on Williamsburg 2020. Have you been to Busch Gardens? Or even Williamsburg in general for that matter? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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