So, we’re in Colonial Williamsburg. We’ve done Busch Gardens. What else is there to do? Go see the sights and sounds of the old American colonial lands? Revel in the history of such a rich country?
Screw that! We’ve got our tickets, so it’s off to Water Country USA we go!
We had planned out what days we would be doing the parks on and had a day conspicuously going spare, so decided to get the two-day pass for Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which also included entry to the nearby Busch Gardens-operated waterpark, Water Country USA. Does it count as another theme park? Nope. More like a lesson in effective torture.
Waterparks are a staple part of us going to Florida. Whilst we obviously don’t do them as much as the theme parks themselves, we’ll still go a few times to Aquatica (our new favourite waterpark) from about 11-ish to 3 or 4. During that time we manage to get on everything at least once and go round the lazy rivers. It’s nice – not busy and quite relaxing.
So, we mean to carry on this tradition. We get to the park late-ish in the morning, get changed and immediately look at going on one of the slides. We go past the wavepool and towards the only way to get into the main section of the park.
This path, if you can call it that, is about 8 feet wide, at an incline of at least 30 degrees, and is made of rough concrete.
We are barefoot. The path is hot and seriously painful on our feet. The paths themselves around the park (well, path – there’s only one path that winds through the park itself, with all the slides and pools branching off) are still made of the same stuff though.
We get to a slide. There’s a fair bit of a wait – about 20 minutes – for a pretty pants slide that I don’t recall. We then head over to the park’s lazy river, which is actually a “crazy river”.
We love these rivers. There’s one at Aquatica called Roa’s Rapids, and it’s basically a fast lazy river. Great for swimming round in and winding round other swimmers, though this one doesn’t have the islands and the rapids sections that the Aquatica one has.
After a few laps, we decide to try another slide. Big mistake – a queue of 45 minutes awaits. 45 minutes! In a queue with these paths, in this sun! We would die!
At this point we are actually beginning to worry about the state of our feet – the bottoms of them are in complete pain. Maybe this is Water Country USA’s idea to get us to buy sandals, but we’re not having any of that. It gets towards lunch time and we have to climb back up the evil entrance path, get our cash and then go back DOWN the evil entrance path, followed by a five minute walk to get to the restaurant.
Food wasn’t bad though.
Then, it’s back UP the evil entrance path, drop off our cash, back DOWN the evil entrance path and back to the lazy river – the only thing that didn’t have a huge queue – for a few more laps.
The relief felt when we managed to get back into the water was huge – we both anticipated our feet actually creating steam as they went into the water. We both felt that, by now, they should be bleeding and they were actually seriously red and blistered.
Looking back at it, this park (or at least how it was when we visited) is a demonstration of everything that can go wrong in a waterpark. Huge queues. Only one way to get around. No effective shade, especially on that surface. And, somehow, a ramp of 30 degrees that everyone must travel up and down a few times.
After a few laps of the lazy river, we decide that enough is enough and brave the journey back to the lockers. Our feet are in a searing pain that can only be comparable to the bowels of Hell itself.
Into the changing rooms we go and I’m always slightly miffed at how the men’s changing rooms are. Women’s changing rooms, at least according to my wife, have private cubicles and showers. Men’s, on the other hand, tend to be open plan rooms where the only thing that can provide any privacy or avoidance of seeing very large, very naked men, is a row of benches, with another open plan shower. Apart from in Aquatica – that has private cubicles and showers.
So, as well as Busch Gardens Williamsburg, another park we’re leaving early. As far as parks (including theme parks) go, I’m actually now wondering if this is actually worse than Ferrari World – a park so boring, monotonous and prone to breakdowns that I gave it a 1 out of 5 on TripAdvisor, and was even contacted by a reporter from a national newspaper to contribute to a story about it.
The rest of the day is spent finishing our packing and, perhaps, I think we may have had a swim in the hotel swimming pool – a far better pool than the ones in the park. Not to mention a trip to Friendly’s.
Our final day is, obviously, spent travelling back home which I’ll still write about, as well as thoughts of the whole trip itself.