Top 15 Busch Gardens Williamsburg Rides: A Thrill Guide

verbolten, busch gardens williamsburg rides
Verbolten as Seen From the Rhine River Cruise

We’ve ranked all the roller coasters at Busch Gardens VA previously. So, now it’s time to go through the other rides at my home park, from the best water ride to some of the most kid-friendly rides.

There are a lot of classics and unique attractions at BGW–although we’ve lost a few great ones–so this was hard to put one over another.

But, I tried to keep it as objective as possible. 

With that said, feel free to comment below with your own takes on these attractions!

Now, let’s get into the top 15 Busch Gardens Williamsburg rides.

Related Reading: How To Visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg On A Budget

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Rides

Having grown up at the park, I can say that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has some of the best rides. 

Let’s take a look at the water rides, thrill rides, family rides, and classic rides at the world’s most beautiful theme park.

escape from pompeii, ride at busch gardens williamsburg
Entrance of Escape From Pompeii

1 – Roman Rapids

Roman Rapids is a must for any summertime visit to the park. 

It’s a quintessential white-water rafting ride through some Roman ruins and waterfalls underneath Apollo’s Chariot. The ride’s design mimics the feel of a genuine rapid, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns.

It’s perfect for both thrill-seekers and those looking for some family fun. 

Just be sure to hop in line early in the day, as this attraction tends to draw a crowd, especially during warmer afternoons.

Ride Tips
Change of Clothes:Highly recommended.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 42 inches.
Accessibility of Ride:Closed during offseason.
Enjoyment for:All ages. Family-friendly.

Pro tip: Be sure to watch out for those waterfalls!

2 – Escape From Pompeii

Aside from being haunted, Escape From Pompeii is a shoot-the-chutes water ride themed to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. 

It takes riders through ancient ruins, complete with fire special effects, before sending the boat plummeting 50 feet.

It’s this cool blend of a thrill ride and a family-friendly experience that has a bit of history thrown in. 

Ride Tips
Change of Clothes:Mildly recommended.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 42 inches.
Accessibility of Ride:Closed during offseason.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

Now, don’t let the word moderate fool you. While it’s marketed as a family ride, the drop’s big enough that it’s intimidating to some. 

Pro tip: If you’re not a fan of walking around in soggy clothes, make use of the family dryer after the ride. It’s a lifesaver for avoiding that clingy, wet-clothes feeling. 

There are spots where spectators can spray water at riders for an additional fee that quite a few people happily pay.

Also, that dip at the top of the lift will dump water onto the feet of anyone in the front row. So, just be forewarned if you decide to wear socks and sneakers.

3 – Finnegan’s Flyer

Finnegan’s Flyer is one of the newer thrill rides, located in the Ireland section.

On it, you’ll be soaring 80 feet into the air at a swift 45 mph.

The best part? You’ll get some panoramic views of the park alongside the airtime and weightlessness.

Ride Tips
Height of Ride:Over 80 feet.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 48 inches.
Top Speed:Up to 45 mph.
Thrill Level:High.
busch gardens railway, rides at busch gardens williamsburg
Aboard the Busch Gardens Railway

4 – Busch Gardens Railway

The Busch Gardens Railway is a classic, laid-back experience steeped in nostalgia with the charm of old-world locomotives.

It’s the best way to get off your feet, enjoy gorgeous views of the entire park, and traverse the large park.

There’s no pressure to disembark at the next station, so you’re good to ride the train for as long as you’d like.

Ride Tips
Duration:20 minutes.
Secure Your Items:Not necessary.
Height Requirements: None.
Train Stations:Scotland, Festa Italia, & New France. 
Enjoyment for:All ages. Family-friendly.

Pro Tip: During the summer, the Railway might close early to prepare for the fireworks show at night. So, check with the park to see if it’ll be closing early on the day you visit.

5 – Rhine River Cruise

Not to be confused with the Epcot Rhine River Cruise, Busch Gardens’ Rhine River Cruise is a serene boat ride along the park’s river. 

It’s a lovely little gem down on the Rhine and another great way to relax and enjoy beautiful views.

Ride Tips
Duration:Approximately 10 minutes.
Secure Your Items:Not necessary.
Height Requirements: None.
Boarding Time:12 pm to 5 pm.
Enjoyment for:All ages. Family-friendly.

Pro Tip: Always be sure to have your camera ready. You get some really unique views of the park from the river. 

For those interested in a more detailed look, you can check out an on-ride experience on YouTube for a virtual ride of the Rhine River Cruise.

6 – Le Scoot

Nestled in New France, the Le Scoot Log Flume is a lot of fun for folks looking for a summertime cool down with a moderate dose of thrill. 

The rustic attraction is especially popular on those hot summer days that Virginia is known for.

The log flume tours through a traditional sawmill environment between two drops. And being a family ride, it’s suitable for adults and kids alike, provided that everyone meets the height requirement to ride. 

Ride accessibility is an important factor to consider, so it’s worth mentioning that Le Scoot’s location at the base of a hill may pose a challenge to those with restricted mobility.

Ride Tips
Change of Clothes:Lightly recommended.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 46 inches.
Accessibility of Ride:Closed during offseason.
Thrill Level:Moderate.
der wirbelwind, busch gardens williamsburg rides
Der Wirbelwind at Night

7 – Der Wirbelwind

Swing rides are classic. So naturally, so is Der Wirbelwind at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. 

It’s a family ride that gives a neat bird eye view of the rest of Oktoberfest. And if your eyes are peeled, the Black Forest.

Der Wirbelwind’s experience is akin to flying. 

All around, the ride is just simple, good fun, and a great time.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Family flat ride.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 48 inches.
Accompanied Rider Height: 40 to 48 inches.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

Another point for families to note–children at least 40 to 48 inches tall can ride with anyone at least 48 inches tall and 14 years old. 

Pro tip: Don’t twist the seats around.

8 – Turkish Delight

Another theme park classic, Turkish Delight is a must-do ride on every trip that’s located in Festa Italia. 

Who doesn’t love spinning in a giant tea cup?

Well, at least whoever’s not prone to motion sickness.

Turkish Delight is an absolute blast for both kids and adults.

Plus, you get to control how fast your tea cup spins. So, if you’re like my brothers and I riding it, you can have the cup flying before the ride even starts.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Tea cups flat ride.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 48 inches.
Speed:Up to riders.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

Pro tip: Turkish Delight might not be a great option after Das Festhaus or Les Frites unless you have a stomach of steel.

9 – Kinder Karussel

And yet another amusement park staple, Kinder Karussel a fan-favorite ride tucked in Rhinefeld. 

It’s an antique carousel that captures the charm of yesteryear with its hand-carved horses and whimsical music. 

It’s the perfect attraction for adults and children alike who are seeking a chill ride without sudden drops and intense thrills.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Carousel.
Secure Your Items:Not necessary.
Height Requirements: Minimum 42 inches.
Year Built:1919.
Enjoyment for:All ages. Family-friendly.

Fun fact: The carousel traveled with a carnival for 50 years before being abandoned in Dallas Texas. 

It was later found in 1973 and subsequently restored, residing at Busch Gardens Williamsburg ever since.

alpengeist roller coaster, busch gardens williamsburg rides
Alpengeist as Seen From the Skyride

10 – Battering Ram

Located in San Marco, Battering Ram is a large swinging ship that builds momentum swing by swing.

Riders wanting a milder ride experience can sit in the rows in the middle of the ship, while riders wanting a more thrilling ride can sit on the outermost rows on either side of the ship.

So, it’s a great attraction to work your way up on thrills, row by row, before heading off to bigger ones like Finnegan’s Flyer.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Pendulum pirate ship.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 42 inches.
Height at Full Swing:Up to 45 mph.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

11 – Aeronaut Skyride

If you’re looking to check out the park from a whole different angle, the Aeronaut Skyride is the go-to. 

It’s a leisurely ride that gives a bird’s eye view of the park and doubles as transportation between the three countries it runs (England, France, & Germany).

Just keep in mind that you do have to get off at each station and get back in line to go to the next station.

It’s also one way only, traveling from England to France, France to Germany, and Germany to England.

Ride Tips
Duration:Roughly 8 minutes.
Secure Your Items:Not necessary.
Height Requirements: None.
Stations:England, France, & Germany. 
Max Height:80 feet.

Pro tip: The Skyride is a great way to get unique photos of Loch Ness Monster, Griffon, and Alpengeist.

12 – Le Catapult

La Catapult is Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s scrambler flat ride that’s situated in the back of New France.

It’s a popular family-friendly ride that has had many homes at the park, from Ireland to Festa Italia, Oktoberfest, and now New France.

It’s akin to the tea cups, Turkish Delight, save for the fact that each ride cabin does not spin freely.

Le Catapult is a great way to cool off without getting wet.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Scrambler ride.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 48 inches.
Enjoyment for:All ages. Family-friendly.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

Pro tip: If you’re riding with someone else, have the smaller of the two sit on the inside of the cabin. Whoever’s sitting on the outside is going to get mushed by the inside rider.

loch ness monster roller coaster, ride at busch gardens williamsburg
Loch Ness Monster Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

13 – The Trade Wind

A bobsled-esque flat ride in Festa Italia, The Trade Wind is a whirl of dips and cheerful music, going around and around and around and around and…

It whips up some speed during the ride, almost turning its dips into mini air-time hills.

It’s flashy, it’s fun and a great encapsulation of the spirit of Festa Italia.

Its baseline height requirement is 52 inches for solo riders. But, smaller riders that are at least 48 inches tall can ride with someone who is 52 inches and over 14 years old.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Music express flat ride.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 52 inches.
Accompanied Rider Height: 48 to 52 inches.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

Pro tip: Like Le Catapult, whoever’s sitting on the inside of the ride car will squish whoever’s riding on the outside of the ride car.

Fun fact: The queue of The Trade Wind is where we created the opening ceremony of Sideshow Square during a Wednesday night monsoon two days before opening.

14 – Der Autobahn

Back on the trend of classic amusement park rides, Der Autobahn is the park’s bumper cars attraction.

What’s not to love about the brief bout of chaos and merry mayhem that commences with each ride start?

And for the littles, its miniature counterpart, Der Autobahn Jr, sits right by its side.

Like some of the other attractions, the bumper cars have a solo rider minimum height of 48 inches. But, those between 42 and 48 inches can ride with a companion who’s at least 48 inches tall and 14 years old.

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Bumper cars.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 48 inches.
Accompanied Rider Height: 42 to 48 inches.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

The charm of Der Autobahn truly lies in the simplicity of its fun! 

15 – The Flying Machine

A part of Da Vinci’s Garden of Inventions, The Flying Machine is another spinning ride. But, it’ll be less likely to make you sick with its more leisurely pace.

I’m all about those spinning rides that aren’t too extreme but just thrilling enough to give you a buzz!

The ride twists you around a mechanical web and makes for a very family-friendly attraction (as long as kids meet the height requirement).

Ride Tips
Ride Type:Spinning flat ride.
Secure Your Items:Use lockers before boarding.
Height Requirements: Minimum 42 inches.
Enjoyment for:All ages. Family-friendly.
Thrill Level:Moderate.

Remember, this isn’t a super intense experience, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something that won’t have you feeling dizzy for hours. 

Plus, you get a nice view of the park’s beautiful landscaping as you whirl!

griffon roller coaster, busch gardens williamsburg ride
Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Discounted Tickets

If you’re actively planning a trip to the park, you can save up to $25 on Busch Gardens Williamsburg tickets

These tickets are good for one year from the date of purchase and can be fully refunded with free cancellation up to 24 hours before your trip. 

Wrap Up

Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s fun ride lineup makes it one of the best theme parks for a unique experience.

It’s a great park for some of the best roller coasters (especially indoor launch coasters), thrilling rides, and novelty water rides on the East Coast.

If you’re interested in exploring more about the park’s rides, namely the world-class roller coasters, you can check out my rankings of all the coasters at Busch.

I’ve also covered a few of the most frequently asked questions about the attractions at the park below.

And, don’t get me started on the Curse of DarKastle withdrawal that has recently set in for me…

It was legit the best non-roller coaster ride at Busch Gardens. But, nice things cost too much, I guess.

Nonetheless, if you’re heading to the park soon, have a good time!

Auf Wiedersehen!

What’s your favorite ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

For more Busch Gardens Williamsburg guides, you can also check out:

Thanks for reading!

verbolten, busch gardens virginia rides
Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Rides FAQs

How many rides are in Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

As of 2024, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has roughly 50 rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions. You can find a complete list of rides on the park’s website.

How long does it take to ride everything at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

It depends on the day and the crowds, but it’s safe to say that you’ll need a full day to experience everything that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has to offer. If you want to avoid long lines, consider visiting on a weekday or arriving early in the morning.

What is the most intense ride at Busch Gardens?

According to many thrill-seekers, the most intense ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is Finnegan’s Flyer. If you’re looking for a thrill, this ride is a must.

How many kids rides are at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has over 40 kids rides, including the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. 

What is the oldest ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

The oldest ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the Le Scoot Log Flume, which opened in 1975. This classic log flume ride takes you on a thrilling journey through the woods and over a 50-foot drop.

What rides are closed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

Ride closures can happen for a variety of reasons, including maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. So, it’s always a good idea to check the official website before your visit to make sure that your favorite rides are open.

What rides have been removed from Busch Gardens Williamsburg?

Over the years, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has removed several rides to make way for new attractions. Some of the most notable rides that have been removed include Curse of DarKastle (a dark ride), Mach Tower (a drop tower), and Da Vinci’s Cradle (a flat ride). 

As for roller coasters, Big Bad Wolf and Drachen Fire are the most popular ones that have since been removed.

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