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BGW, KD, CW Trip Planning Advice

Mid-April Visit

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Hi all,

I'm looking to plan a trip to hit up Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Dominion, and Carowinds. Right now I'm planning it as a solo trip and aiming to keep it to about 4-5 days total. Based on the parks' calendars, I'm currently looking at mid-April as an option. My focus will definitely be on riding the parks' coasters and any can't-miss flats, but ideally I'd like to have time for more than a full-on credit run.

I'm hoping those of you familiar with the parks can help with some info. I know that KD and CW just switched to year-round ops and obviously crowds have been hard to predict for the past few years, but:

  • Would a single full day (8 hours minimum) at each of these parks be sufficient?
  • Should I plan on buying Fast Lane/Quick Queue for any of them? Is there any downside to waiting until the day of to make that decision?
  • How would the above vary based on a weekday vs weekend visit for each park?
  • If I had to pick one park to do an extra half-day at, which should it be?

Any thoughts on those, or any other ideas/opinions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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I can only speak to KD, and a little on Carowinds:

1.  Yeah, a full open-to-close day at each park should be sufficient, provided you don't want to do the water parks and you're going on a weekday.  I see you're going in April, so water parks will not be a concern.
2.  No downside to waiting to buy Fast Lane at either Cedar Fair park; I've never seen them sell out outside of the Haunt season.  Probably won't be needed if you're going on a weekday.
3.  As you can tell, weekdays will be comparably dead compared to weekends.  KD is still on weekend only operations in mid-April, and so is Carowinds, so that might not be an option for you.  Unless you're going during one of their spring break weeks (which are different), then yeah it could be packed.
4.  Most people will tell you spend the extra day at BGW, but I'm going to say KD, especially if you value thrills over theming.  Intimidator and Twisted Timbers blow pretty much everything at BGW out of the water.

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I haven't been to KD or CW but have been to BGW, and in addition to what @AmyUD06 said I'd add:

- I didn't use Quick Queue on my trip, although I went on a Tuesday in August. The longest line I remember waiting in was for Le Scoot. I don't see a downside to waiting to buy Quick Queue, especially if you don't end up needing it.

- BGW opens in phases in the morning, so if you want to rope drop it just be aware of that. I thought the order was England before the stated opening time, Scotland, Ireland, and France at the posted opening time, and then the rest of the park 30 minutes after the opening time. I could be wrong though on this though, can someone clarify?

- Full day would be great at BGW, adding the half day would also be cool, but would only do it if you want re-rides or want to do everything in the park.

- Don't sleep on Le Scoot, the train, skyride, or Escape from Pompeii (you don't get as nearly wet as on other shoot the chutes). All of them are fantastic gems at BGW.

- If you like history I would 100% recommend Colonial Williamsburg. It's not all that far away, and it's easily the best "living history" museum that I've been too. You can pay to go inside the buildings or go on a tour, or you can go to the visitor center and walk around the streets for free. You could use your half day here if you wanted.

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All can be done in a single day, especially weekdays, without FL/QQ.  This is especially true if you show up before park opening.  

Check your dates. Probably only open during the week for Spring Break week in April. 


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With these parks now year-round, I'm wondering if they will close some rides currently open for maintenance when others open up. I recall BGW doing that but can't remember details. 

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