As we count down the days until the Virginia parks open their gates for the 2016 season, we at Busch Dominion are unveiling our all-new Bulletin series! This new article series will highlight everything happening at Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion with new releases throughout the year. Without further ado, we proudly present the first ever Busch Gardens Spring Bulletin!
Park Event Calendar
These detailed calendar pages come from the exclusive Pass Member Fun Tracker that the park releases annually.
Spring is filled with exciting special events! Below are some important dates for the spring season.
March 19th: Pass Member Preview Day
March 20th: Opening Day
March 20th-April 10th: Spring Break
April 2nd-3rd: Jack Hanna Weekend
April 23rd: Kidsiderate Concert (Choo Choo Soul)
April 30th: Kidsiderate Concert (Laurie Berkner)
May 7th: Kidsiderate Concert (Imagination Movers)
May 14th: Kidsiderate Concert (Kidz Bop)
May 7th-8th: Glory at The Gardens Concert Series
May 21st: Water Country USA Opens
May 27th: Food and Wine Festival begins
Attractions Debuting this Spring
Marco Polo’s Marketplace
The biggest new attraction debuting this spring is the park’s newest eatery, Marco Polo’s Marketplace. This new market-style restaurant will replace Ristorante Della Piazza, an Italian restaurant in the San Marco village . The park offers the following description of the new restaurant:
Become an explorer of cuisine at Marco Polo’s Marketplace. Traditional Italian, Mediterranean and Asian fare converge in this market-style restaurant. A hearthstone oven takes pizza – and taste buds – to a new place. End with a cannoli bar bursting with toppings to create a sweet masterpiece.
Brauhaus Craft Bier Room
Busch Gardens’ culinary roster widens with the opening of the new Brauhaus Craft Bier Room in Das Festhaus this spring. This Bier Room will feature a wide selection of beers from different craft and micro brewers. An exclusive “Founding Member Club” offers the opportunity to receive a limited edition stein that can be used to sample beers all season long. Here’s what Busch Gardens has said about the new Bier Room:
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Das Festhaus® with the all-new Brauhaus Craft Bier Room, where good times are always on tap. Sample hand-crafted brews from around the world, with 30 rotating craft beers on draft, including seasonal varieties.
Also, here is more information regarding the Founding Member Club:
Beer enthusiasts, become a Stein Club member and claim one of 300 limited-edition 1/2 liter steins, each numbered and displayed on the bar’s wall waiting just for you to use throughout the year. Prost!
This may be the new attraction coming to Busch Gardens that you haven’t heard much about. Acadia Traders will be a new gift shop in New France, which will sell all sorts of Canadian items. Based on the park’s description, Acadia Traders will be the Canadian version of the park’s other recently-renovated gift shop, La Belle Maison in Aquitaine. In other words, Acadia Traders will feature exclusive Canadian wines and merchandise. Busch Gardens is describing Acadia Traders as the following:
Journey up North without ever leaving Busch Gardens. Acadia Traders, located in the park’s New France village, is the hot spot for all things Canadian. Feel a chill with a selection of ice wines or represent the True North with a selection of gifts and apparel emblazoned with the maple leaf, hockey jerseys and maple syrup.
Events Happening this Spring
Pass Member Preview Day (March 19th)
Busch Gardens opens their gates for their annual Pass Member Preview Day on March 19th! If history is any indication, it will be a very busy day. Like past years, the park will host an announcements meeting, except this time in the Abbey Stone Theatre in Ireland. You won’t want to miss these announcements, as a lot could be revealed about the mysterious Project 2017. Other festivities are happening in celebration of Killarney’s 15th anniversary, including exclusive shows by the Irish band, the Fighting Jamesons. Below is Busch Gardens’ description of Preview Day:
Be one of the first 800 Members* at the Abbey Stone Theatre by 11 a.m. to learn about 2016 park happenings plus exciting details about Project 2017
Rock out to The Fighting Jamesons as they deliver a traditional style of Irish music with an energetic modern-day approach in the Abbey Stone Theatre. There will be three-performances throughout the day. Stop by Castle O’Sullivan to pick up a ticket to reserve your seat*.
Take advantage of Preview-Day only offers*
Save $30 on an Annual PhotoKey Membership
Shop discounts in all Ireland shops ($5 off $25 purchase or $10 off $40 purchase)
Eat and drink St. Patty’s style with green beer, popcorn and corned beef sliders*
Reserve an all-you-care-to-eat lunch* in the Black Forest picnic village from noon – 1:30 p.m.
Elmo Rocks (March 19th-May 1st)
For the past two years, the Globe Theatre has been vacant while awaiting London Rocks to open for the season, but this year that vacancy will be filled by Elmo Rocks. Elmo Rocks, a children’s musical show, has visited the park for one weekend for the past two years and was performed in Il Teatro di San Marco. This year, however, Elmo Rocks will stick around for the majority of the spring, this time in Banbury Cross.
Jack Hanna Weekend (April 2nd-3rd)
Once or twice every year, renowned zoologist Jack Hanna visits Busch Gardens Williamsburg to chat with guests and give presentations about the park’s animals, what they do for us, and what we can do for them. This spring, Jack Hanna will be in Il Teatro di San Marco, and if you’re willing to pay a small additional fee, you’ll get the opportunity to dine with Jack Hanna.
Kidsiderate Concert Series
Last year, Busch Gardens took a break from free concerts for the first time in recent memory. But this break apparently didn’t last long, because concerts are returning to the park! They’re taking a different approach to concerts this year, though, with the introduction of a new Kidsiderate Concert Series. Four different groups will take the stage at Il Teatro di San Marco on four saturdays in April and May. Here’s the schedule for the family-friendly concerts:
April 23: Choo Choo Soul
April 30: Laurie Berkner
May 7: Imagination Movers
May 14: Kidz Bop
Glory at the Gardens (May 7th-8th)
Another concert series, the park’s former Glory at the Gardens event will return this spring too. Glory at the Gardens will only be a weekend event, with six different groups playing throughout the weekend, in contrast to past years. You can visit the Christian-inspired concert in Festhaus Park. Check out the lineup of bands performing for Glory at the Gardens below:
May 7: Skillet with Family Force 5 & Disciple
May 8: Newsboys with Hawk Nelson & Ryan Stevenson
We’re on the brink of an action-packed spring at Busch Gardens, and as usual, Busch Dominion will be sure to report the latest happenings. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings at Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion! Tell us what you think of the BD Bulletin by leaving a comment below or by joining the discussion on the ParkFans Forum.
Be on the lookout for our Kings Dominion Spring Bulletin, which will be released in just a few days!