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Breaking News Busch Gardens has been sold !

Earlier todaybuschgardensBlackstone Capital Partners V L.P., an investor fund advised by The Blackstone Group, announced that it had reached agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev to purchase the company’s entertainment park division, Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC) for $2.7 billion.
The Busch Entertainment Corporation is the second largest entertainment park operator in the United States with approximately 25 million annual visitors. BEC operates 10 Worlds of Discovery – SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Sesame Place, Adventure Island and Water Country USA .

Click for A photo tour of Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA

 
Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said: "Busch Entertainment Corporation is a high performing asset with a world-class  management team, but not a core business for Anheuser-Busch InBev. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with a buyer who understands the industry and has a strategic vision for the business."

Buschgardensva Joseph Baratta, senior managing director of Blackstone Group, said "We have deep sector experience and look forward to working with the excellent Busch Enterainment management team to continue to invest in and grow the company.”
Added Michael Chae, another senior managing director at Blackstone: "We are delighted to be investing in a company with such iconic brands, irreplaceable assets and strong growth prospects."
Closing of the sale is subject to regulatory clearance.

Busch Entertainment Corporation President  Jim Atchison indicated that the parks would be operating "business as usual." Atchison and the entire management team has been retained to run the new company, which will continue to go by the name Busch Entertainment Corp. (though he said that they might start using the alternate name "Worlds of Discovery" more going forward).

The Sesame Workshop and Anheuser-Busch brands are among those that will remain in the parks, he said. Busch beer brands will continue to be poured at the parks, and the Busch Gardens name will remain on the parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va., as they were sold to Blackstone as part of the deal.

cydesdale at Busch GArden One of the more notable changes  will be that the iconic Clydesdale horses will be moved from the parks, and instead go on tour to promote their A-B brands. The  "Here’s to the Heroes" promotion offering free admission to military personnel will continue in the BEC parks for 2010.

No new rides or attractions were announced although it was confirmed that there are numerous  concepts and ideas that are in various stages of development.

Busch Gardens was opened in James City County in 1975. Water Country USA in upper York County was acquired in 1992.
Both York and James City county officials have described the parks as good community partners.
"Clearly they have a significant impact on the county," said York County Administrator James O. McReynolds.
Water Country employs about 700 part-time workers and is considered one of the top employers in the county, McReynolds said. Last fiscal year, the county received $202,000 in real estate and business personal property taxes, including the water park property and land adjacent to Busch Gardens used for parking.
In James City County, Busch Entertainment is second only to the Anheuser-Busch brewery as the county’s top property taxpayers. In the last two fiscal years, the theme park brought in $1.62 million and $1.63 million in property taxes.
The long-rumored sale had also caused angst among local government and tourism officials over whether the buyer would invest in the community as has Anheuser-Busch. The company contributed $2.25 million to the Jamestown 2007 event. It is also a major contributor to the region’s joint marketing program.

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Visit Colonial Williamsburg, VA

aerialcapitol3Well, I guess we are bound to get a lot of visitors coming to Williamsburg VA for 36 hour trips now that the New York Times has posted a Williamsburg, VA travel story.

I was just looking at my Twitter account ( Twitter/ MrWilliamsburg) and it seems that hundreds if not thousands of people are reposting the story.

 

Here is the story:

ONCE the preserve of eighth-grade field trips and history re-enactors, Williamsburg, Va., with its restored Colonial District, has become in recent years a much more rounded — and upscale — experience. Local chefs raised on both grits and Asian ginger have adapted traditional Southern cooking and native ingredients to create more exotic combinations. Virginia wineries, once scorned, produce high-quality vintages, while the central district of Williamsburg is known not only for stark Colonial homes but also for a lavish spa and upscale folk-art shops. Of course, if you want to see a staging of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!” speech, or stick your head in the stocks, that’s still an option

Read the rest of the story on Colonial Williamsburg here

By the way. There are many fine restaurants to choose from besides the Fat Canary. Contrary to what the NYT article indicates.

Make sure you take in a performance of “Revolutionary City if you visit. Somehow the writer missed this entirely.

If you lived here instead of paying $34.95 for  a one day pass to Colonial Williamsburg, you could purchase an annual " Good Neighbor Pass" to CW for $10. Kids under 17 get an annual Good Neighbor Pass for FREE ! Read about it here: https://williamsburgsrealestate.com/2008/11/29/good-neighbor-pass-colonial-williamsburg-resident-discount/

Another benefit of living here for our kids at least is Busch Gardens. If you are a resident of Virginia instead of paying $59.95 for a one day pass you can buy a Fun Pass that gets you in all season.  Or you can take out a second mortgage on your house and buy one year passes to both Water Country and Busch Gardens. I was only kidding about the second mortgage , we all know those aren’t available anymore so you just sign up for the monthly payment plan to purchase your BG passes.

 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Opening Sesame Street April 3, 2009

Park to Open March 28, New Attraction Opens April 3

 forestoffunbuschgardens It’s the kind of news that children and parents everywhere will love to hear–Sesame Street Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens will open April 3.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun will open in two phases.

When the park opens Saturday, March 28, families can dine with Elmo and mingle with the cast of characters over breakfast or lunch at a Sesame Street-themed indoor dining facility. They also can watch all of their favorite Sesame Street characters in a 4-D movie at the Globe Theatre called "Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!" Then on Friday, April 3, Busch Gardens will open Sesame Street Forest of Fun for the season starting with a special two-week preview. Guests can visit Elmo and his friends and explore Busch Gardens’ newest attraction, situated in the England section of Busch Gardens.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun features four new rides offering kid-sized versions of popular attractions, including a junior roller coaster designed for parents and children to ride together.  The Forest of Fun will also feature wet and dry play areas, a photo studio where families can capture images of their children with "Sesame Street" characters and stage performances by the children’s television show’s creatures.

Generations of children have grown up on the acclaimed and hugely popular "Sesame Street" educational television series, which melds education with entertainment.

As workers and machinery bustled about the 1.5-acre construction site, the  the emerging Forest of Fun was shown to parents, reporters, amusement park enthusiasts and local officials yesterday. Officials  would say only that building the Sesame Street area in the England section of Busch Gardens will cost "millions of dollars."

"We believe Sesame Street Forest of Fun will be a hit for our park and boost tourism in this region when families are looking for vacations that are worth their hard-earned money," said John Reilly, Busch Gardens’ general manager and executive vice president, in a statement.

Read more about Sesame Street coming to Busch Gardens , Williamsburg here

WordPress Tags: Busch,Gardens,Williamsburg,Sesame,Street,virginia

Its official Busch Gardens Williamsburg is opening for Christmas Season 2009

John Womeldorf is Mr. Williamsburg, sharing his thoughts, real estate expertise, and “all things Williamsburg” in an effort to spread the word that Williamsburg, Virginia is the greatest place on earth to live!

busch gardens williamsburgBusch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg VA has invited the media to the park for a special announcement today. Most are speculating that they will announce that the park will open for Christmas as the Busch Gardens in Tampa does. No clue yet if they will attempt to do it this year or 2009.  Seems very late to attempt an opening in 2008 but who knows.

The website Theme Park Insider reported Tuesday that Busch will make a major announcement on Thursday, and speculating that the news is “probably the long rumored Christmas festival.” Busch has invited media to the park for an announcement it says will show the park “in a whole new light.”

In any case look for the Christmas operating season to be announced. I’ve heard that they plan major decorations of the park and some rides will be open (including Griffon) but not all

My guess is some type of Christmas Light show and Christmas Festival as well as an opportunity to purchase a  season pass that is valid for a year/2 years. I would assume the Christmas festival will last during the month of December until after Christmas thru Jan 1. The season passes could be bought as gifts for Christmas. 

Whoops, Busch Gardens slipped. Listed under the Job Responsibilities for the Theatrical Services Operations Supervisor on Busch’s talent search site was the following bullet:

installs/strikes, HOS and Christmas Events.

  http://www.talentsearchbgw.com/theatricalservicesopsup.html  They have since edited the site….

Will update as soon as I know any further. Although the whole world will know for sure after the announcement !

So here’s the update:  

From the official press release:

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Dec. 4, 2008) – Officials today announced plans for an all-new holiday event coming to the Virginia theme park in 2009. “Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration” will create the anticipation of the season and fill visitors’ senses with all things Christmas. The park will transform into a winter wonderland filled with holiday traditions, new surprises and park favorites that make everyone say, “Now this is Christmas.”

 

For the first time in the park’s 34 year history, visitors will experience all-new attractions, shows and shopping that will fill them with holiday spirit. Guests can look forward to an immersive experience amid more than a million twinkling lights while they explore the best holiday traditions from around the world. Santa Claus will visit the park each evening to hear Christmas wishes from the young and young at heart.

 

“We’ll kick off a season-long celebration for family and friends to gather for Christmas fun,” said John Reilly, Busch Gardens’ general manager and executive vice president. “Featuring live entertainment, great food and unique shopping experiences all under the glow of a million Christmas lights, Christmas Town will add a unique holiday tradition to Virginia.”

 

Christmas Town opens at Busch Gardens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4 – 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 27, 2009. The park will open each evening Dec. 18-27, 2009, excluding Christmas Day. Some sections of the park will remain closed for the season. Some rides and attractions are weather dependent.

 

     

Christmas Town admission tickets will be available for $19.95 beginning January 2009. Guests with active one-year and two-year Busch Gardens’ passes save 50 percent on Christmas Town tickets as well as free parking and in-park discounts.

 

 

 PLANNED EXPERIENCES at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town

 Each section of the park will be themed in Christmas décor native to each country or hamlet, and will feature all new attractions, shows and shopping that will immerse guests into the Christmas season. Think of it as a European Christmas with an American flair. Christmas Town will feature:(weather dependent) , Corkscrew Hill and Curse of DarKastle

Special holiday-themed dining opportunities

Unique shopping experiences

Evening Santa Claus visits

Children’s shows

Strolling carolers

Tree-lighting ceremonies

Select rides, including *Griffon 

 ADMISSION

General admission price for non-pass holders: $19.95

Platinum, 2-Park and 1-Park Pass member prices: $9:95 + free parking and in-park savings on food and merchandise

Tickets go on sale in January and can be purchased at the gate or online at 

www.christmastown.com

.OPERATING SCHEDULE

Open evenings 4-9 p.m.

 

  

 This informational update provided by Mr Williamsburg.com/ John Womeldorf . A local Realtor assisting home buyers and sellers in the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg areas of Virginia.

Contact me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Research the area at www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com

Or ask any questions about homes, neighborhoods, schools, amenities, recreation , shopping or anything else about the area.

Search Homes for Sale

Click here to search all homes, town homes, condos and building lots for sale in Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth,Franklin, Sussex, Southhampton, Emporia, Greenville, Mathews, Suffolk, Surry, Smithfield, Newport News, Hampton , Poquoson, Gloucester or York County Virginia 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA Video Tours

 

If you are thinking of visiting Busch Gardens in  Williamsburg VA and want to get a feel for the park take a look at this video by David Olsen. It will help you appreciate how beautiful the park is. This was shot in 2006.

Here is another one that will give you a close up of the new Griffon Roller Coaster.