Category: Archive

Bud and blarney at Busch Gardens

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

If you are pining for the green fields of home, you could book a flight and head east across the Atlantic.

Or, you could head to Virginia.

After six months of development, the Williamsburg, Va.-based family attraction and theme park, Busch Gardens, has opened an Ireland garden, complementing its existing country sections: England, Scotland, Germany, Italy and France.

The fifth green field features traditional Irish scenery such as an entertaining musical leprechaun and Budweiser beer, and will be sponsored by Aer Lingus.

As Daniel Brown, executive vice president and general manager of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, says, "Ireland delivers an unparalleled journey for our guests in 2001," adding, "there’s nothing like it anywhere."

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

Visitors to the attraction cross into Ireland via the Killarney Crossing Bridge, arriving in Killarney, where they are met by spirited Irish musicians. According to Busch Gardens press releases, "visitors feel like Irish villagers" as they "travel on a white-knuckle 4-D adventure experience through a land of giants, experience traditional Irish dance, shop for Irish goods and enjoy a pint in an authentic pub."

There is no suggestion of other traditional Irish experiences such as traffic jams, Antrim pipe bombings, foot-and-mouth restrictions or heart-stopping property prices.

Corkscrew Hill, the 4-D adventure ride, also includes visitations from a hungry witch and a magical stallion, and is one of the first adventure rides in the U.S. to use the latest high-format, digitally projected stereoscopic ride film.

After Corkscrew Hill deposits visitors next to Castle O’Sullivan, at least the weather comes out right in a "special effects show including rain, thunder and a brilliant rainbow that appears magically over the audience."

There are also plenty of Irish artisans displaying their talents in the making of Waterford Crystal, which is on sale in the the Emerald Isle Shop.

After such a hair-raising experience, visitors will be glad to turn that last corner and see Grogan’s Grill and Pub, where they can relax with a drink — but not before a final brush with Erin go blarney in the form of a strolling balladeer and his musicians, whose merry tunes help make the Bud and soda bread go down all the better.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese