Confusion Corner: Take a ride on the wild side

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April 24, 2017

10:51 PM

It is nearing the end of the school year, and I have one last question for the College of William and Mary community — why won’t anyone go to Busch Gardens with me?

If I could, I would go to Busch Gardens every single weekend. It is one of the best theme parks out there. In comparison, the rides at Six Flags are always permanently closed due to technical problems, and Disney has too many gift stores. Busch Gardens, however, is a beautiful green park with killer rides. I may have a bit of a bias since I have been traveling to Busch Gardens nearly every year since I was four years old. Some of my earliest and happiest memories include spending six hours in the hot sun getting dizzy in the queue for a three-minute ride. It’s the rush — the pure and joyful rush of feeling like your stomach is defying gravity — that appealed to me the most.

Also, if I am being honest, Busch Gardens is one of the many great benefits of William and Mary’s location. So you can imagine my frustration that I have only been to the park a total of three times this entire year — all of those times being with my family when they come to visit.

Why am I so questionably passionate about this park? Busch Gardens can take your mind off of the daily stress that college may cause, and it can take you back to a time when rollercoasters were monsters you conquered. At the park, you are transported into a new land, seemingly hours away from Williamsburg. Granted, the places you are transported to are mockup stereotyped countries in Europe, but the essence is still there. There are Clydesdales and wolves and popcorn that is way too salty for any human being to consume. If roller coasters aren’t your thing, the park is great to just walk around and people-watch. And all of this is simply 15 minutes away from your dusty old dorm room!

Think of a student body that has unlimited access to roller coasters. It sounds dangerously beautiful.

The downside of Busch Gardens to an average college student is undoubtedly the price. Single-day tickets are about $80 normally. Therefore, I understand why going to the park with me could be unattractive. However, $80 is also the same amount for a season pass, and so, if you get a season pass and manage to go three or four times that year you are actually spending about the same amount of money as a trip to Food Lion. The math is there, folks.

In an ideal world, we all automatically would have season passes just for going to William and Mary — and I am not just talking about the discounted single-day ticket that Student Assembly blesses us with. With season passes for all, the motivation to go and have pure, whimsical fun would be significantly greater. Think of a student body that has unlimited access to roller coasters. It sounds dangerously beautiful.

Money aside, whenever I ask about the possibility to go to Busch Gardens, the response is always, “I have to study” — perhaps the saddest excuse of them all. That is not to discourage studying — by all means study and enjoy learning. But also know when to stop studying and take a break. We are lucky enough to live mere minutes away from an alternate universe full of popcorn and loops-the-loops. Why wouldn’t we want to escape every now and then?

I’ll close out this wild semester with the hope that I will be luckier next year. Please, just someone go to Busch Gardens with me so I don’t have to write more columns about it.

Ellie Moonan is a Confusion Corner columnist who is looking for a fellow Griffin to ride the Griffon.

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  • Ellie Moonan

  • Gus Espinosa

    Hey Ellie! Great article! I’m an incoming freshman (class of 2021) and I absolutely love roller coasters. I actually grew up in Orlando, FL and my family had season passes to Disney. For a long while, we went nearly every other weekend. Anyway, Busch Gardens was definitely one of the many reasons I decided to commit to W&M recently. It is a shame more students aren’t as interested in frequenting BG (at least, it sounds like that’s the case from your column).

    Fortunately, my entering class of 2021 may change that. In my blurb introducing myself, I mentioned wanting to get a season pass and going to Busch Gardens ASAP and a few people seemed keen, so I created a post to see if there was more interest in the group. It actually got a lot of responses. Unless everyone is going to flake on me, there should be a pretty sizeable trip to BG after orientation. You’re welcome to join us hahah. We could definitely use someone to show us little freshies how it’s done. If it turns out that nobody was serious about going, I will happily be your fellow Griffin to ride the Griffon 🙂