Busch Gardens Ambassador Blogger Meet-Up and Opening Weekend

I just had the best weekend ever. The weather was beautiful (it’s snowing now, but let’s not dwell on that), I got in a ton of walking time, rode some fun rides, saw a couple of shows, smelled some lovely spring flowers, met the most adorable puppies on earth and learned about a really cool cat. Best of all, I got to meet a great bunch of bloggers at Busch Gardens’ Ambassador Blogger Meet-Up. This really fun bunch is officially called “Thrill Chasers” and I am one of them. Can you believe that? I still kind of can’t believe it myself.

Here we are:

Photo courtesy of a Busch Gardens Thrill Chaser.

Photo courtesy of a Busch Gardens Thrill Chaser.

Back in November, at the park’s Christmas Town Media Event, park Communications Manager Koy Grant told us about a new blogger program that was in the works. Basically, it would be an extension of their already great partnership with media members, bloggers, vloggers and writers of all sorts of subjects. Well, the application came out sometime in December, and I quickly applied. I waited with fingers, toes and eyes crossed (Okay, maybe not eyes, that would give me a major headache, and nothing is worth a headache.) until I got the “Congratulations” email sometime in early February. Best email ever, I must say!

This past weekend (St. Patty’s Day weekend), we all got to meet each other at Castle O’Sullivan for an early morning breakfast and introduction meeting. Another blogger called the Castle, which is where Breakfast with Elmo takes place, a “secret lair.” And, I must say, I have to agree. It is sort of tucked away in Ireland and makes you feel all cozy and hidden. It also serves a most excellent breakfast. I highly recommend it.

The official spot on the interwebs for my Busch Gardens write-ups is at Examiner.com. I will, of course, share lots of pictures and commentary here at Somewhere in the Sand, but I highly encourage you to check out the Facebook page for Richmond Sightseeing and Theme Park Examiner so that you don’t miss any of the fun of the upcoming season.

2014 is shaping up to be a super exciting season. The park has all kinds of fun events planned including the second annual Food and Wine event (The Caribbean is joining the line-up. Yum!), anniversary celebrations for Land of the Dragons and Sesame Street Forest of Fun, Jack Hanna, Colossal Curl coming to Water Country USA and the addition of a brand new rockin’ live musical show called London Rocks, which will debut later this spring.

The glamorous solitary life of a freelance writer doesn’t often give me the chance to meet my fellow writers and bloggers, so I really enjoyed this chance to meet others in my profession. Thank you, Busch Gardens, for that opportunity. And now, without further ado, I will introduce you to the most fun group of bloggers to ever enter a theme park.

2014 Busch Gardens/Water Country USA Ambassador Bloggers, A.K.A. “Thrill Chasers”

If you want to hop on over to Examiner.com, I will go into a little more detail about what each blogger/vlogger specializes in and why they were chosen as Thrill Chasers for Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

How many of you have been to Busch Gardens or Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia? What is your favorite thing about the parks?

Here are a few of mine …

These two brothers are the newest addition to the Busch Gardens team. These Irish setters will eventually be part of the Celtic Fyre show. Aren't they adorable?

These two brothers are the newest addition to the Busch Gardens team. These Irish setters will eventually be part of the Celtic Fyre show. Aren’t they adorable?

This serval has the most beautiful markings. The attendant told us he can be quite the grumpy cat.

This serval has the most beautiful markings. The attendant told us he can be quite the grumpy cat when he wants to.

How amazing is this wolf costume? This is the Entwined show that takes place in Das Festhaus.

How amazing is this wolf costume? This is the Entwined show that takes place in Das Festhaus. I loved the “Dancing Queen” segment.

I will leave you with a few spring-like photos of Busch Gardens from over the weekend. I sure need to stare at these today.

Butterflies and blooms around the Maypole in the Oktoberfest area.

Butterflies and blooms around the Maypole in the Oktoberfest area.

Beautiful window boxes.

Beautiful window boxes.

Hoppin' down the Bunny Trail.

Hoppin’ down the Bunny Trail.

Fun bunny prints lead to Mr. Easter himself.

Fun bunny prints lead to Mr. Easter himself.

The Easter Bunny is in the house!

The Easter Bunny is in the house!

Signs of spring.

Signs of spring.

Cute mushroom statues.

Cute mushrooms.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The luck 'o the Irish.

The luck ‘o the Irish.

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