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Events 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Winter Weekends
Image: Busch Gardens

There is a good bit of overlap when it comes to the two parks' event offerings, such as Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town, Bier Fest, and the annual Food & Wine Festival. And while Busch Gardens Tampa is not a seasonal park, allowing for a greater quantity of events, Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Winter Weekends and St. Patrick's Day Celebration push the Virginia park into the number one spot for events. 

There's a rare wonder that comes from going to theme parks in the proper Winter, in riding your favorite coaster in mittens and stepping off the train with wind-whipped cheeks. Though the park is open with limited rides and offerings, this event is one you don't want to miss.

Theming 

Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa
Image: Busch Gardens

Both Busch Gardens landscapes operate with minimal theming, focusing more on lush landscapes and clean walkways to immerse you into the world of the park. Focusing on two different continents, both parks do a stellar job with subtle touches that make you feel like you're walking the streets of Germany or exploring the plains of Africa.  

Though Williamsburg and Tampa deliver in theming, Williamsburg's European street scenes, shops, and detailed queue lines bring it to the forefront.

Overall Experience 

River Cruise at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Image: Busch Gardens

These parks' similarities are many, but the experiences feel wholly unique from one another. These are both large parks, doing the most with their funds, location, and space. They both have helpful, more-than-competent staff members, ready to assist you with a smile, and somehow manage to feel like small, intimate parks despite their acreage.

Given all this, there is something special about Busch Gardens Tampa. Maybe it's in the music, or in the flamingos that greet you at the front of the park, or the amount of iconic attractions in one place, but Tampa stands out not only among its chain, but among theme parks in general. When it comes to overall experience, it is hard to beat Busch Gardens Tampa.

The Verdict

iron gwazi
Image: Busch Gardens

The final score is 2-3, with Busch Gardens Tampa narrowly coming out on top!

These are both world-class parks, as lovely in their similarities as they are in their differences, and I'd encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit one or both Busch Gardens locations to see for yourself and make your own call. 

What Park Duels would you like to see in the future?

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