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Formerly known as Busch Gardens: The Old Country and Busch Gardens Europe, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is sub-divided into a number of themed lands, each of which is based on a European country (with the exception of New France, which represents French Canada). The park is renowned for two things: immersive theming, and its line-up of major roller coasters. Apollo's Chariot is frequently ranked among the best roller coasters in the world, while the Curse of DarKastle dark ride is regarded as one of the best of its type outside a Disney or Universal park.
The park first opened in 1975, alongside an Anheuser-Busch brewery, and has gradually expanded to fill a 383-acre site. Originally, the operation of the park was closely tied to the brewery, with a monorail running between the two to enable guests to take part in free beer tastings. The park added the Loch Ness Monster and Big Bad Wolf roller coasters during its first decade, the former of which is still in operation today. Along with Busch Gardens Tampa and the SeaWorld chain, Busch Gardens Williamsburg was acquired by the Blackstone Group in 2009, which has since invested millions in the Mäch Tower and Verbolten attractions.