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Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
in the rear
Welcome to the 2017 Busch Gardens Williamsburg crowd calendar
Click here for park operating hours
Direct link to the calendar.

A common question on here is "how are crowds gonna be on my next visit?" or "when is the best time to visit the park?" This calendar is basically designed to answer that question. Last year's worked out well so I decided to continue into this year.

As usual...
This calendar is based off of park operating hours, crowd levels for year round parks around the same time, and past crowd levels. It's not completely accurate, but a good guideline.
Minor special events (NASA Day, Wild Days) will not be included unless the park announces it in advance. This includes concert dates. Those will be added when the dates come up.
Check the weather before you go. Typically cruddy weather = you get the whole park to yourself. Great weather = you'll be rubbing pits with 35,000 of your closest friends.
If anybody who visits Kings Dominion enough times can give me good crowd estimates, I'll be more than happy to give you guys a KD crowd calendar as well. I don't need specific numbers, just give me updates on crowd levels.

New for 2017
- The park opens its newest coaster, Invadr. No opening day has been set yet but as of now I'm assuming the ride will open with the park. Expect it to be pretty crowded for that.
- Park hours for Passmember Appreciation Weekends in September have been changed so the park opens and closes later. 12-8 instead of 9-6.
- Park will open at noon on Fridays in fall instead of the standard opening time. Hours have been extended on peak nights in fall to midnight closings.
- Park is now open on Thursday nights during peak HOS to help with crowds.

Color guide
Green - 0-8,000 people in the park - Crowds are light. Walk on to 5 min waits for most rides. 10 mins tops. First few weeks of June and last few weeks of August, most rainy days, and Fridays in fall before 4PM get crowds like this. Perfect time to visit, but park hours may be cut if its slow enough.

Yellow - 8,000-12,000 people in the park - Crowds are manageable. Unpopular rides will still be walk on. 5-10 mins wait average. 15 mins tops. Not too many days like this, but weather is typically reasonable enough and crowds are great.

Orange - 12,000-18,000 people in the park. Pretty much a typical summer day. Crowds are still largely manageable but popular rides will have lines. Unpopular rides/medium rides 5-10 minute wait. Popular rides 10-15 min wait. 20 mins tops.

Red - 18,000-24,000 people in the park. A typical Saturday during the regular season. You may have to park across the street. Expect lines for most rides. Try to avoid days like this if possible. 15-20 min wait for unpopular rides. 30-40 min for popular rides. 45 mins tops. Quick Queue highly recommended.

Purple - 24,000-28,000 people in the park. A typical fair weather weekend. Expect at least half the overflow lot across the street to be full. Band trip season, concert weekends, and Saturdays in August can hit crowds like these. 20-25 min for medium rides/unpopular rides. 45 min-60 min waits for popular rides. Quick Queue highly recommended.

Black - 28,000-35,000+ people in the park. Expect the entire overflow lot to be almost full to completely full. On especially bad days, traffic will be backed up on I64 and Rt 60 just to get into the park. Avoid these weekends at all costs unless you're willing to vouch for Quick Queue passes (which may run out). HOS Saturdays, Labor Weekend, and July 4th weekend typically hit crowds like these. Also thanks to the discount days, you'll probably be seeing these kinds of crowds on weekends during CT. 25-30+ min for medium rides/unpopular rides. 60-90+ mins for popular rides. Not uncommon for lines to reach 2 hours for some rides/attractions. Park hours may be extended based on crowd levels.

Click here for the 2017 Calendar

2016 calendar
2015 calendar.
2014 calendar

Hope this proves useful for everyone. See you guys at the park7
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Quick update. Passmember preview day is confirmed for Saturday March 21st.

Click here for the link in Google Drive.

Adjusted a few dates. Changed orange color out to make it easier to read.

- See you guys on the 21st! :)

- BTW: If anyone who visits KD enough times can figure out general crowd levels, I'd be more than happy to add those to the calendar as well.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

netdvn said:
BTW: If anyone who visits KD enough times can figure out general crowd levels, I'd be more than happy to add those to the calendar as well.

I'll accept the challenge, netdvn. :cool: Just let me know the details and I'll be glad to help.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Did a quick update to the calendar. Since preview day is coming up, I figured more people would find this useful for trip planning.

NASA Day/Physics Day is now scheduled for Fridays in spring from the end of April to the beginning of June. Not sure if there's gonna be something every day but it would be cool to see exhibits set up each Friday in front of the Festhaus.

Wild Days is scheduled the last weekend of Spring Break

Click here
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Since opening day for Tempesto was announced last weekend, I added it to the crowd calendar.

Park will most likely be more crowded than usual that day. I would expect very long lines at Tempesto and longer than usual waits at the other rides in the area that weekend. Tempesto's line probably won't die down until daily operations start. I don't see longer waits than usual at the other rides in the park (crowds on Verbolten's opening day were pretty light outside of Verbolten itself).

Ride opens April 25th. Are you daredevil enough?

Click here for the updated link
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Summer season, Food and Wine Festival, and daily operations are upon us, time to bump this up.

A few quick notes
Peak school group season is winding down! Saturdays will still be crazy through Memorial Weekend. Fridays and Sundays will be more manageable but I would expect band competitions all three days. Be prepared for that.

Tempesto's lines are starting to die out. Last Friday waits weren't bad compared to the past few weeks. I'd expect crowds to level off the next few weeks into daily ops. Probably 30-35 mins Fridays and Sundays and the normal 45 mins - 1 hour on Saturdays.

Keep watching the weather. Bad weather = good crowds. May weather tends to be crazy so push for visiting on days where the forecast is expected to be cruddy.

Park did announce discounted tickets during the Food & Wine Festival. I'd expect crowds to be heavier because of that. Past few years the crowds were more concentrated around the food stands and not the rides though so I'd say the waits for the rides will be OK outside of the big ticket rides (Tempesto, Verbolten, Griffon).

As usual. Here's the link in Google Drive. Hope this helps everyone a lot.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Do you guys really anticipate tomorrow, Memorial Day, to have light crowds? It would seem like with it being a holdiay that the crowds would be really big.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

I'm at the park right now. The crowds are on the pathways. Ride lines are the same as a typical Saturday.

Monday crowds are light as everyone is either at some gathering or going home. Plus it's a school night.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Crowd update for today as of 6pm.

Tempesto - 45 min
Apollo - 30 min
Verbolten - 40 min
Alpengeist - 30 min
Griffon - 45 min
Mach Tower - 20 mins
Darkastle - 35 mins

Not bad for a holiday weekend. Especially when the Scotland lot was full and the Bavaria lot was half full. Yesterdays crowds were about the same.

- I can post a crowd update tomorrow since I'll be at the park for anyone curious.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

At the park today. Heavier crowds than expected right now but waits aren't too bad.

Tempesto - 35-40 min
Apollo - 10 min
Verbolten - 20 min
Mach Tower - 15 min
Most of the medium rides are about 5-10 mins

Might update this post later tonight when I head to the other half of the park.
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RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Crowds peaked around 1-2ish today. I'd say its moderate to average crowd levels. Dropped down to low crowd levels come afternoon.

Tempesto - 25-30 mins. Crowds reached 45 early in the day.
Apollo - walk on
Verbolten - 10 mins
Alpengeist - walk on
Griffon - 10 mins
Mach Tower - 5 mins
Loch Ness - walk on
Medium rides - walk on
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RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Kings Dominion had relatively light crowds, if only the Volcano and I305 crews weren't sucking so much. They were awful, stacking everywhere.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

^Despite the dry park being fairly moderate, Soak City was absolutely packed. Perhaps it's more a result of it being opening weekend, but the lines for most slides spilled out onto the pathways. Baja Bends' line was over 30 minutes, and the Hurricane Heights slides were pushing 45. Both wave pools were full to bursting. Children's areas were hectic. I would attribute the long waits to the fact that summer staffing hasn't started yet- most slides only had one attendant operating it, which slowed things down. For instance, Paradise Plunge could only send one slider through the drop slides at a time. Lines were creeping.

Conversely, the dry park was fairly empty. I only explored the eastern side of the park, but every coaster was a walk on.
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RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

^Wow I must have missed the rush! I waited 15 and 25 minutes for Paradise Plunge and Thunder Falls, respectively. Both were awesome!!! It seemed somewhat crowded, but I went at around 12:30 or so.
RE: 2015 BGW Crowd Calendar

Time to bump this up!

With kids out of school, the peak season will be kicking into high gear in the next few weeks. This means more people are hitting the park. Hot season has started early this year so crowds aren't as heavy as they normally are. That does include weekends, so if you wanna hit Food and Wine next weekend (because it is the last weekend of the event), now's your chance to. Outside of the water rides and Tempesto, the lines have been pretty decent at all the rides.

Speaking of Tempesto, the lines tend to die down as the day goes on. Late afternoon-close is usually the best time to hit Tempesto. Provided its not a Saturday, if the ride shuts down, expect the lines to go down for the rest of the day. This means that multiple shutdowns are actually good for crowds at Pesto.

July 4th weekend has had pretty reasonable crowds the past few years. Most of the crowds don't start arriving into the park until nightfall and they usually stick to the pathways so the ride lines are short. July 5th was the most crowded day of the weekend last year since it fell on a Saturday. I'd expect the Saturday this year to take the brunt of the crowds as well. I've adjusted both days to have very heavy crowds on the calendar, however don't be surprised if the park hits capacity on one of those days. Especially before fireworks time. July 4th Sunday crowds can be hit-miss. Some years its busy and some years its slow. I don't think crowds will be too bad. Especially with the hot weather in place.

With fireworks in play on weekends only, the weekday crowds will probably be smaller than in years past. Park has cut hours back to 9PM closings on weekdays again as a result. Crowds may be heavier on weekends thanks to the fireworks, but as of now, I don't see crowds on Fridays and Sundays making that much of a difference from the normal weekday crowds.

Hot season crowds tend to be lower than normal since people don't like hanging around theme parks in 90-100+ degree weather (Saturdays included). Mid-late July tends to bring pretty high temps so be sure to check the weather before you hit the parks. Hot, humid temps also mean chance of thunderstorms and a chance of strong storms usually scares a few people away as well.

As usual, click here for the calendar. See you at the park in the summer!
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