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Jun 26, 2012
I am so glad I found you folks. I have planned a short family reunion from July 1-July 5. There will be about 25 guests attending, but I am not planning their days!

I am a big park planner and have my print-out ready to go at park opening. I love the Tour Guy Mike website with his park plans for WDW, so I am looking for advice for this trip.

We bought the Water Country and Busch Garden combined ticket for unlimited 7 day access. I hope that means we can come and go on the same day, since I think will go for rope drop opening, then leaving when it is too hot shortly after lunch and go to the resort pool, then come back from 6-closing or on another day.

I am going with another adult who will not do any coasters :p because of motion sickness in many of them. The kids will not do the Griffon with the 90 degree drop or Alpengiest with the 6 inversions. I am hoping to get them onto Loch Ness, Apollo's Chariot, Mach Tower, Europe in the Air, DarkKastle, the two water rides, and I am hyping the new Verbolten to them. I know we'll do the bumper cars and the scrambler type ride, tea cups, trade winds.

The kids are 11 and 13, but my friend's 13 year old would not do Tower or Terror, Space Mountain, or any of the more thriller rides at Disney last year. My 11 year old will not do the 90 degree drop of Griffon or the inversions on Alpengiest, but loved Expedition Everest at WDW. She is tall enough for them, but I don't think willing. :s

So, after reading all that, which is a good order for the park. I've read certain parts open earlier, so maybe Lock Ness first, then run to Verbolten for that opening? With our skipping Griff and Alp, should we just worry about getting the Verbolten first and fill in the others?

Also - I love the LINES app for WDW. I read there is one for BGW, but what is the preferred one by this group.

Thanks in advance for reading and sighing at my kids limits on the rides :D
I've found it's best to get to the far side of the park (Germany) as fast as possible and start from there and work your way around. Basically beat the lines back there and work your way back to the front while most others are doing the opposite. It'd also probably be a good idea to avoid the Festhaus during normal lunch/dinner hours as it will be really busy. Try to eat at times most others wouldn't also helps to avoid those food lines.

I personally haven't been to WCUSA in a few years so I don't really have any feedback for there, though i'm sure someone else will chime in on that.

App options:
BGWFans app - Park and ride info with wait times, but the wait times are user based, so only as accurate as users make it
Official BGW app - Supposed to have wait times, but it doesn't. Extremely buggy on any large screened phone
Ride Hopper - Wait times only (no ride info), also user based, so it's only as accurate as the users make it
Basically what you do with WCUSA is go to one of the spots with beach benches (Hubba Hubba Highway, Rock n' Roll Island, Wave Pool) when the park opens, get to one of those areas as soon as possible. You absolutely cannot beat the lines after about 11:30 am. Get to Rampage, Vanish Point, Meltdown, Nitro Racer and Aquazoid as fast as possible or the lines will stack up big time. Meltdown has sort of eased up since VP got installed but it's still pretty bad due to horrid 3 person per tube capacity. DO NOT ride Malibu Pipeline and Jet Screamer until after 2 pm, the lines get really long when the park opens because everyone rides those first and everyone rides them before/after lunch. Big Daddy Falls is also an avoid around lunchtime ride, but isn't horrible in the morning or after lunch. Wild Thang probably has the shortest line throughout the day overall since people don't like carrying their tubes up the hill after riding (it was the same thing when Atomic Breakers was there, too). It's also recommended to eat lunch as early as possible there because the lunch lines get insanely long no matter which place you choose to eat.

Hope I helped and enjoy your trip.
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If your kids can handle Apollo and Mach, Griffon shouldn't be too bad. The vertical drop feels just like any normal drop and the ride itself isn't very intense. I'd actually recommend as a step up to the bigger, more intense coasters (Alpengeist/Apollo's Chariot).

Loch Ness is a good warmup for the other coasters. Hit that early and if the crowds don't come in, you can marathon it until the other areas open.

Lines for Verbolten will start off short and gradually get longer (barring any breakdowns). Hit that corner first if it's a priority as Mach is right next to the coaster. DarKastle isn't too far away either. Head around the corner by the pretzel shop and through the blue gift shop to find DK. July 4th weekend crowds are projected to be pretty bad with waits in the 45 min-1 hour range. Expect breakdowns for both to happen (and chances are they will).

Assuming temperatures are high that weekend, expect long lines for all 3 water rides.

HIT ALL RIDES EARLY! That is an absolute must if you plan on doing everything. Preferably hit each area after rope drop if you want a minimal wait. The crowds will start off manageable, but quickly pick up as it gets closer and closer to fireworks time. The 3rd is traditionally the park's busiest day, followed by the 4th. If you plan on coming later in the afternoon for some days, expect the park to be closed due to capacity.

Good fireworks viewing spots...
- Mach Tower/Apollo for the best fireworks experience
- Parking lot, Festhaus entrance area, Griffon bridge
- Italy bridge is a prime spot so people will form huge crowds over there. Loch Ness bridge will probably be the same.

Good luck and have fun. The crowds may be nasty, but as long as you plan your day accordingly, you'll have a wonderful time. Take some time to appreciate the sights and don't worry about rushing to rides unless you're trying to get them out of the way early in the day.
The bridge by Loch Ness isn't usually that bad if you get there like 10 minutes before and get a spot. Ight when they start people tend to start gathering there but it wasn't crazy crowded like the San Marco bridge.
^ This. I highly recommend the bridge below Loch Ness for fireworks. No where near as crowded and if you get there early, there are some benches to wait on.
I don't want to start a new thread, but what time is the earliest you are allowed in to each area of the park?
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