Jul 18

Your Guide To Pokémon Go at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Chances are your life has been taken over by Pokémon Go*- if you’re not playing it, then your friends and family probably are, bringing you along on their hunt for Pokémon, Pokéstops and Gyms. It’s taken over our offices too. Even coworkers who were initially skeptical have, after downloading the app, turned gleeful with child-like amusement.

It’s fun. It’s addicting. It’s everywhere.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is no exception. We have 52 Pokéstops and three gyms, which makes the park a great place to hunt for Pokémon. It’s been really funny for us –in a good way, of course- to see people clustered at various points throughout the park looking at their phones and comparing notes. Whether a trainer or a regular guest, we want everyone to enjoy his/her visit to the park. So, with that in mind, here is a guide to navigating the park with Pokémon Go.

1. Catch ‘em all…but not on rides. Please don’t use your phone or any device while on any of the park’s coasters and rides. You might lose your phone or worse, end up causing a safety hazard for others. Don’t worry - there’ll be other chances to catch that Pidgeotto.

2. Our Pokéstops may look different in real life. Some areas of the park have changed since the user-submitted photos/pins were created. For instance, the Pledge Plaque Pokestop – that plaque no longer exists. Don’t rely on the photos or names to find your next destination.

3. Stay on track. Or rather, stay on the track. All Pokéstops should be accessible from guest areas. Do not enter any fenced or gated areas, including “employee-only” or “ride restricted” areas to search for Pokémon or to access Pokéstops (or for anything else, really). Those barriers are there for a reason – the safety of our guests, team members and animals.

4. Refuel and recharge. The game is notoriously draining on your phone’s battery and walking around the park in the hot sun can be physically draining. Take breaks, sit in the shade and drink plenty of water. Or pop into Brauhaus Craft Bier Room to grab a pint (or a delicious cheese plate) and recharge your phone at one of the free charging stations inside.

5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Yes, it says this on the game’s loading screen, but it's worth repeating. This keeps you from accidentally wandering somewhere you shouldn’t (See #3), running into things and helps you enjoy the natural beauty of the park. Please also be aware and be courteous of those around you: don’t cut people off when walking, stop suddenly in front of someone or obstruct pathways. Remember, they paid to get into the park just as you did and they deserve to have an equally great (if Pokémon-free) experience.

6. Remember that it’s just a game. It’s a competitive game, which is part of what makes it so much fun, but it’s still just a game. Server issues, battery drains, lack of Pokémon, huffing and puffing up the Grimm’s Landing bridge after finding the Rhine River Pokéstops and getting beaten at the gym for the umpteenth time can all be really frustrating. If you got outside, breathed in fresh air, basked in the sunshine and had a little fun with your fellow trainers, then it was a good day.

We’re having so much fun playing Pokémon Go at the park and we hope you are too. For even more Pokémon madness, join us Sunday, July 24 at the park for our Lure-A-Thon BGW. We’ll be deploying a whole bunch of lures from 1 – 7 p.m. and generally having a good time. For more information, visit:http://bit.ly/2a346EH

Happy Hunting,

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

*Busch Gardens is not a sponsor of or in any way affiliated with Pokémon GO