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August 8, 2000

Busch Gardens Williamsburg to Add 6th Themed Country

Williamsburg, VA -- Busch Gardens Williamsburg today announced the addition of Ireland, the European-themed park's sixth country. Ireland is scheduled to open Spring 2001.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg visitors will experience the charm of the past with the pulse of the present. From adventure and enchantment to food and folklore, guests can expect an authentic journey through the Emerald Isle.

Guests venture across the Brittany Bridge to an Irish festival marketplace, where spirited Irish musicians set the tone. Guests become Irish villagers, travel on a white-knuckle 3-D simulator journey through a land of giants, experience traditional Irish dance, shop for Irish goods and enjoy a pint in an authentic pub.

"Ireland will deliver an unparalleled journey for our guests in 2001. There's nothing like it anywhere," said Daniel Brown, executive vice president and general manager for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. "The combination of European charm and mythical folklore, along with Ireland's reputation for hospitality made it a natural choice for Busch Gardens Williamsburg."

Guests will discover Ireland residents love to entertain. The Abbey Stone Theater will be home to a world-class, professional dance show, featuring energetic Irish dance originals along with the fast and furious footwork of Irish step dancing. Strolling musicians and singers in the village square will captivate guests with song, dance and a wee bit o' storytelling. The Killarney Sound Machine and its resident leprechaun will guarantee a laugh or two as he engages guests in witty conversation and entertains with his magical music machine.

Corkscrew Hill, a thrilling 3-D action adventure experience, takes guests on a magical and mystical Celtic journey through a land of giants. The larger-than-life adventure invites guests to experience life as miniatures in a world ruled by roaming giants. Riders encounter a hungry witch, a magical stallion and soar on the talons of a huge beast.

Just a few steps away from Corkscrew Hill awaits The Enchanted Castle of Duneen. Visitors to this enchanting castle meet a young heir and join him for an awesome music and special effects show including rain, thunder, ghostly banshees and a brilliant fiber optic rainbow that appears magically over the audience. This show will make guests believe that wishes really do come true.

Ireland will be enhanced by Irish artisans working throughout the hamlet. Visitors can stroll into the Emerald Isle Shop for fine gifts of Waterford crystal, Beleek china, Irish textiles and many other Irish hand-crafted products selected especially for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Toys of the Leprechaun Shop and Pot o' Gold Magic Shop are where guests of all ages will find enchanting gifts.

Traditional Irish food can be found at Grogan's Grille and Grogan's Pub, where genuine Irish hospitality is served up daily. A strolling balladeer and musicians create a cheerful dining experience while encouraging a rousing sing-along. Guests can savor traditional favorites like corned beef sandwiches, Irish stew, smashed potatoes, and soda bread plus a variety of Anheuser-Busch beers.

Construction will begin in September 2000. Ireland, Busch Gardens Williamsburg's sixth country, is scheduled to open in Spring 2001.