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Posts posted by netdvn

  1. Only had a short time to take pix in Festa. Ride looks fantastic in person.


    The park's repainted a lot of the murals and fixed the Rhinefeld clock up. The Bistro Ice Cream shop looks amazing too. Looks like the park is taking a few notes out of KD40's playbook.


    Do you have what it takes to challenge the daredevil's new creation?


    Park is reusing the Dasher's Diner billboard for the 40th.





    Different angle


    From the ice cream shop


    The banners look a little too tiny for their own good


    Daredevils wanted



    The queue line is just behind this wall.

  2. Ehh since Preview Day is coming up, here's this year's 2015 BGW crowd calendar I put together.. Special thanks to user celesguy for reminding me to post it here.


    Even though I originally posted it to BGWFans in January after the park hours were released, I figured since a lot of people like making plans around projected crowds and it gets asked around a lot here, I'd just go ahead and post it here before the park opens.


    - Obviously the crowds are subject to change.

    - Special events and discount days are not included (yet).

    - Does not include Tempesto's opening day


    I did post a guide on how to use it here.

  3. Finally got to do a show run last Saturday. Thanks to the rain, crowds were minimal compared to pretty much every other day during the season.


    - Scrooge No More was great. Not as good as Fiends or Monster Stomp but definitely a great show.

    - Gloria didn't have the strong vocals it had last year. Kinda a disappointment

    - Deck the Halls was good, but its kinda hard to screw up generic Christmas tunes.

    - Miracles was cancelled thanks to the rain.


    Tempesto is coming up nicely. Lots of work going on over there. I think its about time the ride gets announced. Once it opens, you'll be able to get some sweet upskirt shots from Apollo's queue.


  4. Rode it on Saturday. It was absolutely out of control. Would've ridden again if they hadn't closed the gates on me when I entered the station (my friends snagged empty seats from the exit for multiple rides - had a few friends waiting at the exit anyway and I didn't wanna break up the group). Probably the only wooden coaster I've ridden where the roughness actually adds to the ride instead of takes away from it.

  5. Skipped Anaconda for an extra ride on FOF and nobody in my group wanted to ride Shockwave because we all planned to have children someday. Skipped Ricochet too since that was broken down for half the day and by the time we headed back there, it was already maze time.


    I already rode Anaconda back in the day anyway (not really worth a second ride) and missing Shockwave wasn't a huge loss for anybody.

  6. Didn't cross Toro off my bucket list, but scored a few new rides.


    Intimidator 305 makes it to my top 2 dethroning Storm Runner for my second favorite coaster. Great ride, but the transitions are kinda like that kink in Alpengeist's midcourse done back to back. Skyrush still beats it for the smoother transitions.

    Flight of Fear knocks Volcano down a few notches. Still runs fantastic, although not a very hands up ride

    Dominator knocks Great Bear out of my top 10. My favorite floorless coaster ever.

    Volcano is still solid but not as intense as I remember. The capacity still sucks though.

    Rebel Yell and Scooby Doo are still the smoothest wooden coasters at KD. Funny since they're the oldest coasters in the park. Lots of fun and airtime to be had.

    Stunt Coaster is INCREDIBLY underrated. Seriously that ride packs a serious punch.

    Grizzly is crazy rough, but in a good way.

    Hurler on the other hand needs to die in a fire. Funny that the newest woodie in the park is the worst one. Hasn't gotten better since last time I rode it.


    New top 10.

    Skyrush, Intimidator 305, Storm Runner, Fahrenheit, Manta, Montu, Flight of Fear, Apollo's Chariot, Lightning Racer, Dominator


    Really enjoyed Haunt. Mazes and scare zones were on par with BGW's. Drop Zone and Windseeker were down due to high winds.

  7. Not so breaking news from Tampa. In response to Williamsburg toning their severed head props, Tampa follows suit. Only a matter of time before Sea World San Antonio does the same to their HOS.


    Click for article


    TAMPA — As Tampa’s Busch Gardens prepares to open this year’s Howl-O-Scream with a preview scheduled for next weekend, some of the more gruesome special effects, including any depictions of decapitations, are being taken down.


    The decision came after the Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, fielded complaints this week about a scene in one of its haunted houses that displayed severed heads.


    The scene hit too close to home for some in light of the recent beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker by the terrorist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.


    While both Busch Gardens parks put on a Howl-O-Scream every year, they are not the same and the depiction of severed heads in Williamsburg was not among displays at Busch Gardens in Tampa.


    Still, some of the local displays were toned down a bit, Busch Gardens officials said.


    “There were a couple of minor elements that were revised,” said spokesman Travis Claytor.


    The theme parks in both locations released the same statement this week:


    “Many of the scenes depicted at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream are graphic in nature, but they are fictional and are not intended to provide commentary on current world events. The props in this year’s event were designed and purchased several months ago. In light of recent events, some of these props have the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and are being removed.”


    This year’s version of Howl-O-Scream in Tampa is titled “Cursed” and will play over 18 selected nights in October.


    It consists of eight haunted houses with different themes and names such as “The Basement,” “Blood Asylum” and “Zombie Mortuary.”


    Besides the haunted houses, costumed fiends, monsters and murderers roam the walkways of the park, leaping out at visitors.


    According to the Tampa Howl-O-Scream website, the event contains “intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood and is not intended for children.”


    Does Uni still have the Governor's office in their Walking Dead maze? Hope their event doesn't get toned down like ours did.

  8. Not so breaking news, but somebody complained in the VA Gazette that the severed head props the park placed everywhere are offensive due to recent events, so the park promptly removed them. Such a shame.


    Here's the article on WAVY to back it up. Click.


    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Busch Gardens Williamsburg has removed some of its Howl-O-Scream displays after complaints from park guests that headless figures were reminiscent of the recent ISIS beheadings.


    Park officials said in a statement Wednesday that the Halloween-themed displays are sometimes graphic, but they’re fictional and not intended to provide commentary on world events. But in the court of public opinion, views are mixed.


    “That’s not … consistent with the Halloween spirit at all,” said Hartley Bond, who took notice when the image of severed heads made its way into a local paper.


    But Norman England, another park attendee, doesn’t think world events come into play at Howl-O-Scream.


    “It’s Halloween. I would not associate one with the other, you know? That’s how I feel about it. People go there for the scariness, and what’s happening in the Far East is entirely different.”


    According to a Busch Gardens, the props in this year’s event were designed and purchased several months ago, before the ISIS beheadings. Despite that, a park spokesman said some of the props have the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and are being removed.


    “I think it was good that they pulled it,” Bond said. “I think it was out of order and insensitive to public sentiment. So, I’m glad they responded.”


    The full statement from Busch Gardens is as follows:


    Many of the scenes depicted at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream are graphic in nature, but they are fictional and are not intended to provide commentary on current world events. The props in this year’s event were designed and purchased several months ago. In light of recent events, some of these props have the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and are being removed. Busch Gardens apologizes for any offense they may have caused.

  9. My problem with Root is that it's just not scary. The unique scares they had in 2012 were replaced with really boring, generic scares you find in all the other mazes. If you combined the atmosphere in the current maze with the unique scares they had in 2012 (the living statues, the people in the ponds, the split pathway with awesome jump scares on both sides), you'd easily have one of the best mazes in the park.


    I also noticed everyone's timing was a little off so the scares were either predictable or they ended up being ineffective. Or maybe that's just me. I'll check back a few times during the season to see how the actors hold up.

  10. Did all 5 mazes last night and a second Bitten walkthrough. Ranking from first to worst.


    Bitten (5/5) - the maze everyone loves to hate comes out on top Sunday night. Consistent scares and the atmosphere is still great. Did a solo run before close and everyone pretty much wanted a piece of me. It was awesome. Some of the actors were a little off but not bad for opening weekend. This was pretty much the only maze that didn't seem to suffer from any major staffing issues both times I walked through.


    Cut Throat Cove (4/5) - maze still screams Cutback Cove, but the actors did a pretty good job overall (aside from a few scenes here and there). Just wish they'd drop the hanging things and actually focus on making the maze look legit instead of a backyard haunt or a repurposed Fear Fair. Also a lot of dead room where the actors were supposed to be.


    Root of All Evil (2/5) - Ehh. Some of the actors were decent enough, but didn't get as many scares as I expected. Wish the rest of the guille suit guys and chainsaw guys were back since there was only one of each in the entire maze. My friends loved it though. If they brought back the living statues, the alternate paths, and the pond guys, it would be so much better. Some areas felt really short staffed.


    Deadline (2/5) - Still lots of dead room and bleh lighting (luckily I went through at night so my eyes adjusted). At least the maze looks nice. Subway car was cool as always though and firecracker guy always gets a jump out of me. You could tell most of the actors were pretty new at this.


    Catacombs (1/5) - My friend said it best. This maze is staffed with 15-year olds. There were a few good scares and as usual, the change in layout is always nice, but the actors mostly weren't that great. The whispering at the start of the maze was pretty much the best scare in the entire maze and that's pretty much just an audio track. One of the employees had to light the way for us because the maze ended up getting conga-lined a few times. Huge disappointment since this maze has been VERY consistent the past few years (aside from opening weekend last year). I just hope this whole lack of scares is just the maze going through first weekend growing pains.


    13 (1/5) - Went through the maze as the sun was going down. Should be renamed Fear of Empty Rooms. A good scare every once in a while, but not enough to really do much for me. The first few rooms should be called "Fear of getting lost to the point where you accidentally wander into the employee break area" and the room right after the bedroom should be called "Fear of bathroom/locker room smells". I felt so bad for the actress having to sit there all night. Her clothes probably reeked at the end of that. Did I forget to mention the half-themed rooms? Even the waiting room was missing the chairs and table.


    Overall opening weekend thoughts.

    - Short staffing as usual (or everyone's just on break)

    - Half-themed rooms in some of the mazes. Seriously Busch, you got a head start on the whole HOS decor. There's NO excuse for half-themed rooms.

    - Allow current employees to hire for HOS. A lot of the actors from previous years are gone because they can't work HOS so its all new talent. That usually leads to weaker mazes and scare zones.

    - Fix the lighting in some of the mazes or staff them to guide people, especially after sundown when its still bright outside. I've run into enough walls, people's ankles, and accidentally wandered into a few break rooms by mistake simply because its so hard to see.


    All three shows are running great this year. Go see them now! Shame the park cut outdoor shows in the Italy restaurant. Dig it Up was good and Miracles was AMAZING.


    Saw Chuck leaving Cut Throat Cove. Said a quick hi.

  11. Alright did my first walkthrough of all the scare zones this year. I stayed in each area for about 15-20 minutes (more for the better ones) and hung around a few actors to see how they worked. Made a few mental notes about the props and scenery. Overall I had a good time.


    Let's start from first to worst.


    Demon Street (5/5) - The Hot Wheels party by day cranks up the heat at night. Scares are plenty and the actors do an EXCELLENT job of working off each other. Two chainsaws were roaming around but the non-chainsaw guys were just at good getting group after group. Did a bit of people-watching and it was very entertaining. Flames on the rooftops still look great, although I felt there were more flames last year. The biggest issue is that there were only 4-5 actors roaming but they were very effective.


    Vampire Point (4.5/5) - This was not the crew I saw Friday night. Even though all the actors were out in the open, like Demon Street, they all played off each other very well, causing distractions and giving good scares. The area was also very well-staffed with enough actors to cover the entire area. The actress right at the Rhinefeld gate and her partner were a fantastic duo. The biggest thing that keeps this area from getting a 5 is the complete lack of props for the actors to use or to build the atmosphere on. Last year there were a few shacks around the plaza, the windows were boarded up all over the place, and the clock tower looked great. This year, the area is unthemed outside of Blood Banquet and the statues on the Rhinefeld gate.


    Wendigo Woods (4/5) - The actors were doing a much better job under the cover of night and the makeup looks much nicer. That being said, it's still kinda hard to differentiate between the actors and guests (not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing). I think they could've added a bungee scare and a few wendigoes and it would work better. Some of the actors played off each other quite nicely but I could tell there were a couple missed opportunities here and there.


    Ripper Row (2.5/5) - The perennial BGW Fans favorite was relatively weak IMO. No umbrella lady photo ops and only 5 actors roaming the entire area. They did a good job of interacting with the guests and snagged a few scares but the short staffing sorta ruins the area for me. Not sure if I liked the makeup either (they all pretty much looked like they were coming in for vampires but ended up getting sent to Ripper Row instead). Plus I expected a bit more theming than the dismembered body part arch thingy and the false building in front of the Globe. I think the park did a better job of theming the area last year.


    Ports of Skull (1/5) - This isn't really a scare zone/Terror...tory as it is a total joke. The only actors that had any effective scares were the ones on the troll bridge. Everyone else pretty much stood around and was largely pretty friendly (which is nice and all but it doesn't really make the atmosphere any scary or put me on edge). The bungee guy was away and the theming is almost nonexistent outside of the bar and the photo op. And the makeup is terrible too. Pix of the pirates don't do it justice. I tried to keep myself from cracking up when I saw them.


    So final verdict...

    1. Add more props. The park seriously had a head start on HOS prep and it STILL felt like they were lacking decorations in MANY places. That's pretty disappointing.

    2. Hire new makeup people. Everyone outside of Wendigo and Demon Street looked exactly the same, just with different clothes. The pirates were especially bad.

    3. Staffing, as always, is an issue. Keeping current park employees from joining scare squad was a HUGE mistake.

    4. Festa is a complete joke AGAIN. How does one of the best areas during CT manage to get away with no theming during HOS? Seriously guys. Here's to hoping Diavalo next year means a better looking HOS.

  12. OK so my chances of going to HP tomorrow (today) are INCREDIBLY slim thanks to temporary money issues.


    So I made the death wish and I'm planning to hit the park on Saturday. I need a good attack plan or I'm gonna die. I'm gonna try the whole start at the back plan and pretty much focus on most of the majors, but I know it'll be mobbed so I'll be skipping a lot of rides.


    Since I plan to go with a parent, it'll most likely just be mostly shows with a ride in between. Anyone got some good last min advice?

  13. Next question, any hotel recommendations? I'll probably stay for one night so nothing expensive but also nothing to cheap and run down (I've been to some very shady hotels lol). Last question, what are some great places to eat, both inside and outside the park? Thanks!


    Your best bet for anything reasonable would be to stay out of Hershey as almost every hotel in town will go for at least $90-$100+. I looked into staying in Harrisburg, but that didn't seem all that cheaper checking the rates last summer. The green/red hotel coupon books you get at rest stops have better deals in Harrisburg/York, but Hershey's prices are incredibly steep.


    I didn't really eat at the park, but I did a meetup with one of the park employees last year and he said the BBQ grill by Trailblazer was the best place to eat (of course the barbecue has to be good). I remember he bought food at the Minetown Restaurant, so that has to be good enough as well.


    As for the previous discussion about navigating the park, I really didn't have too much trouble navigating the park outside of the Trailblazer corner. The park itself is rather small and the rides are close together so getting around wasn't too hard. Most of the majors are on a single midway anyway, so that really helps with getting around. The paths do wind around a bit, so I guess it could be confusing if you don't have a park employee guiding you around lol, but I really only got lost once the entire visit.

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