^^Hmm--I think your assumption is correct. @Mike240SX I'm certainly not expecting "full operations" before Memorial Day Weekend, which isn't unusual (for example, they usually don' t start operating the water rides before then). But the park hasn't announced anything officially yet, so who really knows? They also have to bring staffing up to speed.
That being said, who's up for the . . .
Food & Wine Festival Report
The park was bustling last Sunday, even with reduced attendance in effect, but this wasn't the busiest I've seen it this year. That was a few weeks ago when all the spring break madness was going on during the first weekend of the Food and Wine Festival. They were really slammed then--especially with two food booths, Brazil and Mexico, closed (on a Saturday).
It was smoother sailing last Sunday, despite the large crowd, thanks to all the booths being open. But the food lines got pretty long as the afternoon wore on. Festival operations were a mixed bag. I visited four booths: South Korea, Brazil, Virginia, and Mexico. The first three acquitted themselves pretty well; for example, Brazil had a fairly long line, but it moved quickly. Mexico, however . . . ugh! More on that later. On the upside, the food was very good at each booth, and there was no waiting at the Brauhaus (Grogan's in Ireland had a longer line).
Waits for rides were a mixed bag. I waited about 15 minutes for Apollo's Chariot and Griffon. The wait for Verbolten was posted at over an hour. Based on three-train ops and a full queue, I'd say that's about right (at least they were using all the rows). InvadR looked pretty slammed, so I didn't bother, and Finnigan's Flyer was posted at 45 minutes. They had a few more flats open in Festa Italia. They also put up a temporary wall just before the Roman Rapids and the pizza-and-pasta buffet, which hasn't been open all year. (Word is that they want to renovate that restaurant.) The only full-size restaurant open is the Festhaus (and that's with socially distanced seating).
So, get ready for plenty of food pictures, although not quite as many you'll see in a typical Adam TR. They've been doing some work around Pantheon, too, which I'm taking as a good sign.
Hmm--a few more people than usual milling around England today.
Almighty Zeus, Father of the Gods! We humble mortals of Busch Gardens beseech you! Send us a sign!
Zeus be praised! I think those metal railings on the ramp and stairs were added recently, too.
The lightning-hurling Zeus has blessed us with two signs! But are we worthy? (I think this is the main queue entrance as seen from the train.)
Well, being as I'm already in Festa Italia and just got off Apollo’s Chariot, I may as well hit the South Korea booth. There was no wait, so Zeus be praised, again!
The pork rib was pretty good. I even like the Korean coleslaw.
What’s this? The Brazil booth at a “Dutch angle”? Is it the lair of a 1960s Batman villain?
I ordered one Churasco (skirt steak with chimichurri sauce), but they gave me two. Not a complaint, just a yummy observation.
The wait for Griffon was a between 15 and 20 minutes. Acceptable.
The wait for a shrimp taco, however . . .
At least it’s “crisply.”
“Crisply-ness” confirmed. It was quite good, but I doubt I’d wait in this line again--especially if there’s another fussy kid in the group behind me. The kid was harnessed in what appeared to be a tricycle combination baby stroller (never seen a rig like that one before); that is, the kid could ride it like a trike, or an adult could push it like a stroller. It was some Radio Flyer hybrid toy.
Spring . . . achoo! achoo! . . . time in Virginia. Shore is purty.
No wait in the Brauhaus! Star Hill “The Love" wheat been for the win!
Hmm--the Virginia booth in Scotland isn’t too busy.
May as well score some of these tasty, artery-clogging bacon-and-cheddar hush puppies with honey butter.
If you have $49.99 burning a hole in your pocket, you may as well buy one of these new models.
With any luck, we’ll see all three of these coasters operating this summer. Get your vaccine, and thanks for reading.