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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 456: Information about Christmas Town 2021!

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One thing I notice on all of the POV videos is that they miss the best effects in the show building. There's so much cool stuff in there that you have to look around to see. That forrest reveal after the brake run out of the helix is so impressive but nobody's caught it on a POV.

 

I noticed that, too. Some of the scenery is easy to miss in a few spots (and easier to see from different parts of the train).

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I haven't seen a POV of the lightning show, is there one out there? If not, what's it like?

 

If you go look at all the media day POV's, a couple of the lightning one. Really just a bunch of thunder and flashes until the train drops (based on what I saw).

BTW, what is the forest reveal?

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Went to the park yesterday, Saturday, against the crowd recommendations of folks in here. Well, short answer is they were right. Heavy crowds from 12-7.

 

Got in park at 10:15 and walked right to Verbolten and the line was almost down to the bridge. Turns out this is about 55min wait.

 

Ride itself has been talked up plenty on here but here are my observations:

 

-Ride is definitely not a soft ride. Wouldn't say it has the knocks like Dominator but you definitely feel the wheels. Not sure if this is a result of the seats or what. It's not a rough ride at all...just not a B&M super smooth hyper.

-Launch into building is fun

-More Gs inside building then I expected. I don't recall if I ever saw the actual layout inside but clearly there is a pretty tight helix in there.

-Not sure if some theming was turned off but lots of portions in total darkness inside the building. Frankly, I was expecting more theming. What was there was cool and interesting, especially the reveal at the brake run and right before the drop.

-First time we got spirit of the forest theme. Didn't know any different since it was out first ride.

-Second ride we got lightning theme. For those wondering, its pretty close to the same except less illumination on the forest theming and obviously lightning strikes before the drop. Couldn't really tell soundtrack differences other than thunder.

-Launch after leaving building is strong and enough to knock you back in your seat if you're not prepared. Unfortunately, momentum is lost as you're essentially shooting uphill. By the time you reach the bridge a hundred yards later, brakes are hardly needed.

-Drop from the bridge is fun but not abrupt. Back seat didn't get that whip out air.

 

Overall impressions: great family coaster. Not very intense except for the higher G portions inside the building.

 

 

As for the rest of the park, despite the lines, we got at least 1 ride in on everything and multiple rides on Griffon, Dark Kastle (kids love it), etc. The park really does clear out around 8pm. We checked Alpengeist line around 6:45 and it was well over an hour. We checked back around 8pm and it was 7 mins long.

 

Another note - we were in line for Verbolten for a 3rd ride around 9:20pm. Line moved very slow and eventually stopped. We saw them sending multiple empty trains. Once they started sending people again, noticed that they were having difficulty opening the last car's restraints. Took 2 ride ops to get one train open. The line was really crawling and we had a 3.5 hr drive back so we ditched. The line seemed to be moving at 1/2 or 1/4 speed compared to earlier in the day.

 

Pics have already been done a million times but maybe there is something new in here:

 

 

 

 

 

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There are tons of small trees planted all over. I'm sure by next year it will have filled in quite a bit. I expect it to be as thoroughly landscaped as the rest of the park. Still, given that there were machines all over that ground a month ago, it's in great shape and looks fantastic.

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Still............avoiding.................the POV..................................

Honestly, I think you should watch it. Much like Cheetah Hunt, I think the people who are disappointed are the ones who go into it expecting something else. From the videos, it looks VERY much like a "family" ride, and one that's less like Cheetah Hunt and more like Thirteen.

 

While I'll make this judement when I actually ride it, but looking at all the videos and hearing rider comments, I think I'm a little surprised the ride has a 48" height requirement, which is the same as Cheetah Hunt. I kind of think Verbolten looks more on par with Big Bad Wolf, which was a 42" height restriction, instead of Cheetah Hunt. Not knocking the ride at all, because it look like it really fills a void the park had, but I kind of think the ride should have been accessible to even younger kids, maybe even split the difference at 44", which is what Expedition Everest is.

 

I mean, if a kid at 42" can go on a pretty intense looping coaster at BGT, or even something as crazy as Mindbender at SFOG, I would have to think that Verbolten would have been just fine?

 

--Robb "I'll let you know for sure what I think in August..." Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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^I'm definitely expecting an intensity level and experience similar to Cheetah Hunt, I don't really have any allusions built up of this being a top 10 ride (or being rated 11/10). I just don't want any part of the building experience spoiled for me. I'll get to find out what it's all about in a week, anyway!

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^If that's the case then they definitely have a winner on their hands. The one thing I really liked about Expedition Everest was that although it is a big ride, it is accessible to the younger crowd and offers some interesting thrill elements that most family rides don't offer. On Expedition Everest it's the backwards section and on Verbolten its the launches and free fall inside. It seems that this ride should nicely fill the void left by BBW that was apparent the one time I visited the park over the summer.

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^If that's the case then they definitely have a winner on their hands. The one thing I really liked about Expedition Everest was that although it is a big ride, it is accessible to the younger crowd and offers some interesting thrill elements that most family rides don't offer.

You didn't read what I said. I think they *DO* have a winner on their hands, but I kind of feel it's going to be lost on quite a large audience with a 48" height restriction. Verbolten has the same height restriction as Loch Ness Monster. A giant multi-looping coaster. Big Bad Wolf had a 42" height restriction, and this ride requires their riders to be six inches taller. That's quite a difference when you talk about kids, and Verbolten doesn't appear to be *that* much more thrilling than Big Bad Wolf (which was actually a pretty thrilling ride in itself!)

 

Again, while I personally haven't been on the ride, it does *look* as though this ride is a *great* family coaster, similar to the likes of Expedition Everest, but I think going with a manufacturer who gave them a 48" height restriction, or not figuring out a way to make it a bit lower, could have been a mistake.

 

Think about it - Tower of Terror is a 40" height restriction. Mindbender is 42". Why is Verbolten 48"???

 

Like I said, Expedition Everest is 44", and that's kind of a perfect "split the difference" between a ride like "Big Thunder Mountain" and "Cheetah Hunt."

 

This ride does NOT look like it's on par with Cheetah Hunt, but it's height restriction is sending the message that it is.

 

--Robb "Always hate to see good family coasters where not all of the family can ride...but they probably should be able to!" Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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^Sorry, my response didn't come off correctly. I agree with you that it looks like they definitely have a winner on their hands but it's definitely true that the height restrictions will deny a large portion of the target audience from riding. Not having kids or siblings that are at that stage in life it isn't really something I think about when at parks, but 48" does seem a little too tall for a ride like this. I wonder if there is any ability for them to go shorter or if this is the absolute minimum suggested by Zierer.

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I don't know how these decisions are made really. I'm sure most of it is technical in nature...how is the seat formed vs. the average length of the femur of a 48" tall child which would prevent it from rounding the corner and slipping out of the restraints. I'm sure some of it is political. I suspect for BGW, part of it lies in that they have no coaster with a height restriction under 48". LNM is 48". They already have some confusion with AC being 52" and not the more typical 54" for B&M hypers. Maybe they didn't want yet another tier of height restrictions, even if 46" or 44" tall children could safely ride verbolten. They already have like 7 colors of bands for the various height restrictions in the park. Maybe 8 was too many.

 

Ninja Edit: of course, BBW was 42" so that blows my theory away. For the record, the dark portion does get pretty intense, especially for a 42" individual. My 4 kids having recently gone through that phase, I suspect it would have been too intense for them at that age/height.

 

--Justin

Edited by Jwalther420
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^ But Curse of DarKastle is 42" (along with many flat rides and water riders) so they already have that tier. And Big Bad Wolf was 42", and it's only been gone for two seasons, so it's not like they haven't had a 42" height restriction coaster ever. Wild Maus was also only 42". So that height restriction is kind of a void they've been needing to fill, especially in the roller coaster department.

Edited by robbalvey
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For the record, the dark portion does get pretty intense, especially for a 42" individual. My 4 kids having recently gone through that phase, I suspect it would have been too intense for them at that age/height.

That's why I was saying maybe more along the lines of Everest's 44"? I dunno, I haven't been on the ride so I can't fully comment. But is the dark section more intense than the extreme airtime you get on Tower of Terror, for example? And that's 40"!

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About the whole 48" height restriction, it might not be permanent. I've seen rides that have gotten them changed, but they've gone up, not down. Maybe Verbolten's might get lowered to 44" with some modifications to either the ride itself or just the trains.

 

Edit:

But is the dark section more intense than the extreme airtime you get on Tower of Terror, for example? And that's 40"!

People have been saying that the helix is more forceful than they expected it to be, and Busch Gardens claims you get 1.8 seconds of airtime in the building. I'm also not going to judge it until I've ridden it, but based on what people are saying I agree with Robb about the height restriction maybe being to high, but remember that there's a possibility that it could get lowered.

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I think they were just playing it safe with 48 inches. With DarKastle, they left it at 42 inches but added a warning about the ride sequence, and I'm sure people probably complained about it freaking out their kids and/or not seeing the sign, so BGW took it into their own hands and just upped the height requirement for Verbolten. That's just how I think of it though.

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^ I actually don't think that's the case at all. I'm 99.9999% positive the height restriction came from the ride manufacturer based on train design, what they felt the forces of the ride may do, etc.

 

I make this educated guess because I spoke with Zierer at IAAPA and they mentioned this. It also was the same height restriction for the Legoland Billund ride, and that coaster seems even tamer.

 

Now that being said, the park can, and sometimes will work with a ride manufacturer to get a lower height restriction during the development phase, or sometimes after a ride has opened to the public.

 

On the flip side, BGW does seem to have odd height restrictions on both sides of the coin. They have a 52" B&M hyper where I believe all the others are 54", and they have a 48" chair swings, which is normally 42" at most parks.

 

So who knows. But I'm pretty sure this is a Zierer thing, and I really hope the ride either REALLY delivers on a 48" height restriction or it an be eventually lowered. Thirteen also has a 48" height restriction and I personally think its totally rediculous. That ride is NOT more intense than either Expedition Everest or Tower of Terror.

Edited by robbalvey
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My .02 on the Tower of Terror being so low in relation to coaster is that the movement of the ride is more predictable. The motion is in 1 plane and is probably easier to design a restraint that holds in riders in a wide range of sizes. I think its a bad comparison.

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I understand Elissa. My comment was more a remark on why ride heights are set the way they are. You guys definitely know better than me. Do heights get set based on how scary rides are or based on the physical limitations of the restraints vs. the motion of the ride. I'd like to think the latter is true and height restrictions aren't some artificial gauge on a subjective measure of scariness.

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^It's absolutely both.

 

Alien Encounter/God Awful Stitch is a perfect example. When it was turned into Stitch and Disney thought children would love being locked in a dark room with a restraint over them it opened with a 35'' height restriction...it was then raised to 38", and again to 40". It wasn't a restraint issue, purely a 'show' issue.

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