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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 467: Media Town Hall Report

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^HOS is a big draw for the park; naturally, they want to get it started as soon as they can (although this does seem a bit early). Heck, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando start just a week later.

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Fair enough. I guess they want to maximize their opportunity for people to come in and experience it. I still think its too early though. You know what this reminds me of? Christmas. The stores start advertising it wayyy in advance before anyone is even thinking about it yet.

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Now why would it start so early? People aren't thinking about Halloween that early! C'mon Busch!


You do realize they aren't the only ones right? Halloween events, as pointed out, are very successful at parks, especially BGW. HalloWeekends begins at Cedar Point on September 12th as well.

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I have some pictures of the Diavolo/Tempesto/Pasta/whatever construction I got later last week. I went again today, but the only noticeable differences I saw were the tree stumps had been removed and the Deere was digging a rectangle hole; for what I am not sure.





A couple of new Apollo views were opened up by the removal of the trees.


Apollo's queue got that wonderful decorative dark green mesh that has accompanied the bumper car line for 3 years now.


Hopefully this will be temporary, however. I believe the mesh in Oktoberfest is meant to more or less block Verbolten's show house, which imo is one of the ugliest structures in the park, if not the ugliest.




All of these tree stumps have since been removed.


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No announcement regarding the new ride for 2015 at today's passholder event. But I can confirm the existence of construction walls near Apollo's Chariot.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1410014889.683248.jpg.54ad76b3f5211f95cf20eb34dffc43de.jpg

Edited by cfc
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Pretty uneventful pass member presentation. A few notes:


-Monster Stomp will be returning. It's in the Globe Theater and will be called 'Monster Stomp on Ripper Row.' It features Jack the Ripper.

-Fiends is back in Ireland.

-Globe Theater will house a new show featuring Scrooge during Christmas Town. He didn't release any details about it.

-Not even a mention of the new ride. When I asked Carl about it afterwards he replied "What coaster?", so clearly they're not ready to give out any official info yet.

-They were selling food items in the Festhaus that will apparently be released next year, but I didn't see what they had available.


"Raise your hands in the air if you want some information on the new coaster!


Sucks to suck!"



Edited by zachclarke2
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Passholder Appreciation Day, Blue Walls, & More Howl-o-Scream Prep


Busch Gardens held its annual "Passholder Appreciation Event" today, which included ERT on the rides in Oktoberfest, muffins galore, and a brief speech from park president Carl Lum in front of the Festhaus. Before discussing what was said there today, let's mention what wasn't said. Carl's remarks did not mention the new attraction for 2015 or address just what is going on behind the construction walls near Apollo's Chariot. The park is still playing this hand "close to the vest," and the only responses you're likely to get regarding any new ride for 2015 range from "Attraction? What new attraction?" to "It could be big."


So much for that. Here's what Carl did mention in his remarks:


  • BGW will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year, starting with a "founder's event" in May--no details yet.
    Howl-o-Scream 2014 will feature a new "Terror-tory"--Wendigo Woods--in New France, and Monster Stomp on Ripper Row in the Globe Theatre. This new version of a classic HOS show will, of course, star Jack the Ripper and use all the capabilities of the theatre, which received substantial upgrades in sound, lighting, and projection systems for London Rocks. Being as the theatre's "4D" seats are still functional, this could make for a very startling Halloween show, indeed. HOS starts on Friday, September 12.
    Christmas Town 2014 will also receive a new show in the Globe Theatre: Scrooge No More. This updating of Charles Dickens's classic story "A Christmas Carol" substitutes a bitter, washed-up rock star for Ebeneezer Scrooge. The $25 Christmas Town pass, which gives passholders unlimited access to the event, will be back, as well.


Carl also thanked the passholders for their support, citing the online poll that helped determine the new menus for this year's Food and Wine Festival, which led to the new Carribbean and American Southwest booths. "I think I gained about ten pounds from those hush puppies [in the Caribbean booth]," he said.


That's it for the announcements. Let's take a walk around the park and see what else is happening.


In a break from the past, the park held its ceremony outside, rather than inside, the Festhaus.


Thank you, Busch Gardens.


The morning's itinerary.


The official lanyard, which provided a bit of "foreshadowing" for the park's announcements for next year.


Of course, there were muffins and croissants aplenty for hungry passholders seeking breakfast.


You will believe t shirts can fly!


Carl Lum, the park's president, begins his speech.


He's pretty good at flinging Howl-o-Scream t shirts (with HOS Quick Queues attached), too.


He also threw a few Christmas Town t shirts into the crowd.


Looks like the Casket Club bar in front of the Festhaus is almost ready to dispense liquid courage to Howl-o-Scream guests.


But let's not forget the passholder Oktoberfest ERT. It included Verbolten . . .


. . . and Mach . . . oh, darn! (It was up and running later.)


"Belay them questions about any new ride, mate. Dead men tell no tales!"


New attraction?


What new attraction?


Pay no attention to what's going on behind the blue walls.


I must admit that parks are rather cute when they're being cagey. ;)


Hmm--I wonder if there will be some sort of piratical deviltry on this platform by the Pompeii bridge?


I hope everyone has their subway tokens or fare cards for Deadline.




All we need now are a couple of Naughty Nurses.


"New ride? Me not know. Go away!"


Maybe I'll check out Igor's Fright Feast this year--especially if the menu offers curry wurst, like it did last year.


Please note that Fiends is for "mature" audiences. Do not take small children, then gripe on the park's Facebook page about the skimpy costumes. Thank you.


Spiders and webs and ghosts, oh my!


France is getting "demonized" for HOS.


"OK, people--jazz hands!"


"I'm not hungry at the moment. Come back on September 12. I'll be happy to swallow your soul then!"


Hmm--I'm guess this is for Wendigo Woods?


Wendigo Woods confirmed. Thank you, James City County.


Bats? Why did it have to be bats?


Looks like the Vampire Point Hotel is almost ready to check you in. Checking out is your problem.


"I used to work in the Enchanted Laboratory, but I got a new job now."


England is transforming into Ripper Row. (This was a pretty good "Terror-tory" last year.)


What? Am I at Kings Island now?


Noted. Thanks for reading.

Edited by cfc
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Looks like the Vampire Point Hotel is almost ready to check you in. Checking out is your problem.


You can check anytime you like but you can never leave.


Looks like another fun event at Busch Gardens Chuck! I really miss this park and your awesome reports aren't helping me in dealing with my six year withdrawal!

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Been a lurker here for a long time, It's about time I started posting on TPR.


I'm planning a trip to BGW October 4-5 and I'm wondering what to expect. I know that Halloween events draw more customers, especially towards the end of October. What order should I hit all the rides? I know in some parks this can make a huge difference. It's been over 10 years since I have been to BGW so there is a lot I need to see. Also any inexpensive hotel recommendations? I'm looking for something with free breakfast too....a coaster enthusiast needs unlimited food .

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It shouldn't be to bad since it's early in October. I went last year in late September and the crowds weren't bad overall. I suggest hitting Verbolten first as it usually has one of the longest lines. Loch Ness and Alpengeist usually tend to have the shortest lines or walk ons so I you shouldn't have to be in any hurry to hit up those rides. If you want to ride Mach Tower, do it while you have the chance, that ride is unpredictable.

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I would count on Saturday night being very busy, thanks to Howl-o-Scream (I usually avoid the park on October Saturdays). But there's always Quick Queue, which does include haunted houses. They have some different dining options during HOS, as well, such at Igor's Fright Feast (a buffet with a show) in Ireland and the Blood Banquet (a buffet in Germany with vampire characters lurking about).

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Blogger Preview Night for Howl-o-Scream!


Halloween has come early to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, as Howl-o-Scream opened on Friday, September 12! Halloween is getting to be more like Christmas, in that parks and retailers get into it a little earlier each year, and why not? This is a big money-making holiday for theme parks.


BGW held a "preview" for the park and haunt blogging communities that night, too, with a comp meal at Igor's Fright Feast, reserved seating for Monster Stomp on Ripper Row, and "Escort VIP" access for three mazes: 13 Your Number's Up (which focuses on 13 types of "phobias," ranging from fear of the dark to fear of the dentist), Deadline (which explores an excavation for a new subway goes terribly wrong), and Cutthroat Cove (which features, you guessed it, scurvy pirates). The remaining mazes are Bitten (vampires), Root of All Evil (a "possessed" garden and greenhouse), and Catacombs (a brush with ghouls under the streets of Paris). These are all returning mazes, and for my money, the best of the bunch is Catacombs, thanks to its especially creepy atmosphere that gives the ghouls plenty of good hiding places. Root of All Evil is the weakest, as much of the cast there needs to learn the difference between "scary" and "annoying." (Lots of banging on an oil drum constitutes the latter, by the way.)


So, what's new at HOS this year? The major news is Monster Stomp on Ripper Row in the Globe Theatre in England. This marks the third version of the original Monster Stomp, which was a small-level show in what used the be the Canadian Palladium in New France (where the scrambler is now). It moved to the Abbeystone Theatre in Ireland for a number of years as Monster Stomp Revamped, until it was replaced by Fiends. There are no vampires in the latest version, but Jack the Ripper gets a lot of play (not to mention victims). The show features a few holdovers from past versions, such as the dancing-skeleton bit, but this version is "darker" than in years' past and makes good use of the new projection, sound, and lighting technology in the Globe, which was upgraded for the London Rocks show this year. I'm not a "park show person," but I did enjoy the latest version of Monster Stomp. Yes, it features the same selection of 1980s songs that you've heard before, but the staging is quite elaborate, and it moves at a quick pace. I'm sure many of the original show's fans are glad that Monster Stomp has returned to BGW.


There's a new "Terror-tory" (that is, scare zone), as well: Wendigo Woods in New France. A "wendigo" is a demonic "man beast" in Native American folklore (particularly in Canada). The scare zone is supposed to be some sort of military installation built to contain the wendigo; of course, something goes TERRIBLY WRONG. It's tough to gage things on opening night, as the park will tweak houses and scare zones during HOS, but this one needs some work. The military types did yell at guests a bit, and others whimpered about needing to saved. There's an animatronic wendigo in a cage that didn't do anything when we walked by, but I did bump into a friend in the park that night who did see it in action. I have no idea whether there's a wendigo character wandering around the scare zone, but maybe we just walked through there at the wrong time and missed it (I'll be checking it out again later).


The Blood Banquet at the Vampire Point Hotel in Germany also has a new show--and a better menu that Igor's Fright Feast. Both cost $22 for adults for the show and the buffet, by the way.


Here's a look at what's new at Howl-o-Scream 2014. My thanks to Koy, Emily, and the rest of the park's PR staff for inviting us to the park and giving us a chance to experience this year's event.


We entered through uber secret Gate A next to Ireland.


First stop--food (and a show).


"You'll be seated behind the abnormal brain at table 31, sir."


Here's the menu. The food was just OK (the spice cake was pretty good, though). I think this menu is meant more for families and kids; the Blood Banquet has a more interesting menu. But you can get beer and booze at both meals.


Here's the buffet area.


This show is an offshoot of Fiends over in the Abbeystone Theatre in which Igor, Dr. Freakenstein's assistant, has opened his own restaurant and night club.


Igor really knows how to make an entrance.


But even though his name is on the sign, . . .


. . . and he gets some help from his buddy Swampy (another character from Fiends), . . .


. . . it's all about the Naughty Nurses.


It looks like Igor has given up on trying to upstage the Nurses' obvious assets . . .


. . . or has he?


The show itself is OK as a smaller, more family friendly version of Fiends. But I wish they had curry wurst on the menu like they did last year. I'm also a bit surprised that the cast didn't come out and work the room for guest photos (as they do during the Sesame Street show and meal during the summer).


Whoa! Never mess with some dude who carries around an eagle!


This way to Ripper Row.


Just turn left under all the Jack-o-Lanterns.


Welcome to Ripper Row.




"Ghastly murder"? My god--where?


This is the star of Howl-o-Scream this year.


Yes, it's all about Saucy Jack.




I remember this headless umbrella lady from past years.


I don't know Jack. Really, I've never met Jack the Ripper, so I don't know him.


The Ripper strikes again!


The "guys doing percussion on a coffin" bit is from previous versions of the show.


I'm sure a lot of folks were happy to see the return of the dancing skeletons, but they are bit jarring when compared to the darker tone of the rest of the show.


Aw, isn't that sweet . . .


. . . eww! Jack spoils yet another romantic moment.


Beware the "boogie, boogie, boogie" eyes!


Well, looks like everything's pretty much gone to Hell now.


"We hope you all enjoyed the show . . .


. . . because horrible death awaits you outside!" More to come.

Edited by cfc
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So, what else is going on at Howl-o-Scream?


"Whew! I'm glad I escaped all those maniacs in the theatre . . . OH MY GOD!


We beat a hasty retreat from Ripper Row . . .


. . . only to find this guy at the end of 13 Your Number's Up.


What? He's the park's director of entertainment! I just heard his give a talk at the Monster Stomp show, the poor man.


So, what about Wendigo Woods?


Perhaps there's an answer here.


This is one of the yelling soldiers . . .


. . . and this is one of the whimpering ones.


But where is the "Dangerous Specimen"?


Yeah, wendigos are such slobs. They don't even wash their hands after using the toilet.


"We do not 'drink beer' at this installation, sir! We perform 'thermal research'!"


All the better to watch wendigos from, I guess.


Unless I miss my guess . . .


. . . this is the "Dangerous Specimen."


"Wendigo no like truck!"


The other side of Wendigo Woods.


Meanwhile, over in Germany, Count Valdtastic is getting his crew into shape.


I heard that this show is an improvement over last year's; however, for me, it's all about the tri tip on the buffet.


So what else is happening at HOS? Well, there are vampires on the prowl.


And vampires that serve cocktails.


On Demon Street in France, it's all about fire and chainsaws.


"Er, boo and stuff."


The Demonic DJ is back.


As is the merchandise.


Again, with the "Keep Calm and" shirts. This one refers to the spooky "Cursed" song in the commercials for HOS.


Aye, thar be pirates, too.


Well, good night--if I can survive Ripper Row long enough to get back to my car.

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