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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 463: A Sunday at the Food & Wine Festival

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Wow, that video brings back some nostalgia of the sounds that thing made! Very distinct sounding ride for sure!


You aren't kidding about the mechanical issues on that thing either! I'm pretty sure the only year I went on Gladiator's Gauntlet was 1992 (I think it was only in the park from 1990-1992). I may have rode in in 91' and forgot about it. Anyhow, of my one or maybe two years of rides on it, I got stuck on it twice, saw it stuck many other times where I wasn't on it, and one time we were stuck up in the air for over an hour >< That had to be 92' because the compensation the park gave us was Drachen Fire swag. I'll have to go digging to see if I can find the hat I got from the ordeal!


Also, the ride is supposed to unlock at the center and and have both sections flip upside-down laterally, which is why it had OTS restraints. Thankfully Busch decided not to let it do that since they were already having so many issues with it. I also had no clue it was Vekoma!

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I'm much more disappointed with how Darkastle and Roman Rapids have trashed their original capacities by not running as they were designed than I am at any currently theoretical issues in the new rides capacity.


Just out of curiosity, what did they do to trash their capacities? DarKastle isn't a ride I really enjoy, so I haven't really been on it since 2006/2007 (though I rode it a LOT in 2005/2006), and no one in my family ever wants to go on Rapids. Did they change something on those rides in the last few years?


Also since Hastings got mentioned, maybe I'm just being overly nostalgic, but I really preferred Hastings to Ireland

Questor really hasn't been topped by any of the motion simulator rides since. Corkscrew hill was ok, but I remember thinking that it was lacking in comparison. Europe in Air and King Arthur's Challenger were both... yeah it doesn't even need to be said.

I also really enjoyed the shooting gallery there when I was younger, LOVED Thread Needle Fair (which I'm guessing is gone due to liability reasons.Some of those games were a bit dangerous!)


As Chuck said, they essentially don't use the turntable as a turntable, which frequent stops and running around. I only occasionally ride, partly due to weather but more due to the long waits to get on, followed by a good chunk of time sitting waiting to unload. I may have been overdramatic concerning Darkastle (perhaps it's contagious) but the dual unload station isn't used, which I've seen make running both load stations pointless (the first sled is gone before the second has advanced from unload). Anyway, my main point was supposed to be I'm excited for the new ride.


I never got to visit the park before 2005. I'm curious what was Thread Needle Fair games were like? Thanks for posting the video.

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^Threadneedle Fair was the home of a bunch of "medieval themed" carnival games, such as "Whack a Toad." The saucy staff there would taunt players and passers by. It looked like a mini Renaissance faire.


^^I understand what you mean about waiting to get off the Roman Rapids. I've sat on that lift, soaking wet and shivering, a few times, myself.

Edited by cfc
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Like Chuck said, Thread Needle Fair was like a mini renaissance fair. It started after where the Abby Stone Theater is now, basically all throughout where the wildlife sanctuaries are now. It ended just before France, where on the left (walking towards France) was a bird show where they had birds doing fun tricks (including riding roller skates, and one that sang showtunes from musicals) and on the right was the station for the Monorail to the Brewery.


Probably my favorite (but most dangerous) game they had there was a log role game, where you had to shimmy sidewise across a spinning log. I never saw very many people get all the way across, and even though there was padding, falling still wasn't fun. (Same reason they closed the children's play area that used to be under the log flume that had a giant moon bounce/ball pit etc.)


Also, many moons ago the Catapult was indoors and in Hastings! It was later moved to Festa Italia inside the tent that is now a a food stand, before being moved to Oktoberfest where Mach Tower is now, and Mach tower finally saw it moved back to New France. Before Katapult was in Oktoberfest, the Waveswinger was there, and where the Waveswinger is now, was one of those old Octopus traveling carnival rides.


Honestly, the only things there before 2005 that you really missed out on were the Wild Maus (which obviously you can still ride at Tampa) and Drachen Fire (which I'm sure PLENTY of people will tell you, you weren't actually missing out on all that much if you didn't want to take a beating, but I obviously loved that coaster!) I really miss Le Manns badly, but that didn't go away until 2006.

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Sorry to double post, but that same user I posted a video of earlier has some really neat things in his channel!


He has a video of Loch Ness back when the trains could still do a double looper


Alpengeist before the netting was put up to catch loose articles


And some nice Drachen Fire off-ride footage


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^ Funny story about all that, which is an anecdote, but the source I got it from leads me to think it's true. When Drachen Fire was built, it had standard Arrow role-backs, but it also had a very fast lift hill, so it was LOUD. Well, all the residents in the nearby community complained that they could hear it and it was waking them up, so they designed a silent roleback system for it.


So when they built Alpengeist, the park asked for a silent lift out the gate, and they got it! Apollo has the same system. Anyhow, for whatever reason, GP were reporting that they were worried "something was wrong with the ride (Alpengeist)" because it didn't make the traditional "roller coaster sound" going up the lift. So the park eventually let Alpengeist's rolebacks get loud again... Yet as far as I can tell (it's been a few years since I've been to the park), Apollo never changed it's rolebacks


I'll never understand some of the decisions that were made, and I also miss the silent Alpengeist lift.

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^My favorite thing was hearing the lochness sounds walking past the Clydesdales and down towards the river, the rollbacks could be heard far before seeing the ride. And I do remember alpengeist having a fairly loud lift last time I was there. I really don't understand why they trim it so much, it would just be that much better if they didnt.

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Alpengeist's lift doesn't bother me either, and even if they slowed the second half down a bit I still really enjoyed that part of the ride and think the ride overall is amazing. I love the snappy cobra roll and that hard snap into the mid course.

I haven't ridden it but that trim on the top of the lift does look very annoying. I love these swooping drops in the back as you get whipped to the side but (based on POVs) that doesn't seem to happen with that trim. Plus the cobra roll would be even snappier if it weren't there (and so would the twist into the MCBR).

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More footage of Alpengeist in it's prime. Check out how fast it goes through the MCBR!


It's a shame some rides get neutered (a little or a lot) like this (even though some of these remain great). That also reminds me of dragon khan which had a fairly big MCBR neuter this year. Was it the same with alpengeist? Was the change from one season to the other or more gradual?


Also, for those who've ridden it, does the loop feel any faster than other inverts? Because it looks (even now with the trim at the top working) that the train goes through that element faster than most other inverts. And how loud is it? Is the track filled with sand? (on some videos it looks super quiet and on other it makes some" noise). Just curious.

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