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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 468: Loch Ness Monster Media Day Report

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^As I recall, it was sort of like a Himalaya, only you rode in "ships" in which you would face forward for part of the ride, then turn so you were facing backward. It was fun.

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^^Skip to 5:07.

 

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]

 

I'd forgotten about the water fountain in the middle of the Sea Dragon. It was a cool little ride back in the day.

 

^Yep--similar to that.

Edited by cfc
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^Saturday might be a bit busy. You can always spring for Quick Queue if necessary. The preferred parking is nice because you can just walk from your car to the ticket booths and turnstiles; however, the tram service for the other parking lots works pretty well.

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Thank you for the description of Sea Dragon. That catalog name is actually a Mack "Sea Storm", and Mack also built the ride "Tradewind" (the Muzik Express).

 

Carowinds has a Sea Storm (as someone referenced to), and that ride was relocated from Canada's Wonderland. Darien Lake had one which was removed and Marineland has one still as well called "Hurricane Cove"

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I just can't get over this. If your company is bleeding money and you build a new coaster that doesn't fit in at all as an attempt to stop the bleeding a little why would you not advertise it ahead of time? Look at what Carowinds is doing... they're having a special preview event to get people to buy season passes, they're getting all the news stations to hype the crap out of it for weeks leading up to opening day and they're probably spending some actual money on more traditional advertising methods too.

 

If you spend millions of dollars on a coaster you need to hype it up and let people know it exists or you'll never see a return on investment. I'm not saying I can run the marketing department at Busch Gardens or anything but this is simple, simple stuff.

 

It's not that simple. For starters the scale of the installation at Carowinds is much bigger. Fury 325 can be promoted and accepted by the public as a signature ride. Carowinds is also generally a long way from maximizing park attendance on any particular day.

 

The promotional and public relations routes are much more cost effective in getting the message out there versus solely advertising.

 

A new ride like Fury 325 is going to sell a lot more incremental tickets than Tempesto no matter how Tempesto is promoted.

 

 

Exactly. What you guys don't understand is that it costs a lot of money to market and advertise rides too. In the case of Tempesto, considering it was likely a cheap installation and that there's huge competition, it's probable that a successful marketing plan would cost almost as much as the ride itself. It's not cost effective to market the hell out of this thing when it doesn't stand a chance to Fury, Thunderbird, etc. What BGW is doing is smart (shocker, some posters on a fan site DON'T know more about the business than actual higher-ups in the industry!!), locals at the park will catch wind of the addition naturally and it will drive steady business throughout the season rather than a big opening hoopla with tons of crowds.

 

Let BG do their thing...there's a reason they are in the marketing department and we aren't lol.

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^Agreed.

 

^^There's no doubting that Tempesto is not anywhere near the same scale as Fury HOWEVER there's nothing wrong with advertising and hyping up your attraction. SF is marketing Larson Super Loops for god sakes!!

I understand the company is going through restructuring but you would think they would (Maybe they have?) include funds for advertising in overall project budgeting.

Any BGW locals seen billboards or any type of advertising for Tempesto?

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Had to pull up my old account to chime in here!

 

Does BGW have a history of opening its new coasters on opening day? ...

 

Old guard (before the company sold) soft opened Drachen Fire, Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot opening weekends with media day usually weeks later. New guard ... well, the results speak for themselves.

 

SF is marketing Larson Super Loops for god sakes!!

 

This! The lack of even basic easy promotion (Facebook, etc.) is a crazy decision, but given the new guard's behavior (across the chain) it's actually not crazy at all. I have nothing against the new guard, but I do question if they actually enjoy the amusement industry (i.e. their jobs and what it all represents), because they really don't get it right now.

 

This is what happened to Paramount Parks and Six Flags for a while. Even Universal and Disney had their low moments. It's just SW/BG turn. In this case, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. made things far worse all on their own (Blackfish had very little to do with it ... just trust me on this! The decline was happening BEFORE the film).

 

In the last few years I truly believe, even more today, Seaworld and Busch Gardens parks have yet to fully realize their core potential. They made mistakes, some very preventable, instead of magic. They could've profoundly changed the U.S. amusement park game, but that wasn't the clear focus of the new guard. I don't think *most* of them truly love their own brand and it's just a job. It showed many years ago. It continues to play itself out today.

 

If I'll say one thing about the new coaster, it's not very BG in every possible way. That's why I said the new guard's decisions aren't so crazy when you look at the modern big picture. Still, great to see a new addition.

 

Yes, I really love BGW and the brand, but it's different now ... different in that New Coke way.

 

Sea Dragon was so much fun! I miss that ride. Good memories. Thanks for that.

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In the last few years I truly believe, even more today, Seaworld and Busch Gardens parks have yet to fully realize their core potential. They made mistakes, some very preventable, instead of magic. They could've profoundly changed the U.S. amusement park game, but that wasn't the clear focus of the new guard. I don't think *most* of them truly love their own brand and it's just a job. It showed many years ago. It continues to play itself out today.

 

If I'll say one thing about the new coaster, it's not very BG in every possible way. That's why I said the new guard's decisions aren't so crazy when you look at the modern big picture. Still, great to see a new addition.

 

Yes, I really love BGW and the brand, but it's different now ... different in that New Coke way.

 

I completely understand, and agree. It always seemed to me like the BG parks have long been on the verge of becoming really huge destinations. They've always been on the upper tier of theme parks. The wasted potential, especially recently, is staggering.

 

And I just don't get it. Do they not like money? I guess they just don't understand and don't care.

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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.

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^I have NEVER seen a park completely build a major coaster and not announce it until the park actually opens for the season. If it's a smart thing to do, they are the first to try it.

 

When you consider the position Busch is in (letting go tons of people in nearly every department, having huge losses in the last couple of years, etc.) it makes sense. They are in a unique position among major chains which is why this unique (read: unheard of) lack of marketing is likely the smartest move for them.

 

Let's remember who's on a theme park fan site and who's getting paid to do this type of thing. I don't think they're just making a huge mistake and can only correct it by logging onto Theme Park Review

 

EDIT: Let it be known I don't think this is the perfect/only strategy nor maybe the best way to go about handling their new addition. But if you look at the situation Busch is in I firmly believe it can be justified as weird as it is. Marketing (properly) is expensive and Busch Gardens isn't exactly in the greatest position to be making huge investments right now. They have to pick their battles. My theory is instead of going all-out on a marketing campaign that will pale in comparison to its neighbors, BGW will let the ride speak for itself the first few weeks of operation, and then play it up as word of mouth starts spreading among locals (which I assume will be the largest audience for this ride).

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^^The article (if we're talking about the same one) only mentioned that there would be an announcement this month.

 

Yeah, that's the one I'm referring to.

 

At this point I'm just interested to see whether they have some grand announcement for Saturday, or if it'll just be "yeah, you may have noticed the new roller coaster." Or better yet, they don't announce it, sending everyone into even bigger confusion.

Won't make it to preview day this year, but I'm sure I'll see plenty of reports...

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When you consider the position Busch is in (letting go tons of people in nearly every department, having huge losses in the last couple of years, etc.) it makes sense. They are in a unique position among major chains which is why this unique (read: unheard of) lack of marketing is likely the smartest move for them.

 

Even in the darkest days of the Burke regime at Six Flags, they had enough sense to market the largest capital expenditure project the chain was developing in any given year. It actually doesn't make any sense, and who is getting paid to do this type of thing (if they haven't been fired to save money) is currently watching attendance dwindle and the stock price auger into the ground. Any idiot can run a company badly, and that's clearly the situation with SeaWorld.

 

 

They have to pick their battles.

 

You know what is a complete and utter waste of money? Spending MILLIONS on a new ride and making absolutely zero attempt to market it in advance. It is inexcusable and only serves as confirmation bias to those who thought that SEAS was without direction and meaningful leadership.

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^Again, like I said, no amount of advertising will make this addition more attractive than Fury or Thunderbird, for example. It would never be an addition that will attract tons and tons of people from out of town. Will they have a smaller opening day? Yeah, sure. But eventually people will obviously realize that there's a new roller coaster there and throughout the season will be a steady influx of interested people from the immediate area, at which point BGW can start promoting it. Is it perfect? No. But I refuse to believe Busch Gardens is run entirely incompetently. There has to be some logic in it somewhere. My opinion.

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