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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 443 - A Night at Busch Gardens' Christmas Celebration

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^I understand that Verbolten "soft opened" before it's "official" opening, too--but up until then, soft openings were a bit unusual for BGW. I agree that it's a good way for ride staff to get used to "normal" operations (like a "dress rehearsal").

 

Mach Tower soft opened, too. I happened to be right nearby when the first opened it and got on one of the first rides.

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^Mach Tower didn't so much "soft" open as "late" open. I think when they finally got it "ready," they just said, "Aw, what the hell. It's open!"

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How are the restraints compared to the SFDKversion for anyone who's done both? Also, does the stretched layout make a difference?

 

I found both rides and restraints to be the same. I felt like Tempsto''s trains are a bit more cramped to get in and out of. The "comfort collar" doesn't hurt and seemed to not cause any problems at all for anyone.

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The train is a bit cramped (like those on Sky Rocket), but the restraints themselves are OK.

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^"Cramped" in that it's a bit difficult getting in and out. Once you're in your seat, it's OK, but climbing in is a bit awkward.

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^

There's no way BGW will "just open it!" They love to do their gimmicky things/put on a show. However I think that's going down on Friday, not Saturday

 

Here's the verbolten opening ceremony:

 

 

There used to be a video of Drachen Fire's opening ceremony online where Dana Carvey did a standup comedy routine, but it seems to be gone now. There's about 5 seconds worth of the opening parade in this NOVA special though:

 

 

And of course, it wouldn't be right to talk about BGW ride openings without giving the honorable mention to poor Fabio's commercial!

 

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Report from Tempesto's Media Day

 

Busch Gardens "officially" showed off their new Premier launched coaster, Tempesto, to the both the "traditional" media and the theme-park blogging community during a fairly low-key event on Friday, April 24. There were no big speeches or presentations, just an opportunity to ride Tempesto and get a POV of the experience. Park executives, such as Larry Giles, were available for interviews, and members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts were there to ride, and to be interviewed. The park also provided a sample of a tasty "Tempesto Panini"--a grilled provolone and sun-dried-tomato sandwich.

 

As for Tempesto itself, the ride is very good, indeed. The backward launch and the second forward launch have a lot of kick; there's a great pop of airtime as you crest the vertical section; the hang time in the barrel roll is pretty cool; and you finish up with a non-inverting loop and a quick drop back into and through the station. Yes, this ride is just crazy fun, and some folks there who've ridden its older cousin at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom said that Tempesto seems to have a bit more "kick." Tempesto himself appears in the ride's safety video.

 

As for me, I say that parks needs more Premier Rides! This company doesn't get the press that B&M and Intamin do, but their rides are great. Looking forward to even more from Premier in the future.

 

Tempesto also fits in well with Festa Italia. The plaza and entrance are themed to look as though Tempesto, a famous Italian daredevil, is in town to put on an exhibition. The whole area looks like a "sideshow," complete with posters and strings of colored lights (should look great at night). I think it freshens up the whole area. But don't look for the old "Splashus Maximus" water-balloon arena. Tempesto's entrance took over that real estate.

 

Here are some photos of the media event--and a few other things, such as prep for the Food and Wine Festival, at the park.

 

Here's the official video from the media day. Check out my daredevilry!

 

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For those of you, and you know who you are, unfamiliar with the Legend of Tempesto and his famous "Loop-the Loop" (with the curious unnecessary hyphen).

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Members of the media and ACE line up to ride, and get filmed, on Tempesto.

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"LOOP-THE LOOP!" (Or, "Loop-de Loop," as Robb would say.)

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"My god, why did I ever agree to this?"

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"Our Father, who art in . . . aghh!"

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The backside of Loop-the Loop.

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Hmm--unless I miss my guess, they're about 154 feet high.

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How you folks doing?

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"Oh, we're just f-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-n-e!"

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Let's have a look at the station. Here's the inner queue.

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The long corridor where you consider your fate . . .

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. . . while watching this.

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Here's a new view of the Apollo's Chariot queue, which was once available only to cast members. You're welcome.

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The station itself.

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Tempesto says, "Choking on gum could detract for your experience in performing this stunt."

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I thought you might like to see the front side of Loop-the Loop, too.

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As I said earlier, I like Tempesto quite a bit, and I think it's good for Festa Italia.

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Let's a take a little walk and see what else is going on at Busch Gardens. This will be the Far East booth for Food and Wine when it's finished. It's right across from the Battering Ram on a brand new slab of concrete.

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The Caribbean stand is looking good, mon.

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It will be time for tacos at the Southwest booth in late May.

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Le Scoot shows off its shiny, all new flume. I think they got new logs this year, too.

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Aw, the wee little Scottish sheep aren't bothered at all by Verbolten.

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Getting back to Tempesto, don't forget the merchandise! (I'm sure that SuperShawn sill be sporting this look soon. Hmm--this could very well be him in this photo.)

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Busch Gardens now has six times the speed--not four, not five, but six, I tell you!

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One last look at Tempesto as daredevils, once again, brave the famous Loop-the Loop.

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By the way, I am now an "Official Daredevil" with my very own autographed photo of Tempesto. (You have my permission to be envious! ) I wonder who the VP in Charge of Daredevilry is? Thanks for reading.

Edited by cfc
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Great pictures, Tempesto looks like a very nice addition to the park! And with the small footprint and great reviews I'm almost certain we will see more of these being built over the coming years. And from what I gather thats not a bad thing at all....

 

So BGT has five times the fury, BGW has six times the speed.... what will the next be, seven times the....???

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At the park now just finished marathoning Tempesto! Due to the rain it's a one train wait!! Great ride, wonderful addition to the coaster line up here. Hopefully on busy days they will keep the same amount of Boyys working the ride, they were very fast at getting people into the seats.

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Today was my first trip to BGW. I didn't have many expectations going into it. I just knew the basic layouts of their rides, and that's about it. I like just showing up to a park, walking around without a map, and discovering it for myself. I soon realized that this park was WAY bigger than I was anticipating, and even though they only have 6 major coasters, most of the ride entrances are really spread out. I definitely needed a map, but I ended up spending most of the day just wandering around and sightseeing. The way the rides interact with the surrounding walkways is really fantastic. When I stepped onto the path under Loch Ness Monser, I was kind of speechless. I had seen pictures of this area, with Loch Ness, Alpengeist, and Griffon all in view, but pictures really don't do justice to just how gorgeous that area of the park is, or the sheer scale of the rides towering overhead.

 

Other notable scenic views in the park:

The top of Griffon's lift, and Mach Tower.

The bridge over Le Scoot and Alpengeist

The bridge next to Big Bad 'Bolten's outdoor drop

The inside of Das Festhaus. Their food is great too.

 

I got to the park a few minutes later than I would have liked, and had to wait an hour for Tempesto. It was a great ride, probably even my favorite in the park. It's very smooth, and has some great airtime in both the front and the back. It's definitely not as much of a "showcase" ride as some of their other attractions, since they can't do a lot to make it interact with the path like they did with Griffon and Alpengeist, but I thought it still fit in nicely with the surrounding area. The only thing I didn't like was the restraint. The shin guard is SO close to the seat, For anyone with long legs, you'll probably have to point your toes like I did, just to keep your shins from being crushed when the lapbar closes. The lapbar rested in a really uncomfortable position for me, too, much closer to the knee than most rides, because my legs were angled so far upward. Also, trying to get into the right hand seat is basically equivalent to climbing in through the driver's side of a tiny car and maneuvering around the steering wheel to sit in the passenger's side. You definitely can't stand up straight as you're getting in and out; it's quite awkward.

 

So anyway, it was pretty cold with drizzling rain all day today. I had on 3 shirts under my jacket, and 2 pairs of pants (yes really), and thick winter gloves, and I was still freezing. All the rides that weren't Tempesto had much shorter lines, in the 10-20 minute range. The water rides were all open, but I wasn't about to subject myself to that. Most people left by mid-afternoon, making all the rides walk-ons. I couldn't stand the cold rainy weather for much longer, though, and left the park just before dark. For anyone who managed to stay at the park today from open until closing, I admire your dedication.

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Were you there before opening? Did they do a big reveal or ceremony for Tempesto?

 

I liked how Tempesto would stop in the station at exactly the right spot every time so the train could unload faster, without needing to be "dialed in" to line up with the loading gates.

 

I rode:

Tempesto - 2

Apollo -2

Griffon - 3

Europe in the Air - 1

Alpengeist - 2

Verbolten - 2

Darkastle - 1

Loch Ness - 1

Mach Tower - 1

(in the order that I first rode them)

 

Speaking of Europe in the Air, I once heard someone describe it as "Experiencing what it would be like to forget to bring your glasses on an aerial tour of Europe." That was pretty accurate. lol

 

Also, I would love to get stuck on Griffon's top turnaround. Seriously, that view is just crazy. I thought Dollywood had some of the nicest scenery, but this far outclassed it, IMO.

Edited by nannerdw
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Chuck, thanks for the media day update.

 

Premier has always made some really cool rides. The spaghetti bowls are still the coolest looking coasters out there I think.

 

I'm really looking forward to trying out Tempesto. My only critique--Tempesto looks to have the figure of a man who loves his prosciutto and bocconcini more than sun dried tomatoes

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Still not a fan of the location of the ride at all, but the area itself looks great! I'll be heading to the park when Food & Wine starts up to check it out.

 

It's interesting that the plans for this ride had a 156' inversion and it ended up being 154'. Volcano at Kings Dominion still holds the title for tallest inversion on the east coast at 155'.

 

Thanks for sharing as always, Chuck!

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