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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 468: Loch Ness Monster Media Day Report

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^The only conversations going on about Drachen Fire are in the coaster-enthusiast community. Now, I understand that some enthusiasts were fond of that coaster. I am not one of them.

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^ Oh for sure, but we're the ones who do most of the talking anyhow. With the possible exception of BBW, I can't think of many rides at many parks the GP talk about once they're gone. Also, as a fan of the ride, I 100% understand why a lot of people weren't, and think the ride should have been modified (just not scrapped). I'm sure as a VA person you remember how awful flight of fear was with OTSRs, and how much better it got with lap bars. That's my go-to example of "there are other options for rough rides than the scrap yard."

 

I think what's interesting about DF is that, unlike oh say BBW (which is pretty sorely missed by most), DF is missed by only some, but you hear people who didn't like it or didn't get to ride it bringing it up in a context like here such as "I wish they'd re-do it" or "I'd like to see a B&M take on the layout." You don't really hear people saying that about rides like GASM, Shockwave, Son of Beast, or Deja Vu. Sure, there's people out there that miss all of those, but it seems to be more of an "oh well it's gone" rather than "damn, I wish they'd re-make that with better technology."

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^Drachen Fire earned a bad reputation so quickly that I doubt anything could've saved it; that being said, one of my nieces rather liked it, too. Big Bad Wolf was dear to a lot of people because it was a ride the whole family could enjoy.

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^Drachen Fire earned a bad reputation so quickly that I doubt anything could've saved it; that being said, one of my nieces rather liked it, too. Big Bad Wolf was dear to a lot of people because it was a ride the whole family could enjoy.

 

I bought this lovely shirt when we were there the other week.

 

the saleslady told me that they have to restock very often as they sell out a LOT.

10882155_10152633548456290_5168921348241562542_n.jpg.f607014d11c4c4974d9a125875f205ea.jpg

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^I might have to visit the park this year just to buy that shirt alone.

 

It's such a shame Drachen Fire so was rough that they scrapped it. I still think it was one of the best looking roller coasters to ever be built. And being the Arrow fan that I am, it's reputation still wouldn't have stopped me from riding it.

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^^ those shirts are nice! I just wish they had a 40 year shirt with ALL of the coasters on it (the six current plus Wolf, Drachen, Wildmaus, Wild Cat, and Glissade).

 

I'm not sure how they picked the rides. The Le Man's and Wolf shirts make sense, but then they have a waveswinger shirt... idk, maybe there are waveswinger fanboys?

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I was pretty fond of BBW as well! Still think it was the best Arrow suspended coaster (at least stateside) at the time of its demise. My kids all enjoy Draggin' Iron, in spite of its obvious deficiencies (as did I back in 87 when I first rode it as a kid myself), I just wish they could have experienced a much better version of the style in Big Bad Wolf.

 

Still in spite of my two favorite coasters from the park when I first went in '94 being gone now, I still love the place, and both Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot were better than either of those rides when I returned in '02 anyway. I just can't wait to experience Griffon and Verbolten whenever I can make it back there. It would appear that Verbolten is at least a worthy, and likely better replacement for BBW!

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Still in spite of my two favorite coasters from the park when I first went in '94 being gone now, I still love the place, and both Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot were better than either of those rides when I returned in '02 anyway. I just can't wait to experience Griffon and Verbolten whenever I can make it back there. It would appear that Verbolten is at least a worthy, and likely better replacement for BBW!

 

My visit a few weeks ago was my first since 05 when BBW was still there. I loved that coaster so Verbolten was definitely the coaster I was most interested in riding out of the 3 new ones that were added since my last visit (Tempesto, Griffin). I

Must say that Verbolten is a more than worthy replacement. It is very unique and well done/put together like the Wolf and was one of my favorite coasters on the trip.

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Hey everyone, planning my first trip to BGW in 9 years (went twice as a kid). Some questions for you all experts We are BG Tampa experts (go to college literally a block away) but my boyfriend has never been so we want to do everything. We only have 1 day to do BGW (Sat 7/18 park hrs 10-10)

 

We want to ride all of the major coasters, Darkastle, Pompeii, see the animals, some shows (specifically Celtic Fyre and probably catch Roll out the Barrel while having a meal).

 

1) Do I need to get Quick Queue?- At BGT while Sheikra and Cheetah can get big lines, the rest of the coasters cycle fast enough that it isn't really necessary but I've been to numerous parks where every ride can be an hr plus. What are the waits like on a Sat?

 

2) In case of rain, do the rides run typically unless its a downpour or thunder? BGT runs the rides in light rain.

 

3) Dining location requests and should we get the meal deal ($30 for lunch, dinner and refillable cup)

 

Thank you!

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Hey everyone, planning my first trip to BGW in 9 years (went twice as a kid). Some questions for you all experts We are BG Tampa experts (go to college literally a block away) but my boyfriend has never been so we want to do everything. We only have 1 day to do BGW (Sat 7/18 park hrs 10-10)

 

We want to ride all of the major coasters, Darkastle, Pompeii, see the animals, some shows (specifically Celtic Fyre and probably catch Roll out the Barrel while having a meal).

 

1) Do I need to get Quick Queue?- At BGT while Sheikra and Cheetah can get big lines, the rest of the coasters cycle fast enough that it isn't really necessary but I've been to numerous parks where every ride can be an hr plus. What are the waits like on a Sat?

 

2) In case of rain, do the rides run typically unless its a downpour or thunder? BGT runs the rides in light rain.

 

3) Dining location requests and should we get the meal deal ($30 for lunch, dinner and refillable cup)

 

Thank you!

 

CFC lives there, so trust him if he says quick queue is needed. We needed 2 days to do all the rides and shows. . and that was with 1 day completely dead, and the other with only 20-40 minute waits on things. (but we ride pretty much EVERYTHING, so if you only focus on the big stuff, yeah, quick queue might be for you).

 

you're missing one of the two best shows. See Celtic Fyre, yes. . . but try to see "Mix it Up!" too. It's a theater themed to a cafe, with several food options nearby, so you could actually eat Italian food while watching that show. (tho as you mention, if you end up eating in the Festhall (in Ocktoberfest), you can catch Roll Out the Barrell while you eat too. Not a great show, but if you're there).

 

as to you other questions.

 

Weather: we had very HOT the whole time we were there, but there was a 20 minute period on the 1st day where they shut down EVERYTHING, because 'thunderstorms were in the area". The operators told us it was because of lightning within 10 mile radius. . but announcements were made over the park loudspeakers, and everything just shut down. (then after a very brief sunshower, and no bad weather at all,and everything started up again).

 

Food: The only place in the park to get a hamburger (if that's what you want) is the Pub in London, right behind the double-decker bus. We had Pizza from there, and it was decent. But for food recommendations:

 

1) Pizza/Pasta buffet back near Roman Rapids. Best deal in the park, all you can eat + drink for just $14. Decent Pizza too.

2) the Festhaus in Ocktoberfest -- some very good Pastrami sandwiches, Turkey sandwiches, and the pizza was selling like crazy there too. HUGE portions on the sandwiches. . we easily could have shared just one.

3) the Gelato across from "Mix it Up!" is amazing.

 

hope that helps

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The Smokehouse is good, too--especially the brisket. And, yep, you must try the gelato.

 

heh. . being from Texas, we make a point to avoid Bar-B-Que on our vacations. But yeah, it did SMELL great (in New France (aka: Canada) section

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The Smokehouse is good, too--especially the brisket. And, yep, you must try the gelato.

 

heh. . being from Texas, we make a point to avoid Bar-B-Que on our vacations. But yeah, it did SMELL great (in New France (aka: Canada) section

 

I'm from Missouri, the BBQ Capital of America and while it's not up to our standards it is still pretty good and one of the better values in the park with the amount of food you get.

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That 'comfort collar' is such a joke - pointless, complicated, and weakens the experience. I hope they're removed in a season or two.

You need to stop looking at the amusement world with a closed-minded enthusiast perspective. While I 100% agree with you, you also have to understand that most of the world is scared to death of roller coasters and don't understand that a "lap bar" is perfectly safe. Most amusement operators will agree with me when I say that whenever you add an inversion to a coaster, you automatically alienate a certain percentage of the population that come into your park. There are people that just refuse to go on anything that "goes upside down." So you need to do as much as you can for potential riders to feel "ok" with that.

 

The "comfort" descriptor in "comfort collar" does not necessarily mean "comfortable" as in a physical feeling, but more a state of mind. I can't tell you over the years how many times I've heard people say "The ride goes upside down and has just a lap bar??? That's not safe!!!!"

 

So perhaps Busch Gardens felt that for their demographic they needed something to make people feel more secure, even though it's just smoke in mirrors.

 

Of course, the person who said "this story wouldn't happen if they weren't there" is also correct, but like they say, hindsight is 20/20....

Edited by robbalvey
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^ 100 agree with all of that.

 

Also, the GP will find ANYTHING to freak out over, no matter how benign. Back when I worked at BG, I did a jaunt working on Alpengeist. About once a week, a person would bump their seatbelt latch just-so and it would come out. A LOT of them would freak out and tell me their restraint came undone during the ride. It didn't matter how many times I told them that belt was superfluous, and only there to make sure guests had the proper body dimensions to ride, they KNEW that seatbelts are what save your life, and theirs came undone...

 

Reading that news article, I guarantee you that this is a "freak out over anything" kind of person being a helicopter grandma for her granddaughter, who also may have embellished the story when telling it. I don't doubt for one second that their fear is genuine though.

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There are people that just refuse to go on anything that "goes upside down."

 

Hell, there are plenty of people who won't even ride a wooden coaster, no matter how new it is. I can't tell you how many people I've overheard throughout the years avoiding El Toro for that very reason.

 

I agree with Robb on this. As much as I may not like the idea of a "comfort collar", if that's what it would take for the coaster to be accessible to as much of BGW's target audience as possible, then so be it. The park is in the business to make money and please guests, not alienate them.

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About once a week, a person would bump their seatbelt latch just-so and it would come out. A LOT of them would freak out and tell me their restraint came undone during the ride. It didn't matter how many times I told them that belt was superfluous, and only there to make sure guests had the proper body dimensions to ride, they KNEW that seatbelts are what save your life, and theirs came undone...

And this is the biggest issue. In their mind, they think they know what a ride's safety system should be based on what is pounded in their heads regularly regarding day-to-day safety. And often times their assumptions are grossly inaccurate for a ride. And no matter what you tell them, they are right and you are wrong. And when they feel that they aren't being listened to (because they are wrong), all of a sudden the park gets news trucks showing up at their door step. And no matter how much a park tries to explain to the news the actuals of the situation, the news paints the picture that they feel will get them the best ratings. Which feeds right back into why the guest freaks out in the first place.

 

It's a vicious circle and it sucks that we have this sort of mentality in our country.

 

This is the scenario that SHOULD take place:

 

Guest: OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! MY SEATBELT CAME UNDONE!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!

Ride op: Oh, that seatbelt isn't actually part of the ride's safety system.

Guest: Really? Super Cool! Rock on! Let's ride again!

 

But this is what really happens:

 

Guest: OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! MY SEATBELT CAME UNDONE!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!

Ride op: Oh, that seatbelt isn't actually part of the ride's safety system.

Guest: WHAT? F**K YOU!!! THAT SEATBELT NEARLY KILLED MY GRANDMOTHER!!! YOU'RE FULL OF HOT BULLSHIT!!! I'M CALLING THE POLICE!!! AND THE NEWS!!! AND RUSH LIMBAUGH!!! AND EVERYONE!!! YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!! THAT'S A SEATBELT ASSSHOLE AND IT SAVES LIVES!!!!

 

If people could only "listen".... *sigh*

Edited by robbalvey
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Thank you all for the tips.

 

Are crowds Fridays any better than Saturdays? Did some rearranging at work so we could leave for Williamsburg Thurs night and could potentially switch our "historic Williamsburg" day and our BGW day. As for what we want to ride, we don't stop for every little kiddie coaster or flat ride but Tempesto, Apollo's Chariot, Griffon, Alpengeist, Verbolten, Loch Ness, and Darkastle are musts with Mach Tower and Pompeii being "if we have time". We want to see some shows, I take a lot of photography and we want to shop.

 

As for the food advice, we are adventurous eaters and we'd like to try whatever the "best" or perhaps most authentic BGW offers.

 

And last, any tips or favorite things? Plan of attack advise? (currently planning on starting at Tempesto and then Apollo's Chariot)

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Thank you all for the tips.

 

Are crowds Fridays any better than Saturdays? Did some rearranging at work so we could leave for Williamsburg Thurs night and could potentially switch our "historic Williamsburg" day and our BGW day. As for what we want to ride, we don't stop for every little kiddie coaster or flat ride but Tempesto, Apollo's Chariot, Griffon, Alpengeist, Verbolten, Loch Ness, and Darkastle are musts with Mach Tower and Pompeii being "if we have time". We want to see some shows, I take a lot of photography and we want to shop.

 

As for the food advice, we are adventurous eaters and we'd like to try whatever the "best" or perhaps most authentic BGW offers.

 

And last, any tips or favorite things? Plan of attack advise? (currently planning on starting at Tempesto and then Apollo's Chariot)

 

I will say if you see Pompeii or Mach Tower operating. . hop on them then. Those two are rather infamous for breaking down.

 

in 3 days at BGW a few weeks back?. . Pompeii was working and we rode it, and literally EVERY OTHER TIME we passed by, it was broken down, with a boat stuck on the lifthill.

 

if you missed it, my Trip Report is here, with days 1-3 at BGW, and Colonial Williamsburg.

 

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=70573

 

you might find it interesting

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That 'comfort collar' is such a joke - pointless, complicated, and weakens the experience. I hope they're removed in a season or two.

You need to stop looking at the amusement world with a closed-minded enthusiast perspective. While I 100% agree with you, you also have to understand that most of the world is scared to death of roller coasters and don't understand that a "lap bar" is perfectly safe. Most amusement operators will agree with me when I say that whenever you add an inversion to a coaster, you automatically alienate a certain percentage of the population that come into your park. There are people that just refuse to go on anything that "goes upside down." So you need to do as much as you can for potential riders to feel "ok" with that.

 

The "comfort" descriptor in "comfort collar" does not necessarily mean "comfortable" as in a physical feeling, but more a state of mind. I can't tell you over the years how many times I've heard people say "The ride goes upside down and has just a lap bar??? That's not safe!!!!"

 

So perhaps Busch Gardens felt that for their demographic they needed something to make people feel more secure, even though it's just smoke in mirrors.

 

Of course, the person who said "this story wouldn't happen if they weren't there" is also correct, but like they say, hindsight is 20/20....

 

To add to this, if amusement parks built rides with only enthusiasts in mind, very few would survive.

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Oh, I totally understand why the comfort collars are there, but it doesn't change my opinion on them. With this making the news, it only makes them seem worse. I can't believe it took this long to make the news actually (even though this isn't news).

 

Before these news headlines broke, while at the park I have heard multiple people saying that their "restraint came undone during the ride" around the park, have seen a train come in the station where someone's was completely undone, and one of my friends' has also come undone. Not only that, but I had seen a few Facebook posts about it.

 

Now that the headlines have broke through the local news outlets, dozens of people are saying it has happened to them in the comments sections and other forums.

 

If the whole purpose of these comfort collars are to 'comfort' riders, then they should at least 'comfort' riders and not come undone. I know they're the most pointless restraints ever, but if mine ever came undone on the ride I'd even find it rather uncomfortable that the restraints were flying into my face. If the park is going to keep them, they need to be fixed. With this happening to who knows how many riders, I'm sure the park knows about the issue and is working with Premier for a solution.

 

At the current moment with word getting around, I bet these restraints are actually keeping more people away from riding the ride rather than convincing them to ride the ride...

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^I haven't ridden it, but can you undo those "comfort" collars just like you can undo a normal seatbelt during the ride? If so, I do find it a bit odd that something mainly built for providing the riders "comfort" can easily turn into something that will make them panic, no matter how useless they are.

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So today is the 17th anniversary of Drachen Fire closing, and it makes me wonder when BGW is going to build something permanent back there? I feel like the site has been the parks utility closet for a decade and a half, being used as everything from literal storage to a concert grounds, and of course Hallowscream (although the maintenance bay is not used for anything related to the public that I know of).

 

We now have 3 new coasters in the park since that lot opened up (all blue btw, I wonder if that's someone's favorite color?) and several new medium rides. I wonder if we ever are going to see something permanent go there? They've certainly had plenty of opportunity.

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