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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 468: Loch Ness Monster Media Day Report

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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.

 

I swear I've seen this exact post a few pages back.

 

did I dream it?

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My wife and I took a two day trip to the park Wednesday and Thursday. My usual skeptical, hard to please, and generally grumpy self was absolutely floored by this park. I'd say out of the 20 parks I've been to, including honorable mentions such as SFMM (dump), BG Africa (vintage), and Cedar Point, this was the best all around park/experience I've ever had. Thanks for the suggestions when planning my trip. We ended up doing KD first and BGW 2nd and making it a two day park. I feel almost guilty, because we didn't see any of colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown, as we had originally planned, but my wife and I had no desire to leave this incredible park. The highlight of this trip was supposed to be I305 for me... that turned out to be very far from reality.

 

I'll try to get an in depth TR and pictures up later today or tomorrow.

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My wife and I took a two day trip to the park Wednesday and Thursday. My usual skeptical, hard to please, and generally grumpy self was absolutely floored by this park. I'd say out of the 20 parks I've been to, including honorable mentions such as SFMM (dump), BG Africa (vintage), and Cedar Point, this was the best all around park/experience I've ever had. Thanks for the suggestions when planning my trip. We ended up doing KD first and BGW 2nd and making it a two day park. I feel almost guilty, because we didn't see any of colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown, as we had originally planned, but my wife and I had no desire to leave this incredible park. The highlight of this trip was supposed to be I305 for me... that turned out to be very far from reality.

 

I'll try to get an in depth TR and pictures up later today or tomorrow.

 

^THIS

 

As much as I love Cedar Point, and am nostalgic about it from my childhood, BGW simply dominates in every aspect of the amusement park going experience, from great coasters (even if there aren't as many of them) to beautiful theming/environment, friendly customer service, and better than average food opions. It is an enchanting place, and I truly regret that I haven't been able to make it out there for many years. Soon, soon...

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Considering Root of All Evil and 13: Your Numbers Up aren't listed on the HOS website I definitely believe we'll be seeing one or even both of them replaced. I doubt we'll see a new Terror-tory this season as they got Wendigo Woods last year and all of them are listed on the website as if they're coming back.

 

It sure seems like Catacombs and Bitten have been at the park forever... I hope they get freshened up or a new twist to them this season as they've really been lacking the past several seasons.

 

Even though Root of All Evil lacked in scares I did appreciate the unique theme for a park haunt.

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My wife and I took a two day trip to the park Wednesday and Thursday. My usual skeptical, hard to please, and generally grumpy self was absolutely floored by this park. I'd say out of the 20 parks I've been to, including honorable mentions such as SFMM (dump), BG Africa (vintage), and Cedar Point, this was the best all around park/experience I've ever had. Thanks for the suggestions when planning my trip. We ended up doing KD first and BGW 2nd and making it a two day park. I feel almost guilty, because we didn't see any of colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown, as we had originally planned, but my wife and I had no desire to leave this incredible park. The highlight of this trip was supposed to be I305 for me... that turned out to be very far from reality.

 

I'll try to get an in depth TR and pictures up later today or tomorrow.

 

My guess is that I305 was way too intense for you and you preferred the more gentle coasters at BGW.....

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^Or maybe he was more blown away by BGW's overall experience than over one roller coaster...

 

overall experience meaning what

 

People look for different things from theme-park visits. Let's not turn this thread into a "BGW vs. KD" fan argument, please.

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The whole park in general, perhaps? Quality of rides, shows, food and atmosphere. Don't get me wrong I love roller coasters as much as anyone else here but if I'm taking a trip to some parks for the first time I'm usually focused on the park experience than the roller coasters. This is BGW we're talking about, one of the the best theme parks in the U.S. So it's honestly no surprise to hear another first timer how much this park exceeded their expectations.

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If you liked the park that much now, you should have visited back in 2009 before 'weird' things started happening! I'm excited to hear your full trip reports on the parks - it sounds like you had a pretty good time!

 

PS: Sorry you had to witness the beautiful Italy/San Marco areas decked out in cheesy Walmart 4th of July decorations.

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^ Just out of curiosity, what "weird things?" I've been going to the park since I was a small child, and on my most recent trip in May, I didn't notice too much changed about it. Hallowscream has been around since the late 90s. They've always done something for the 4th, and the decorations have been all over the park for the 4th since 2002. The only other new thing I can think of is the wine and cheese festival, which fits the dynamic of the park pretty well (and though I've never been, I've heard the food is really quite good).

 

I mean, some of my favorite shows have been replaced with blatantly inferior ones, but that's subjective and maybe other people like them.

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If you liked the park that much now, you should have visited back in 2009 before 'weird' things started happening! I'm excited to hear your full trip reports on the parks - it sounds like you had a pretty good time!

 

PS: Sorry you had to witness the beautiful Italy/San Marco areas decked out in cheesy Walmart 4th of July decorations.

 

I do agree that it's a bit "weird" for the Star Spangled Nights celebration to be running until September 6. Illuminights was a bit odd, too, but it also provided an excuse for fireworks.

Edited by cfc
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Since 2010 SOME entertainment, food quality, general park upkeep, Summer/Halloween events, and investments have not been up to the BGW expectations that they set in the 2000's. Much of this can be blamed for the company's financial struggles, but much are just head scratchers to me.

 

Entertainment - Entwined, London Rocks, London Rocks Version 2, the slutty nurse show outcry, need I say more? I'm not even much of a Broadway critique and often find cheesy Cedar Fair shows okay to sit through but some of BGW's latest attempts have been way below their par.

 

Food Quality - Keep Food & Wine around all summer because that's the diverse type of food the park should have. The park's food selection year-round is still better than your typical amusement park food, but it has slowly diminished in my opinion. Granted, I haven't tried every dish or even place in the park, but I haven't been very impressed by the changes I have seen the past several years.

 

General park upkeep - Festa Italia is looking rough, Apollo's Chariot has needed paint for years, and just out of place additions happen all the time (that London Rocks facade is hideous). The park gets voted "Most Beautiful Park in the World" year after year (yes, we all know these are rigged by now though), but live up to the name and continue investing in upkeep, landscaping, ect. I'd love to see competition for KD's Spring Bloom something along the lines of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival mixed in with Food & Wine.

 

Summer Events - Illuminights made the park look like a high school homecoming parade for 2 months during peak season and made one of the most beautiful park's in the country look straight up trashy in some parts. Not all, but most of the shows were laughable but seemed like they were popular enough the first few years. Now with Star-Spangled Nights - it is an American themed event for a European themed park. Not only does it not make too much sense, but I could go with it if it was done nicely (same with Illuminights). Rather than putting up a Statue of Liberty, Christmas garland, cheap stands that look like shady Firework vendors in Italy find a happy alternative. I get the point of wanting a summer event to market, but maybe going with something more generic like Summer Nights at BGT is a better idea. Finally, they end these events even before saying they'll end as the park looks 100% Howl-O-Scream by Labor Day weekend anyways.

 

Howl-O-Scream - Rarely money invested in new mazes. BGT's Haunt is one of the best in the country and BGW's is slowly getting to the point where it is less scary than your local corn maze. I get that the park went through a family-friendly phase, but now that they're back going for the scares, do it well this year! As I said a page back, it seems like Bitten, Catacombs, ect. have been at the park forever - if you're going to keep them at least give them an upgrade. It hurts me to see this event weaken and Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion gets better (and foggier) every season under Cedar Fair. I have high hopes this year that it will get the two new mazes this season to replace 13 and ROAE. With the capacity struggles they have though, why not add mazes rather than have the same amount or one less than 2014?

 

Investments - Mach Tower... mechanical nightmare and has brakes halfway up the tower. Might as well be converted into an observation tower if the drop parts are what keeping this ride from being open. It's down more than Volcano at Kings Dominion - that's when you know. Verbolten was nearly 50 million dollars apparently? With a company that saw financial struggles in the beginning why on earth add a 50 million FAMILY coaster? Cheetah Hunt was just over 20 million and is a heck of a lot better family ride in my opinion - especially aesthetically. Finally, Tempesto - but everyone knows everyone's feelings towards that Six Flags clone.

 

Okay, mini-rant over. Please keep in mind I still love the park, have season-passes, and hope the company rebounds from the financial struggles it has been having. They have been doing plenty right too I might add with Christmas Town and Food & Wine. With many changes in the big-wig departments of the park, I expect this season and next season to be a time of transition, but I believe BGW will be just fine in the long run. These aren't all major problems I might add, their attendance is still great and all of these problems are just from a nitpicky enthusiast standpoint.

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^ I looked it up just to make sure - according to close sources with the park it cost $54 million total. It's an outrageous number, but I definitely believe it if you think of the site excavation that had to be done for the event building, the warehouse for the event building, the theming, and the design and engineering for the 'drop'.

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I'm currently at the park for the week. The landscaping here blows me away, but navagaiting the park is the biggest PITA. Kind of reminds me of SFMM/SFOG in terms of hills and windy paths.

 

Saturday afternoon was very light. We got on five coasters (intentionally saving Verbolten for the next night)and Griffin three times within 30 mins (twice in front, once in the back). We apso watched the fireworks from the "Verbolten" bridge.

 

Sunday was a nightmare. We spent the morning at WCUSA and the wave pool looked like World War Z. Lines at BGW were big (we ended up parking in Ireland, it was that full), but operations were freaking incredible. All trains on many coasters, including all five on Verbolten.

 

Going to keep this short (very random order):

 

Verbolten x1: Easily the best family coaster I have been on. Very fun, and more forceful than I expected. The theming is just incredible, and the station is really cool. I got a little lost before entering the first switchbacks/building, as that part of the queue (outside the fences) is really confusing. The headlights/tail lights are too freaking cool (i only rode Verbolten at night). Also for the mega-nerds, the color sequence of the five trains Sunday night was: yellow, red, orange, green, blue (tail lights on both yellow and blue, headlights only on blue). And hate me, but I prefer this over Cheetah Hunt...

 

Apollos Carrot x1: I prefer Nitro.

 

Griffy Girl x5: i took some advice and rode in the back. I cant get enough. Im going to leave for the park once again when I complete this post, and this will most likely be the most ridden coaster of the night a third time.

 

Alpengiest x1: that MCBR snap felt like every joint in that train grinded...

 

Curse of Dark Castle x1: far too loud but good. Im half deaf, so I have to save whats left...

 

Tempesto x3: Hate the trains, love the ride. I suppose most of you guys know why (hint: I rode in the back). I love the queue string lights. I am familiar with the old school Premiers (SFStL is/was my home park), but this was my first on the new gens.

 

Lochness Monster x2: back row both times. No headbanging and good airtime on the drops

 

Europe in the Air x1: ugh... Only did this to see how bad it was.

 

Worth mentioning the Skyride is very good and scenic.

 

 

Since I have so much time, I saved some rides for the rest of the week. Pompei and Mach Tower are on the list tonight, and maybe Le Scoot. These are my last of the must rides, so the rest of the week should just be marathoning good rides.

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