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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 445 - Busch Gardens' Mardi Gras Celebration

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Can we all agree that Darkastle is an amazing ride?

 

Yes. If it were at Disney or Universal it would be terrible but for a regional, seasonal park that ride is top notch.

 

so what exactly counts as a "regional" park?

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Let the Good Times Roll: Mardi Gras Celebration at Busch Gardens It's cold and gloomy outside my window today, so it's a good thing that I chose yesterday to check out Busch Gardens' version of M

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^ glad you liked it! Unfortunately, AC is running sluggish this year for some reason. It seems to be less forceful with less air time, and I'm scratching my head head as to how that's even possible. Alpengeist hauls this season, so glad you got to enjoy it! I'm jealous of your summer by the way!

 

I didn't rate AC whatsoever when I visited BGW two years ago. It's probably the poorest of the B&M Mega/Hyper coasters I have done, out of 7.

 

Do love this park though... truly beautiful! One of my favourites for sure.

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^Yes, you'll find visitors from other countries at Busch Gardens. But don't forget that the park is located in a busy tourist area that includes Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and other attractions. Many visitors to this part of Virginia hail from nearby states and DC. There's an active local base of passholders, too.

 

That being said, Busch Gardens is a major tourism asset for southeastern Virginia.

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yeah thats why i dont really see busch gardens as a regional park

 

I'd say that the majority of visitors do come from the Mid-Atlantic region: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and West Virginia. But it's a fairly large region.

Edited by cfc
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yeah thats why i dont really see busch gardens as a regional park

It depends on your basis of comparison. If you are comparing Busch Gardens Williamsburg to much larger tourist destinations like Orlando, Las Vegas, or New York City, then Busch Gardens is more of a regional park.

 

Chuck can probably answer this better, but I'm sure the Williamsburg area falls somewhere in between. I'm guessing that the majority of tourists to the Williamsburg area are ones that are driving in from a state or few away, and less people that are flying in across the country or the world as a "destination" like the would be the markets I mentioned above.

 

But I could be wrong. I don't know the tourism demographic in the area that well.

 

EDIT: And I see that he already got to the answer!

Edited by robbalvey
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^I think "in-between" is a pretty good way to describe Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I've lived in this area since the mid-1980s, and it has evolved since then from a "summer only" attraction. No, it's not a major "destination" park like WDW or Universal, but thanks to events like Howl-o-Scream and Christmas Town, it has "grown up" a bit from its regional/seasonal roots.

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As Chuck said, BGW is primarily a regional crowd. The park is located in a much more highly populated area than Kings Dominion yet only gets a crowd of 2.7 million while KD pulls in about 2.2-2.3 a year... BGW also opens up two weeks prior to KD, is open 2 weeks for Spring Break, and is open a whole extra month and a half for ChristmasTown compared to Kings Dominion.

 

While there are those who travel long ways to the area for Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown and such who do go to the park, they only make up a very small percentage of the park goers.

 

I'd consider parks like Cedar Point and HersheyPark more 'national destination' parks than BGW.

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^^I think I only ever rode Drachen Fire once. I definitely remember feeling a bit headachey after but I never developed a full-on hatred for it. I don't remember my one ride very well so I kind of wish I could ride it again with my "enthusiast" glasses on.

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^The results of my first ride on Drachen Fire, before they reprofiled it, were a nasty headache, nausea, and huge bruises on either shoulder.

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cfc (or anybody else who knows), did they re-profile it before the 1994 season, or after the 1994 season? I've never been clear on that. That was the year I rode it, FWIW...

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Was that corkscrew particularly bad compared to the rest of the ride, since that was the only part modified? Or was there any other reasons on addition to roughness?

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off season of 1994-95 they removed the 1st corkscrew and replaced it with the "exit ramp"

 

Thanks for the clarification, and for those comparison pictures! So I did ride it in its original form then! Good to know! My memories of it, besides enjoying it a ton (it was my favorite ride there after that visit), are basically just that awesome first drop/inversion, and lots of going upside down!

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It looks so wonky. Looks worse then a bent coat hanger lol. Looks bad in a good way lol

 

You're right, it does look screwed up! But my dad and I loved the ride, and rode it twice (which was a big deal back then in my non-enthusiast days!) My brother, however, rode it that first time (sitting right next to me), and hated it because it was "too rough". My dad and I thought he was nuts. It looks like he was right, however!

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off season of 1994-95 they removed the 1st corkscrew and replaced it with the "exit ramp"

 

Thanks for sharing those pics PianoJohn, they were great.

 

JEFF

 

 

Oh my...that sudden change in direction after the loop. I can only imagine your head against the OTSR's during that!

 

Thank you for both sharing these photos!!!

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