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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 445 - Busch Gardens' Mardi Gras Celebration

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It's close between the 2 coasters. While I love the helix and 2 bunny hills at the end of Nitro, I could almost fall asleep on the first half of the coaster. ...very average. While Apollo I feel is slightly above average for most of the ride. Both are good coasters IMO, but not top 25 worthy. I think Goliath (SFOG) and Diamondback are both better, while Raging Bull and Intimidator bring up the rear when it comes to the U.S. B&M hypers.

 

I give the edge to Nitro over Apollo's Chariot, but it's pretty close.

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Halloween Harvest, or “Howl-o-Scream Lite.” Busch Gardens is sticking with its “reservations only/limited attendance” events with Halloween Harvest during October. This is sort of “Howl-o-Scream

Before this thread derails off course into a COVID discussion, I’ll just keep it simple:  everyone should follow their state and local guidelines.  This isn’t something up for debate on TPR. Now

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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Maybe I caught Apollo on a good day, but I thought it hauled A$$ much more than Nitro

 

You must have. Nitro consistently provides stellar airtime for me (especially the hill after the hammerhead). If the mid brake didn't trim at all there would be ejector on the last hops on nitro. Having ridden apollo my whole life, I can say that unless you are in the very back row, the airtime and overall intensity tend to be very mild.

 

Also everyone raves about the one banked hill on apollos chariot, am I the only one who thinks nitros diving hills are deserve just as much if not more credit? Especially that first diving hill, it's such a high bank and a steep descent.

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BGW would be great with a woodie, but until Kingsmill goes away, or they invent a quieter wooden coaster, it won't happen. It's probably why there's no coaster on the DF site; they got constant noise complaints from morning testing, and even changed the rollback to be silent after the 1992 season.

 

That said, you know what might be considered acceptable noise wise? An RMC!

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Its ridicolous how they can't have a traditional wooden coaster in an historic tourist area. I get the noise complaints (actually, I think that theyre just stupid, but I'll give Kingsmilk a break for trying to preserve a peaceful enviroment), but it would be nothing short of celebrating the history of roller coasters to build a traditional woodie. After all, they didn't have all the steel back in Colonial Times, but they surely had lumber.

 

If BGW can afford to sand fill (or so I would assume they did) three B&M then they can afford an RMC.

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Tempesto isn't necessarily a quiet ride, it has a distinctive roar you can hear throughout the parking lot. If BGW can get away with that, they can certainly install an RMC. Though, the newer RMC trains they build themselves are quite temperamental and can make loud squeaking and grinding noises at times.

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^ the rollbacks are extemely loud on Arrows, but that didn't stop BGW from modifying Drachen Fire to be completely silent. If Busch wanted to ask a manufacturer for quiet trains with quiet rollbacks, I bet they'd get what they want. BGW has a very long tradition of insisting on non-traditional modifications to rides during the design process.

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I've never understood noise complaints with theme parks. They really are not THAT loud! And most of the "noise" is during the day time. Highways and railways are way louder and you don't hear people complaining about living near those! Ugh. Yuppies.

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I've never understood noise complaints with theme parks. They really are not THAT loud! And most of the "noise" is during the day time. Highways and railways are way louder and you don't hear people complaining about living near those! Ugh. Yuppies.

 

Actually, people do complain about noise from highways.

 

www.santacruzsentinel.com/general-news/20150514/traffic-noise-complaints-heads-off-may-stop-highway-85-toll-lanes

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^ Not to mention the anti-rollback is quite loud on rmcs.

It's really not (although I'm talking about IBox). I've had conversations in quiet voices on RMC lift hills. At SFOT, I could hear Titan's lift hill from NTaG's lift hill. B&M, Arrow, and Vekoma are all much louder (although Vekoma isn't really from the lift hills).

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^ Not to mention the anti-rollback is quite loud on rmcs.

It's really not (although I'm talking about IBox). I've had conversations in quiet voices on RMC lift hills. At SFOT, I could hear Titan's lift hill from NTaG's lift hill. B&M, Arrow, and Vekoma are all much louder (although Vekoma isn't really from the lift hills).

I don't remember Goliath at SFGAm being loud either, but that could just be because I was so excited and full of anticipation as I was on it that I wouldn't notice that type of thing.

 

If Busch can have an Arrow, then an RMC lift hill wouldn't be a problem.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a trip report from the Busch Gardens Bier Fest for those interested. Got a chance to hit this up with my partner and meet up with his son, daughter in law and grand-kids on a return trip from Myrtle Beach.

 

Other than not understanding why they wouldn't have had the German Oom-Pah band in Festhaus versus over by Mach Tower, the festival itself was great! We were able to get on all of the coasters with very little (if any) wait and then do the beer sampling before the rain and storms arrived later in the afternoon.

 

I believe that this was their first Bier Fest, so would assume that based on the amount of people that seemed there mostly for this event, that it will continue to expand and improve in the coming years!

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A good sign when you arrive around 10:15 and there are only front row riders on Apollo's Chariot!

 

We rode three times in a row without a wait.

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Welcome to heaven's gate!

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Here is the hoppy beer selection (my favorite) including Western NY made Southern Tier IPA representing...I could literally walk to this brewery from my house!

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Nice to see my hometown beer spreading it's goodness across America!

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Although an eye chart, here are the Oktoberfest beers (mostly variations of Spaten).

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Here is the stand in front of Festhaus.

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This was the brat-wrapped in a pretzel - it was just okay.

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The Jagerschnitzel on a stick was the way to go...it was so good that I never even got a photo before I ate it all!

 

If I wouldn't have been so full from this and the pretzel, I would have loved to have tried the Kloepse!

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My only gripe about the fest...country music in Festhaus? Really?

 

Even the singer said, "Only in America could you get hillbilly music in a German Festhaus". So true...

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Here is the sampler card you get for $20.

 

Kind of pricey for 3-4 oz samples...but it was beer and it was good beer, so no complaints whatsoever.

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The big surprise for me was the Shock Top Twisted Pretzel Wheat. I am not a fan of wheat beers for the most part, but this was originally awesome as it not only smelled like pretzels, it tasted somewhat like them too!

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Liked the German outfits that the servers were wearing.

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Said Pretzel Wheat.

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Not sure how many Americans are familiar with real German Schnaps, but this describes the differences.

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Another surprise hit for me was the Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. I can do some dark beers, but this stuff was like eating a Reese's!

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Local Firkins from Virginia breweries.

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These are in the barrels.

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Poor Oom-Pah band had to play 2nd fiddle to a country band over by Mach Tower - fail.

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Here is the Schnaps tasting area. You could not try these with the punch card. They were extra, but having already tasted authentic German Schnaps while in Germany, I saved my money.

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Alpengeist was a walk-on...rode it twice with no wait. One of the top B&M inverts, IMO.

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Can't wait to see one of these at CP next year. My favorite coaster at BGW!

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The park is getting all decked out for their Halloween event.

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Wish I could come back for this, but I know someone will post a trip report, right? :-)

 

Thanks for reading!

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I've never understood noise complaints with theme parks. They really are not THAT loud! And most of the "noise" is during the day time. Highways and railways are way louder and you don't hear people complaining about living near those! Ugh. Yuppies.

 

Devils advocate: actually the "worst" noise comes early in the morning. At BGW the green-taggers (graveyard shift maintence staff that certify the ride to open, literally every single day the park is open) start work around 3am. As far as coasters go, they usually start by looking over the trains, then walking the lifts/brake runs to check lightbulbs, PA systems, and ride phones (there's usually 2-3 phones per lift or brake area, and phones at many service gates to enter a restricted area, all of which must be tested daily), the cameras, etc, as well as inspect the lift chains and grease wells etc. Depending on the ride, they might start moving trains as early as 4:30-5am, and usually 7am at the latest. When it's the dead of night or early in the morning, and everything is still and quiet, if you live within 10 miles of BGW, you will be able to hear noise. I remember coming in to open wolf when I worked there, and from all the way back in Oktoberfest, I could hear LNM testing/the music from Scotland playing, since the music in Germany wasn't on yet. I've also heard the Alpengeist "track tones" from outside the park's boarders when arriving in the morning.

 

When Drachen Fire was there, they got SO many complaints to the city/police in 1992 from morning testing, they actually re-designed the anti rollback device to make it silent. Also, the "track tone" spiels which play over the ride area track for all coasters are designed to be so loud that they can be clearly heard when the park is open, and bustling with guests/moving rides. However, when it's 5am and everything is still/quiet, they can be heard vividly from well outside the park.

 

BGW of course is interested in being good neighbors, so they design their green tagging to make the "loud" parts as late in the morning as possible, but they need to open on time, and at peak, the park opens pretty early.

 

Now, with all that said, I feel like moving in next to a theme park and complaining about noise is about as silly as moving in next to an airport and complaining about the sound of planes landing (as in, you knew the noise would be there before you moved in, so don't live there if you don't like it), but again to play devils advocate, I think they are THAT loud, and the worst of the noise comes between 6-9am. I can just imagine some poor sap buying a house in November for some reason, not realizing what they were getting into, then being shocked when spring rolls around

 

Again though, why move within earshot of a theme park if you are looking for peace and quiet?

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Thanks for the Bier Fest report. I had commitments both weekends and couldn't attend, but definitely will next year (I hope they expand it).

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Thanks for the Bier Fest report. I had commitments both weekends and couldn't attend, but definitely will next year (I hope they expand it).

 

When I saw that you were at WCB my first thought was "Chuck might not have had a chance to get to Bier Fest to do a trip report so I guess that I will have to bite the bullet and post my photos instead."

 

I always look forward to your trip reports with your funny captions...as do many others. Hope to see one for the Halloween event!

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