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P. 452 - Busch Gardens Summer Nights

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Came across this post via Consumerist:

 

http://www.13newsnow.com/story/features/2015/10/19/chesapeake-man-denied-entrance-to-busch-gardens-for-attire/74211046/

Kilt-wearing man denied entrance to Busch Gardens

 

A Norfolk man claims he was denied entry at Busch Gardens for wearing a kilt.

 

According to Hex Nottingham, Busch Gardens employees told him he could not wear a "costume" inside the park at Howl-O-Scream.

 

"I've been a customer for decades and a regular pass holder, and this has left a terrible stain on the honour of my culture as well as my ethnic pride," says Nottingham.

 

The following is the official costume policy for Busch Gardens:

 

"For the safety of our guests and performers, we do not allow costumes in the park any time of the year, but especially not during Howl-O-Scream.

 

This policy is in place to ensure the safety of guests and team members who want a safe and enjoyable experience. The park does not wish to alienate anyone who wears traditional clothing representing their culture or heritage. However, if the clothing could confuse guests into thinking the wearer is part of the official Howl-O-Scream experience then we will not allow it in the park."

 

Before leaving the park, Nottingham recorded a video of himself and posted it to Facebook. He also formally wrote to Busch Gardens in hopes of getting answers to his complaint.

 

There's also a video on the click-through.

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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

^^Hmm--I think your assumption is correct.  @Mike240SX I'm certainly not expecting "full operations" before Memorial Day Weekend, which isn't unusual (for example, they usually don' t start operating

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

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Came across this post via Consumerist:

 

http://www.13newsnow.com/story/features/2015/10/19/chesapeake-man-denied-entrance-to-busch-gardens-for-attire/74211046/

Kilt-wearing man denied entrance to Busch Gardens

 

A Norfolk man claims he was denied entry at Busch Gardens for wearing a kilt.

 

According to Hex Nottingham, Busch Gardens employees told him he could not wear a "costume" inside the park at Howl-O-Scream.

 

"I've been a customer for decades and a regular pass holder, and this has left a terrible stain on the honour of my culture as well as my ethnic pride," says Nottingham.

 

The following is the official costume policy for Busch Gardens:

 

"For the safety of our guests and performers, we do not allow costumes in the park any time of the year, but especially not during Howl-O-Scream.

 

This policy is in place to ensure the safety of guests and team members who want a safe and enjoyable experience. The park does not wish to alienate anyone who wears traditional clothing representing their culture or heritage. However, if the clothing could confuse guests into thinking the wearer is part of the official Howl-O-Scream experience then we will not allow it in the park."

 

Before leaving the park, Nottingham recorded a video of himself and posted it to Facebook. He also formally wrote to Busch Gardens in hopes of getting answers to his complaint.

 

There's also a video on the click-through.

 

 

 

This guy's garb might've been a problem a few years back at Howl-o-Scream. One of the TERROR-tories was "The Moor," and it was haunted by big Scottish warriors in kilts.

 

I hope he enjoys his 15 minutes of fame.

Edited by cfc
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Update to the "Kilt Controversy" from the park's Facebook page:

 

There has been some debate on our Facebook pages about distinguishing true costumes vs. attire worn for cultural reasons. Our theme parks are inclusive and welcoming to guests of all cultures. We must adhere to a strict no-costume policy during our Halloween events to ensure guest safety, but we also recognize and accept guests wearing traditional clothing that represent their heritage. That differentiation can sometimes be subjective, as with this instance.

We regret any confusion this has caused, and have clarified that kilts are permitted in our parks during these special events, just as they are on a typical day. We welcome our kilt-wearing friends out to enjoy Howl-O-Scream.

 

But ye better be wearin' something under your sporran, laddie.

 

And in other news (also from the park's Facebook page):

 

Dear Italian lovers, Howl-O-Scream will be the last time you'll be able to enjoy the restaurant in Italy as it is now. We're revamping it and turning it into something spectacular next spring. Be on the look out for insider updates.

 

The word is that they're switching from the old cafeteria set up to a "marketplace," which will offer Italian, Mediterranean, and Asian entrees (in honor of Italian explorer Marco Polo's trip to China). Sound good to me--we'll see how it turns out next season.

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Any idea of what the crowds should be like on the last day for HOS, Nov 1st? I'm planning on making a trip somewhere and ride some coasters before the season ends. I plan to do some houses as well, if the crowds aren't bad.

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^That's a good question. In the past, HOS has ended earlier than November 1. I'm thinking it'll be fairly busy, but not outrageous.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can anyone tell me how crowded/busy BGE will be on opening day of Christmastown? Hubby and I are passing through and thought we'd stop to check it out on Black Friday. Hope everyone will be shopping so we'll have the park to ourselves.

 

TIA!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Speaking of BGW's holiday event . . .

 

Christmas Town 2015

 

I missed the opening weekend of Christmas Town this year because I was celebrating Thanksgiving with friends in western North Carolina. It was unseasonably warm and dry in the Smokies most of the weekend (rain didn't roll in until Sunday), and you could walk around in shirtsleeves as temps hit the low 60s during the afternoon. I understand the same was true in Williamsburg that weekend.

 

That was not the case last Friday night when I visited Christmas Town for the first time this year. Yes, it was definitely Christmas cold after the sun went down and the thermometer dipped to the high 30s. But that's good. It merely adds to the festive atmosphere when you can see your own breath.

 

The park was pretty busy that night; this Sunday is the the annual Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg, so there are a lot of tourists in town, and BGW was using all its parking lots except for the overflow lots down on Rt. 60. Still, it was pretty manageable, even though I was "run over" by some poor old lady on an ECV. As usual, the park was beautifully decorated, with Holiday HIlls (Festa Italia) and the Polar Pathway (Escape from Pompeii) standing out. There were two big changes this year:

 

  • 1. No live-penguin walk-through exhibit (although you can still get your photo with a guy in a penguin suit over by Apollo's Chariot); and
    2. Twas that Night, a new ice show starring Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko, in the outdoor theatre in France (this explains what happened to the penguins--they used to be in the theatre's backstage area).

 

I'm not a big fan of ice shows, but I checked out Twas that Night because it's new for this year. It's a version of the classic poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (aka, "Twas the Night Before Christmas"), with a some of the Nutcracker thrown in. Elvis and his family return from shopping, the kids go to bed and dream up "visions of sugar plums" (the Nutcracker bit), Elvis gets into a "dance off" with Santa, and the kids wake up and open gifts. The show is pretty well staged (Santa has a good entrance), and they even throw in a bit of pyro. All in all, a good Christmas show and a nice fit for BGW's Christmas Town audience. Still, for my money, Scrooge No More (Globe Theatre) is the best show (I'm a sucker for Christmas Carol adaptations). Gloria (Abbeystone Theatre), Miracles (San Marco Theatre), Deck the Halls (Festhaus), and O Tannenbaum (in front of the Festhaus) are running this year, too. Quick Queue is available for shows (and Santa), you can still enjoy a nice turkey dinner at Santa's Fireside Feast in Ireland, and reserved seating is available in the Festhaus for Deck the Halls.

 

Here's a bit of O Tannenbaum.

 

[fbvideonew]https://www.facebook.com/chuck.campbell.37/videos/1080946868590824/[/fbvideonew]

 

The only coaster running during Christmas Town is Verbolten (temperature permitting), and I think all the flat rides were running, too (Forest of Fun is closed). I know that I'll be going back to partake of more of the park's great Christmas fare.

 

Here's a look at Christmas Town 2015.

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Hard to believe that Christmas Town is seven years old this year. It really has become a tradition in Williamsburg.

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If these snowflakes were real, they'd cut you in half as they fell.

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The traditional Christmas Town tree . . .

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. . . with really big balls.

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Hmm--have to check these out sometime.

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Nothing says "Christmas" like a wagon full of salt, tomatoes, and squash.

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Cheesesteak sandwiches are, it seems, "traditional Christmas fare."

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This friendly fellow will be happy to serve you a nice Sam Adams Fezziwig Ale or Blue Moon Gingerbread-Spiced Beer at Cobblestone Ale & Spirits. He has some other very nice adult beverages, too.

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Instead of the big snowflakes hanging over Scotland as in past years, the park is using these snow globes with "holographic" snow flakes in them. They look much nicer in person.

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But they're still having a "Blue Christmas" in Scotland.

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"Sit on me! I dare you!"

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The Claus exhorts his followers to kneel before his majesty on the Polar Pathway.

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I really like these golden Christmas trees on the path to San Marco. They smell great, too.

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One of the prettiest sights at Christmas Town.

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This food stand was all themed up as the Crow's Nest Grill for Howl-o-Scream but was never open. Well, you can get a nice sausage-and-peppers sandwich there during Christmas Town.

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"Enjoy Me-mas Town!"

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"No one ever talks about me during Christmas."

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"Oh, Joesph sweetie, don't be so whiny. Why don't you go to the nice store next door . . .

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. . . and get us all some nice cookies, and maybe a little wine?"

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Gunther loves Christmas, and I hear that he and Gerta are offering special rates on car rentals in Germany. Of course, you may take an unexpected detour and never return, but what a bargain.

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Let's see what's happening over at the Festhaus.

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Well, there is "Deck the Halls," . . .

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. . . but I'm here for a roast sirloin sandwich and a glass of Fat Tire Accumulation White IPA

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They've gussied up the model train set in the Germany gift shop.

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Not for sale, of course, but it looks cool.

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Don't worry--there are plenty of other ways to spend your money here.

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For someone on your "sort of naughty" list.

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Nothing says "holiday cheer" more that glasses for booze.

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For the person who has everything--a Shamu nutcracker.

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Don't forget the oh-so-sexy leopard-trimmed caps.

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It's definitely getting colder . . .

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. . . and no wonder!

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"Die the Death of a 1,000 Antler Pokes, elf scum!"

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"Oh, boy, Santa's gotta use the little elves room bad!"

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"I will bide my time, then strike in the name of my true master, the Ice Cream Bunny! Hur, hur, hur!" (That joke was for all the Rifftrax fans out there.) More to come.

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I know that you're all dying to see pictures of the ice show. Soon your wish will be granted!

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One of the great ironies of Christmas Town--both the Alpengeist Ski Mart and the ride itself are closed.

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They like their lights to be colorful in Germany.

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Any more colors, and they would induce seizures.

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"You know, this fiddle-and-banjo Christmas music in fine and all, but I really wish they'd play some Rush, eh?"

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France puts on a "mini-version" of "O Tannenbaum" using "The 12 Days of Christmas."

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OK, bundle up. It's going to be a very chilly show.

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First, we get "comic-relief, audience-warm-up guy."

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Elivs has entered the building.

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Where's child protective services when you need them?

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And now a new episode of "Elvis Stojko: Skating PI." (O, god, I hope I didn't give them any ideas.)

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More comic relief from the tense dramatics of the story line.

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Time for beautiful Christmas dreams . . .

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. . . or some nightmare fuel.

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Beware the power of "Captain Manspreader"!

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OK, who dreamed up what appears to be a giant hedgehog?

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Oh, get a room, you two!

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Oh no! Santa fell right through his sleigh! Not even the Ice Cream Bunny can save him now!

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Thank god he has hot reindeer lackeys!

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Seriously, the Santa-and-his-reindeer bit was the best part of the show--very nicely done.

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"Ho, ho, ho! Santa's got your silver medals right here, Elvis!"

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Aw, somebody got a puppy! All in all, a pretty good show that families and figure-skating fans will enjoy.

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Down the path to Ireland . . .

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. . . and over to Holiday Hills.

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"I . . . SEE . . . YOU!"

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They did a nice job theming up the Tempesto shop to Christmas.

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I really like the "old-school" vibe of Holiday Hills.

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"Make way! Make way for the Claus, mortal scum!"

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Oh that Santa . . . always getting coked up at Christmas.

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"Ho, ho, ho! See those angels? They all work for me now!"

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Time to head home . . .

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. . . especially since I owe Scrooge money! Be very quiet as I sneak by his office.

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I'll leave you with this. I don't know what's going on, but the elf on the bottom seems to be enjoying it a bit too much. Merry Christmas!

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Thanks for the report, Chuck!

 

Christmas Town looks like it keeps getting better every year. Now if they could open up a few more coasters, that would be uber nice. I have never been on any of the coasters at BGW at night and would imagine that any of them would be a blast - especially in the colder weather.

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Loved all the photos, and I really loved the captions.

 

. . . with really big balls.

 

"Sit on me! I dare you!"

 

. . . Of course, you may take an unexpected detour and never return, but what a bargain.

 

Thanks for all the great photos, and the laughs!

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Christmas Town looks like it keeps getting better every year. Now if they could open up a few more coasters, that would be uber nice. I have never been on any of the coasters at BGW at night and would imagine that any of them would be a blast - especially in the colder weather.

 

Couldn't agree more. Christmas Town is great, but it would be nice to open another coaster or two like Nessie or Alpengeist, especially since it's already snow themed. I guess the lack of coasters being open is due to maintenance, weather and staffing so it's kinda understandable. I went to Christmas Town last year and was able to marathon Verbolten since it was raining and it was a complete walk-on. The Christmas trees at the bottom of the last drop was a nice touch as well.

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Christmas Town looks like it keeps getting better every year. Now if they could open up a few more coasters, that would be uber nice. I have never been on any of the coasters at BGW at night and would imagine that any of them would be a blast - especially in the colder weather.

 

Couldn't agree more. Christmas Town is great, but it would be nice to open another coaster or two like Nessie or Alpengeist, especially since it's already snow themed. I guess the lack of coasters being open is due to maintenance, weather and staffing so it's kinda understandable. I went to Christmas Town last year and was able to marathon Verbolten since it was raining and it was a complete walk-on. The Christmas trees at the bottom of the last drop was a nice touch as well.

 

The ultimate irony: I was at Busch Gardens one spring day when it actually snowed. Alpengeist, the ski-area-chair-lift-themed coaster, couldn't run then, either, thanks to the weather. B&Ms, I understand, can't be operated when the temperature is under 42 degrees.

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SFGA has 5 of their 6 B&M's running right now (not running Bizarro b/c that portion of the park isn't open for their Holiday in the Park)....and it was in the 30's last night!

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Yeah parks seem to differ slightly on the limit. For example BGW is 42, Dollywood won't start the coasters if it's above 40 and will run them until it's below 36 and Carowinds won't start most of their coasters below 40.

 

But yeah at Great Adventure they won't even let 30 degree temps rain (or I guess snow) on their B&M parade. And the best part was that not only were the coasters running but they were filling trains. The coasters were running great too, Nitro's trims were still hitting even at the end of the night which they don't always do on cold / windy days and Batman was (obviously) tearing through the course all day.

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On the snowy day I mentioned, the only coasters operating were the Big Bad Wolf and Loch Ness Monster. People were riding the Escape from Pompeii, too.

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I dug up a few photos from that snowy day.

Alpie.JPG.b6cb123591f2e6af061482df3d163478.JPG

No skiing today due to snow.

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Yep--Le Scoot is open.

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First you're hot, then you're very cold.

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The Big Bad Wolf doesn't care about a little snow!

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