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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 443 - A Night at Busch Gardens' Christmas Celebration

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2) For everyone saying Alpengeist is rough, grow some balls. There's nothing rough about this ride. This is probably still our favorite coaster in the park.

 

 

I don't find Alpengeist all that rough, either.

 

 

Never have and never will understand the complaints about Alpengeist. Out of the eight years I've ridden it, I've yet to experience a rough ride on it and it still remains my favorite coaster at the park.

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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

A Night at Busch Gardens' Christmas Celebration Busch Gardens Williamsburg is pushing on with its limited attendance/reservations-only events schedule with an abridged version of their extremely

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..., but looks a little short in length, no?

 

That's what she said!

 

Personally I think this is a solid addition in terms it's something they needed. Could they have placed it elsewhere and gone bigger? Sure, but this is the first woodie in the chain since the disaster Gwazi became so maybe they're being cautious. Some of my favorite woodies are shorter in height and length. Big Dipper at GL and Blue Streak to name two, both under 3,000ft. I'll wait until we see a full layout and how it interacts with Le Scoot and the terrain before judging too much. Of course a full opinion can not be formed until I ride.

 

I still personally, all things aside would have preferred an RMC even with the same stats just because I love topper track so much!

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..., but looks a little short in length, no?

 

That's what she said!

 

Personally I think this is a solid addition in terms it's something they needed. Could they have placed it elsewhere and gone bigger? Sure, but this is the first woodie in the chain since the disaster Gwazi became so maybe they're being cautious. Some of my favorite woodies are shorter in height and length. Big Dipper at GL and Blue Streak to name two, both under 3,000ft. I'll wait until we see a full layout and how it interacts with Le Scoot and the terrain before judging too much. Of course a full opinion can not be formed until I ride.

 

I still personally, all things aside would have preferred an RMC even with the same stats just because I love topper track so much!

 

I honestly thought they would go with the mini layout RMC released recently.

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I wish they would have gone with a Gravity Group compact coaster or the new RMC family-sized coaster concept. I thought Wooden Warrior was a lot better and more forceful than any GCI coaster I've experienced. But I think this is a decent addition, and I'm sure it will be a great ride, and it may surprise us. GCI has come a long way over the years.

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This announcement forces me to the conclusion that Busch Gardens has gone a little soft. If you compare the Alpengeist / Apollo's Chariot / Griffon era to the Air Grover / Verbolten / Tempesto / small-but-still-not-a-42"-height-requirement-GCI era, it seems like the chain has taken a large step backwards in regards to making thrilling, well-themed, compelling rides and stories. Everything is much more generic now, in ride type and story. And I think the same can be said for BGT (though at least Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse are really well-themed).

 

I mean, I actually like GCI in general, and think that Thunderhead, Prowler, and Gold Striker are world class - but this doesn't appear to measure up. It's like the park tried to check two boxes in one (thrill ride and family ride) and as a result kind of missed the mark on both.

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^How do you know it will not be well themed?

 

Well one crucial mistake with the theming is that the Vikings were in the New World about 600 years before the French were.

So a Viking and French Trapper would never run into each other.

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This announcement forces me to the conclusion that Busch Gardens has gone a little soft. If you compare the Alpengeist / Apollo's Chariot / Griffon era to the Air Grover / Verbolten / Tempesto / small-but-still-not-a-42"-height-requirement-GCI era, it seems like the chain has taken a large step backwards in regards to making thrilling, well-themed, compelling rides and stories. Everything is much more generic now, in ride type and story. And I think the same can be said for BGT (though at least Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse are really well-themed).

 

I mean, I actually like GCI in general, and think that Thunderhead, Prowler, and Gold Striker are world class - but this doesn't appear to measure up. It's like the park tried to check two boxes in one (thrill ride and family ride) and as a result kind of missed the mark on both.

 

Verbolten is the best themed coaster in the US!

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2) For everyone saying Alpengeist is rough, grow some balls. There's nothing rough about this ride. This is probably still our favorite coaster in the park.

 

 

I don't find Alpengeist all that rough, either.

 

 

Never have and never will understand the complaints about Alpengeist. Out of the eight years I've ridden it, I've yet to experience a rough ride on it and it still remains my favorite coaster at the park.

 

In the middle-back rows, it hurts A LOT on the Cobra Roll and MCBR.

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This announcement forces me to the conclusion that Busch Gardens has gone a little soft. If you compare the Alpengeist / Apollo's Chariot / Griffon era to the Air Grover / Verbolten / Tempesto / small-but-still-not-a-42"-height-requirement-GCI era, it seems like the chain has taken a large step backwards in regards to making thrilling, well-themed, compelling rides and stories. Everything is much more generic now, in ride type and story. And I think the same can be said for BGT (though at least Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse are really well-themed).

 

I mean, I actually like GCI in general, and think that Thunderhead, Prowler, and Gold Striker are world class - but this doesn't appear to measure up. It's like the park tried to check two boxes in one (thrill ride and family ride) and as a result kind of missed the mark on both.

 

Verbolten is the best themed coaster in the US!

This is entirely subjective. For instance, I think Expedition Everest's theming goes far above and beyond Verbolten's.

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This announcement forces me to the conclusion that Busch Gardens has gone a little soft. If you compare the Alpengeist / Apollo's Chariot / Griffon era to the Air Grover / Verbolten / Tempesto / small-but-still-not-a-42"-height-requirement-GCI era, it seems like the chain has taken a large step backwards in regards to making thrilling, well-themed, compelling rides and stories. Everything is much more generic now, in ride type and story. And I think the same can be said for BGT (though at least Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse are really well-themed).

 

I mean, I actually like GCI in general, and think that Thunderhead, Prowler, and Gold Striker are world class - but this doesn't appear to measure up. It's like the park tried to check two boxes in one (thrill ride and family ride) and as a result kind of missed the mark on both.

 

Verbolten is the best themed coaster in the US!

This is entirely subjective. For instance, I think Expedition Everest's theming goes far above and beyond Verbolten's.

Either that person is trolling of their version of the US only consists of the state of Virginia.

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It looks like from this article, the height requirement will be 46":

That's disappointing. This has always been one of my biggest complaints about GCI woodies. It makes zero sense to me that a 40" kid can ride "Tower of Terror" but a 42" kid can't ride any of GCI's woodies, which don't even come close to the intensity of a woodie like Knoebel's Phoenix or Twister, which are also both 42"

 

IMO, it just shows extremely poor design and a lack of understanding of park guests from GCI and I'm shocked there has never been an attempt to correct that.

I have to agree with this. My son is 47" and absolutely in love with roller coasters, and a lot of our decisions are influenced greatly by what he can ride. He just loves Powder Keg, probably the most intense family coaster out there. If HFE can get a 42" minimum on that ride, then surely any park can tell a manufacturer they want 42" and they'll make restraints that can accommodate that.

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This announcement forces me to the conclusion that Busch Gardens has gone a little soft. If you compare the Alpengeist / Apollo's Chariot / Griffon era to the Air Grover / Verbolten / Tempesto / small-but-still-not-a-42"-height-requirement-GCI era, it seems like the chain has taken a large step backwards in regards to making thrilling, well-themed, compelling rides and stories. Everything is much more generic now, in ride type and story. And I think the same can be said for BGT (though at least Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse are really well-themed).

 

I mean, I actually like GCI in general, and think that Thunderhead, Prowler, and Gold Striker are world class - but this doesn't appear to measure up. It's like the park tried to check two boxes in one (thrill ride and family ride) and as a result kind of missed the mark on both.

 

I think you're confusing "generic" with "rides I'm personally not very excited about". Sure Tempesto wasn't a big deal, but I fail to see how this ride (with the little we know about it thus far) and Verbolten fail to live up to some standard previously set by Busch Gardens. I mean, it's not like Griffon, Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot AREN'T cookie-cutter B&M's plopped down with minimal to no on-ride theming. These rides may be a little smaller in size, but that's about all you can say and there's a place and purpose for smaller coasters in the world.

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I'll add my voice to the disappointmentality of height and also the potential names. First as to height, BBW was my first coaster. I remember how bummed I was being too short for LNM after how awesome BBW was for me. Also, having worked many of Busch's coasters, I can tell you the 6 inches between BBW and LNM was a big let down for kids. I can't believe they aren't looking strongly for a 42" family coaster to fill that void.

 

In fact, the entire reason WildMaus left the park was because the manufacturer raised the height from 42 to 48. Families were FURIOUS at the change. They moved it to Tampa since people down there hadn't previously known it as a 48" coaster.

 

As to names, I 100% agree that the Keith Kason era of rides had immensely superior names. "Alpengeist," "Drachen Fire," "Curse of DarKastle." Hell, even the flat rides had cool names for most of the parks history.

 

Now we terrible sounding names like "Tempesto" and the Viking stuff. I'm not a fan of the name Griffon either really. It's so generic for a park like Busch.

 

With that said, I'll hold my breath and see some CGI renderings before making a judgement, but the Viking theme is a terrible fit for that part of the park, the proposed names aren't great, and they're building a family friendly ride that fails to be family friendly. This is... odd...

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I've always found the smaller GCIs to be the most exciting and intense. I love American Thunder and White Lightning and find them to be better than the larger GCIs (although Thunderhead and Gold Striker are amazing too and they are relatively large). Honestly the newer GCIs have a new level of crazy compared to the old ones and I'm beyond excited for this one!

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What? There's Other News from Passholder Preview Day?

 

Based on the number of posts in this thread since yesterday, I assume that everybody is aware that Busch Gardens is planning to build a GCI wooden coaster in New France for 2017? That it will have nine airtime hills, will interact with the LeScoot Log Flume, go under a service road for said long flume, and bear a "viking invasion" theme? All on the same page here? Good.

 

But there are some changes for 2016, too, as the the park revealed during Passholder Preview Day 2016 on Saturday, March 19. For example:

 

The restaurant in San Marco has been transformed into Marco Polo's Marketplace. Gone are the twin cafeteria-style lines of old; they've been replaced with more of a "food court"/marketplace setting, which will offer not only Italian food, but Asian cuisine in honor of Polo's journey to China. The restaurant wasn't open for the preview (still some training and tweaking going on), but the whole area looks very nice now (even the bathrooms were upgraded). There's a full-blown pizza oven and a "make your own cannoli" bar. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

 

Unlike the Marco Polo Marketplace, the New Brauhaus Craft Bier Room in Das Festhaus was open for business. Boy was it open--and mobbed! The park offered 300 memberships to their new "Stein Club," which sold out before noon, for $40. Members get a "personalized" stein, which the park will keep for you (beats schlepping it around the park), and their first beer of the day is free ($5.00/pour thereafter). It's a bit expensive for nonmembers at $8.49/glass, but the room itself is very nice, and the selection of craft beer is huge (and will change constantly over the season). There's food, too, including German Meatballs and Reuben Sliders. Based on the huge line on preview day, this looks like a hit for the park.

 

Speaking of food and alcohol, two new booths will be coming to the Food and Wine Festival: Virginia and Hawaii.

 

A big new show is coming to the theatre in France. It's based on "The Three Musketeers" and will be full of sword fights and other sorts of derring-do.

 

I have more to share with you. Let's go in the park, shall we?

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Yes. Let the fun begin--here.

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Here's something new: The parking-lot tram waiting areas now have shelters.

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I have no idea who these performers are. Being as I'm not the intended audience, that's logical.

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This banner made possible by Coca Cola.

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So, what's new, England?

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Oh? A new show? I have no idea if this is a permanent replacement for "London Rocks" or just a fill-in show before summer kicks in.

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Looks like Animal will have to duke it out with Cookie Monster for title of "King of Rock."

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This sheep and chicken are totally psyched for a new season at Busch Gardens. They're just pacing themselves.

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Passholders received free beanies in honor of . . .

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. . . Ireland's 15th Anniversary! (I thought the Emerald Isle was much older than that.)

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Looks like the line for the "passholders meeting" isn't too long . . .

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. . . oh, crap! Back here? I think the line for the Stein Club at the Brauhaus was even longer, though.

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Let's amuse ourselves by watching Griffon.

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They entertained everyone in the Abbeystone Theatre before the presentation.

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Ah, those were the days, eh?

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New park president David Cromwell is Jack Hanna approved (being as Jack will be back on April 2 and 3 this year). David is no stranger to Williamsburg, as he served as vice president in charge of Water Country USA from 2010 to 2012. Past president Carl Lum is now the president of SeaWorld San Antonio.

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Here are a few of the offerings at Marco Polo's Marketplace. Anyone for a cannoli?

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David tells the crowd about the new "Three Musketeers" show in France. The set is being built, and the show "will take advantage of the night sky to bring guests into the story." No word on whether anything blows up.

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What was that about a new coaster for 2017?

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People will be able to vote for new coaster's name online. How will you "Decide the Ride": "Viking Raider," Battle Klash," or "Invadr"? I'm thinking "Viking Battle Invadr" or "Laser Klash Odin's Beard on Fire: The Ride."

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Be careful where you step.

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Let's take a look at the new restaurant in Italy.

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According to historical legend, Marco Polo brought noodles to Italy from China; thus, Italian pasta was born. Whether this is true or not, it does give the park a good excuse to offer both Italian and Asian food here. The whole area looks really nice, too . . .

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. . . right down to the men's room (I assume the ladies' room received similar treatment).

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These are Dyson sink/hand-dryer combos--cool idea.

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Here's a peek inside the Marketplace itself. I think it's supposed to open Monday (March 21). More to come.

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FWIW laying blame on GCI for the height requirement sounds bogus to me. If BGW wanted to pay extra for insurance, I'm sure they could get it worked down to 42". Disney's low height requirements have more to do with a willingness for more spend on guests than magic restraints.

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More stuff at the park from Passholder Preview Day.

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On my way to join the Stein Club. I failed.

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At least I can take in a new show.

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"Ziggy zagi ziggy zagi oi oi oi!" Or something like that.

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Oh boy! New beer joint!

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Oh joy! Giant line. I came back later when the hoo-hah died down.

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Maybe I should just have them fill a growler.

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Ah, beer at last! The room is really nice . . .

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. . . and the beer selection is huge. Lots of Virginia breweries are represented (including Center of the Universe in Ashland and, of course, Williamsburg Alewerks).

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This area is going to look a lot different in 2017. The coaster will go over the flume at some point, which should be pretty cool, and under the service road.

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The flume got a nifty new entrance this year. Should make it a bit easier to find.

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Yeah, I can see a wooden coaster working here. We'll see how it turns out.

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OK, evil Smokehouse . . .

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. . . you talked me into it.

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Got any leftover lock box tokens from last year? Well, you might well make them into cufflinks now, as the entire system has been changed from tokens to PINs. I had no problem with these by Griffon, but it was a different story at Apollo's Chariot.

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So, I locked my stuff up and took a spin on Griffon . . .

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. . . and Alpengeist. It was fun, if a bit chilly.

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The park had to remove a bunch of trees this year due to a petroleum pipeline under the property. The pipeline's path had to be visible from the air, so bye-bye trees and bushes. It's only noticeable in two spots from what I could see--by the train tracks in France . . .

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. . . and by the Loch Ness Monster. The park is working on new landscaping for this area.

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The return of the Big Bad Wolf . . . sort of.

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Can you spot the wolf's butt in this photo?

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Too late! Here he is.

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"Yes, we are majestic, aren't we?"

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In honor of Ireland's 15th Anniversary, an Irish band from Virginia Beach, the Fighting Jamesons, put on some concerts--which were also broadcast outside the Abbeystone Theatre.

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I see you Verbolten! But when the leaves return, I won't be able to.

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That's all. The great god Apollo bids you "good day."

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FWIW laying blame on GCI for the height requirement sounds bogus to me. If BGW wanted to pay extra for insurance, I'm sure they could get it worked down to 42"

I know for a fact the ride manufacturer sets the height restrictions. You are right that a park *could* negotiate with them to create a solution for a lower height restriction, but it's up to the ride manufacturer to decide if that's something they are willing to do or not.

 

And yes, I do blame the park somewhat as well, as they could have gone with another ride to deliver a 42" ride, but they chose not to. More reasons why I feel this ride just makes no sense to me. Even BGT has a much better balance of coasters in their collection with rides for 38", 42", 46", 48", and 54".

 

But this wouldn't be the first time a park in the chain has oddly unbalanced attractions for their guests. Explain to me why a park like SeaWorld Orlando, aimed almost entirely to families and younger kids, has three giant 54" B&Ms that younger kids can't ride. To a coaster nerd that's a dream, but as a regular visitor to that park, I can't tell you how many times I've seen parents go measure their younger kids there only to find out they are several inches too short.

 

You know, the more I think about it, this ride doesn't really affect me personally since my daughter is now tall enough to ride and it's not a coaster I will go out of my way to ride anyway, it's just disappointing to me because I feel the Busch/SeaWorld parks are smarter than this yet they've been making some really odd decisions lately.

 

I can't be the only who thinks that Mako/Cobra's Curse somehow got switched at birth and should be swapped back, right?

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Do you think things would be different if A-B did not sell off the parks, or was this something that even they had problems with?

I don't think that had anything to do with it at all. I mean, I don't see how something that happened in 2009 is really affecting decisions made in 2015/16.

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This is definitely an odd decision by Busch, but we'll see. I still find it hilarious how Tempesto, a large thrilling coaster, was literally announced at the last minute, and this tiny wanna-be family coaster has been hyped up this early.

 

I'll save more of my thoughts for when we get more renderings and information, but for now, BGW is really confusing me with their actions.

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^ I completely agree. I am so confused by the marketing team. I'm sure they know what they are doing, but I certainly don't lol!

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