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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 456: Information about Christmas Town 2021!

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BGE is my home park, and I agree that the decisions being made lately have been questionable at best (the Tempesto non-marketing was especially disheartening to me). That said, I think the height requirement is the only unfortunate aspect of this coaster. Other than that, I think the ride will be a solid fit. Here's why:

 

Verbolten is a huge step up from Grover. I still have a hard time understanding how anybody can call Verbolten a family coaster. The G-forces during the indoor helix, the multiple launches, 80 foot dive, and surprise drop track are not a logical step above the kiddie coaster at the front of the park. My impression of it, every time I ride, is that it is an intense ride that might be too much for smaller children (I personally love it though). This ride puts a logical stepping stone in place before taking on the multi-sensory barrage that is Verbolten.

 

However, all of this makes the height requirement more unfortunate...

 

As an aside: It's my hope that, after "testing the waters" with this smaller, GCI woodie, that BGE feels comfortable adding a headlining wooden coaster. Hopefully a few years down the road...No reason they couldn't put in 2 woodies without a steel in between.

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

 

I've thought this since the instant the two coasters were announced. Each coaster fits perfectly into the other park's lineup.

 

Cheetah hunt was too expensive for essentially a mild thrill coaster and odd use of such powerful tech. Antarctica was a massive waste of expensive trackless vehicles. Tempesto is a clone and out of character for BGW (and I think it looks ugly as sin). Blackfish and its fallout was weak-handled in terms of PR. Viking raider is a very small and poor addition to this park, GCIs have zero airtime, and it does not increase my likelihood to visit in any capacity. The decision to close gwazi and do nothing with it was noticed...by everybody. Axing the creative guys behind howl o scream, the mime at Clyde and seymour, canceling allure have all decreased my overall enjoyment of the entertainment at those parks.

 

^Just some other opinions I hold of a brand that is really head-scratching this decade.

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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.

 

Hopefully not going too much off topic but this is why I've always thought (as an opinion, before the pitchforks come out) there's never been another Aqua Trax. The height restriction that was set for it was 135cm, only a little bit lower than the biggest of B&M's and 13cm higher than Cheetah Hunt. It could be a case of Lotte World deciding that, but Galaxy Express 999 in Tokyo had similar restraints and was 130cm.

 

After the launch and top hat, I've never found Atlantis too thrilling.... it's an insane amount of fun and it's really high on my list but generally because of the amount of fun it is, not because of insane airtime or inversions or G forces which makes it a shame you can't take smaller kids onto it especially when it's advertised as "family thrill type roller coaster."

 

Considering the description on Intamin's site make it seem like it couldn't be a true water coaster either (water effects over actual water and Atlantis can't even run in the rain) and looking into why Lotte World hasn't had the water on in years, it seems it's only there for visual effect to create a "wave" and doesn't add to the ride. It just seems like high height restrictions can be a rides undoing. For that height limit there are so many other options in a space an aquatrax could go, or provide something similar but include people unter the 53" height limit with a cheaper price tag.

Edited by Garet
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BGW has coasters for 54", 52", 48", 38" and next year for 46". I say that's pretty good. Plus, they've added two coasters within 3 years, so that's super awesome in my book. Maybe the next coaster after "viking whatever" will be designed for 42" kids. I may be in the minority here, but I say give the park a break. I like what they're doing.

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BGW has coasters for 54", 52", 48", 38" and next year for 46". I say that's pretty good. Plus, they've added two coasters within 3 years, so that's super awesome in my book. Maybe the next coaster after "viking whatever" will be designed for 42" kids. I may be in the minority here, but I say give the park a break. I like what they're doing.

 

Well anything that is 46"+ is pretty tall to market as a family addition, so I don't agree with you there. 38" is even tall for a kiddie coaster. Also, they may have added a couple of coasters now, but they aren't major investments. I don't have a problem with Tempesto; I like the Premier Sky Rockets. But I have to admit that I was expecting something larger this time.

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Everyone bashed Tempesto last year with how it wouldn't fit in the park with theming etc and after going there and seeing it in person it looked fine and actually fits in quite well. The daredevil theme worked fine since the ride looks kinda like a half pipe itself. The theming for this GCI is a bit off but I could see this being the beginning of a change from the area being New France to Scandinavia (especially if the name ends up being about the Vikings invading). As for the height restrictions this coaster is still a year off and a lot can change during that time.

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BGW has coasters for 54", 52", 48", 38" and next year for 46". I say that's pretty good. Plus, they've added two coasters within 3 years, so that's super awesome in my book. Maybe the next coaster after "viking whatever" will be designed for 42" kids. I may be in the minority here, but I say give the park a break. I like what they're doing.

That's GREAT for your nerdy coaster geek and families with older kids. But leaves very little for your 4-7 year old age range. Sorry you don't understand this. Even more sorry the park doesn't understand this.

 

Take a look at a park like Six Flags Over Texas:

Shock Wave - 42"

Judge Roy Scream - 42"

La Vibora - 42"

Mine Train - 42"

Pandemonium - 42"

 

And that's not even including the "kiddie" rides. Thats a GREAT selection of rides for younger riders. It would be nice to see parks have more for smaller kids to do outside of "kiddie" rides.

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When it comes to ride height I believe the considering factors are G Forces and restraint system. With GCI we can pretty much exclude G Forces. And their restraint system isn't terrible but I can see how a little guy *might* could slip out or at the least get banged around, the lap bars are quite heavy after all, not to mention tall.

 

So a 42" kid's head might rest on top of the lap bar, which wouldn't be cool when getting banged around (that is unless there was a pesky tooth that refused to come out on its own and then it would be useful).

 

I'm with Robb, if GCI wanted to make a system where 42" and above could ride, they could. And in turn would be able to market to wider audience, might even spark a few more builds in the US.

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This new coaster sounds... meh. I used to hate that Dollywood was my home park. "Why do I have to live so far away from Busch Gardens?", I'd whine... Well, fast forward several years later and I take it all back.

 

ETA... I didn't mean to sound so harsh. I love BGW... I'm just ready for them to build something thrilling that will bring me back.

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I think all GCI coasters are the most good looking wooden coasters. Aesthetically speaking it's like if all pieces of lumber were placed carefully in some arrangement that it looks good. But I still don't understand why they have to make them turn so much instead of going a little more straight. I think most riders will take airtime hills over powerful curves? I have never been a big fan of GCI. I still prefer an old Custom Coaster International than a GCI. I think BGW was due for a Rocky Mountain coaster. With all respect, with RMC around these days, I believe that GCI is more for the smaller parks wanting a wooden coasters. Too bad (actually good) but RMC is stealing the show now, just like B&M and Intamin did!

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I knew with the viral buildup for the ride that it was setting up for an inevitable let down. While I'm sure the ride will be fun, it's just a bit meh. My wife is from Virginia so I've always considered BGW to be my home away from home park. They always do a great job with everything though *remembers Mach Tower* OK, maybe not everything, but still, I'm sure it will be a fun ride. Interested to see the layout and also who they incorporate the theming.

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I will hope that it has a lower height restriction as we will probably visit next year and it would be cool to have something bigger for my 4 year old ( by the time we go) to ride.

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Please tell me Entwined in not coming back.

 

It was, by far, the worst theme park show I had ever seen. And I've been working in the industry for 30 years.

 

Yep. Last year they featured a show called "Roll Out the Barrel." It was "meh," at best, too.

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I don't understand why "This is Oktoberfest" got the ax. I mean, it was a good, family-friendly show, plenty entertaining to have a beer to, and fit the area of the park well. I feel like every show that has been there since has been "meh" at best, if not straight out awful.

 

I feel like a lot of my favorite shows at the park (Irish Thunder, Imaginique, Holiday in Roma) have often been replaced with inferior shows, or at best, watered down versions of the same show reeking of budget cuts.

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^"This is Oktoberfest" was axed due to "declining attendance," but there was quite an outcry when this was announced (people always wait until something is gone before they profess to "love" it). They also remodeled the Festhaus to accommodate new shows by removing the elevating band stand. I think if "Entwined" had turned out to be a good show, no one would've cared; unfortunately, it was, well, not good (and rather expensive).

 

They are debuting what promises to be a big nighttime show in the Royal Palace Theatre in France. We'll see how that goes. They've had better luck with their shows for Howl-o-Scream and Christmas Town.

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SeaWorld laid off their creative staff a few years ago, and while there was some gnashing of teeth on the internet about that, the best thing they had managed to come up with in the the past 5-6 years was Turtle Trek. If that isn't a brutal indictment, what is?

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I honestly think the park will be just fine with a 46" height requirement addition. I don't recall what the non-coaster offerings for small children at BGW is like, but I feel like an impressive designated kid's area has a lot more influence than having the height requirement on the latest coaster 4 inches lower. Parents are going to bring their kids if it is a nice park either locally or in/as a tourist destination that offers a good selection of rides and activities for kids, even if none of them are roller coasters.

 

I'm still pumped about this addition because smaller GCIs come with quite a punch (forces, airtime, overall disorientation from directional changes) and it still appeals to the majority of visitors at a low cost so I'm sure management is pumped too.

 

Now we just need that animated POV.

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^ I agree I can't really see this persuading families not to visit the park. There are two kids areas, one with the Grover coaster.

 

Its a well kept, clean family themepark and in a vaction destination area. I'm sure they'll survive a few complaints about height restrictions.

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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".

 

Ride manufacturers do what the park wants, right? Within bounds, of course....no one is going to GCI to contract building a huge multilaunch steel coaster. But those bars on GCI trains go all the way to the seat, and I'm sure if Busch wanted to argue it out or even pay money for some sort of ridiculously minor change that would please the lawyers GCI pays to try and indemnify them, it could have happened. Shorter height restrictions = younger guests, and restraining younger guests who are tougher to reason with means more expense.

 

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.

 

This is more my thought process. Building coasters is a cheap option to move the needle and so they're gonna push that rather than "themed" attractions of some sort or shows. I love that Mako is being built but I also have no idea how it makes sense at a park where there's never been a line for Kraken, even on New Years Eve.

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^ I agree I can't really see this persuading families not to visit the park. There are two kids areas, one with the Grover coaster.

 

Its a well kept, clean family themepark and in a vaction destination area. I'm sure they'll survive a few complaints about height restrictions.

Exactly!

 

I'm not entirely sure why it's such a heated topic anyways. It's a low height restriction as is and families bring small children to the park because it is a major tourist destination with good reviews and a good reputation in a tourism based city and the park has good offerings for small children as well as their parents. I really doubt adding a coaster with a 36" or 42" height allowance would really make a big impact (doubtfully bigger than a relatively low height requirement thrilling coaster like the one that has been announced). Also, for the most part something with a very low height restriction probably won't be as appealing to thrill seekers, who are a target psychographic segment for the park. (I do realize there are some exceptions where a 42" height requirement can be appealing to thrill seekers too, but we shouldn't shun the park for going 4 inches above that).

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