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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

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

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Definitely start with Tempesto, followed by Apollo's Chariot--then work your way around to Verbolten, Alpengeist, Griffon, and Loch Ness Monster.

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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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BGW will be extremely crowded on Saturday. I would recommend getting there so you can enter the park when it opens. Not only is this Saturday Memorial day weekend, its the opening weekend of the food and wine festival. You may want to investigate purchasing Quick Queue or Quick Queue unlimited, BGW's Fast Pass. Current pricing on BGW's website is $35 and $60 respectively for 5/28/16.

 

Note that on very crowded Saturdays, BGW will sometimes open LNM early, otherwise agree with doing Tempesto first, followed by Apollo's Chariot. I would then cross the bridge from Italy into Germany and do Verbolten followed by Alpengeist and then Griffon. I would finish with Lochness Monster, if you didn't catch a ride earlier. (Someone posted above that LNM will be running two trains for the remainder of the season. If that's the case, it's lines will grow very quickly and will probably be close to 90 minutes by noon.)

 

After LNM, I would grab lunch, ride the train, watch a couple shows and enjoy the park. Crowds will surge in the afternoon and they may have to limit or stop guests from entering the park for a few hours until the crowds thin out around dinner time.

 

As for night rides, Apollo's Chariot is my favorite, but all of BGW's coasters are great at night, IMHO.

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^Nessie is a bit of a "wild card" when it comes to lines. If they're using the lower queue, you know the park is really busy, and the line for that coaster can fluctuate a lot during a busy day. I agree with springing for Quick Queue on Saturday. It should make your day a lot easier (and allow you plenty of time to "graze" the Food and Wine booths).

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Thanks for the info guys, I've been convinced to get quick queue unlimited.

 

That's weird about stopping People from entering the park, but could be good to keep lines manageable . If I go out to my car can I get back in at that time? Or am I "locked" in the park lol

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1. what is the best order to do the coasters? Tempesto 1st thing in the morning due to longer loading / waits?

 

2. what is the best ride to get on at night? I enjoy pitch black through the woods like the beast / parts of diamondback at kings island if that helps

 

thanks!

 

1. Definitely do Tempesto first. The park will be packed this weekend so you should get there at opening and ride this right away.

 

2. All of BGW's coasters are fun at night, however, I wouldn't expect any complete pitch black rides. Apollo's Chariot sits at the front of the park so you won't be able to avoid lighting from the parking lot. Nessie's interlocking loops are well lit. Griffon and Alpengeist have some lighting on them as well and they both tower over the main pathways so there will be lighting from that. I would say Verbolten is the darkest since a majority of that right is inside a building, but during the outside parts you'll see some light emission from Oktoberfest and on the footbridge to San Marco.

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Any information on the 3rd Train of Loch Ness?

First week of april it looked like it was on transfer

 

I mentioned this a few pages back, but as of now they're running 2 trains indefinitely. Based on the lines this season, it might become a permanent change for the same reason iron dragon and Orient Express did so. I was there last week and the third train is down in the maintenance bay. By a funny coincidence, train 2 is the one they took off.

 

I personally hope they go back to three trains. Nessie can be a long line at peak even with 3 trains.

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Food & Wine Festival and a Quick InvadR Update

 

Busch Gardens kicked off its annual Food and Wine Festival on Friday, May 27--just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend hordes. This is my favorite time of the year at the park. Why? Because, like so many of us here, I like to eat, and BGW offers up some mighty tasty food and beverages.

 

So, what's new about this year's version?

 

Food Samplers: The park is offering two Food Sampler Passes this year--ten samples for $35, or 15 for $50 (the "Deluxe Food Sampler"). If you're with a group of people who like to lightly graze around the park, these passes are a great deal. They include both entrees and desserts, most of which range in price from $3.50 to $6.00. Stick to the more expensive offerings, and you can do quite well with one of these passes. The Food Samplers do not include beverages.

 

New Food Booths: The Scotland and Scandinavia food booths are out. While I will miss the Scotch Egg and Swedish Meatballs, they have been replaced by food from Virginia and Hawaii. Here's what they have to offer.

 

Virginia (located in Scotland)

Pork Rinds with Virginia Dips--Deviled Ham Pate, Pimento cheese spread, Smoked bacon & onion jam

She-Crab Soup--Crab bisque finished with sherry, Old Bay crostini & Chesapeake Blue Crab salad

Smithfield® Ham Tasting--Red Eye Country Ham, Hickory Smoked Pitt Ham & Applewood Carved Ham served with honey biscuit, apple butter, raspberry jam & whole grain mustard

Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies--Cornmeal fritters served with Virginia honey butter

Pecan, Bacon & Chocolate Bars--Sweet pecan caramel bars topped with smoked bacon & chocolate drizzle

 

Hawaii (located on the path between Ireland and France)

Root Vegetable Chips with Maui Onion Dip --Fried sweet potatoes, taro root & beet chips with caramelized sweet onion dip

Spam Slider--Fried spam with sriracha mayonnaise & grilled pineapple served with pineapple-coconut coleslaw

Huli Huli Chicken--Sweet pineapple & soy BBQ chicken served with orange & purple sweet potato salad

Tuna Poke--Soy & sesame sushi tuna in a wonton flower with wasabi aioli, served with wakame seaweed salad

Haupia Tart--Sweet coconut mousse with Kona coffee ganache in a crispy tart shell

 

I think Virginia's offerings are the stronger of the two. The Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies are very good (possibly the star of this year's festival), and you can't go wrong with the Smithfield Ham. The Huli Huli Chicken is the best dish at the Hawaiian booth.

 

Here's quick look at the Food and Wine Festival, along with a mini InvadR update. Note that these photos were taken over two visits: a beautiful Friday evening and a very wet Sunday (that is, today). The Festival runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday until the end of June.

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"It's the most wonderful time of the year."

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Yes, those trying to lose weight might want to stay off Facebook until the beginning of July.

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Can you think of a better way to start a beautiful Friday evening?

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There's a bandstand near the Germany booth. They were a bit loud, but not bad.

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As we graze around the park, let's have a wee look at what's been happening on the InvadR site.

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Looks like real lumberjacks are at work.

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Rubble = progress to coaster enthusiasts.

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The ground clearing is now on both sides of the train tracks. Yes, the train is still running.

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This tree gave its life so that InvadR might live.

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You can get a good view of the work from the train . . .

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. . . or from LeScoot.

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Anyone for a nice Spam Slider? I liked the sriracha mayonnaise, but wasn't crazy about the coleslaw.

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As you can see, Spam has great cultural significance to the Hawaiian people. Well, since WWII, anyway.

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Here's a better look at the Hawaii booth. BGW does a nice job with these portable structures.

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This one even has a Tiki Bar, where you can score a Blue Hawaiian rum-based drink or some Kona Brewing beverages.

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I tried the Huli Huli Chicken when they previewed it the weekend before the festival. They give you a very generous portion, and the chicken is quite nice. The sweet potato slaw concoction was OK, too.

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I think my Haupia Tart got a bit soggy today, despite my best efforts. It's nice, but the best dessert at the Festival is the Chocolate Lava Cake at the American Southwest booth in Fort New France.

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Since I was already in Ireland, I snagged a cheese sampler, too.

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The food artists are back.

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Now that is a great representation of a shark in ice.

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But, I think it started out looking like this on Friday evening.

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It makes sense that the Virginia booth is in the Pigs in a Kilt stand, as it revolves around pork products (some made by a company that is now owned by the Chinese--Smithfield Ham.) They also sell four beers from two Williamsburg breweries: Alewerks and the Virginia Beer Company (they both make good stuff).

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Yes, Virginia is just busting out all over.

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The Commonwealth as rendered in beer-bottle caps.

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The Pecan, Bacon & Chocolate Bar is pretty good. It would be good even without the bacon.

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The Hushpuppies and the honey butter are excellent, and I enjoyed the ham, too. Nice work, BGW.

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Be sure to say "hello" to the Highland Cows in Scotland. Thanks for reading.

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Thanks for posting the report, Chuck...

 

I consider the food and drink offerings at the Busch park festivals @ #2 - right between the Cedar Fair and Epcot food festivals. And I am sure that most folks on here can differentiate which one would be #1 and #3!

 

Also...I definitely need some bacon and cheddar hushpuppies in my life.

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oh that ham looks good. Did you try the Tuna Poke ? It sounds fantastic. Two of my favorites, tuna and seaweed salad.

 

I'm not that fond of raw fish, although tuna is one that I'll eat.

 

Thanks for posting the report, Chuck...

 

I consider the food and drink offerings at the Busch park festivals @ #2 - right between the Cedar Fair and Epcot food festivals. And I am sure that most folks on here can differentiate which one would be #1 and #3!

 

Also...I definitely need some bacon and cheddar hushpuppies in my life.

 

I'd say your impression is accurate. I was fairly impressed with Carowinds' Taste of the Carolinas Food Festival last year, though.

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^ I am really hoping that the Brew & BBQ event at CP this year will make me bump them up into BG territory when compared to the spring festival at KD. Not that their 2016 event was horrible by any means, but it seemed strange that they actually reduced the offerings and countries from the previous year. I agree that the Carowinds event (just by looking at TR's) looked pretty good.

 

I am hoping that these food and drink events really take off at theme/amusement parks. I mean, what is more awesome than sampling good food and beer and then riding some great rides and coasters?

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sorry - this might have been come up before - fun card.

i searched for it on here, it says it's around the same price as a day pass and used to be for VA residents only but that restriction is no longer the case.

Did I get that right - 'cos it doesn;t make sense to me not to go for fun card...

by the way i'm going to be there on 24th Jun, but maybe for another half day.

cheers,

sam

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I was at the park last Saturday (5-28-16) and the park was crowded ( I mean it was CROWD-DED!!!). After getting off interstate 64, I had to wait forty-five minutes before I could pay for my parking - well, I have a PLATINUM PASS so I didn't have to pay for anything, but I'm sure you get the idea. Despite the huge crowds I did get to ride the rides I wanted to ride ( The Griffion I rode three times!!!), all without quick queue. I still didn't get to ride Verbolten because that lousy ride had to break down while I was waiting in the station. As for next year's InvadR, the scenery around Le Scoot will never look the same again.

 

Thanks to the pass, I'm sure I'll be back at the park - hopefully on a day it won't be so CROWD-DED and Verbolten is running flawlessly.

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^My neighbors mentioned that they were using all the parking lots they had on Saturday.

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Oh wow, that sampler deal sounds like an amazing value. We were so blown away by Food & Wine last year that we actually upgraded to season passes and made the trip from DC a second time just a few weeks later! Can't wait to check it out this year.

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^Yep. Overall, the food is pretty good, but lines for some of the stations can be a bit slow. For example, the beef at the Mediterranean station is delicious, but they have to carve it, so the line backs up. The Mongolian Beef is good; the Asian station usually has no wait (I think because the food is easier to serve).

 

Haven't tried the flatbread yet, but the cannolis are very good.

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Awesome, I was excited that this was being added. Busch always has great food which is an added bonus. I heard the Mediterranean station had Lamb, so I'm intrigued.

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^ wow that menu looks great. Have you tried the lamb? That's what I like about the Busch parks, when they set their minds to it they come up with some really cool things. (food wise, not to forget theming, rides and asthetics)

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Thanks for the update, Chuck. I'm thinking that next year will be an all domestic park year for me. I miss coming to BGW for food and wine! That pass seems like a fantastic idea, and I'm actually amazed that a park would offer any sort of discount during one of these events. Maybe Epcot could follow suit...

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