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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 456: Information about Christmas Town 2021!

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I didn't think Europe in the Air was that bad but only ride it if you've ridden everything else you wanted to ride already and you're in the mood for something different. We rode it once, it earned a "meh" from us and barring a storm or something where we need to kill time we'll probably never ride it again. Even in that instance we might go see a show instead (and we're not show people).

 

It falls slightly above that awful Wild Arctic pre-show at Sea World for me.

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^^ Soarin' On A Budget.

 

Accurate.

 

Europe in the Air was probably the biggest disappointment of the entire park. Having been spoiled by Soarin' I got off of Europe in the Air and found my self thinking... "That was it?? Well damn, that was disappointing."

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I'm sure this has been suggested before for that spot, but given the fact the BGT has an Intamin Sky Jump, it wouldn't surprise me to see one pop up at BGW over the next few years. Perhaps they could remove Europe in the Air, and its building, and place it there, as it'd certainly fit. Not sure of the theme, other than perhaps a Banshee, though they'd probably add "Screaming Banshee" or "Banshee's Fury", to distinguish it from KI's ride. (And yes, I know the being two entirely different types of ride should be distinguishing enough, but I still suspect they'd elaborate on the name a little.)

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^Personally, I think they'd be better off replacing Mach Tower with a Falcon's Fury clone.

 

This makes more sense.

 

I also can't see them adding a Sky Screamer since SFA is adding one. I know they are hours apart but I would think BGW would go for the more unique idea.

 

I would like to see a new flat in Ireland though for sure.

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^Personally, I think they'd be better off replacing Mach Tower with a Falcon's Fury clone.

 

Is Mach tower still ridiculously unreliable or has it improved at all? In our 2 visits to the park since it opened it was running but obviously that's a small sample size that means absolutely nothing about it's overall reliability.

 

As a ride I actually enjoy it, though the seats are sort of strange.

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^^ Soarin' On A Budget.

 

Accurate.

 

Europe in the Air was probably the biggest disappointment of the entire park. Having been spoiled by Soarin' I got off of Europe in the Air and found my self thinking... "That was it?? Well damn, that was disappointing."

 

I think Soarin' on a budget is generous.

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^Personally, I think they'd be better off replacing Mach Tower with a Falcon's Fury clone.

 

Is Mach tower still ridiculously unreliable or has it improved at all? In our 2 visits to the park since it opened it was running but obviously that's a small sample size that means absolutely nothing about it's overall reliability.

 

As a ride I actually enjoy it, though the seats are sort of strange.

 

It's more reliable now than when it first opened. And, hey, it's a drop tower. It goes up, and drops down fast. But the seats are rather uncomfortable.

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You know, I apologize for being an idiot, and failing to realize that they already have a drop tower at BGW! I haven't been in a LONG time, and that addition slipped under my radar. Whenever I heard somebody reference it, I just assumed it was an observation tower! But we are on the same page now, and I will agree that an Intamin Sky Jump seems unlikely at this point!

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So my daughter and her friend wanted to go to BGW on Friday (9/2) and we had a bring a friend ticket to use... I decided while they were going on rides I would checkout the opening of Bierfest. They offered a good variety of local and international beers and ciders both outside around the Ocktoberfest area and inside at the Brauhaus in Das Festhaus. There were two or three local breweries outside who each featured 4 or 5 different beers. I wound up getting the ten 3oz samplers for $22. They give you a laynard which the brewers or BGW employees punch each time you get a sample. Of course, some of the brewers and BGW employees were a little more generous with their pours than others. Most would fill the small sample cup to the top, but there were some who barely filled it halfway! Also, while the brewers who were onsite were able to discuss specifics about their brews, the BGW employees knew very little about the beers they were pouring and when asked questions would just hand me the folded directory of beers. I did find the prices for a 12oz pour of around $10 a little steep. All that aside, I did enjoy sampling the beers and even tried some ciders which were pretty good. BGW's website says there will 100 different beers over the three weekends of bierfest. IMHO it is a good way for BGW to fill the weekends before HowloScream starts.

 

Overall the park was not crowded at all during the day with most rides being a walk on, probably had a lot to due with the approaching hurricane/tropical storm. My daughter's 17yo friend had never been to BGW before and she really enjoyed the park. She also loved all the animal exhibits and animal shows. Her favorite coasters were Apollo and Griffon. She even liked Apollo in the rain, which started right around 9pm, and emptied the park.

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Agreed, I can't see them adding a major coaster anytime soon since they added Tempesto and now InvadR in the past few years. I would like to see the removal of Europe in the Air for something better though.

 

Bring back Corkscrew Hill, yes I really liked it! Maybe I'll start an online petition.

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Agreed, I can't see them adding a major coaster anytime soon since they added Tempesto and now InvadR in the past few years. I would like to see the removal of Europe in the Air for something better though.

 

Bring back Corkscrew Hill, yes I really liked it! Maybe I'll start an online petition.

 

I was fine with Corkscrew Hill. At least it wasn't a second rate Soarin'.

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Corkscrew Hill was at least original and entertaining.

 

Let's get back to Howl-o-Scream. The park is offering two upcharge "escape rooms" this year.

 

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No Escape: Case of Mr. Karver--"Mr. Karver’s dolls want to play. The puppet master has created new works of art for his evil encore, and it’s up to you to stop his evil machinations from becoming reality. Searching for clues, you will try to uncover the location of his secret workshop and, if found, attempt to stop him from making any more of his monstrous dolls."

 

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No Escape: Case of Jack the Ripper--"Jack is back and he puts the cape in No Escape. You have heard the tales, now join the yard as you investigate the grisly murders of Jack the Ripper. Guests will be part of the experience as they attempt to solve the riddles before it is too late to catch happy Jack red-handed."

 

The escape rooms cost $30.00 before 6:00 pm and $40.00 after 6:00 pm. I think the cost is per room. You also get a complimentary photo. More info here.

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Anyone else at the park on labor day notice how busy the park was and how understaffed it was. Many rides opened late and verbolten opened at 1130 with both stations being used and four trains then at noon on the dot the closed one station and took off a train, then it was a 90 min wait all day. anyone else at the park Monday notice this

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^^ Soarin' On A Budget.

 

Accurate.

 

Europe in the Air was probably the biggest disappointment of the entire park. Having been spoiled by Soarin' I got off of Europe in the Air and found my self thinking... "That was it?? Well damn, that was disappointing."

 

I think Soarin' on a budget is generous.

 

I see what you did there

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Anyone else at the park on labor day notice how busy the park was and how understaffed it was. Many rides opened late and verbolten opened at 1130 with both stations being used and four trains then at noon on the dot the closed one station and took off a train, then it was a 90 min wait all day. anyone else at the park Monday notice this

 

It would make sense that BGW was extremely busy Monday. September 5 was the last day Season Passholders could bring a friend for free. If I am not mistaken you could bring two friends free per pass (one from the spring extension and one for the summer). Since Saturday was pretty much a washout, that left Sunday and Monday. Not sure why they would only be running three trains on Verbolten, unless one was giving them issues. As I mentioned Friday was a great day at the park with no lines and no rain. Most coasters had a one train wait, unless you wanted the front. Verbolten was running 4 trains and had maybe a 10 minute wait.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Howl-o-Scream 2016 Opening Night

Busch Gardens kicked off this year’s version of Howl-o-Scream last Friday night (September 23). Once again, pumpkins hang from the trees of Scotland, Jack the Ripper stalks the unwary in England, demons dance and set fires in France, wendigos rip soldiers to shreds in Fort New France, and vampires flash their fangs in Germany.

 

So what else is new, right? There have been a number of changes. I think Deadline, the subway-zombie maze under Escape from Pompeii, benefited the most from these enhancements. Lumberhack, an outdoor maze behind Verbolten, not so much.

 

Although there are plenty of opportunities for drinking adult beverages this year, Ireland’s Fright Feast and Germany’s Blood Banquet are gone. Instead, the park is offering two upcharge “No Escape” rooms--one themed to Jack the Ripper, and the other to Mr. Karver, a fiendish puppet maker serving as this year’s icon. I didn’t do the rooms on Friday, but they cost $30/person before 6:00 pm and $40/person after 6:00 pm. Guests tackle the rooms in groups of six. The rooms are located in Germany in the soft-serve ice-cream parlor and gift shop near Land of the Dragons.

 

But the biggest changes this year are a new Terror-Tory and maze--Sideshow Square and Circo Sinistro--both in Festa Italia. As you’ve probably guessed, these are circus-themed haunts. Most of the action in Sideshow Square is near the entrance to Tempesto, where you’ll encounter creepy clowns (with loud horns), living puppets and dolls, and fiendish ringmasters.

 

Circo Sinistro’s entrance is by the Roman Rapids, and the maze is in a spot that’s hosted Cut-Throat Cove, Wicked Woods, and other mazes in past years. I had mixed feelings about BGW’s latest attempt to scare people with an evil circus. Sinistro starts out pretty well, but seems to sag a bit halfway through. For example, there are two nearly identical rooms that provide transitions for other rooms. Plus, the “Room Roulette” gimmick, which was chosen by an online poll, was a bit disappointing, at least to me. Sinistro does pick up again at the finish. Overall, I’d say the best maze is still Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge in Ireland, but I’m willing to give Sinistro another chance--maybe I hit it during an “off” time.

 

Speaking of Unearthed, I was behind an elderly couple who were having a lot of trouble seeing in the dark recesses of Scarlett's house. The woman walked ahead, her arms outstretched like the Frankenstein monster, feeling her way through. I had to guide her and her husband a few times when they made wrong turns, and she was bumping into the walls. There's a right turn at the end to exit the maze, but the lady kept going forward to a set of strobe lights. Out popped Scarlett, screaming at the top of her lungs, about a inch from the poor lady's nose! I think that was the witch's way of telling her, "Please exit to your right."

 

As for the shows, Monster Stomp on Ripper Row (England), Fiends (Ireland), and Night Beats (Festhaus) are all back. On Saturdays, you can catch the Starfright Orchestra (Italy). This was one of Howl-o-Scream’s original, more family friendly shows back when the event started in the late 1990s.

 

Let’s have a look at Howl-o-Scream 2016.

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Welcome to Busch Gardens Williamsburg! Evil puppets are currently planning your untimely death, and will be with you shortly.

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They already got to Mach Tower.

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Who is “BG Whos” and why should I hashtag him?

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“I don’t know any ‘BG Whos,’ but I run this joint--and what’re you lookin’ at, punk?”

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One thing I can’t abide is an ill-tempered puppet. I guess I’ll move on.

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I like how the Ripper carefully uses countersunk washers and Phillips head screws; keeps the body parts from coming loose.

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I guess the Ripper qualifies as an “Unsavory Character.”

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The Jack-o-Lantern trees are in bloom again.

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Someone has already lost their sole!

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It’s almost 6:00 pm, so I guess I’ll hit Unearthed.

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Beware of Money Bunnies! They’re more dangerous than leprechauns!

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Money Bunnies can be tamed by Naughty Nurses with Jello shots.

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And what has been unearthed this year? How about a lot of dirt over in Fort New France?

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The AURA people were really harassing guests as they entered Scarlett’s house. The demoon witch woman was downright hospitable compared to these two.

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I wonder if Scarlett has trademarked this symbol? It would be a shame if some other demonic entity appropriated it.

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Meanwhile, over in France . . . chainsaw demon, check.

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Demons taking dragons for walkies, check.

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Giant flaming skull, check. Yep, looks like Demon Street is covered for this year.

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You can still explore the depths of the Catacombs.

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“Excuse me, sir, but it’s kind of damp in here. Could you please hand me a towel?”

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The wendigo once again menaces New France.

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Good thing the doctor has it all under control.

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Then again, the doc has drugs.

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Naughty, naughty wendigo! You’d better not damage InvadR.

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Every year, BGW has a vampire infestation. It’s a local embarrassment.

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Maybe they should put out more garlic, or something. More to come from Howl-o-Scream.

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Let's continue our tour of Howl-o-Scream 2016. Crucifixes if ya got 'em.

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Welcome to the “No Escape” rooms. If you want soft-serve ice cream, you’ll have to get it in England or Festa Italia.

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Here’s a peek at one of the room monitors. Looks like something you’d see on “Cops.”

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Join a search party and head out to the McCobb farm.

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I haven’t seen Bobby, but I’ll ask around.”

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Anybody seen Bobby?

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“Nope--and we’ve been hanging around here all day.”

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To get to the Lumberhack maze, you have to walk a path behind the Festhaus and along the railroad tracks practically to the Rhine River (unless you're using Quick Queue.)

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You might need a little haunted refreshment by the time you get there.

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Ports of Skull is back this year, but not as a Terror-Tory. I guess it lost that status because all the pirates just hang out here at the Baargh.

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You can still get your picture taken on Torture Hill, though.

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Sideshow Square and Circo Sinistro are across this bridge.

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Let’s not forget this year’s HOS merchandise.

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“Excuse me, but are you being helped?”

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It appears that Mr. Karver’s puppets have taken over the Tempesto Gift Shop.

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You HOS veterans just might recognize that giant clown head. He’s seen a lot of use over the years.

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The living puppets are new, though.

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Hey, who doesn’t love the circus, right?

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Almost 10:00 pm, and the park’s about to close.

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But we still have to get past Ripper Row. Jack stole this chair from a guest. It was pretty funny.

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If you’re here after the stroke of 10:00, this will be your fate.

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The coppers are especially scary on Ripper Row.

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Pleasant dreams from Howl-o-Scream 2016.

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