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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 468: Loch Ness Monster Media Day Report

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Probably heading down to BGW this fall for the first time in about 2 years. I say probably because we were supposed to go in 2016 but decided not to because of a hurricane. So out of curiosity, how is Tempesto? Is it really better than its clones at SFDK and Holiday Park?


And also out of curiosity, anyone else's favorite coaster Griffon?

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So out of curiosity, how is Tempesto?


I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE Tempesto. It's a great ride, and I can'tell wait to ride it again. The backwards launch is crazy powerful, and the slow roll at the top is at lot of fun. Not too mention the pop of air you get cresting the first hill on the front row!!


And also out of curiosity, anyone else's favorite coaster Griffon?


Favorite coaster ever?? No. Favorite coaster in the park?? By far. In fact, I enjoyed it so much my last visit I rode it 23 times! Now that was a great day!! Such a great ride!!

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Hard-Hat Tour of InvadR


Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s first wooden coaster, InvadR, is supposed to open in April 2017, and so far, the ride is on schedule said David Cromwell, the park’s president, at the beginning of a hard-hat construction tour today (February 22). This is appropriate as the day InvadR was announced last year was Cromwell’s “first day” on the job, as well.


Besides being BGW’s first wooden coaster, InvadR will be unique in the way it interacts with not only the park’s natural landscape, but also the LeScoot Log Flume and the Busch Gardens Raliway, which it crosses four times. It’s also the second wood-tracked coaster with a steel structure to be designed by Great Coasters International. The steel structure should make it easier to maintain than an all-wood structure, thus ensuring that InvadR provides a smooth ride for years to come.


Here are the vital statistics.


Location is the park’s Fort New France village

74-foot initial drop

9 airtime hills

Max speed of 48 mph

2 tunnels

2 trains

46-inch height requirement


As for how much airtime those 9 hills will provide, it’s tough to say. The proof will be in the riding.


As many of you are aware, the Millennium Flyer trains used on Gwazi, the dueling wooden coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, have been stripped down and rebuilt by the park’s technical staff (with help from GCI) and re-themed for InvadR. The trains will feature 8 cars instead of 12, which (according to GCI’s Adam House, who conducted the tour) will give the trains more “snap” as they crest the ride’s hills and whip into banked turns. Gwazi provided more than just trains to InvadR; for example, the steel rails in the ride station were also part of the Tampa coaster.


Here’s some more of the nitty gritty, for those of you into nails and concrete:


96,000 bolted connections

Over 10,000 pounds of nails (5.4 tons)

360,000 pounds (180 tons) of steel

10,000 cubic feet of lumber (not including building walls and roofs)

2,500 cubic yards of concrete


New coasters tend to “re-invigorate” the areas of the park that get them, and this is the first big new attraction for Fort New France in some time. The ride is themed to a “Viking invasion” of the village, and the ride’s entrance is a log fort complete with a stockade. Viking paraphernalia will be installed soon. Sound effects will also play a role at the beginning and end of the ride.


My thanks to Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s staff for being such gracious hosts. Let’s have a look at InvadR.


We had to give us the ever-so-stylish hat and vest after the tour.


InvadR towers over the Caribou Station in Fort New France.


Some anxious guests have bought the merch and queued up early.




Par president Paul Cromwell welcomes us to the tour of the first new ride under his watch.


Looks like LeScoot has lost its snazzy new sign until InvadR is finished.


Yes, the skyline of Fort New France is definitely changing for the better.


Let's have a look at the station, shall we?


This is for all you coaster geeks out there. You know who you are--and I know what you want!


GCI's Adam House fills us in on InvadR. A number of the parts, other than just the trains, came from Gwazi, . . .


. . . such as these rails.


Here's the barn and transfer track.


Looking back toward the station.


Adam House explains the operation of the transfer track.


Let's head deeper into the bowels of InvadR. (OK, that sounded a bit weird.)


Here's a good look at the ride's steel structure.


The view from railroad tracks, looking through Caribou Station.


The "deep breath before the plunge," as Gandalf might say.


An oh-so-sexy side view of the first drop.


This ride isn't lacking that GCI "twistiness." The steepest banked turns are about 55 degrees.


One of the "9 airtime hills."


The circuit isn't quite complete yet, but they're getting close.


This looks like a butt-out-of-the-seat moment.


Looking from the RR tracks to InvadR's "Valley of Twistiness." I like how the coaster will interact with the train.


The backside of InvadR. You're welcome.


We arrived in time to see a new bent being put into place.


Almost there. It is now part of the "Valley of Twistiness."


Here's a view of the first drop you won't be able to get on opening day.


And here's a bonus shot of Alpengeist testing.


Here's another view of one of the ride's first tunnel. Should be a cool feature.


One last look at the construction zone . . .


. . . and at some guys doing actual construction. Thanks for reading, and be sure to head to Williamsburg to ride Invadr this year.

Edited by cfc
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CFC- Thanks for the pictures. Looks like a day well spent.


Trevor Hamilton- Griffon is a favorite. Love the view over the river after the lift hill. Front row hang is just right. Last 4th of July (Lee Greenwood!) we had no lines and I gave in before the ride did. I rode four times, my 12 year-old went another two, did another together, and she went another three. It's a proud poppa moment when your daughter says, "I'm done eating. Can I get another ride on Griffon while you finish, meet you there? Can I ride again since mom and sister are in restroom? After Loch Ness Monster can I hit Griffon one more time?"

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Awesome report Chuck! I love all the stuff that's "going on" on the first drop. You have the tunnel on the drop, then there's another piece of track crossing over and then there's another tunnel. Should provide plenty of headchoppers and add a lot to the sensation of speed on the ride.


Ha! Love the fake Viking Beard!


I'm disappointed we didn't get to see any pictures of Chuck wearing it...

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This ride is looking fantastic. I just watched a video of the hard hat tour also and it is looking great. I know I'm not making it to BGW this year which stinks but I look forward to hearing how everyone says it rides.

I love getting to see all the progress on the coasters as they go up. I look forward to seeing how the scenery is when they are all done.

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Man this thing is looking great. I love when "small" coasters look like they'll pack a punch. I hope the structure itself does a fine job of making the place look good with all the trees gone, but if I know BGW, in 3-5 years, the landscaping there will look fantastic! Just look at how bland the Griffon area looked opening year compared to the last few seasons once the new foliage had time to grow in a bit!

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Great update!


New France might actually be my favorite area of the park, so between this and the Le Scoot refurbishment I'm thrilled to see that part of the park getting so much love lately (without compromising the overall feel of the area).


It is obvious it is your favorite as that is where the log flume lives


Chuck, thanks for the update! This looks like it will be a lot of fun and definitely changes the look and feel of the area!

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It is obvious it is your favorite as that is where the log flume lives


This is totally true, but once I'm fully immersed in BGW and have a nice buzzed worked up I absolutely love sitting in the shade, having a drink and watching Griffon and Alpengeist go by while I gorge myself on a Trappers sampler platter. I don't even mind that this involves listening to the same 2 Gordon Lightfoot and Alan Mills songs on loop, indefinitely, forever. It works... I'm cool with it.

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