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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

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

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What's New at BGW for 2017?: Report from Passholder Preview Day

 

Rain mixed with snow is falling on Williamsburg at the moment, but the weather for yesterday's Passholder Preview Day, depiste a drizzly beginning, was nearly perfect. The park uses these events for announcements both major (such as InvadR) and minor (such as new kiosks for the Food and Wine Festival). Here's a summary of what happened yesterday.

 

1. InvadR will open on April 7. This is one of the earliest openings for a new ride at BGW ever. They "unveiled" the ride's sign and entrance (both of which look great), and mentioned that "testing" had been going on. I didn't see any trains on the track, but they could've in the station and barn away from public view.

 

2. Virtual reality comes to Ireland in 2018. Europe in the Air is closed and being prepared to become a "virtual-reality motion-simulator" attraction. The park showed a brief teaser video about the new attraction. One good thing about this announcement is that Irish myth is returning to BGW after a long absence.

 

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3. The Food and Wine Festival will feature three new kiosks this year: India, Mediterranean, and Island Freeze Frozen Drinks. Nice to know that all your adult-frozen-beverage needs will be served in one spot. The festival runs from May 26 to July 2.

 

4. At this year's Howl-o-Scream, the park is going to try something it's never done before . . . but we'll have to wait to find out what that is. That being said, Count von Count will be returning in a Halloween show for kids. And while Europe in the Air itself is closed, the show building will still host an HOS maze.

 

5. Busch Gardens is taking "French fries to a whole new level this year." More on that later.

 

6. Two new shows debut this year: Britmania in the Globe Theatre and Octoberzest in the Festhaus (the latter opens on March 31).

 

7. Concerts return to the park this year as part of the Summer NIghts series. Acts include .38 Special, Kool and the Gang, and Cassadee Pope and Chase Bryant (more to be announced later).

 

8. Alpengeist turns 20 years old this year; it's younger sibling, Griffon, turns 10.

 

Let's take a stroll around the park and see what's new--in addition to InvadR.

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The entrance was a bit backed up at 9:45 am. Guess I should've left a little earlier. It took about 15 minutes to get through the line.

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I amused myself watching test runs of Apollo's Chariot and Tempesto. The former was my first coaster of the season.

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I like noticing little new touches, such as this overhang for the wheelchair-and-stroller-rental building.

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No more turnstiles at the park exit. They count exiting guests electronically now.

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"Epic," eh? Much better than a more mundane quest, such as scoring a six pack or trying out a new breakfast cereal.

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Looks like England has broken out with a severe case of Britmania. The new show isn't open yet, but you can see Elmo Rocks in the Globe Theatre.

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This was the line for the park's annual presentation this year.

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Just hanging out in the Globe, waiting for the festivities to begin.

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Hmm--our first hint at what's coming in 2018.

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Park President David Cromwell welcomes BGW passholders, after the Official Presidential Tossing of the T-Shirts. He a very nice, personable guy.

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Let's see how well everyone follows instructions. Wait for it . . .

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Yes, VR is coming to Ireland.

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Helpful signage is, er, helpful.

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Goodbye, Throw Up, I mean, Europe in the Air. At least Irish mythology is coming back to the simulator ride.

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So, what about that "new level" of fries? Looks like a lot of people are interested. This is where the ice-cream parlor used to be.

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Choose your favorite cholesterol-laced enhancements! The line for this stand was pretty long, but the staff got through it pretty quickly.

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I tried the poutine and a nice pint of Alerwerks Chesapeake India Pale Ale. Both were quite nice. I'm intrigued by the Mediterranean-style fries with malt vinegar, feta cheese, and black olives.

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"But what about InvadR? What's happening over there?" Your patience is about to be rewarded--stay tuned!

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Does All for One not start until July? I didn't see any info on their website about it, but that's what the park prez made it sound like during passholder preview.

 

There was a sign posted on Big Ben, but I don't recall the date. It's part of the Summer Nights promotion.

 

So, how about some InvadR, eh?

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Look, Larry--a sign!

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This is the uber scary Viking war machine at the ride entrance, . . .

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. . . and this is Magnus, an uber scary Viking dude! Look how daintily he handles his spear.

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The theming for this ride is well done.

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Here's the entrance plaza from a distance.

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Behold the new skyline of Fort New France.

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They've done a lot of work since the February hard-hat tour.

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They area around the ride has been cleaned up nicely.

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Let's not forget the left side of the railroad tracks.

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I wonder what LeScoot thinks about its new neighbor?

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A piece of an airtime hill and a bit of GCI twistiness.

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Sorry about the goofy angle, but I wanted to show you the second tunnel.

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Still needs a few finishing touches.

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Here's what will greet you upon your return.

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The station looks good, but I hope the Vikings can't get to the propane tank--that could be trouble.

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The view from the bridge into Germany.

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InvadR is coming for you, LeScoot! Looks like you'll need loggers and security guards.

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Another look at the station. It really fits in well with Fort New France.

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So, how about some operating coaster photos?

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Alpengeist still isn't quite old enough to drink . . .

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. . . while Griffon is a precocious ten year old.

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That's all from Passholder Preview Day. Thanks for reading.

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. . . and this is Magnus, an uber scary Viking dude! Look how daintily he handles his spear.

Not going to lie, I legit laughed out loud at that one. Well done.

 

I see from the photos that Griffon was at the very least testing, when I checked the app over the weekend I noticed it said "closed for the season". Can you confirm it was actually running for parkgoers? I'm heading down there next Sunday, haven't been on it yet, and definitely want to get it in, so at least I have something to compare Valravn to. Here's hoping that maybe they soft-launch Invadr as well >_>

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^I can confirm that Griffon was open because I rode it. They were having some technical issues earlier in the day.

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^I can confirm that Griffon was open because I rode it. They were having some technical issues earlier in the day.

Excellent to hear. Thanks for the confirmation (and the awesome trip report, and awesome photos)! Getting really psyched for my first time down there in... I don't know, maybe 20 years?

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Awesome report Chuck! Rollercoasters, vikings, food, beer.... what more do you need?

 

Looks like the train passing underneath Invadr will create some nice smoke effects!

 

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I like how the coaster interacts with the train--should a new dimension to an old attraction.

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Looks like the train passing underneath Invadr will create some nice smoke effects!

 

You know, I actually was wondering a while back how the constant steam would affect the wood. I can only assume this was taken into account during the design process, but it just seemed odd to me. That being said, I cannot deny how cool the interaction between the train and InvadR is.

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I find it interesting how GCI decided to use wood supports in a couple of high-g spots that were close to the ground despite the fact the majority of the support structure is steel. I'm not gonna attempt to guess why they did that, but the nerd in me would love to know.

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I know they had some issues with their FB Live video and I think they ended up removing it but, if you want to watch the entire presentation by Park President David Cromwell, here it is!

 

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I like how Larry Giles conveniently forgets to mention King Arthur's Challenge, that HORRIBLE simulator film that followed Questor.

 

It truly sucked, and I am sure they would just hope people would forget about it.

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^ Awesome, looks like its a shorter train that other GCI's like White Lightening.

 

White Lightnin' has 6 cars, Invadr has 8

 

That I did not know. It still looks shorter, is 8 cars the standard for GCI?

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^ Awesome, looks like its a shorter train that other GCI's like White Lightening.

 

White Lightnin' has 6 cars, Invadr has 8

 

That I did not know. It still looks shorter, is 8 cars the standard for GCI?

It's usually 12 or so for the larger ones.

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^ Awesome, looks like its a shorter train that other GCI's like White Lightening.

 

White Lightnin' has 6 cars, Invadr has 8

 

That I did not know. It still looks shorter, is 8 cars the standard for GCI?

 

Standard is 12 cars... So yeah it's a pretty tiny train, but it's also a tiny coaster. Hopefully the short layout means shorter ride time and increased capacity

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