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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 453 - Bierfest begins July 30th

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What makes me most upset about this is that BGW has an impressive ride line up filled with variety! This attraction was a cornerstone in that variety and it's also a very high quality darkride! Understandable that its very expensive and might not be the draw it used to, especially since it's not tied with any IP. However, I'm very upset to see this one go! SeaWorld is just not about the dark rides are they?

Edited by colinx
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I don't love it, but I understand it (kind of). I really liked the ride. It was probably the best new style dark ride at an American regional park until these Justice League rides started coming out (I've got to hand it to Six Flags), but this thing never had a line and it wasn't due to it's overwhelming capacity.

 

DirkFunk is right though, Christmas Town and Christmas events in general are getting more and more popular and they're doing gangbusters business that time of year. Closing one of your indoor rides when you have very few to begin with seems really strange to me.

 

... wait. It was always closed for ChristmasTown? An indoor, temperature controlled dark ride? No... stop... you're f*cking with me. Well never mind then.

Edited by coasterbill
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Also, has their been any news about Curse of Darkastle? I see it on their website, which makes me hopeful...

 

We have an answer, but you're not going to like it.

 

The park is closing it and replacing it with essentially nothing. You can help them name their new event space though. Gartensburg Castle, NewKastle or Oktoberfest Palaste? Comment with your choice from these 3 (only 1 vote per person)... poll ends Jan. 26 at noon.

 

I'm not joking.

 

That's a (somewhat unsurprising) shame.

 

I'm not much of a pure coaster enthusiast, and I prefer parks with a balanced roster of attractions (and there aren't a whole lot of major attractions at regional thrill parks that my mom can partake in). So losing a unique dark ride is disappointing. From what I could tell, Curse of Darkastle was a few cuts above what you would expect at a park like this.

 

It's not like I'm going to cancel my (planned) June trip because of this, but it does make me want to kick myself for not getting around to the park last year or the year before that.

 

As an aside, is early June a good time to visit Busch Gardens? I was thinking of catching the Food and Wine Festival.

Edited by aueft
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a decent dark ride for a regional place.

Makes me wonder if it just wasn't a good enough ride to keep the locals coming back. We're so used to rides here in Orlando like Transformers and Kong that are, IMO, a "one and done" which is fine since many of the visitors are not from around here and are only riding these attractions once in a lifetime or once in many years.

 

Whereas a park like BGW I'm sure has a much much higher "annual pass" locals population of guests, and while the ride was "ok" maybe it's just not something that kept people coming back after 13 years. It basically just overstayed it's welcome at the park.

 

Maybe, maybe not. They're an hour from Richmond, 2-3 from DC/NOVA. Plus SeaWorld Orlando has been pushed into being re-positioned as a park geared increasingly to locals on passes, which they've stated in their calls and reports.

 

I do agree that while the ride was "fine" (although probably my least favorite of all the screen-based 'shake you around in a box' style dark rides) I'm not going to lose any sleep over it knowing it won't be there for my next visit, and if anything I think removing it just gives the park one less 42" ride where they don't have that many to begin with.

 

LOL, see, I hadn't thought of that either. Good trade! Seriously though; so maybe they can cut some costs by reducing their attraction load by one and laying off a maintenance guy or two without badly affecting the attendance. But what does that say about the vision of the company that they didn't, say, retheme it? Put some new projectors in, give it a new name, you have a new for XXXX ride for less money than it costs to probably install another Italian protos#ittype that doesn't work.

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I don't love it, but I understand it (kind of). I really liked the ride. It was probably the best new style dark ride at an American regional park until these Justice League rides started coming out (I've got to hand it to Six Flags), but this thing never had a line and it wasn't due to it's overwhelming capacity.

 

DirkFunk is right though, Christmas Town and Christmas events in general are getting more and more popular and they're doing gangbusters business that time of year. Closing one of your indoor rides when you have very few to begin with seems really strange to me.

 

... wait. It was always closed for ChristmasTown? An indoor, temperature controlled dark ride? No... stop... you're f*cking with me. Well never mind then.

 

Kings Island had FOF closed for Winterfest. Their one indoor coaster: Closed. There's no accounting for common sense.

 

I'm with the people who didn't think much of it, but like, c'mon, that's not the best answer as to what to do with the ride system and that building.

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Kings Island had FOF closed for Winterfest. Their one indoor coaster: Closed. There's no accounting for common sense.

 

Yeah that was insane too, especially since the swings were open so it's not like the ride was buried in the back far from everything else that was open. It was RIGHT THERE (kind of like DarKastle).

 

Personally (since the crowds totally justify it), I think Williamsburg should just open every non-water ride in the park for ChristmasTown anyway like Dollywood does (even if you insist on a 40 degree limit for the coasters) since the average temperatures for Williamsburg and Pigeon Forge are virtually identical and because I mean... Great Adventure exists and then raise prices for the event since they're providing a much better product but that's a different discussion for a different day.

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I would have ridden it this summer, but I guess that allows me to get another ride or two on the B&M's so.... meh.

 

But then they're answering nearly every post with "Check out Battle For Eire, the new VR ride in Ireland", I'm not happy about that trade off.

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I'd heard promising things about DarKastle, but it wasn't particularly memorable for me. Then again, I'm not much for screen-based dark rides outside of the best of the best (say, Universal's better offerings).

 

I will remember it as The One After Spiderman, in Universal IOA, Orlando. And that was great, because it was a non

Disney/Universal park taking on a (still) new dark ride concept and creating it's own unique story and themeing, etc.

 

Sorry to read it's going to be leaving.

Edited by Nrthwnd
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Well damn. Good thing I went to BGW a couple times last year and got to experience DarKastle before it closed for good. I thought it was a really fun ride that was a great way to cool down and relax between riding coasters. And maybe I'm just weird, but the fact that it wasn't IP-based was part of its appeal for me.

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I did like DarKastle but I won't lose sleep over its closure. It was a one and done ride for me every visit. I think I'll most miss the refreshing AC since it always seems to be triple digits for my visit.

 

There's always the craft-beer room in the Festhaus.

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Back when I rode DarKastle (and walked the track) on the East Coast trip, the ride was one a handful of its kind (along with Spider-Man) so I think I was more impressed with it than I would have been if I rode it more recently. I do wish Antarctica at SeaWorld Orlando had been more like DarKastle in its length and theming because the bar was seemingly missed from where DarKastle had set it, by a lot.

 

It is a shame that the park opted to go the route of closure as opposed to re-purposing the ride system and structure for a new attraction. I get that they'll find great use for it during the park's seasonal offerings but when you have a purpose-built venue of that size meant for an attraction, it feels like the "easy" way out to convert it to a venue for horror mazes and holiday meet & greets.

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Also, has their been any news about Curse of Darkastle? I see it on their website, which makes me hopeful...

 

We have an answer, but you're not going to like it.

 

The park is closing it and replacing it with essentially nothing. You can help them name their new event space though. Gartensburg Castle, NewKastle or Oktoberfest Palaste? Comment with your choice from these 3 (only 1 vote per person)... poll ends Jan. 26 at noon.

 

I'm not joking.

 

[fbvideonew]

[/fbvideonew]

 

We thought we'd say goodbye to Curse of DarKastle with this final ride (digitally of course). The ride building will transform into a special events venue starting this year. While the ride maintained a loyal following over the last 13 years, we will be able to now offer new & exciting opportunities for Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town & other events. With that said, we want you to choose the name for the new event space. Which would you prefer: Gartensburg Castle, NewKastle or Oktoberfest Palaste? Comment below with your choice from these 3 (only 1 vote per person)... poll ends Jan. 26 at noon.

 

HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE news. . the ride, the theme, the castle setting. . . one of the best things in the park (to me, since I really like the overall mix of rides/attractions in a park).

 

was it the most exciting ride in the park? nope, but the setting, and as someone who HASN'T ridden the similar rides at Universal, it was super unique and we rode it multiple times on our one prior visit to BGW a few years ago.

 

such a shame this is happening

 

Europe in the Air ? feh. . take that turd away. . . DarKastle? THIS was a shining gem, and now will just be a hole in the crown at BGW

Edited by bert425
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"one and done" sounds like a crap ride. It wasn't, but it was more a one-time, single-experience not oriented to reriding and something you'd expect to not stay with the the same program for decades.

 

Maybe they'll see how the VR goes and repurpose some of the hardware for that ... the whole ride in a tiny dark box.

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Very bummed out by this news. I really was looking forward to there being two cool dark rides at Busch Gardens to compliment the coasters. Hopefully they'll use that money they saved to fix Verbolten's special effects.

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I am going to miss this ride because I enjoyed it a lot. I do hope whatever BGW has in store for 2019 is REALLY unique though to make up for it.

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Europe in the Air at BGT? feh. . take that turd away. . . DarKastle? THIS was a shining gem, and now will just be a hole in the crown at BGW

 

Europe in the Air is becoming the "first VR simulator" this year ("Battle for Erie"). It's themed to Irish mythology. We'll see how that goes.

Edited by cfc
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Pretty sad. Seems like the ride wasn't incredibly popular, but I always really loved it. The setting was just exactly my thing, and...look, I'm easy to please...give me werewolves, I'm gonna be happy). It wasn't as high budget as some of the other similar rides but it still had some great scenes; I always thought the "flying" part of the ride worked really well. I'm definitely going to miss it.

 

On top of that, as great a part as BGW is, it really isn't amazing as far as sheer number of rides; besides the coasters the lineup really isn't that amazing, so losing one of the biggest non-coaster rides is a hit. The park's responding on facebook to people mentioning that by saying they're adding Battle for Eire, but that's replacing another (admittedly terrible) ride so it's not helping their count.

 

...Still, I AM looking forward to that one, since I still haven't stopped missing Corkscrew Hill.

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I'll be here, praying to the amusement gods that Sally gets brought in to design something new. Every park needs a solid dark ride.

 

If that was the case, they would use the existing building for the new ride but they aren't doing that. They're turning it into an event space.

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Europe in the Air at BGT? feh. . take that turd away. . . DarKastle? THIS was a shining gem, and now will just be a hole in the crown at BGW

 

Europe in the Air is becoming the "first VR simulator" this year ("Battle for Erie"). It's themed to Irish mythology. We'll see how that goes.

 

not sure why I typed BGT. . . of course it's also in BGW. . .brainfart, but my interest in the VR simulator isn't that high.

 

we'll see how it is before judging too harshly tho. (it still SUCKS they are closing DarKastle tho )

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Calling it: Fake news.

 

In all seriousness, Emily will be bummed. She really liked this ride. As someone who said before, for those who hadn't had a chance to ever visit a park like Universal, this ride was definitely up to par. We fit that demographic perfectly and we enjoyed at least one spin per visit on Dark Castle.

 

That being said, cost runs everything and you just have to hope that BGW is making the right financial decision in order to come out on top after this rough period for the chain. We don't truly know all of the costs and headaches associated with Dark Castle.

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