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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 452 - Busch Gardens Summer Nights

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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

^^Hmm--I think your assumption is correct.  @Mike240SX I'm certainly not expecting "full operations" before Memorial Day Weekend, which isn't unusual (for example, they usually don' t start operating

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

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I'm a longtime premium passholder. I've been locked in at $11.00/month for years, which was quite a bargain. I'm not sure if my old pass is affected by blackout dates (they're a bit vague on that point).

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Checking prices online a single day admission is currently selling for $90/ea. Or $360 for a family of four to go to the park for one day just in admissions.

 

I wonder how many families will jump on buying one membership for the family and use the 3 free tickets and just go one day saving them over $120 when you factor in parking, in park discounts, etc. I guess at that point the strategy is that it's better to get 4 people through the gates once instead of not at all. hmmm...

 

Still an interesting new pricing structure and if I lived close enough to make this worth it I'd probably jump on it. Blackout dates usually don't bother me because they're almost always dates I would avoid the park anyways.

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^ not sure of the restrictions for the membership, but i *think* previously for season passes the free tickets were valid for different periods (ie: one in spring, one in fall, etc). Not sure how that will work now.

 

Also once we get closer to season start they will definitely offer better deals on 1 day tickets, whether it's including dining or offering a bigger discount. At least I would hope so... >.< -- that's pretty steep.

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Hi everyone, just a quick question regarding crowds. I'll be in Virginia on a mini trip on the weekend of April 20th-22nd. We'll be at BGW Friday the 20th all day. The park is only open till 8 so we are thinking that they aren't expecting much in the way of crowds but I wanted to see what regulars thought. Thanks!

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^^-- Looking at the above blockout days chart, there are no blockouts that weekend so management is expecting the whole weekend to be light. I don't think I've ever gone there on a Friday but general experience says that can't be beat.

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^ not sure of the restrictions for the membership, but i *think* previously for season passes the free tickets were valid for different periods (ie: one in spring, one in fall, etc). Not sure how that will work now.

 

Also once we get closer to season start they will definitely offer better deals on 1 day tickets, whether it's including dining or offering a bigger discount. At least I would hope so... >.< -- that's pretty steep.

 

That makes more sense, thank you.

 

Saw in another thread that BGT went up to over $100/day for a single day admission with no Florida Resident discount currently being offered. With the latest round of Disney price hikes and the trouble Busch/Sea World have been in now might be a good time for a price reduction, even if it was say $5/ticket or so.

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I'm a longtime premium passholder. I've been locked in at $11.00/month for years, which was quite a bargain. I'm not sure if my old pass is affected by blackout dates (they're a bit vague on that point).

 

I still have the $11.00 a month pass and agree it is still quite the deal. The only answer I have seen is that it will stay the same for at least 2018.

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I'm still cautious about the fact that they're adding VR to the same motion platform experience that has been there for years... I'm curious to see how the experience turns out and how long it will last. That venue (and its sister attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa) have had a history of short-lived attractions coming and going.

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hmmm. . .

 

can't wait to check it out. Not that "into" the theme as proposed, but always willing to give it a shot before deciding.

 

(and lord knows, it can't be worse than Europe in the Air was)

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I logged in to try to upgrade my platinum pass online to a premier membership since it's only $1 more per pass for me and apparently you can only do it over the phone or in person. It's 2018, this should be an easy thing to do on the computer.

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Battle for Eire Hard-Hat Tour

 

As most TPR members know (unless they’ve been in a coma for a few years), virtual reality (VR) has been popping up at theme parks worldwide. We’ve all seen photos of riders wearing VR helmets equipped with cell phones, experiencing alien invasions and laser battles as they roll up and down the hills of such coasters as New Revolution at Six Flags Mountain. However, with Battle for Eire, Busch Gardens is hoping to take the application of VR to a new level.

 

Battle for Eire will be the “most unique VR experience anywhere,” said Larry Giles, the park’s vice president of engineering. How will BGW’s VR attraction differ from all the others?

 

1. Battle for Eire will use not a coaster, but the park’s still state-of-the-art simulator platform, which was first installed for the fondly remembered Questor and last used for the flight simulation Europe in the Air. According to Giles, it’s similar to what NASA uses for training. Using VR allows for more movement than the old system, where the edges of the screen had to be accommodated. VR provides a 360-degree experience that will place riders in the middle of the action.

 

2. Instead of headsets equipped with cell phones, Eire’s VR system uses custom software, and a “mini-computer” operates each individual headset. This allows for a much sharper image than you see on other parks’ VR rides. It flashes in front of your eyes at 90 frames per second. This will be a “new system for the theme park world,” said Jason Ambler, executive producer/director of production at Falcon’s Digital Media. This company also worked with the park on Curse of DarKastle. There will be “interactive elements” too, says Ambler. For example, a rider who looks off to the left or right will have a different view than the rider next to him. Altering one's gaze is supposed to set off different ride elements; so, the ride will be a bit different each time you experience it.

 

3. Eire will also be higher capacity than VR coaster rides. Each of the two simulators holds 59 passengers. There are two pre-shows (roughly two minutes each) in addition to the ride itself (which lasts four minutes).

 

4. Battle for Eire also marks the welcome return of Irish mythology to BGW. Guests will don “Emerald Helmets” equipped with “Enchanted Lenses,” which enable them to see the mystical “Otherworld.” There they will help Addie, “the last remaining fairy of Ireland,” and her dragon sidekick, Ollie, battle the evil Balor, a cyclops who gains his power by “consuming the good magic of Ireland.” Guests will “ride a dragon” during this adventure. The helmets come in two sizes--adult and child--and are adjustable. The park also used Irish actors in Dublin to provide voices for the characters.

 

Guests who don’t wish to wear an “Emerald Helmet” can still ride. The adventure will also be projected on the simulator’s big screen. The height limit is 42 inches.

 

Battle for Eire will open in spring 2018. No specific date was given.

 

Here’s a look at the tour.

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Well, this was more of a "fluorescent vest" tour. Hard hats weren't required.

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Ireland is getting all spruced up.

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The gift shop is getting a new roof.

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I remember when Questor was in this building. It was also the site of the first Howl-o-Scream maze.

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Time for the tour.

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Here's a piece of the "Unearthed" Howl-o-Scream maze. But Battle for Eire will be running during HOS, so I guess the monsters will have to move out.

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Behold the Emerald Helmet! The VR headsets themselves will not come in contact with riders' faces. The helmets will be cleaned after each use, but the park has roughly 10,000 of them. Magnets on the helmets will hold the VR headsets in place.

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Suzy Cheely, who is also on the park's engineering team, demonstrated how to wear the Emerald Helmet. There is a ratcheting strap on the back, similar to what you find on some hard hats. (Maybe it was a "hard-hat tour" after all.)

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This is is the "Training" room (second pre-show). Note the illuminated dots on the floor (for seating purposes).

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This is where you'll get the safety instructions on how to properly fly on a dragon.

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They're still theming the pre-show rooms--something about "leprechaun doors and windows." The rock-corridor queue appears to be unchanged.

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The pre-show video will "turn" like pages in a book. They're still waiting for their new screen.

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Here's the simulator platform . . .

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. . . and a whole bunch of headsets in their holders.

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Here's the VR headset up close.

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After fastening their seat belts, . . .

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. . . riders take the headsets from their holders, then put them on the helmet. It looked pretty easy.

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How about a look at what goes on underneath the platform? Here's the hydraulic system.

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Questor was the frist attraction Larry Giles worked on at BGW.

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They use this mini-platform to program the ride platform. Moves are tested here first, then riders try them out for real.

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Here's a piece of history: This patch of concrete is where the front section of Questor was anchored.

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So, if looking up under a coaster train is "coaster porn," I guess this is "simulator porn."

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Another amazing piece of high-tech equipment! ;)

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Larry Giles doing a Q&A session in front of some concept art.

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Meet Addie. She looks pretty fierce. Her name is a shortened version of a Gaelic word meaning "little flame."

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This is her friend Ollie. Don't mess with him.

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Balor is as evil as he is ugly. He is a demon king in Irish mythology

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Be sure to have plenty of Raid on hand if you ever encounter Balor's minions, the Sluagh.

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Battle for Eire opens this spring. That's all for now.

Edited by cfc
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The hard hat concept is definitely interesting, I'm curious to see how that goes with people dropping them and general wear and tear. I'm looking forward to checking this out, it looks great.

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