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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 455: Opening night of Howl-o-Scream!

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InvadR was a walk on as we were on the very first train, and we got right back on and sat front row, again it was a walk on. My feelings about this coaster differ depending on what kind of coaster it was meant to be. I've heard people say it is a family coaster, and if so it's maybe the best family coaster I've ever been on. RCDB says it's a thrill coaster and if that's the case then it's a very below average thrill coaster. In any case it was a smooth fun ride, just not very thrilling. There were indeed 2 rows roped off for quick queue people. I believe they were the 2 middle rows.

RCDB's intensity scale is off. Most classic woodies qualify as "extreme" on their scale. The sub-48" minimum on a modern coaster cements this as a family coaster, and an excellent one at that.

 

Next we hit Apollo's Chariot and even though the line appeared long it was only 10 minutes or so. The operations on this ride and throughout the park were pretty damn good. I think this is the best ride in the park.I thought it did a good job maintaining it's speed, very smooth, and somewhat intense. The drop is also pretty fun even though it's not the steepest drop in the world. Now with all that said, it failed to deliver the kind of air time I was expecting. And I wasn't stapled in either. We rode this 5 times in all different rows, including the very back, and the air just wasn't there, so that was kind of disappointing. But overall I enjoyed the coaster a lot.

Apollo's runs better in warmer weather. I went last April and last August. The rides it gave in April were as you described. The rides it gave in August gave me solid ejector at moments.

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^ I've never had an issue with air on Apollo's Chariot. It may be lacking positive Gs, but it's not lacking in the negative G department.

 

How quickly does Tempesto tend to build up a line at Busch Gardens? My thought for next Friday is that I should hit InvadR first and then work counterclockwise, but was trying to determine if I should bypass Alpengeist, Griffon, and Verbolten in the morning and hit them later.

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So after we ate we walked around to the coasters and everything was a 45+ min wait. So we went on Alpengeist and Griffon a couple more times and left around 3 PM. I would have liked to spend more time there, but I wasn't going to wait that long for what they have. And an employee even told me this wasn't THAT busy of a day. So if that's true how the hell is Sea World losing money. On one of my Apollo's Chariot rides I could see that every single parking lot was full. And when we were leaving the traffic was bumper to bumper to get in. And that place is expensive, even for amusement park standards. So unless BGW is the only busy park the Sea World owns, it baffles me how they aren't wiping themselves with $100 bills... .

 

From everything I have heard and the research I have done. The BG parks are the only ones making money for SeaWorld Ent. Which makes sense when Merlin Ent. Stated they wanted to purchased BG parks and SeaWorld declined. I can’t 100% confirm but that is my thoughts on the issues of SeaWorld’s financial issues.

 

 

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How quickly does Tempesto tend to build up a line at Busch Gardens? My thought for next Friday is that I should hit InvadR first and then work counterclockwise, but was trying to determine if I should bypass Alpengeist, Griffon, and Verbolten in the morning and hit them later.

 

I would think on a Friday in April nowadays Tempesto won't get much more than a station wait. When I went to the park on Easter both Tempesto and Apollo's Chariot had station waits. Tempesto spilled a tiny bit into its queue sometimes.

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From everything I have heard and the research I have done. The BG parks are the only ones making money for SeaWorld Ent.

 

Do you have anything that can show that? I’ve always been curious as to how the Seaworld / Busch parks rank amongst themselves with attendance and profitability.

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Now I usually don't talk about the food, because just about all amusement park food sucks, but I was told to expect good food at BGW. And I had both a good and bad experience. First the bad, the Italian food was garbage. The Chicken parm was terrible. The meat was dry and tasteless and the sauce was straight out of a container at the grocery store. Pretty pathetic. I threw most of it out. My cousin had their pizza and ate half a slice. I tried it and it was definitely the worst I had ever had. So still hungry we went to the smokehouse in the France section and that was good. We had some ribs that were pretty damn good. I feel like I should have known better than to try the Italian food, but being Italian I just couldn't help myself.

 

The Italian food at BGW is tricky. If you get it right after they bring a new tray out, it's OK. But not so hot if they serve you the last of what's on the tray.

 

The Smokehouse and Fethaus are usually a better bet, but I do like the Mogolian Beef and Mediterranean Beef at Marco Polo's Marketplace.

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Now I usually don't talk about the food, because just about all amusement park food sucks, but I was told to expect good food at BGW. And I had both a good and bad experience. First the bad, the Italian food was garbage. The Chicken parm was terrible. The meat was dry and tasteless and the sauce was straight out of a container at the grocery store. Pretty pathetic. I threw most of it out. My cousin had their pizza and ate half a slice. I tried it and it was definitely the worst I had ever had. So still hungry we went to the smokehouse in the France section and that was good. We had some ribs that were pretty damn good. I feel like I should have known better than to try the Italian food, but being Italian I just couldn't help myself.

 

The Italian food at BGW is tricky. If you get it right after they bring a new tray out, it's OK. But not so hot if they serve you the last of what's on the tray.

 

The Smokehouse and Fethaus are usually a better bet, but I do like the Mogolian Beef and Mediterranean Beef at Marco Polo's Marketplace.

 

I recall the pub food in Ireland was quite good.

 

we had some sort of Irish Nachos and pulled pork sandwich. . both of which we ate more than once since it was so good.

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How quickly does Tempesto tend to build up a line at Busch Gardens? My thought for next Friday is that I should hit InvadR first and then work counterclockwise, but was trying to determine if I should bypass Alpengeist, Griffon, and Verbolten in the morning and hit them later.

 

I would think on a Friday in April nowadays Tempesto won't get much more than a station wait. When I went to the park on Easter both Tempesto and Apollo's Chariot had station waits. Tempesto spilled a tiny bit into its queue sometimes.

 

Thanks! That sounds like how Phobia is at Lake Compounce. That thing doesn't usually have a bad wait because of the short ride and quick loading.

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From everything I have heard and the research I have done. The BG parks are the only ones making money for SeaWorld Ent.

 

Do you have anything that can show that? I’ve always been curious as to how the Seaworld / Busch parks rank amongst themselves with attendance and profitability.

 

Look at their quarter results. Also, working at the Busch parks and asking these questions, they have been upfront about Busch parks make them (SeasWorld) the money. But speaking about anything to “show” this, simply the quarter results and annual reports. I would link to them, but I can get it to work via phone.

 

Edit: I also wanted to add a personal thought: if they (SeaWorld) continues the “restructuring” and it is successful, then I believe they will ultimately succeed. But if not then we know what that entails.

 

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Look at their quarter results. Also, working at the Busch parks and asking these questions, they have been upfront about Busch parks make them (SeasWorld) the money. But speaking about anything to “show” this, simply the quarter results and annual reports. I would link to them, but I can get it to work via phone.

 

Hmm... I’ve gone through their quarterly reports before but maybe I’m missing the part where it says each parks attendance and profitability

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Look at their quarter results. Also, working at the Busch parks and asking these questions, they have been upfront about Busch parks make them (SeasWorld) the money. But speaking about anything to “show” this, simply the quarter results and annual reports. I would link to them, but I can get it to work via phone.

 

Hmm... I’ve gone through their quarterly reports before but maybe I’m missing the part where it says each parks attendance and profitability

 

No you are correct. They will give you only a general overview. Where I am getting the info about BG parks is from working at them and asking the correct people these questions. BG makes a crap ton of money, and (without paper proof) the general consensus is that BG makes the money for SeaWorld. The quarter/annual reports show that SeaWorld is not doing great. Thus backing the internal statements. This is also backed by the fact that when Merlin Ent stated publicly they were interested in purchasing BG parks. The crazy thing is, that was not just a statement. Talks were had, but ultimately SeaWorld will not sale BG parks at this time.

 

 

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No you are correct. They will give you only a general overview. Where I am getting the info about BG parks is from working at them and asking the correct people these questions. BG makes a crap ton of money, and (without paper proof) the general consensus is that BG makes the money for SeaWorld. The quarter/annual reports show that SeaWorld is not doing great. Thus backing the internal statements. This is also backed by the fact that when Merlin Ent stated publicly they were interested in purchasing BG parks. The crazy thing is, that was not just a statement. Talks were had, but ultimately SeaWorld will not sale BG parks at this time.

 

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Ok, darn. For the record I’m not doubting what you’re saying. In fact, I agree with you having also worked for the company and doing the same thing you’ve done, talking to the right people. I’ve just always had an assumption as to the ranking of the parks: which ones are making money, breaking even, and losing money.

 

Getting back to the subject of Busch Gardens Williamsburg I hope if they move forward with Sesame Place 2 that they don’t stop adding capital investments to the main park. Typically my wife and I won’t revisit a park until they have added a few larger rides but Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the parks that we will visit after each one. Additionally from what a few of you have said we missed couple good spots but it may have been because we were very “focused” on the food and wine event haha

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No you are correct. They will give you only a general overview. Where I am getting the info about BG parks is from working at them and asking the correct people these questions. BG makes a crap ton of money, and (without paper proof) the general consensus is that BG makes the money for SeaWorld. The quarter/annual reports show that SeaWorld is not doing great. Thus backing the internal statements. This is also backed by the fact that when Merlin Ent stated publicly they were interested in purchasing BG parks. The crazy thing is, that was not just a statement. Talks were had, but ultimately SeaWorld will not sale BG parks at this time.

 

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Ok, darn. For the record I’m not doubting what you’re saying. In fact, I agree with you having also worked for the company and doing the same thing you’ve done, talking to the right people. I’ve just always had an assumption as to the ranking of the parks: which ones are making money, breaking even, and losing money.

 

Getting back to the subject of Busch Gardens Williamsburg I hope if they move forward with Sesame Place 2 that they don’t stop adding capital investments to the main park. Typically my wife and I won’t revisit a park until they have added a few larger rides but Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the parks that we will visit after each one. Additionally from what a few of you have said we missed couple good spots but it may have been because we were very “focused” on the food and wine event haha

 

Oh I know. I was just being clearer.

 

 

Well I am excited for the future of BGW. Rumor has it that Spain will be the next area and the 315ft “attraction” that has been approved (according to someone that “claims” to seen the plan) seems to be a Coaster. I have my doubts but we shall see.

 

 

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First time posting here, long time lurker. I just visited Busch Gardens Williamsburg and got to be in either the first or second cycle for Battle for Eire. I figured I should give my thoughts.

 

The queue is very well done. It starts off as just rockwork, with screens explaining your magical caps, as they say. By the time you pick up the VR mount, it's become a detailed castle. It's very cohesive and flows naturally between sections.

 

The preshow feels very cut-and-pasted from Curse of Darkastle. It has pretty much the same effects, and the same feel. Just a different story.

 

There's a loading Bay, with light up dots on the floor to stand on. They take a while to explain the dots, but everyone kinda figures it out. In this room, there is a safety video, but those who will ride on the farthest part of the simulator will not be able to see.

 

The actual simulator room was quite large. I never knew Europe in the Air existed until I was leaving the park on my last visit. It felt very imposing and it gave a lot of hope that this would be awesome. Be sure not to put the VR on the headgear until they tell you to. They don't like when people do that too soon.

 

The ride itself was okay. The VR was just a little pixelated, but not distractingly so. At times, it was very blurry. The biggest issue seemed to be the simulator itself. The simulator was not convincingly making the movements. It was synced up very well, but they couldn't accurately portray any motion left to right. When the video turned 90 degrees to the right, the sensation was that of simply sliding to the right without turning. When the video would both blur, and the simulator just felt like it lurched instead of moved, the ride really started to feel weird very fast.

 

If it was a traditional simulator, I think they could have pulled it off much better. They seem to have overestimated the simulator's motion range. It came off as watching the VR while experiencing a separate simulator ride, rather than one cohesive thing. It just didn't mesh quite right. I do not recommend waiting in a line that extends out the building. If you can't see the line though, it's a nice, air conditioned, and visually impressive experience. The queue was stunning, by non-Disney standards. This is an example of storytelling done well, but not an attraction done super well.

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This place was open Monday for some reason. Well actually it was Emancipation Day with government workers in DC closed, but I just had to look that up and didn't seem like anyone showed up to the park because of it. Holy cats. Also there was some scattered rain including a slight chance of thunderstorm centered right on my visit, but while there wasn't a lot of sun, as I headed east of Richmond the dark clouds changed to white puffy ones with bits of blue showing.

 

Rode Loch Ness with the new trains, the green shade making me think Loch Ness Anaconda. I'm not sure what difference they made. I did get headbanged slightly from the restraint but rode towards the front and it was pretty smooth. I used to love the back, but it's really rough coming out of the loops. I wondered if the new trains wouldn't have padding on the backrests because I've had it grip my back and felt my backbone being stretched by the bumps, but that part is the same.

 

Walked on front row of Apollo. Airtime is the exact same as every time I've ever ridden it, extended floater in the back. Went over for a couple of Tempesto rides. I waited one train for the front and wow there is some ejector air coming up to the top of that first loop. I could have stayed in my seat but I don't want to try riding that thing twice back to back. Only reason I can tolerate it without getting sick is because it's so short.

 

Skyride was closed which is why I ended up riding Apollo already in the first place. I saw the train go by twice before I was done over there and then it promptly showed up again. InvadR's right at the Caribou train station so that was next. I really like how the train and that ride interact, yeah the people on the train probably think it's silly when the people on the coaster yell at them. Le Scoot was closed but looked like it had been open earlier. As to if InvadR is a family ride or a thrill ride, it's about as thrilling as a coaster 74 feet tall gets. There are a couple missed opportunities for more airtime but my arms got tired from trying to hold them up while whipping around.

 

Then rode Griffon and Geist. Skipped the Bolt as I marathoned it at X Town and it was out of the way. Didn't try Eire as it sounds like it will be at least as sickening as the other rides in that location and there were better things to do.

 

Overall I was in the park almost exactly 3 hours, got 23 coaster laps incl. 9 front row and 2 hops on the train. Sweet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Battle for Eire's video was done by Falcon Creative Group, and Dreamcraft Attractions worked on the ride, too. The simulator platform has been there since the Questor days (upgraded since).

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Battle for Eire's video was done by Falcon Creative Group, and Dreamcraft Attractions worked on the ride, too. The simulator platform has been there since the Questor days (upgraded since).

 

Thanks for the information...

 

Do you have any clue about Griffon's track?

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^That's just where the track has been repainted most recently. The lowest portions of the track don't require massive cranes so they can be repainted more easily and are done more frequently.

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Okay, this park is going insane with future plans. Not that it's a bad thing...But I'm crazy curious what's happening at this park in the next few years. First we get leaked news that a Spain area with a 315 foot attraction may be coming. Then a survey asking about adding a third gate, a Sesame Place, to the area. Now, there is more leaked news that a 90 foot attraction may be coming to the Ireland area of the park. What comes first? Is BGW going overboard here or is all this just "fake news"?

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