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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 447 - Halloween Harvest Trip Report

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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

It's so weird seeing the park map like that, but at least a half open park is better than a closed park!

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ADVICE: I'm taking my first trip to BGW this Saturday! I'm really excited to visit this park after years of seeing pictures and new rides being added.

 

I expect the park to be busy, so lines are not a big issue. What are some suggestions for a first timer at BGW? Ride order? Shows that are a must see? Best haunts?

 

And yes, we do plan to make it a full day, opening to close. Thanks everyone!

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If you get there before opening, you should be able to get in all the coasters before noon. It might be best to get InvadR out of the way first, as it'll have a long line by noon. Tempesto is low capacity, too. (Plus, there's always Quick Queue).

 

Here's the order of the shows based on quality: Monster Stomp, Fiends, and Night Beats Revamped. (None of them are really "bad," though--Night Beats in the Festhaus is the most "family friendly.") Howl to Coexist (wolf show) is worth seeing, too.

 

The best of the haunts are Vault XX, Demented Dimensions, and Dystopia. Line will be long for the mazes early in the evening, but there's always Quick Queue (highly recommended for a Howl-o-Scream weekend night).

 

Crappy weather might keep the crowds down on Saturday.

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There's some question about the track of this nor'easter but the weather this weekend (as of now) looks fine with low wind and a precipitation chance of less than 10% by park open.

 

As for the rides, Chuck is the expert but I should probably mention that Verbolten gets huge lines too and riding it early-ish would be wise. Mach Tower should be a high priority also if you ever happen to walk by it when it's not broken only because if the ride is open then the next breakdown is generally only a few short minutes away.

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ADVICE: I'm taking my first trip to BGW this Saturday! I'm really excited to visit this park after years of seeing pictures and new rides being added.

 

I expect the park to be busy, so lines are not a big issue. What are some suggestions for a first timer at BGW? Ride order? Shows that are a must see? Best haunts?

 

And yes, we do plan to make it a full day, opening to close. Thanks everyone!

 

I'm almost always an advocate for line skip passes anywhere on the weekends, but that may or may not be workable for you. One thing I would recommend is to keep in mind the opening times for the different areas of the park since it doesn't all open at the same time (should be printed on the park maps). I believe (but may be wrong) that the Verbolten area is the last to open. When I was last there in the spring, Loch Ness Monster was operating at 9:45, with InvadR and Griffon opening at 10. I think Tempesto/Apollo didn't open till after 10 though, but I'm not 100%.

 

If you're there early and can be lined up to get through the gates quickly when they start letting people in, you could probably get on and off of Nessie and hustle back to be one of the first people on InvadR. Then Griffon, Alpengeist, Verbolten, and finish with Tempesto/Apollo? YMMV though with crowds/ride opening times. Obviously with QQ, you can just do everything at your own pace though.

 

 

For the coasters themselves, I don't have a big preference for seating on Loch Ness Monster (though I tend towards the 2nd to last row). I like InvadR near the back (I think row 6 is the magical spot where you get both pops of air at the tops of the hills but still get a good yank down the first drop); it's also surprisingly fun after dark (and my favorite ride to end the night on). I like the last row on the dive coasters, so my vote for Griffon is the far back left seat. I tend to prefer inverts in the back, but I do really like Alpengeist in the front row; unfortunately, it's not uncommon for the front row to have a rather lengthy line while the rest of the train is practically a walk-on. I recommend Verbolten from the middle towards the front because the back whips you a bit exiting the building and heading into that launch; you do lose out on some visuals in the very very front though. For Tempesto, I go with the back because I just generally love being launched backwards up a spike/hill/loop. I don't know that I ever settled on my preferred row for Apollo though, so I guess you'll just have to ride it a bunch to find your happy place.

 

Hope that helps some!

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^Good to hear that the train will be running during Christmas Town, as the local scuttlebutt was that it was closed until next year.

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I can't believe they at least won't run Alpengeist. Booooooo.

 

Also, Mach Tower doesn't drop? What the hell is that about?

 

If the temperature drops below 42 degrees, they can't run Alpengiest. I remember visiting the park during a spring snowstorm years ago. I thought it was funny that the coaster themed to a ski lodge couldn't run in the snow.

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I believe at one point they did run Alpengeist for the event (temperature permitting) as well as Griffon and Tempesto in different years (though I'm prepared to be wrong about Alpengeist). They could run everything if they wanted to (I think Six Flags is proof of that), they just don't seem to put a premium on running their coasters for the event. Personally I think that's a shame but they're also doing gangbusters business for Christmastown as it is so my opinion clearly doesn't matter .

 

I sort of hoped that Kings Dominion would put together a decent lineup and push them to open some coasters (like what happened with Hershey after Great Adventure started their event), but we all saw how Kings Dominion's Winterfest lineup turned out

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They did try running Griffon one year, but the splash pool kept freezing over.

 

December is a tricky month in Williamsburg. Some years, it feels more like spring, while other years it's frigid.

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I can't believe they at least won't run Alpengeist. Booooooo.

 

Also, Mach Tower doesn't drop? What the hell is that about?

 

I talked about that with a park employee during the TPR trip, actually.

 

I think it sounds wonderful to use it an an observation tower during the Holiday events. . it already turns, so I think it's a great use of it

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^ Yeah, this trend of parks opening up for Christmas is fantastic. While Six Flags runs circles around the rest, that's a pretty nice selection of coasters in it's own right... especially since it's combined with great atmosphere, decorations and theming and a bunch of other fun rides and experiences.

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Dude... what's wrong with you?

 

You absolutely need to change that.

 

 

I will most likely check out Winterfest @ KD this year since it's 35 minutes from my apartment.

 

If KD is 35 minutes from you then Great Adventure is about 4 hours. Sounds like a road trip is in order. I mean, you can ride an 80mph hyper coaster in 20 degree weather, just sayin.

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Dude... what's wrong with you?

 

You absolutely need to change that.

 

 

I will most likely check out Winterfest @ KD this year since it's 35 minutes from my apartment.

 

If KD is 35 minutes from you then Great Adventure is about 4 hours. Sounds like a road trip is in order. I mean, you can ride an 80mph hyper coaster in 20 degree weather, just sayin.

 

I need to go back to Great Adventure asap I haven't been since 2011. Definitely high on my revisit priority list.

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^ I'd argue just drive the extra 2.5 hours to go to Dollywood now that Lightning Rod is actually running. Their Christmas event is one of the few that I think tops Great Adventure's.

 

It's so nice having all of these holiday events now!

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^Yeah I'm still having my issues with being too big for RMC as this year was devoted to passing the CPA Exam instead of the gym. But I'm optimistic about next year. At least I got to add Tempesto, InvadR, PHOENIX, Twister, Impulse, Flying Turns, and Black Diamond to my coasters ridden this year.

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