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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

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

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Looks like I'm going to have to buy the platinum pass to Busch Gardens in 2020! Holy expensive, but worth it for the new speculated spiked multi-launched giga! And then get to travel to BGT for RMC Gwazi! BG has officially stepped their game up on top of already stepping their game up. This new BGW 2020 coaster might turn out to be a top 10 as well as RMC Gwazi... I'm so shocked and excited about 2020

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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

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

A Night at Busch Gardens' Christmas Celebration Busch Gardens Williamsburg is pushing on with its limited attendance/reservations-only events schedule with an abridged version of their extremely

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Looks like I'm going to have to buy the platinum pass to Busch Gardens in 2020! Holy expensive, but worth it for the new speculated spiked multi-launched giga! And then get to travel to BGT for RMC Gwazi! BG has officially stepped their game up on top of already stepping their game up. This new BGW 2020 coaster might turn out to be a top 10 as well as RMC Gwazi... I'm so shocked and excited about 2020

 

It's not for everybody, but I planned a trip to Texas to pick up a platinum pass at SWSA. It was $132.99, 1/3 the price in Williamsburg, Tampa, or Orlando. Not worth it to make a special trip to SWSA just to get a pass, but it worked out for us, as we were going to go to SFOT and SFFT eventually anyway. We now have trips to BGW, BGT, and SWO in the works this year.

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A Look at Cutback and Finnegan's Flyer

Busch Gardens Williamsburg will be open for the season soon, and you know what that means--a backstage tour of new attractions! This year marks the rare occasion when both of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment’s Virginia locations--Busch Gardens and Water Country USA--have new attractions opening.

 

Our first stop was Water Country for a look at the progress on the only Proslide RocketBLAST coaster on the East Coast and Virginia’s first hybrid water coaster.

 

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The new Cutback Water Coaster will use water jets to propel riders in toboggan-like rafts up and over roller-coaster-like hills and through tunnels and saucer-shaped turns. Here are a few stats:

 

Track length: 856 feet, with 3 launch sections

Maximum speed: 35 feet per second

Total drop: 76 feet

Number of riders: 4 per raft

 

The park considered hyrdro-magnetic propulsion, but went with water jets, said Suzy Cheely, senior leader of design and engineering, because they think riders will appreciate the extra soaking the jets will give them on those hot, humid Virginia summer days. And, for coaster lovers, this ride offers the “best of both worlds”--the thrills of a coaster and the refreshing splash of a water slide. The ride’s height requirement will be 48 inches.

 

Cutback is on the site of the old Meltdown water slide, which also used toboggan rafts, but depended on gravity for propulsion. Cutback will be on a whole new level of thrill. They expect to start testing Cutback in April.

 

We then headed to Busch Gardens to see the progress on Ireland’s new attraction.

 

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This new S&S Worldwide Screamin’ Swing will let riders “swing out over the cliffs of the Celtic coast.” Thirty-two riders will soar more than 80 feet at a maximum speed of 45 mph on this ride, which is located near the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster. The ride should be a nice addition to Ireland.

 

Busch Gardens is hoping to open both rides in May. Let's have a look. First stop, Water Country USA.

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Yes--you will get wet!

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Based on all the powder-blue hard hats, I think I'm in the right place.

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Bye bye, Meltdown! Hello, Cutback Water Coaster!

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Suzy Cheely talks about the ride's construction. Once Meltdown was removed, Proslide came in, and Cutback went up pretty quickly.

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Only Meltdown's conveyor and tower remain as part of Cutback.

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The view from the top. Nitro Racer is in the background, while Hubba Hubba Highway (fast lazy river) is off to the right.

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You start up here in one of these rafts.

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You get dumped into this tub.

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Then down--and up--you go!

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Here's where you shout either "whee" or "holy crap!"

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Down and up again.

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You'll hug the walls of the saucers pretty closely as you zip through.

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And here's where you'll end up--exhilarated and refreshed. On to Busch Gardens!

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Looks like there might be a little airtime on this ride.

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I think Ireland is preparing for some special Irish day . . . thingy? What's it called again? ;)

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Oh, yeah, St. Patrick's Day, when no snakes will be allowed in the park.

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Remember . . .

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. . . this is a working construction site! Wear those hard hats and don't play with the saw.

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The park's thematic painter went to S&S in Utah to paint the towers.

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Here's a closer look.

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The queue will wind around on this platform.

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Those in line will get good views of Griffon and Alpengeist while they wait.

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Men at work.

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Here's a view from across the bridge in Scotland. The ride is already 30 feet above the ground on a platform.

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Another piece of Finnegan's Flyer awaits installation. Yeah, that's all I got here.

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Let's look at the new ride from the train tracks.

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Get ready to swing back over that platform and stare straight down, folks.

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A close look at the compressed-air tanks that will propel you at 45 mph out over Ireland.

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A Clydesdale's view of Finnegan's Flyer.

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Time to go. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

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Don't forget your official Finnegan's Flyer cups.

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Sounds like this leprechaun just belched. Thanks for reading.

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Looks like I'm going to have to buy the platinum pass to Busch Gardens in 2020! Holy expensive, but worth it for the new speculated spiked multi-launched giga! And then get to travel to BGT for RMC Gwazi! BG has officially stepped their game up on top of already stepping their game up. This new BGW 2020 coaster might turn out to be a top 10 as well as RMC Gwazi... I'm so shocked and excited about 2020

 

It's not for everybody, but I planned a trip to Texas to pick up a platinum pass at SWSA. It was $132.99, 1/3 the price in Williamsburg, Tampa, or Orlando. Not worth it to make a special trip to SWSA just to get a pass, but it worked out for us, as we were going to go to SFOT and SFFT eventually anyway. We now have trips to BGW, BGT, and SWO in the works this year.

 

The problem with running the hustle at SWSA is that you don't get level benefits anywhere but Texas with that pass. Hence why its so cheap. You only get free admission and free general parking. You may get a courtesy discount on merch and food, but I'm not sure of that (mainly as a way to get you to spend more).

 

No preferred parking, no guest passes, no 50% off, no photokey, no preferred seating, no animal encounter, and most importantly no ride again privileges. Those ride again privileges at SWO and BGT are wicked. Best part of the Platinum and more advantageous than the Quick Queue. It takes so long for them to load their coasters and for you to get off and walk around, getting two rides in for the price of one wait is pretty valuable. I see that you're out of state, but if you go to the Florida parks often, its worth it to splurge.

 

Maybe if you plan on 5-6 visits to a Florida theme park or water park, that might be the break-even point where it makes sense to get Florida Plat over a Texas Plat (ignoring travel costs to get to Texas). Just figure that the ride again privileges are more valuable than a Quick Queue, and those can be between $30-70, you get the premium parking... that's about a $10 upgrade if you just get general, the passkey will cost you money otherwise (but you might not care about it anyway), you can't really value the preferred seating -- so it just matters if you care about it or not, and I'm not sure if you get discounts with the Texas Plat, but if you don't, the 15% could save you $5 a visit or so. Animal encounters might be a wash, as you can just use yours in Texas. Don't forget about the friend of friends for free and 50% off. Those are more valuable in Florida parks than the Texas one (and you can't use it for your check-in visit anyway).

 

Oh yeah, passholders get a better deal on the Seven Seas punchcards. I'm not sure if you get the sweet deal with an out of state pass (20 punches for the price of 15, so a 33% bonus).

 

So all in all, if you're taking a few visits to Florida, make sure to pay the extra $200 and get it in Florida.

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I'm just going to keep my old busted paper Busch Gardens Williamsburg platinum pass that's on auto-renew until they stop renewing it and the party stops. It gets us double rides at BGT (usually, though sometimes the ride host doesn't even know what it is since it's so old and busted so we never go in expecting it and always ask first), preferred seating at SeaWorld and preferred parking everywhere.

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I usually feel bad doing it. It slows the ops down and it screws up everyone's plans who are trying to line up to ride with their friends (and none of them understand why it's happening). I never even bother except on Cheetah Hunt or something where we actually waited awhile.

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The problem with running the hustle at SWSA is that you don't get level benefits anywhere but Texas with that pass. Hence why its so cheap. You only get free admission and free general parking.

 

That's all I need, hence the disclaimer:

 

It's not for everybody

 

Also:

Not worth it to make a special trip to SWSA just to get a pass, but it worked out for us, as we were going to go to SFOT and SFFT eventually anyway.

 

coasterbill's experience seems to indicate that you can get other benefits with a pass from out-of-state. Even the receipt for my pass said it was only for purchase by Texas residents. A quick email to SeaWorld confirmed that wasn't true.

 

I will attempt to use my pass for other perks at BGT, SWO, and BGW in the coming months just for shits and giggles and report back. But really all I need is admission and parking. I do not care about animal shows or food/beer/wine events. It's all about the coasters for me.

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To be clear, I don't even think they sell those passes anymore but they keep auto-renewing them. That said, I fully expect that the San Antonio pass will get you all of those benefits everywhere except for possibly the double rides. They seem to try to give you preferred parking everywhere and if not... I mean... who cares? I don't know if we're supposed to get preferred parking outside of Williamsburg but they always slap a preferred tag on the car at the other parks.

 

Aside from free parking and free admission all of the other perks are nice but they're not deal-breakers anyway (unless you're going to Discovery Cove where the Platinum Pass discount is massive, though I have no doubt that you'll get that with this pass).

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This is interesting news I had never heard before as these parks aren't usually on my regular visit radar. I am strongly considering hitting BGW and BGT this year though. I got the companion pass from Southwest and intend to make good use of it and if I can buy a platinum pass at Sea World San Antonio for 190 vs one at BGW for 348 and get a similar result, this sounds like an awesome idea...Is it really that cut and dry? I don't care one bit about preferred parking. I could see some value in the bring a guest tickets at BGW vs SWSA, but I don't see making up the 150 dollar difference on discounts for in park purchases or anything. Is there anyone who can provide better insight on this, because I am extremely interested!

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Thanks for the update, Chuck. Lookin' good.

 

Agreed!

 

this looks great, even tho I'm not a waterpark person, that looks like a good addition to Water Country.

 

as to the Screamin Swing? Ireland was really light on rides (even tho the VR ride is an improvement over the terrible "soarin"-ish ride they had in there). The setting is perfect on the edge, too.

 

thanks for the update, Chuck.

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So... anyone going to talk about the elephant in the room? Orrrr... not allowed out of respect for the park... which is completely understandable.

 

Really, though, I'm excited that the park is getting a screamin swing as they are one of the few flat rides I actually enjoy 8)

 

Anyways, back to the re-ride flash pass benefits discussion, the absolute worst was my friends and I had Platinum and we ALL waited for the front seat on Kingda Ka. So two trains back to back we stayed on, oh man the tension in the station... lol, made sure not to make eye contact with anyone after that one... almost didn't want to take the second ride. I totally forgot Busch had a similar thing, I'm shocked they still honor it, even sometimes. Even working at SWO I think it was probably removed at one point during my tenure from the handbooks and I honestly think I remember like 4 or 5 people EVER use it in the 4 years I worked the coasters. People used it for the SHOWS all the time, though.

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So... anyone going to talk about the elephant in the room? Orrrr... not allowed out of respect for the park... which is completely understandable.

 

If you're referring to the speculative concepts regarding their 2020 coaster, we here generally like more facts (read: any facts) to be revealed before people go nuts.

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So... anyone going to talk about the elephant in the room? Orrrr... not allowed out of respect for the park... which is completely understandable.

We don't typically report on leaked plans out of respect for the park, obviously they didn't intend for what could be the best coaster in their history to be let out of the bag so early. It kind of goes back to Busch Gardens Tampa's "reveal" of their own 2020 coaster project, you only want to let out so much information otherwise people will delay trips and annual / season pass purchases to wait for the new attraction. Plus, those leaked plans could completely change... Tomorrow!

 

You can talk about the rumor all you wish, but please only share images and links to stuff like public information (permits) or non-trespassing construction photos, for example.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Busch Gardens has announced their summer entertainment lineup for this year.

 

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BUSCH GARDENS® ANNOUNCES EXCITING LINE-UP OF SUMMER PERFORMERS

America’s and Britain’s Got Talent Stars Set to Take the Stage During Summer Nights

 

 

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (March 16, 2019) – Summer is just around the corner and Busch Gardens® is already heating things up with the announcement of a star-studded line-up of entertainment for Summer Nights.

 

Summer Nights Live – performances from NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent” and Britain’s Got Talent include:

 

 

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LIGHT BALANCE – JUNE 28 - JULY 7 (DAILY PERFORMANCES)

Hailing from Ukraine, Light Balance is hi-tech neon and LED dance group comprised of talented young dancers, designers, programmers and choreographers. Melding their creative and engineer backgrounds, the group provides their audience with a unique show that unifies all of the senses. Their colorful images create a high-energy atmosphere of magic, light, dance and music. Light Balance's imaginative performance led to Tyra Banks hitting her Golden Buzzer during season 12 of America’s Got Talent.

 

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BOOGIE STORM: JULY 8 - 14 (DAILY PERFORMANCES)

Dressed head to toe in iconic white outfits, the six members of Boogie Storm are a dance force to be reckoned with. Performing crushing dance routines, the group has accumulated over 50 million YouTube hits to date, and there seems to be no sign of slowing down. Having reached the live finale and finished third in Britain’s Got Talent’s 10th anniversary in 2016, the troop have been nominated for the best performance of 2016 at the National Reality Television Awards, as the accolades just keep on coming.

 

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THE PASSING ZONE: JULY 15 - 21 (DAILY PERFORMANCES)

Juggling is tough enough with scarves, balls or pins, but this dynamic duo takes juggling to the next level and they have been doing that for more than 20 years. The Passing Zone is one of the most inventive, successful and funny duos working today. You’ll have a difficult time deciding whether to hang onto your chair as chainsaws fly through the air, hold your breath as they perform world-class skills or grab your stomach as you double over with laughter. Prepare to be amazed, as Jon and Owen redefine juggling, and take it to new heights. You won’t believe your eyes.

 

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WILLIAM CLOSE & THE EARTH HARP COLLECTIVE: JULY 22 – 28 (DAILY PERFORMANCES)

William’s work explores the connection between architecture and music. Inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright quote “architecture is frozen music,” Close creates musical installations that use the architecture as part of the instrument. The Earth Harp is the largest stringed instrument on the planet and was developed by William Close in 1999. This talented ensemble have pushed the boundaries of the performance experience over the last several years finishing third on NBC’s hit talent competition “America’s Got Talent.”

 

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FIGHTING GRAVITY: JULY 29 - AUGUST 4 (DAILY PERFORMANCES)

What started out as an idea for a local talent show at Virginia Tech quickly transformed into an Internet sensation, garnering more than 10 million views on YouTube. Fighting Gravity’s play on light and levitation quickly gained worldwide attention thanks to their third place finish on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Following their success on AGT, Fighting Gravity has become one of the most sought-after live performance groups in the country — performing with platinum-selling recording artists like Will.i.am and Jennifer Lopez.

 

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FRECKLED SKY: AUG. 5 - 11 (DAILY PERFORMANCES)

Freckled Sky is a team of multimedia artists dedicated to the design of interactive shows and events. They tell stories and bring immersive experiences to the viewer. Freckled Sky blends projection, lightning, interactive solutions and special effects to create new forms of entertainment. This America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer artist is sure to leave audiences wanting more.

 

For more information about Summer Nights Live, please visit buschgardens.com/bgwsummernights.

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We're going to the park the first weekend of the Food and Wine Festival. Will the park be slammed? We usually get Quick Queue passes, but I also don't want to purchase them if it's one of those events where people focus very little on rides. I hate looking like an idiot and using Fast Pass Lines when there are only a few people in line. More importantly... will Le Scoot be open that early in the year?

 

I asked before, but I don't think anyone got around to answering my questions. Plenty of other topics to get side tracked on, so I understand.

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^Saturday will probably be busy. Friday and Sunday, not so much. LeScoot should be running by then (they were testing it last Sunday).

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hi all. my family (wife and 2 kids aged 8 and 11) are trying to figure out what day to go to the park during spring break.

 

we are trying to decide between going a weekday or the weekend.

 

generally, we would normally lean towards a weekday for the smaller lines, but a couple years back we went to Kings Dominion on a weekday in early spring, and we were disappointed because while all of the major rides were running, many of the restaurants and snack stands were closed, including Country Kitchen and all of the Dippin' Dots stands.

 

my question is would we find a similar situation at BGW on a mid-April weekday, or is it more of a fully up and running affair?

 

thanks!

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