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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

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

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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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Here's a little report from this Friday. I got to the park around 11:00am for my first trip to the park since 2016. Started the day with the good ol' Loch Ness Monster. I mean HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE AN ARROW? No,lie I've said it a million times, but I love arrows with all my heart and Loch Ness is one of the best the drops in the back row give some classic out of your seat floater airtime. Not gonna lie though, I miss the color scheme of the old trains.

 

Next on the list was the shiny new Finnegan's Flyer! This was my first screamin swing type ride, and honestly I really enjoyed it. The ride is in a really nice area and provides a very relaxing yet fun and floaty ride. From there, I ate over near the big bridge, as usual Busch Gardens food is much better than Six Flags/Cedar Fair butt burgers.

 

The next ride of the day was Apollo's Chariot. As the original B&M hyper I have to say it has held up very well and the new paint job is looking great. I'd put it a bit under Nitro as my favorite B&M hyper, but it is an outstanding ride (plus it has an interesting history thanks to Fabio ). At this point I made my way to Verboten which is an incredible ride. Verboten definitely has a touch of everything and as much as I will always miss the Big Bad Wolf it is definitely a worthy successor.

 

Invadr was next, and provided a pleasant ride. Certainly not my favorite GCI, but it is still a good ride and the park needed a good woodie. Invadr is more of a family coaster in my opinion and I'd place it lower than say Mystic Timbers or Lightning Racer. Horse colla.... I mean Comfort Collar the ride was next. I do enjoy this ride, but it would be better off with just the lap bar and the ride is getting a bit over cookie cluttered.

 

The last two coasters Griffon and Alpengeist did there usual thing and were amazing! Thankfully Alpengeist seems to have let off on the mcbr again a bit.

 

Once the coasters were done I had to go pin trading because as if it wasn't fun enough in Disney now I can do it with roller coaster pins, Welp there goes my money. Now for some pictures

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Required Picture, although if you stand here in person it's understandable why

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Oh how I miss wolfie, but you too are a very enjoyable ride (my girlfriend didn't know about the drop track)

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I hope you can hear this image like I do

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Le Scoot has company nowadays in the form of a little GCI

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Apollo's Chariot hasn't looked this pretty since a bird met Fabio's face

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I braved Griffon's splash zone for this picture

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I'm glad Griffon still has the classic B&M restrains

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This is my favorite ride in the park, yes I have a problem I know

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2 thumbs up from me on this one! Finnegan's is a great addition to the park

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Ah the legendary zero car

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All in all a great day at the park

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I mean how can you not have a great day at a park that sells swords?

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And finally MY PIN ADDICTION GROWS!

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A few questions for the locals.

 

We plan on visiting the park for the very first time in late June. They seem to have a good deal on a two-day ticket with food, so we plan on spending two full days there (most likely Mon-Tues the 24th-25th). We would like to avoid purchasing Quick Queue if possible, but I imagine two full days is plenty of time to do everything without it? Especially since they will be weekdays. We care about all roller coasters and probably Mach Tower, Finnegan's Flyer, and any other flats or dark rides worth doing. Is having a "plan of attack" necessary?

 

I'm also looking for suggestions for places to eat. We are going as a family and I am 19, so no beer recommendations please. Just any good food that can be used with the dining pass! None of us are picky eaters.

 

Thanks. I'm really looking forward to visiting!

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You shouldn't have any issues with the crowd. As far as a plan of attack, you can mostly be flexible, honestly. They open the park in stages. If you knock out InvadR and Tempesto first thing, you can pretty much do the rest in any order. The B&M's should pretty much never have more than a one to two train wait so hitting them isn't really "priority." If you see Mach Tower running, ride it, or else you might miss it.

 

Ride Apollo in the back left, Griffon in the back left, and Alpengeist in the front at least once.

 

Usually when we go here, we knock out some riding early and then just peruse the park the rest of the day, doing things as the mood strikes us, eating and drinking, which leads me to;

 

Food... omg... when to begin? The German food in the Festhaus is my personal favorite. I love the sausage platter personally. However, Marco Polo's marketplace is fantastic as well. If you were there on a weekend you'd be able to take advantage of the Food & Wine festival, but you will be fine without.

 

My biggest word of advice with BGW is don't rush! Enjoy the scenery, enjoy some shows, check out the animals. It's a fantastic atmosphere.

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A legitimate drop tower in the future????????

 

https://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-james-city-busch-gardens-0515-story.html

 

Supervisors table height limitation waiver for Busch Gardens attraction

Jack Jacobs Staff writer

 

Due to an outpouring of public criticism, the James City County Board of Supervisors decided to hold off on a decision regarding a height wavier for an attraction at Busch Gardens Tuesday.

 

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment LLC, which owns Busch Gardens, requested a height waiver for a project not to exceed 355 feet in height above finished grade, or 435 feet above sea level, according to a staff report.

 

Kevin Lembke, president of Busch Gardens, cast the new attraction as a critical need for the park, which has to innovate to keep up with competing amusement parks.

 

“This is a very critical decision going forward for our park,” he said. “This is the first major step to realize that development in future years.”

 

But supervisors decided to table its decision, owing to criticism of the project by Kingsmill residents and a desire for further study of the attraction’s noise impacts. The board intends to revisit the application June 11.

 

“Hopefully that will give us some extra time,” Supervisor Ruth Larson said.

 

But it wasn’t unanimous. Supervisor Sue Sadler voted against the deferral.

 

“They are a good community asset for us. They help keep our tax rates low,” Sadler said, adding that people should know what they’re in for when they move somewhere.

 

It’s unclear exactly what the attraction will look like.

 

“It will be a tall, slender structure,” said Suzy Cheely, Busch Gardens senior leader for design and engineering. She said the attraction will be near the center of the park.

 

The staff report states the attraction will have a “lattice-type construction.”

 

The ambiguity rankled some Kingsmill residents, several of whom voiced strong opposition to the project during the public hearing on the request.

 

High on the list of complaints were a lack of understanding about what the project will be and fears that the project would be an eyesore and create too much noise.

 

“The nature of the proposed attraction is still not defined, so you must assume the worst,” said Andrew Lloyd-Williams, a Kingsmill resident.

 

The park had not done a good job in public outreach to the Kingsmill community, and its efforts haven’t addressed resident’s questions, Lloyd-Williams said.

 

Though planned to be built in an interior area of the park, the attraction is expected to be visible in areas of the Kingsmill development and along Route 143 where the park’s existing attractions can’t be seen, according to the staff report.

 

Cheely noted that though the park tries to be engaged with the wider community on its activity, it’s a business practice to keep details of new attractions under wraps. That tends to unravel as time goes on and a project develops.

 

“We can’t keep everything secret because as we get closer there are certain permits that are required,” she said. “We do try to keep our cards close to the vest for competitive reasons. Our business is such that it really requires that.”

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^ I'm wondering if it could be a star flyer since the Funtime ones have a lattice structure. Whatever it ends up being, the views should be exceptional!

 

A few questions for the locals.

 

We plan on visiting the park for the very first time in late June. They seem to have a good deal on a two-day ticket with food, so we plan on spending two full days there (most likely Mon-Tues the 24th-25th). We would like to avoid purchasing Quick Queue if possible, but I imagine two full days is plenty of time to do everything without it? Especially since they will be weekdays. We care about all roller coasters and probably Mach Tower, Finnegan's Flyer, and any other flats or dark rides worth doing. Is having a "plan of attack" necessary?

 

I'm also looking for suggestions for places to eat. We are going as a family and I am 19, so no beer recommendations please. Just any good food that can be used with the dining pass! None of us are picky eaters.

 

Thanks. I'm really looking forward to visiting!

 

Make sure you get the bacon pretzel at the pretzel place across from Verbolten. It's the best item I've ever eaten at a theme park. I also really like Trapper's Smokehouse for a meal.

 

For a plan of attack, the three coasters I've seen with the longest waits are Tempesto, InvadR, and Verbolten. But on the weekday, I don't anticipate those lines becoming too unbearable.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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Here's a follow-up article from today's online Virginia Gazette.

 

Busch Gardens cans proposed Madrid attraction

Jack Jacobs

 

Busch Gardens has pulled the plug on the proposed Busch Gardens Madrid attraction.

 

Though Busch Gardens secured a height wavier for the Madrid attraction in August 2017, whatever plans were in the works for the project have been trashed, though it’s not clear why or when.

 

Suzy Cheely, the park’s senior leader for design and engineering, noted Madrid’s defunct status during a discussion about a height waiver for a different Busch Gardens project at a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

 

“The Madrid project never came to fruition. We instead have put in a request for a different project. The tallest that would be is 180 feet,” she said when a supervisor inquired about the project. “It’s actually a lot less than what it would have been had the Madrid project gone through.”

 

Cheely said the building and site plan approvals had been secured for that new project. She didn’t elaborate on what that project would be.

 

County planning director Paul Holt confirmed those documents were approved by the county, adding the planning department isn’t kept in the loop regarding the finer details of Busch Gardens’ projects and only knows enough to ensure their construction adheres to county policy. He didn’t immediately know on Wednesday when the approval happened, and Cheely didn’t mention a date either.

 

“They went with something else that was a little lower,” he said.

 

The Madrid height waiver application Busch Gardens submitted for the board’s approval requested permission to build an attraction of up to 315 feet from finished grade. Supervisors unanimously approved that request.

 

Structures taller than 60 feet need a waiver from the board to clear the way to construction.

 

Madrid was intended to be built near the Italy section of the park, and the attraction was described as a “lattice-type structure,” in a staff report.

 

“Lattice” is also how Cheely also described the “tall, slender structure” that requires the height wavier considered on Tuesday.

 

The board voted 4-1 to defer a decision on a new height wavier until June 11, owing to criticism of the project by Kingsmill residents, who said Busch Gardens hasn’t done enough to inform them of the project or study its impacts.

 

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment LLC, which owns Busch Gardens, requested a height waiver for a project not to exceed 355 feet in height above finished grade, or 435 feet above sea level Tuesday. The attraction associated with the new height wavier would be located in the center of the park.

 

As might be expected with Busch Gardens, which keeps details of new attractions under wraps for competitive reasons, it’s unclear exactly what happened to Madrid.

 

Cheely didn’t offer any reason for why Madrid was nixed, or when that decision was made. Her comments appear to be the first time a Busch Gardens official has publicly noted Madrid’s status.

 

A Busch Gardens spokeswoman didn’t respond to further questions about Madrid on Wednesday.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Construction has started in festa Italia for the 2020 attraction.

 

And In other news Finnegan's flyer is only running one side and has been the past couple of days operators say that they have been having issues with air .

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They were running only one side of Finnegan's last Sunday, too. I'm inclined to think it's a technical issue of some kind.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Busch Gardens Williamsburg having a nightmare of a situation. Put a 4th of July ticket sale on-line and the site keeps crashing. Many cards were charged without order confirmations (me included). Two hour wait on the toll free line.

 

Not a good look at all.

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I got through for my parents online at about 1030 EST but it took two tries. Got my confirmation and vouchers, and then 15 min later got an email saying the names werent entered (they are though). Got through online earlier for myself in the afternoon without a problem.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg having a nightmare of a situation. Put a 4th of July ticket sale on-line and the site keeps crashing. Many cards were charged without order confirmations (me included). Two hour wait on the toll free line.

 

Not a good look at all.

 

know what IS a good look for them?

 

they updated the website:

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Sorry you spent so long on hold to "fix". . but the website is directing folks to just come to Guest Relations and they will honor everything.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg having a nightmare of a situation. Put a 4th of July ticket sale on-line and the site keeps crashing. Many cards were charged without order confirmations (me included). Two hour wait on the toll free line.

 

Not a good look at all.

 

know what IS a good look for them?

 

they updated the website:

 

 

A very nice manager called me back and I think my credit card is taken care of. The poor customer service staff took the brunt of this, as they had to staff up for the holiday in order to answer phones and call back angry customers. Its too bad, you would think the Order to Cash system of a major theme park would be better.

 

This will not deter from our trip as I have been looking forward to seeing BGW for quite some time. Question for the group - How difficult is it to park hop from the theme park the water park? I know its not walkable and I can't find a shuttle service between the two on the website. Thanks.

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There isn't a shuttle between Busch Gardens and Water Country--unless you stay at the Kingsmill Resort. It's about a five-minute drive. Just leave BG as though you're heading to Richmond. But instead of merging onto I-64, just stay in the lane and take the exit to Rt. 199, merge to the left, and follow the signs to WC's guest entrance (and do not turn in at the Marquis shopping center).

 

Some hotels offer shuttles to the two parks. You might check on that. But you're better off driving yourself.

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There isn't a shuttle between Busch Gardens and Water Country--unless you stay at the Kingsmill Resort. It's about a five-minute drive. Just leave BG as though you're heading to Richmond. But instead of merging onto I-64, just stay in the lane and take the exit to Rt. 199, merge to the left, and follow the signs to WC's guest entrance (and do not turn in at the Marquis shopping center).

 

Some hotels offer shuttles to the two parks. You might check on that. But you're better off driving yourself.

 

Thanks. We are staying at the Marriott which is a BGW preferred hotel but there is no shuttle. I have been reading your responses in this thread and they are very helpful for planning. So thank you. Really looking forward to checking out that pub.

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You're welcome. Water Country is a good park, and they just opened a water coaster this year. Aquazoid, Big Daddy Falls, Malibu Pipeline, and the Hubba Hubba Highway "fast" lazy river are fun, too.

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