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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 468: Loch Ness Monster Media Day Report

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Busch Gardens is offering another limited-attendance, reservations-required event for October: Halloween Harvest. There will be multiple four-hour sessions during the day and evening. It'll be kid friendly, with contactless trick-or-treating and other fun stuff for families, by day, but monsters will roam sections of the park by night.


Italy and the Sesame Street Forest of Fun will be open, and the park will run additional rides (such as Apollo's Chariot and Tempesto). And, of course, there will be Halloween-themed food and drink.


Reservations will open on Friday, September 25th, at 11:00 am.


For more info, check the park's website.

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"Contactless trick-or-treating"


Oh God... Is that another new COVID term?


I really hope they're just throwing candy at children!


I think they should launch the candy across the park with a catapult from InvadR--Halloween done Viking style! They could call it the "candypult."

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Folks at SFoG was using long tongs to hand out candy last week. These slides or chutes look more fun.
That's such a Six Flags thing to do, lol.


In the words of Sisqó...




Those tong-to-tongs-tongs-tongs.


This is the stuff the world needs today


(how did this end up in the BGW thread? The world may never know.)

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"Contactless trick-or-treating"


Oh God... Is that another new COVID term?


I really hope they're just throwing candy at children!


I think they should launch the candy across the park with a catapult from InvadR--Halloween done Viking style! They could call it the "candypult."


THIS. All of this!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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 Lite,” with kid-friendly activities during the daytime session (11:00 am-3:00 pm) and slightly scarier stuff in the evening (5:00-9:00 pm).

During the day, the park offers “contactless trick-or-treating” and a scavenger hunt, in addition to a selection of rides, such as Apollo’s Chariot, Tempesto, and the attractions in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. But in the evening, monsters also take over Festa Italia! It’s a rather motley crew, too, representing Howl-o-Screams past--for example, Jack the Ripper, fiendish clowns and ringmasters, and a reaper or two. (They were pretty active, particularly as you crossed the bridge into Festa Italia.) There are no mazes.

The food selection isn’t as strong as during “A Taste of Busch Gardens” last month, but Marco Polo’s Marketplace is open, and you can get the same German meatballs they serve up at the Brauhaus at the Vesuvius Grill across from Escape from Pompeii. France, Fort New France, and part of Oktoberfest are closed, though (but you can ride Verbolten). And, yes, Jello-shooter syringes and other Halloween cocktails are available.

Halloween Harvest has proven popular, so the park has added extra days (Wednesday-Sunday).  Who wants to join for "Howl-o-Scream Lite"? Maybe we can seek a peek at Pantheon while we're at it.



This photo perfectly illustrates visiting parks during the pandemic. Wear your masks, people!



No Ripper Row in England this year.



Here’s where you can go. No France or New France for you!



The horror . . . the horror . . .



If you want a nice snack, I recommend the German meatballs at the Vesuvius Grill. If you want some good beer, go to Grogan’s in Ireland.


Spookiness level increasing.


“So, I ain’t scary enough for you in broad daylight, eh? Well, come back later.”


Who wants a look at Pantheon?


Those who would gaze upon Pantheon . . .


. . . must get past these fiends . . . why, hello.


Behold the “Most Anticipated Attraction of 2020, er, 2021”!


The bridge spans the Festa Italia Train Station.


The steps to Mt. Olympus!


Even the gods must comply with the ADA.


Here’s a look at the station. Not sure if it’s “finished” yet.


Sigh! I hope we'll get to experience that Intamin airtime next spring.


I’m not sure what this little structure is, but it appears that something has yet to be installed. Maybe lockers?


Well, at least we can ride Tempesto--in every other row. I didn’t notice any such restrictions on Apollo’s Chariot, but they were using a grouper (you couldn’t just queue for any row you wanted). They did this for Griffon and InvadR last month, too. The lines moved pretty well for Tempesto, Apollo's Chariot, and Verbolten that night.


Why is that Victorian-era prostitute giving me such a dirty look?


The Headless Hearseman is in Italy this year (he’s usually in England). Gaze upon him while you eat a sloppy Italian dinner with lots of red sauce sauce for that Halloween feel.


The weather was perfect that evening.


Yep--if you’re gonna plunge to your doom in the Rhine River, it may as well be during pleasant weather, right? (Seating was in every other row--like on Tempesto.)


OK, now it looks a little more “Halloweeny.”


“Yoo hoo! Who’s up for some unspeakable evil?”


“Now I scare you good, right?”


One last walk over the spooky Oktoberfest bridge.


By the power of the full moon, I invoke thee, Pantheon! 


The Red Skull says, “Visit us again, soon. And tell Captain America I will totally kill him someday!” Thanks for reading.

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8 hours ago, SharkTums said:

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

True--My guess is that staffing has a lot to do with deciding how much of the park to open, as well as state pandemic guidelines. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Despite the fact that the daily case count in Virginia is higher now than it was all summer, the state of Virginia has given theme parks the go-ahead to open at 50% capacity on the traditional closing day of the theme park season because they’ve got jokes...

I guess that’s good for Christmas Town if they don’t shut down again...

If I were a Virginia theme park I would be so pissed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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 popular Christmas Town: A "Christmas Celebration." I was there on opening night, and felt the same about the park as I did during their earlier "abbreviated" events: They're making the best they can of state-required restrictions. One big difference is that the state is now allowing 4,000 guests, as opposed to the 1,000 the park was allowed during earlier events, such as "Halloween Harvest."

I'm pretty sure there weren't 4,000 guests there on November 13, but the park was using the France parking lot, which holds more cars than the England lot they've been using since late summer (you can pay extra to park there). The same restrictions apply. Guests must wear "face coverings" (except when eating or drinking) and social distancing is required. For the most part, guests complied. (However, they weren't taking temperatures when I went in).

The park is, indeed, decked out for the holidays, only not as heavily as it was during pre-pandemic Christmas Town. England, with its large wreaths and garlands, looks about the same, but there's no "Polar Pathway" by the Escape from Pompeii, and no "Holiday Hills" in Festa Italia (those sections are closed, but the Sesame Street Forest of Fun is open). The trains are running, but not the Skyway. You can also ride Verbolten, Alpengeist, and InvadR, as well as some of the flat rides (such as Finnigan's Flyer in Ireland). The Festhaus is open and serving their usual Christmas fare, such as a turkey dinner and sirloin sandwiches. No Brauhaus (it's being used as the entrance to the Festhaus serving area), but you can score some craft beer and holiday cocktails at Grogan's Pub in Ireland (there's some indoor seating available there, too).

No big shows this year, but there are some "street performers," such as carolers in England, to create a festive atmosphere. You can get a socially distanced photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa's Workshop in Germany, along with some Sesame Street characters in the Forest of Fun and Frosty the Snowman in France.

Who's ready for a bit of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas cheer?


All masked up and ready to get festive.


The tree with big balls is a familiar sight.


England looks pretty much like it does during Christmas Town. There were carolers, too. It wins the Christmas-decorating contest this year.


“I’ll have a Blue Christmas in Scotland, without you.” My grandmother always liked blue Christmas trees, too.


No Griffon during the Christmas Celebration. Looks nice at sunset, though.


There’s no big Christmas show in Ireland this year . . .


. . . but they have a good band.


The path from Ireland to France is always very pleasant this time of year. Just some nice lights, acoustic music, and . . .




Mrs. Claus will keep the insane elf in check.


The giant snowman in France has a fancy new scarf this year.


“‘Allo! I am a French android, as you can tell by my beret.”


“Frosty the Snowman was a socially distanced soul.”


The Three Rivers Smokehouse is closed, but you can score some ribs here.


“And there’s no Christmas lights on the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"--a classic Canadian carol.


Even bears are festive in Canada.



Wait a minute! Who’s that I see in Germany?


Why, it’s our old buddy, Creepy, the Candy-Cane-Sawing Elf!


The Christmas store in Germany can fulfill all your holiday needs.


It’s not just a nutcracker. It’s a MAJOR AWARD!


I'm glad the projection show is back. Who wants cookies?


Run! It's an ornament-a-lanche!


I guess they’re not doing the “O Tannenbaum” light-and-music show this year, but the tree looks nice. You can play the carnival games, and there are some craft booths, as well.


Social distancing in the Festhaus.


“Hey, remember when you said you wanted a new Porche for Christmas? Well, we had a bit of a mishap . . .”


All the cool kids are getting Pantheon merch from Santa this year.


This fire is handy for warming yourself before you head to your car.


Have a Merry Little Christmas Celebration, Busch Gardens! Thanks for reading.

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