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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

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

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anyone know if I buy the platinum pass at sesame place instead of a normal BGW platinum membership if their 50% discount on magic queue at sesame also gets 50% off quick queue at bgw and bgt?

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On 8/31/2021 at 9:36 PM, octoroach said:

anyone know if I buy the platinum pass at sesame place instead of a normal BGW platinum membership if their 50% discount on magic queue at sesame also gets 50% off quick queue at bgw and bgt?

In the fine print, magic queue is only available at Sesame Place because it is not otherwise noted to be available elsewhere.



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On 8/31/2021 at 10:36 PM, octoroach said:

anyone know if I buy the platinum pass at sesame place instead of a normal BGW platinum membership if their 50% discount on magic queue at sesame also gets 50% off quick queue at bgw and bgt?

So my best answer is, maybe. Busch parks typically do give right around 50% off of quick queue with the platinum passes. My suggestion is to call the parks phone and buy through there, they typically have the cheapest options for tickets and bring a friend tickets. The online purchasing and site is sometimes very inconsistent and/or broken.

On some slower days, our platinum pass got us Quick Queue for 15 dollars. When we went to pick them up the park actually refunded us the money and gave them for free, essentially saying you'll only need it for one ride today.

Guest services with Busch parks can sometimes be inconsistent, but they're normally pretty good about these kinds of things. Just know, if they can't select the discount from their system they can't reduce the rate easily. There was an issue we had with inconsistent discounts on our QQ at BGT and they couldn't really adjust or fix it. They did however give us a bunch of Busch bucks to use in the park to make up the difference.

I hate their automated systems since they work 50% of the time from my experience, but if you're being offered 50% you'll "probably" get it honored or something close to it. Busch in my opinion has the best season pass discount perks on pretty much everything for platinum members, it just tends to not always work, haha.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced that Pantheon will be opening in March 2022!



WILLIAMSBURG, VA. (September 8, 2021): – Busch Gardens® Williamsburg is thrilled to announce that its highly-anticipated, record-breaking new coaster, Pantheon®, will open in March 2022. Pantheon features two inversions, four launches, five air-time hills, a 95 degree drop, a height of 180 feet, and a record-breaking top speed of 73 miles per hour. This all-new coaster incorporates five mighty gods, including Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Minerva, and Neptune, with an aspect of the track reflecting their respective powers.

“Pantheon will be an incredible addition to our world class coaster lineup, and showcase our dedication to bringing innovative, exciting new rides to the park,” said park President, Kevin Lembke. “As with so many others, we faced unprecedented challenges over the past two years, resulting in delaysto the scheduled opening. We are so grateful for the excitement and patience of our guests, as the March 2022 opening of Pantheon marks an exciting new page in the story of Busch Gardens.”





NEW 2022 Membership Plans Feature Unlimited Visits & Unbeatable Benefits
Busch Gardens is launching another incredible year for membership as the BEST VALUE annual theme park pass in Virginia with amazing benefits, ranging from no blockout dates, up to six free guest tickets, and access to NEW exclusive preview events for 2022. Plus, Busch Gardens members will be among the first to ride Pantheon in spring 2022!
Membership is organized in easy-to-use tiers and includes one-park and two-park Busch Gardens and Water Country USA® memberships, allowing gueststo choose the membership, benefits, and parks that are the best fit. Additional benefits include FREE parking, FREE friend tickets, specialsavings on merchandise, food and beverage options, and ride quick queue, among other perks. Membership starts at an affordable $11.75 per month, plus tax, with no down payment required. For a full overview of the membership lineup, visit: buschgardens.com/williamsburg/annual-pass/

NEW Amazing Monthly Rewards:
Busch Gardens shows appreciation and love to our members year-round with extra rewards every month. Including all of the amazing benefits, members have access to special monthly discounts, offers,
and rewards throughout the year, like extra samples during festivals, exclusive member merchandise, member ride nights, special giveaways, and more. For a sampling of upcoming 2022 offers, visit: buschgardens.com/williamsburg/annual-pass/monthly-offers/

NEW Passport to Thrills:
2022 members will be treated like VIPs as they are among the first to ride and experience Busch Gardens’ all-new, record-breaking multi-launch coaster, Pantheon, opening in March 2022. In addition to member exclusive first-to-ride preview days, members with at least three visits to Busch Gardens
Williamsburg between September 10 and December 31, 2021 will receive their invitation to an exclusive Passport to Thrills Celebration, featuring Pantheon. This exclusive VIP event will include special entertainment, refreshments, and more. Details and enrollment information can be found here: https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/annual-pass/passport-to-thrills/

Events All Year Long:
Members also have the opportunity to experience the park’s year-round line-up of events and festivals that are included with a membership, including immediate access to the upcoming 2021 events like Howl-O-Scream, beginning on Friday, September 10; the Count’s Spooktacular, beginning on Saturday, September 25; and Christmas Town, beginning on Friday, November 12. Busch Gardens’ 2022 event lineup features special family-friendly events all year, from Summer Nights and Christmas Town to fan favorites like Howl-O-Scream, Food & Wine Festival, and Bier Fest. NEW for 2022, the Food  & Wine Festival adds more dates for even more opportunities to sip and savor all there is to enjoy, plus expanded experiences for the newest events, Winter Weekends, Mardi Gras, and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. For a calendar of upcoming 2021 and 2022 events, visit: https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/

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Howl-o-Scream Has Risen from the Grave 2021
Halloween arrives earlier each year. Remember when pumpkin-spice, well, everything wasn’t even available (or discussed) before September? Now you can drink pumpkin beer in August. The same is true of Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens, which officially started on Friday, September 10. Of course, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights beat them by a week (or was it more?), but this is pretty dang early for a Halloween event.

But I’m not complaining.

I checked out the first Howl-o-Scream since 2019 last Friday. It’s great that this event, which has always been a big one for the park, is back, with three new mazes; two new TERRORtories (that is, scare zones)--Meat Market and Hexed Hollow; and two party zones with DJs (France and Festa Italia). The park is also using “roaming hordes” of scareactors to make the scare zones more lively. There was lots of chainsaw action that night.

I only saw bits and pieces of the new shows: Skeletones (Italy) and Phantoms of the Festhaus (Germany). The former reminded me a bit of the old Starfright Orchestra show--only scaled down (four musicians and two singers). It was a decent way to enjoy a lunch or dinner while listening to some old holiday standards (such as the “Addams Family” theme or “Time Warp”). Phantoms featured a larger cast. The show had something to do with a sing-off to choose the “top ghoul” of the night. I caught a tiny bit of it after having a beer in the Brauhaus.

Monster Stomp on Ripper Row has returned, and Jack Is Back in Ireland. But I go there for the mazes.

Nevermore (Oktoberfest in the old DarKastle building)--This gothic maze was the best one of the night, with lots Edgar Allan Poe going on (particularly “The Raven” and “Masque of the Red Death”). It reminded me of Masquerage, a maze they ran one season in Festa Italia. Nothing groundbreaking, but a good, solid park haunt.

KILLarney Diner (Ireland in the Battle for Eire building)--This was a fun cannibal maze with some good 1950s atmosphere, well-done sets, and a fair amount of gory stuff, but it was a bit short. It has the same problem that other mazes in the building have shared--that long, narrow exit corridor where nothing happens. 

Witch of the Woods (Germany, behind Verbolten)--This was their “flagship” maze, but I think it was the weakest of the new mazes on Friday night. Yes, it’s in the woods, there are creepy minions, and the Witch herself looks pretty cool, but there was no real “payoff.” Another good name for this one might be the “Island of Misfit Props.” What’s some Greek statuary and a dude in a Spartan helmet doing in here? 

Circo Sinistro (Festa Italia, by the Roman Rapids)--The creepy clowns and such are back, but their haunt has been changed a bit. They eliminated the “preshow” with the ringmaster and creepy girl on a swing, along with the railroad car. The result is an OK evil-circus maze. It’s really showing its age, though.

Dystopia (Italy in the Pompeii building)--This returning maze is about people being turned into automatons by some mutant overlords in the not-too-distant future. This one has been hit-or-miss in the past (I think it depends on how may scare actors they have). 

All in all, an enjoyable, if somewhat cautious, return for Howl-o-Scream following its hiatus because of the pandemic. Most of the scare actors in the mazes who weren’t wearing full monster masks were sporting face masks--some with appropriately creepy faces painted on them. I wish I could say the same for many of the guests. As for me, I went through the mazes while masked.

Here’s a look at Howl-o-Scream’s opening night.



Why, hello, you sexy thing.


“You better be talking about Pantheon and not my girlfriend, punk.”


“Blair Witch Project 3, Subsection A: Sticks of Doom”


“How many times have I told you to never play with your head! Do you wish to go blind?”


Awww, aren’t you the most adorable wittle . . .




So, according to the poster in Big Ben, there’s been some “Ghastly Murder,” too? Well, isn’t that just great.



Where shall we go first?


May as well grab some dinner and watch the Skeletones.


Hey, Edgar? Where’s your house?


So turn left at the melancholy House of Usher? Thanks, pal.


The message the purple lights above us bore,
It shall be DarKastle . . . nevermore!


Hmm--looks like the witches and demons kicked the vampires out of Vampire Point.


“Excuse me, are you being helped?”


Hey, are you really dating that Reaper guy out front? 


Well, this is another fine mess I’ve gotten myself into.



Looks like they changed the menu at the Smokehouse.


“Beware! Don’t order tonight’s special. It keeps coming back on me.”


“Hey, don’t knock our BBQ until you try it! Right, Chauncy?”


“Right, Edgar. You can beat our prices, but you can’t beat our meat!”


“Hey, where ya goin’? Sheesh, make one silly pun . . .”


“‘Can’t beat our meat’! How droll! Did you hear that, my dear . . . oh, that’s right. You can’t hear anything.”


“I say, you now have permission to shake thy moneymakers.”


“Typical guy--waits until I invite him to my place before telling me he’s a werewolf.”


I wonder what the specials are here? A hot roast beef sammich sounds good.


Ugh! Is this one of those truck stop/faux diner things?


Yep--definitely. You can probably buy trucker hats with dirty slogans on them, too. Be sure to look at the wall menus in this scene.


Jack is back, and he’s brought disco and ABBA with him!


Dance! Dance or die!


Pompeii may be a Dystopia, but it has cool lighting.


You can party with evil clowns in Festa Italia.


“Giant skull swallows park guest. Film at 11.”


So, what’s shakin’ at the Festhaus?


Uh oh! The guy with the scythe is sort of rapping.


Time to head out . . . while I still have a head.


I had to survive giant spiders . . .


. . . and Ripper Row.


“G’night, dearie! Pleasant dreams.” Thanks for reading.

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I went for a second look at the new mazes on Sunday night. KILLarney DInEr seemed better, as they really put some thought into the sets.  Witch of the Woods had a villager working the queue looking for a "wtich hunter." Now there's an idea. Instead of the usual lurking minions and frightened villagers, throw in a team of witch hunters to "protect" guests and build to a  climactic confrontation with the witch. I think that would be a stronger story and less "random."

But hindsight is always better than foresight.

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9 hours ago, Canobie Coaster said:

The Skyride opened in the late afternoon on Friday.  Mach Tower did the same thing.  The delayed opening looked to be staffing related for both.

How late is late afternoon? Just curious as I am planning to go this Friday and would love to ride the Skyride. I think the park opens at noon.

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11 hours ago, dlasflyer said:

Can anyone confirm the Skyride is back open? Website says open Fri/Sat/Sun which is a bit odd since that's the hours of the park right now anyway.

Yes, the Skyride is open. I don' t know if it opens with the park, but it was running during Howl-o-Scream tonight. Mach Tower has been open from noon until 8:00 pm.

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