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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 456: Information about Christmas Town 2021!

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Hi Everyone!

I know I said in my Knoebels TR that I had two more TR's to do, but unfortunately I got bogged down in some stuff. So, I figured I'd better do it sooner rather than later, before I forget the details, so...without further ado....here we go! (I promise that there will be no random photos at the end...hopefully...😬 EDIT: Dang it! I did it again!)

Also, big shout out to cfc, bert425, teacher kim, and anyone else I may be forgetting, who gave advice on the park and Colonial Williamsburg, it was very helpful and I really appreciated it!

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has always been an A-list/bucket list park for me. I've always been fascinated by the parks beauty, ride collection, theme, and history. I still remember watching a promo for the park when it was under construction where the guy is walking in the Germany sections and he says "Now don't we all dream of a trip to Europe, but now a days who can afford it? Well, this is The Old Country, now being built by Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, near Washington DC. And I'd like to show you what you can do on this side of the Atlantic for less than $7. ", or something like that. So when the opportunity came to travel near Williamsburg, I just had to go. (Sorry Kings Dominion, maybe next decade...or whenever Cedar Fair replaces Volcano :lol:)

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WHOO HOO! I made it!

Being my first time to the Williamsburg area, I was impressed with how well hidden this park was from the freeway. I expected to see for a bit from the freeway before actually getting to the park. Instead it was this beautiful highway (you guys have very pretty freeways on the east coast, do you think you could tech the west coast a lesson in that department?), and you get off on the Busch Garden's exit and BOOM, there's the park! I thought that was cool. Small nerd moment, I thought it was cool how a couple of the parking lot trams had the various retro Busch Gardens logos on them. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I liked it!

We got to the front gate almost right at opening, and headed straight for Nessie, cause...it's at the front of the park...I like old Arrow coasters...and...well...why not! Unfortunately, Nessie was a little slow getting out of bed...and wasn't open yet. So, we decided to walk towards the Italy/Festa Italia section, and this is where a little failure to prepare caught me off guard. I knew that there was a park somewhere that opened different areas at different times, but forgot it was BGW. We tried to go over to ride Griffon (which was open), but it had a sizable line by the time we got over there, so we decided to go back to Nessie, which after about 15 minutes pulled herself together and decided it was time to start the day!

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And...I really like this ride! I have found that I like rides with unique layouts, and Nessie's fits into that category very well for me. Started in the back and I was presently surprised with both the airtime and the smoothness. BGW must take really good care of this thing, because I didn't think it was bad at all. Although I do have a high tolerance for rough rides cause...well, in the coaster desert we got a lot of 'em! Comparing the smoothness to Corkscrew at my home park, I think that in the three years between when the two rides were built Arrow must have figured out how to do better transitions. I've found that to be Corkscrew's main issue when it comes to smoothness, and Nessie's transitions just felt much more thought out, and less like it was Arrow's first time. I don't think it's the best coaster at BGW, but I think it's very much a solid contender for best Arrow looper.

After Nessie, we made our way towards Festa Italia and rode Tempesto! Now, this was my first Sky Rocket II and I thought it was...well...I can't actually remember it...☹️ I seriously can't remember if I liked this ride, the only I can remember is I basically had to fall into the seat to get in the thing. It must have been just ok, since I don't remember and I didn't take any pictures of the ride so I'll say it was just ok, nothing special.

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Next was Apollo's Chariot! This was another new ride type for me (Why are there no B&M Hypers west of the Mississippi again?), so I was really excited and while I walked away liking it, I could tell that this was B&M's first attempt. I started with the back (because the back is always better, right?!?!) and thought it was fun but a little underwhelming. Came back and got a front row ride, and man does this ride model have potential! I seriously hope a park in the west builds a new one of these. I know the reaction to Candymonium was mixed, but I'd love to see one come to the west coast and realize all the things that B&M has learned from the 20+ years of building hypers. That would just be so much fun!

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After leaving Festa Italia/Italy, we sucked it up and waited in line for Verbolten. This was the only ride that really had a line all day except for Escape from Pompeii and Le Scoot, and for whatever reason it seemed to move really slow. They weren't doing terrible on dispatches (believe me...I KNOW what bad dispatch times look like!!), and the ride never went down, it just seemed to take forever. Anyways, this ride is fun! (it was missing the roof on the fake bridge before the BBW drop, just my luck!) Only rode it once because of the line, and got the wolf program which absolutely made my day! I will say, this thing does vibrate a lot. It didn't bother me, but it was noticeable and bothered some people in my group. It's also a shame that so many of the black lights have fallen down over the years. This ride must have been really cool and fun in it's early years. Now, I said I like unique layout and unique rides, so I have to give the best coaster in the park to Verbolten. There's no other rides like this (except maybe Thirteen??? Maybe?), and it just is so much fun. I'm glad Busch Gardens took the risk and went with Zierer for the project, their work might not be the best in the industry but at least they try and be different. That being said, I definitely wish that BGW had refurbished Big Bag Wolf, and put Verbolten in the old Drachen Fyre spot (more on that later). I think that would have worked to Verbolten's advantage with the more forested setting, and we would still have Big Bad Wolf.

By this time, we were getting hungry so we decided to get something to eat! Now, I had heard many good things about the Trapper's Smokehouse from several sources so we went there to try it out.

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And...I didn't think it was that good... It wasn't bad, just very underwhelming. I'm not a food snob by any means, so I still enjoyed it, it just didn't meet the expectations I had for it. We eat again later at the Festhaus, and while I thought that was a little better, I still thought that was a little underwhelming. Is this what both Busch Gardens park's food is like? If so I think their missing a real opportunity to have cool authentic food for the different countries in the parks. It could be so much fun (hey a man can dream right?)! Anyways, I thought the food was good, but not great, and a little on the underwhelming side. Now...I did not have the pretzels that I know Canobie Coaster talks so much about, so next time I'll give that a go.

We skipped Invad(e)R because it was running one train with 5+ minute dispatch times...and we decided it wasn't worth waiting in that line for a "family coaster". I will say that it looks really fun from the train and Le Scoot, but it didn't entice me to sit down (yes, people were actually sitting down in the line for Invad(e)R, Seven Dwarves Mine Train style, in the queue. That's how slow that line moved) in that line.

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I'm a sucker for old Arrow log flumes, so of course I had to ride Le Scoot. This was another one where the line seemed to move abnormally slow for a log flume, but no matter, we rode anyways. I thought this was a fun flume! It's definitely better than the one at my home park (Heh...Heh...let's not talk about that...), although I don't know if it's the best log flume (that's not Splash Mountain), simply because I haven't really ridden that many. Regardless, It was great to be able to ride one of the parks signature classic attractions and ride a ride type that may very well some day go extinct. 

We rode the train around the park, which I thought was very nice. Not my personal favorite theme park train, but very nice nonetheless. It really showed off the park's beauty. Speaking of which...let's talk about that a second.

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The million dollar question is of course, is Busch Gardens Williamsburg the most beautiful theme park in the world? And my answer to that is maybe. I haven't had the privilege of traveling to too many theme parks, and I've never traveled internationally, so I don't think its fair of me to give a definitive answer. Without a doubt the park is very pretty though. Prior to visiting I was always under the impression that the park was considered "Most Beautiful" more because of it's setting and theming than anything else. I know that they has flowers, but I always thought that people thought it was beautiful because of the Rhine River, the (might I say well executed) european theme, and just the general beauty of the Williamsburg/Northern Virginia area. To my surprise, and delight, this was not the case. The park is very well themed, and the setting does contribute a lot, but the flowers and landscaping are what make it beautiful. I'm sure my home park also featuring a large amount of beautiful landscaping is increasing my bias, but still I thought BGW possibly toped that. I will say this thought, some parts of the park are more beautiful than others. I thought the Scotland, England, Italy, New France, and Germany/Alpengeist sections were the most beautiful, but I thought the France, Ireland, Festa Italia, and Curse of DarKastle/Octoberfest area were in need of a little help. Not to say that these areas weren't pretty, it's just they weren't up to the standards of the rest of the park in my opinion.

I also really liked all the little details this park has. Whether it's the original (when the building was built) countries (and their names) in the stain glass windows at the front of the Festhaus under the AB Eagle, or the crashed skier who rented ski's from Bob's Ski Rental (which closed cause he's gone skiing) near Alpengeist, I just really enjoyed those little details. I wish every park had more of that kind of thing.

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Your probably wondering now why I haven't mentioned riding Alpengeist or Griffon, and the answer is...I decided to reride Apollo's Chariot instead. I know, I know...dumb coaster enthusiast decision #1999. 😜 Looking back, I should have at least done Alpengeist, but alas there's no B&M hypers west of the Mississippi, so I got to ride them while I can I guess! Oh well, something for next time right?

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Looking to this park's future...they announced Pantheon's opening date like a week after I visited (go figure!). I knew the chances were off the charts high that the ride wouldn't open for my visit, but still I had a little hope. When they first announced Pantheon I was honestly a little disappointed. I though the park needed a cool dark ride to replace DarKastle and Europe in the Air, and more flat rides than anything. Having visited though now, while I still think the park is just crying out for a cool dark ride, I think the Pantheon is a good fit for BGW. They lack an extreme launch coaster, and some ride that truly feels extreme. They have their B&M's but I've never heard anyone compare any of them to an RMC or Intamin. Form my experience with Apollo's Chariot I could see how a coaster with more extreme ejector airtime is needed, and I assume the same/similar argument goes for Alpengeist and Griffon. Pantheon seems to solve all those problems, so I think as long as it doesn't turn into another Intamin-quality downtime fiasco, or the next Lightning Rod, I think it will be a great addition to the park. My only ture complaints with it (having not ridden it) is that I wish it was in the old Drachen Fyre spot, and what I would consider a serious lack of theming. From the distance I could see, the queue and station looked pretty bland in that open field, and I hope that is not the trend for the theming level of new SeaWorld coasters going forward.

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Speaking of the old Drachen Fyre spot...I had to be a coaster nerd and go look at it. It's so sad seeing such a big empty spot in a park that if you think about it really doesn't have to many open spaces. I really wish that they had put Pantheon here, and saved the field it's in for something else, maybe a Italy section expansion or something? I just fell that the DF plot is really underutilized and could make a great setting for a coaster...

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And...please don't get me started on the whole "Drachen Spyre" thing...  Let's just say that I think it's one of the top 10 dumbest coaster design ideas ever. Right up there with Hypersonic XLC (what is it with Virginia and dumb coaster designs),  High Roller, and that fishhook thing that Arrow wanted to put on the side of the Stratosphere (come to think of it...what's with Nevada and dumb coaster designs...). I really do hope that the Drachen Spyre project got cancelled, and something better is on the way for that spot. I really do.

Couple other tid bits from our trip to BGW:

-The skyride was closed on my visit, which was a bit of a bummer. I've always wanted to ride a Von Roll skyway, and after SFOG shut theirs down and BGT's was put in limbo, I'm starting to get worried that these rides might be on their way out as well.

-We bought are tickets while they were doing one of their flash sales, and I would definitely recommend doing that. They want to charge 70 some dollars for this park, and I don't think it's quite worth that price yet. Not to say that the park is overpriced, I just think that if park's want to charge that much per head, they better be operating at a level that commands that price, and I don't think this park was quite there.

-Not to knock on the employee's to much, but I did notice that with a couple exceptions that there was a general lack of enthusiasm amongst them. I mean come one, your working at a theme park, that has got to be one of the most fun places to work, in my mind, ever! I don't know what was causing it and it's not necessarily a bad thing, but I just noticed it.

-I didn't think the merchandise was all that strong, but I loved how they had both a Big Bad Wolf and a Drachen Fyre nanocoaster. They were a little out of my price range, but I thought that was neat. I also like their post card selection, so kudos to them there.

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We finished with a night ride on Nessie, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and that ended are time at BGW. Overall, the park did live up to my expectations in many ways, and was a little underwhelming in others. However, I would come back, and I would say that if your ever in the Northern Virginia area you have to go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

I got one more of these trip reports to do from my latest escape from the coaster desert, I hope to get it out over the weekend. See you then!

Edited by swfan1988
Removed random photos at the end
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Alpengeist, Invadr, and Griffon are all great rides despite not looking like much. It's unfortunate you missed out on them. Taking two rides on Nessie over those? Questionable decision indeed... lol. Sounds like Quick Queue was needed that day.

I agree Busch food isn't really that great anymore in general. The smokehouse was always hit or miss for me at all the SEAS parks.

Glad you had a decent trip, but I really think you missed out on more than you think you did. Like you said, next time!

 

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49 minutes ago, anonymouscactus said:

Alpengeist, Invadr, and Griffon are all great rides despite not looking like much. It's unfortunate you missed out on them. Taking two rides on Nessie over those? Questionable decision indeed... lol. Sounds like Quick Queue was needed that day.

I agree Busch food isn't really that great anymore in general. The smokehouse was always hit or miss for me at all the SEAS parks.

Glad you had a decent trip, but I really think you missed out on more than you think you did. Like you said, next time!

 

I also took a couple rerides on Apollo so it wasn't all bad...

Yeah, quick queue probably would have been a good idea, although the only other rode that really needed it was Verbolten. Unfortunately, didn't think of it in the moment.

Oh well, next time!

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Will be a first time visitor this coming Saturday, 10/2. Plan to get to the park right when it opens, is there an order of hitting the rides to give us maximum ride coverage during the day?

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^ remember that BGW opens in sections. . . so you'll be limited by what's open.

tho I think the Italian section opens 1st (so Apollo Chariot & Tempesto).

but best to ask someone who goes all the time:  @cfc Chuck?

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52 minutes ago, rxtim said:

Will be a first time visitor this coming Saturday, 10/2. Plan to get to the park right when it opens, is there an order of hitting the rides to give us maximum ride coverage during the day?

 

18 minutes ago, bert425 said:

^ remember that BGW opens in sections. . . so you'll be limited by what's open.

tho I think the Italian section opens 1st (so Apollo Chariot & Tempesto).

but best to ask someone who goes all the time:  @cfc Chuck?

I was there a month or so ago, and England, Scotland, Ireland, and France opened at the posted opening time (10 I think?). I think Loch Ness Monster is supposed to be the first coaster to open (although it was delayed for me because of a technical issue), then followed by Griffon maybe 15 minutes later or so. The rest of the park opened at 10:30/11 (I think). Finnegan's Flyer was also open, if you want to do that.

I would say to hit Nessie first, and then either hit Griffon and wait for New France to open to ride InvadR, or after hitting Nessie wait for Festa Italia to open and hit Tempesto, THEN Apollo's Chariot. After that, the park is pretty much a circle so you can hit things as you circle (with the only true dead end being Festa Italia) back around. I will say, the park is bigger than it looks on the map, so you might want to avoid crisscrossing the park too much, unless you like walking a lot.

I went the way of Tempesto after Nessie, which worked well but InvadR was on one train ops with 8+ minute dispatches so I ended up skipping it, although I don't know if its always that way though.

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On 9/24/2021 at 9:06 PM, anonymouscactus said:

Alpengeist, Invadr, and Griffon are all great rides despite not looking like much. It's unfortunate you missed out on them. Taking two rides on Nessie over those? Questionable decision indeed... lol. Sounds like Quick Queue was needed that day.

I agree Busch food isn't really that great anymore in general. The smokehouse was always hit or miss for me at all the SEAS parks.

Glad you had a decent trip, but I really think you missed out on more than you think you did. Like you said, next time!

 

Griffon is by far my favorite of the dive coasters (have not made it up to Yukon Striker yet) but I can't quite put my finger on why. I just know that I find Shiekra and Valravn really fun BUT Griffon usually has me laughing like crazy. And as Bert and Zach know I took one of the most serious faced coaster ride pics ever on Orion, lol, so I don't always show it.

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It's a shame you didn't get on Alpengeist, it's the most intense B&M invert I've ever been on, granted it's a first half coaster more than a second half in terms of forces, but it's very intense. I enjoy Afterburn, Montu and Banshee more overall, but only by a small margin. Alpengeist really is a monster in terms of Inverts and I'd consider it a world class coaster. If you make it back to the park, I'd highly recommend making it a point to ride it, as it is one of the "stand out" coasters in terms of intensity and I know you said you felt BGW lacked that. The only reason I rank those other ones higher is honestly Alpengeist has a few rough spots it's formed over the years, but it's undeniably an amazing coaster still.

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Nice report! BGW is one of the last major parks in the country I have yet to visit. I am heavily considering going sometime next Spring, like April or May. It seems like a wonderful park that has a lot of similarities to BGT but also a lot of differences.

Also, I agree, there needs to be a B&M Hyper west of the Mississippi!

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On 10/1/2021 at 2:51 PM, teacherkim said:

Griffon is by far my favorite of the dive coasters (have not made it up to Yukon Striker yet) but I can't quite put my finger on why.

I completely agree! I think it's the (4) pops of airtime w/o any vests to hold you down.

As for the staggered openings, during my 2019 visit, England, Scotland, and Ireland opened (with rides) an hour BEFORE posted park opening. Is that not happening at all this year? Are they letting anyone in the park before 10?

My plan for Saturday is to stay ahead of the crowd (CCW) for rides in the morning, drink beer in the afternoon, and check out a few haunts in the evening.

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Interesting article.

https://wydaily.com/regional/2021/10/11/kings-dominion-seeing-lower-incidents-of-police-reports-than-busch-gardens/

REGIONAL — Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW) is seeing a higher number of police reports from its park this season than Virginia’s other major theme park, Doswell’s Kings Dominion (KD).

Throughout the 2021 season, BGW has gone viral on social media, not for being the “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park” (as it has been awarded for over three decades by the National Amusement Park Historical Association), but for the number of incidents that have occurred in which the local police department was called.

On Aug. 8, the video of a fight that broke out in the queue line for the park’s roller coaster, Griffon, spread around the internet. More incidents followed, including one on Oct. 1 where, according to the James City County Police Department (JCCPD), a fifteen-year-old juvenile was assaulted by another juvenile while he was sitting on a bench at the park. The reported offender left the scene before department officers arrived. The victim was treated by paramedics for what the JCCPD described as “road rash.” The victim’s mother did not wish to press charges.

These latest incidents have alarmed guests and begs the question if the higher number of incidents in which the police department has been called is universal for both of Virginia’s two major theme parks, or is it isolated to just BGW?

The Two Parks

Like BGW, KD has been part of the theme park scene in Virginia since 1975. Both parks are owned by major corporations, with the former owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. and the latter owned by Cedar Fair, and both parks boast thrill rides, family-friendly attractions, a handful of shows, and both have water parks associated with them (though KD’s water park, Soak City, is located within the greater park itself, while Water Country USA is located about three miles away from BGW). Both parks have seasonal festivals, such as Howl-O-Scream at BGW and Haunt at KD during Halloween. Lastly, both parks have devoted fan followings.

Many will note that the differences come down to the intense level of theming as well as the animal attractions at BGW, while KD tends to place more emphasis on thrill rides and attractions over immersive themed experiences. Though close to one another (situated just over an hour’s drive apart), there is little doubt that a day at BGW will differ from that of one at KD.

What The Data Says

WYDaily reached out to both parks as well as the JCCPD and the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) (which is the jurisdiction that KD falls in) for data regarding incidents over the past five years, to include the 2021 season thus far. The data for BGW is accurate as of Sept. 23 while the data for KD was provided to WYDaily by the HCSO on Oct. 5, 2021. The table below breaks down this data for the 2021 season:

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Since both parks were closed most of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, the table below compares the same incident data from the respective departments for the 2019 park season:

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It is important to note that the data shown for 2019 encompasses the entire calendar year, while the data for the 2021 season only includes data through the dates indicated in the table’s caption. The data shows a distinct increase in incidents reported to JCCPD from BGW during the 2021 season (thus far) versus 2019 with HCSO reporting that KD has seen a decrease in these reports during the respective years. Looking further, the number of incidents reported to the local police departments from BGW is higher than that of its Doswell neighbor during the 2021 season.

Data Disparage

There is little doubt that 2021 has seen its fair share of unprecedented challenges for businesses, particularly those of hospitality, tourism, and food service. As guests returned to theme parks during the latest iteration of the COVID-19 pandemic, measures were put in place by these destinations based on local and state COVID-19 mitigation measures and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parks installed hand sanitizing stations, began requiring unvaccinated guests to continue to wear face coverings, and recommending social distancing, no-contact payment options and implemented increase sanitization of high contact areas.

While both parks were heavily advertising employment opportunities during the 2021 season, it is unclear if this is in any way correlated to the data disparage above between the two parks. In fact, it is unclear what antecedents have been contributing factors as BGW did not respond to questions asked by WYDaily regarding this nor did Kings Dominion provide any response as of the publication of this article.

New Policies

Following the rash of incidents (as noted in the above tables), BGW announced a new policy that started on Sept. 24 and is slated to last through Oct. 31. The new policy states that no bags will be permitted in the park past 4 p.m. Exceptions are made for wristlets and packs that measure less than 8″x5″, but will be subject to security inspection. Any item that is required for medical reasons will need to be packed in a clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag and should not exceed 12″x6″x12″. Guests who arrive at the gate at 4 p.m. or later with bags that do not meet these requirements will be asked to to return them to their vehicle. Additionally, all bags, regardless of what time the guest comes to the park, are subject to security screening. Click here to learn more about BGW’s current bag policy.

When pressed with questions regarding any further information regarding the uptick in incidents, any further security measures taken, and how the park will continue to assure guests that they will have a safe experience, Matthew Klepeisz, public relations manager for BGW, provided the following response per an email to WYDaily:

“We continue to be committed to providing safe experiences for families to visit and have fun. This is and remains our top priority, as evidenced by increasing the presence and visibility of security, as well as our bag policy.  As I have mentioned [in a comment printed in a Sept. 24 article from WYDaily], every decision regarding security policies and procedures is made with that goal in mind. In addition to our own security measures, we work closely with law enforcement.” According to its website, KD’s policy remains the same as the rest of the season, with all guests going through metal detectors and their bags subject to screening prior to park admission. It is unclear if the policy has altered during its special Haunt festival.

Conclusion

Without direct answers nor data provided by either park, WYDaily is currently left still asking what the antecedents are behind the increased incidents at BGW and why there is a  disparage in data between BGW and KD. Time will tell if this trend continues, how effective BGW’s new security measures are and will continue to be, and how this will impact either park in the long run. WYDaily will continue to follow this story and keep you up-to-date on any new developments and data that becomes available.

 

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I wonder what this data looks like adjusted for number of guests: incidents per visitor. Could just be a nice click bait article. We all know how well Cedar Fair has done recently in terms of operating hours...

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The last time I visited the park, the James City County Police had a "safety command center" in the France parking lot near the main entrance. I don't recall that being the case in past years.

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I think the fact that I was able to purchase a BGW ticket for $48.50 on a Saturday in October may have something to do with it. In September of 2019, I paid $69.50. That's quite the discount they're offering this year!

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^Speaking of Christmas Town . . . the park has released more information about this year's event--just in time for Halloween!

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Busch Gardens® Williamsburg’s Christmas Town™ opens next month with one of the largest light displays in North America, new shows, and fan favorites 

  • One of North America’s Largest Holiday Displays with More than Ten Million Dazzling
  • Lights
  •  First-Ever Christmas Town™ Performance of Celtic Fyre Show, Voted the #1 Theme Park Entertainment by USA Today’s 10 Best
  •  New Holiday Scavenger Hunt presented by Coca-Cola©

Busch Gardens® Williamsburg is trimming the tree and hanging the lights for the full return of Christmas Town™ beginning on November 12. Voted the World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park every year since 1990, Busch Gardens® Williamsburg will transform into a stunning holiday wonderland with over 10 million twinkling lights, one of the largest light displays in North America. Along with a return of fan favorite shows, bites, and delights, this year’s must-see event will appeal to guests of all ages with new performances and activities including:

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  • Celtic Fyre®: A Christmas Celebration – Celtic Fyre returns for the first-time ever during Christmas Town™. Voted  USA Today’s #1 Theme Park Entertainment, this iconic fan favorite show celebrates Irish culture with step dancing at Abbey Stone Theatre. The encore performance adds Christmas flair with a new twist on a Killarney classic.
  • Up on the Haus Top – It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Warm up with modern-day Christmas classics in a festive performance in Das Festhaus.
  • Unto Us – A choral celebration of the greatest story ever told. The first Christmas comes alive in this inspiring new show takes place in the open-air Il Teatro di San Marco Theatre.
  • Holiday Scavenger Hunt presented by Coca-Cola© – Spot the special holiday ornaments around the park and you could receive a Coca-Cola prize while supplies last!
  • North Pole Nightcap Bar – Grab your swizzle stick and make a toboggin run to the all-new bar featuring specialty holiday cocktails!

Guests can renew holiday traditions by enjoying fan favorite Christmas Town™ classics including Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas Town Express, and Twas that Night ice skating show featuring Champion figure skater Elvis Stojko, who brings the magic of Christmas Eve alive in a spectacular performance.
 

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Other popular returning fun includes:

  • Elmo’s Christmas Wish – Join Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover, and Zoe as they help Elmo find his Christmas wish! Families are sure to be singing and dancing along while watching this fun holiday show. Visit the Sesame Street Forest of Fun outdoor stage to enjoy this show!
  • O’Tannenbaum – Gather in front of Festhaus for a Christmas light show unlike any you’ve ever experienced.
  • Scrooge No More – The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future will be swept away at the Globe Theatre this season.
  • Holiday Flavors to Savor – Find the tastes of the season throughout the park with the return of fan-favorite beverages, including the decadent Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and the extra-jolly After Dinner Mint Hot Chocolate, perfect for after the kids nestle snug in their beds. The ever-popular Christmas Turkey Dinner returns to the Festhaus, the perfect meal while guests enjoy the all-new show Up on the Haus Top!

Over 20 thrilling rides and coasters, festive treats, and holiday shopping complete the immersive experience with Christmas fun for the whole family.

“Christmas Town is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to create unforgettable memories in an incredible park setting and we are thrilled to feature its full, park-wide return this year,” said park President Kevin Lembke. “With more than ten million lights and all new shows, 2021 promises to be our best holiday celebration ever. From the meticulously decorated trees to the beautifully choreographed new shows, this year’s Christmas Town gives us all a reason to celebrate the season again with friends and family. Not even Scrooge himself will be able to resist joining in on the festive holiday cheer.”

Christmas Town™ will run on select dates through January 2, 2022.

 

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Hi all.  We're long time readers and lurkers in the forum.  We really enjoy all the great information and insights that help with planning trips to various parks.  I'm hoping someone here might have an idea on what to expect as far as black friday prices on season passes..

We are planning a trip that will take us to Christmas Town before the end of the year.  We will also be visiting the park next year in April and probably again next fall.   In addition, we plan on visiting Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando for a total of 3 days in May of next year.  We've been considering the 11 park pass since it will include each of our visits + parking and discounts in the parks..

Has Busch Gardens put these 11 park pass on sale during black Friday in the past?

Thanks for any insight and all the great information we get from this forum and site.

 

 

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SeaWorld San Antonio typically has the cheapest prices.  Could buy from there.  Not sure how it compares to Sesame...did not price it when I bought earlier this year.  Don't ever have to visit SWSA.

When I bought last year, it was $149.99/ea (which was $50 off normal price) so they have done some sales.  This was early January after a crazy pandemic year.  Seems to be $172.99 right now.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, tndank said:

SeaWorld San Antonio typically has the cheapest prices.  Could buy from there.  Not sure how it compares to Sesame...did not price it when I bought earlier this year.  Don't ever have to visit SWSA.

When I bought last year, it was $149.99/ea (which was $50 off normal price) so they have done some sales.  This was early January after a crazy pandemic year.  Seems to be $172.99 right now.

 

 

It was on sale for like $150 just last week, so I'd expect it to go on sale again at some point. SeaWorld has typically offered Black Friday sales in the past on tickets and passes, I've never bought the 11 park platinum pass but I'm assuming the deal would be valid on that. In the past one year they did BOGO passes then  the next it was Buy One Get one half off. I'm sure there will offers this year but so it seems like the deals have decreased slightly year to year, and post pandemic with parks back in full swing I'm not sure what to expect.

 

Does anyone know if the extra perks you get with a platinum pass, like free tickets/tours/etc., are only valid at the home park? That's the impression I was under but curious if anyone knew definitively. 

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The 1 exception for that is the Platinum Pass purchased at a Florida park, those perks do work in all the parks in the state. I bought my Platinum Pass at BGT and can use my 1 free daily Quick Queue or bring a friend free tickets at Sea World, Adventure Island and Aquatica.

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