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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 466: Mardi Gras at Busch Gardens

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On 3/3/2022 at 9:09 PM, redfoot12 said:

I'm heading to Busch Gardens tomorrow for Pantheon.

Any other Platinum holders going?

So this day actually turned out pretty disappointing. I reached the park that Friday, March 4, got in line for the back for Pantheon, and... got denied 😔

Long story short, I've dropped nearly 30 pounds since and got on last night 😀

Fun ride but only got one ride in. Looking forward to many more!

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  • 2 weeks later...

^I doubt that a "30% chance of isolated thunderstorms" is going to discourage anyone from going on a holiday weekend. I see Quick Queue in your future.

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A 35% chance maybe, but not 30%...

We actually got lucky years ago. It was crazy hot, and a bad Thunderstorm rolled in around 3pm. It lasted for about an hour, and almost completely emptied the park. I mean, there was no one there and everything was walk-on. We rode Le Scoot 5 or 6 times in a row without getting off, until Emily finally had enough... It was a blast.

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Well there were zero storms but everything was a walk on. On a Saturday. On a July 4th weekend.

Obviously I basked in the non-existent lines (minus like 30 minutes for the water rides), but the last time I saw a major park this empty at this time of year was at Universal Studios FL right before the 2008 crash.

Also caught Pantheon right as it re-opened too. That thing is one HELL of a ride, but it could've been my last ever because one of the operators almost dispached our train with the restraints up.

Oppressive sun, almost lost a few of the guys from lack of hydration. Festhaus continues to be the default food spot (though one of these days I have to try Trapper's). Entered the park at 11a, left at 4:30p (went out to eat seafood immediately after and hit up some bars at VA Beach as part of a Bachelor weekend). Final tally: Griffon x2, Le Scoot, Alpengeist, Verbolten, Escape From Pompeii, Pantheon.

- Biggest Surprise: Pantheon

- Most Brutal & Unrelenting: Alpengeist

- Perennial Favorite: Verbolten



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16 hours ago, Masquerade said:

it could've been my last ever because one of the operators almost dispached our train with the restraints up.

Unless the ride was in manual mode, I don't think this is possible.

I don't know why everyone thinks 4th of July weekend is always crazy busy just because it's a holiday. Since the end of time since I was a kid I think people have been scared to go because they think it will be crowded. And this year has the added fact of gas prices for those traveling from afar; I only say that because every highway I was on all weekend seemed pretty dead in general. I know there are a ton more factors and this is just an observation by one person. I was at Carowinds on Saturday and it was the same thing. I've been to Dorney (ok bad example) and it SFNE and Darien Lake in the past. Everyone this weekend seemed to be in the waterpark. Cedar Point appeared to be the same based on trip reports and queue times. As was many other major parks. Not empty but very light attendance compared to any normal summer day. I feel like I say this every year.

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Pantheon was more intense than we thought it would be.  We did 2 rides in a row and after the 2nd, I was feeling a little ill which doesn't usually happen to me.

Alpengeist is super rough.  We rode it once and that was it for us.

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A re-enactment of exactly what happened on Pantheon 7/2/22 at approximately 4:10pm:

Dispacher - "All clear."

*All restraints go up*

All riders including me - "What the fuck?!"

Dispatcher - "Uh sorry, pressed the wrong button."


This was about two cycles after it reopened from maintenance.

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^I definitely understand the surprise/shock factor of seeing the restraints pop up after hearing "All clear," but this is still a very different situation than "one of the operators almost dispatched our train with the restraints up."

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those of you who have been wondering what's been going on with the old candy shop in Germany . . .




Sip in Secret at an ALL-NEW Theme Park Speakeasy, Opening this Month at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
For a Limited-time, Guests Can Save 20 Percent on Reservations for this Exclusive Experience

  • Something new is brewing at the all-new Bürgermeister’s Hideaway
  • This immersive, one-of-a-kind experience debuts on July 20
  • Guests 21+ can enjoy handcrafted cocktail flights customized to each season
  • For a limited-time, all reservations receive a 20 percent grand opening discount
  • Save up to 55 percent on tickets, Fun Cards and Memberships during the Summer Sale

A one-of-a-kind, immersive bar experience is debuting this summer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg with the addition of an all-new speakeasy. Bürgermeister’s Hideaway will open on July 20 and offers guests an opportunity to partake in a spirited experience with festive drink and fantastic ambiance. Behind a sweet façade visitors will explore an exclusive hideaway bar that houses mystery and marvel for all to enjoy.

The tale of Bürgermeister’s Hideaway dates back to a centuries-old mystery bar that offers a different type of counter service with a drink that is contrary to its country. This hidden den, run by Busch Gardens’ iconic Bürgermeister, offers signature cocktail, mocktail, wine, and beer flights that will leave guests craving more. Beverage flights are chef curated and seasonally inspired, debuting with the vibrant flavors of summer. Guests who select the cocktail flight can sip on the perfect blend of sweet and spice with the refreshing Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita and the Banana Nutella Martini, a smooth and savory concoction with a hint of hazelnut. Prost to sweet surprises with this ALL-NEW adventure at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Visitors must prebook their speakeasy visit here. Each reservation includes a timed entry to Bürgermeister’s Hideaway and one drink flight. For a limited-time, guests can save 20 percent on reservations purchased before July 22. Throughout the year, Members receive a discount on this all-new experience.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Who's ready for Howl-o-Scream? Here's what the park has planned for this year!




Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream®--Virginia’s Premier Halloween Event, Returns with a Twisted New Game and Three All-New Haunted Houses, Plus the Most Sinister Sale of the Season

  • Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream returns on select nights September 9 – October 31, 2022
  • Conquer the frights with the best deal of the season, buy a 2023 Fun Card and get now through Howl-O-Scream FREE
  • Three NEW haunted houses and three new terror-tories
  • Scares at every turn with a total of five haunted houses, five terror-tories™, four shows and two party zones

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream returns with a twisted new game and an evil host, beginning on Friday, September 9, 2022. In this ghoulish game show, every guest is a contestant, led to their destiny by the master of scare-monies. Your fate awaits with five haunted houses, five terror-tories, four sinister shows, two party zones, and unsuspecting scares awaiting their victims at every turn. Beyond the haunts, guests can take horror to new heights with nighttime rides on eight world-class coasters, including the all-new Pantheon, the world’s fastest multi-launch coaster. Howl-O-Scream takes screams to the extreme with three NEW haunted houses and three NEW terror-tories, complete with seven menacing BOOze bars and bites to fuel the fear and tackle the night’s frights. Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream will take place on select dates from September 9 - October 31, 2022.

Looking for sinister savings? The best deal of the season is reincarnated for Howl-O-Scream 2022. For a limited-time, guests who purchase a 2023 Fun Card will get now through Howl-O-Scream FREE, plus unlimited visits January 27 through September 4, 2023.




Guests will have nowhere to hide as iconic frights are combined with newly unleashed experiences. Fan-favorite houses Witch of the Woods and KILLarney Diner will return in 2022, as well as two signature terror-tories, Ripper Row and Meat Market. These staple scares are paired with the following hair-raising new additions:

2022 All-New Haunted Houses

  • NEW! Inferno: When death is only the beginning, there’s no end to the scorching terror in sight.  As the ground opens to the fiery torments of the dead, your only hope for escape is to journey further into this twisted domain. Descend deep into the pits of Lucifer’s lair to find your way out but beware--the underworld’s demonic horde is yearning for your soul.
  • NEW! Death Water Bayou: The sounds of the carnival celebration grow faint as you are beckoned deeper into the bayou by an unseen force. The cursed hands rise out of the swamp, reaching in desperation for their next devilish devotee. Beware of the bayou or fall victim to the horrors cast by the swamp’s sinister citizens.
  • NEW! Nevermore Chapter 2: A disturbing new chapter in the Nevermore saga has been unveiled, wreaking horror and havoc for the nobility and townsmen alike. The gothic nightmare reads on as tales of torment and terror take frightening form. Explore a world where literature comes to life and Poe’s poignant prose takes on an even darker reality.

2022 All-New Terror-Tories

  • NEW! Dead A-Head: The bloodied bodies of the beheaded are lurking through the streets of France seeking revenge for their bludgeoned fate. Beware of your surroundings--one wrong move and it could be your head on the chopping block.
  • NEW! Gorgon Gardens: Don’t look too closely--staring straight into the soul-less eyes of these serpent sisters leads to venomous consequences and a stone-cold eternity. There’s no escaping these sinister sirens once you’ve been added to their succulent garden of souls.
  • NEW! Scary Tale Road: Once upon a time, these fairy tale fantasies lured you to sleep with picturesque places and harmonious heroes. Survival is slim as these childhood icons have been ripped from the pages and are now haunting your dreams. 

Plus, guests can experience daytime fun with thrilling coasters, fall theming, family-friendly shows, and more, all at the world’s most beautiful theme park.

Parental discretion is advised after 6:00 PM, as Howl-O-Scream contains amplified scares that are not recommended for children.

Best Deal of the Season – 2023 Fun Card with Howl-O-Scream FREE

The best way to experience Howl-O-Scream 2022 is with a Busch Gardens Fun Card or Membership. For a limited-time, guests who purchase a 2023 Fun Card will get now through Howl-O-Scream FREE. Hurry, before prices go up August 28! 2023 Fun Card holders also get unlimited visits from January 27 through September 4, 2023, plus unlimited admission during Howl-O-Scream 2022. For unbeatable benefits and admission, guests can purchase a Membership to receive 12 months of visits with amazing park perks including free parking, up to six free guest tickets, savings on merchandise and more.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't really do trip reports anymore (does anyone?) but we finally visited this wonderful park again for the first time since pre-Covid to (finally!!) check out Pantheon as well as the parks now-happening (thru Sept 12th) Bier Fest, and as expected we had a great time. Can you go wrong with beers and new Intamin hotness? The threat of rain all week kept crowds super light and we managed to stay in the park open to almost close on Saturday and again from open on Sunday til about 4pm. During that time it only rained once for about 20 minutes. The longest we waited for anything all weekend was maybe 20-25 minutes for the front row of Pantheon.

In short, Bier Fest was magnificent and Pantheon is insane. For the event, you can buy a $40 lanyard that gets you ten 6oz samples of beer, and while the weather was mostly sunny/partly cloudy it was humid AF so we found ourselves dipping into both the Festhaus and Grogans Pub to soak up the air conditioning and fill up on samples. At both spots we found random locals brewers were popping in to talk about their breweries and give out more samples so of course we were trying all of those too. Lots and lots of beer samples.

Soooo how about a few photos of the world's most beautiful theme park?


Or uhhhh... the place we always go before Virginian theme parks...


Yippee! Feels good to be back at one of my favorite parks anywhere.


Grogans Grill and their dollar hot dogs were the real MVP of our weekend.
Shout out to the cashiers for not enforcing the 2-per-transaction rule. 🤣


It's like 11am and I'm already double-fisting! 😂
Was great to finally meet Chuck/ @cfc after all these years and share some rides and brews!


We always start the weekend at Griffon. This ride is so good.


At some point we made our way to the craft hall in the Festhaus. Because you need something to soak up all the beer.



You can use your Bier Fest lanyard to sample ANY of these 30 taps or anything on tap at Grogans.


@coasterbillstill got a flight


PSA: Alpengeist is the best invert.


Some of these are just screenshots from videos I took for an Instagram reel.


At least Lochness Monster looks good...


Alright enough f*cking around, time for this absolute insanity.


Pantheon is excellent and shot right into my favorite coasters. Great pacing, unique forces, not a moment wasted. I only ever rode in the front (or close to the front) but there is air all over this thing. The backwards launch is downright absurd. The operations left a little to be desired after experiencing the well oiled crew at VelociCoaster late last year but they were cranking trains pretty quickly.


The trains are comfy, and as a larger dude I had no issues and didn't really have to be stapled on any of my rides.  There is so much to like about this ride. The zero-G after the first launch is loaded with hang time and the outward bunny hops are good fun and a great way to get things started.


The stall feels like it goes on forever, and in the front of the train we were getting some intense ejector at the top of the outward banked hill over the Rhine River. The missus, who we thought might not even ride this, not only rode multiple times but also declared it as one of her all times favorites by the weekends end and is still talking about it three days later.


Thumbs up from row 1.

I know you're dying to ask - How did it compare to VelociCoaster? Beyond the fact that they're both new Intamins with multiple launches, top hats and stalls? They're pretty different rides. I do prefer VC overall.


I like Tempesto, but we never made it on. I didn't get any photos of Apollo, but that we did ride a bunch and it was phenomenal as usual.


We did ride this fabulous contraption a few times as well thanks to the low crowds and non-existent wait.



At some point on Sunday we finally made a stop at the black forest and for the first time ever I was treated to a walk-on for this ride.


Still one of my favorites here but after some beers the indoor section actually gave me a little vertigo and a skipped a re-ride with the group.




Shout out to @PKI Jizzman






Thanks for reading. Sorry if some of the photos are small. Go check out Bier Fest if you can!

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Now come down to Orlando to rrrreeeaaalllyyyy make sure you like Velocicoaster better ;D

Glad you guys had a great day, Pantheon is so much fun. I'm so excited for more of those swing launches. The backwards air hill in the launch is crazy!

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21 hours ago, boldikus said:

I don't really do trip reports anymore (does anyone?)

I definitely miss the days of you and @coasterbill writing in depth reports. I do understand how tedious it gets writing all that and sorting through pictures though. The information with a side of humor was always appreciated!

Before I went to BGT in April I actually went looking for Bill's BGT reports and had to delve back like 10 pages to find his TR thread lol.

Anyway, great TR and really looking forward to getting down there for Pantheon. Probably won't be till next year unfortunately.

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3 hours ago, Zand said:

I definitely miss the days of you and @coasterbill writing in depth reports. I do understand how tedious it gets writing all that and sorting through pictures though. The information with a side of humor was always appreciated!

Before I went to BGT in April I actually went looking for Bill's BGT reports and had to delve back like 10 pages to find his TR thread lol.

Anyway, great TR and really looking forward to getting down there for Pantheon. Probably won't be till next year unfortunately.

Thanks! I wish I still had the motivation to do those super detailed, story type reports but those reports took forever. Unlike Bill, I am a writer and went to school for it. I always want to do reports after trips but I just can't be bothered anymore.

Glad you guys are enjoying this one, we had a really rad weekend and I wanted to share.

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