Wow, too bad about the delayed openings. When I visited back in 2011 the only ride I think opened late as Shockwave. I also visited on an extremely slow day but everything else was going rights off the bat. By the time I had finished everything else, Shockwave opened and beat me so badly I forgot all the other rides and rode them again as if they were brand new to me . I also had a similar experience though, I was lucky to ride I305 (my No. 1 coaster) but Volcano was closed all day. It was a major bummer for me because up until I305, that was the ride to go to KD for, and I wanted to ride SO BAD! Alas, another trip will need to be made.
KD gets overlook for it's beauty. It really is a great looking park, but with BGW down the road, it's hard to appreciate KD.
Thanks for the TR, looks like you guys are having fun and yes I am jealous.
I know the feeling of an Intamin being down when you travel halfway around the world with the expectations of riding it, when Top Thrill was closed on our first trip to CP I could have cried... Looking back it was no big deal as I have ridden dozens of better coasters since, I305 however, there's not much better than that.
Seeing your pics of Flight Of Fear made me remember when my Oakley's got stolen out of the property box while the wife and I were riding it.
Next up on our journey after the awesome TPR Texas Midwest trip was beautiful Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and 'beautiful' really is the word to use to describe this wonderful place. There are very few parks I've visited where I can't think of a single thing to critique, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of them, up there with Knoebel's and Silver Dollar City for me.
So what makes the place so special? Aside from the beauty and upkeep of the park, which you'll see in these photos, the setting is one of the best things about it. The park's location is perfect for terrain coasters, and they certainly use the terrain well. You can view the park from up high by taking a round trip on the Skyride, which has three different legs, providing amazing views.
The coasters are all excellent, with some stand-out B&Ms, including Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot and Griffon. Loch Ness Monster is an iconic ride that I've wanted to ride all my life, so it was great to finally get on this unique, and very fun, Arrow coaster. Finally, Verbolten was a big surprise for us, and I really enjoyed the tricks inside the event building. I had heard mixed reports about the ride, but I think it's an absolutely perfect fit for the park, and rather undderated among coaster enthusiasts too.
The Curse of DarKastle was another surprise, and much better than I was expecting, having been on Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure. I had also read somewhere that the park was light on flat rides, but that's not true at all! I can count off multiple flats without thinking too hard about it, and some of them were rather rare too.
Rides aside, there is plenty at Busch Gardens Williamsburg to occupy your day, and if you weren't into thrills you'd still find some fun things to do, especially if you like animal exhibits and shows.
With the beauty, setting, themeing and great rides, add excellent customer service and you can count me as a big fan of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We visited the sister park in Tampa (stay tuned for the TR), and I definitely preferred this park. I look forward to visiting again in the very near future.
We finally made it to England! Busch Gardens' version that is.
It started out a bit gloomy today but the weather steadily improved for us.
Next door to England is Scotland (duh...), famous for the park's Highland Stables, featuring beautiful Clydesdales horses.
In Scotland you'll also find the Loch Ness Monster!
I didn't realise this ride was as well-themed as any at the park.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Loch Ness Monster! But to photograph it you have to go down this steep hill to the river...
The money shot!
Another view of the famous interlocking loops.
I love how the coaster begins with a big drop over the river before a turnaround, this second drop and first loop. The rest of the ride is fun too, with an enclosed helix followed by a second lift and final loop de loop. A real classic.
The river also provides great photo ops for some of the other coasters in the park.
This viewing area is deceiving though! It takes a LONG time to get to Alpengeist from here - it's on the other side of the park even though it's just a stone's throw away from the Loch Ness Monster.
One last shot!
We wandered around the park in a clockwise direction.
The train goes clockwise too, and we got a ride in later on in the day.
Next up was Sesame Street Forest of Fun!
Lots of things for the kids to enjoy.
The area is also home to a Zierer junior coaster named Grover's Alpine Express. I can't recall if adults can ride this or not, but we opted not to try. We get embarrassed in our credit whoring without TPR!
Moving onto Italy we came across Escape from Pompeii.
This is how to take a simple shoot-the-chutes and theme the hell out of it.
We rode later in the day and enjoyed it despite some obnoxious teenagers behind us. Anything with fire effects is fun!
Across this bridge was the Festa Italia area, themed around Marco Polo and Roman mythology.
Urgh, at least it's well themed...
We were looking forward to B&M's very first mega coaster.
Apollo's Chariot was fun, with some nice elements to it making for a top tier B&M. But this was the only photo I took - the ride goes way out into the distant terrain and is hard to photograph!
There were quite a few flat rides in Festa Italia.
Who says this park is lacking in flats?!
There is also a rapids ride tucked away in the far corner of Festa Italia.
Around the corner is San Marco which we thought was the most beautiful area of the entire park.
I loved Da Vinci's Garden of Inventions and the uniquely themed rides. We gave Da Vinci's Cradle a spin.
Well, what's this? ANOTHER flat ride!
Even the kiddie rides were beautifully themed.
We could have spent the whole day exploring San Marco.
Especially because of this...
This long suspension bridge led to Germany. Anyone know what all the pirate stuff is about?
A look back to the Loch Ness Monster.
We didn't take the boat ride this visit.
It looked very pleasant.
Looking over the other side of the bridge.
Next up: Verbolten!
The nicely themed queue.
The spiel in the station with the German woman shouting "auf wiedersehen" must drive the ride ops crazy!
The ride itself is excellent.
We loved it! Especially the launches, show building and fun 'drop' track.
This drop was fun too.
I love how the park pays tribute to the Big Bad Wolf with a similar final drop on Verbolten.
In all, we thought Verbolten was a big win for Busch Gardens.
The lines were quite long all day long.
I guess if you don't want to ride you can pet some sheep?
Nearby was Mäch Tower, which was closed all day long, the only disappointing element of our visit.
I was intrigued to ride, so it was annoying to see it testing all day without opening. Bugger.
We ate in the Oktoberfest hall.
Who needs to go to the real one when you have a great recreation right here in Virginia! (Though seriously I would love to go to Oktoberfest someday...)
We were entertained while we ate.
Oktoberfest has a nice, authentic feel to it.
Next up was the Curse of DarKastle.
This was another surprise for us. Again, some middling reviews had lowered our expectations. We thought it was GREAT!
After we took this photo we saw a sign saying this was for children only. Whoops!
The Land of the Dragons was pretty cute.
We finally made it all the way around the park to ride Alpengeist. I thought the queue was gorgeous. But there seemed to be no one riding today. It was a walk on.
That is a looong way up.
The coaster is absolutely enormous.
I liked the sweeping first drop.
As others have noted, Alpengeist's elements are so oversized, the ride seems kind of drawn out, taking away a bit of the intensity. (B&M's NEED intensity to be good!)
But it's still pretty forceful, and a great ride, aided up the absolutely amazing setting.
We gave Le Scoot a ride. It was a short but fun log flume.
New France had an outdoor grill that smelled fantastic. How 'Silver Dollar City' of them!
In France we found Griffon.
Yay for our first-ever B&M dive machine!
This is a good gimmick to get your heart racing...
...because it works!
You really feel the Gs at this point.
Griffon was a fun ride.
Fun to photograph too!
Parks should build these instead of wing coasters.
Splash downs are always fun to watch.
Especially when people make faces like these!
Continuing around the park you come to an area with animals, including wolves, which was pretty cool.
Not to mention eagles!
We were disappointed to see this ride closed for a Howl-O-Scream refit. Europe in the Air seems to get bad reviews, so that means we'll probably like it, right?
There wasn't much else to do in Ireland...
But it was pretty.
So that takes us around the whole park. Of course we didn't quite do the park in a clockwise manner...
Not when they have a Skyride to help you get around. Leg no. 1 took us back over Ireland.
It was a long way up at some points!
Across to France.
Griffon just looks amazing from up here.
That's a steep lift!
Leg no. 2 of the Skyride took us across Griffon's brake run.
And onwards to Germany.
Back into the Land of the Dragons.
Leg no. 3 took us back over the river. Great views of all the rides from up here.
We loved taking the Skyride. It was a nice ending to a fantastic day.
Thank you for a great day Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We'll be back!
I've been to BGW twice in my life (each of the last 2 summers) and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite parks. Great collection of ride, absolutely the most beautiful park I've been to, and even the food is amazing. Honestly, even you guys wouldn't like Europe in the Air. It's terrible!
If they do a food and wine festival again this year I might try to get out there for it.
You captured a lot of the things I liked about my first-ever visit to BGW this year. Really liked the pictures from down near the water, and Griffon is quite photogenic, as you found. As for Europe in the Air, you missed only nausea!
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