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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long)

GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile

Posted:
6/24/11 at
6:46:45 PM

I’m going to write my trip with two separate trip reports for the parks or it would be ridiculously long.

Our vacation began at VA Beach and we had 2 great days and one rainy day. We had a good time with the exception of my right ankle. I had sprained it back in Feb. badly and it started to act up on me right after I moved home. I must have re-injured it and anytime I was walking for extended periods it was blowing up, bruising and very painful to walk on. It was a little better with the brace on. I was a bit concerned about the parks but nothing was stopping me from going.

Arrived at Busch Gardens Williamsburg on Tuesday around 9:20 am and was in the gate and awaiting the rope drop by 9:40 am. Scotland did not open at 9:30 so we waited. They dropped the rope at 9:55 am and we headed to France to ride Griffon (although ran into Nessie first since we failed to make the proper turn towards Ireland, but left her for later and continued on). There were only a few people on line and they were letting you go on whatever row you wanted and choose your own seat. I jumped in the back row and had the first seat on the loading side (unloading side was taken). OH MY GOD! I could not believe the experience I had – that was the BEST coaster I have ever ridden – yes I said it. It had all of the elements I look for – two intense “wee” (butterflies in the belly) drops, some great inversions, that moment of anticipation when you hover over the first drop and it was all smooth as silk. My friend Adrienne wasn’t feeling so good after that ride so she went to sit down and I ran on again. This time I took a front row, second to last seat unloading side. It was great but I preferred the back hands down! Ran back on again and got the same seat as the first ride (there were more people by now but you only had to wait one ride, if that) and WOW! I could have stayed there all day but I knew I had to move on :~(.


Griffon hovering

We then went to Le Scoot, the log flume. It was a nice ride but there must have been a tidal wave on the left side at the end because our left sides got drenched! We then went to Alpengeist next and rode front row. Since Adrienne wasn’t feeling that good I decided that the back may be too much for her. We only waited two trains (but since they were only running one train it took around 10 minutes). I know I’m going to get a lot of disagreements here but I really don’t understand what all of the hype is about this coaster. It was alright, but nothing special in my book. I did like the wooded area it was in. Adrienne was feeling really sick at this point so she went to rest and I went on again in the back row (walk on). While it was definitely better, I still was not impressed. I thought it was rough, banged me around a bit too much for my liking and didn’t feel much in the way of gravitational forces that I liked. Maybe it was because I just got off Griffon and nothing was going to make me happy after that or maybe it’s just not my cup of tea. I think Raptor is hands down better. That’s just my opinion so don’t kill me for it.


Le Scoot and Alpengeist

I went on the Curse of the DarKastle (Adrienne was still green and sitting in the shade at a table resting). We decided that I ride it first before she attempted it and thank God I did – I didn’t realize it was a 3-D simulator. It too was a walk on and I liked it – It was cute and fun but if I had a long wait I may have felt differently. And with the 3-D glasses and constant spinning she would have died so she skipped it.

We passed Mach Tower and I was disappointed that it still wasn’t running. They said they anticipated it would be about 3 more weeks before it is up. Does any new ride ever open on time?!


Would be awesome if it was actually running!

We walked up through Italy and I went on Da Vinci’s Cradle which I liked. The forces on it were very unique. I remember being on something similar once at another park a long time ago and it was in the form of a wagon but I can’t for the life of me remember where that was. Hershey Park or Knotts maybe?


Da Vinci's Cradle

Then I went on Apollo’s Chariot, again a walk on. Got in the last row and it was a nice ride – I’ve never met a B & M Hyper that I didn’t like. Wish it was a bit longer and the trims before the bunny hills were a bit much but overall I enjoyed it.


Apollo's Chariot - like Nitro - not an easy ride to photograph due to its location

We then had lunch in Italy which was pretty good – I got the Chicken Parm – the portions were small for the price but tasted pretty good. While we were eating we caught the Italy show and then moved on.

We then hit Escape from Pompeii. I tried to follow Paul’s suggestion for not getting soaked by getting in the 3rd row line (middle) but as luck would have it, the 2nd line is reserved for the “quick queue” and since everything was a walk on and that was unnecessary, the ride op directed us to that row. So I braved it – it was extremely hot out so even if I got soaked it wouldn’t have been the end of the world I supposed. The ride was way too short and most of it involves fire, which felt awesome (sarcasm) on my badly sunburned back from the beach so I was not very pleased. The special effects were decent enough but they really needed to lengthen that ride a bit. And yes, I got SOAKED so I was not too thrilled with that. They had those stupid water cannons people can shoot from the side at you (ask Mike what I wanted to do to the kid who shot me on the Log Flume at SFGAdv - I believe he literally had to hold me back) and they had employees shooting you – that was the main reason I got soaked so badly and was ticked off that it was employees doing it.


Escape From Pompeii

I took Adrienne on Apollo’s Chariot after that. Since there were no inversions and she was feeling better we thought we’d give it a try. Got the front row (waited only 2 trains but they were only running one so we had to wait a few minutes) and it was a nice ride, the back was naturally better but still good in the front as well. She felt a little “off” but not nearly as bad as she did earlier (I had also given her some Meclizine to take for motion sickness earlier).

Now it was time to revisit the second looping coaster I ever went on in my life: Nessie. Looking at her from different views in the park she looked great. I went on and had to wait through 2 circuits (they were running 2 trains) for the last row. Boy that was a tighter fit than I remember. The harnesses are so close to the sides I couldn’t get my arm up around it to put both my hands in the air! But WOW! What a spectacular ride! It was exactly how I remembered it (except I completely forgot about the tunnel) and had a much better appreciation for that last lift and loop – I loved ending with a bang (so to speak)! It was the smoothest Arrow looper I have ever been on. I wonder why that is. What do they do that other parks don't that keep her in such great running condition? They really take good care of her – kudos to BGW for that! Well, I enjoyed it immensely and then we went to take in the animal antics show. It was really cute and we both enjoyed it.


The classic Nessie shot!

Made our way back to the Italy area and Adrienne wanted to go on the rapids but I declined. We picked a spot to meet up at and I went on the Buccaneer (Ram something there) and it was fun as usual and I went on that other Flying machine ride they have next to it. It looked similar to the Spider/Octopus rides and I like them but this one was pretty lame. Great for kids and families I’m sure, but not what I expected. I got an ice cream cone and waited for Adrienne to get back. By this time the adrenaline had worn off and after all the walking my ankle was in pretty bad shape but I needed Griffon one last time, even if it cost me my limb! LOL!

On our way I took one more ride in the back row of Nessie – still impressed at her age and her delivery – and carried on. When I got to Griffon there was a line, the first line I saw all day, but I remember Paul saying it had the best capacity in the park. The line went through the railings to board the cars, down the ramp and to the side by the main entrance to the queue. None of the other “zig zag” railings were used. I timed it and it only took 9 minutes! That IS great capacity (they were running 2 trains). I boarded the last row, second to last seat unloading side and that was definitely the best seat in the house! This is because when you hover over the first drop you can clearly see down but when you are on the other side (loading side) the support beam is in the way a bit. Got off and ran right back on – figured Adrienne was getting ice cream so I had some time to kill and she didn’t know how long the lines were (he he he). Got back on 2 more times and ended up last row first seat (apparently my seat since I always seemed to get it) both times. I got very lucky and was able to ride the wings every time I went on, most times being in the first seat. I really didn’t want to leave Griffon – I fell in love with that coaster. And I am going to say it, although it pains me: If I had a choice between KK and Griffon being at my home park I choose Griffon. Maybe the novelty would wear off after a while and I’d feel differently but right then that was how I felt and you all know my loyalty to and how much I love KK. But Griffon wins hands down in my book.


Griffon's splash effect

By now we were both tired (it was around 6:30 pm) and I seriously couldn’t walk anymore, the pain was excruciating and we had KD to go to tomorrow so I actually got on a sky ride (for those of you who don’t know they terrify me!). It wasn’t half bad and was very short so we get off and I’m trying to figure out how to get out of the park. I take out the map and I’m so confused because I thought we were in England but we were by the Carousel, which is in Germany (actually farther from the exit then we were in France where we got on). We asked an employee and he explained the sky ride has 2 stops and we had to get back on line to go to England! I was NOT happy. And the line was LONG. We had to wait about 30 minutes (I couldn’t believe the longest line I waited for the entire day was for the stupid sky ride!). Finally got back to England and found our way out and I hobbled to the car.


A different view of Nessie from the sky ride

I really enjoyed the park, it really is so pretty and well maintained. The ride ops could have been more enthusiastic. With the exception of the guy on Nessie (he was really funny and got everyone going), the others were terrible as far as getting the crowds going or acting liked they cared or had a pulse. They really need to have a few more connections between countries. There is way too much walking to go from one point to another, especially if you only have one good foot on a hot and humid day. I thought SFGAdv was bad with that but BGW make that park look like a piece of cake to get from one area to an other!

Well, we went to the hotel and I iced the hell out of my ankle to prepare for Kings Dominion in the morning.

To be continued on the KD TR coming soon....

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 6/24/11 7:07:26 PM

Great TR Jen. As a BGW fanboy, I always love reading other people's reactions to what I consider to be the greatest non-Disney theme park that I have been to. Griffon is amazing (the view from the top of the James River is worth the trip alone), Apollo is my favorite B&M hyper of the three I've been on, and DarKastle is a pretty incredible ride for a non-Disney park. It's too bad Big Bad Wolf reached "the end of its serviceable life" because that was one heck of a ride.

Thanks for sharing, nice pics and glad you enjoyed your visit to BGW.

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/24/11 8:54:36 PM

> Great TR Jen. As a BGW fanboy, I always love reading other
> people's reactions to what I consider to be the greatest
> non-Disney theme park that I have been to. Griffon is
> amazing (the view from the top of the James River is worth
> the trip alone), Apollo is my favorite B&M hyper of the
> three I've been on, and DarKastle is a pretty incredible
> ride for a non-Disney park. It's too bad Big Bad Wolf
> reached "the end of its serviceable life" because
> that was one heck of a ride.

Luckily I rode the BBW back in 1989 when I was there last and I loved it! I remember we rode it several times that day. It is a shame they took it down, especially since I last rode it so long ago and I was very young back then. I would surely appreciate it more now. I did like the DarKastle and thought it was much better than I anticipated it would be by the feedback on here before I left. And the view on top of Griffon is spectacular as is everything else about it! I took the survey they were giving when I left the park and one of the questions was "what's the one thing that made your day here enjoyable?" and I answered Griffon!

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 6/24/11 10:28:37 PM

Nice TR Jen! Loved the pics. Where did you get that shot of AC?

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/24/11 10:30:13 PM

> Nice TR Jen! Loved the pics. Where did you get that shot of
> AC?

From the parking lot on our way out! :~)

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by MommaBeast MommaBeast Profile at 6/24/11 11:46:58 PM

First off, I absolutely love the visuals accompanying your TR!!
Awesome!!!! Great job <3 !

> I’m going to write my trip with two separate trip reports
> for the parks or it would be ridiculously long.

*ahem* (lol) you say that like it's a bad thing....

> Our vacation began at VA Beach and we had 2 great days and
> one rainy day.

Fell in love with Virginia Beach. Definitely want to get back there.

We had a good time with the exception of my
> right ankle. I had sprained it back in Feb. badly and it
> started to act up on me right after I moved home. I must
> have re-injured it and anytime I was walking for extended
> periods it was blowing up, bruising and very painful to
> walk on. It was a little better with the brace on. I was a
> bit concerned about the parks but nothing was stopping me
> from going.

I feel for you. I've been to parks (what's gonna stop us anyway??) with bone spurs so painful that upon rising out of bed in the morning, tears would fall---the pain was that great.
But we grin and bear it for our hobby, don't we? Mmmhmmm xd!

> Arrived at Busch Gardens Williamsburg on Tuesday around
> 9:20 am and was in the gate and awaiting the rope drop by
> 9:40 am. Scotland did not open at 9:30 so we waited. They
> dropped the rope at 9:55 am and we headed to France to ride
> Griffon (although ran into Nessie first since we failed to
> make the proper turn towards Ireland, but left her for
> later and continued on). There were only a few people on
> line and they were letting you go on whatever row you
> wanted and choose your own seat. I jumped in the back row
> and had the first seat on the loading side (unloading side
> was taken). OH MY GOD! I could not believe the experience I
> had – that was the BEST coaster I have ever ridden –
> yes I said it. It had all of the elements I look for –
> two intense “wee” (butterflies in the belly) drops,
> some great inversions, that moment of anticipation when you
> hover over the first drop and it was all smooth as silk. My
> friend Adrienne wasn’t feeling so good after that ride so
> she went to sit down and I ran on again. This time I took a
> front row, second to last seat unloading side. It was great
> but I preferred the back hands down! Ran back on again and
> got the same seat as the first ride (there were more people
> by now but you only had to wait one ride, if that) and WOW!
> I could have stayed there all day but I knew I had to move
> on :~(.

I want to riiiiide, waaaaaa!!!!

>
>
> Griffon hovering

> We then went to Le Scoot, the log flume. It was a nice ride
> but there must have been a tidal wave on the left side at
> the end because our left sides got drenched! We then went
> to Alpengeist next and rode front row. Since Adrienne
> wasn’t feeling that good I decided that the back may be
> too much for her. We only waited two trains (but since they
> were only running one train it took around 10 minutes). I
> know I’m going to get a lot of disagreements here but I
> really don’t understand what all of the hype is about
> this coaster. It was alright, but nothing special in my
> book. I did like the wooded area it was in. Adrienne was
> feeling really sick at this point so she went to rest and I
> went on again in the back row (walk on). While it was
> definitely better, I still was not impressed. I thought it
> was rough, banged me around a bit too much for my liking
> and didn’t feel much in the way of gravitational forces
> that I liked. Maybe it was because I just got off Griffon
> and nothing was going to make me happy after that or maybe
> it’s just not my cup of tea. I think Raptor is hands down
> better. That’s just my opinion so don’t kill me for it.

Hey, you're entitled to your opinion and what you like, you like. I thoroughly enjoyed Alpie, but then again, that was back in the day. Could it have gotten rougher? *Shudders!~*

And who could possibly follow Grif in your eyes (your belly, your whee-factor haahaa)? I mean, that'd be like having a slimy White Castle after a 20 oz medium rare mesquite smoked porterhouse! (And I like White Castles, lol, but I like steaks even more).

Was your friend ill due to ride sickness or the onslaught of flu...or what? If it was ride-induced, that's too bad. A ruined day for her and you too I imagine (but I'm sure Grif consoled you, ;o).

>
>
> Le Scoot and Alpengeist

> I went on the Curse of the DarKastle (Adrienne was still
> green and sitting in the shade at a table resting). We
> decided that I ride it first before she attempted it and
> thank God I did – I didn’t realize it was a 3-D
> simulator. It too was a walk on and I liked it – It was
> cute and fun but if I had a long wait I may have felt
> differently. And with the 3-D glasses and constant spinning
> she would have died so she skipped it.

This wasn't built when I visited but I've heard sooo much positive about it that I want to try it. I don't think any 3-D simulator can top Spidey though. But I'd give it a whirl to find out.

>
>

> We passed Mach Tower and I was disappointed that it still
> wasn’t running. They said they anticipated it would be
> about 3 more weeks before it is up. Does any new ride ever
> open on time?!

IKR! Having missed out on Windseeker at CP a month ago I feel your pain! Sheesh!!!

>
>
> Would be awesome if it was actually running!

> We walked up through Italy and I went on Da Vinci’s
> Cradle which I liked. The forces on it were very unique. I
> remember being on something similar once at another park a
> long time ago and it was in the form of a wagon but I
> can’t for the life of me remember where that was. Hershey
> Park or Knotts maybe?

Oh my gosh I distinctly remember DaVinci's Cradle...absolutely loved this one and re-rode it a few times. Quite the forceful lil bugger it was!

>
>
> Da Vinci's Cradle

> Then I went on Apollo’s Chariot, again a walk on. Got in
> the last row and it was a nice ride – I’ve never met a
> B & M Hyper that I didn’t like. Wish it was a bit
> longer and the trims before the bunny hills were a bit much
> but overall I enjoyed it.

I feel for this one about the same way you do about Alpie. I never got the "WOW" factor that people heaped on this ride. It was ok; fun, but nothing that made me want to re-ride it.
Rather ho-hum really.

>
>
> Apollo's Chariot - like Nitro - not an easy ride to
> photograph due to its location

> We then had lunch in Italy which was pretty good – I got
> the Chicken Parm – the portions were small for the price
> but tasted pretty good. While we were eating we caught the
> Italy show and then moved on.

This park, hands down, served up the freshest, 'bestest tasting' food in all my park travels. We visited the park two consecutive days and sampled their German fare, Irish fare, and just about everything else in between. Simply magnificent food as far as amusement parks go :).

> We then hit Escape from Pompeii. I tried to follow Paul’s
> suggestion for not getting soaked by getting in the 3rd row
> line (middle) but as luck would have it, the 2nd line is
> reserved for the “quick queue” and since everything was
> a walk on and that was unnecessary, the ride op directed us
> to that row. So I braved it – it was extremely hot out so
> even if I got soaked it wouldn’t have been the end of the
> world I supposed. The ride was way too short and most of it
> involves fire, which felt awesome (sarcasm) on my badly
> sunburned back from the beach so I was not very pleased.
> The special effects were decent enough but they really
> needed to lengthen that ride a bit. And yes, I got SOAKED
> so I was not too thrilled with that. They had those stupid
> water cannons people can shoot from the side at you (ask
> Mike what I wanted to do to the kid who shot me on the Log
> Flume at SFGAdv - I believe he literally had to hold me
> back) and they had employees shooting you – that was the
> main reason I got soaked so badly and was ticked off that
> it was employees doing it.

I was not impressed with this ride and YES dangit the heat from the fire inside was...well....hottttt. Seriously? We visited in June and it had rained all day with temps not in tune with the season so we froze (literally bought sweatsuits/jackets at the park to stay warm) so our ride on Escape from Pompeii was a welcomed one but I can't imagine being scorched by the sun and then scorched by this ride >.<

>
>
> Escape From Pompeii

> Now it was time to revisit the second looping coaster I
> ever went on in my life: Nessie. Looking at her from
> different views in the park she looked great. I went on and
> had to wait through 2 circuits (they were running 2 trains)
> for the last row. Boy that was a tighter fit than I
> remember. The harnesses are so close to the sides I
> couldn’t get my arm up around it to put both my hands in
> the air! But WOW! What a spectacular ride! It was exactly
> how I remembered it (except I completely forgot about the
> tunnel) and had a much better appreciation for that last
> lift and loop – I loved ending with a bang (so to speak)!
> It was the smoothest Arrow looper I have ever been on. I
> wonder why that is. What do they do that other parks don't
> that keep her in such great running condition? They really
> take good care of her – kudos to BGW for that! Well, I
> enjoyed it immensely and then we went to take in the animal
> antics show. It was really cute and we both enjoyed it.

We loved Nessie as well and were tickled by the intricate details in the Q. One terrific ride for one not-so-new coaster. Yay to keeping her running smoothly! And what great photo ops this coaster provides...stunning shots!

>
>
> The classic Nessie shot!

By this time the adrenaline had worn
> off and after all the walking my ankle was in pretty bad
> shape but I needed Griffon one last time, even if it cost
> me my limb! LOL!

Haahaaa! Hey, when those 'feel good' hormones kick in, pain takes a back seat!

If I had a
> choice between KK and Griffon being at my home park I
> choose Griffon. Maybe the novelty would wear off after a
> while and I’d feel differently but right then that was
> how I felt and you all know my loyalty to and how much I
> love KK. But Griffon wins hands down in my book.

I just gotta try this! The buzz for the dive coaster sure did wear down awful quick though didn't it? Why is that I wonder?

>
>
> Griffon's splash effect

> By now we were both tired (it was around 6:30 pm) and I
> seriously couldn’t walk anymore, the pain was
> excruciating and we had KD to go to tomorrow so I actually
> got on a sky ride (for those of you who don’t know they
> terrify me!). It wasn’t half bad and was very short so we
> get off and I’m trying to figure out how to get out of
> the park. I take out the map and I’m so confused because
> I thought we were in England but we were by the Carousel,
> which is in Germany (actually farther from the exit then we
> were in France where we got on). We asked an employee and
> he explained the sky ride has 2 stops and we had to get
> back on line to go to England! I was NOT happy. And the
> line was LONG. We had to wait about 30 minutes (I
> couldn’t believe the longest line I waited for the entire
> day was for the stupid sky ride!). Finally got back to
> England and found our way out and I hobbled to the car.

LOL longest line was for the skyride...hahaaa, now that's rich!
Murphy's Law, too, right when your ankle was at its worst!

>
>
> A different view of Nessie from the sky ride

> I really enjoyed the park, it really is so pretty and well
> maintained. The ride ops could have been more enthusiastic.
> With the exception of the guy on Nessie (he was really
> funny and got everyone going), the others were terrible as
> far as getting the crowds going or acting liked they cared
> or had a pulse. They really need to have a few more
> connections between countries. There is way too much
> walking to go from one point to another, especially if you
> only have one good foot on a hot and humid day. I thought
> SFGAdv was bad with that but BGW make that park look like a
> piece of cake to get from one area to an other!

I remember BGW as hilly---oh forget that, MOUNTAINOUS!---and wore this Momma out! And I was younger and thinner then so I can't imagine how it would tear me up now.

The park's landscaping blew me away. Definitely the most beautiful park I've been to (even beating out its Florida counterpart).

> Well, we went to the hotel and I iced the hell out of my
> ankle to prepare for Kings Dominion in the morning.

> To be continued on the KD TR coming soon....

> Jen

Hope your ankle has recovered...
Great TR!
LOVE THE PICS!!!
~MommaBeast

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 6/25/11 12:17:18 AM

> Nice TR Jen! Loved the pics. Where did you get that shot of
> AC?

> From the parking lot on our way out! :~)

> Jen
Ah, cool. Must be a different location then. Well then again, when I went I was dropped off at the entrance since my dad doesn't like to ride the coasters and I just go solo.

would you mind if i added my slideshow of the park here? Been meaning to post my pics of the place, but it's now 2yrs old.

note: from 2009 when BBW was still there.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by alpengeistno3 at 6/25/11 12:42:36 AM

> We then went to Le Scoot, the log flume. It was a nice ride
> but there must have been a tidal wave on the left side at
> the end because our left sides got drenched! We then went
> to Alpengeist next and rode front row. Since Adrienne
> wasn’t feeling that good I decided that the back may be
> too much for her. We only waited two trains (but since they
> were only running one train it took around 10 minutes). I
> know I’m going to get a lot of disagreements here but I
> really don’t understand what all of the hype is about
> this coaster. It was alright, but nothing special in my
> book. I did like the wooded area it was in. Adrienne was
> feeling really sick at this point so she went to rest and I
> went on again in the back row (walk on). While it was
> definitely better, I still was not impressed. I thought it
> was rough, banged me around a bit too much for my liking
> and didn’t feel much in the way of gravitational forces
> that I liked. Maybe it was because I just got off Griffon
> and nothing was going to make me happy after that or maybe
> it’s just not my cup of tea. I think Raptor is hands down
> better. That’s just my opinion so don’t kill me for it.

1 train?!?! I remember when it was said "we will NEVER run 1 train on Alpengeist. Guess "never" is around 13 years.

Which side did you ride on in the back? The right (unloading side is notoriously rougher than the left (loading). Has to do with the physics of the train rotation in the cobra roll (I could write you a dissertation on that if you feel like a separate thread.)

I like Raptor better too, only because Raptor still "runs" the block brake, whereas Alpengeist gets all the momentum trimmed out of it. Alpengeist's cobra roll and vertical loop still kick Raptor's tail, but after the block brakes, it is no contest. Points to Raptor for finishing strong instead of like a punk!

> I went on the Curse of the DarKastle (Adrienne was still
> green and sitting in the shade at a table resting). We
> decided that I ride it first before she attempted it and
> thank God I did – I didn’t realize it was a 3-D
> simulator. It too was a walk on and I liked it – It was
> cute and fun but if I had a long wait I may have felt
> differently. And with the 3-D glasses and constant spinning
> she would have died so she skipped it.
>
I totally fail to see the hype over Darkastle. It does what it does well, but there is nothing very impressive about it. Give me the old unbraked Wild Izzy back!!

> We passed Mach Tower and I was disappointed that it still
> wasn’t running. They said they anticipated it would be
> about 3 more weeks before it is up. Does any new ride ever
> open on time?!

Only if "on time" means "before Memorial Day". It is disappointing how many parks don't feel the need to get new attractions up before peak season anymore, BGE included.

> We walked up through Italy and I went on Da Vinci’s
> Cradle which I liked. The forces on it were very unique. I
> remember being on something similar once at another park a
> long time ago and it was in the form of a wagon but I
> can’t for the life of me remember where that was. Hershey
> Park or Knotts maybe?

Hershey had the Conestoga, but it operated more like El Dorado at Kings Dominion than Da Vinci.

> Apollo's Chariot - like Nitro - not an easy ride to
> photograph due to its location

The best place to photo Apollo is from outside the park. Inside, you are stuck to the lift and final drop from the station area and the 1st and 7th drops from the Rhine River Cruise. At least you can get decent pics of Nitro from the skyride. Busch's skyride is too far away, unfortunately.

> We then had lunch in Italy which was pretty good – I got
> the Chicken Parm – the portions were small for the price
> but tasted pretty good. While we were eating we caught the
> Italy show and then moved on.

> We then hit Escape from Pompeii. I tried to follow Paul’s
> suggestion for not getting soaked by getting in the 3rd row
> line (middle) but as luck would have it, the 2nd line is
> reserved for the “quick queue” and since everything was
> a walk on and that was unnecessary, the ride op directed us
> to that row. So I braved it – it was extremely hot out so
> even if I got soaked it wouldn’t have been the end of the
> world I supposed. The ride was way too short and most of it
> involves fire, which felt awesome (sarcasm) on my badly
> sunburned back from the beach so I was not very pleased.
> The special effects were decent enough but they really
> needed to lengthen that ride a bit. And yes, I got SOAKED
> so I was not too thrilled with that. They had those stupid
> water cannons people can shoot from the side at you (ask
> Mike what I wanted to do to the kid who shot me on the Log
> Flume at SFGAdv - I believe he literally had to hold me
> back) and they had employees shooting you – that was the
> main reason I got soaked so badly and was ticked off that
> it was employees doing it.

Should have stuck with the plan :) . Unfortunately, water cannons ruin the game. I hate riding a ride looking to not get wet only to get bombarded by water cannons right before disembarking.

Pompeii isn't much of a ride, but you have to admit, it is one of the best themed shoot-the-chutes you will get. Worth a ride on a slow day, despite the potential shower.

> Now it was time to revisit the second looping coaster I
> ever went on in my life: Nessie. Looking at her from
> different views in the park she looked great. I went on and
> had to wait through 2 circuits (they were running 2 trains)
> for the last row. Boy that was a tighter fit than I
> remember. The harnesses are so close to the sides I
> couldn’t get my arm up around it to put both my hands in
> the air! But WOW! What a spectacular ride! It was exactly
> how I remembered it (except I completely forgot about the
> tunnel) and had a much better appreciation for that last
> lift and loop – I loved ending with a bang (so to speak)!
> It was the smoothest Arrow looper I have ever been on. I
> wonder why that is. What do they do that other parks don't
> that keep her in such great running condition? They really
> take good care of her – kudos to BGW for that!

Lol, it is very simple why Loch Ness is so smooth...no transitions between inversions. Loch Ness, despite its sprawling layout is pretty much an out and back coaster. Any turns are done at low speed and all the transitions have plenty of room to run out.

> Made our way back to the Italy area and Adrienne wanted to
> go on the rapids but I declined. We picked a spot to meet
> up at and I went on the Buccaneer (Ram something there) and
> it was fun as usual and I went on that other Flying machine
> ride they have next to it. It looked similar to the
> Spider/Octopus rides and I like them but this one was
> pretty lame. Great for kids and families I’m sure, but
> not what I expected.

Busch used to have an Spider in Octoberfest where the wave swinger stands, but it was removed some years ago. Flying Machine is quite a different, and lesser, ride.

FYI, the "Buccaneer" ride is called Battering Ram.

> On our way I took one more ride in the back row of Nessie
> – still impressed at her age and her delivery – and
> carried on. When I got to Griffon there was a line, the
> first line I saw all day, but I remember Paul saying it had
> the best capacity in the park. The line went through the
> railings to board the cars, down the ramp and to the side
> by the main entrance to the queue. None of the other “zig
> zag” railings were used. I timed it and it only took 9
> minutes! That IS great capacity (they were running 2
> trains). I boarded the last row, second to last seat
> unloading side and that was definitely the best seat in the
> house! This is because when you hover over the first drop
> you can clearly see down but when you are on the other side
> (loading side) the support beam is in the way a bit. Got
> off and ran right back on – figured Adrienne was getting
> ice cream so I had some time to kill and she didn’t know
> how long the lines were (he he he). Got back on 2 more
> times and ended up last row first seat (apparently my seat
> since I always seemed to get it) both times. I got very
> lucky and was able to ride the wings every time I went on,
> most times being in the first seat. I really didn’t want
> to leave Griffon – I fell in love with that coaster. And
> I am going to say it, although it pains me: If I had a
> choice between KK and Griffon being at my home park I
> choose Griffon. Maybe the novelty would wear off after a
> while and I’d feel differently but right then that was
> how I felt and you all know my loyalty to and how much I
> love KK. But Griffon wins hands down in my book.

I like the unloading wing side better. There seems to be an extra rush as the train levels out after the Immelmanns that isn't as pronounced as the loading side. I never noticed the support columns playing into it. I'll look into that next time I am there.

Sorry, but your "ex" does nothing for me. As short is Griffon is, it has a couple more tricks than KK.

> By now we were both tired (it was around 6:30 pm) and I
> seriously couldn’t walk anymore, the pain was
> excruciating and we had KD to go to tomorrow so I actually
> got on a sky ride (for those of you who don’t know they
> terrify me!). It wasn’t half bad and was very short so we
> get off and I’m trying to figure out how to get out of
> the park. I take out the map and I’m so confused because
> I thought we were in England but we were by the Carousel,
> which is in Germany (actually farther from the exit then we
> were in France where we got on). We asked an employee and
> he explained the sky ride has 2 stops and we had to get
> back on line to go to England! I was NOT happy. And the
> line was LONG. We had to wait about 30 minutes (I
> couldn’t believe the longest line I waited for the entire
> day was for the stupid sky ride!). Finally got back to
> England and found our way out and I hobbled to the car.

> I really enjoyed the park, it really is so pretty and well
> maintained. The ride ops could have been more enthusiastic.
> With the exception of the guy on Nessie (he was really
> funny and got everyone going), the others were terrible as
> far as getting the crowds going or acting liked they cared
> or had a pulse. They really need to have a few more
> connections between countries. There is way too much
> walking to go from one point to another, especially if you
> only have one good foot on a hot and humid day. I thought
> SFGAdv was bad with that but BGW make that park look like a
> piece of cake to get from one area to an other!

If you had taken the train around the corner, it would have taken you right to England where you wanted to go. Busch used to have arrows on the map denoting the direction of travel for the skyride and train, but it is doubtful you would have noticed that in your rush to get out of there. I don't know of another park that can get you to every almost every area without walking if you figure it out. Between the train and skyride, the only area you have to walk to is San Marco where Da Vinci is and Ireland. Both are relatively short walks from the nearest station.

The Germany skyride is the worst way to try to get out in the evening. (Nice aerial view of Loch Ness, though.) I'd say 30 mins at the time you left was VERY good.

> Well, we went to the hotel and I iced the hell out of my
> ankle to prepare for Kings Dominion in the morning.

> To be continued on the KD TR coming soon....

Can't wait to hear. Nice job on the BGE one. Thanks for the shout outs, too :)

Paul

> Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/25/11 9:48:20 AM

I’m going to write my trip with
> two separate trip reports
> for the parks or it would be ridiculously long.

> *ahem* (lol) you say that like it's a bad thing....
LMAO!

> And who could possibly follow Grif in your eyes (your
> belly, your whee-factor haahaa)? I mean, that'd be like
> having a slimy White Castle after a 20 oz medium rare
> mesquite smoked porterhouse! (And I like White Castles,
> lol, but I like steaks even more).

SO true! I bet if I rode Alpengeist first I would have enjoyed it more.

> Was your friend ill due to ride sickness or the onslaught
> of flu...or what? If it was ride-induced, that's too bad. A
> ruined day for her and you too I imagine (but I'm sure Grif
> consoled you, ;o).

It was the rides. She hardly got any sleep the night before and was really tired to begin with, which doesn't help. She had not ridden coasters for a long time but used to like them. She did much better at KD the next day with a good night's sleep and some meclizince before she started riding. She was a good sport about it and made sure I rode everything I wanted to. I just felt bad for her.

> I went on the Curse of the DarKastle It was
> cute and fun but if I had a long wait I may have felt
> differently. And with the 3-D glasses and constant spinning
> she would have died so she skipped it.

> This wasn't built when I visited but I've heard sooo much
> positive about it that I want to try it. I don't think any
> 3-D simulator can top Spidey though. But I'd give it a
> whirl to find out.
No comparison to Spidey - Spidey wins that battle easily but Darkastle was cute

> We passed Mach Tower and I was disappointed that it still
> wasn’t running. They said they anticipated it would be
> about 3 more weeks before it is up. Does any new ride ever
> open on time?!

> IKR! Having missed out on Windseeker at CP a month ago I
> feel your pain! Sheesh!!!
I know! I was there a few days after you and missed that too! I can't win!

> I feel for this one about the same way you do about Alpie.
> I never got the "WOW" factor that people heaped
> on this ride. It was ok; fun, but nothing that made
> me want to re-ride it.
> Rather ho-hum really.

I liked it but I don't think it's in the same class as Nitro or Diamonback

> We loved Nessie as well and were tickled by the intricate
> details in the Q. One terrific ride for one not-so-new
> coaster. Yay to keeping her running smoothly! And what
> great photo ops this coaster provides...stunning shots!

I don't know if it was the nostalgia I had for her that added to the experience but it was definitely my second favorite in the park.

> I just gotta try this! The buzz for the dive coaster sure
> did wear down awful quick though didn't it? Why is that I
> wonder?
I have no idea why - it's such an awesome ride and if TTD and KK can still draw a crowd and generate hype I don't know why the divers aren't. Same great rush with more to them. Doesn't make sense to me.

> LOL longest line was for the skyride...hahaaa, now that's
> rich!
> Murphy's Law, too, right when your ankle was at its worst!

And I HATE skyrides too! I was NOT happy!

> I remember BGW as hilly---oh forget that,
> MOUNTAINOUS!---and wore this Momma out! And I was younger
> and thinner then so I can't imagine how it would tear me up
> now.
And it was! very steep at parts and long walks between everything!

> The park's landscaping blew me away. Definitely the most
> beautiful park I've been to (even beating out its Florida
> counterpart).

It was still beautifully landscaped - extremely well taken care of including the ride areas that most other parks let go

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/25/11 10:16:01 AM

> 1 train?!?! I remember when it was said "we will NEVER
> run 1 train on Alpengeist. Guess "never" is
> around 13 years.

There were times when I was trying to get pictures and it was taking so long for a train to come through that I said screw it and just took pics of the track.

> Which side did you ride on in the back? The right
> (unloading side is notoriously rougher than the left
> (loading). Has to do with the physics of the train rotation
> in the cobra roll (I could write you a dissertation on that
> if you feel like a separate thread.)

I was on the unloading side so that may have been a factor. A dissertation on inverted coasters? I'd love to hear it! ;~)

> > I totally fail to see the hype over Darkastle. It does
> what it does well, but there is nothing very impressive
> about it. Give me the old unbraked Wild Izzy back!!

I just thought it was cute. Is it worth a 2 hour wait, no but something you should try for a walk on or short wait IMO.

> Hershey had the Conestoga, but it operated more like El
> Dorado at Kings Dominion than Da Vinci.

Yes! That's it! I couldn't for the life of me remember where that was. I don't even remember what it was like, only that it was similar and and I liked it.

> The best place to photo Apollo is from outside the park.

That's where I took it!

> Should have stuck with the plan :) . Unfortunately, water
> cannons ruin the game. I hate riding a ride looking to not
> get wet only to get bombarded by water cannons right before
> disembarking.

I tried! But we wanted to get to the animal show and time was a factor - and I'm going to take one of those water cannons and shove them you know where on someone one day!

> Pompeii isn't much of a ride, but you have to admit, it is
> one of the best themed shoot-the-chutes you will get. Worth
> a ride on a slow day, despite the potential shower.

I don't go on shoot the chute rides but I'm sure it is the best themed one out there. From what was in there I just think they could have kept going and made it a bit longer. The effects were great although they should have gone a bit easier on the fire!

> Lol, it is very simple why Loch Ness is so smooth...no
> transitions between inversions. Loch Ness, despite its
> sprawling layout is pretty much an out and back coaster.
> Any turns are done at low speed and all the transitions
> have plenty of room to run out.

Then they should have made more like her and maybe more Arrows would still be in existence today

> FYI, the "Buccaneer" ride is called Battering
> Ram.

Yeah, I got lazy and didn't look it up while writing this. I call every pirate ship the Buccaneer - it's a bad habit.

> I like the unloading wing side better. There seems to be an
> extra rush as the train levels out after the Immelmanns
> that isn't as pronounced as the loading side. I never
> noticed the support columns playing into it. I'll look into
> that next time I am there.

I agree - that was my favorite spot to ride, although I only got it once.

> If you had taken the train around the corner, it would have
> taken you right to England where you wanted to go. Busch
> used to have arrows on the map denoting the direction of
> travel for the skyride and train, but it is doubtful you
> would have noticed that in your rush to get out of there. I
> don't know of another park that can get you to every almost
> every area without walking if you figure it out. Between
> the train and skyride, the only area you have to walk to is
> San Marco where Da Vinci is and Ireland. Both are
> relatively short walks from the nearest station.

When we were "lost" in Germany the employee we spoke to suggested we take the train but it was much farther to walk to from there and I really couldn't do anymore walking. And after looking closely, there are arrows on the map but I didn't notice them when I initially glanced at it. We probably should have utilized more of the "public transportation" when we were there with my ankle being so bad.

> The Germany skyride is the worst way to try to get out in
> the evening. (Nice aerial view of Loch Ness, though.) I'd
> say 30 mins at the time you left was VERY good.

If it were any longer I would have said screw it and walked! LOL!

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 6/25/11 10:18:32 AM

> Ah, cool. Must be a different location then. Well then
> again, when I went I was dropped off at the entrance since
> my dad doesn't like to ride the coasters and I just go
> solo.

> would you mind if i added my slideshow of the park here?
> Been meaning to post my pics of the place, but it's now
> 2yrs old.

We were in the Italy parking lot. Your pics are great! But very sad to see BBW - I wish it was still there!

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/25/11 12:13:19 PM

Great TR and pictures Jen. The last time I was at BG Williamsburg was in 2005, so I never had ridden Griffon. We were planning to go next year after Verbolten opens, killing 2 birds with one stone. After reading Griffon reviews from you and G Dog, I don't know if I can wait to next year. I do agree with you about Alpengeist. Its a good ride, but I can think of several inverts I like better. I love AC. Not as good as Nitro, but still a great ride. I'm glad to hear Nessie is still running smooth. As a teenager my parents and I took a vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. I talked them into getting me a season pass at BG and getting dropped off there everyday. In 5 days I rode Nessie 157 times and loved every minute of it. I'm glad you guys had fun. Now I have to reevaluate our end of August trip. I can hear Griffon calling my name.

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 6/25/11 12:19:31 PM

> I do agree with you about Alpengeist. Its a good
> ride, but I can think of several inverts I like better.

I feel the same. I'd rank Afterburn, Talon, BTR at GAdv, and Great Bear over Alpengeist.

Mike

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 6/25/11 5:17:18 PM

> I do agree with you about Alpengeist. Its a good
> ride, but I can think of several inverts I like better.

> I feel the same. I'd rank Afterburn, Talon, BTR at GAdv,
> and Great Bear over Alpengeist.

> Mike

I dunno about BTR, sure the mcb kills Alp, but I think the ride overall is still better. One day I have to ride Afterburn and Raptor....

As for my other favs, the Fire/Chinese dragon at IOA and Montu at BGA are my favs above Alpengeist.

> We were in the Italy parking lot. Your pics are great! But
> very sad to see BBW - I wish it was still there!

> Jen

Thanks! Agreed, I'm sad that it is gone, but glad I made it on the last year.

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by DarkwingDuck DarkwingDuck Profile at 6/30/11 2:28:07 AM

THANK YOU for taking the time for this TR... am more excited now.. will be heading that way on Saturday morning, hoping to get there around noon and be able to ride some.. and whatever is not done on Sat... hopefully I can finish it on Sunday and sleep in Monday morning to head back to Pa... I dont know if it was foolish but I end up getting the AP I hope to get back...

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg TR (long) by kayjay at 7/17/11 11:32:46 PM

ok so I went to bush gardens last week, and I agree that the Griffon was the best ride yet. I lolve drop rides, and there has been no drop like that. MOst of the other drops have twists and turns that take away from the actual drop, but that roller coaster was the best.