BGW Insider tour and PKD trip
Saturday we were at BGW early...REAL early to partake in the Rollercoaster Insider Tour that the park offers. Arriving at 8:15 we were checked in and taken around to the England parking lot where our tour guide Ben was waiting. 8:30 came and we were off. This was an amazing tour of the parks rollercoasters and was very personal as there were only 4 of us that morning.
First stop was the Loch Ness Monster. We made our way down under the station into the maintenance area where our guide explained the history of the ride. We were able to chat with a few of the maintenance workers as well as see some of the original 1978 designs on the wall. Several photo ops were taken with various items including wheels and other things. BGW received one of the Python trains from Tampa a few years ago and it is sitting in pieces under the station ready to be used as parts if needed. A few years ago the ride was struck by lightening which fried the electrical system. B&M, since it has a great working relationship with the park, came in and fixed the system as well as worked on the lift hill chain system. Sensors have been installed to speed up or slow down the hill. That is great that B&M is taking care of this classic ride!!!
After leaving Loch Ness we headed down under the lift hill and the train bridge and over to Griffon via maintenance area. We got some great photos of the area as well as video which will be posted at some point. We were taking under the lift hill and into the evac car that run up the lift. After being strapped in we were off to the top of Griffon. This was very cool and a great view of the park and the surrounding area. A ride vehicle was at the top of the lift on the break before the drop waiting for us. We were able to walk around the lift hill as our guide and a maintenance guy explained how everything worked. After a few we were back down the hill and into the maintenance shed where we were able to get up close and personal with one of the trains. These things are massive when you are standing under them. 9 tons of steel above your head…lol We got to see how huge the wheels are…weighing in at around 50 lbs! After a few trains were cycled we were walked up the exit ramp and were able to get in 3 or 4 quick rides before that section of the park was opened. We also got a brief tour of the ride op house and the board for Griffon which is totally touch screen. Very cool stuff.
Our guide then took us over to Alpengeist where we were able to get 3 quick rides on it before it too was opened to the public. After riding we were walked back into the maintenance shed where again we were greeted by maintenance who explained everything about the ride system and the train.
Germany wasn’t yet opened so we made our way through that empty part of the park as we headed over towards Apollo’s Chariot. That section of the park was already open but we were able to get 2 VIP rides one in the back and the other in front.
Our last stop was back where it all started at Loch Ness where again we were given 2 VIP rides. Afterwards we were handed Quick Que cards to be used at the park anytime we wanted. We headed back to the car to drop off my camera then back into the park. BGW was empty Saturday so we had no need to use our Quick Que at all. All in all we ended up with 10 rides on Griffon, 10 on AC, 7 on Alpengeist, and 5 on Loch Ness.
Now my review of Mach Tower. First I think this is a great addition to the park. The setting is amazing as it gives a great view of BGW and the surrounding area. Plus you get some great views of the new ride for next year…which we were told by our tour guide that next Saturday they will be having a VIP meeting where they will finally give all the details about the 2012 ride. Mach Tower is not intended to be a high thrill ride at all and is nothing like Drop Zone at PKD. After about a 10 min wait we were on and heading up the tower. I want to say we got 3 full rotations before making it to the top. It moved a little faster then I thought it would. After a few seconds it begins to shake then you drop. Here is where I have a complaint as I barely felt the shaking…it was more of me hearing it then anything. The person I went with didn’t feel it at all. Once we dropped we were slowing down about half way down the tower. Not much of a drop at all before slowly being lowered back to the ground. For the park I say it’s a strong B but for the ride itself I would be hard pressed to say a C-. I was hoping for something more thrilling and was thinking the shaking feeling would have been more then what it was.
All in all we had an amazing time at the park Saturday! I highly recommend the tour as it is well worth the price. Going to the top of Griffon alone is worth it! Lines were small all day as our longest line was 15 min for the sky ride when we were leaving at closing time! We always have a great time at this beautiful park and this trip only made it better.
Sunday we got up and headed home but stopped off at PKD for a quick run around the park as we needed to be back by 2 so we could get ready to head off to see Incubus Sunday night at Merriweather Post near Baltimore, MD. Being it was 9/11, PKD was holding there First Responders day! At noon they held a moment of silence which was very well done followed by the National Anthem. Our intent was to only be at the park for about an hour or so but with it being nearly empty we got a lot down in that short time. 3 rides on Grizzly, which were decent. After our recent trip to Hershey I feel very let down by the woodies at my home park. 3 rides on Drop Zone…had to get my fix in since Mach Tower didn’t handle it. 5 rides on I305…this ride always delivers. This year has reminded me just how great 305 was when it opened and with the added bonus of the shoulder straps has truly made this ride great. We ended the day with 4 rides on Dominator. We rode what we set out to ride, just got way more rides then expected.
My hope is to have my video up soon as well as pics from our tour of BGW. Thanks for reading!!
That tour sounds awesome! I never even knew they did that How much did it cost? You made me feel better about Mach Tower not being open when I went, I thought it was a true drop tower, which I love.
Can't wait to see your pics!
The rollercoaster insider is $65 a person and does not include admission to the park...which was the only real downer but after going through it I think it was well worth it.
As far as Mach Tower, many people throughout the day thought it was a great ride, I just didnt enjoy it...lol
Very cool tr! Lol, PKD? Don't you mean CF's KD? ;)