Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster

Ad
Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers***

Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers***

Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile

Posted:
5/17/12 at
7:38:13 PM

Today was the Blogger Media Day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to go! Yesterday was the “mainstream” media day so there wasn’t any camera crews or interviews by the press, and quite honestly I am okay with that. From what I have heard, those that attended the main media day had to be at the park for a good chunk of the day and only got a few rides on BGW’s newest scream machine.

I left Baltimore at 5am, meeting up with my friend along the way, and we rode down to Williamsburg together and arrived just after 9am. We got checked in and met up with a few fellow enthusiasts. A quick shout out to Scott and Carol whom I had not seen in person in a very long time! Was nice to see you guys.

We got checked in, loaded onto a tram and transported back through the backstage area of BGW. I wish I had a camera other than my cell phone, as there were some decent photo opportunities from the backstage area.

Once the tram stopped, we unloaded behind Dar Kastle, went through another check in, and received a few goods. Going in, the park gave us a couple of Verbolten lanyards, a ticket good for an onride photo, and a Verbolten pin.

We proceeded down to Verbolten and Blogger Media Day was already in full swing. They had two shifts for the Bloggers and we were on the latter shift. One really neat thing that I liked was that the park had one of the two trains that operated today rigged with a camera. The park filmed everyone in a reverse POV style format on the ride and gave us a thumb drive with the ride on it, as well as other documents such as a press release and B-roll film.

Our first ride, we rode in the green train, front seat.

We slowly rolled out of the station and we snaked around to the first launch. The first launch is uphill and similar in style to Maverick. The first launch starts outside of the event building and launches you into the event building. As you go up, you get your first taste of blacklight imagery and at the crest of the hill there are strobe lights that go off. A nice touch!

I’ll admit that I hadn’t followed the construction of the ride, as I didn’t anticipate getting down to BGW this season due to financial reasons… the life of a full time college student.

One of the things I was not aware of going in was A) that the majority of the coaster is inside the event building and B) there are many airtime bursts. The first sequence between the crest of the lift hill and the first block brake there is a lot twisting and turning, sudden drops, and a tight helix that seems to go up and up forever.

Into the first block brake once the ride starts… there is actually a block just outside of the station as BGW has a dual loading station on this coaster. Verbolten is able to run five trains with 24 riders per train.

So we enter the first block inside the ride and there is a really neat forest inside, none of which you can really see all the details because everything is lit in black lights. The train enters that block brake and crawls to a near stop, similar to KD’s MCBR on Flight of Fear. Beyond the block brake, there is a nice steep drop to the left and up into another block brake. I kind of wish they did something between this drop because you literally leave one block and enter the next following the drop. Not a criticism, but an observation.

On the next block is where you enter the randomized scenes. One scene is thunder and lightning sounds with a few flickers of a strobe, the next is the Big Bad Wolf red eyes along with wolf growls, and the last is a creepy looking woman. This is the portion of the ride that free-falls. With the thunder and lightning scene, you free fall in pitch-black darkness. In the latter two scenes, not too long (like a few seconds), the images appear and you free-fall.

A couple of things to note about the free fall itself: I was a bit apprehensive about this portion of the ride as generally I do not like that feeling in the stomach with the drop towers. The drop itself, is maybe 20-30 feet in height, and is just enough to lift you out of your seat and give you that feeling in the stomach. It’s a very smooth drop. I was told after the fact that the drop itself is a genuine free fall with magnetic braking and not hydraulics.

One the free-fall is completed; you exit the event building down a small, but steep drop into the next launch zone. The second launch zone is a flat, straight away launch outside the building. The top speed listed on the park’s fact sheet is 53 mph and it’s enough of a launch to throw you back into your seat. You take a sharp upward-banked turn to the right and then a quick upward-banked turn to the left and into the “bridge” portion you go. This is also another slow crawl block brake. There are some nice sound effects up on the bridge. For the best sound overall on the ride, I’d recommend riding in rows two or three.

The drop exiting the bridge is nice, big burst of air coming if you’re in the back, and Verbolten follows the same layout of BBW did swooping out over the river, the straight away heading back towards the station, sharp turn to the ride and a couple more sharp turns into the brakes. The ride’s onride photo is towards the end of the ride as you approach the brakes.

Overall I think Verbolten is a great addition to the BGW lineup. While parts of the coaster are a little on the thrill side of things, I think this addition is a great transition for a tween to work up towards the park’s larger coasters. Earlier today someone asked me about the ride and I compared it to Great Bear at Hershey in the sense that it’s not the tallest or fastest ride, yet, it offers that gap in the lineup that the park really didn’t have before.

The positives: five train operation, many bursts of airtime, dual loading station (this ride is going to eat up some capacity), the queue themeing was very well done paying attention to details, randomization of the pre-free-fall scenes, trains are spacious and comfortable with a lap bar only (no seat belt) configuration, and the park has added two human characters (Gunter and Greta) that interact with guests in line. The actors who play the characters stay in character the entire time, never breaking character. It’s kind of creepy how authentic they play their roles.

The negatives: On the latter half of the ride once you exit the bridge, there is a lot of shuffling with the train. I’m not sure if this is because the ride may not be as seasoned or if it’s something with the design. Overall still a great ride. I thought that while there was a lot going on already with the themeing that there could have been more added to heighten the guest’s experience without it being too much. For example, I think it’d be neat if they added misters during the thunderstorm scene and if the “broke down wooden bridge” structure moved around the track to play with the theme of the bridge being broken. As I mentioned already, Verbolten is still a great ride despite what these perceptions.

The park served the guests of the event a lite breakfast featuring croissants, muffins, bagels, fruits, juices and coffee.

We rode Verbolten twelve times in a period of time less than two hours. Some of the reports I've received from yesterday's events the riders only received 4-6 rides and were at the park for a much longer period of time. Bonus!

On the way out of the event, we were given a handful of goodies that included a tee shirt, fact sheets, and a miniature foam gnome.

I’d like to thank Busch Gardens Williamsburg for going above and beyond with such a terrific event and I appreciated their hospitality.

This my friends, really truly is, a world-class attraction.

Joe
Great_Ump

* This post was modified at 5/17/12 7:46:08 PM *

Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by alpengeistno3 at 5/18/12 12:34:36 AM
Hey Joe,
Nice TR. We seem to echo a lot of the same ideas about the ride being a great complement to BGE's lineup. You mentioned a lot of the event going ons that I left out. We had similar at media day Wednesday. The rides were a lot farther between (whoever said they only got 4 rides was really slacking at the buffet because I got 12 and I still spent an hour sampling the amazing pretzel spread they gave us for lunch :) They were doing a lot of TV "hits" that required the ride to be ready to roll as soon as they got the cue from the director so that often necessitated holding trains/operations to make sure that was happening.

It has been 3 or 4 years since I last rode Maverick, but I don't remember any of its launches being similar to Verbolten. The first was a lift hill with LSM's and the second seemed more level like Volcano's before bursting out of the top of the shed. I think Hulk would be a more accurate depiction with LSM's instead of the drive tires.

Also, I could have sworn the trains seat 16 not 24. I must admit, I didn't count, but I remember the park saying they went with smaller trains to allow everyone to see the "events" at the same time. 6 car trains are a bit longish to be smaller. I'll have to check a pic to count though because I am not sure.

That 2nd helix baffled me. My 1st impression was that it was an upward helix, but I noticed that it felt as if the train was gaining momentum instead of losing it and halfway through we were mere feet from what looked like the floor before rising sharply up into the block brake. I'd love to see those construction pics of the area before the building was added now that I know what to look for. Loved how the off center forest made the block seem as though it was pointing upwards instead of its actual orientation.

I think the reason for the 2 block brakes inside the building is clearly to conceal the drop track from the other train in case of a stacking. Unlike FOF, it does seem as if 2 trains can enter the building at the same time and if, for whatever reason, the other does not exit the building before the 2nd gets to the block, the park is trying to make sure the big "secret" is protected.

As much as I despise getting wet on coasters, I agree that there should have been some form of running water during the "Storm" sequence. Busch seemed to have thought of everything else for the theming package. It seems an interesting oversight (maybe they were scared to get that drop mechanism wet seeing how much trouble AT has had with theirs.)

The actors for Gunter and Gerta were AMAZING! Funny you mentioned them staying in character because Busch rolled out TONS of German villagers to keep the ride full (when a lot of the ACERs seemed to have run off after the breakfast buffet opened :) They cliqued up and seem to break character when they felt like they were talking amongst themselves, but NOT those two. Even getting lunch, when addressing a park "suit" about some park business with me as a random person in the room, they still did not break character for a second.

I'm not as enthusiastic about the ride as you are (I refuse to call it "great" even though it does have some great moments.) I do, however, agree it was the ride that BGE needed and it does what it does better than any other ride they could have substituted for it. Maybe after a few more rides, I will see some more greatness myself (it did grow on me around my 6th or 7th ride.)

Paul

Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 5/18/12 2:25:29 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

I'm not as enthusiastic about the ride as you are (I refuse to call it "great" even though it does have some great moments.) I do, however, agree it was the ride that BGE needed and it does what it does better than any other ride they could have substituted for it. Maybe after a few more rides, I will see some more greatness myself (it did grow on me around my 6th or 7th ride.)

Paul

I tend to take the opinion that they invite us enthusiasts there for a reason, and that reason is to spread the 'word of mouth' as much as we can on the interwebs and what not.

Is the coaster the best on the planet? No, it's not. However the ride is a great fit in a lineup that already features quite a few blockbuster coasters.

Parks DONT have to invite enthusiasts to their media days. I've never been to a Media Day at a BG park though I have attended Media Days at Hershey, SFA, and KD, and everything that BGW did for us yesterday seperates them from the rest. It was really a well done event.

They wined and dined me for a few hours. The least I could do is write up and accurate report based on my experiences and hype the ride up a bit more for them.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 5/18/12 4:20:53 PM
Great tr! Well slowly I'm starting to come to terms with this coaster as it is and that maybe the park knew what it was doing after all. :)
Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by CarolH at 5/19/12 9:19:09 AM
Great_Ump said:

A quick shout out to Scott and Carol whom I had not seen in person in a very long time! Was nice to see you guys.

It was nice to see you again after all these years. Verbolten was a fun ride & BGE treated us very well, it was a great way to spend a Thursday AM.

Carol

Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 5/20/12 7:18:20 AM
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ACTUALLY RIDDEN BOTH:

Is Verbolten > Cheetah Hunt ?

Is Verbolten > BBW ?

Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by alpengeistno3 at 5/20/12 11:12:42 AM
theRock-steel said:

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ACTUALLY RIDDEN BOTH:


Is Verbolten > Cheetah Hunt ?

Verbolten. Cheetah Hunt tries to be something that it did not follow through on. It seems unfocused and kind of failed at being the good family ride and a high thrill ride. Verbolten successfully mashes the two together and does it very well.

theRock-steel said:

Is Verbolten > BBW ?

Day ride to day ride, Verbolten. Wolf was a good ride, but Verbolten does everything that Wolf did, except the swinging, and kicked it up a notch.

Paul

Re: Verbolten Blogger Media Day 5/17 ***contains spoilers*** by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 5/22/12 5:33:09 PM
Hem interesting view about Cheetah. I've been on the fence about it, but I do agree. They could've done more with it, but it seems like they tried to bring in different ideas and the end result became bland. If it was a launching-hyper coaster, maybe it would've worked (all they needed to do was cut out that one inversion and the ride could've been better off with just the lap bar).

For the river segment, I dunno how much trouble the raft part of rhino rally was, but did they really need to scrap the best part of that ride just to incorporate it into Cheetah hunt? Now Rhino rally is just terribly boring.