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Thoughts on Verbolten

sparky sparky Profile

Posted:
5/25/12 at
1:25:56 PM

Maybe it's social media, countless photo trip reports with
construction shots, or just stronger word of mouth. There is little
left in the way of surprise when it comes to experiencing a new
attraction these days. Even most custom layouts can pretty much be
ridden through Keith McVeen's stellar simulations or actual POV
footage and provide reasonable expectations based on the park it
resides at or manufacturer/designer of the hardware.

With that said, here comes Verbolten. Given BGW is not your "typical"
park that installs "typical" coasters (at least at their time of
installation), there was one mystery factor. Given Zierer has but one
major non-tivoli style coaster installation in North America in their
one-off tower launch at Lagoon in Utah, there was another mystery
factor.

Starting on the midway, the new attraction's installation completes
the look of the revamped Oktoberfest. An area of the park with decent
attraction density, there had been nothing major added with the
exception of DarKastle since Big Bad Wolf's debut in 1984. Reworking
the area's layout, moving out the Eli Scrambler to New France for the
installation of the Moser Mach Tower drop tower, and the installation
of Verbolten now make this area the center of activity in the park.

Because Verbolten is mostly track in a warehouse, a quick run to the
Rhine River drop and "S" curve, much of the attraction's theming takes
place in its richly detailed queue and loading station. This is very
much the "Fahrt" of Expedition Everest queue lines. The queue also
moves at about the clip of Everest thanks to an efficient dual-loading
station and easy to enter/exit trains with a simple lapbar restraint.
With no downtime and four train operation, the queue proper holds
about a 45 minute wait. When the queue stretches about 1/3 of the way
across the Rhine River bridge to Italy, you're looking at about a 60
minute wait. Not too shabby. I pegged hourly capacity in the 1150
range, which would probably bump close to 1300 when the Yellow (fifth)
train is put into operation.

The trains look sexy, and as previously stated, the simplistic
restraint system allows for quick load/unload/dispatch. The initial
dip and run to launch one roughly follows the old Big Bad Wolf's run
from station to lift one. An uphill launch takes trains into the
large event/show building where this "Italian Job" becomes a "Skull
Mountain". Several of the helices were tight enough for me to see
stars. After hitting a block, trains take another drop and rise to a
second block leading trains onto the drop track.

My understanding as to the difference between the Intamin and Zierer
version of this element is that the Intamin drop track is
hydraulically powered, whereas the Zierer version is a true freefall
into magnetic brakes. Whether or not that is true or if my
information is reversed doesn't really matter- the element works.
It's a short drop to be sure, but it will catch you by surprise unless
you're really paying attention.

Back on ground level, trains advance forward and dip into the second
LSM rolling launch- this one taking trains from about 10-53 MPH in
quick fashion. The launch is forceful enough that if you're not
prepared, you may introduce the back of your head to Mr. Headrest in
somewhat of a sudden and uncomfortable manner. The track rises and
zig zags its way to the (not quite) collapsing bridge perched about
100 ft above the Rhine River where Big Bad Wolf riders once braced
themselves for that ride's legendary finale. Verbolten trains glide
slowly through a set of magnetic brakes and suddenly plummet down
towards the river before taking the same famous "left/right/left" that
the Big Bad Wolf traversed for 25 years. In lieu of being able to
swing side to side, Verbolten throws a (not quite) airtime hill into
the mix before gliding into the brakes alongside would-be riders
waiting their turn in the queue.

Riders exit left and now cross over the track towards the front end of
the station directly over the hold position where trains dispatched
from positon 2 await for the train dispatched from position 1 ahead of
them to clear the first block. An on ride photo point of sale (taken
on the not quite airtime hill near the end of the ride) and a merch
shop completes the Verbolten experience.

Description complete, the ride perfectly compliments the rest of BGW's
roster of rolley rides. It certainly walks the line between family
coaster and intimidation, but does so in an admirable fashion and is
sure to act as a great compliment to Nessie as a building block for
guests to step up to the B&M trio on property.

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by ray_p ray_p Profile at 5/25/12 1:54:21 PM
Leave it to Mark to post an amazingly detailed description of a new coaster. This was a fantastic review and it really has me second-guessing where I want to visit on my overnight excursion coming up in 2 weeks (it's down to Hershey, Canada's Wonderland and BGW).

Verbolten sounds like my kind of ride- well themed, special effects, and a nod to a coaster of the past. From all the photos I have seen, it looks like Busch Gardens has more than made up for the removal of one of my favorite coasters.

And now, over to the Hampton Inn website to see how much rooms in Williamsburg are going for on june 7th... ;)

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by MABrider MABrider Profile at 5/25/12 6:12:34 PM
ray_p said:

Leave it to Mark to post an amazingly detailed description of a new coaster. This was a fantastic review

Well, said Ray!
Exactly what I was thinking.

Oh, sorry, spah-key Mahk, Verbolten sounds the same whether coming out of your mouth or mine!
;-)

Mike B.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by MABrider MABrider Profile at 5/25/12 6:21:00 PM
ray_p said:
I want to visit on my overnight excursion coming up in 2 weeks (it's down to Hershey, Canada's Wonderland and BGW).

And now, over to the Hampton Inn website to see how much rooms in Williamsburg are going for on june 7th... ;)


OK, guess I won't be seeing you at Hershey on the 30th nor at CW in September.

...brain kicks in...

Oh wait, you meant you are traveling to one of those three!
So there is still hope for two out of three?



I got a notice in the mail today re Busch passholders getting early entry for Verbolten every Thursday-Sunday in June.
I have the platinum pass, but I won't be making it to VA this year.

Mike B.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by ray_p ray_p Profile at 5/25/12 6:51:34 PM
I sort of wing my park excursions, Mike! I originally planned on going to Hershey until the wife realized that Lancaster was close by, so now she wants to go when she has time off in July. So that has narrowed my choices down to CW and BGW. Weather will play a role in my final decision, but I''m kind of hoping for CW since I booked a Hampton Inn in Niagara Falls for just $79. That''s a steal, and that would allow me to do the EdgeWalk at CN Tower. That looks pretty insane.

If all else fails, it's been 6 years since I've been to PPP... Black diamond has been calling me too. :)

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by MABrider MABrider Profile at 5/25/12 7:02:07 PM
OK, we know that inside Verbolten's Black Forest, riders will ride through one of three different "experiences:" Storm, Spirit or Wolves.


So, URC probability whizzes, puzzle me this.

If I were to ride Verbolten just three times during a BGW single day visit, what are the odds at the end of the day I would be saying one of the following?

Good: I got the same "experience" on all three rides
Better: I got two out of three
Best: I got each one


I wouldn't dare to wonder which of the three actual experiences per each...!

Anyway, I figure it could be years for the "best" scenario to occur since the average enthusiast probably doesn't hit BGW but maybe three or four times a decade at best.
But over that time period I would certainly hope to have experienced Spirit, Storm and Wolves at least once each!

Mike B.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 5/25/12 8:54:31 PM
MABrider said:

If I were to ride Verbolten just three times during a BGW single day visit, what are the odds at the end of the day I would be saying one of the following?

Good: I got the same "experience" on all three rides
Better: I got two out of three
Best: I got each one

Unfortunately, the odds are probably not good. With the non-divisible trains (4 trains vs 3 experiences), you are going to be hard pressed to wait in line and pick the correct train in only 3 shots. The good news is that it is NOT random. The sequences play in the same order, so if you could stay on the same train 3 times in a row, you could get all 3 experiences in one shot.

Good luck trying to get that on any but a wash out day this year.

Very nice TR, Sparky. I specifically avoided as much Verbolten and Skyrush info as possible to keep the rides somewhat fresh. It did make the Black Forest sequence even more impressive.

Paul

* This post was modified at 5/25/12 8:57:15 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/25/12 9:08:07 PM
What an awesome, vivid description! Bravo for a job well done! I have been contemplating taking a trip down there this year but keep wavering since I was just there last year. I think I may have to check this coaster out sooner than later while I once again cheat on my beloved KK with Griffon, LOL! My God I LOVE that coaster......

Jen

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 5/25/12 11:11:58 PM
GoYanks34 said:

What an awesome, vivid description! Bravo for a job well done! I have been contemplating taking a trip down there this year but keep wavering since I was just there last year. I think I may have to check this coaster out sooner than later while I once again cheat on my beloved KK with Griffon, LOL! My God I LOVE that coaster......


Jen

Shhh, haven't you had enough trouble with KK breaking down because of your infidelity? :)

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by NotSo NotSo Profile at 5/26/12 4:43:14 AM
Very detailed review, thanks. That said, just crossed BGW off my summer list. Cheetah Hunt looks 10 times better, perhaps BGT in Oct...
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 5/26/12 1:08:28 PM
Hee, hee. That's funny because you just fell for the biggest trap of POV video. Cheetah Hunt looks like a massive and impressive ride, but when you ride it, that river sequence after the brake run just falls completely flat. Verbolten, on the other hand looks small and unassuming, but there are some really powerful forces at times during the ride and the theming in the Black Forest really puts it over the top.

There are other reasons to choose BGT over BGE (Kumba and Montu), but if the two new rides are your only reason, you may want to reconsider.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/26/12 4:52:01 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

GoYanks34 said:

What an awesome, vivid description! Bravo for a job well done! I have been contemplating taking a trip down there this year but keep wavering since I was just there last year. I think I may have to check this coaster out sooner than later while I once again cheat on my beloved KK with Griffon, LOL! My God I LOVE that coaster......


Jen

Shhh, haven't you had enough trouble with KK breaking down because of your infidelity? :)

Paul

LMAO! Well I've been faithful since the end of last June and even moved closer to him but apparently he's still holding a grudge and breaking down daily - a girl has needs you know! LOL!

Jen

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by NotSo NotSo Profile at 5/26/12 10:06:29 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

Hee, hee. That's funny because you just fell for the biggest trap of POV video. Cheetah Hunt looks like a massive and impressive ride, but when you ride it, that river sequence after the brake run just falls completely flat. Verbolten, on the other hand looks small and unassuming, but there are some really powerful forces at times during the ride and the theming in the Black Forest really puts it over the top.


There are other reasons to choose BGT over BGE (Kumba and Montu), but if the two new rides are your only reason, you may want to reconsider.

Paul


I love BGW dont get me wrong, maybe i'm just not ready to see a new ride where BBW was just yet. CH does look better, and Florida in fall is always nice!

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 5/27/12 2:06:12 AM
If this was before VB opened and on paper based on the facts, I would've agreed with you about CH > VB. But having rode CH last year, I did get the feeling that despite the length, the ride was forgettable after the river segment. With all that land, they could've built an Intamin hyper coaster something like Bizzaro at SFNE.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 5/27/12 7:34:22 AM
alpengeistno3 said:

That's funny because you just fell for the biggest trap of POV video. Cheetah Hunt looks like a massive and impressive ride, but when you ride it, that river sequence after the brake run just falls completely flat.

+1 (Which means I agree)

Cheetah Hunt has one of the most disappointing finishes of any coaster that I can think of; Which is too bad because the first half is excellent IMO.

* This post was modified at 5/27/12 7:38:00 AM *

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 5/27/12 9:17:24 AM
Thank you for your detailed synopsis of Verbolten. Glad to see that BGW built a ride that appears to be a fine replacement for the Big Bad Wolf.

G-Dog

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Stredain Stredain Profile at 6/2/12 2:41:25 PM
Mark hit on the nail with his description of VB. Yesterday, I was unable to ride VB (didnt have a sitter for my 19 month old son) but I did sit and watch, came back with a few new photos I intend to post and a few new tidbits.
VB has been added to the 'ride before opening the park' idea if you have a season pass, No crowds, just you and VB with other BGW passholders. I also discovered VB has some growing pains (mechanical problems, etc) that has led to VB being shut down on a random basis but I associate that with being a new ride.
BGW has also given VB the coveted 'Behind the scenes' chance. Recently added, it appears VB riders can get an upclose examination of the normally closed off areas for a rider.
Always, Stredain
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Aragia Aragia Profile at 6/3/12 12:03:15 AM
By "has some growing pains" do you mean breaks down almost every ****ing day? Because I've been five times to ride it, and it was broken down every single time, twice for the entire day. Yesterday I just left and went to KD.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 6/3/12 12:31:54 AM
I'm not surprised. A ride with that many moving parts has got to be expected to go down more than your typical lift-drop-brakes coaster.

Anyone know if they have actually got the 5th train going in the cycle yet? I have my doubts.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 6/3/12 12:36:35 AM
Well all I hope is that after a full season of service, all the issues will be fixed and the 2nd year will be much smoother.
As long as it doesn't become worse than BBW where for me in a 1 week span (when i was there in 2009), 1 day it didn't run at all, I guess I can live with that.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Stredain Stredain Profile at 6/3/12 8:02:29 AM
its completely random for the breakdowns. I hope the record improves
Stredain
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Aragia Aragia Profile at 6/3/12 4:01:17 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

As long as it doesn't become worse than BBW where for me in a 1 week span (when i was there in 2009), 1 day it didn't run at all, I guess I can live with that.

That's the run it's been on for me so far... I only live an hour away and have a platinum pass so it's not a huge deal for me to go up there, but at this point I'm already bored with everything else the park has to offer. When I go specifically to ride VB and it's out of service yet again, I find it very frustrating. On Friday, I went for the special RT only to be told they'd switched it to Apollo AFTER I walked to the back of the park, instead of at the gate when I asked about the RT. All these people have walkie talkies, it wouldn't be that hard to communicate amongst them.

My other complaint was, if your newest ride is supposed to be offering passholders RT and is broken down, can you not switch the RT to the next newest ride in the park, instead of one that is albeit fun but 13 years old and most people have ridden dozens of times already? I would've appreciated their decision a lot more if they gave us an hour on Griffon instead.

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 6/3/12 9:25:25 PM
Aragia said:

My other complaint was, if your newest ride is supposed to be offering passholders RT and is broken down, can you not switch the RT to the next newest ride in the park, instead of one that is albeit fun but 13 years old and most people have ridden dozens of times already? I would've appreciated their decision a lot more if they gave us an hour on Griffon instead.

If they haven't changed it, Verbolten is offered because Germany opens later than the rest of the park (used to be 11:00 when I worked on Drachen Fire). Since Griffon opens with the park at 10:00, you wouldn't be able to get exclusive ride time on it.

I thought Apollo opened at 10:00, too, but I guess that must not be the case anymore.

Ride maintenance is usually communicated through radio code from the dispatcher on the walkies ("Verbolten is 10-7 controlled), which means the ride is down with no guests on the trains. Beyond that, if a person does not know what that code means, they would not be able to tell you and (if following instructions that we used to be given regarding shutdowns) would not have told you any way. Most likely the person directing you back there was not privy to the fact that the ride had been changed to Apollo and would not have found out as that info is typically given out over the phones rather than the radios.

Paul

* This post was modified at 6/3/12 9:39:36 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Aragia Aragia Profile at 6/4/12 1:13:16 AM
Yeah as far as I know AC opens with the park as well, at least it has every morning I've been this season. But the RT is supposed to begin half an hour before the park even officially opens, so at the least it seems they could sub half an hour on a ride that is newer. Would it not be feasible to give out some type of a pass (exit pass maybe?) to those who were there waiting for the RT when the ride broke down, and let them come back later in the day and try for a chance on it? Do parks just not do that?
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 6/4/12 1:27:26 AM
Aragia said:

Yeah as far as I know AC opens with the park as well, at least it has every morning I've been this season. But the RT is supposed to begin half an hour before the park even officially opens, so at the least it seems they could sub half an hour on a ride that is newer. Would it not be feasible to give out some type of a pass (exit pass maybe?) to those who were there waiting for the RT when the ride broke down, and let them come back later in the day and try for a chance on it? Do parks just not do that?

I suppose other parks do, but I have never known BGE to give out exit passes, even for evacuations. (Way back in 1988, my brother and I got stuck on Loch Ness and had to walk down lift 2. We got a golden ticket that was good any day for life. I think now they just give out tickets good for the season, but when I worked on Alpengeist, I don't recall them giving out anything when we had to evacuate the lift. I have to admit, I wouldn't know since I was up on the lift unlocking the seats.)

It was probably the logistics of getting people to go to the opposite end of the park to go to Griffon. How do you inform season pass holders heading towards Verbolten to go back towards Griffon without tipping off the other park patrons? Apollo was the easiest fix, especially if it was a last minute call. (plus if you took a poll, I think most people would prefer Apollo to Griffon, despite the age difference.)

Paul

* This post was modified at 6/4/12 1:32:09 AM *

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Aragia Aragia Profile at 6/5/12 2:47:26 PM
Well I'm now first in line for the front row and guess what? It's down again. Been in line exactly an hour, started with a 15 min wait and it broke down one train after I got in line. They just made the announcement that it has no expected resume time. Next I expect the typical "closed for the day" statement.

I haven't even ridden it, and I give it 2 thumbs down. 6th time at the park without a ride now.

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by JetMech JetMech Profile at 6/5/12 3:42:14 PM
Aragia said:

Well I'm now first in line for the front row and guess what? It's down again. Been in line exactly an hour, started with a 15 min wait and it broke down one train after I got in line. They just made the announcement that it has no expected resume time. Next I expect the typical "closed for the day" statement.


I haven't even ridden it, and I give it 2 thumbs down. 6th time at the park without a ride now.

Stuff like that stinks especially six times!

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 6/5/12 8:35:07 PM
Agreed. That is some serious bad luck there. I hope for the ride's sake they work out all the problems by next year at latest. This year I am going to just KD because it was either that or BGW and my need to ride the improved I305 eventually won out and I figured a ride like VB with the launching might have teething issues in its first year.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 6/5/12 8:39:00 PM
Still not surprised. 2 rolling launches, 2 block brakes, 1 drop track, and numerous triggered lighting effects- there are just so many things that need to happen with 5 train operation and reset quickly automatically. The ride is going to have teething issues this year. There's no way around that.

At least you have been able to go to the park 6 times this year (and will probably get a chance to go back later) as opposed to most for whom this is their only shot and the ride crapped on it.

I'm taking my shot in July, so hopefully the teething will be done by then.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by TallStraightOne TallStraightOne Profile at 6/21/12 11:03:53 PM
I rode Verbolten four times yesterday, and am I the only one to say it was...rough? I'm not sure thats the right word to use, but it really pushed me around, and my head fell all all around and got caught on the sides of the headrests. Was this just a user error, or are there other people having this problem? I could have blacked out, I have no idea...Anyway It's an amazing ride regardless and I love the themes! I have experienced all three! AMAZING.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 6/22/12 5:53:24 PM
TallStraightOne said:

I rode Verbolten four times yesterday, and am I the only one to say it was...rough? I'm not sure thats the right word to use, but it really pushed me around, and my head fell all all around and got caught on the sides of the headrests. Was this just a user error, or are there other people having this problem? I could have blacked out, I have no idea...Anyway It's an amazing ride regardless and I love the themes! I have experienced all three! AMAZING.

The forces in the helix are a lot stronger than the park would want to say. I would not categorize Verbolten as rough, but there are several surprising transitions that will introduce your head to the side of the car if you are not familiar with the ride. This is especially true if you ride in the back of the train.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by TallStraightOne TallStraightOne Profile at 6/22/12 9:45:24 PM
Okay thanks.! Just making sure I wasn't crazy! Any tips Paul?
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by alpengeistno3 at 6/22/12 10:05:56 PM
TallStraightOne said:

Okay thanks.! Just making sure I wasn't crazy! Any tips Paul?

Keep riding :) In all seriousness, I never put my head against the headrest on any coaster (except for Skyrush, for now). Despite it being in most ride instructions, I find it a recipe for getting your brains scrambled. Keep it forward just enough to anticipate any quick direction changes and always lean into the turn.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by TallStraightOne TallStraightOne Profile at 6/22/12 10:18:17 PM
Okay, thank you soo soo much.! (:
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/27/12 6:17:56 AM
Non enthusiast friends of mine were at Busch Gardens yesterday. Unfortunately, Verbolten was down the whole day. It was their first time at the park, so they did have a great time, but they didn't get to ride Verbolten.
Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 7/25/12 12:00:27 AM
The link below is an outstanding documentary about the making of Verbolten.

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YiSanW6mTiU

Re: Thoughts on Verbolten by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 7/25/12 10:28:54 AM
That was a great video... and one where I'm seen riding it three times (0:16, 9:10, and 9:54) LOL

Joe
Great_Ump