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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help

BRossano23 BRossano23 Profile

Posted:
5/8/13 at
12:00:42 PM

I haven't been to Busch Gardens, VA in since 2004 and need some advice for where to head when the park opens. Which rides will have the longest lines or periods of downtime? Any suggestions for a plan of attack would be helpful. Thanks!!!

-Billy Ro

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by antikythera antikythera Profile at 5/8/13 12:22:36 PM
Depends on when you're going. Both times I've been in the last few months on the weekend, lines haven't been crazy long. In my experience, since it's a family park with lots to do (including quite a few shows), everything kind of gets an equal share.

I'd say head on over to Loch Ness, as it's older and the capacity per hour isn't as high as the other rides -- plus, since it's one of the first rides people run into, people naturally congregate to it. Alpengeist, Apollo's Chariot and Griffon move pretty fast as long as they're not breaking down. Verbolten will probably be the most crowded but they run at least four trains at once, so the wait is minimal. Even if the line is full, it's no more than a 30 minute wait.

If you're not as interested in coasters, I'd say try to get Curse of DarKastle in early. It can back up at times. Mach Tower wasn't working both times I was there so I can't comment on it. Escape from Pompeii is a typical boat ride, so expect the normal wait times for it.

My $.02.

* This post was modified at 5/8/13 12:24:35 PM *

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/8/13 1:34:04 PM
Here's the advice I was given below when I went in 2011 and it was great. I went to Griffon first - Nessie's lines will be next to nothing later on while Griffon's will continue to grow (although the line does move ridiculously fast). Once we started with Griffon we just looped around the park. Verbolten was not there yet so others can chime in on where it should fit on your initial lap through the park.

It's a great park - have fun!

Jen

http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/forums/roller-coasters-theme-parks/214842

And here is my Trip Report from the day we went:
http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/forums/roller-coasters-theme-parks/216044

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by MABrider MABrider Profile at 5/8/13 6:56:03 PM
Assuming you will arrive before the rope drops...

First thing, get a park map.
BGW always has date specific maps...literally.
The opening times for the "lands" vary, so look for them on the map as you walk slowly toward Big Ben.
I believe Loch Ness is always open first thing.

Mike B.
Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by depotrat at 5/8/13 7:21:27 PM
Don't wait too long for Dar Kastle. We found that the wait was minimal early in nthe day and the line was quite long after lunch.
Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/8/13 7:24:55 PM
MABrider said:

Assuming you will arrive before the rope drops...


First thing, get a park map.
BGW always has date specific maps...literally.
The opening times for the "lands" vary, so look for them on the map as you walk slowly toward Big Ben.
I believe Loch Ness is always open first thing.

Nope - not when I went. That apparently changes too. It opened the same time as France so I went directly to Griffon while everyone else went to Nessie since it's pretty close to where the rope drops.

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/8/13 7:35:55 PM
depotrat said:

Don't wait too long for Dar Kastle. We found that the wait was minimal early in nthe day and the line was quite long after lunch.

I went on that pretty early too and it was a walk on. I went to Griffon first (like 3 times in a row but all were walk-ons) then just worked my way around. While everyone else started at Scotland (Nessie) I started at France (Griffon) so we were ahead of the crowds as we went along. By the mid-afternoon it all gets intermingled but in the morning I say go to France and hit Nessie later. Even if the rope drops and Nessie is open first, I'd skip it and go to France because you're going to be on line with everyone else and then following the crowd unless you get a ride on the first 2-4 trains. That line is longest in the morning as well and dies down as the day goes on. Just remember after the rope drops to make a hard right towards Ireland/France or you will end up in Scotland, I somehow always ended up at Nessie no matter where I was trying to go! :-)

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by BRossano23 BRossano23 Profile at 5/8/13 8:43:30 PM
Griffon or Verbolten first?
Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by alpengeistno3 at 5/8/13 11:05:28 PM
To elaborate on what Jen said (without reading her link), don't worry about Verbolten 1st. Go make the rope drop run to Griffon and max that out (you can probably get 4 or 5 rides before anyone shows up because everyone will run to Verbolten 1st, if it is an option. Go immediately to Alpengeist and ride that 4 or 5 times (I have done as many as 13 before any kind of line materialized, but that was before Verbolten was there to redirect the crowds to that area).

When the rest of Germany opens (usually the last area to open), go to DarKastle immediately and get that out of the way. If you just can't wait to get on Verbolten, go ahead and wait for that or go back towards the front of the park and hit Apollo (if they have added the 3rd train, the wait will be not be that bad, no matter how long the line is.) You can leisurely take in the rest of the park, trying to make it back to Loch Ness between 2:00 and 4:00 (the goal is to get there right after the late-arriving crowd dissipates, but before they decide to take off the 3rd train, if they used it in the morning.)

Other can't miss rides: Pompeii (it looks like a regular shoot the chutes, but the show area at the top is not to be missed), Europe in the Air (tucked away in the cave in Ireland), the log flume (I love single lift log flumes since they hold more surprises than the dual ones), and Da Vinci's Cradle, if you have never done a flying carpet-type ride before.

I have heard Mach Tower removed several feet of brakes, so the drop is now somewhat interesting, but if there is any kind of line for it, you can skip it.

The last 2 hrs are golden for rerides and night rides, if the park is open late. Verbolten is not going to clear out until the very end of the night, so end there if you want one last ride for the road. If no one is in your row in the station when you return, you may go one additional time (keep track of the number of trains because an odd number will put you in the opposite station when you get back.)

Paul

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/8/13 11:12:26 PM
BRossano23 said:

Griffon or Verbolten first?

I would say Griffon since Germany opens up later than France (at least when I went). Don't know if that changed or not. Like someone else mentioned - get a park map right away when you get in - it will have the times the different countries open and then you can see which ride will open first. I have not been back since Verbolten opened so I'm not sure if they are now opening Germany earlier. I doubt it since they would probably have to open Italy to get to it. Head to France and ride my favorite mythological creature, Griffon! My God I LOVED that coaster... Last row unloading side wing seat if you can get it is best IMO but you should ride the front too just to get the experience. Then work your way to Verbolten - go to the log flume, Alpengeist and DarKastle (order in which you will hit the rides) and then Verbolten. As I said, the crowd should be behind you if all goes as planned.

Hopefully someone who has gone last year or this year can chime in with their experience. Paul has a lot of experience with BGE so hopefully he adds to the conversation.

Another word of advice: BGE is very hilly and HUGE - lots of space in between rides - so plan the day carefully or you'll be exhausted before dinner. Where ever you start I'd just continue on that path and not go back and forth between things too much. You'll also want to catch a few shows and have time to eat (food is awesome) so plan for that. The park is absolutely beautiful so make sure you enjoy the little things too!

Jen

Edit: I must have been typing as Paul was posting his response, LOL! Listen to him - he knows what he's talking about! :-)

* This post was modified at 5/8/13 11:13:56 PM *

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by antikythera antikythera Profile at 5/9/13 9:48:15 AM
alpengeistno3 said:

The last 2 hrs are golden for rerides and night rides, if the park is open late. Verbolten is not going to clear out until the very end of the night, so end there if you want one last ride for the road. If no one is in your row in the station when you return, you may go one additional time (keep track of the number of trains because an odd number will put you in the opposite station when you get back.)

Paul

I'd definitely say ride Verbolten at night, if you get a chance. While the coaster is just okay overall, I rode it night the first time and it was a much better experience. Going over the dilapidated bridge in the dark was a nice touch. Even better in the wintertime.

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 5/11/13 10:07:02 PM
I was there when Griffon was new but its line moved. I'm not a fan of or expert on DarKastle, but it sure seemed like that is where I spent most of my time. It and Verbolten are kind of close together so that is where I would go first. I would then work my way toward Alpengeist, the water flume, Griffon, Loch Ness, and then see some indoor shows and stuff in the heat of the day. The area around Apollo's Chariot and Escape from Pompeii never really had people in it so I think that could be last.
Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/11/13 11:01:48 PM
theRock-steel said:

I was there when Griffon was new but its line moved. I'm not a fan of or expert on DarKastle, but it sure seemed like that is where I spent most of my time. It and Verbolten are kind of close together so that is where I would go first. I would then work my way toward Alpengeist, the water flume, Griffon, Loch Ness, and then see some indoor shows and stuff in the heat of the day. The area around Apollo's Chariot and Escape from Pompeii never really had people in it so I think that could be last.

You can't get to Verbolten or DarKastle at opening - Germany opens later than France and Scotland (as mentioned in previous posts) which is why we were all saying to skip Nessie and hit Griffon first. Then he would be on his way to Germany once it was ready to open.

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by alpengeistno3 at 5/12/13 1:53:19 AM
Jen is right. Even if it is a busy day and they open Verbolten early (at 10:00), you are stuck isolated from the rest of the park as the rest of the Germany area will not open until 10:30, at the earliest, possibly 11:00.

I don't know whether Verbolten ever opened early, but you will lose a ton of time going there because that is where everyone will go 1st then you are stuck milling along with the crowd. Best move for any park with a good capacity "hot" ride, get away from the crowd and max the other stuff, then come back later. Griffon and Alpengeist are 2 of the slower loaders with the seatbelts and floorless set-up to deal with, whereas Apollo, Loch Ness and Verbolten can move people very quickly when running at full capacity.

Paul

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 5/13/13 6:22:46 PM
I am also going there myself in a little over a month. I have been twice before, but not for a few years. I thought that I knew the right way to go about it. After listening to all of you, this is my "new and improved" plan:
1st - Griffon
2nd - Le Scoot
3rd - Alpengeist
4th - DarKastle
5th - Verbolten
6th - Italy rides
7th - Scotland rides
8th - Ireland rides/shows

I am sure that many coasters will be ridden more than once !

* This post was modified at 5/13/13 6:25:30 PM *

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/13/13 6:39:30 PM
theRock-steel said:

I am also going there myself in a little over a month. I have been twice before, but not for a few years. I thought that I knew the right way to go about it. After listening to all of you, this is my "new and improved" plan:
1st - Griffon
2nd - Le Scoot
3rd - Alpengeist
4th - DarKastle
5th - Verbolten
6th - Italy rides
7th - Scotland rides
8th - Ireland rides/shows

I am sure that many coasters will be ridden more than once !

That's how I did it (minus Verbolten) and it worked out beautifully.

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by BRossano23 BRossano23 Profile at 5/14/13 7:40:28 AM
Thanks everyone for the input!!!

-Billy Ro

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 5/15/13 7:08:56 PM
A little late to the party but when I went to BGW last year, once the rope dropped you could ride Nessie, Griffon, and Alpengeist before Germany opened. Since Loch Ness is right there I'd hit that first since Griffon is a capacity monster and you'll get a few rides on that with little wait. After Griffon head over to Alpengeist to get a couple rides plus you'll be right by the Germany gate when that opens.

Definitely hit DarKastle as soon as Germany opens. As for Verbolten, even if the queue is full, the line moves pretty well (as long as it doesn't break down). I timed it at only 40 minutes from the ride entrance to the time I boarded the ride.

G-Dog

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by frontrow frontrow Profile at 5/17/13 9:47:55 PM
When I visited last year Scotland opened a half hour before anything else. We grabbed 2 rides on Nessie, then got in line for the France rope drop. We then followed the same order as listed above. If you hustle, you can get 5 rides on Griffon in that first half hour.
Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 5/17/13 10:32:08 PM
theRock-steel said:

I am also going there myself in a little over a month. I have been twice before, but not for a few years. I thought that I knew the right way to go about it. After listening to all of you, this is my "new and improved" plan:
1st - Griffon
2nd - Le Scoot
3rd - Alpengeist
4th - DarKastle
5th - Verbolten
6th - Italy rides
7th - Scotland rides
8th - Ireland rides/shows

I am sure that many coasters will be ridden more than once !

Good order. I think i got maybe 5 rides on griffon early in the morning and 5 on alpengeist. Only difference is i skipped le scoot and saved it for later (which i regretted) in favor of more rides on the big 2 coasters there.
Vb, i guess i would treat as if bbw was still there since it is in the way before going to the italy section.

I totally agree about riding nessie in the afternoon. I didn't wait too long like around 2pm. Maybe 30 min tops, but it was worth waiting for later after going thru the beemers.

I'm a bit disappointed in what i've been hearing about 'soarin over europe' what a waste of a fun simulator ride.

* This post was modified at 5/17/13 10:32:32 PM *

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 5/17/13 10:35:42 PM
frontrow said:

When I visited last year Scotland opened a half hour before anything else. We grabbed 2 rides on Nessie, then got in line for the France rope drop. We then followed the same order as listed above. If you hustle, you can get 5 rides on Griffon in that first half hour.

Apparently sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. When I went it opened the same time as Germany (I went in June mid week) so I ran right to Griffon and get several amazing rides in without waiting at all.

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Help by alpengeistno3 at 5/18/13 12:16:03 AM
Loch Ness only opens early on "busy" days (Saturdays and some Fridays and Sundays, depending on what the park projects the attendance to be.)

You can forget about it on a Tuesday or Wednesday. If they are projecting it to be that busy, it would behoove you to skip it and assume a good position at the head of the pack on the bridge for the run to Griffon.

Paul

* This post was modified at 5/18/13 12:18:20 AM *