Last Day of BGW Howl-o-Scream Impressions
So, with my annual pass collecting dust and having only used it twice this year (once in the spring for a few hours and once at SW SD), I decided it was time to pony up the money and spend a tank of gas to get to BGW. I left around 7:30 am and got there a little before 10:00 am which was a record for me.
I figured it was going to be crowded as it was the last day it was open and my suspicions were correct as the lots were quickly starting to fill up. After parking in Germany, I hopped on the tram and made my way over. The park was going to be open from 10am - 10pm and I was anticipating on staying at BGW until about 7pm so I could drive back up to KD for a few last minute rides and be back home to Montgomery County, MD before midnight.
I managed to get six rides (5 day, 1 night) on Alpengeist, three on Griffon, two on Loch Ness Monster, one on Apollo's Chariot, and none on Verolten. I also got a ride on Mach Tower and saw every show they had.
Based on that, here are some observations I made:
- BGW really needs to get lockers that take credit. Some of the smaller lockers near ride entrances only take cash. This became a pain when I didn't want to have to keep an eye on my goods in my pocket. Alpengeist is a pretty aggressive invert, compared to the others out there and I don't trust keeping anything in my pocket on a B&M hyper. Due to this, I only took one ride on Apollos Chariot.
- Finishing its third season, Mach Tower is really showing how poorly designed a ride it is. Seats and restraints are showing deterioration, audio was nonexistent (possibly due to budget cuts), and the low capacity per hour still shows. It took at least 5 - 10 minutes between cycles because of the sensors not working correctly. The view is top notch though. Being able to see the empty field behind Oktoberfest was nice to remember the days of what used to be in that area.
- Food at BGW is still one of best in the area. When I can get an entree with a side for less than $9 and a fully loaded funnel cake for $6, with my Annual Pass, it's golden in my book.
- Shows have not been degraded, despite the budget cuts. While they took some shows away this year and I couldn't ride Europe in the Air, the ones they kept open for families, as well as Howl-o-Scream exclusives were really, really well done. Fiends was the highlight with it's risque humor and Night Beats was a unique offering that I wouldn't mind seeing again.
- There is a serious lack of haunts in the Terror-tories. Very few people were walking around, scaring people. Only when I was leaving and heading through England did I see a slew of actors trying to startle people. The headless women walking around were really creepy and well done.
- The one haunted house I did (13, Your Number's Up) was also void of any real scares. While it was very atmospheric and quite long, it didn't really offer anything. Waiting an hour in line for it was kind of anticlimactic. I still think Six Flags did it best this year, honestly, at least for the chains.
- The decor during the day and at night were great, although not to the grandiose scale that is Christmas Town. I did appreciate a lot of the humor that was incorporated into some of the props hanging around different the sections of the park, as well as the overall appearance of said props.
- They are really pushing their alcoholic venues, especially their wine offerings. Everywhere I went they had makeshift pubs set up where you could sit out in the open and drink a glass of wine, craft beer, or hard liquor. Italy, in particular, really has expanded their offerings.
- The smell of hops was really strong, possibly due to the brisk weather outside. I hadn't really smelt it that strong since I was a kid going to BGW.
- Alpengeist is great at night. Back row going through that cobra roll is one of the best I've experienced on any ride. If the new harnesses work well on Banshee, I think they could do wonders for Alpengeist on making it an even more exhilarating experience.
- I still am not a fan of B&M hypers, but Apollo's Chariot gave me more airtime than Nitro?
- Verbolten was packing a serious line so I skipped it since I may be back in December to ride it again.
- Loch Ness Monster is a fun ride in the back. It's up there with Anaconda as my favorite Arrow looper.
- Griffon still runs really well and I would like to see B&M expand on it as it's seriously too, too short.
Overall, I enjoyed my day there and I wish I had stayed until closing to get more night rides in and take in the atmosphere more.
My last hour and a half at Kings Dominion was filled with broken down rides and an overlook to get one of the last rides of the 2013 season on Anaconda.
I am looking forward to going back again this year to Christmas Town as I thoroughly enjoyed it last year.
* This post was modified at 10/28/13 12:05:50 PM *
Agreed on Griffon. I will give griffon a pass because it's sorta landlocked, but any future dive coasters really should do more than just two immelmans to be up to par with the inverts and sitdowns. Even Manta and Tatsu expanded on the superman clones for the flyers. It's time for the dive coasters to do more.
Alp, yeah, I'd love it if it had the newer restraint as the cobra rolls on inverts are a bit painful to me (slamming my ear into the restraint/sitting defensively). I do agree night rides on an invert are fun. Montu and the dragons (even without the dueling) this year were awesome.
It's been so long since my last hyper coaster that I'll even settle for AC to get my fix.
I dunno if your pass will be good for next year, but chances seems pretty good I might be going to BGW next summer either the early part or later part. I'd like to meet up with a few more folks from here. Lol, it's getting a bit boring not being able to share my rides with someone else who appreciates the coasters like I do.