April 28, 2005
Williamsburg, VA — Sometimes the only way to lift a curse is to meet it head on. Or, in the case of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Curse of DarKastle: The Ride, straight down.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg unveils Curse of DarKastle to the anticipation of thrill seekers this Sunday, May 1. A cutting-edge addition to the park's stellar lineup of thrill rides, Curse of DarKastle sends guests aboard gravity-defying sleighs careening through the dark and mysterious corridors of a Bavarian castle. Passengers brave enough to ride are bombarded by heart-stopping chills as the sleigh hurtles through the darkness of an ice-bound world.
"Curse of DarKastle is going to absolutely astonish our guests," states Donnie Mills, executive vice president and general manager for Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. "This is an enormous attraction; it will absolutely have thrill seekers screaming," added Mills.
Expert crews were assembled to create a terrifyingly surreal experience. Technological advancements in ride engineering, special effects, theming, visual projection and audio systems create Curse of DarKastle's unique experience.
"The technology that exists in the theme park industry today makes Curse of DarKastle possible; we couldn't have achieved this three to five years ago," according to Larry Giles, vice president of design and engineering for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. "Curse of DarKastle is exactly what our guests have been waiting for - a frightening coaster - like ride where you actually believe you might not make it out," added Giles.
Curse of DarKastle represents the Williamsburg park's next generation of adventures, and the European themed park's first major ride since the opening of Apollo's Chariot hyper coaster in 1999. Following a one-minute-forty-second pre-show that hints at a mysterious legend, guests will board eight-passenger golden sleighs for a mesmerizing three-minute-twenty-second journey through the castle's ghostly corridors. Elements of the dynamic ride include a bone-chilling chase, 3-D imagery and immersive special effects.
State-of-the-art ride systems send passengers on their journey through a castle seemingly frozen in time. Traveling along Curse of DarKastle's 1,000 feet of track, the sleighs pass through 11 eerie chambers. Incorporating linear, circular and vertical motion, the intelligent ride vehicles allow for varying rates of acceleration as well as total experience manipulation.
In addition to the pulse-pounding ride, the digitally projected scenes immerse guests in the ride's story. Loosely themed after the legendary King Ludwig of Bavaria, Busch Gardens' ride designers produced the tantalizing tale to create a ghostly sleigh ride excursion. Nine of the haunting vignettes provide guests with 3-D imagery.
"The combination of computer-generated graphic imagery and digital projection systems enable every passenger to feel like they have the best seat on the ride," stated Giles.
In order for guests to feel completely surrounded by the Curse of DarKastle experience, special effects and theming needed to play a significant role in the ride's development. The larger-than-life fireplace, intimidating stalactite grotto, and castle fa̤ade are some examples of Curse of DarKastle's intricacies. Extremes in temperature, shrouding fog, and shattering ice enhance the spine-chilling environment. Curse of DarKastle smashes the limits of dark ride technology to generate a multisensory experience unlike anything else.
Artwork courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. All rights reserved.
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