Today Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced their 2020 addition. It will be a large multi launch roller coaster called Pantheon. Pantheon means all the Gods and BGW is using five of those Gods as part of the theme for this coaster: Jupiter, Pluto, Neptune, Minererva, and Mercury. Each God is related back to the announced stats and elements. Most people I have noticed have jumped straight to the building in Rome, but the Pantheon is more of a nickname than a formal name for the building. The layout is presented as simple artwork on the Busch Gardens Williamsburg website, but a full POV has not been shared yet.
It is presumed that the manufacturer is Intamin and that is a very exciting thing to look forward to. For years Intamin has been absent from the North American thrill coaster market. They have done some drop rides, family coasters and water rides. However Skyrush was their last proper thrill coaster in North America, and the void they left is hard to ignore. I think if you are reading this you probably have a list of reasons why parks stopped working with Intamin on larger projects from rocky opening seasons, to redesigns after installation, to downtime. I often compare Intamin to an Italian sports car. You want to ride in one because it is exciting, not because it is reliable. The natural habitat for an Italian sports car is on the side of the road in a cloud of steam.
Pantheon will feature multiple launches both forward and backwards, the fastest launch will propel the train to its top speed of 72 MPH. The ride will have a maximum height of 178 feet, and dive back down to Earth at a beyond vertical 95 degree drop. As the train rips through the course it will negotiate two inversions. This all sounds good to me but I don't feel like I know entirely what to expect until I either see a more detailed drawing of the layout or a full rendering of an entire ride cycle. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is claiming a record for the fastest multiple launch coaster. I always feel that if you need to disclude all of the coasters that have better stats as part of your record then it is a marketing record. The main appeal of this practice is that it often confuse specifics of the record. The GP and often the traditional local news outlets who may help promote the ride get excited and confuse it as an actual record breaker.
I am really looking forward to learning more about Pantheon, and just on the strength of the info I have right now I think I would like to visit BGW again next season to check out this new addition. There is something missing, from this announcement. It isn't from the park it is from the enthusiasts...it's the hate. Where is all the complaining, I am used to may more dissatisfied thoosies. I am already hearing people speculate if it will be a favorite coaster. The reception for the ride if not the name has been overwhelmingly positive, everyone I have talked to is excited about BGW. Except the Kings Island fans they are scanning some QRC Code they found on a wooden fence. Why has no one pointed out that it is essentially the same speed Volcano was? No one is complaining that it does the same thing as Twisted Colossus and Full Throttle in the very same park? Sorry, I meant Verbolten and Tempesto. It is probably because it has five flags instead of six and is surrounded by flowers.