Join us today for live updates from Busch Gardens Media Day as we experience the first rides of their brand new wooden coaster InvadR!
Getting ready for the Ribbon Cutting at #InvadR Grand Opening! Video will be posted to YouTube of the ceremony shortly!
Fun fact from Suzy Cheely: During construction they found old wood underground from an old ball pit play area. #InvadR
#InvadR is very much like White Lightning, but with a twister terrain aspect. More directional changes. Just as much airtime and speed.
InvadR has some great speed. Its size is very deceptive. It is quick, agile, and filled with airtime and directional changes.
The crew with Cindy from @BuschGardensVA and @DevinOlsonMedia here today! Great job by all!
We have a winner folks! #InvadR is a great ride!
A very nicely decorated station! #InvadR
The blue dragon train is off! The bear train represents the Villagers, the dragon represents the Vikings.
The yellow bear train on its way! #InvadR
We will be riding for Reverse POV shortly! #InvadR
Wonderful looking ride area!
We're being escorted to the ride now! #InvadR
There are roughly 96,000 bolted connections on #InvadR and over 10,000 pounds of nails used.
A little chilly and breezy this morning. #InvadR ride times are slightly delayed. We'll keep you posted as we get closer to riding.
#InvadR has two tunnels over the course of the ride. It has a 46-inch height requirement, shorter than most other GCI coasters.
#InvadR has a 74-foot drop to kick things off at 48MPH. 9 airtime hills will greet us throughout the ride!
Having some breakfast prior to the online working media entering the ride area!
Lots of banners around the park! Very beautiful this morning!
We're on our way back to the ride! #InvadR
A virtual reality attraction unlike any other is coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the spring of 2018. Utilizing virtual reality headsets and the state-of-the-art motion simulator located on the former site of Europe in the Air, the yet-to-be-named attraction will be the first of its kind in North America. With this marriage of technology, Busch Gardens will be able to take riders through a portal into a hidden world of mythical characters, set against an Irish theme.
“We’re going to take you places that you never thought possible,” said Busch Gardens Vice President of Engineering Larry Giles. “Nowhere else has this ever been done.”
Busch Gardens disclosed plans for the ride during a presentation at Pass Member Preview Day today. Pass members in attendance helped announce the park’s plans during a card reveal that displayed a “Virtual Reality 2018” logo.
“This new virtual reality attraction will dramatically transform the capabilities of our motion simulator and deliver a truly unique experience,” Busch Gardens President David Cromwell said. “We will create an immersive environment that all families can enjoy.”
Busch Gardens also announced an official opening date of April 7 for InvadR™, its new wooden roller coaster featuring a 74-foot drop, nine air-time hills and a top speed of 48 miles per hour.
While InvadR is Busch Gardens’ first wooden roller coaster, it’s the park’s eighth roller coaster overall.
Yesterday, Daniel Westfall was afforded the opportunity to take a look at the progress of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2017 roller coaster, InvadR. Check out the video above to not only see the progress but hear from some of the people involved in its creation!
Busch Gardens has announced the logo for InvadR, its first wooden roller coaster coming in 2017. In a Decide the Ride vote, the red shield with dragon emblem won in a narrow decision.
For the first time in the park’s history, fans were able to decide the logo for a roller coaster. The winning emblem edged out the blue shield with dragon logo by only 33 votes. Here’s the voting percentage breakdown:
Red dragon: 27.2%
Blue dragon: 26.8%
Blue crossed: 25%
Red crossed: 21%
Fans are urged to stay tuned for the next Decide the Ride opportunity.
Busch Gardens® announced today a new wooden roller coaster is coming to its collection of world-class thrill rides in spring 2017. The family thriller will be the Virginia theme park’s first wooden coaster and eighth roller coaster in total – and will be designed as the world’s first “crowdsourced” ride.
In an unusual industry move, the park is announcing the new attraction much earlier than typical so that fans will be able to help “decide the ride” including opportunities to vote on attraction details, contribute to theme elements and shape the marketing campaign. The first such opportunity kicked off today, inviting fans to select the ride’s name. “Busch Gardens has a reputation for creating unique ride experiences, and our new family coaster will certainly continue that tradition,” said Larry Giles, vice president of engineering. “The dynamics of a wooden coaster, combined with the many ways it will interact with the terrain and nearby attractions, will make this a one-of-a-kind thrill.”
Giles said the roller coaster will have a minimum height requirement of 46 inches for riders. A coaster with the lower height range rounds out the park’s portfolio and has been developed in response to guest requests for a roller coaster that adults and children can ride together, he said.
“This will be a great ride for families, but make no mistake: this will not be a kiddie ride,” Giles said. “This coaster will feature an exciting drop of 74 feet and will have nine airtime hills, the same number as Apollo’s Chariot®. It’s going to be a wild ride.” While the coaster’s track will be wooden, it will be supported by a steel structure. “Riders will get the best of both worlds: the stability of steel supports with the classic feel of a great wooden coaster,” Giles said.
The ride will be located in the New France village of Busch Gardens. It will take guests on a trek of more than 2,100 feet through wooded terrain, underground through a tunnel and in close proximity to the Le Scoot log flume and Busch Gardens Railway. Neither of the neighboring attractions will need to close for extended periods during the construction of the new ride.
The attraction’s theme will be based on a fanciful legend related to the exploration of North America by Vikings. The coaster will invite riders to join the battle between a band of invading Vikings, who have survived for generations looking for new territory, and the residents of the New France trappers’ village, who are fighting to protect their outpost.
FANS TO “DECIDE THE RIDE”
While Busch Gardens historically has not announced new attractions so far in advance, the news of the new ride is part of a larger strategy by the park to involve its members and fans to a greater degree than ever before, said Dan Dipiazzo, vice president of marketing.
“Our fans are so loyal and passionate about this park, and we want to make them co-creators in this exciting new project,” Dipiazzo said. “We still have a lot of details to finalize for this attraction, and our guests will get to weigh in and be a part of the development.”
Surveys through Busch Gardens’ website and social media channels will invite fans to “Decide the Ride,” including selecting the ride’s name and various design elements. Dipiazzo said guests also may get the opportunity to contribute to the queue experience, participate in pre-ride video or audio segments and pitch their concepts for consumer-generated advertising to promote the coaster’s opening next spring.
The first chance for fans to participate started today, with a survey to select the ride’s name from among three contenders: Viking Raider, Battle Klash or InvadR. Consumers may vote once a day through April 1 at http://bit.ly/1UjthUa. The park has committed to brand the new attraction with whichever name gets the most qualified votes.
“Honestly, it’s a big change for us, and not common in our industry, to leave so much in the hands of consumers,” Dipiazzo admitted. “But we respect our fans. We know they love this park and want to be part of our success. This will be their ride as much as ours.”
In addition to crowdsourcing opportunities, Busch Gardens will share construction updates and other milestones in a special section of its website at BuschGardens.com/Project2017 and with the hashtag #BGProject2017 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Great Coasters International, Inc., Sunbury, PA
TYPE OF RIDE:
Wooden roller coaster
Wooden track with steel supports
Nine airtime hills
Interwoven into Busch Gardens topography
2,118 feet of track
2 trains, 16 seats per train
RIDE HEIGHT REQUIREMENT:
Busch Gardens’ New France village
RIDE OPEN DATE:
Every epic journey has a start. Busch Gardens’ journey started May 16, 1975 and is 40 years in the making.
A specially-commissioned 40-minute documentary brings together past and current park executives and some of the park’s most enthusiastic fans to talk about their experiences. The piece explores the park’s humble roots as a hospitality tour and its gradual transformation into a modern theme park with old-world charm. Park guests can see the story of Busch Gardens® unfold during a limited, one-day screening in the park's Globe Theatre on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
Limited quantities of the commemorative DVD 40 Years of Fun: The Story of Busch Gardens will be available for purchase at merchandise shops throughout the theme park, including The Emporium, Tempesto™ shop and Das Festhaus®.
Visitors to the park this year can trace its 40-year history during their visit by finding the 40 historical markers placed in the park’s villages. Ever wonder what happened to Glissade? Want to know what beloved attraction called Busch Gardens home before Griffon® began thrilling guests in 2007? Busch Gardens' most nostalgic moments are memorialized with pictures and stories throughout the park so guests can learn about the park's heritage while they enjoy a day of thrilling entertainment.
Busch Gardens’ newest thrill attraction, Tempesto, debuts April 25 at Busch Gardens. Park President Carl Lum announced the launch coaster’s name, its key features and its opening date during a special pass member preview day held March 21.
Tempesto’s three launch experiences propel riders forward and backward through the ride’s station house, speeding past waiting guests at more than 60 miles per hour. Riders then climb 154 feet in the air for Tempesto’s signature loop-the-loop inversion.
“Guests waiting to experience Tempesto will certainly feel its power as the coaster train races past them at highway speeds,” said Larry Giles, Busch Gardens’ vice president of engineering.
Work on Tempesto began in fall 2014. The construction team bolted the final piece of track in place in late January. The construction phase will come to an end in the next few weeks and the the park’s operations team will begin ride testing.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the expression on our guests’ faces when they watch Tempesto in action,” said Park President Carl Lum. “The speed of this launch coaster, combined with its compact footprint will make for an exhilarating ride.”
Most of the jobs that we apply for and work in high school are part time and very low earning. The jobs that we take are usually not something that we plan on doing for the rest of our lives. This was not the case for a man who is working at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. According to the Daily Press, Todd Dawkins just celebrated his 30th year at the park as an employee, and according to many, doing a job that most would despise doing day in and day out. Dawkins works at the Trappers Smokehouse, one of the most popular eateries in the park.
Dawkins started out in 1983 working for the park to earn some money to do things he wanted to do in high school. He earned minimum wage which was a mere $3 at that time. He reported to work and was supposed to work in the England territory but was told help was needed in the smokehouse in New France. Dawkins worked the grill as he would turn out the park’s famous beef brisket, BBQ chicken, and pork ribs. The following year, he wanted to be moved to ride operator, but found himself back at the smokehouse. Dawkins wanted to go to college to work on computers but his dad passed away and was unable to afford it so he continued to work at the smokehouse. He has worked himself up through the ranks from grill master to now being the supervisor for the smokehouse.
Dawkins stated that people always ask why he still wants to work in the smokehouse in a theme park and his answer was clear. "It's about the people. There are a lot of people who have worked here for years. It's really a family atmosphere." According to the park’s VP of Human Resources John Harris, there have been many employees who have worked at the park for over 30 years since 1975. "Encouraging people to want to come back is important to us," he says. "We want to create an atmosphere where people enjoy what they're doing or who they're doing it with."
Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced their new attraction for 2012, Verbolten. The name is derived from the German word Verboten which means forbidden.
Verbolten is being manufactured by Zierer, a company who normally specializes in family rides. The firm actually built Grover's Alpine Express at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, along with Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train at Six Flags Great Adventure and Jaguar! at Knott's Berry Farm.
Verbolten is a family launch coaster and will feature two launches in its layout. No inversions have been confirmed, but the ride will be 2835' in length and will feature an 88' drop. Other statistics include a 53 MPH speed, a 48" height restriction, and a ride time of 3 minutes, 25 seconds, which is unusually long for such a short layout.
Verbolten has a storyline to go along with its German-derived name. The cars are themed to sports cars, and, somehow, the car is possessed to go into the forbidden forest. This is when the car launches into an indoor section which includes special effects that make it appear like it is raining.
Verbolten will be placed in the old path of the beloved Big Bad Wolf which was considered a thrilling family coaster. Big Bad Wolf opened in 1984 and closed in 2009. This is the second Arrow Dynamics coaster to leave the park and not be relocated. The first was Drachen Fire which lasted 10 years at the park and featured many unique elements such as the wraparound corkscrew and cutback. Big Bad Wolf was unique in its own way, with two lifts, and the memorable drop towards the park’s version of the Rhine River. The ride was considered one of the best of the Arrow Suspended Coasters, especially since XLR8 which opened that same year at Six Flags Astroworld. XLR8 was considered very tame compared to the Wolf.
Busch Gardens Williams has just announced their new additions to the park in 2010. Unfortunately nothing big is on the way to replace Big Bad Wolf yet, but the new additions are sure to excite park guests.
This year the park will play host to 20 different concerts including the ever popular Glory in the Garden Christian Music Festival. Moving on to new additions, in 2010 the nights skies over Busch Gardens Europe will come alive for llumiNights. Each country will have its own unique light show culminating in a park-wide pyrotechnic extravaganza.
One of the biggest special events of this year will be Ramp Jam. For the last 3 weekends in May, the ASA Action Sports World Tour will be preforming on a specially built 40ft half pipe in Festhaus Park.
But the biggest news for the 2010 Busch Gardens Williamsburg season is the regeneration of Ireland. A brand new show, Erin Go Bragh, will be coming to the Abbey Stone Theater. The even bigger news is that replacing the old Corkscrew Hill attraction will be a new simulator, Europe in the Air.
Europe in the Air will take riders soaring over some of the continents most famous landmarks including Stonehenge, Neuschwanstein Castle, and the Roman Coliseum. All in all, these new additions should prove to make 2010 an incredible year.