Monday, May 7, 2001 10:13 AM
If I had the need for speed, I got it this weekend. It all started when I was hooked up with some free tickets to the NASCAR Busch Race Friday night, 5-4-01 in Richmond. We decided that we would make a weekend of it and make our first trip of the season to BGW on Saturday.
I know this is not park related, but I must start with Friday night. We arrived at Richmond Int'l Raceway in the afternoon, just in time to watch the Winston Cup qualifying and Happy Hour (which I enjoyed more than the Busch race). This was my first NASCAR experience, and I must say it was truly something. The smell of fuel and burning rubber.....and the speed!! I was never into racing, but I really enjoyed this. Go #8!
We left Richmond Int'l Raceway about 10:00 Friday night and drove toward Williamsburg. We got a motel about 5 miles from Busch Gardens so we would not have so far to drive the next morning.
Got up Saturday morning and arrived at BGW at 9:30. I like the new entrance. What a view of Apollo's Chariot. This was the first time I had been in this parking lot.
As soon as we enter the park, we naturally headed for Nessie. We were told she was down for now, so we headed in the direction of Apollo's Chariot. After waiting about 20 minutes for the rope to be lifted, we were on our way towards the ride. Rode the first time in the front row, then got right back in line to ride again. How I have missed the speed and smoothness of AC.
After two rides on AC, we headed toward Alpengeist. The lines so far have not been bad. As always, we take the extra time to wait for the front row on Alpengeist. It is such a better ride when you can see. As always, the ride was great, and it always seems you are going so much faster than what they say you do.
As soon as we get off Alpengeist, it is time for BBW. This was the longest line so far, but moved fairly fast. We usually don't care where we ride on this one, so we look for the shortest line. It turned out the shortest line (2 people) was the second seat in the first car! As usual, the drop over the river is my favorite part.
By this time, we are hot, loopy, and hungry. We decide to eat at Squires Galley near Big Ben. Afterwards, we decide to see "Pirates" since it is air conditioned and we can sit down and rest.
This did us good. We came out and went to conquer Nessie. The line was long, but I did not care. I have a soft spot in my heart for Nessie. The old girl is still smooth and packs a small punch. I will always love this ride. She is truly a matriarch.
After Nessie, we decide it is time for speed again, so we go back to AC. As we pass Escape From Pompeii, the cool water looks so good we decide to ride. What a mistake. We got soaked just waiting in line. When everyone tried to jump out of the way of the oncoming splash, I scraped my leg on the concrete wall. Not fun. Then, once we are on the boat, things get worse. Just as we reach the top and are turning right, the girls in front of us reach out to try and touch the side. Then they stand up. The operator in the booth stops the ride, turns everything off, and tell them to stop. We then take off in darkness and no special effects. BOO!
Well at least I have ridden before, but I felt sorry for the first timers. They missed all of the fire, etc.
We finally get back to Apollo's Chariot and ride twice more before leaving. (The ride did shut down about an hour due to an approaching T-Storm. In between rides we walked over to the bridge between San Marco and Oktoberfest. This is a great spot to watch 3 coasters at once and mellow out.) The last ride of the night was my 25th lap total on AC. What a way to go out.
We decided at 8:30 to head back home. My speed weekend was over, and I was very tired. As usual, I love BGW. I was so glad to get back this year.
Looking forward to next time, which probably will not be soon since I will be spending quite a bit of time at PKD (season tickets). However, isn't there another race in Richmond this fall.........?:)
Monday, May 7, 2001 5:57 PM
So you didn't go to PKD...
Was that because you went to Nascar, or because of the known problems with Hypersonic?
Just curious to see if the ride problems they've been having influenced your decision.
I think PKD has let everyone down with Hypersonic.
1 train, breakdowns, long lines, no early opening, weekends only, they just don't care.
Tuesday, May 8, 2001 4:24 AM
Initially, we did intend to go to PKD, but then decided to go to BGW only because we have not been there yet this season. (Have been to PKD 3 times so far.)
(We also really had the urge for straight out uninterrupted speed (i.e. Apollo's Chariot). PKD does not offer this. The closest they come is H:XLC, and that just is not the same.