Thursday, June 7, 2007 11:00 AM
Hi,

I'm heading to Virginia later today and I'm going to Busch Gardens tomorrow. Any advice/tips? I was last there 10 years ago, when Alpie began, and was too short to ride and its haunted me ever since! Also, what will the park be like? Packed?

Thankns in advance!

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 11:12 AM
BGE shouldn't be too crowded tomorrow--just avoid the place on Saturdays.

As far as advise, get there by park opening, then head straight for Griffon. After you knock that one out, Alpengeist is nearby, so you'll be able to get your ride (which, by the way, is one of my favorite inverts, so you should enjoy your ride).

After Alpie, swing around to DarKastle. From there, hit Big Bad Wolf, Apollo's Chariot, then Escape From Pompeii. Then, hit Loch Ness Monster, then Corkscrew Hill.

Just my suggestions, but you shouldn't have a problem hitting these rides at least once. Actually, you should be able to hit them more than once throughtout the day.

As far as eating goes, try Trappers Smokehouse near Griffon, or Das Festhaus near BBW. If you want a full-service restaurant, try the Bistro near Griffon.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 12:27 PM
You might want to bring some ear plugs, I've heard BGE has booked a lot of cheerleading and music competitions through when school lets out in June.

Girls+Griffon=Decibel Levels Beyond Imagination

Other than that, follow what Rab says and you should be fine and I prefer Trappers over Das Festhaus. Who new the French could do BBQ so well.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 1:35 PM
Trappers smells phenomenal! Wish I'd eaten that while I was there, but opted for the Festhaus which was ok...not great, but I'd always wanted to eat in there. That said and one Festhaus credit later, I'll spend my money at Trappers next time.

If you time it right, you might be able to catch 4 or 5 back seat AC rides at the end of the night. They clear out the queue and fill up all the remaining rows while you get to stay seated in the rear of the train. :D

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 4:10 PM
Ben (Rablat5) I wouldn't be so sure about the park not being crowded. If there are any more schools going there on a Friday (and in Norfolk they're not getting out until June 14th--Richmond schedule I couldn't get to load), it could be fairly busy. My friend Shannon was there last weekend and there was yet another school band competition day. She said they shutdown the Griffon single-rider line again.

One tip I would recommend is to use the pass-through from Loch Ness Monster to The Land of Dragons. It's a steep stairclimb on either side, but it'll will save you a lot of time, rather than going all the way around through New France and past Trappers Smokehouse, and then across the bridge. We went this way once, but then I couldn't remember how to get back the other direciton towards LNM.

The place we ate at in San Marco is called Ristorante Della Piazza and it has a double-sided buffet line with the same food. Lots of Italian-style dishes and other things, and you can eat at the amplitheatre and maybe catch a show. The food is very good--and for a themepark--relatively cheap.

According to the park map, reservations are recommended for Das Festhaus.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 4:39 PM
Rob, I was unaware of the potential school groups, so I suppose that it could be crowded. But he should still be able to do everything I listed, even if the waits are longer. BGE can do a good job of pushing people through, and they will run all trains if they can and deem necessary.

Yea, the cut-through is a good idea--just watch yourself on those stairs--they're pretty steep.

Reservations for Das Festhaus? That must be an error on the website if it states that.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 8:27 PM
We've been here the last two days and can tell you the park has been *very* busy, hour waits for most of the coasters. The problem is less with the crowds and more with staffing levels, horribly slow dispatches. According to guest relations things will improve a great deal starting this weekend as school lets out.

Best approach - be there for the rope drop, hit Griffon first thing, if you're lucky you may be able to get back in line and get a quick re-ride (we did not either day). Then back down to Italy and do Pompei and Apollo which is easy to get several rides in first thing. Then up for Darkcastle, Alpengeist, Wolf and Nessie.

It's weird the way they open the park in sections at different times, but this worked out great for us today.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007 8:35 PM
^Opening parks in separate sections. Boy, now there's an uncontroversial topic:) And I assume by "when school lets out," they're referring to The College of William and Mary,, which is down the street, not the public schools which are still in session until the 14th (although with early dismissal from the 11th-14th). I could be wrong though and they are referring to the seniors who've already graduated from high school, but I'm going with my first answer.
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Thursday, June 7, 2007 11:45 PM
You know, I'm of the thought that you SHOULDN'T hit Griffon first thing. That's where EVERYONE is going to go. Instead, you should be able to knock off all the other coasters well before lunch, even on a busy day, and then tackle Griffon after lunch, when the line will have gone down a bit as the crowds that ran there dissipate throughout the rest of the park.

Also, check to see if the "Single Rider" line for Griffon is open, as it makes a huge difference.

The above approach I used on Griffon's official opening day, and I ended up with 6 laps on Griffon.

Definitely eat at Trappers if it fits your diet -- for me, I'm not willing to chance Busch putting beer in their BBQ sauce, so I eat the turkey salad over at Festhaus.
*** Edited 6/8/2007 3:46:31 AM UTC by GregLeg***

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Friday, June 8, 2007 3:40 AM
Greg,

The should be able to tell you if they put beer in their bbq sauce or not. I believe it is federal law that they also have a list of ingredients used in the prep of their food. I'm also pretty sure the BBQ sauce comes on the side. However, I'm sure you will want to check first. :)

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