My Perfect Day
Ever since I got my Gold Passport Labor Day weekend, I’ve been itching to go back down to Williamsburg. On Wednesday I decided to check out the weather forecast for Williamsburg on Friday (I had the day off from classes) and what I saw amazed me: Sunny high of 77; quite a change from the low 60s and rain I was experiencing in DC at the time. I knew that this was a sign, and quickly made plans for a day trip. After a 2hr 15 min trip that should have taken 2.5 under normal circumstances I arrived in the parking lot to drizzle and a temp of 63 at 9:45. I decided to quickly change into my pants and sweatshirt I brought for the evening, throwing any chance of riding a water ride today, and caught the tram to the gate. From the looks of the parking lot I knew that the coaster gods were on my side as I counted 34 cars in my lot and when I got to the gate found out it was still closed and less then 100 people were in front of me waiting to get in. After swiping the pass and grabbing a map/show times guide, I made a b-line for my traditional first ride:
The Lockness Monster: Wait-0 min, 7/10. Ever since this coaster became my first looping coaster and the first one I took a midnight ride on at the tender age of 5 this coaster has held a tender place in my heart; it did not disappoint.
Leaving Nessie I consulted the all important map and discovered that I had another 20 minutes before Alpengeist and Apollo’s Chariot opened and 50 minutes until Darkastle opened. Knowing that I there wasn’t going to be a line on Nessie the rest of the day, I left for Ireland and took a spin on Corkscrew Hill. While many people don’t particularly like this ride, I find it mildly amusing and worth riding once a trip as long as there isn’t a long wait (it was a walk on today). After leisurely strolling through the Wolf reserve and France, I tossed my sweatshirt and jacket in a locker (the rain stopped and it was getting warmer) and took a ride on my favorite coaster in the park:
Alpengeist: Wait-1 train, 8/10. Although the breaks were on, the rain slicked track provided a great ride. Noticing that it was after 11:00 and the Oktoberfest show was going to run at 12:00. I decided to head on up to:
The Curse of the Darkastle: Wait-15 min (due to breakdown should have been 5) 5/10. On my previous review I stated that I didn’t like how I could see blank screens; this was remedied by being in an outside seat, but yet there was still something wrong with this ride; I was still pulled out of the reality of the ride. After thinking about it for a while, I finally figured it out. In Spiderman you are constantly put in danger (electrocution, pumpkin bomb, falling) but you are always saved (you can’t be electrocuted when you are in a car, and Spidy saves you every other time). In Darkastle you are also put in constant danger, a stone wolf lands on your sleigh (with no roof,) knives go through your skull, you go through an inferno, and you fall with enough force to break through stone, however no one saves you from these dangers and everyone of those events should have killed me, but yet I escape in the end. This death yet salvation ruins the reality of the ride for me; therefore the ride itself takes me out of its reality and ruins the ride for me with its own gags.
Anyways, while waiting during Darkastle’s breakdown I talked to an employee and found out that it is normal to have Fridays be this dead during October, but business will pick up in time for Howl-O-Scream; storing that bit of knowledge for later I headed to the Festhaus and enjoyed some good food and good polka, I cant believe this park actually still does its normal shows on top of their Halloween shows: yet another reason why I love BGW. After the show, I reemerged from the Festhaus happy and full and went immediately to:
The Big Bad Wolf: Wait-5 min (for the front of the back car,) 7/10. I love how unique this ride is, even though it was super breaked today, the Rhine River Plunge is still amazing.
I was a little chilled so I backtracked to Alpengeist to pick up my sweatshirt, and indulged myself with another ride on the big white beast (similar wait and ride, no need to review it again.) I then rode dur Katapult (scrambler) because I love those rides, re-rode BBW (again same experience as before), rode the flying machine in Da Vinci’s Garden and then hit up the Trade Wind (Musik Express) in Fiesta Italia.. Im sure you know what I did next:
Apollo’s Chariot: Wait-walk on, 7/10. I had some amazing rides on this coaster over labor day weekend but today it was back to its old self (not a good thing). Even in the back row the air time was minimal, and the ride uninspiring. I even rode it again to see if I just caught a bad train (yes I made sure I rode the other train too) but to no avail.
After exiting Apollo I checked my watch: it was only 2:00 and I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do while I waited for Howl-O-Scream to start at 6; this was also the time that the afternoon drowzies hit me. Knowing that last time I took a day trip and closed the park I had to pull over a half an hour away from home and take a nap at a rest stop, and knowing there was no way to avoid leaving as late with the Halloween festivites (not that I wanted too anyways) I decided I was going to go back to my car and take a nap. My trip back to my car took me past my favorite non coaster ride at Busch Gardens: Escape from Pompeii, though. After examing the few people getting off the ride being completely dry, and knowing I was going to spend the next hour in a warm car, I suffed my wallet, keys and sweatshirt in a locker and decided to take my chances. Sitting in the 4th (second from the back) row in the middle I got to experience this wonderful attraction twice without getting off and without getting wet. Leaving Italy I of course couldn’t pass up another trip on LNM, and enjoyed another great ride on it. I then left the park for my car and a glorious one hour nap.
In four and a half hours I had done 15 rides, (including 8 coaster rides) and one show; on top of that every worker I ran into was wonderful (and had some great conversations with some of them too.) This in and of itself would constitute my best day I have ever had at BBW, which I have visited 20 odd times and also happens to be my favorite amusement park north of Orlando, but the day was to continue into a glorious night. However, since this review is getting long and I need to eat breakfast now, I’m going to split it up. Part Two will be up soon and will focus on the Howl-O-Scream attractions (I managed to do most of them) and will of course have a review of my night rides on the coasters as well, until then good bye.
By the way, what did they ever do with the plot where Drachen Fire once sat? Can you even tell anything was once there (best vantage point from the train ride)?
The Drachen Fire footprint is a grass field now, but the station is home to a Howl-O-Screem haunted house: Sleepless Hollow, of which I will discuss in my second review hopefully tomorrow.
Finally, I agree the food is great (I did mention my meal at the Festhaus) and the shops are great. However, Im not much of a shopper so alls I did was spend about 5 mins in England looking if they had any cool locking T-shirts (I currently own the original Fear the 4 T with Dracken Fire and the first one with Apollo) I allmost bought a Howl-O-Scream shirt but the only one they had did not have the park logo on it, if it had I would have bought it. Combined that with going to this park multiple times before and taking the food/shopping/themeing for granted is the reason I didnt mention it. I do agree with you they are fantastic, best shopping/food/themeing north of Orlando.
of course, this from the guy who loves Iron Wolf, haha:)
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