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Wednesday, August 29, 2001 7:13 PM
You know it says a lot when Steph and I decide to go to a park we've been to with no new coasters and even spend an entire day there. Such is the case at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Honestly, if I lived in Virginia, this would be my favorite park on the planet.

We decided to buy platinum season passes. At $200 each, they get us into all of the Busch parks (including Sea Worlds) for this season and the next. Consider that we'll hit BGT and Sea World Orlando this year and next at IAAPA, plus returns to BGW, and you can see where the value is. A lot of money up front, but worth it in the long run.

The plan at BGW was to have no plan and take it easy. It's one of the most beautiful parks on the planet. We wanted to be sure and ride Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot, but everything else was optional.

Scratch that... food was not optional. In fact, we pretty much made up our minds that we'd eat whatever we wanted every chance we had! Shortly after arriving around noon, following a very busy drive down I-95 and I-64 from Aberdeen, MD (where we stayed following Dorney the night before), we headed straight to the Italian place for food. This is seriously good stuff. I topped off my fresh pasta and chicken parm with a couple of brews (from a bottle, not draught). Good stuff to take off the edge following the nasty drive.

We did a lap around the park just to scope out the place. It was very busy, as we expected. After checking out the wolves (wow have they grown compared to last year) and some of the other animals, we strolled through the new Ireland. It really doesn't look all that different. We noticed the "Riverdance" type show was already attracting a line... an hour before show time. Alas, we weren't meant to see the show that day.

We stopped at the emporium shop on the way out where I picked up a T-shirt and Steph picked up a cigar at the smoke shop. We checked into our hotel down the street (Radisson). A decent hotel for the price, given the in-room fridge and balcony. I napped for an hour, beat from the park hopping the day before.

Back to the park, we queued for Alpengeist. Some teen smokers lit up behind me, which naturally got me sneezing. One loud and forced sneeze, I turned around and yelled in the inconsiderate little bastards' face, "Thank you for not smoking!" Just as the signs said. ;) This skinny little prick in front of me turned around and asked if I was allergic, and proceeded to really get in the faces of the smokers. Good times. The complained about it for the next half-hour.

While this was going on, I noticed that trains were coming by at very long intervals. Sure enough, when we got within view of the break run, it was stack-o-rama. When we got to the station, they were taking two to three minutes to send trains. There was no good excuse, other than the fact that the crew sucked. With a ride time that long, it was pretty sad.

I don't know what it is, but Alpengeist was not all that I remember it. Maybe it was riding Talon the night before. In any case, I just feel the ride's elements are too big to place and kind of sensation on you apart from sheer speed. Not really what one looks for in an inverter, I think.

We eventually landed around Roman Rapids, where we dumped quarters into the water triggers that soaked the riders. Good times.

After consuming more food, we headed to Apollo's Chariot for the last ride of the night. This crew was smoking, and most trains rolled right into the station without stopping. Nine rows loaded, bam, they're out. An older gentleman, who I remember from last year, was running the ride and spieling. I think older leadership makes for a better crew.

After this ride I reinforced my feeling from last year. Apollo is my favorite hyper. Better than Magnum or even Nitro from the day before. Apollo just pops you in that ninth row on every hill. As it follows the terrain, every drop is a great one. It even ends strong. I can't get enough of this ride, and can't wait to get back next year.

The intention was never to get in and ride everything, but rather enjoy the park and take it in. Few parks can match the atmosphere of BGW, and for that I'll be back next year.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2001 11:34 PM
I was going to ask if you preffered Apollo to Nitro, but you answered it! Since you did them both in two days - did you notice a difference between the seats on the two? I thought Nitro's were more exposed with lower sides.

Were Liz and June operating Alpie (two rather large girls), they were dreadfully slow when I went to the park. Fortunately the lines weren't too long when I was there.

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Let the world know your Top 10 Coasters at http://www.coastergrotto.zzn.com

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Thursday, August 30, 2001 4:41 AM
I think the trains are identical... Apollo - Nitro

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

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Thursday, August 30, 2001 5:53 AM
I really enjoyed reading this TR, Jeff.   Everything you said is so true.   BGW is my favorite park.  It is the only park where I could be content just walking around and enjoying the atmosphere...and food!  And when you do ride the coasters, you don't have to kill yourself trying to do them all. 

Just hearing about Apollo's Chariot and that great Italian food makes me want to leave this office right now and just go!

By the way, I don't know if you have ever been to the park in October, but if not, you really must try to.   The landscaping and the decorations are outstanding.  It is my favorite time of the year to go.  They give the Halloween theme just the right touch.....it is eerie yet still fits in with the parks atmosphere just right.

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Thursday, August 30, 2001 1:46 PM

Jeff said:
... we headed to Apollo's Chariot for the last ride of the night. This crew was smoking, and most trains rolled right into the station without stopping.

And to think you complained when the patrons were smoking in line. :)
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So many coasters - so little time.


*** This post was edited by Chaindog on 8/30/2001. ***

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Thursday, August 30, 2001 5:22 PM
And THAT, ladies and gentleman, is how to enjoy a park like Busch Gardens. Jeff, did you make it out to SFA like you were planning?

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Joshua Wilcox
Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.

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Friday, August 31, 2001 4:26 AM
No... but I'm getting to day three, eventually.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

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