Busch Gardens Europe antique cars in last year, new attraction uncertain

Posted Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:13 AM | Contributed by supermandl

Busch Gardens confirmed Tuesday that it will close Le Mans Raceway, saying the popular, family-friendly ride's antique racecars will take their last lap a week from today on July 5. Three months ago, the amusement park filed plans with county officials that indicated a new ride could replace Le Mans, which is original to the 31-year-old park. But Busch Gardens officials stayed tight-lipped on the matter at that time, and they still aren't saying much.

Read more from The Daily Press.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:18 AM
I can't even visualize where the entrance to the ride is! What else have I missed at that park?
Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:44 AM
I find this a bummer. There is other spots to build a coaster. :>(
Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:56 AM
There are other spots for a coaster, but there's not really a big-draw attraction in that area of the park. The France section of the park is a nice spot to sit down and rest a while on a hot afternoon, but that's just it, there's no major draw in that area of the park and so people are mostly just "passing through" on their way to somewhere else.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:59 AM
Jeff, I think that ride is near Alpengheist and there is some terrain there that a new coaster could certainly utilize.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 10:11 AM
It's sad whenever classic rides like this are removed. The cars are a great ride for familes to relax and ride together, and kids love being able to drive. Do parks just have a hard time keeping them maintained?

That's a nice section, shaded by large trees from what I remember, to relax and watch the cars. And eat the kettle corn you can buy right there. :)
Why not put the new coaster where Drachen Fire was, moving the entrance if need be?

Thursday, June 29, 2006 10:49 AM
Here is a park map from 2003. But it show the area.


I wonder if they would make the entrance in Ireland

Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:12 AM
This really sucks. I guess it's official "Busch Gardens Europe" is definately not a family theme park and has no intention of ever becoming one.

In the last several years the park has yanked out numerous family attractions like: The Wild Mouse, The Sea Dragon, The Gladiators Gauntlet, Der Blitzschnelter (Trabant), Die Schwartze Spinne (Monster or Spider), and now Le Man's Raceway. Whats next, the Kinder Karrussel or that pitiful Land Of Dragons?

I live only a few minutes away from Busch Gardens Europe, and it's true the parks beauty and elegant themeimg will take your breath away, but what about appealing more to families with small children and preteens.

Le Man's Raceway was and is a park staple. On my very first visit back in 1979 Le Man's is really the only ride I remember riding. It and the circular Loc Ness childrens ride that was replaced by the Li'l Clydes.

Why does Busch Europe keep removing family oriented rides? Why?

It's true that Aquitaine didn't really have a staple attraction other than Le' Mans, but it's probably the most beautiful section in the park. The winding walkways, colorful floral displays, unique upscale shops, and detailed architecture made the section a unique and nice break from the parks other busy midways. Why mess with that? It's the only untouched themed section in the park. The way Aquitaine looks today is the way it looked when it debuted with the rest of the park on May 15th, 1975.

It seems to me that the park is only concerned with pushing beer consumption. I know and understand that Anheuser-Busch Beers is a major part of the Busch Corporation, but that still doesn't mean that there should be more outlets to purchase and consume beer and or wine than rides at the park. A beer school in a theme park, GET REAL !!!

Oh and get this they have added a second beer school in Oktoberfest in the back of the Festhaus. Plus I hear it's ok to walk around the entire park with cups or plastic bottles of beer now. That may not be true, but I heard that.

Curse Of Dark Kastle was a complete and total flop. Locals and most tourist hate it! They come off with a weird look on their faces wondering "what the hell was that". It's been dubed my most of my freinds as the "Spiderman Rip Off Ride". I mentioned Dark Kastle to prove my point that family attractions don't exist at Busch Europe. Busch Europe knows that they have a pink elephant on their hands why else would they spend more millions to tweak and redesighn the ride, and guess what, it still sucks! In my opinion, so all of you BGE heads simmer down.

Many of you wanna scold and shake your heads at parks like: Paramounts Kings Island, and Paramounts Kings Dominion for adding their "Italian Job Stunt/Turbo Track" coasters, but belive this both coasters were and are major I mean major hits for both parks regarding families, preteens, and adults alike.

I was at Paramounts Kings Dominion a couple weeks ago. This lady and her young son were in line behind me and my group. I noticed she looked very skeptical about trying IJTT. I explained to her that she would love it, and her son would absolutely adore it. I informed her to keep her eyes and ears open due to the fact IJTT is a multi-sensory roller coaster experience. She asked me what that was, I explained that IJTT will cater to all of her senses. To make a long story short she came off IJTT all smiles, and her young son was practically doing kart wheels down the unloading plattform.

To sum things up, Busch Gardnes can do what ever they want. I have no say so in the matter, and they are gone continue to have millions of visitors, but to rip out a decent family ride to put in yet another rumored forceless B&M is crazy. They have hundreds of undeveloped acres to put coasters on. Mow down some trees, use that land. Make the park an Experience again! Leave Le' Mans Raceway Alone !!!, and please no one mention the price of gas being to high to operate the ride. That's a very lame excuse to remove Le' Mans Raceway.

I Hope Everyone Is Haveing A Wonderful & Exciting Summer !!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:31 AM
Yeah, I am never happy when a park takes a ride out - however, I do not think putting a coaster in the place where Drachen Fire was would be logical. As seen before, that was a major mistake from the park - it's too off the beaten path. Putting a new coaster in a major part of the park will ensure ridership. I also think that Busch in a lot of ways respects its landscape - thus, they probably try to keep as many trees as possible.

I don't know about you, but I was never personally "over-interested" in the Le-mans Raceway or other car rides at amusement parks. I would ride them, but that's about it. I think the shows are a major draw for families at Busch, and so they keep those coming.

In regards to flat rides, I was more fascinated with the Monster as a child, which I believe Busch still has! I think Busch also has a nice flying cars ride in the Italy section, and they have a Scrambler and an Avalanche also, as I recall. Who knows - maybe we'll see some more flat additions along with the coaster.

Personally speaking, I would be a lot more ticked if Busch decided to take out the Flume instead of Lemans (which I DO believe they were considering). The Flume has a lot more nostalgic appeal than the cars, and as we've seen from other parks - parks these days ARE taking them out!

One more comment in regards to the beer - you expressed a lot of negativity in regards to the "beer schools". I remember when Busch used to have a tram that would take you out of the park over to the Brewery for a beer tour. They stopped this completely several years ago (for some reason or another), and so I would say that they have definitely moved in the direction of over-promoting beer at their parks.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:14 PM
They could really make their own Italian Stunt Job and have a real driving gig over in Italy.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:56 PM
Hello Sylvester and other fellow Coasterbuzz Readers, thanks for reading my lengthy post.

The Monster (Die Schwartze Spinne was removed back in 1993. The Wave Swinger (Der Wirbelwind) now sits in it's place. The Avalanche that you are refering to is called "Tradewinds".

I agree with you 100% on the fact that the location of Drachen Fire is what initially killed the ride. Busch Europe also did little to no promotion for Drachen Fire. I was Drachen Fire's biggest fan. I rode the coaster over 100 times its opening season back in 1992.

Yeah the shows are a major draw. Seriously though, most of the shows are geard towards adults. Take for instence: Emerald Beat (the new Irish Dance Show) it's very similar to Irish Thunder. Many youths could care less about Irish Dancing. I think the show needs to be redesighed to appeal more to kids as well as there moms and dads who bring them to the park.

I personally love Irish River Dancing, but a brighter more colorful version of Irish Dancing would be better recieved, I think. Busch is famous for it's shows, but the turnover for new shows are very very sluggish. They kept Irish Thunder for 4 years. The Festhaus Show hasn't changed a single note since opening day May 15th, 1975.

I would love to see the ice skating shows come back to the Globe Theater. That theater is absolutely awesome, yet it is being disrespected by showing a 3-D movie in it, and soaking it with water several times a day.

A new seperate theater needs to be built for such presentations.

Don't get me wrong folks I love Busch Gardens probably more than all of you combined, but the experience is lost, I'm just wondering will it ever return? What do you think?*** This post was edited by Airromeo4Ever 6/29/2006 12:57:05 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Airromeo4Ever 6/29/2006 12:58:10 PM ***

Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:30 PM
I took my first trip to BGE a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the park. I thought DarKastle was great, just as the whole place was.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 2:45 PM
Emerald Beat fills the theater to capacity every show, and has received a standing ovation every time I've seen it. I don't think they need to change a thing.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 2:59 PM
I think its sad. It isn't about you or I, its the 30 minute line of kids who want to drive a car that this matters most to.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:43 PM
I was a tourist and I would kill for a ride like DarKastle at a park around here. I guess if you go there all the time you notice things more than someone who goes every couple of years. Ive only been there a couple of times and loved every single thing about that park. In fact, I believe that BGE is the only park that I've been to that I've had no complaints or disapointments with.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:32 PM
I've been going to Busch Gardens occassionally, since I was twelve. I always thought that the park was great if you wanted to get exercise. If you wanted rides, you really wanted to go to a different park. If you want rides, there's too much work to get to any of the rides to make them worth it. If you want to have a nice stroll through a wooded park with an occassional ride, then BGW is the place for you.

That being said, the fact that there are fewer rides still really convinces me that there are many other things I'd rather do than travel from York, PA to Williamsburg, VA. There are tons of nice wooded enchanting parks here in PA, and they don't feature shops of fake European stuff to waste my money on. And beer? Too much high quality stuff here in PA to go to VA for BUSCH beer come on.

Yeah, and I can't dig the Busch Gardens *Europe*. What's that all about? What is the point? What, did the company have spare money, they wanted to change out letterheads, signs, advertisements, advertising materials, revamp their website? If they had that much spare money, they could have put it into the park.

It will always be Busch Gardens Williamsburg to me.

- J

Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:59 PM

It will always be Busch Gardens Williamsburg to me.

And it will always be "Busch Gardens: The Old Country" to people familiar with the park before the early 90's. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:30 PM
I still think the name change is a good thing. Many of the people I go to school with think Busch Gardens is an animal park. The Africa and Europe names show what the park is about without even showing a person any pictures.
Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:36 PM
BGW, as that's what I still call it, is still my favorite park. I like the fact the park isn't all rides, rides, rides and that's what makes the park somewhat special to me though I do think a few new flats should be added.

I don't think Busch meant for the rides to be the main focus of the park. I spent a full week at BGW back in 2002 and not once was bored. The shows are top notch, the food is above anything you could find at your local park, and the atmosphere, to me, is amazing.

People seem to complain that BGW/BGE hasn't added a new coaster in a long time. Looks like we're getting one of some kind and yet they complain about the loss of Le Mans.

Airromeo mentioned something about the park having hundreds of undeveloped acres but isn't there quite a bit of residential that surrounds the park, hence having to get the okay to build high rides? Also considering the terrain is any of that acreage easy to develop on?

X Factor

Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:12 PM
BGW is a great park, was there last weekend. Go there every 2 years or so, love it every time. Food is good, park is beautiful, no complaints...

While they may not have a huge amount of rides, they are all quality. These days, to me, a few great rides are much better than a bunch of mediocre ones.

And actually, I for one, LIKED the beer school, was looking forward to getting a new beermaster certificate. Sadly, it is no longer a beer school, now it is the brewmasters club. On the bright side, they give you a nice amount of samples for free.

Also, I thought Darkastle was pretty cool, and yes I have been on Spiderman.


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