Busch Gardens Europe - Friday July 20th
Busch Gardens wins in my book for their cleanliness, landscaping, customer service, food service, and 3 world class coasters. It was a bit crowded in the park for an overcast Friday, but we didn't wait more than 20 minutes for any ride, including Griffon. They had all 3 cars running for Griffon and the 3 attendants were working their butts off to keep the line moving. The professionalism of the workers there is unmatched at any park I've been to, including Sea World and The Magic Kingdom.
Negatives at Busch Gardens are the lack of a wooden coaster, and that 4 of their 5 coasters require shoulder restraints. Another thing that bums me out is that they continue the trend of removing existing rides to make room for new ones. They have a lot of land there and I wish they'd invest a bit in spreading things out and adding attractions. Granted, Le Mans for Griffon isn't a bad tradeoff, but I still miss Le Mans. Wild Maus for Darkastle was a bummer though. 3D/4D rides/attractions just aren't as thrilling as even the simplest of coasters.
As to the rides themselves, Griffon is extremely impressive. I had the fortune of being on the far right "wing" both times and the Immelmann's are sweet when you get swung out like that. Both 90 degree drops are breathtaking, but the back row just gives a better ride experience IMO. In the front you have better visibility, but the drops feel slow, like it takes awhile for you to pick up speed. In the back it feels more like you're being "pushed" over the edge rather than "dropped." I just thought it was more fun. I noticed the floorless aspect when we raced over the water toward the end of the ride, but other than that it was a non-factor. If only it were a bit longer, maybe just another hill and/or another inversion. Oh well. Definitely a ride to experience if you haven't yet.
Apollo's Chariot is one smooth hyper coaster. I sat in the 3rd car and it seemed slower than usual. I didn't get any airtime and the helix didn't produce any G's. I'd have to say that the best seat is either in the front row, or toward the back.
Inverts aren't my favorites, but Alpengeist is my favorite invert. Once again B&M produces a fast, smooth ride. Now that I'm getting more familiar with coaster elements I was able to enjoy the cobra roll. That's my favorite section as it can really get you turned around.
Last point to make. I found out that both Griffon and Alpengeist have a few seats for larger folks on each train. They can be identified by the double buckles on the shoulder harness. So, even if you can't fit in the demo seat, you'll probably fit in one of the double buckled seats which can be found in the center seats on the center cars on Alpengeist and in the center seats on Griffon.
Ok, that's all for now.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
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