Monday, June 5, 2000 3:41 PM
Every once in awhile you have an experience that changes the way you see you things. In this case, it was my first trip to BGW that changed how I feel about theme.
BGW is by far the best themed park I've ever been to, no contest. It adds to the experience in a way isn't overly cheesballish, like a certain group of parks with a rat as their mascot. The park was clean and beautiful, and situated in beautiful terrain.
There are only five (open) coasters at BGW, but I could honestly spend several days there. When you're not on a well executed ride, there are tons of critters to play with and photograph, great shows and of course, the best food.
I'm not even a bit surprised that they won the Golden Ticket Award for best food. It's priced similarly to other parks, but it blows everyone away in quality. You can even buy 12 ounces of real live bottled beer (read: not watery draught) for the modest price of $2.60, which is around what you'd pay at your average trendy night club but less than at a ballpark.
The only thing I found frustrating was the navigation. They don't go out of their way to direct you under buildings to get from one place to the next, and a wrong turn can mean a lot of climbing if you're not familiar with the park. The phased opening of the park is also a little frustrating, but as a crowd control measure, it works and works well. Even on a busy day, waits were easy to manage. By midafternoon I had no trouble finding my way around.
I saw and did so many different things at the park, so let me keep it brief with the biggies.
Apollo's Chariot: Two rides, once in row two (first train out) and once in row seven at night. Dare I say that this might just be my favorite hyper in this height range (here come the coaster whore flames, I'm sure). It's a little strange that the B&M trains don't allow you to touch the floor, but it's the most comfortable ejector airtime I've ever had in the back. Great use of the琀攀爀爀愀椀渀⸀ 䤀渀琀攀爀攀猀琀椀渀最 琀漀 猀攀攀 琀栀攀 愀渀琀椀ⴀ最漀漀猀攀 渀攀琀猀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀栀攀 昀椀爀猀琀 搀爀漀瀀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䄀氀瀀攀渀最攀椀猀琀㨀 䤀 挀愀渀✀琀 戀攀氀椀攀瘀攀 栀漀眀 戀椀最 琀栀愀琀 琀栀椀渀最 椀猀℀ 䤀渀 琀栀攀 昀爀漀渀琀 猀攀愀琀Ⰰ 䤀 氀椀欀攀 椀琀 戀攀琀琀攀爀 琀栀愀渀 刀愀瀀琀漀爀⸀ 䤀琀✀猀 樀甀猀琀 瀀甀爀攀 猀瀀攀攀搀 椀渀 琀栀攀 昀椀爀猀琀 栀愀氀昀Ⰰ 攀瘀攀渀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀 琀栀攀 椀渀瘀攀爀猀椀漀渀猀⸀ 伀琀栀攀爀 猀攀愀琀猀 搀漀渀✀琀 猀攀攀洀 焀甀椀琀攀 愀猀 攀砀挀椀琀椀渀最 戀攀挀愀甀猀攀 琀栀攀爀攀✀猀 愀 氀漀琀 漀昀 琀椀洀攀 ⠀爀攀氀愀琀椀瘀攀氀礀 猀瀀攀愀欀椀渀最⤀ 戀攀琀眀攀攀渀 攀氀攀洀攀渀琀猀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 琀栀攀 猀瀀攀攀搀 椀猀 猀漀洀攀眀栀愀琀 氀漀猀琀 眀椀琀栀漀甀琀 琀栀攀 瘀椀猀甀愀氀 挀甀攀猀⸀ 嘀攀爀礀 眀攀氀氀 攀砀攀挀甀琀攀搀 琀栀攀洀攀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀栀攀 爀椀搀攀⸀ 䤀 爀攀愀氀氀礀 搀椀最 椀琀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀圀椀氀搀攀 䴀愀甀猀㨀 䔀瘀攀爀礀漀渀攀 渀攀攀搀猀 漀渀攀 漀昀 琀栀攀猀攀℀ 圀栀愀琀 最爀攀愀琀⸀ 一漀琀 愀 戀椀最 搀攀愀氀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 琀栀漀猀攀 栀愀椀爀瀀椀渀 琀甀爀渀猀 愀爀攀 欀椀渀搀 漀昀 渀攀愀琀⸀ 䄀 最漀漀搀 搀愀琀攀 爀椀搀攀 昀漀爀 猀甀爀攀℀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䈀椀最 䈀愀搀 圀漀氀昀㨀 䔀瘀攀渀 眀椀琀栀 琀栀攀 渀漀椀猀礀 眀栀攀攀氀 愀猀猀攀洀戀氀椀攀猀Ⰰ 愀 氀愀 䤀爀漀渀 䐀爀愀最漀渀Ⰰ 琀栀椀猀 椀猀 眀栀愀琀 愀 猀甀猀瀀攀渀搀攀搀 挀漀愀猀琀攀爀 椀猀 猀甀瀀瀀漀猀攀搀 琀漀 戀攀⸀ 䤀琀✀猀 愀 猀栀愀洀攀 愀戀漀甀琀 琀栀攀 琀爀椀洀 漀渀 琀栀攀 猀攀挀漀渀搀 搀爀漀瀀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 琀栀愀琀 猀攀攀洀猀 琀漀 戀攀 猀琀愀渀搀愀爀搀 漀瀀攀爀愀琀椀渀最 瀀爀漀挀攀搀甀爀攀 漀渀 愀氀氀 琀栀椀渀最猀 䄀爀爀漀眀⸀ 一椀挀攀 琀栀攀洀攀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀栀攀 爀椀搀攀 愀猀 眀攀氀氀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䰀漀挀栀 一攀猀猀 䴀漀渀猀琀攀爀㨀 䘀椀渀愀氀氀礀Ⰰ 愀昀琀攀爀 猀攀攀椀渀最 琀栀椀猀 ∀猀琀愀琀攀 漀昀 琀栀攀 愀爀琀∀ 氀漀漀瀀攀爀 椀渀 挀漀甀渀琀氀攀猀猀 瀀栀漀琀漀猀 猀椀渀挀攀 䤀 眀愀猀 昀椀瘀攀Ⰰ 䤀 最漀琀 琀漀 爀椀搀攀 椀琀⸀ 䐀攀猀瀀椀琀攀 椀琀猀 愀最攀Ⰰ 䤀✀洀 猀甀爀瀀爀椀猀攀搀 愀琀 栀漀眀 猀洀漀漀琀栀 椀琀 椀猀Ⰰ 攀猀瀀攀挀椀愀氀氀礀 昀漀爀 愀渀 䄀爀爀漀眀 氀漀漀瀀攀爀⸀ 䤀 搀椀搀渀✀琀 欀渀漀眀 愀戀漀甀琀 琀栀攀 氀漀渀最Ⰰ 搀愀爀欀 栀攀氀椀砀Ⰰ 猀漀 琀栀愀琀 眀愀猀 愀 渀椀挀攀 猀甀爀瀀爀椀猀攀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䐀爀愀挀栀攀渀 䘀椀爀攀㨀 圀栀愀琀 愀 戀甀洀洀攀爀⸀ 䤀 栀愀琀攀 琀漀 猀攀攀 愀渀礀 挀漀愀猀琀攀爀 氀椀攀 搀漀爀洀愀渀琀 氀椀欀攀 琀栀愀琀⸀ 倀愀猀猀椀渀最 椀琀 漀渀 琀栀攀 琀爀愀椀渀 爀攀洀椀渀搀攀搀 洀攀 漀昀 䌀栀椀瀀瀀攀眀愀 䰀愀欀攀 愀渀搀 䤀搀漀爀愀 倀愀爀欀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䔀猀挀愀瀀攀 昀爀漀洀 倀漀洀瀀攀椀椀㨀 一漀琀 愀 挀漀愀猀琀攀爀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 眀栀愀琀 愀 渀椀挀攀 氀椀琀琀氀攀 眀愀琀攀爀 爀椀搀攀⸀ 吀栀攀 昀椀爀攀 愀渀搀 愀渀椀洀愀琀椀漀渀 椀渀 琀栀攀 戀甀椀氀搀椀渀最 愀爀攀 爀攀愀氀氀礀 挀漀漀氀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀伀瘀攀爀愀氀氀Ⰰ 琀栀攀礀 爀甀渀 愀 琀椀最栀琀 猀栀椀瀀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀栀攀爀攀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 䤀 挀愀渀✀琀 眀愀椀琀 琀漀 最漀 戀愀挀欀⸀ 䤀✀洀 愀渀砀椀漀甀猀 琀漀 猀攀攀 椀昀 䈀䜀吀 挀愀渀 洀愀琀挀栀 琀栀攀 戀攀愀甀琀礀Ⰰ 琀栀攀洀攀Ⰰ 爀椀搀攀猀 愀渀搀 昀漀漀搀℀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀ⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀ㰀戀爀㸀䨀攀昀昀㰀戀爀㸀圀攀戀洀愀猀琀攀爀⼀䄀搀洀椀渀 ⴀ 䌀漀愀猀琀攀爀䈀甀稀稀⸀挀漀洀
Monday, June 5, 2000 6:01 PM
Great report Jeff. I was at BGT a few years back when Montu opened, and is very nicely themed as well, and pretty easy to navigate. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. BGW is on the top of my most wanted parks to visit, and hope to go soon.
Monday, June 5, 2000 9:06 PM
Glad you enjoyed one of my faves. IMHO, Universal and Busch do theming best, while Disney does rely to much on cheese. Just so you know, Busch in Tampa has equally excellent theming, this park based on an African Landscape. The theme park doubles as a zoo, so while walking from ride to ride, you can stop and see LOTS of different animals (cool ones like Gators, ect)in a very (almost scary)close up view. BGT is always a must for me when I go to Florida. Go during the week and no line exceeds 30 minutes.Glad to hear Big Bad Wolf is still up to snuff (Iron Dragon dosen't come close). Haven't done Apollo yet, but sounds like everything else is up to the usual quality standard. By the way, as one who has ridden Drachen Fire-if you didn't like Steel Phantom and Anachonda for the pain factor, this falls into the same catagory. A wild first half (but painful)and a more sedate second half after the trims. I want to see it opened up again, but some others I'm sure would see it differently. Great report!
Wednesday, June 7, 2000 10:02 AM
Busch parks are the best. BGW is quite good and BGT rules!
I'm glad you went to PKD first. BGT has more of a tropical climate and foliage to match. And it is the home of Montu, my first inverted and still my favorite. Alpengeist would be second followed closely by Raptor.
Also BGT is flat and much easier on the feet. Although BGW's coasters do use the terrain very effectively. Apollo's Chariot is awsome over those rolling hills. The height is really quite deceptive from the ground where the ride apears much shorter. And that restraint system is quite minimal... perfect example of "less is more".
Shame you did not get to try out Drachen Fire, cool element on the first drop, and the weightless ness on that camel back hump! I don't remember this being rough... well at least not like OL:FOF.
*** This post was edited by backseat on 6/7/2000. ***
Thursday, June 8, 2000 9:48 AM
When you talk abot park cleanliness Hersheypark advertises as th "Cleanest and Greenest park in America". I think both HP and BGW are equally clean. How does Raging Bull match up to Apollo?
Racers Start your Engines!
Thursday, June 8, 2000 12:00 PM
I agree, Hershey is one of the most underrated parks in the country. Ever since they built Wildcat they have been on the right track. Great Bear is a great(although kinda small) B&M inverted. I haven't been on Lighning Racers yet, but I am going later this summer and it looks awesome. The park is one of the cleaniest and friendliest around. The air even smells like melted chocolate!!
Thursday, June 8, 2000 6:08 PM
Apollo -vs- Bull is a very intresting question. I like Apollo better for a few reasons. First the atmosphere of Apollo is better and the loading is quicker. The frist drop over the water is amazing and much better than Raging Bull's drop into it's not so dark tunnell. From here on the ride are radicaly diffrent. Raging Bull twists atop some gravel and it has a brake every couple of feet slowing the trains way,way down. Thr worst is that the figure eight ending should be really good but the trim at the entrance makes the ending ho-gum. Apollo sky rockets into it's second drop and flies through trees instead of gravel. The tournaround is pretty good and the mid-course is on but it is not to bad. The return run is very good and yes there is a trim right before the banked bunny hill it does not slow the train to badly. Couple this with a small surprise at the end and you have a great ride.
Saturday, June 10, 2000 8:59 AM
Apollo vs. Bull, to carry on the topic.
I love Bull. It's absolutely fabulous in the back seat. Of course I love turns and getting thrown all over the place. I never did really appriciate the ups and downs and ups and downs of Apollo, or some woodies (Shivering Timbers).
Thursday, June 15, 2000 12:10 PM
I visited BGT last year. There is no comparison. BGW is the best all around. The Montu is definately good.....aligators underneath you as you start off...!!! I was disappointed with the other rides. Also disappointed in the landscaping. To me, it doesn't have the atmosphere that BGW has.
*** This post was edited by Linda Hodges on 6/15/2000. ***
Friday, June 23, 2000 3:02 PM
Apollo vs. Bull. Getting 11 rides in a row without getting out of my seat puts the nod to Apollo. Jeff, we ate the BBQ 2 days in a row but could not stomach the fries. We fed them to the birds and squirrels. BGW has to be the winner for best kept park of all time.