Busch Gardens Williamsburg 9-23-01: Theme = Water!

Associated parks:

Monday, September 24, 2001 12:08 PM
"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink"

A friend of I-fan's gave him two comp tickets to BGW and he invited me to come along with him since he knew I had never been there before. After a somewhat lenthy-feeling ride down, we paid the 6 buck parking fee, took the tram, and entered the park somewhere around 11am.

The DAY: Sunny, REALLY Sunny, high ~80F not a cloud to speak of.
The PARK: Very picturesque, layout somewhat confusing
The RIDES: Oh come on, I'm not going to give all that aways so quickly :)

While riding the tram, we could see that there was pretty much NO LINE for Apollo's Chariot so it was our goal to head over to "Festa Italia" first. At the entrance to BGW, I couldnt help but notice how similar it was to HersheyPark's entrance. Walking over to Festa Italia, we realized that it was going to be quite warm out in the sun so we decided to get a quick sprinkle on:

ESCAPE FROM POMPEII (Intamin themed Shoot-the-Chutes (STC))
I guess it was mostly my suggestion to ride as I had heard a great deal about the themeing. I-Fan also quipped "It doesnt get you very wet". With that, we hopped into the back row (a 1 or 2 boat wait at most) and were off. The 'show' in the upper rooms was pretty good with the pyrotechnics and all, but it was a lot shorter than I imagined. Still better than your average STC. On the drop, however, we got fairly drenched. I though you didnt get too wet? (thanks a lot I-fan).

Moving on from there, we looked around for while and watched some of the flat rides spin their magic. Then, we actually walked PASS Apollo's Chariot in search of Roman Rapids (more bleedin' WATER).

ROMAN RAPIDS (Intamin river raft)
We loaded up with four other captives, I mean patrons and went spinning down the pike. The ride is pretty good as it keeps a decent amount of speed through the course. There isnt much in the way of themeing that I noticed, but there are plenty of wet spots. Suffice to say, I was drenched to my drawers (TM)!

We stood around for a while trying to catch some sun to aid in the drying of our clothes. Soon though, enough was enough and we HAD to ride

APOLLO'S CHARIOT (B&M speed/hypercoaster)
AC marked the final B&M hyper left for me to ride. I loved Raging Bull and liked Nitro well enough, so I was expecting a pleasureable experience. I-fan had no seat suggestions so I said all the way to the rear. Within a short wait, we were off. AC has the best first drop (ridewise) of the three hypers. RB's is cooler because it goes into the ridiculously small looking tunnel, but I liked the feeling of AC better. And there was airtime galore on this ride. I really loved the turnaround on this thing and overall, enjoyed the ride more than Nitro. Contray to popular belief, I'm NOT an airtime whore so I still hold Raging Bull in higher regard as, being a twister fan, I find the out and back layout a bit pedestrian. But AC is great at giving the 'floaty' butt-off-the-seat action. Also, what was strange was there was quite a bit of rattling and vibration in the ride. Not 'roughness' as some might say, but not the 'cloud-like' feeling of the others. Maybe the wheels just needed changing. Personally, I'd liked it that way.

Well now that we were in the riding mood, we walked over the hills and into the woods for a ride "at the speed of Fright" on

THE BIG BAD WOLF (Arrow suspended)
Okay, I've been on two other suspendeds, Draggin Iron @ CP (snooze) and Top Gun @ PKI. While enjoyable, both were little more than scenic flights. Furthermore, while walking up to the ride, I could hear trim brakes all the way down the final drop over the water. With that attitude, we boarded 1.2 of BBW, me thinking that hey, at least we'll see some good theming.

As we drop out of the station and approach the lift, we encounter a small set of trims (before the lift?!?) so I'm REALLY expecting a *family* ride. From the top of the BBW lift, I could see the alleged "Eagle's Nest" on top of the first inversion on Drachen Fire. I cannot say *for sure* it is an eagle's nest, but there is a large pile of dirt and twigs up there that looks like some kind of nest to me. As for BBW itself, the ride is wild and intense the whole way through. I'm not suprised that many credit Anton S. with the design as his trademark insanity is all over this ride. I never imagined a suspended could be this good. Heck, this ride was more breathtaking than some of the hypers and megaloopers I've riden. Way to go Arrow! (oh and Anton too I guess..)

After this, we moseied over to the *little* coaster in the park:

WILD MAUS (Mack wild mouse)
The top of the ride (the S-curves) was pretty good and reminicent of the ride at HersheyPark. All similarity ended there though. The rest of the ride was a series of hard brakes and unthrilling drops. As a whole, I'm not a big fan of mice (animal or coaster). Let's just mark this one on the count and move on.

And move on we did, over to the German/French border where lurks the snowy monster:

Okay, y'all know how I feel about Raptor right? Good! With that in mind, everything about Alpie screamed to me a bigger Raptor. YAWN! I was in no big hurry to try out this ride, but I also was not patient enough to wait an extra 40min for the front. So once again, to the rear we went. I was able to snag the leftmost seat ('death seat' possibly?) and away we went. We traversed the weird spiral-like drop and I could tell almost immediately that this was no Raptor! We TORE through the I-man and Vertical loop, pulling many G's at the bottom of each, but it wasnt until we RIPPED through the cobra roll with a fierocity that almost rivals Montu's Batwing that I understood why people like this coaster so much. The hostyl one was impressed, something that does not happen often. I remember thinking that if the cobra roll (an element I despise on inverts) on Alpie was that good I cannot wait to ride Deja Vu.

Anyway, there was one coaster left to tackle. Perhaps the most photographed tubular steel railed coaster around:

LOCH NESS MONSTER (Arrow interlocking looper)
There's not a lot to Nessie, but being a certified Arrow fan, I could help but love it. There are three REAL drops on the ride, a LONG tunnel and NO headbanging. Not to mention that it was a walk on when we first rode it. I could have stayed there all day just listening to the soothing sounds of the lift. But alas, I was starving and it was time for some of that "great Busch food" I had heard so much about.

(begin edit addition)
But before we got to the food, we went over to the "new" Ireland section to check out the motion sim:
CORKSCREW HILL (Iwerks? simulator)
I'm not a huge fan of 3-d sims. I like them enough, but this year, they havent liked me. I've ridden between 5 and ten sims this year and all of them had be feeling a least a little "peak-ed" and most of the one with 3-d glasses made we want to hurl (not yet though...). Anyway, the animation on CH was phenominal. I could watch a whole cartoon made like that a whole weekend. However, on one part you are riding a horse....and that lasted a whole third of the ride. The bucking was really wild and the seatbelt tightened up on my gut. The entire ride left my midsection in pain, internally and externally. To settle my stomach, it was time to put some heavy food it!
(end edit addition)

We looked around a few places and I finally found a place (the something-rather-another Smokehouse) that had a ribs, chicken and brisket combo platter. The chicken was aiight (white meat, yeech). The ribs (pork) were decent. But the beef brisket was da bomb baby. I could go for a big sammich of that right now.

We then took the train ride back over to Festa Italia where we rode AC a couple more times in rows 2 (even more air) and 8. Here I-Fan paused to play Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). Me, I just watched and snickered. We did also grab a ride on suprisingly intense DA VINCI'S CRADLE (Flying Carpet).

As we made our way back to the train, some little bastard in the SPLASHUS MAXIMUS water balloon fight area missed her target and the water splashed on my legs instead (JUST as was FINALLY dry). We boarded the train which goes RIGHT under Drachen Fire and I really wanted to hop off and show the coaster some love. Maybe BGW could buy some trains off of Premier. Hey, they arent that far away...

For some dumb reason, we went ahead and rode:
LE SCOOT (Arrow Log Flume)
You know the deal here. Go up really high, bang around for a while, drop, bang your way back to the station. However the banging on this one wasnt too bad. And we didnt get more than sprinkled.

Here we grabbed another ride Alpengeist in row 2 and this ride seemed even more intense than the first one, especially in the cobra roll. We also took a rondom seat in BBW which I also enjoyed as much as before.

Here we took another break because I-fan wanted to play DDR again (this time in a different location). This time, I decided to join him. We played head to head and (of course) I won :). However, now I'm addicted to the damn game. So much so that I just bought the Playstation version off ebay, replete with two dance mats!

Anyway, I-Fan wanted to take one more picture of Nessie so that's where we went. Of course since we were there, we had to ride once again.

With that things were winding down, but we also wanted to catch the "Pirates!" show. There was one more starting in about 15 min right at the 7pm closing time. We looked around in the shops for a while then entered the theater. The first thing I noticed was water on all the seats (uh-oh). Well, as you can guess, there was water shot off at various parts of the show including one point where I got a veritible *bucket* of water on me (not happy :(). So I pretty much had water on me the entire day like some bad episode of "You Can't Do That on Television".

Anyway after buying a generic BG and LNM shirt, we headed home. With only a brief stop at a Mickey D's and *me* driving, we made it back to DC in 2hrs 10 min. All in all BGW is a good place, I'll return there someday soon. But as for now, HersheyPark still holds the "Best Park in the Mid Atlantic Region" for me. But if BGW got a woodie and re-opened Drachen Fire....
"When I take action I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive." GWB

*** This post was edited by 2Hostyl on 9/24/2001. ***

Monday, September 24, 2001 12:18 PM
Great TR as always, 2Hostyl.  I think I know what Dance Revolution game you are talking about.  I played it at a Gameworks once, and it was the most fun I've ever had in an arcade, period.  I don't know if I liked playing it or watching others play it more, though.  A crowd is always present watching. 
It's a simple equation: CCI + CP = #1 Wooden Coaster!
Monday, September 24, 2001 12:36 PM
great report

loved the "YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION" reference

i love every ride at BGW, except Wild Maus, never rode it... although i do love the one at Hershey....

Monday, September 24, 2001 12:43 PM
Nice TR. Didn't ride Corkscrew Hill? I didn't know there was a DDR game in Festa Italia. I knew about the one over in Germany though, beside the "Make Your Own Music Video" thing, which looked stupid. I greyed out on Alpie's cobra roll sitting in the very back seat, left corner. Can't wait to try Ice's Dragon's next...

When I went last time, it was a rainy Saturday(I was soaked the whole day too) and there was NO LINE for Apollo's Chariot and we passed front seat for very back seat(Did the same for Big Bad Wolf).  Call me crazy, but I think it's a better ride in back, IMO. Second row is just as good though, right?

I've got laser eyes, and I know what you're thinking. It comes to no surprise, the Christmas lights are blinking.

Monday, September 24, 2001 12:48 PM
If you like DDR, you should go to Mitsuwa the next time you're in Chicago.  It's a Japanese grocery store out in the suburbs by IKEA.  They have a "real" DDR there with a Japanese narrator, etc..  I always spend at least half an hour watching when I go out there, as there is always a big, very competetive crowd there.
Monday, September 24, 2001 1:33 PM
Im not an "Airtime whore".

Thats funny. Im not either, but I still prefer Nitro over AC.

*My Personal Top 10*
1)-Nitro, 2)-S:ROS(sfne), 3)-Kraken, 4)-Alpengeist, 5)-Incredible Hulk

Monday, September 24, 2001 1:50 PM
Nice TR!  What took you so long to get to that park?!  You live so close!!!  :)
Monday, September 24, 2001 2:25 PM
Very nice TR, Jeremy...I have a feeling that I'll feel the same way about Alp that you did, once I ride it in June.  After all, I dispise Raptor nearly as much as yourself.  Once again, good TR.
-Kurtis Borowiak
"Hold on tight, with all your might, and enjoy your flight on the Raven!"

*** This post was edited by Raven_Rider on 9/24/2001. ***

Monday, September 24, 2001 3:13 PM
Yeah Jeremy, you forgot all about Corkscrew Hill! Let's just say, he wasn't a big fan of it, and we both agreed that we may be too old for it's motions. Great TR as always. By the way, I've also spotted DDR at PKD and Knoebels.

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 9/24/2001. ***

Monday, September 24, 2001 3:24 PM
How could you NOT like Raptor?
Monday, September 24, 2001 4:38 PM
I don't like it.  That's how.:)  I don't hate it, but it just isn't that spectacular to me, certainly not as spectacular as people make it out to be.  Just the way I feel about it.
-Kurtis Borowiak
"Hold on tight, with all your might, and enjoy your flight on the Raven!"
Monday, September 24, 2001 7:00 PM
The only part of Raptor I liked was the ending helix. Everything else felt like cookie-cutter B&M. Sorry, but I feel it pales in comparison to Alpengeist (and from what I hear, Montu).
Monday, September 24, 2001 7:42 PM
Sorry about the C-Hill oversight. I guess I was typing too fast. I usually wait a few days to write the TR to get my facts straight. Anyway, I've added it in right where it belonged.

Catherine, yes, I guess I live kinda close but
1. I've only lived out here the last two + 1/2 years.
2. I've done a gang of travelling lately
3. I never could find anyone to go with me and didnt want to go alone. I just really didnt think there was anything that would interest me there. WOW was I (pleasantly) mistaken.

On AC: I thought it was fine on either extreme. I think my butt was out of the seat more near the front. The back didnt have the ejection that non-B&M hypers have (see Phantom's Revenge) so they were about the same to me. Just a little more near the front.

On Raptor: Hey, I like it as a roller coaster. It would likely fall in my top 25%. But as an invert especially a B&M invert, there is not much that stands out to me. It has not the speed of Alpie, the intensity of Montu nor the frantic pacing of Batman: The Ride. Raptor is a happy medium with a little bit of everything. However, I like living life out on the fringe.

Again, thank you all for all the kind comments.
I'll holla
"Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 3:26 PM
While I don't see how any B&M Inverted can be bad, I can point out some of Raptor's highlights.

1. The best drop of any inverted.
2. Amazing helix, only PGA's Top Gun has a better one (just because it looks like you're going to hit water).
3. Nice and smooth, of course.

While I still like Montu, Alpie, Fire Dragon, and Nemesis better, it gives a great ride.
Don't look down-Oblivion

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 4:30 PM
Okay, one more time for those playing along at home:

Neither 2Hostyl nor Raven-Rider thinks that Raptor is BAD

But in my opinion Raptor is not as good as the other B&M inverts I've named. B&M creations such as Montu, Alpengeist and Top Gun: The Jet Coaster (Carowinds) are just so great, that it is hard IMO to top. I understand that many people like Raptor. Heck, I like riding it. I just dont share the opinion that it is anything special. And in the country I live in, differing opinions are OK

God Bless the USA
--always against the grain

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 5:31 PM
Haha Jeremy, thanks for trying to clear things up.  We had a discussion regarding this a while back at HW, so we both basically share the same feelings on the ride.  As he said I don't think it's bad, just nothing special.  Of course, I'd take it over many other coasters, but it just isn't one of my personal favorites.  I prefer the all-out intensity of B:TR as opposed to the spread out, give-you-time-to-catch-your-breath elements of Raptor.  That is all.:)
-Kurtis Borowiak
"Hold on tight, with all your might, and enjoy your flight on the Raven!"
Wednesday, September 26, 2001 5:45 PM
Ok, I get the point! :)

It just seems you like to point out a lot, about your feelings on Raptor and "That Other Green One." ;)
Don't look down-Oblivion

Thursday, September 27, 2001 3:10 AM
PT300: Oh, I see :). I just berate Raptor and The Incredible Hulk Coaster because I know it pisses people off. Sorry, I'm sadistic and I get a perverse pleasure from seeing people "kirk out" and "defend" these coasters. True, neither is really high on my favorites list, but I dont hate them. If I truly disliked them, I would RARELY talk about them (hence you dont often see comments from me about GASM-II, Anaconda (PKD) or Rolling Thunder-right ;))
--feel free to disregard 70% of the things I say

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2019, POP World Media, LLC