Busch Gardens Williamsburg announces DarKoaster

Posted | Contributed by PhantomTails

From the official site:

King Ludwig’s abandoned fortress resurfaces as strange weather patterns have been recorded near the cursed castle grounds. Only the bravest souls will embark on snowmobiles in this dark expedition to discover the mysterious phenomenon. A supernatural force is imminent as explorers discover that they are evading more than just a raging storm.

Escape the storm on the ALL-NEW DarKoaster, the world’s first all-indoor straddle coaster, launching in 2023 at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Traveling on snowmobiles across 2,454 feet of track, daring explorers race through total darkness while changing course to avoid the elements. As the weather strikes, riders encounter four accelerating launches on this family-friendly dark ride experience.

Vater's avatar

Oh cool. I assume this is replacing DarKastle? I rode that thing once and it was ok...not very memorable. This potentially looks more fun.

eightdotthree's avatar

Yup. It’s reusing the existing building.


LostKause's avatar

The most interesting thing about this new coaster to me is that after the train rides through the layout once, it bypasses the station for a second run, this time presumably with different effects. Riders may not even be aware of the train traveling over the same track twice.


Sad fact- it’ll still stack.

Germany officially now the family coaster land, hopefully this will lessen Verbolten lines. Very excited for this one, looks like another fun ride.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

ApolloAndy's avatar

Too short, too many trims, bad capacity, etc.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Raven-Phile's avatar

Sucks.

Bakeman31092's avatar

We of course cannot pass final judgement on this ride until we have a full POV animation.


Raven-Phile's avatar

Incorrect. I've seen pictures of the track and my original statement stands.

Hopefully they have a budget for theming that's orders of magnitude more than the last batch of Busch / Sea World coasters or else this is going to be a literal coaster in a box.

It certainly looks like scenery will be limited to items along the track, and will likely be illuminated dark-ride style as the trains pass. Dark rides are usually pretty tacky (and empty) when the lights are on spoiling any intended illusion. In other words, we shouldn’t expect any grand scene presented on a big sound stage. And I’ll assume that as it doubles around it will allow for different stunts and scenery with each pass. That’s what I’d do, anyway. Lol.
About DarKastle, briefly. I rode that ride only once, early on, when the scenery and the projections worked the way they were intended. After that it was downhill for that ride every other season I attended. Once after a ride I approached a ride op to say “hey, your movie and sound in room 3 is waaaay out of synch”. They just said “yeah, probably”. It just seemed like the technology became outdated very quickly, proving that sometimes simple illusions are the best.
I wouldn’t count this new ride out just yet.

It’s funny that they’ll have two launched dark ride coasters within a couple hundred feet of each other. Not that I’m complaining — it looks fun!

PhantomTails:

Hopefully they have a budget for theming that's orders of magnitude more than the last batch of Busch / Sea World coasters or else this is going to be a literal coaster in a box.

As long as the station is covered...

Well it is, they’re going to use the old darkastle station, which is already themed, the second launch appears to use the old maintenance area. The rest of the building appears to have been gutted.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

I think you missed the joke. There was lengthy discussion about Emperor in San Diego having an uncovered station.

bjames's avatar

I’ll reserve judgment till I see pov’s. I was disappointed the DarKastle ride was retired I loved riding it back in the 2000s. From what I remember it was so impressive because it had a similar design to Spider-Man at IOA which was all the rage at the time.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

Darkastle after it’s disasterous first year was solid but it was showing it’s age, remember Spidy got brand new animation a few years ago, Darkastle did not and early 2000 animation didn’t look good by 2018.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

I don't recall the animations being terrible, but if my memory is correct the bigger problem is that the ride used film and they didn't want to drop the money to upgrade it to digital.

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