My report on Curse of Darkastle

Associated parks:
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Monday, May 9, 2005 9:57 AM
Things we're going much better this weekend. I arrived at the park on Friday evening, the park was having a slow day, I honestly think there were more buses in the parking lot than cars. Apparently a Noreaster coming across the Carolinas and up the VA, MD coast scared away most of the General Public.

On the way down I-64, I stopped at Pierce's Pit BBQ restaurant. I've always seen this place from the road and wanted to try their BBQ so I took this oppurtunity to try it, it was GREAT!!! I have new place to eat when I'm Williamsburg.

After Pierce's I headed for BGW arriving at 5:30. The park was originally scheduled to close at 9 but since the school groups were leaving at 6 the park decided they were going to close at 7. A nice parking lot attendant explained this to me and told me I didn't have to pay for parking.

Once I got into the park, I headed straight for Curse of Darkastle and I found there was absolutely no line. I watched the pre-show and entered my sleigh and so the journey begins. I was able to get three rides in on Friday and one in on Saturday morning.

I've always felt BGW walks a tight rope between a family park and thrill park. On the family side you have rides and shows like Irish Thunder, Haunted Lighthouse, Corkscrew Hill and some of the easier flats like swings, the battering ram etc... On the thrill side you have the parks coasters, Roman Rapids, Escape from Pompei etc... Curse of Darkastle continues that tradition, in fact, it might lean towards a thrill ride a little bit.

You spin quite a bit in the ride, the 3-D effects are prety good with knives and axes flying at you, characters getting in your face. There is one scene where you will get squirted with water and the virtual drop isn't bad and not really that scarey. Sitting in the front of the sleigh was better than sitting in the back and at times I had problems understanding the characters. The whole ride moves quickly, in fact it's so quick your really need to reride a couple of times to understand what is actually going on. In fact, I'm still playing it back in my head. You have to pay attention to several details in each scene or you might miss something. I never waited more than 30 minutes to ride thanks to my Friday evening rides and being at the park first thing on Saturday morning to be one of the first to ride. However, I checked with a couple of park employees watching the queue on Saturday and both sides said it was 1 hr 45 minute wait and the ride never really extended to far out of Oktoberfest. I don't think it ever reached Alpengeist.

I liked Curse of Darkastle. The theming of the ride is good and on par with the other parts of the park. However, there are things they could have done to improve the theming. Example, the trees when you first enter the castle in the sleigh, have holes that glow blue but the leaves or branches don't move. A couple of fans setup to kick on with a sensor could easily fix the situation. In the artwork, the building looked like it was going to have more of a white look to it, instead it's more grey. Take a look at this picture:
http://www.buschgardensnews.com/Media_Images/bgw_rides/ppages/ppage19.html.

Curse of Darkastle is a good ride but I think comparing it to Spiderman is a little extreme. If you keep an open mind about the ride you will enjoy it but if you walk in seeking to be wowed, thing this ride is going to be the second coming of Spiderman your going to walk out disappointed.

*** Edited 5/9/2005 3:00:41 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Monday, May 9, 2005 5:22 PM
Thanks for the review. I'm going to be at the park this coming Saturday and am really looking foward to riding it. Unfortunately, it looks like I might have to try and get my rides in first thing and then that's it as I'm not planning on waiting over an hour for it. At least, the waits should be a little less for the coasters now.:)
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Monday, May 9, 2005 6:25 PM
The wait is shortest first thing in the morning and in the evenings, the line was really began to shrink around 9:00pm, by 9:30pm the ride was probably less than a 15 minute wait. Darkastle was scheduled to open at 9:30am (even though the official opening of the park wasn't until 10)but didn't open until 10 because of technical problems. I went down the hill by LNM and up the other side. Their was no guard at the gate at 9:30 so someone else opened the gate and their was a stampede to get to Darkastle. Be careful, it's my understanding opening day their was some trampling of people going down the steps by LNM. Just a rumor I hear while standing in line waiting for the gate to open. Don't know if it's true or not.

Weather wise, you might be in luck, this weather forecast might scare people away:

Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Lows around 60. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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Monday, May 9, 2005 8:14 PM
I rode Darkastle and wasn't to impressed with the actual "ride". I thought it was a wonderful 3-d movie but I could hardly feel the sleigh moving. I have always wanted to ride Spiderman. I'm guessing that the Spiderman ride moves alot more than Darkastle and is more exciting and is actually worth the 1-2 hour wait.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 6:41 AM
I've posted some pictures I took of Curse of Darkastle:

http://www.sfafans.org/BGW%20Curse%20of%20Darkastle%205-07/

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 9:02 AM
I was there Friday morning when the Nor'easter was there, and it was WET. They did have rides running, so I chalked up a some new tracks.

I thought Darkastle was stunning - I have to say I have no point of reference for this kind of ride, though. The 3D graphics are superb, and the arrows and axes flying at you are a nice touch.

I was really impressed, and I think they have a winner with it.

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