Virginia Part 1: BGW

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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:20 AM
Well, my family and I pulled up to Busch Gardens Williamsburg on an overcast day, and seeing Apollo's Chariot standing there was quite a sight. This was the only park my parents went to with us, because it actually had stuff for them to do. Anyway, after paying for our tickets, my brother, sister, and I headed for Apollo's Chariot. We got lost twice, due to extremely hard to follow maps and foot paths.

Coaster # 72- Apollo's Chariot was amazing. The main disappointment was that my feet just touched the floor. I thought the trains were floorless like Medusa! Oh well, at least I was able to prevent them from stapling me this way. My brother kept laughing about the 3 second song played on a continuous loop in the 20 minute line, and then we both lost it when they played it all the way up the lift. Three words: Move. Over. Goliath. Massive airtime on the first drop, and man, this thing is smooth. The second drop offered just as much airtime, and the little house at the bottom was a nice touch. Trim brakes( :() at the top of the third hill didn't do much, but they were still there. Then a great twisting drop down to the lake, and a very tame turnaround. Then there were a couple more airtime drops, and some pretty fun curving section. This baby is just pure fun. Plenty of ejector seat airtime in the back, and the forest area helps a lot. At the time, this was my new favorite steel coaster (soon to be defeated in a later report). 9.75/10.

Coaster # 73- On to Alpengeist, and boy did we get lost a couple of times. This park is CONFUSING!!. Anyway, standing in line looking at this massive ride made me think I had a new #1 coming up. If I loved Top Gun at PGA, this must be even better. Well, the theming in the queue was great, but I was very disappointed by an extra queue for the front, saying that it was 40 minutes. We went to the second row. A massive lift leads to a great twisting drop, and into a really fun Immelman (is that what it's called?) The massive vertical loop was fun, but as many have said, forceless. "Who cares about forces?" I say! If the cobra roll is unexpected, it can be very painful. Fortunately I knew it was there, and it was great. The brakes were on, but I thought they didn't kill it too much. The dive into the house was great, and the two opposing inline twists were my favorite part. The one thing the brakes did kill was the helix at the end, which was much too slow to be intense. Anyway, here's my diagnosis: Better than Batman, but not as good as Top Gun. 9/10

Coaster #74- Loch Ness Monster was (surprise) hard to find. It does offer the most picturesque scene in the park, which is obviously the interlocking loops over the lake. This had the longest queue of the day (1 hour), and I have no idea why. The interlocking loops and the first drop are the only fun part. Two slow lift hills really kill it, and the tunnel/helix is taken so slowly, it's almost laughable. Still a semi-fun ride, although once in an hour long line was enough. This is by no means me bashing Arrow, because I love most rides by them. This was fairly disappointing, but still okay. 5/10.

After this we did a couple of things with my parents, such as go on the boat ride, which was incredibly slow. The food here was the best I've ever seen at a theme park save the Disney complexes. I was impressed with the HEALTHY food, which most parks pass up on.

Coaster #75- Big Bad Wolf. Oh yeah baby. The queue moved quickly, and so did this ride. The bottom line is simple: Ninja at SFMM disappoints me every time I try to give it another chance. Big Bad Wolf blew me away right from the beginning. The first half is a high speed race through a village, swinging out of control through buildings and near trees. The cars swing much more insanely, and the speed is much more impressive on this baby. Then comes the second lift, which I thought didn't kill it, but actually added to the suspense. The drop to the lake was purely amazing. Everything I had hoped it would be. We swung out of the way just in time, and back and forth through the trees a few more times with such an amazing feel of out-of-controlness(okay, I know that's not really a word :)). Anyway, this thing took my breath away. This is what an Arrow suspended should be. By the way, at night, there were NO lights on the circuit at all. My brother said it best: "That was one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had on a coaster." 8.5/10.

Escape from Pompeii was fun but short. It seems they spent so much money on the theming that they had to make it short. The drop barely got us wet. The ride was enjoyable none-the-less. Night rides on Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot only made them more enjoyable.

We didn't get on Wilde Maus because the line was always over an hour. Looked fun, though. Pirates 4d was okay, but nothing new.

Overall, the park was very nice, with some very good theming, and beautiful scenery. I wasn't as blown away by it as I thought I would be, because there just weren't that many coasters. Drachen Fire looked amazing, and it's a huge shame they let it sit there like that. The food was good, the rides they had were for the most part great, they just need something like a WOODEN roller coaster! Plus, I must have pulled the map out dozens of times and scratched my head, even trying to find rides we'd been on twice already! Still, I would love to have some of these coasters at home!

Coaster count:
Apollo's Chariot- 3
Alpengeist- 3
Big Bad Wolf- 2
Loch Ness Monster- 1 *** This post was edited by saviourmachine on 8/8/2001. ***
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:35 AM
Great report...I love hearing good reviews about my home park. You are right about the layout of the park. It can be confusing, but there is a method to the madness. Maybe one day when I have a little time I can post some of the tips and strategies for navigating BGW. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:56 AM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who got lost in that park the first time in. :) It's one of the few parks I've been to in recent memory that I spent an entire day at. I went to shows, ate like a pig, drank beer and rode all of the big coasters twice. It's an outstanding park.

I'm also glad that you rated all of the rides so highly, sans crybaby complaints about trim brakes and other such nonsense. I like the way you rate rides... was it fun? You bet!

Great TR!

Webmaster/Admin -
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:37 PM
You can count me in also for getting lost at BGW. First I got lost in the petting zoo trying to find my way to Loch Ness Monster, and then I couldn't find the Alpengeist queue. The little villages you travel through do make things a little confusing, because you can never see that far ahead to the next coaster/ride. Trust me, it's a lot easier the second time you go back.

Batwing-Bow Down

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 8/8/2001. *** *** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 8/8/2001. ***
Sunday, August 26, 2001 1:42 PM

you guys will laugh at my getting lost in BGW story. Well first off to set this up we were there with ym chruch youth group for a Christian day type thing. Well so enter the parking lot and I see Apollo and am thinking "wow that thing is huge". In the distance you can see the lift and first inversion and the cobra roll for drachenfire. at the time I had no idea that Drachenfire was SBNO. We try to make our way to Drachenfire (we live in Virginia and all remember the huge media blitz BGW gave Drachenfire and wanted to ride it badly), only to find Apollo, don't laugh at out poor navigation skills. so we rode Apollo and of course we were all blown away by it but the rain that was threatening left and the line was several times longer than it was when we got there initially. Then onto the concert . Inthe interim we we began our futie search for Drachenfire on maps and in the park signs We rode Alpie and loch ness during our search as well.. well originally we were supose dot stay together as group but the older guys all left after the rock and pop act were done. but alas those of us under 18 at the time were stuck. well my younger cousin wen to the bathroom and got lost and was gone and I am stuck listening to Christian country music. They finally realize after him being gone for half an hour that he's gotten lost and they dispatch me to find him and meet everyone back at the front of the park at close. So I go on my way of finding my lost cousin and amazingly find him near the women’s bathrooms still looking for a bathroom. So we go and finally find a bathroom. Then we decided that riding ides with just the two of us is boring and we head over the oktoberfest for what must have been the 3rd time that day and find the group of the older guys and we resume our futile search for Drachenfire. Finally giving up on it when we end up near the queue for Alpie. we get in line for Alpie only for it to break down and a lot of the line leaves and we move fairly far up in line but after 45 minutes of waiting it is now late in the evening and darkness and more rain is threatening. so we try to make our way to the front of the park and wanting to hit lochness again (BBW was CLOSED incase you're wondering why we did not ride it) well we never found lochness but we did stumble upon Apollo again and see that line is all but dead and is nearly a walk on (its 9:45) it wasn’t even a five minute wait well we're waiting in line and the trains are dry until the ride immediately in front of us and we cna hear the rain now hitting the roof. well almost chickening out of the ride because eof the rain we decided that what the heak we're gonnna go for it and what a ride it was! it was pouring, and I mean pouring we were soked to the bone not a third of the way up the lift hill. The full moon peeking out of the clouds over the Drachenfire was a cool site that made me forget that the drop was about to happen and needless to say enhanced the free fall effect. We got off an RAN back into the que just beating the cut off and rode th e second to last ride of the night. well I will go ahead and add my ratings here too

Apollo, 10/10 it's the best coaster in my short track list

Alpie 9.5/10 this coaster was every ounce of hype I heard of it and then some.

lochness, 8/10 a great fun coaster the interlocking loops were cool and provided a dizzying view if you looked straight up to look at the work and structure of the loops move around you.

Although we only rode 3 coasters it blew away our trip to PKD a year earlier when we rode all 8 coasters that were open that day. (Volcano was not yet open much to our disappointment. PKD hyped that coaster like crazy, "opening sppring 1998, yeah we were there in June.)

I would make this it’s own park review but it's too far in the past to matter other than for the nice getting lost story.

*** This post was edited by Tolian on 8/26/2001. ***

Sunday, August 26, 2001 3:18 PM
I will admit too that my party got lost some times when we went two years in a row in 98 and 99. That one hill going up from the river to Nessie is a killer to walk!
Assistant Webmaster
Kennywood Park Unlimited
Monday, August 27, 2001 11:55 AM

Jeff said:
"I'm glad I'm not the only one who got lost in that park the first time in. :) It's one of the few parks I've been to in recent memory that I spent an entire day at. I went to shows, ate like a pig, drank beer and rode all of the big coasters twice. It's an outstanding park."

My first visit I got lost also. The area around Alpengeist is very confusing, but when I visited this year for my second time, I had no trouble and didn't need a map.

Both times that I've been to the park I arrived at opening and left and closing. Like you, it was one of the few parks that I actually stayed for the entire day.

It was weird though, Apollo's Chariot had the longest wait of 30 minutes and Loch Ness Monster was closer to an hour. That was fine by me, as I was able to ride Apollo's Chariot seven times.

I also thought that Alpengeist had a ridicously long line, which was not worth it, IMO. Also, is it just me, or does Alpengeist have larger track than other inverts? It would make sense though, to accommodate the height and speed of the ride.

Kennywood Insider's Guide


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