What would you do? Kings Dominion & Bucsh Gardens Europe

Monday, June 1, 2009 11:32 AM
DaveStroem's avatar

We are planning a trip down to KD this year. On our way home from KI last night, we were discussing adding BGE for a day. Since I am self employed with a retail shop and no employees this would mean closing down an extra day (the shop is open tue-sat for summer hours) unless we did this on the 4th of July weekend.

We could leave a bit early on the 3rd and drive to Williamsburg, hit BGE on the 4th and then spend the 5th and the morning of the 6th at KD.

I am wondering if BGE would be crazy crowded on the holiday weekend or light to normal. At Cedar Point when we have gone during holiday weekends it was not too bad. OTOH, Disney is crazy nuts over just about any holiday.

The second option is to skip BGE, and do our KD trip in late June either the 20-22 (father's day weekend) or 27-29.

The final idea is to hit BGE & KD over the Labor day weekend and do Hershey Park and Dorney over the 4th of July.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:53 AM
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:50 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

4th of July at BGW.. HA! You must be from out of town..

If you decide to go on that day prepare for mass chaos and the park to close its gates due to capacity by 3 o'clock..

This year they are doing fireworks from the 1-4th.. If you can I would shoot for wed or thurs.. (1st or 2nd). Once friday rolls around the place will become a zoo, if history has dictates anything. Our area due to Williamsburg being a historical site, is big with 4th activities so the whole area goes crazy, including the parks.

Labor Day weekend isnt that bad at BGW. Its busy but not crazy and most of the summer pass people stop going.. Then it lulls until Howl-o-Scream in late september early october.

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Tuesday, June 2, 2009 4:50 PM
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:12 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Thanks, that is why I was asking. I didn't know if it got crazy on the 4th or just after it.

Last year we went to Williamsburg for the 4th of July. I didn't feel that it was all that busy. Of course we did not go to BGW. That trip was more about history.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to do anything but a Sunday/Monday with the exception of Labor Day weekend were I can close the shop on Saturday.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:48 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Colonial Williamsburg is a much bigger area to spread out people, and wouldnt appear as being that busy.. Traffic is definitely much heaver over the 4th weekend than say right now or even when the local schools let out in a week.

Last 4 years in a row they had to close gates for BGW for capacity issues, not in the park, but the parking lot itself.. Usually happens around 3pm or so.. Once they fill the lots, they stop taking cars in.. Usually that hits the magic No. of 25K-30K people in the park.

On a normal day you have the advantage of people coming and going to change the park attendance (although the park #s still increase, it has transition people as well). On the 4th.. People come and stay for fireworks.. So the numbers grow without any transition relief. I dont expect this year to be any different..


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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 10:53 AM

Well, it's looking like this is going to be the last season for one of the coasters at BGE and Kings Dominion is getting a new coaster next year, so that might want to make you plan accordingly.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:32 AM
crazy horse's avatar

Did I miss something?

A coaster is leaving bge?


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 12:05 PM
Vater's avatar

Yeah, apparently there's a rumor that Big Bad Wolf is soon to be removed.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 3:13 PM
crazy horse's avatar

I hope that's not true. I love that coaster.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 3:33 PM

If you get to BGE at 9:15, gates usually open at 9:30 to hit Loch Ness Monster and the new Sesame Place area. Then at 10am you can hit Griffon. After those, the rest should open around 10:30. If you hit things in this order, you should have no issue getting on everything even if there is a big crowd.

Get there no later than about 9:15am.

Ride Loch Ness Monster, then try to take a spin on the new kiddie coaster (if that is important to you). Then if you still have time, hit Loch Ness again. 8^) Then go through Ireland and into France and hit Griffon a few times. By that time the rest should start to open, continue through France and ride Alpengiest and then right after ride DarKastle. By this time Big Bad Wolf should be open and after that head on over to Italy for Apollo's Chariot to finish out the main rides.

Again, even if its a busy day, doing things in that particular order you can get everything in before the crowds hit the "back" of the park. I do this weekly on Sats and Sundays.


Danny Biggerstaff CoAsTeRDaN
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 5:20 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Thanks CoasterDan. I know all about the importance of rope drops and being first at the rope, not just there about opening time. (3rd person to get a Toy Story Mania Fastpass).

We may just end up closing the shop for an extra day and doing this trip on a non holiday week.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 9:50 PM

Why in the world would they ever remove BBW?!?!?

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Thursday, June 4, 2009 12:18 AM
LostKause's avatar

Big Bad Wolf is awesome! It would be a huge mistake to remove it. First of all, It's one of the first successful coasters of it's kind. Second, the park doesn't have a lot of coasters to begin with. Third, What are all of the 10-year-olds going to ride?

Listen, Busch Gardens. Huge mistake.


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Thursday, June 4, 2009 7:33 AM
ridemcoaster's avatar

I wont fuel the currently unofficial removal of BBW thread, but I will go on record that if you factor the fact that the Wolf is BGW most expensive coaster to maintain every year, I think the economics become a large factor in a possible decision to remove it.


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Thursday, June 4, 2009 5:23 PM
LostKause's avatar

Fourth, It's of a rare kind. There were not many Arrow suspended coasters built to begin with, and S&S, who now owns Arrow, have yet to build a new one, for whatever reason I can't understand why an amusement park wouldn't want one of these awesome coasters.


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Thursday, June 4, 2009 6:49 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

I think nostalgia is the last reason most parks put on their list of reasons why to keep a coaster. (we have seen this over and over again with parks)

Nostalgia (while important to us coaster dorks), isnt as important to the general paying public.

They look at expenses to operate, safety costs for ride vs how many riders it gets. Just in April alone the # of riders through the turnstile for BBW just barely edged out Dark Castle. If the amount of riders declines and yet operating costs continue to rise. The economics becomes clear..

Again.. Not saying its being removed. Just stating the knowns.


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Friday, June 5, 2009 12:08 AM
LostKause's avatar

Nostalgia has nothing to do with my feelings for the ride. It's unique, and not many parks have anything like it, nor has a ride like that been built in the last 5 or 10 years in the States.

Reason, and business, tells me that if a ride is sucking the maintainance budget dry, can it. But reason and business also tell me that if the park has something that can be marketed as a very unique ride experience, they should do whatever they can to keep it and try to let people know that it is special.

BBW is known to be the best coaster of it's kind. If ridership is down, and the ride is a larger expense than it should be, do something to promote it. Isn't this year Big Bad Wolf's 25th anniversary? Why haven't they tried to let people know?

Kings Island has been talking a lot about The Beast this year. That's a great example of showing off an old, great ride. The park even had a press release about to compliment Diamondback's opening. Good marketing there.


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Friday, June 5, 2009 9:01 AM

LostKause said:
Nostalgia has nothing to do with my feelings for the ride. It's unique, and not many parks have anything like it, nor has a ride like that been built in the last 5 or 10 years in the States.

Reason, and business, tells me that if a ride is sucking the maintainance budget dry, can it. But reason and business also tell me that if the park has something that can be marketed as a very unique ride experience, they should do whatever they can to keep it and try to let people know that it is special.

BBW is known to be the best coaster of it's kind. If ridership is down, and the ride is a larger expense than it should be, do something to promote it. Isn't this year Big Bad Wolf's 25th anniversary? Why haven't they tried to let people know?

Kings Island has been talking a lot about The Beast this year. That's a great example of showing off an old, great ride. The park even had a press release about to compliment Diamondback's opening. Good marketing there.

If memory serves me correctly the last Arrow suspended built in the US was Top Gun (or whatever they are calling it now) at KI in 1993, so its been well over a decade.

BGE IS promoting the BBW's 25th birthday, it and Apollo's 10th birthday are promoted throughout the park on a few banners and BBW has a nice little iron gate thingy near the rides entrance.

I have only heard of the rumors here and on Screamscape, I am at the park weekly and have not heard anything like this (yet anyway)... I am not saying it will or won't happen, but I believe its highly unlikely. It would not be in BGEs manner to promote a ride like they are and then remove it. BGE likes to pretend things are not even there, when Drachen Fire was standing but not operating they simply pretended it didn't even exsist.


Danny Biggerstaff CoAsTeRDaN
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Friday, June 5, 2009 9:25 AM
Jeff's avatar

I'd get your rides in if I were you.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, June 5, 2009 5:03 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

What Jeff said. :(

If you haven't ridden it, do yourself a favor and get there soon.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Friday, June 5, 2009 5:07 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

We will be going this season for sure, so no worries.

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