Busch Gardens Williamsburg
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
General Park News - (6/28/17) Busch Gardens Williamsburg has posted their Summer Nights Concert schedule on Twitter. Check it out below.
(6/14/17) J-Forces has posted a new video from Busch Gardens Williamsburg showing off details about the park's Food & Wine Festival.
(5/4/17) According to a report on BGWFans, Busch Gardens Williamsburg sent up a large balloon into the sky over the park on Wednesday morning. These are typically used to show the location and maximum height of a new possible attraction within the park, and to see how well it can be seen in the sky from the areas outside the park.
In this case the belief is that the balloon was flown up from somewhere it the Italy area of the park, behind Apollo's Chariot, possibly in the stables area behind Roman Rapids that you go through on the train. According to a photo also sent in, they believe that the balloon was likely sent up to about the height of Apollo's lift hill, perhaps even higher.
So what was it for? That’s the million dollar question right now, though at that height there are generally only two kinds of attractions under consideration... tower rides and coasters. Since the park just built Mach Tower not long ago, a new tower ride is probably out of the question unless they are looking to add a Star Flyer style ride. On the coaster side of things the park already has a Dive Machine, Hypercoaster and a very tall Inverted coaster, though it wouldn’t hurt them to add a very large Floorless or Wing coaster, but I don’t think they would build that tall of a Flying coaster.
(3/6/17) I'm told there will be some changes to the entertainment lineup at Busch Gardens Williamsburg this season. For starters, while the All For One show will return to The Palace Theater, they will also share the space at different times with various concerts throughout the season.
Meanwhile the London Rocks show in the Globe Theater will be replaced by a new show called Britmania starting June 30th, and the former Roll Out The Barrel show in Das Festhaus will be replaced with a new unnamed, yet similar show, starting March 31st. You can find more details about the concert schedules and other shows on the official website.
Howl-O-Scream 2017 - (7/15/17) Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced FrostBite as a new haunt for this year's Howl-O-Scream. The interesting thing is that FrostBite will be a new haunt set inside the park's epic DarKastle dark ride attraction. FrostBite will tell the story of how a castle's guardian passed on and the frost and creepy cold monsters outside have now taken over the castle and grounds. To experience this guests will actually get to venture "into the pit" where the DarKastle ride exists, but on foot apparently. It sounds like an awesome experience, though the unfortunate side effect means that the normal Curse of DarKastle ride experience wont be available after the summer season to allow for the transformation into FrostBite.
According to the park's website, other returning haunts from last year include Catacombs, Circo Sinistro, Cornered, Deadline, Lumberhack and Unearthed: Scarlett's Revenge.
The park's official Howl-O-Scream website also mentions that the park will also feature an Escape Room style experience as well called No Escape. I think they may have had this last year, though I don't remember hearing about it then, but they did confirm that this year's No Escape will offer two possible adventures to choose from: the returning "Case of Mr. Karver" and a new one called Case of the Haunted Hotel. (Details are TBA for this second adventure). As you would expect, this is an upcharge attraction and not included with general admission.
2017 - InvadR / Wooden Coaster - (4/10/17) InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg held the official Media Day and you can see some fun footage from the media day (including interviews) posted below from J-Forces in the first video followed by some reverse rider cam and POV cam footage below that. From the early reviews coming in the park and GCI have really created a fantastic family sized wooden coaster ride with a bunch of thrills and airtime. Congrats to everyone!
(3/27/17) InvadR will be opening very soon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and you can get a good look at the new ride as seen from the park's train as it passes by in the video below, then look at the video below that to see the first official POV video of the coaster making a test run.
InvadR will hold the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 7th at 11am and should open to the public soon after.
(2/24/17) Our friends at Behind the Thrills have posted photos and a video from the latest construction site tour of InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Check it out!
(1/26/17) Good news this week for BGW fans, as a new POV animation of InvadR has been released this week showing off some of the latest changes and developments added in, such as a new tunnel before the first drop. Check it out below.
(1/2017) In addition to the new InvadR wooden coaster opening this season, Busch Gardens Williamsbrug will also bring back the Elmo Rocks! Live show to the Globe Theater for a limited run starting Mar. 18 and the park has also promised a new yet-to-be-named German musical/dance show will start in the Festhaus on Mar. 31.
(1/7/17) With Busch Gardens Williamsburg now closed until Spring, Coaster Studios has posted a final look at the park shot in the last day(s) of the season, including our last in-park look at the progress on InvadR.
(1/2/17) New pictures of InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg were posted to the BGWFans Facebook page this week. The big news this week is that InvadR's track has now bridged over Le Scoot, the brake run, the railroad track and the Caribou Station storage track.
(11/30/16) A new video construction update showing off the progress on InvadR at BGW can be found below from CoasterStudios.
(11/16/16) The themed coaster cars for InvadR coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg were put on display at IAAPA on Tuesday. It seems each will have a different theme as well as there was one that looked like it had a giant bear head on the front and another that looked like the front of a Viking warship.
(11/4/16) A good new construction update for the InvadR wooden coaster coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been posted to BGWFans this week.They’ve got lots of new pictures from the construction site as well as a look at the trains in the shop.
(8/18/16) A construction video from Midway Mayhem takes a look at all the construction progress being made at Busch Gardens Williamsburg on the new InvadR wooden coaster.
(7/28/16) A new construction update from BGW from Midway Mayhem gives us a look at the new InvadR coaster under construction for 2017. Check it out below.
(7/12/16) A new look at the InvadR construction site was posted by our friend JohnnyUpsidedown this week as it looks like they may have begun working on the station's foundation.
(7/4/16) A video showing off all the land clearing done so far for InvadR was posted this week.
(6/28/16) A new construction update about InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and other new signs of construction has been posted by Theme Parks and Travels. They also noticed some land clearing over in the Festhaus Park area as well, but is this for a new project or just clearing out space to store something?
(6/1/16) A brief look at some of the land clearing taking place at Busch Gardens Williamsburg for the InvadR coaster can be found here.
(5/27/16) A new report about InvadR and the trains it will use has been posted by the park. As rumored, the old Gwazi trains have arrived on site at the park, to be shown off in the new blog report. Check it out.
(5/17/16) I missed it earlier this month but a video construction report from Busch Gardens Williamsburg shows off a lot of newly cleared land for the new InvadR coaster coming in 2017.
(4/19/16) Busch Gardens Williamsburg released the animated POV video for InvadR a few hours ago. You can see it below, but keep in mind that this is a family sized wooden coaster experience, now with a first drop of 81 feet and a run around the hilly Busch Gardens landscape. If it wasn't mentioned before, they also confirmed that InvarD will have a steel support structure instead of wood.
(4/8/16) Update - GCI did confirm on their Facebook page that the new InvadR wooden coaster coming to BGW in 2017 will be a GCI. According to Screamscape sources, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is expected to receive the old Gwazi GCI-made Millennium Flyer trains as well as other various expensive parts from Gwazi (lifthill motors, brakes, etc...) to use on their 2017 InvadR coaster, which would also seem to confirm rumors that the project is also from GCI.
(4/5/16) The online pole to name the 2017 coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is over, and it will be called InvadR.
(3/20/16) Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced that their 2017 project would be a new compact wooden coaster that would feature a theme all about Vikings attacking the trapper's village of New France.
Now manufacture was given, though I've heard it said elsewhere that it is likely a GCI design, but I haven't been able to get a confirmation of that yet. The coaster will feature a 74 ft first drop and hit a maximum speed of 48mph and hit 9 airtime hills. The odd thing about the teaser video (see below) is that it mentions guests can "Attach with the Viking or Protect the Village", but I'm not sure how that will play out on a wooden coaster experience. The website also calls it the "world's first crowdsourced ride" where we will all be able to "decide the ride" and help co-create the experience starting with voting for the ride's name between "Viking Raider", "InvadR" or "Battle Klash".
2018 - Otherworld / VR Simulator - Under Construction - (3/21/17) Busch Gardens Williamsburg has chosen to spill the beans early about what they are working on for the 2018 season. According to the park they will open a "first of its kind" ride experience, that will blend the use of VR headsets with the use of a true motion simulator platform, to be built on the site of the park's former Europe in the Air simulator. The new ride hasn't been named yet, but it was a given that with the location in the Ireland section of the park, the park has confirmed that once again this attraction area will take guests through a portal into a hidden world of mythical characters, all set with an Irish theme.
While VR on Coasters have been seen by many as somewhat of a new and probably temporary gimmick or fad... to put the VR gear to work on a motion simulator platform is something else entirely, and could provide for a very cool and unique experience, especially if accompanied by 4D style in-theater real-world effects enhancements. Look for the portal to the "Otherworld" to open in Spring 2018.
2018/2019 - Madrid / New Country / New Coaster - (8/12/17) Good news for Busch Gardens Williamsburg... the Board of Supervisors approved the park's request to build their new 315 foot tall attraction. Now if only we knew what this was, or when it might be coming...
(8/3/17) The local news reports that Busch Gardens Williamsburg will request the height variance for a new 315-foot tall attraction at a 5pm meeting on August 8th at the County Government Center Board Room (101 Mounts Bay Road). If anyone is local to the area and wants to attend, you might get a sneak peek. If granted, the park has 36 months to begin construction, so this doesn’t necessarily mean that attraction will open in 2018 attraction. According to a local news report, photos submitted of the height balloon test show that the new attraction would be no more visible than Mach Tower, Griffon or Apollo’s Chariot from outside the park.
(7/7/17) Some interesting news has come to light regarding the future expansion plans of Busch Gardens Williamsburg over the past few days. For starters a permit for an attraction height wavier was submitted by the park for a staggering 315 feet, which is kind of surprising for BGW. As rumored, the location for the permit is a site referred to as "Festa Field" which is currently used for animal use between Festa Italia and the Rhine River.
You can see an image of the permit posted to Facebook on the BGWFans page, which is where the next interesting factoid comes up... the title of the permit is "Busch Gardens Madrid". It's been no secret that the park has long been rumored to have plans to expand by building a new country area themed to Spain. Over the past decade I think Screamscape has posted rumors that a Spain themed expansion was on the way no less than three times, only for the project to get delayed or be put on hold for a variety of reasons. As I recall, the last time we had heard about a Spain expansion, the rumor was that it would be built up in two phases, one phase would include the majority of the themed land and some smaller attractions while the other phase would involve the construction of a very large roller coaster. Could this finally be coming to pass?
And could we be seeing a new B&M Gigacoaster at last?
???? - Water Country USA Expansion - Planning - (11/22/11) The expansion plan proposed by Water Country USA was given unanimous approval from the local Board of Supervisors. No timeline was given as to how the expansion will take place, other than it will be done over five phases.
(10/14/11) BGWFans has posted a nice map showing off the new proposed master plan for Water Country USA over the next decade.
(10/12/11) The local news reports that Water Country USA has filed paperwork seeking to expand the waterpark’s size by 43 acres, in addition to the park’s current 41 acres of attractions. Keep in mind, this is for a new overall master plan for the entire park site that will shape everything that is to come over the next decade or two and not a plan for one giant expansion that will happen over the next year or two.