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Williamsburg planning commission releases new Busch Gardens attraction info

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Published: March 9, 2006 at 11:26 PM

Here is additional information about the proposed Busch Gardens Williamsburg ride expansion, from a James City County Planning Commission memo [PDF format]:

"The new queuing building and embarking/disembarking station will collectively be approximately 7,500 square feet in area, and will serve the balance of the overall expansion, which will be laid out over an area of approximately five acres. The buildings will be constructed on-site of materials (wood, stucco, stone, etc.), and have a thematic appearance similar to other nearby structures in the theme park. The buildings are not expected to exceed forty feet in height at their highest points, and should not be visible from outside the theme park’s boundaries.... The proposal calls for the new buildings (and associated expansion) to be constructed near the center of the theme park near the northwest end of the Rhine River, and just north of the existing Alpengeist rollercoaster attraction. The new buildings and expansion will replace an attraction currently located in that vicinity. [Link added by editor.]

"It is envisioned that other parts of the proposed expansion not covered by this SUP will reach heights of up to 210' over finished grade; these portions of the expansion are being separately addressed by the James City County Board of Supervisors, in response to the applicant's separate Height Waiver Application."

The James City County Planning Division staff recommended that Busch Gardens be granted the Special Use Permit it is seeking.

Readers' Opinions

From Scott Seal on March 10, 2006 at 6:36 AM
That appears to be the same documentation that accompanied DarKastle. Are we sure it's not just the old paperwork for that ride?
From Pete Brecht on March 10, 2006 at 8:46 AM
Wow, you can forget my previous prediction of some sort of drop ride. 210' above grade for the finished product would be the tallest ride in the park and would have to be a major coaster.

Alpengeist is 195' tall with a 170' drop, and Apollo's Chariot is only 170' tall but with a 210' drop into a valley. Given the topography of the location of this new ride, it would be possible for it to have a drop larger than the overall height as well. I'm looking forward to hearing more details on this one!

From Pete Brecht on March 10, 2006 at 8:49 AM
One more thing: while it's unfortunate that a traditional family ride like the Lemans Raceway might be removed to make way for this new ride, the fact is that that ride has a very low capacity, leading to long lines throughout the day. Also, the stench of 2-stroke exhaust permeates the area, which is a drag if you're eating outside at the nearby Trapper's Smokehouse.
From Robert Niles on March 10, 2006 at 9:12 AM
Scott, "cut-'n-paste" make bureaucracy possible. I've no doubt that a great deal of copy from old zoning applications gets recycled into new ones. But the date on this one is current, and the reference to the 210' exemption application is different as well.

But, as you point out, from a zoning perspective, a queue building is a queue building.

From Scott Seal on March 10, 2006 at 12:32 PM
Oh...okay, great. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk...I was just making sure this was real news. I think Busch Gardens is the greatest non-Disney park out there. The more new rides, shows, eateries, the better. When is this thing scheduled to be developed? Opening in 2007, 08, when?
From Robert OGrosky on March 10, 2006 at 10:39 PM
The rumors on other sites is that this will be another dive coaster like BGT recently installed, an one have info on this possibilty??
From Russell Meyer on March 11, 2006 at 9:44 AM
I would probably agree with that. With only 5 acres being developed, and a height of 210 feet, it does sound like a dive machine. I would question this installation because it would be very similar to Apollo's Chariot, and I really thought they would continue to focus on family attractions, especially with the Jamestown 400 celebration coming in 2007. It's no doubt they would want any new attraction done in time for 2007, but considering how long it took them to build DarKastle, it may be 2008 until this attraction is completed.

FYI, the most recent press material I have received from the park indicates that the park is once again changing its name. The new name as presented on press material is Busch Gardens Europe Williamsburg, VA. Busch just cannot make up their minds, and seems to be pulling a complete 180 from what they did 6 years ago.

From Pete Brecht on March 11, 2006 at 7:03 PM
How would a dive machine be similar to Apollo's Chariot? I rode Sheikra at BGT a couple of months ago, and it didn't seem at all similar to Apollo's Chariot (other than being a B&M roller coaster).
From Robert OGrosky on March 12, 2006 at 4:47 PM
I also dont find a dive machine to be similiar to Apollo's Chariot.
But it wouldnt be a family ride, i agree with that, but BGW now only has 2 rides which wouldnt be family rides, so i dont think this would ruin any equation of thrill rides/family rides.
From ryan saunders on March 13, 2006 at 3:07 AM
build a 4-d or a super fast launch or a giga if u want people to come to your park from all over the world. be smart BGW not dumb as usual. we will c if Darkastle has actually improved as well
From Steve Warren on March 13, 2006 at 12:45 PM
LETS BUILD SOMETHING HUGE, A 4-D OR A GIGA SO IT CAN BE OUTDONE IN A YEAR AND EVERYONE CAN FORGET ABOUT IT IN A YEAR OR TWO AND HAVE ANOTHER OLD RIDE NOBODY CARES ABOUT.....thats what I drew out from the last comment. I find that Busch Gardens is still the best park around overall avan though they don't build as many new rides as i would like them to do and they have changed the name to something stupid. In the end they are still the best....did kings dominion give you free bottles of water while you were waiting in line? BGW did while I was waiting for Darkastle

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