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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Curse of DarKastle

By Robert Niles
Published: January 4, 2010 at 9:30 PM
Every weekday through early March, we're honoring one theme park attraction a day, leading up to our 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament. For readers who don't live in Central Florida or Southern California, it's a great way to re-experience the best of the theme park industry, as we await the start of the 2010 season.

Today, the spotlight falls on the 13th seed in the Best Themed Ride bracket, Curse of DarKastle from Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Curse of DarKastle

Come aboard your "golden sleigh" for an encounter with King Ludwig (and his, uh, "mommy issues") in this 3-D adventure. Your sleigh will pitch and rotate through the 40,000-square-foot show building, as you ride through the Ludwig's castle and the woods around it. Here's a highlight reel, prepared by Busch Gardens:

This Falcons Treehouse-designed attraction opened on May 1, 2005 and immediately won raves from theme park fans, winning Theme Park Insider's Best New Attraction Award that year. Curse of DarKastle's closest theme park cousin is The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando. DarKastle's debut at Busch Gardens helped draw attention to the Williamsburg park from some Disney and Universal fans, who weren't accustomed to seeing such immersively themed dark rides from regional theme parks.

But is Curse of DarKastle the best themed ride in the country? You'll get your chance to vote in March, when the Best Theme Park Attraction tournament begins. Until then, share your thoughts about Curse of DarKastle, in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on January 4, 2010 at 10:52 PM
It looks fantastic!

I wish SFGA had something close to this. It looks very similar to Spiderman (I love that tech!)

From James Rao on January 5, 2010 at 4:08 AM
While not on the same level as IOA's Spider-Man (it was constructed for about 1/4th the cost, from what I have read), I was impressed with this attraction when I went to BGW in 2008. Clearly one of the standout dark rides in the nation, CotDk deserves to be in this tournament.

Anthony, I also wish my local park had something similar. In fact, there are a lot of things I wish my local park had! =)

From Stephen Landsman on January 5, 2010 at 7:33 AM
If only Busch Gardens Tampa had a ride like this (or any dark ride!!) =/
From Scott Sanders on January 5, 2010 at 8:50 AM
One of my favorite rides at BGW or BGE or whatever they are calling it. If you go, ride in the morning, the line gets insanely long in the afternoon/evening.

You can never escaaaaape!

From Will Chilcote on January 5, 2010 at 2:12 PM
Looks very cool. Looks very similar to Spiderman at IOA.
From 216.54.96.140 on January 5, 2010 at 2:58 PM
Honestly, I've hated this ride since the day it opened. I rode it again during Christmas Town to see if it was as bad as I remembered and it was.
From 128.82.248.145 on January 6, 2010 at 6:33 AM
That's funny-I've hated this ride since the day it opened too. I just go on it because my son loves it. I just keep my eyes closed and put my fingers in my ears and that helps. But it is a very well done ride if you like creepy stuff.
From vernon griffin on January 7, 2010 at 11:59 AM
As good as this ride is, it was much better the first year that it opened. It told the whole story of the boy prince but alas it took to long so they shortened it.
From Charles Reichley on January 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM
Does it mean you've ridden a ride too many times, when you can say all the lines during the POV video?

we do love this ride. the last time we rode it, it kind of broke and got off-schedule, which was cool.

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