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Fans petition Busch Gardens to return the tunnel effects to the Loch Ness Monster coaster

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Published: April 13, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Before I took Natalie on Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg last summer, I described for her my first time on the ride (30-some years ago!). I told her about woods surrounding the track, the interlocking loops over the river, and an encounter with "Nessie" inside the high-speed tunnel.

Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

When we finished the ride, she'd loved it - and everything had been exactly as I described it... except for that tunnel. I could have sworn that there were lights in it. Had I remembered that wrongly?

Nope. I was right, as Theme Park Insider reader Caleb Phillips reminded me when he wrote me a few days ago. Caleb, it turns out, is trying to organize an online effort to convince Busch Gardens to bring back the in-tunnel effects on the Loch Ness Monster. He's set up an online petition, which you can sign:

Several years ago Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Loch Ness Monster had special effects in the tunnel portion of the ride. These Special effects included flashes of light, mist, and also a large illuminated sea serpent (the Loch Ness Monster). Upon signing this petition you are stating your belief that the removal of these features have resulted in degradation of the overall ride expierience and would like to see such features be reinstated in the ride program.

Again, here is the link to sign the petition. Please, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, can your fans have this favor? Let's turn on the lights again in the Loch Ness Monster tunnel!

Readers' Opinions

From 76.124.110.114 on April 13, 2010 at 10:36 PM
Thanks for the link. If I remember correctly the removal of effects was due to some over thinking by execs, the idea being that you are Nessie so wouldn't see a serpent in the tunnel. The effects are sorely missed just as I realy missed the water splash that used to come at the bottom of the hill on Big Bad wolf. But for obvious reasons Im pretty sure that effect is gone forever.
From Robert Niles on April 13, 2010 at 11:59 PM
Okay, so we're Nessie. And that's Mrs. Nessie, back in our lair, wondering why the heck we're spending all our time carrying tourists around instead of bringing home some clams or squid to feed the little Nessies, who are going nuts playing with the phosphorescent algae.

Good enough for a backstory? Turn on the lights, I say.

From Mark Migliaccio on April 14, 2010 at 4:06 AM
I totally agree, I never rode it with the lights on but everyone keeps talking about back in the day there use to be lights in the tunnel. Lets bring the lights back.
From Jeff Elliott on April 14, 2010 at 6:28 AM
I can remember way back when the interlocking loops were synced up to have the coaster cars go through both loops at the same time.....I haven't been there lately, but from the online videos I have seen, it doesn't look synced anymore.....any chance we could get that back?
From Bob Miller on April 14, 2010 at 6:32 AM
Glad to help Caleb, my daughter and I both signed.
From David Kirby on April 14, 2010 at 10:06 AM
Oops, that first comment was mine.
For a roller coaster, I'm usually not looking for a strong backstory. And those effects were in place for a over 20 years. I really do hope they add them back.

In regards to the interlocking loops, based on the location of the loops, I think the only way to have the trains looping simultaneously would be to have 3 trains running. I think it's been quite a long time when they could justify using that many trains on Nessie. Usually when there's only 2 trains running on any roller coaster, train 2 doesn't dispatch until train 1 has hit the block brakes at the end of the ride or extremely close to. Running only 2 trains, it would be extremely rare for the second train to even be on the lift hill while another train is in the final loop. While I would love to have trains looping simultaneously, Nessie's ridership just doesn't justify it.

From Audra Distler on April 14, 2010 at 1:49 PM
How long ago did they remove the tunnel effects? I rode it a long while ago (at least for me), and can't remember if I was before or after the tunnel effects. All I remember about Nessie is that I was about 8 or 9, and it scared me off of coasters for about 5 years. :P
From Rod Whitenack on April 14, 2010 at 2:07 PM
Okay, this time the line in the crytozoological sand has been crossed! Put Nessie back in the coaster! Fix the disco Yeti! And get me a picture of Bigfoot that isn't blurry!
From Russell Meyer on April 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM
Not only have they removed the effects from the lair, but the stats board in the station has been devoid of stats the past year and a half. This coaster has gotten two major paint jobs and two landmark anniversaries (25th and 30th) without a single reference to the lair effects removal, which occurred sometime around 2004.
From 24.90.249.214 on April 14, 2010 at 7:37 PM
A sick thing would be to put the Loop in a Tunnel
From Jason Jackson on April 15, 2010 at 7:00 AM
The trains use to double loop quite a bit, but this could occur only if running three trains, which does happen quite often. The biggest issue is that Nessie was built long ago without all the extra straight track right before the station (as is the case for most new coasters), so if they have to stack trains on the track the third train would be on the second lift. Last time I was at the park, a couple of weeks ago, they appear to have slowed Nessie on the first lift which it appears makes it all but impossible to have a random two simultaneous loop cycle. I imagine that the slow first lift helps prevent stacking.
From Elizabeth Gray on April 15, 2010 at 7:02 AM
I am all for them putting the lights back in. I remember when they took the lites out of its cousin THE DEMON at Great America in Santa Clara and I always thought it was a mistake.

I have never ridden Loch Ness with the lights on and wonder what it would be like? The tunnel is already good on it's own. Hope the petiton works..

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