Readers' Opinions

From Tim Odom on June 26, 2014 at 3:34 PM
I did this tour a couple years back, right after Big Bad Wolf closed, and it was awesome then. They, obviously, changed it from what I encountered, one of the changes is actually disappointing.

When I did this, not only did I get to see Apollo's Chariot's maintenance bay, but after our last ride in the tour, they gave us cards for 1 more front of the line rides on the 4 coasters, which brought in a lot of confusion at Loch Ness Monster.

Still, this is an amazing tour, well worth the money.

From Tracy Bates on June 26, 2014 at 4:58 PM
I did that a couple of years back and it was cool. It got screwed up because the elevator broke leaving half the group stuck at the top of griffon for an hour or so.

They really went out of their way to make it up to everyone and let us see verbolten with the lights on before it was officialy on the tour. Even gave everyone tickets to come back and redo the tour, plus front of ride passes for everything in the park and a free meal.

Never did make it back, but I will. It was a lot of fun and well worth it.

From Russell Meyer on June 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM
@Tim - You do still get a Quick Queue card for front of the line access to all of the coasters again later in the day.
From 173.189.11.224 on June 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM
This is awesome. Great article. I wish they offered a tour like this for some of the less thrill seeker rides.... I'd enjoy a tour of the rapids and the log flume..... but it probably would not be as big of a draw. Maybe they should call it the family friendly, you're never going to get on Griffon tour.
From Robert Niles on June 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM
So, a total of 15 front-of-line passes (two for each coaster during the tour, and one for each after), the backstage tour, and the photo CD of you on the tour? For 80 bucks? I know how I'm visiting BGW next time I'm in Williamsburg.
From Gabriel Schroll on June 26, 2014 at 9:25 PM
I didn't know something like this existed. But now that I do, I'll need a dark roast Red Eye and then I'm there!

Definitely an amazing deal! $80 for all of that front of the line and behind the scenes action? Wow! I'm drooling.

From Tim Hillman on June 27, 2014 at 5:24 AM
Great article, Russell! I wish I had known about this tour on my last visit to BGW, but I'll be sure to book it the next time I get a chance to do a DC area theme park jaunt.
From Russell Meyer on June 27, 2014 at 6:52 AM
That's $80 plus park admission Robert, just to be clear. If you're a season passholder, obviously you don't need to pay for park admission, plus you receive a discount on the tour. However, if you're not, the Coaster Insider Tour cost is in addition to a standard park admission. Tour guests also receive upgraded parking (in the England parking lot) for the day they've booked their tour.

BGW also offers an "observer" option, which includes everything I described except the ride up to the top of Griffon for $60.

Also, guests are required to book in groups of 2 or larger. The BGW team allowed me to book as a single guest as a special courtesy. Under normal circumstances I would never had been able to do this because my son is not old enough to do the tour yet (8 years old for observers and 14 years old for participants), and I couldn't do it with my wife, since someone would need to watch him. I sincerely appreciate the BGW team for allowing me to do the tour as a single guest, because they certainly didn't have to bend the rules for me.

So if you are considering the tour, make sure you have a buddy or significant other willing to book with you. If they're afraid of heights or between 8 and 14, they can simply do the observer option instead.

From James Rao on June 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM
Very cool tour option.... one that I might actually consider buying. If they included DarKastle in the tour, it would be perfect!

Thanks for another great article, Russell.

From 97.100.98.68 on June 27, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Are Busch Gardens employees also called "Cast Members", or was that a slip?
From Scottland Jacobson on June 28, 2014 at 4:16 PM
This is awesome that they do this! And $80 seems very reasonable - thanks for all the great info and pics! I'll definitely be trying that next time I'm there!