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Longest running show at Busch Gardens?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: What is Busch Gardens Europe's longest-running show?

From Reggie stewart
Posted October 15, 2007 at 2:46 PM
What is the longest running show at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Danny Melillo
Posted October 15, 2007 at 6:55 PM
I think it's either Corkscrew Hill or Emerald Beat. The only show it's definitely not is Pirates 3-D.

From Missy Renee
Posted October 16, 2007 at 3:42 AM
If you are asking about how many years total a show has run, the longest running show still in production currently at Busch Gardens is probably This is Oktoberfest. There have been some changes, some variations on songs and dances, but the essence of the show is still the same. And American Jukebox has been around for quite some time, with some changes made as well. Secrets of Castle O'Sullivan has been around at least since Ireland opened.

If you are asking about shows at Busch Gardens historically, I guess the bird show that preceded Pet Shenanigans was around a long time, and also the show about Nostramos the magician.

This thread makes me remember some of the old shows at BG, and how much I miss the classic broadway/hollywood review show. Does anyone remember Hats Off to Hollywood, Kaleidoscope, or Journey Into Music? How about Stage Struck or Totally Television (slightly more recent!)?? Fun memories!

From Danny Melillo
Posted October 16, 2007 at 4:12 AM
I haven't seen any of the old shows you were talking about but I really miss R.L. Stines Haunted Lighthouse (my first year at BGE was that shows last year)

From David Kirby
Posted October 16, 2007 at 11:08 AM
I think I might remember Totally Televisioned. Was that there around '94-'95? I was only about 7 or 8 at the time so I don't remember too many details.

Does anyone remember the name of the 3D show that used to play in the Globe before Haunted Lighthouse?

Also, American Jukebox has playing for a long time now too, even though changes have been made over the years.

From Missy Renee
Posted October 16, 2007 at 7:39 AM
I really enjoyed the Haunted Lighthouse, too. I especially loved when the young girl sang "All the pretty little ponies" at her entrance. That is one of my very favorite lullabies.

I cannot remember what was in the Globe Theater before the Haunted Lighthouse. I am drawing a complete blank.

Totally Television was definitely in the mid 1990's. They had the several TV's set up in the theater, and there was a recording with an introduction by Dick VanDyke. It was in the Abbey Stone Theater, but the theater went by another name which I also cannot recollect at this time.

From Tyler W.
Posted October 16, 2007 at 12:54 PM
Pirates 4-D was in the Globe Theatre before Haunted Lighthouse for probably about 6-7 years. Then they brought in Haunted Lighthouse for a couple years and now Pirates in back.

From Jason Jackson
Posted October 31, 2007 at 8:41 PM
I would have to say that This is Oktoberfest is the longest running show at BGE. American Jukebox is long running as well. Supposedly something new is coming to the Globe next year...haven't heard any rumors though. I still miss the variety shows they use to have in the Hastings (now Ireland) Theatre. Anyone remember Rockin' the Boat?

From Missy Renee
Posted November 1, 2007 at 10:15 AM
I have to agree with you, Jason. I miss the old variety/review style shows that were usually in the old theater in Hastings. I cannot remember what the theater was called before being called the Abbey Stone Theater. Shame on me, as many hours as I sat in that theater! I guess I really am getting old.

I seem to recall a show called Rockin the Boat, but I can't remember any particular songs from it. What years was it in production? Can you refresh my memory with a couple of the numbers from the show? You have peaked my curiosity...

From Jason Jackson
Posted November 5, 2007 at 8:09 PM
It was set on a cruise ship and was the last show before Irish Thunder. I even have the soundtrack. It opened with loading the ship and the finale was New York, New York. There was a jungle scene, a ballroom scene. a scene in the boiler room (like STOMP).

From Missy Renee
Posted November 6, 2007 at 4:39 AM
Thanks, Jason! I definitely remember it now. I especially remember the boiler room scene, and the set with the nautical theme. But for some reason I am drawing a blank on the jungle scene. I believe this show was running in the late 1990's, and I had a couple of years that I didn't purchase a season pass during that time (mostly due to a separation from my husband and job related issues). So I suspect that I just didn't see this show as often as the other shows. But it was definitely a good show. Thanks again for jogging my (ever diminishing!) memory!

From Paul Farinella
Posted February 3, 2008 at 12:42 AM
The name of the theater prior to it being called the Abbey Stone was called The Magic Lantern. That is when Busch produced their very best shows staring with Kaliedescope (which by the way moved to their Tampa park, and played for five years at the Moroccan Palace Theater). The Broadway style shows that Busch was noted for ended with Irish Thunder, which does not even compare to "Hats Off To Hollywood," "Stage Struck," and "Rocking The Boat." I believe the Globe theater, which is really beautiful, housed a musical revue at one time. It also was the theater for "Mark Wilson's Wolrd Of Magic," which was more a Broadway show than traditional magic show. Busch Gardens also had a fantastic country show called "Good Time Country," in the New France section, and it was complete with a live band. Sorry, but "Emerald Beat," and "American Bandstand," don't hold a candle to the shows that Busch once did. I think when Opryland closed their doors, all the parks in the country let their live entertainment departments atrophy. If I ran Busch's entertainment division, I would bring back a Broadway spectacle show to the Abbey Stone Theater. I would also add a Beatlemania 60's show, with a live orchestra, to the Old Globe. I would keep the Italian show, the latest version is really good, well as the signature German show in the Festhaus. In France, I would build another indoor theater for a Follies Berger or Can-Can type show. I would also dump "American Bandstand," (Six Flags did a much better version of this show back in the day), and bring the "Good Time Country" show, or similar, back to New France and make sure it has a live band like it did in the past. I'd also keep "Kinnetex" at night in the 5,000 seat theater in France. With the amount of stages (a good mix of indoor and outdoor theaters) that Busch has, they should be the premiere show park in the country. Their sister park in Tampa has better shows right now. "Katonga," and "Stage Door Canteen," (a 40's revue) surpass anything in Williamsburg. However, the older shows that Busch did in Williamsburg were better than anything either park has seen in a while.
Please Busch, bring back some Broadway to Virginia!

From Jason Jackson
Posted February 3, 2008 at 7:14 PM
I wish they would bring back the original Globe show...Ghosts of the Globe. That was a unique and scary show!

From Missy Renee
Posted February 4, 2008 at 8:14 AM
Thanks, Paul, for reminding me of the Magic Lantern Theater. I really miss the old broadway style revue as well, and hope that Busch Gardens Williamsburg will eventually do another one.

I also appreciate the recommendations on shows to watch at the Tampa BG. I will be there later this month, and wasn't sure which shows to see. I will try to seek out Katonga and the 40's era revue if I get the opportunity to see a show or two.

From Daniel Williams
Posted February 7, 2008 at 3:52 PM
Paul: Great insight... However, its American Jukebox.

Personally, I thought Totally Television was a much better show than Rockin' the Boat. No matter how hard I tried, I could never get into the show.

Also, I disagree with your statement that BGE's Live E department has atrophied. I think if you look at the quality of their shows at Halloween, you see a lot of quality put into shows/events that only run for six weeks. Maybe that they are a little too stretched, or priorities may need shifting, but I wouldn't necessarily agree there either.

I think there's also a distinction between shows that one might like, and a well produced show. I for one never took a shining to Thunder or Emerald Beat, but I think they were both well produced shows.

From Paul Farinella
Posted February 24, 2008 at 1:26 AM
You are right. It is "American Jukebox". Regardless, it is not as good as the "Goood Times Country" show which was in New France and had a live band. Nor is it as good as the "American Bandstand" show that played in numerous Six Flags Parks back when Six Flags had decent live entertainment.

I too think there is a distinction between what one likes, and what is well produced. For that reason, I stand behind my original statement. There is absolutley no comparison between shows produced by Busch Entertainment like "Kaliedescope," "Hats off to Hollywood" "Stagestsruck," and the current roster of contracted brought in productions like "Emerald Beat."
From stage production values to casting, the current selection lacks the sparkle of earlier productions. This was evidenced in the standing ovations, and packed houses at every show for the older productions. People would wait in line for hours just to get into a theater, and Busch had televeision commercials specifically touting their wonderful and numerous productions.

I propose reverting the Old Globe Theater, which is one of the great theme park thetaters ever built, back into a musical showplace. It could host an old fashioned music hall show, or a salute to the West End, of a Beatlemannia extravaganza. All of these suggestions should be thought on a big scale, with large casts, sets, and special They would become huge crowd pleasers. Another suggesting is to build a decent sized theater in France, and do a Follies Berger show. Again, it could be very lavish, and have a live orchestra. It would be a great alternative to the Festhaus when avoiding the heat. Of cours, I would replace American Jukebox with a much better country show in New France, with a live band, and put something really special in the old Magic Lantern Theater, but no more Irish fold dancing. Enough already!

With Opryland USA gone, Busch has a perfect opportunity to become America's show park. They have the stages, talent, and tons of past experience. It's shows that really differentiate a park, and make it shine above others. Busch already has so much going for it, so it is very sad to see live entertainment, which once ruled at that park, be slowly chipped away.

Lastly, there was a musical that played at the Old Globe for one season. I think it was an Americana review type show, and was a response to a show at Opryland called "I Hear America Singing." (I'm sure Busch did it better). Anyway, does anyone recall the name of the show, or anythying about it. It sure would be nice to have a web page dedicated solely to Busch with a section for live entertainemnt, like Opryland's Thrillhunter. Maybe in time.


From Tim Strickland
Posted March 4, 2008 at 12:54 PM
Honestly I have not the first clue to which show is the oldest, but I do know my favorite is Castle O' Sullivan. I saw it last summer with my girlfriend and it was well worth the time, and a nice cool break in the summer.

From Carla Wolf
Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:41 PM
Hello! I know this is an old thread, but this is also how I found this site:) I worked at the Kaleidoscope show for a year, as a Spotlight operator and backstage tech. I LOVED this show, and was very saddened when it closed. I have fond memories.

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