What to expect on apollo's Chariot?Busch Gardens Williamsburg: What should I expect with Apollo's chariot? Is it a good second coaster for me? I am excited but very very nervous. Anything advice for a first rider on Apollo's Chariot would be much appreciated!
From Cameron SaundersI am fairly new to the roller coaster world. Actually I am very new. The only coaster I have rode (besides a mouse coaster at my local fair that is about 40 ft up.. Nothing like a 40 ft drop on a coaster that is balancing on wood blocks!) is Nessie at BGE and I loved it. Now I am ready to move up to bigger and faster rides. My next target is the very famous Apollo's Chariot. The problem is I want to ride this but when I see that 210 ft drop my courage and excitement disappears. I am not a fan of heights, but I'm not terrified of them either. I love the feel of speed and airtime. What should I expect with Apollo's chariot? Is it a good second coaster for me? I am excited but very very nervous. Any advice for a first time rider on Apollo's Chariot would be much appreciated!
Posted August 6, 2010 at 5:58 AM
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Mike GallagherYou should be fine on Apollo's Chariot. I don't love the ride, but will grant it's smooth and pleasant. A bit of airtime, nice scenery. Nessie remains my favorite ride in the park, and if you handled her okay, AC will be a piece of cake (mmmm..cake!) There's a few Chariot fanboys and girls on on TPI, but to each his/her own. When are you going?
Posted August 6, 2010 at 6:13 AM
Busch is under consideration for a weekend trip to celebrate my 46th birthday the second weekend in September and ride my 275th coaster. It would be Griffon, if that's the route I take. I'm also considering Sky Rocket at Kennywood and Intimidator at Carowinds.
From Cameron Saunders@Mike Gallagher, thank you for the advice! And Yes I love Nessie. Although that first drop surprised me (in a good way of course). I have heard Apollo is a very smooth ride, but not the most intense which could be good for me at first. Although I would like to try alpie and griffion (all of which my girlfriend says are amazing.) I am planning on going the 15th, as I picked up two year passes after my first visit to the park when I felt the excitement of my first coaster. I personally can not give you advice on the griffion, however my girlfriend says its like flying on the wings of a jet. If that is your cup of tea I think Griffin would be a great new addition to your list and of course you know how amazing BGE is.
Posted August 6, 2010 at 7:10 AM
From Mike GallagherThanks, Cameron. I HAVE been on Griffon's "sister" ride, Sheikra, and loved it..it's in my top ten steelies. I've heard varying opinions of which is better from people who've ridden both. I like the way your girlfriend put it.
Posted August 6, 2010 at 7:34 AM
Nessie was actually one of my first "big" coasters, back in 1978..I believe that was the year it opened. I loved it then, still do now. Matter of fact, Nessie is Miss August on the coaster calendar in my kitchen right now. Nessie was my second or third looping coaster, after SooperDooperLooper and possibly Lightning Loops.
Speaking of calendars, my SECOND favorite ride overall is featured on the August page of my work and bedroom calendars...that being Ravine Flyer II. My #1 is El Toro, which appears on my computer background, my clock, elsewhere on the calendar, and some of my checks. Did I mention I like roller coasters? :)
From Cameron SaundersNot a problem Mike. If you loved Shiekra I think you will love Griffin. If I'm not mistaken Griffin is taller (only about 5 ft but still) and there is an extra loop in there if I'm not mistaken. Also I'm not sure how late you plan on staying, but BGE on the weekend you plan on going starts to cut there hours to closing at 7 PM. I'm not sure if that will hinder your decision, but it might. Also I can see that you like roller coasters. I like the feeling I got from Nessie. So hopefully I am well on my way to being on your level. :)
Posted August 6, 2010 at 7:51 AM
From Mike GallagherCameron said "Also I'm not sure how late you plan on staying, but BGE on the weekend you plan on going starts to cut there hours to closing at 7 PM. I'm not sure if that will hinder your decision, but it might."
Posted August 6, 2010 at 8:51 AM
I was aware of that. If I go, I'll be there at opening, so it's not an issue..just a bit shorter day.
Trust me, you don't want to be on my level. It's pretty much an obsession with me. When you hang around kiddie coasters and ask parents if you can ride with their child...well, that's a level you won't find many at :)
Do you live in VA? Have you not been to Kings Dominion, or is that on your "bucket list?" One of my favorite parks. Also was under consideration for that birthday weekend, but there's nothing new-to-me, and for some reason they're only open ONE day from 9/7 to 9/25...and that's NOT a day I'd be going.
From Cameron SaundersHaha well maybe not an obsession. But I do want to ride all the coasters I can handle.
Posted August 6, 2010 at 9:24 AM
I do live in VA.. In SWVA actually. So that keeps me from going to the parks in VA as much as I want. I have been to KD but it was when I was still sort of shy about thrill rides. So for the coasters I think KD is on my "bucket list".
From Christy ShumanHey Mike I so understand the "obsession" thing with the coasters, I am so on your level. BTW Im heading to BGE Tuesday for the first time this season(went last year) I have a season pass, but my boyfriend does not, Do you guys know anywhere I cant get discount coupons or anything?
Posted August 14, 2010 at 5:52 AM
From Mike GallagherChristy said.."Hey Mike I so understand the "obsession" thing with the coasters, I am so on your level."
Posted August 14, 2010 at 7:49 AM
Always room for company...
Christy said, " BTW Im heading to BGE Tuesday for the first time this season(went last year) I have a season pass, but my boyfriend does not, Do you guys know anywhere I cant get discount coupons or anything?"
I've been investigating that for a coupla weeks. There's not much I can find. AAA offers a few bucks off. I sent an e-mail last night about that topic to the park and to the VA department of Tourism. I'll let you know if they suggest anything, but I'm doubtful.
*EDIT*..From what I gather, the gate price is $62. On their site, it's $57. At my local AAA office, it's $54. I prefer not to order things on line, so that's an $8 savings off the gate, athough I'll travel a half hour to the office to pick it up.
From Bobby MillerCameron, welcome to the world of coasters. With over 60 years of riding and 500+ coasters under my belt, I can give you this sage advice,"RIDE EVERYTHING!!!"
Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:30 PM
Actually, I say this, "ride a coaster once, if you don't like it never ride it again." I have followed that advice for many years and there are some coasters I have never been on again.
Just looking at a coaster can scare you away, ride it first, then make up your mind. Plus, I always try to get the front, that's how I got over that scary feeling going down that first hill many, many years ago.
So welcome to my world, enjoy, enjoy.
From Charles ReichleyChristy, you will get a small discount because you are a passholder. You can call BG to find out exactly what that discount is, to see if it is better than any online discounts you find.
Posted August 15, 2010 at 5:01 AM
Log into the Busch Gardens England web site as a pass member, and you should see a "tickets" selection. The VFR (visiting Friends and Relatives) price that I see when I do it is $46.95, a $15 savings.
But I have a platinum pass from BGE, so you should check your pass to see what the price is. You can purchase right there and get a voucher to take to the park.
I don't know if there are cheaper ways to get a pass. I know that if you are going to take a friend more than once or twice, and they live in Virginia, that it seems better to buy the "fun ticket", it's full price but then gets you back in. You can see that pricing on the web site as well.
From Charles ReichleyAnd to Cameron, Apollo's Chariot is one of our family's favorite coasters. My wife loves it, and she's hardly much of a coaster fan although she will ride everything once.
Posted August 15, 2010 at 5:10 AM
We like it because it loads fast, it's smooth, the whole family can sit together, it has good hang time without jerking you up and down, and is very well built into the surroundings.
This is in the class of coasters that includes Behemoth, Diamondback, and the new Intimidator at Carowinds (all of which though have a "front-back" row seating instead of 4-across).
From Cameron SaundersThanks to everyone for your responses!! Yesterday I got over my fear and got on Apollo's Chariot. It is so smooth and fast! Love the air time I would constantly get. After experiencing the 210 ft drop I felt like I could ride anything (and I did). Griffin is AMAZING. However very short IMHO. Alpie is a very good invert with some good speed and height, I just feel its a big jerky the farther back you sit. (Although I don't mind). Having ridden all the coasters at BGW now I have my list (of many I can't wait to make)
Posted August 16, 2010 at 9:18 AM
From Bradley KeithBe ready for a really smooth hyper coaster. Some of the ride isn't really visible because of trees, but it goes up and down through the trees. It has a lot of airtime. On the first time, I'd ride in the middle.
Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM
From Bobby MillerCameron, glad to see you took my advice and rode Apollo and judged it for yourself, aren't coasters great!!!!!!!! Keep on riding.
Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:05 PM
Bobby, formally known as Bob & Robert!!!!!!!
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Plan your theme park vacation with our readers' travel guides:
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive