The Virginia park is celebrating Nessie's birthday this week with a five-day festival, starting Wednesday. The park is offering $40 one-day tickets, 40 percent discounts on Nessie merchandise, and 40-cent popcorn next to the ride's entrance, as well as drink specials at Das Festhaus and a special interlocking double-loop pretzel in Oktoberfest, honoring Nessie's most most iconic track element.
This Arrow Dynamic custom looping coaster by Ron Toomer was the world's tallest and fastest when it opened in 1978, not to mention boasting that world-first interlocking loop combination. At 130 feet and 60 mph, Nessie doesn't come close to setting any records today, but it remains a beloved coaster that has thrilled generations of fans.
How long as Nessie been around? It was the first "upside down" roller coaster I ever rode, way back in its early days. Then, a generation later, it became the first inverting coaster my daughter ever rode, too.
Living on the west coast, I haven't had the opportunity to ride Nessie in a while. Our last visit was on one of our epic, cross-country summer roadtrips — the one where Natalie first started riding upside down coasters. (And then bagged what was then all six of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's coasters on the same day. She's a quick learner!) But Busch Gardens says that it has made several improvements to the coaster since then, including "waking up the cave" by restoring some special effects to that section of the ride, including lighting and a "Loch Ness Monster roar."
(And if you'd like to learn more about Busch Gardens Williamsburg's collection of roller coasters, don't miss Russell Meyer's recap of his behind-the-scenes, insider's tour of the park's coasters that he posted here on Theme Park Insider.)
When was the last time you rode the Loch Ness Monster? What's your favorite Nessie memory?Tweet
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