Friday, August 12, 2011

A Western View - An Eastern View: Part 3

Welcome back to the grand finale of my east coast odyssey! We end at the Most Beautiful Park on the World, Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I think photos don’t do this park justice. You really have to see it in person to fully appreciate it. Unfortunately for me, I had to see it on the hottest day of my trip, which reached a heat index of 105 degrees.

The day started of at Loch Ness Monster, which opened 30 minutes prior to the park opening.

Like Anaconda at Kings Dominion, I was hesitant about riding this bad boy. I was happy to find out that this thing ran great and was easily one of the best Arrow coasters I’d ever been on.

Next up came a power walk to Griffon in hopes to avoid crowds. It would turn out there wasn’t a whole lot of crowds to compete with all day.

Griffon was, as I expected, a very fun ride. The highlight of the ride was of course being the drop.

Griffon was also one of the easiest coasters to photograph. With a whole lot of spots you can get pictures of.

Next up I crossed the bridge from New France into Germany for my ride on Alpengeist, where I was met with absolutely no lines and got a quick couple of rides in.

Had the mid course breaks not trimmed the speed so heavily Alpengeist probably would be my new favorite B&M Invert but it just killed the flow and excitement of the second half so alas, Alpy will have to settle for second behind Raptor.

At this point, the rest of Germany and Okoberfest were not yet open so I headed back towards Ireland and got a ride of Europe in the Air. The ride is a great idea and the A/C was wonderful, but the motion is really matched well with the video and left me pretty nauseated.

I headed next back toward the front of the park and into Festa Italia, home of Apollo’s Chariot.

This bad boy was the opposite of Griffon in regards to ease of taking photos. The ride turned out to be awesome and was my favorite at the park.

It was now lunchtime (yeah, I got all the major coasters done before lunch) so I headed to Oktoberfest for a visit to Festhaus.

The food was good, but the best part of this place was the beer!

Next up was a spin on The Curse of DarKastle. I’m glad I’ve never been on Spider-Man in Florida because everyone says it is better so I’m glad I could enjoy DarKastle without comparing it. It was a lot of fun!

The park is just breathtakingly beautiful.

I did not ride Pompeii (I don’t do water rides) but it looks great on the outside.

Walking around the park I took hundreds of pictures, which I wish I could share, and was just mesmerized by the attention to detail.

Back in Ireland I checked out the Celtic Fyre show which was a huge highlight of the trip, I ended up going back later and watching it again when my friends arrived at the park and the equally loved it. Ireland was also home to the best IllumiNights nighttime show. Unfortunately it was so hot I left my camera in my locker and didn’t get any shots.

The parks animal exhibits where a really nice touch. And I was happy to see that they cancelled their wolf show due to heat, which shows me the park really cares for their animals.

The bald eagle exhibit was a personal favorite. This is seriously a beautiful bird and amazing to see in person.

All in all it was a fantastic day! The park was amazing and very different than what we have on the west coast. The best way to describe it to my friends and family back home is that it's like a Disney park and a Six Flags park had and alcoholic child together. Amazing themeing, killer roller coasters, and lots and lots of beer!

Now, lets do a quick recap of my day at the park.

Best Ride: Apollo’s Chariot – I’m sure some would disagree with this and say it’s Griffon, but Apollo mixes great speed, negative and positive G’s, and use of terrain that made for the better ride.

Best Crew: Apollo’s Chariot – Though every ride’s crew worked very quick and efficient, Apollo’s crew was the only one interacting with the guests and generally having a good time.

Most Amusing Oddity of the Park: Pirates 4D – This 4D film has set show times as if it’s a live show when it’s really a short film that most parks would run continuously as a ride. Also they just brought this film back but it’s so dated that two of the stars are deceased (Leslie Nielson and Rodney Dangerfield).

Highlight of the Day: Celtic Fyre – This show was amazingly fun and on a much higher level than what you would normally expect at a theme park. It’s a must see when visiting the park.

All in all it was a great trip. I added 23 coaster credits to my coaster count which is always nice. The heat was more than I would care to handle on a regular basis (I like my 65 degree days in San Francisco). Thanks for reading, and I hope to have more material for another A Western View very soon.


Surya said...

I went for an east coast trip in May and added 56 different coasters to my count :) Went to Kings Dominion, Carowinds, SF America, SF Great Adventure SF New England, Quassy, Hersheypark and Dorney. Didn't make it to BGW though :(

Michael said...

I am glad you enjoyed your day at the park. I am part of the Apollo crew and was glad to hear us named "best crew". I hope you come back this year for Verbolten. One thing I would suggest is that you take the roller coaster insider tour at Busch next time you come. It is a lot of fun. The highlights of the tour are: going into the maintenance bays of some of the coasters, riding a trolley to the top of Griffon, and riding all of the coasters twice before the park opens! I have been on this tour twice and recomend it strongly to coaster fans. Again, I am glad you enjoyed your day at the park.