Monday, June 11, 2012

Aerial Antics: Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Finally!  Bing has updated their aerial images and how feature bird's eye views of Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Since I started doing Aerial Antics Busch Gardens Williamsburg was one of the parks I'd always zoom in on, hoping the images were available.  Alas it took several years but now we've got some flying around to do.  Let's get started!

Once inside the park's gates if guests choose to turn left they'll pass the Sesame Street Forest of Fun, which is actually on the right in the above photos.  The children's area was added to the park in 2009 and features a family coaster and other kiddie rides, all themed around the Sesame Street characters.

On the left is Escape From Pompeii, the park's twist on the classic shoot-the-chutes rides.  You can see the massive show building that the boats enter after the lift, which features a trip through a crumbling Pompeii.

Escape from Pompeii is only the start of the park's Italy section, which includes the B&M megacoaster known as Apollo's Chariot.  One of the first of its kind designed by B&M, the ride features a 170 foot lift but a much larger drop into a water filled ravine.  There's plenty of air-time hills to follow, along with an interesting upward curving helix as the turnaround.

Oktoberfest has been the center of activity at the park for several years now, with the renovations finally ending this year with the opening of Verbolten.  But last year's big addition was Mach Tower, a free fall tower that can be seen under construction in this image.

Verbolten replaces the Big Bad Wolf, which magically snapped into view when I was looking around.  The classic Arrow designed suspended coaster thrilled riders for well over two decades.

Here's the former station and accessory buildings for Drachen Fire, the long since removed Arrow looping mess.  To get a better feel for for how the ride sat in the area, reference this photo.  I believe the buildings are now used as part of Halloween activities.

I love how imposing Griffon looks from the air, almost as much as I love taking a spin on the coaster!  I think the image is skewed a bit but it still looks awesome.

The park's third B&M creation (chronologically the first) is the inverted masterpiece known as Alpengeist.  The ride also uses the park's terrain to its advantage, creating a series of elements that move downward to a massive cobra roll over the Rhine River.

We can't forget about the Loch Ness Monster, which was the first coaster in the world to feature interlocking vertical loops.  I have to admit that my favorite part of the coaster is the musty smelling tunnel that you can spy in the upper right.

While not directly a part of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, we will end with a look at Water Country USA.  The waterpark features a huge selection of slides and activities.  If you look close you can see last year's addition, Vanish Point, under construction.

To head off on your own flight over the park, start with this link to Bing's aerials.