Great report and pictures, Chuck!
I got a last minute invite to Media Day on Wednesday June 16. I will say, after riding 15 times, I really enjoyed Verbolten. There were a couple times when I banged my head on the back of the seat during the launch, but once I learned the ride, it was no problem. The "Black Forest," is pretty cool and I enjoyed the different themes. The first ride with the freefall drop is the best, because it is unexpected, but there is a lot to see in the event building each time you ride. Personally, I enjoyed the Wolf theme the best. Speaking of themes, the Corporate Creative Director for Sea World, Brian, was telling us that the themes can be changed and they are currently working on a different theme for Howl-O-Scream that will offer a few, "unique surprises." That will be really cool! (His team developed the three themes for Verbolten.)
I think the ride is an moderately intensive family ride, not sure younger kids will like the event building though. But it definitely grows on you. As a matter of fact, I can't wait to ride it again. Overall, I think BGW built a good coaster and there will be long lines this summer to prove it.
Oh yeah, Gerta is a definite babe. I would explore her mountains, anytime.