A fantastic and, as always, amusing report from you, Chuck! Most of all, I loved your captions about "positive reinforcement" and the pictures of the border collies. I agree with you that Busch seems to be in good hands--it's touches like these that really lend to the uniqueness of the Busch chain, and I'm glad to see Blackstone making the effort to retain the world class theme park experience for which the parks are known.
Busch Gardens' Highland Stables has new tenants and a new look. Situated in the park's Scottish village adjacent to the Loch Ness Monster, the Highland Stables has been a park icon for three-and-a-half decades. When Busch Gardens opens to guests March 26, the stables will feature the park's own team of Clydesdales as well as a flock of black-faced sheep, two Border collie puppies and a Eurasian barn owl. The sheep and dogs will eventually lead daily herding demonstrations both inside the stable's pasture and in guest areas of the park. "The dogs are only a few months old and are still too young to herd sheep. We will introduce them to the flock later this summer," said Jay Tacey, Busch Gardens' zoological manager.
Along with the new animals, the barn itself is getting a facelift. The gleaming white fencing and polished brass tack is giving way to a more rustic look and feel akin to barns found on farms dotting the Scottish countryside. New picket fencing around the perimeter of the pasture as well as an earth-toned paint scheme all around pays homage to traditional Scottish life on a working farm.
The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales -- a fixture at the park since 1975 -- left at the end of 2009 soon after the Dec. 1 sale of the parks. Busch Gardens' new Clydesdales are black with a white blaze and other markings common to the breed of Scottish draft horses. "They're simply beautiful animals," said Tacey. "These gentle giants are very popular with our guests, so we're designing our demonstration programs that allow people to get even closer to these majestic animals. Combined with our sheep-herding demonstrations and our birds-of-prey exhibit, guests will experience farm life like never before."
A new behind-the-scenes tour will feature up-close encounters with the park's newest inhabitants. Check out buschgardens.com/va for additional information, and reservations for behind-the-scenes-tours of Highland Stables and all the tours offered at the park this year.
rollin_n_coastin wrote:^^It is indeed full of ironies. But, it makes life that much more interesting? haha
Heading down to Virginia is even more tempting. Dark Castle, Apollo's Chariot, I305, Williamsburg, etc etc
What is "I305?" The US Interstate 305 (I-305) is in California...
I love the pics of those cute little puppies! When I worked at Sea World in Orlando there were days when I got to play with the Busch Dalmatians during my breaks It is neat how they are working dogs back into the mix as well. FUN FACT: Dalmatians were used by Bud (and old fire trucks) because they can run fast and would fend off other dogs who would want to chase the horses when they were running.
That toy the pup is playing with looks like my dog's favorite outdoor toy. She even has it listed as her favorite activity on her Facebook page! Yes my dog has her own Facebook page- when your named after a roller coaster you do things like that I guess!
PS: I just watched the video above. My dog has that same black basket-ball too. She loves to played soccer with it. I should actually say she "had" that same ball. It disappeared about a week ago...it all makes since now...damn sheep!
Of the road, but still in a truck...By the way, that's my dog Millie (named after Millennium Force) over there to the left!
I have great news everybody. Wolf Haven is getting a face lift, which promises more viewing room for our guests and a new stage layout. Your viewing deck is really taking shape. One of the benefits is that you’ll be able to see the wolves in Wolf Valley while you are watching the show at Wolf Haven. The new deck will be open over Wolf Valley, which will give you a new perspective and brand new photo opportunities. We also are improving the stage by making sure it is ready for lots of wolf paws. We have sprayed concrete over top of the soil. Now the concrete keeps the soil in place, the plants still have room to grow, and it will be a much easier surface for the wolves to get traction on.
Here’s some video of them working on the new deck and installing some of the new concrete (shown below).
You’ll also be hearing and seeing some new stuff in the show. The focus of our updated show will still be wolf biology, behavior and conservation, but we’ll be throwing in some new surprises that we think you’ll love.
Oh, and there may be another North American predator you have yet to see grace our stage besides the Gray wolf. Any guesses? You’ll have to check back for more hints, and come to Busch Gardens this spring to see it yourself.
Megan Wolf Trainer at Busch Gardens
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
I'm sad to see BBW go. I rode it the last month in operation. I thought it was great! But that's coming from a person who has only been to 10 parks. Anyway, I will be following BGW to see what they do to the park. It should be interesting.
I am where the Coasters Are!! Except for SLC''s.
VeCOMA Coasters: 41 (36 Steel, 5 Wood) Park Count: 10
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