Rai Fox wrote:Great report so far! My kind of trip report, with plenty of awesome (and horrible) food to go with the coasters! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest, as much as it's making me regret not being able to make this tour!
...I NEED to try that Cheerwine sauce someday.
Thanks Fox! They sell sauce by the bottle in the store, but they didn't have the Cheerwine available yet otherwise I would have grabbed some for fellow Cheerwine fans. The website does say they have it in bottles now so next time you're in the area you can grab some.
Day 4 - Evening at Busch Gardens
This starts the part of the trip that I'll talk about things a bit more and have more pictures to show off because there's lots of new/firsts for me! We took off from our spot north of Charlotte and headed up towards the East Coast. We had another eventful stop in the middle North Carolina and got into Williamsburg with great timing.
Good morning. Here's a picture of this weird ass mirror covered boost mobile store in the middle of nowhere North Carolina. Stay boosted NC!
Good afternoon. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET THE ARBYS MEATS IF WE CAN'T GET IN?? (Albert photo credit)
Good afternoon from the faith and family DVD section in Walm LOOK OUT MOSES, PENNYWISE HAS BREACHED THE FAMILY AND FAITH SECTION FROM THE HORROR SECTION
and now we have sharks attacking us! Let's get the f*********** out of here to BGW! Everyone on the bus let's gooooo! (Albert photo credit)
Okay, we arrived! First impressions - Living in a big city has made me appreciate the outdoors more. Chicago might have Millennium Park but that's nothing compared to what other cities like San Francisco or New York have to offer. Williamsburg was heavily wooded with that delicious rich southern pine scent. I immediately loved the setting.
It took no time to go from the hotel over to the park. Effortless. We had a super fun 2 days tickets since we were spending the evening and the following morning/afternoon at the park. And whew. It. Was. Hot. Humid. Muggy. Heavy. I'm confident in saying everyone on the trip was prepared for heat but today it was just plain gross out. I hadn't felt that level of heat + humidity in a while.
All that excess sweat and sun didn't matter because I was on cloud 9 being in a NEW PARK! BGW had been on my bucket list for some time since it's been 9+ hours away from me my whole life. This is why I'm here! Wooo yeahhhhh TPR USA 2018 trip! We got a good introduction to the park since we had to meet up with BGW relations at Invadr for our ERT wristbands. That put us in the back of the park, so we ventured over to the Oktoberfest area.
One of the first sights in the park.
Great first impressions!
Verbolten was testing empty trains, so we started things off at Mach Tower since it was a walk on and simply, it was operating. For so many years this ride had such an awful reputation so I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to ride it. First off, what is up with the restraints? I'm a little guy and they still pinched my arms to the plastic side of the car. They are over the shoulder restraints but the way the seat hugs up against your body is just so bizarre. After a beautiful, lengthy trip to the top you're treated to an enormous view of the James river and all the inlets of water surrounding. It's one of the best views on a drop tower and the drop is A+ as well. It's easy to forget that this is one of the larger drop towers out there. I really really liked this ride despite the uncomfortable over the shoulder restraints.
Even the people in the Mach Tower promo video are confused as to why the over the shoulder restraints are so uncomfortable. But damn it's a good tower.(BGW Youtube)
A quick stop in the Festhaus to check out the dinner options but the line was absolutely massive, so we checked off our .40 cent beer credits, still too much for Coors light
and I grabbed a better beer on the way out. We walked across the bridge to the Italy section of the park where we browsed some dinner options, but there were still some coasters to check out first.
Yeah this place is beautiful.
Apollo's Chariot! Of all the B&M hypers I've ridden I like them all about the same, but Apollo would be the one that sticks out as too tame. I mean, come on, you know what you're getting with a B&M hyper but even the pre-drop couldn't give the train a boost to lift me out of the seat. That being said, it's still a fun ride with a divine setting. The drop over the river, the helix with deer, and twisty bits towards the end of the ride were all good. Apollo is the first B&M hyper built back in 1999 and it gives you everything you want - little tunnels, a lengthy out and back trip, comfortable trains. It's easy to see why families love this coaster.
Apollo I know you're the god of light and sun and all but give us a break here!
Hello from the surface of the sun! We all dumped the water on our heads after this photo.
A re-ride was tempting, but the operations weren't 100% and we didn't want to wait in the sun for another Apollo ride. Tempesto was firing off trains pretty quickly, so we went over there for a station wait.
Tempesto - The coaster that just kind of showed up at BGW
I was about to type "aren't comfort collars the worst?" until I remembered that no, the worst is being stuck waiting behind a parent forcing their bawling child to ride a coaster. There are plenty of things I witnessed on the trip that made me shake my head, but this is one thing that really bugs me. Following the "does this affect me in any way?" rule, we just kinda let it happen and thankfully the girl didn't seem too traumatized when they got back into the station.
I love Premier coasters! I didn't love Tempesto! It just didn't do much for me and I felt like I was riding a Vekoma flyer. Fast, slow, fast, twist, slow, fast, slow is pretty much what I got from the ride. That experience combined with the loose article policy prevented me from riding again. I'd love to check out the models with the friendlier trains.
Dinner time at Marco Polo grill! We almost didn't get to have the dinner that we wanted - the Mediterranean beef. The station was out of pretty much everything and we were first told that there were only veggies left when it was just Alex Michael and I, but when the rest of the group showed up after browsing the options the guy took back what he said and went in the back and brought out a beautifully seasoned slab of medium cooked beef. It came with potatoes, pita, salad, and was f******* delicious. Really glad the guy double checked with the kitchen because this was the best theme park food I've had!
Seriously some of the best theme park food I've had. (bgwfans photo credit)
After taking a lap around towards the front of the park, we ran into Loch Ness Monster. The did a great job with the effects in the tunnel that they put in for the 40th anny. So, riding it for the first time in 2018. What else can I say about Loch Ness other than it's a coaster that I felt a sense of accomplishment in riding but not much desire to re-ride. It's like a mine train with loops. I'm glad I got to ride it, but I'd rather admire it off ride than on ride
Ryan took this brilliant photo. Loch Ness looks great!
At this point the day was starting to wind down, so we let Jared shop a bit to figure out our next move and took the sky ride over to Griffon.
Laura and I love the sky ride because we can say hello to our bovine friend below.
I'll call this "Two Guys Touching A Pole With Thumbs Up"
Love ya Michael and Chris
***airhorn******airhorn******airhorn*** Merch Madness update Jared is on a roll! ***airhorn******airhorn******airhorn***
And now you have to carry your truck load of shirts around in the heat. Smart move
Ahhh Griffon, how I had been looking forward to a dive coaster without the vest restraints. Of course I really like this ride! The view overlooking the Budweiser brewery and the James river is fantastic, the drop with just the OTSR is fun, the drop down to the river was great, and the little bump into the splashdown was fun as well. I could re-ride this coaster all day (foreshadowing!).
Everything about the B&M dive coaster track/trains is so neat to look at in person.
By now the heat had gone from 100* to probably 90*
Yeah we were all hot messes for our ERT session on Invadr. Invadr! It's a GCI. It has a tunneled first drop which is a unique choice and I actually really enjoyed the initial drop for my first couple of rides because you couldn't really see where the drop ended at night. This was a memorable ERT session and I'd like to thank Robb for keeping count of my rides, I would have been lost without you Robb!
Our ERT was 30 minutes and that was the perfect amount of time because by the end of it I had never wanted a shower more in my life. It was that hot and humid.
The Holiday Inn Express we stayed at was great. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to go to BGW (https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/williamsburg/wbgbg/hoteldetail
Day 5 - Look out for ze black fhorest yah?
The next morning we were treated to filming sessions on Griffon, Alpengeist, and Apollo. Big thanks to Robb and Elissa for their efforts on working with BGW to make this happen. There's nothing like starting the day off with the park to ourselves. Also the early start helped out with heat for real! It seemed like everyone was able to chill out and have a drink/see a show/relax before we left and that's definitely because we were able to get rides on the big 3 before the park even opened.
Good morning Griffon! We all filled the train and switched seats every cycle giving plenty opportunities to ride left/right/front/back.
New remix: "We are IN the log flume"
On over to Alpengeist! My first time on this massive old school B&M invert! With all the RMC's, 300ft+ coasters, and new parks on this trip I had forgotten to ride it on day 1. I've seen pictures of this legendary coaster since a kid so I was pretty pumped up to ride. And yeah, Robb's rider cam caught my reaction perfectly, haha.
Guess who's never been on Alpengeist before. (Robb photo credit!)
It's a very solid invert! The snappyness doesn't bother me on any B&M I just hug that OTSR nice and tight and ..yeah that's my trick, haha. I honestly did not know what it did post MCBR and zero g, so I was taken by surprise with the low to the ground elements. It's not my favorite, it's not my least favorite. It does feel like you're eye to eye with Griffon on top of that lift and that's such an interesting feeling on an invert.
Seriously impressive structure.
We took a trip through the Oktoberfest over to Apollo for some filming and we got sooooo many rides on Apollo! Thanks BGW! It's not my favorite hyper, but it's still a really enjoyable ride. There's really nothing to not like or offend anyone. I rode in the front, back, middle, left, right it seriously felt like we had this ride for over an hour.
The Apollo crew was awesome! They were really sweet to us.
It's smooth, it's fast, it's like whatever the Greek version of cappuccino and biscotti
B&M ERT pfftt it's all about big ass fan ERT!!!
Oh no did Alex get Fabio'd??? (Andy photo)
Nope he looks perfectly normal.
At that point we only had 2 things left to accomplish - Le Scoot and Verbolten. After we picked up our fast pass, we went over to check on Le Scoot because KT wanted to ride and Jared/Chris/Michael/Collin/Alex and I were all about that plan. Le Scoot didn't open 'till noon so we checked on Verbolten. I honestly forget if that was open or not, I don't think it was yet so we just got a pretzel and hung out for a moment before getting to Le Scoot at opening. Also somewhere in that time frame the 8 of us rode Invadr because Elissa was really upset she missed out on the ERT the night before
Eventually Verbolten opened. Going into Verbolten the coaster was kind of an after thought to me. I didn't know too much about the ride - I knew what trick it had in the building, but wow I was pleasantly surprised by this ride.
**Spoiler, skip if you don't want to know what happens***
There was just so much more that went on in the building than anyone could have convinced me. Even on Mach Tower I didn't notice the indoor building. It looks tiny! But there's a solid airtime hill in there along with a good bit of twistyness. The drop track was great, so that was 2 unexpected moments of airtime that I wasn't ready for. Then, the launch out of the building had a nice kick!
***Okay you're good.
The drop down from the bridge was a great way to pay homage to BBW, and there are some nice twisty bits to end the ride. Overall when it's running, it's an impressive coaster. I can totally see why it has downtime with a number of launch portions, the drop track, lots of block sections, etc. Also there are 5 or 6 trains running? Well done BGW. Verbolten ended up being one of the biggest surprises of the trip for me and is my favorite BGW coaster by far.
Trains or cars? I don't know!
It was right about beer o'clock since we were leaving in a few hours and BGW has an impressive selection. I got the Chesapeake Pale Ale per Chuck's recco.
Thanks Chuck! Great to see you!!
I can't believe I met larrygator in real life.
Larry! Nice meeting you! Hope to see you again soon.
We took a lap around the park for more sky rides and to just take in the park.
Jolly jolly jolly.
The walk through the bird exhibit was really well done. You got really close to some exotic birbs.
Not in the bird exhibit but beautiful birb!!
Can't forget about the train! We made the whole lap around the park.
Seems like the whole crew ended up at the pub in Ireland which was an oasis from the heat with plenty of different drink options. From there it was time to leave so we headed out for our drive to the Doswell area where I had an unfortunate date with Virginia style sushi
This update turned out to be way bigger than I thought! Thanks for reading!