Actually, the trip video will probably be more interesting than the TR. I managed to get a little footage inside DarKastle. The ops were very cool with the camera. They only warned that I might want to watch out for the waters effect (ver minimal).
What was the single rider line taken off of?
The single riders line was removed from Apollos Chariot.
I can't believe that line for DarKastle! I hope it was worth your wait!
Not worth the almost 2 hours, but people do seem to like it a lot. It is definately inferior to Spiderman, but is anyone suprised.
OK. Here is the TR. I will be posting all the pics to my site later today.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
After leaving out excellent accomodations at the Quality Inn on By-Pass road, we headed over to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for day one of a two day trip to Virginia. We managed to pull into the parking lot just shortly after the park opened and picked a spot near the gate in the preferred parking lot (gotta love those platinum perks).
The park was already starting to look pretty crowded, so we headed straight across the center and right to DarKastle. Since the ride was relatively new, I thought it would be a good idea to hit it first, but it looks like everybody else had the same idea. Not knowing if the line would get much worse, we headed into the queue where the attendant said there was "about an hour wait".
Sure enough, an hour has come and gone and we are just now entering the permanent queue line. Up to this point, we have only managed to navigate our way through the temporary queues that were added to accomodate the longer lines. I have to give Williamsburg a good rating on the way that they were handling the large number of patrons waiting to ride. Plenty of employees were on hand to discourage line jumpers, answer questions, and distribute "restroom passes".
After nearly another hour of winding around the permanent queue, we made our way into the pre-show area where the story begins. After a short pre-show movie, you go into another room where you will board the ride vehicle.
The ride vehicles are very similar to the ones on Spiderman, but they are instead themed to a "chariot" looking box. The vehicles also only have two rows of four, so they are a little smaller. The restraints are individual t-bars that are very similar to those that you would find on Intamin and GCI coasters.
The first that crossed my mind as we boarded is that there is no "single riders" line for DarKastle. It is a shame too, as there were two empty seats next to us as started our journey.
I will leave most of details out of this report, as I do not want to spoil it, but I will say that while it is a very entertaining ride, it does not offer the complete package that can be found on Spiderman. Some of the movements seem uninspired and don't fit well with the action that is going on around you. Combined this with some serious holes in the story and lack of suspense or suprises, the ride just doesn't compare to the magic that is found on it's Orlando counterpart.
Oh yeah, and the spinning was just a little TOO much. Once or twice would have been fine, but it started to get a little rediculous.
After DarKastle, we grabbed lunch before taking a little tour around the park courtesy of the SkyRide and Train. After our little break, we hopped in what was a full queue for Alphengeist. Even though the line was full, it still wasn't that bad of a wait due to the suprising pace that they were sending trains out at. They were consistently getting the next train out by the time the one before it had entered the MCBR.
This was probably the best ride I have had on Alphengeist, and it really didn't have much to do with how the coaster was running (which was good with the exception of that damn brake). What made the ride so great was the interaction with all the other things around it. We rode in the front and crested the lift the same time as Nessie and Apollo before Buzzing a SkyRide gondola and performing a fly-by past the log jammer.
While Alphengeist was running well, Apollo was a completely different story. Apollo was running so bad that the third train was sitting on the "hard" brake for as much as 3-4 minutes before even making it to the area outside the station.
Apollo is one of my girlfriends favorite rides (as well as one of mine), and it didn't fail to deliver on this particular occasion. The ride was running exactly as expected until we hit the second trim. Once we made it over the 2nd trim, it was immediately apparent that it was wide open, as we hopped over the last couple hills with more velocity than I ever remembered.
Due to the fact that the park was pretty crowded and my allergies were completely kicking my ass, we decided to head out early and get a bite to eat in the outside world.
Overall the park experience was great and I was suprised that the park could get even more beautiful than I remebered. Most of my visits have been in the early spring and fall, so I had yet to see the park in full bloom. Too bad my allergies didn't feel the same way.
Paramounts Kings Dominion
Well, it is Mothers Day, and we are making the trek from our hotel in Williamsburg to Paramount's Kings Dominion, for a day of riding one of the more unique coaster collections out there.
As we pull into the parking lot, the crowd is looking pretty managable. Pulling into my spot, I even caught a glimpse of Hypersonic going over it's hill. Could it be that it's running? We'll just have to wait and see.
After checking my "Leatherman Tool" into lost and found (I am never smart enough to remember that these parks have metal detectors that detect ... you guessed it ... METAL!), we headed to Guest Services and got our passes for the day.
We headed straight back to the back of the park and sure enough Hypersonic is running. You may ask why I get so excited over this, but I have not seen it run since opening season. I have had the worse luck with coaster as it has been closed every visit since 2001.
We hopped into the line where one guy was exiting saying, "I'm not going to wait two hours for this ride". I took a look at the queue and guaged it with the rate at which they were sending trains. It didn't take long to figure out that we would be on in about 40 minutes or so. So we waited and got our lone ride on Hypersonic.
Hypersonic was pretty much as I remembered. A crazy launch with decent air over the top and back combined with a little shaking (though not that bad) and the loudest brake run ever.
After TR: Hyper, we grabbed a bite to eat and then I hopped in line for Tomb Raider: Firefall. Since my girlfriend isn't a big fan of these rides, I was on my own, as I waited through the queue.
Here's a little bit about Tomb Raider: Firefall. While many have been slamming this ride, it seems that is EXTREMELY popular with the locals. The ride couldn't have been located in a better spot, and there is plenty of room for the watchers that it attracts and it attracts a lot of watchers. At any give time there are more people watching than can be found in the queue for the ride. With it's location across from Volcano, this area of the park is extremely crowded for the better part of the day.
My ride on Firefall was more enjoyable than I expected. Being a tall person, I was afraid that my dangling legs would be subjected to a mean series of bashing inversions, but I hardly even noticed any extreme motions in them. The only complaint that I will make is that without the floor under your feet, you really don't have any way to brace your posture in the seat. This all adds up to some slightly bruised family jewels at the end of the cycle.
Now off to Ricochet for a spin on this fun little coaster. Ricochet is one of the coasters that fits what it is designed to do very well. It is a fun little custom mouse that can provide enjoyment for people of all ages. We both a ball as the coaster zig-zagged through the course.
With the drive back to West Virginia looming in our minds, we decided to take one more ride before leaving and I figured that Volcano would be the best possible choice. Since no one ever seems to line up for it, we took the front seat and got our last ride of the day on this Intamin Invert.
While the park was pretty crowded (Mothers Day), it was still a great day to be there. The weather was great and the rides were running fairly well, but it looks like I will have to wait another day to check out the re-tracked Grizzley.
Just curious Ted, were those pics of the line taken right at the park opening or after the park was open for a little bit. Just curious, as I'm wondering how fast I'm going to have to run this Saturday?
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.