Photo TR: Busch Gardens Europe - Preview Day in the cold 3/17/07

Cold start to the 2007 season in Virginia
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A griffon? How deliciously absurd!
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Photo TR: Busch Gardens Europe - Preview Day in the cold 3/17/07

Postby griffon » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:35 pm

Finally... the day I've been waiting for all winter ::P

Starting off from home it was about 35 degrees when my girlfriend and I left and headed down to Busch Gardens to get there at open. Skies were blue as we pulled into the park, and it really felt at first like it was going to warm up as the day went on. We met up with Jeff [pkdcoaster] and later Chuck [cfc] in the park, and headed first to the Griffon construction area to check on the progress. The ride itself looks really amazing, and the central location makes it very visible from almost anywhere in the park. We got a few pictures, and then tried to head over to Alpengeist which had not started testing yet. Bummer.

Ok... so on to the first ride of the season, DarKastle. The walk-on line made it worth the wait this time. No changes to report here.

Next we rode the Wolf which Jeff points out was running noticeably smoother than in previous experiences. I'm sure he can elaborate if needed.

After the Wolf we headed to Apollo. The crowds were really starting to pour in at this point, and the wait was already up to about 25 minutes. By the time we got on the back row it had become very cloudy, and we noticed some snow flurries while going up the lift. In celebration of his first coaster ride in the snow, Jeff entertained the train by singing his classic rendition of "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" throughout the ride.

From there the weather just seemed to get colder and darker, and there were snow flurries off and on throughout the rest of the afternoon. I tried to get some food in the Festhaus later on, but discovered that about half of the population of guests had taken shelter there, and there was not a seat in the house.

We eventually got a ride on Alpengeist and Nessie in the afternoon, but the combination of weather and crowds cut our day short, so we ended up leaving around 3.

As far as changes to the park:

The new touch and go entry system was a breeze for me, although I noticed some people had more difficulty than others getting their fingers to scan. From the short period of time I was there, everything seemed to be very smooth, so hopefully this will make wait times shorter getting into the park.

The big new policy this year is that Busch is no longer allowing any type of bags in to the queue lines of most attractions. This causes some major problems for me since I enjoy taking pictures at the park, and my camera equipment has to be carried in a bag. Basically, with the new policy I have to pay a dollar to put my bag in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo for every ride I get on. I don’t know how other people feel about this, but I imagine during the summer it will cause some issues. I know some other parks do this at certain rides, and I do understand the reasoning behind it, but now being put in this position at my home park feels like a real inconvenience, and I hope it will be reconsidered down the road, but we’ll see. I’ll have to find a way to deal with it for now, but I’m not real excited about it.

So I only got a few pictures today. Not a great variety as the weather turned pretty crappy, it wasn’t worth trying to get all the quality shots, but here are some photos from the day and some captions. Hope you enjoy!
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It sure looks like it's about 90 degrees from this picture :)
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Park entrance in the morning
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Only a couple more weeks left to get this shot
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Welcome to Ireland on St Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, not the best day for kilts.
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Sunny Ireland
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El Griffon looks sweet!
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Can't wait for trains to be flying through this area
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Griffon towers over everything in the park and can be seen from so many places.
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An overall view of the drop and 1st Immelman
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Can't wait to be up there
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Here's where the ride really looks massive! Notice the supports have to extend into the side of the slope
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New Skyline
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Nessie snaking through the woods
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Jeff: "I'm having a good time!" Chuck: "I'm having a good time????" Girl in middle: "I'll kill you all"
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Lots of people were in the Griffon ride area getting ready for testing
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I spent some time trying to line this shot up, and it came out overexposed and interesting at the same time.
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Griffon 2nd drop
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I'll be back! until next time...

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Postby cfc » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:40 pm

Nice pictures, Chris--some very nice angles on Griffon. I'll be back when it's a wee bit warmer, I think.

Nice bumping into you and Jeff.

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Postby DerekRx » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:45 pm

Looks like good stuff. I'm not too pleased with the "bag policy" but Griffon sure looks good. I'm still not sure if I'll venture down there in a few weeks or not, but I'll definitely encounter a working Griffon a few times this year...once it's opened and it's a tad bit warmer out. Thanks for an update from today!
All clear....

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Postby niiicolaaah » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:49 pm

Oh my god... ::drools at Griffon:: =)
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Postby All Clear » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:21 pm

Your pictures are great. I'm glad you got to see some sun over Griffon today.

My friend had to work until 10:30 so we got a late start. We got there around noon and it was already freezing and threatening to snow. As hard as we tried to tough it out, we had to leave by 3:30 or 4. We enjoyed talking about how Alpie's theming was getting out of hand.

Did anyone turn up for the ACE Mid-Atlantic informal meet up? We waited for about 15 minutes. Hunger won out and we skipped over to Trapper's instead and I put another tick on my mental column that's labeled "Reasons I should not renew."

A griffon? How deliciously absurd!
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Postby griffon » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:28 pm

... glad you guys like the pictures. I wish I could have gotten a better variety of some of the other rides, but I will when the weather is nicer.

As far as the ACE- informal meet up. I have no idea, but I'm sure somebody does.

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Postby Nrthwnd » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:33 am

Griffon looks hot.

And I haven't even seen a POV, yet.


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Postby pkdcoaster » Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:33 am

Yea dude, Great pics! I had a great time with you guys. Next time I won't forget my camera :roll: I was really impressed at the size of Griffon over EVERYTHING at the park.

Also check out Chuck's great pics at the Griffon thread with pics of the sexy trains. ... &start=630

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Postby coasterfreak101 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:58 am

Wow, awesome pics! I think that the second Griffon shot (also the one on the site's home page) might become the ride's signature shot! Thanks for sharing, I'm so excited about this ride!
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Postby kissorkill2night » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:25 am

Great Soooo exciteddd!
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