Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a park known for installing a major thrill every two or three years. In 2012, the park bought an incredibly themed and unique coaster, Verbolten, and in 2015 the park brought us a very fun launched coaster known as Tempesto. Now, it appears the park is already sparking conversation about what’s next.
Today, the park released a video teasing a major 2017 addition. I recommend watching the video, because it’s quite a fun one that will probably get a couple of laughs out of you! It’s below for your viewing pleasure!
In the video, they mention that what sounds like a lot of land needs to be cleared (in particular they mention clearing a cliff, which makes sense due to Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s hilly and wooded terrain), mention a drop, and they also say something about 17 stories. Based on this, it sounds like the park will indeed be installing a roller coaster. This may or may not be true, but based on the very few details revealed, this was what came to mind, and instantly I began thinking about what this coaster could be.
There are several types of rides which would fit perfectly into the Busch Gardens Williamsburg lineup. Several of these rides happen to be available from manufacturers Busch Gardens and their parent company, SeaWorld, have worked with recently. Here are some of what I would say are the most likely contenders:
The B&M Route:
Over the years, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Parks have installed several B&M roller coasters. Since the 1990’s, the two companies have collaborated on notable rides such as Kumba, Apollo’s Chariot, Griffon, Manta, and most recently (this year that is), Mako. Of all of the products B&M offers, I think two are much more likely than the others. One would be a first attraction for Virginia, and another would be a ride which always draws in flocks of crowds.
Flying Coaster – Flying coasters are some of the most fun and relatively uncommon rides out there. In the United States, there are only a few installations of these fantastic coasters. Sister park SeaWorld Orlando’s Manta is one of the best examples of these B&M rides. The attraction is a popular one for the park, and it would fill an empty spot in the Busch Gardens Williamsburg lineup. The ride could fit the 17 stories description from the video (that would make it the tallest flying coaster yet), and it would be a ride suited well to dive down a cliff. Not only would a flying coaster bring an intense, and well-liked attraction to the park, but it would also be a first in the state of Virginia.
Gigacoaster – Another possibility of a B&M would be a gigacoaster. The B&M model of these huge, but incredibly exciting and popular attractions has been praised by riders. The most recent installation, Fury 325 at Carowinds, is making its mark on the community as one of the most popular coasters out there (and my personal favorite). I am not sure that SeaWorld wants to make this huge of a commitment with its recent financial troubles, but it certainly would bring more people to the park and provide an incredible ride experience. The 16 stories mentioned does not necessarily mean the first drop, and could have something to do with another portion of the coaster, but there is no certainty to it. Of the B&M’s, I see a flying coaster as a more likely option for the park, although I absolutely would love to see a gigacoaster speeding through the woods of Williamsburg.
I personally do not think this is what Busch Gardens Williamsburg to install, but there is still a chance the park builds a B&M Winged Coaster. They’ve been popping up more and more at parks around the world, but it is kind of a similar ride to Griffon, which as a dive coaster features seating over the side of the track.
The Mack Rides Route:
Mack Rides has been installing more and more rides across the globe recently. Although there are installations of their incredible looking rides all across Europe and Asia, they have made very few large coasters in the United States. A good portion of their ride installations in the United States have been going to SeaWorld Parks. With Manta at SeaWorld San Diego being a big success out there, and several other installations across the chain, this is certainly a big possibility of what could come to the park in the next few years.
Mack Megacoaster – One of Mack Rides’s most popular models is their Megacoaster. These coasters are dynamic ones, which often feature fantastic inversions, airtime moments, and are a lot of fun (from what I’ve heard, at least). Currently, there are no installations of these rides in the United States, but this would allow Busch Gardens Williamsburg to have the exclusive installation for the time being. An installation of this model could fit into the Busch Gardens lineup as their more intense, although regular, looping coaster, with the other being the classic Loch Ness Monster.
Something Else – Mack Rides continues to surprise everyone as they offer new products for theme parks across the world. It appears they’re building their first winged coaster at Walibi Holland this year, and I could easily see Busch Gardens building one of these or something completely unexpected. Whether it’s a Megacoaster, maybe even a Mack Gigacoaster (this would definitely be a first), or something else, a Mack Rides coaster would fit perfectly in Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Although I think a B&M or Mack Rides coaster is more likely, there are some other possibilities. In fact, one of these could be what is coming based on some interesting details. This company has been a huge trend for the industry in recent years, and once again could bring an incredibly unique first for the region.
Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) – This is another manufacturer I could see coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the near future. Joel Manby, the new CEO of SeaWorld, was one of the early adaptors of RMC. His previous company built Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City and more recently Lightning Rod at Dollywood. He clearly likes Rocky Mountain Construction, and this is definitely a possibility at Busch Gardens soon. If BGW does install an RMC, it is hard to tell what it will be. The company is famous for creating wooden coasters filled with smooth elements including inversions and a lot of airtime. I did not think they would do this at first, because of a noise ordinance which causes them to build quieter steel coasters, but these RMC woodies are much quieter than wooden coasters, and there were some interesting signs in the video that could be symbols of a wooden coaster. One of these symbols was a hammer on the table in the room. This is a strangely placed sign, but it could symbolize this coaster type. Also, at the end of the video, there is a wood grain texture in the video. This is once again an interesting sign, but may not mean anything. Another thing I could see Busch Gardens doing is being one of the first parks to make an RMC T-Rex coaster. This single rail coaster was showcased recently at the IAAPA Expo and it looks incredible! We have not seen much about what this ride can do, but since it’s RMC it’ll likely be unique and incredible. Whether it shows up at Busch Gardens or not, I think it will show up in the near future.
Something else? – This is going out on the limb, but Busch Gardens could install an Intamin ride or even a ride from someone else. If they built an Intamin, it would continue a relationship that sprung with the creation of Cheetah Hunt and Falcon’s Fury at the sister Busch Gardens park in Tampa. The only thing is, these two rides have been maintenance nightmares for the park. I don’t think Busch Gardens would partner with them once again, but they’ve surprised us in the past and can do so once again. After all, it appears SeaWorld San Antonio may install a clone of the Intamin jet-ski coaster located at Sea World Australia. This could once again spring a relationship between SeaWorld and Intamin. Although I cannot think of any other options, SeaWorld could bring in an entirely different manufacturer and a new product. Just look at Tempesto, nobody was expecting the park to install a Premier Rides Sky Rocket II model. Although I think it will most likely be a Mack or B&M ride (if it even is a coaster), we will have to wait and see! Until then, I can’t wait for the future of Busch Gardens Williamsburg! It’ll be nice to have something big coming to my backyard here in Virginia!
What do you think Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2017 addition will be? Let us know and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information! You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel and follow us on Apple News by searching “Theme Parks and Travels” in the app!