Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been doing a lot of work to their Oktoberfest section of the theme park since September 2009. In 2009, their beloved family roller coaster, The Big Bad Wolf, took it’s final journey and closed for good. The coaster was soon dismantled, leaving bare land behind. Mach Tower, a 246 foot drop tower, opened in 2011 in place of the Katapult that once stood in Oktoberfest. Busch Gardens has been working hard all fall and winter to bring their newest attraction, Verbolten to life.
Busch Gardens invited us out today to peek behind the construction gates and see what is going on with Verbolten.
Here’s a layout of the ride. This map breaks the ride down into 8 parts: The entrance, queue building, station house, launch one, black forest, launch two, covered bridge, and the river dive. Let’s take a look at the various elements of Verbolten.
The ride entrance is actually a German Tourist Center run by brother and sisters, Gerta and Gunter. The ride entrance serves as the “launching point” of a thrilling autobahn touring experience.
Queue themeing has not yet been installed, but the visual above gives you a general idea of what the inside of the queue line might look like. It looks like Busch Gardens is putting a lot of energy and effort to make Verbolten a “seamless” experience with an elaborate queue line and a back story to support the ride.
The park preserved the old Big Bad Wolf Station to reuse it for Verbolten. However, the park has made upgrades and modifications to the existing structure to fit Verbolten right in. The themeing for the attraction will not only be located in the queue line, but the theme will carry through out the ride in several different points, station included.
Launch One/Launch Two
The first launch will happen right before you enter the “Black Forest”. This particular launch sends riders into the building through a hole in a brick wall! Pretty intimidating! The second launch will take riders and launch them towards the final drop. Both launches are pretty close to each other and can be seen in the photos above.
The “Black Forest” actually refers to the special effects building located behind the Bumper Cars. The building is full of many special effects that the park is trying to keep a big surprise. It’s a bit tough to see in the photo above, but the special effects building features a piece of track that will literally drop the floor. This is probably one of the coolest effects in the building that we currently know of at this point.
Riders will spend between 20-30 seconds inside the building. It will be just long enough to feel the effect of the Black Forest.
This looks like it’s going to be a really fun part of the ride! Right before riders plunge 88 feet towards the Rhine River, they will travel through a covered bridge, as seen in the concept pictures. The bridge is not yet complete, but it’s well on it’s way.
This is Larry Giles, the Vice President of Design and Engineering. If you look behind him, you’ll notice Verbolten’s final drop. The most notable thing about this drop is that it takes the same path as the Big Bad Wolf did for so many years. Busch Gardens even saved the concrete footers that were put into place for the Big Bad Wolf back in the 1980’s.
- The ride will feature 5 trains (each a different color), holding 16 passengers per train
- Each train will have on-board video to capture your ride experience
- Riders will have 2 seconds of “airtime” right before they enter the Black Forest
- Verbolten will feature many Lateral G Forces
- The ride will have a late spring opening this year
- Effect building will feature many effects, including wind
Here’s more photos from today’s construction tour:
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For more information about Verbolten, visit http://verbolten.com.