Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced Saturday that they will be bringing a brand new wooden roller coaster to the park. This will be the eighth coaster for the park, and the first ever wooden coaster. This will also be the first time in history that a coaster is crowdsourced. The ride will not ask for donations, but instead will ask fans to “decide the ride”.
“Busch Gardens has a reputation for creating unique ride experiences, and our new family coaster will certainly continue that tradition,” said Larry Giles, vice president of engineering. “The dynamics of a wooden coaster, combined with the many ways it will interact with the terrain and nearby attractions, will make this a one-of-a-kind thrill.”
The new coaster will be the parks first wooden coaster, something that fans have been wanting for a really long time. The new coaster will be built in New France, and will reach speeds of 48 mph, with a 74 foot drop, nine airtime hills, and will take guests both through the woods and underground. It will be built by Great Coasters International, one of the premiere builders of wooden coasters in the world. The new coaster will also pit guests in a battle between Native Americans, and Vikings in a legend that is ripped from the history books. The coaster will be in the New France section, which is technically described as French Canada, and will take up space between Le Scoot and the Caribou train station, with a lot of work being done in the former Eagle’s Nest.
The biggest surprise of this new coaster is that the park is letting the fans decide certain elements, such as the name. The park will put the decisions for the new ride in the hands of the fans.
“Our fans are so loyal and passionate about this park, and we want to make them co-creators in this exciting new project,” Dipiazzo said. “We still have a lot of details to finalize for this attraction, and our guests will get to weigh in and be a part of the development.”
“Honestly, it’s a big change for us, and not common in our industry, to leave so much in the hands of consumers,” Dipiazzo admitted. “But we respect our fans. We know they love this park and want to be part of our success. This will be their ride as much as ours.”
Surveys through Busch Gardens’ website and social media channels will invite fans to “Decide the Ride,” including selecting the ride’s name and various design elements. Dipiazzo said guests also may get the opportunity to contribute to the queue experience, participate in pre-ride video or audio segments and pitch their concepts for consumer-generated advertising to promote the coaster’s opening next spring.
The first chance for fans to participate started today, with a survey to select the ride’s name from among three contenders: Viking Raider, Battle Klash or InvadR. Which will you choose? Fans can vote once a day until April 1st, and will be able to vote on other upcoming elements later this year.
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