Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2012 Roller Coaster – Verbolten: Brave the Black Forest
Today, Busch Gardens Williamsburg officially announced their highly anticipated 2012 roller coaster. Earlier this year, some of the ride’s details had already been uncovered. The Zierer-designed steel coaster will be called Verbolten. The name’s a play on the German word “verboten” which means banned. The new coaster will be situated on the same plot of land that was home to the Big Bad Wolf. Verbolten will feature a number of launches accelerating the trains to speeds of 53 mph. The Virginia Gazette has more:
The ride “offers the latest in roller coaster technology,” park president Carl Lum told a crowd gathered in Das Festhaus. “When Verbolten opens, coaster fans will feel the exhilaration of multiple launches and a few surprises that can’t be found anywhere else in the United States.” – Virginia Gazette
A Few More Details on Verbolten
From what I’m seeing so far, today’s announcement hasn’t been a complete one. Behind The Thrills has posted a little more information. They’ve shared that the ride will have 16-person trains with lap bars, not over-the-shoulder harnesses. Verbolten will feature two launches and a ride time of 3 1/2 minutes. There’s also a mention of special effects including a change in weather and darkness (which I would assume will happen during the ride’s indoor section).
UPDATE 9/18 – So, if you’re going to have a mysterious new coaster with an indoor section packed with surprises, it makes sense that Busch Gardens wouldn’t want to release a POV or any other detailed videos. I did find this full press release:
From the moment you approach the new roller coaster, you’ll feel a sense of mystery and fun.
A German tourist center serves as the ride entrance and as the launching point for an autobahn touring
experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
As you climb into your car for a scenic drive through the countryside, you’re quickly detoured into
a harrowing family adventure filled with pulse-pounding excitement through the forbidden Black Forest.
You’ll twist and turn your way through this epic adventure, plunging along the river’s edge.
Luckily, your breathtaking ride leads you right back to the fun and the festivities of Oktoberfest.
RIDE MANUFACTURER: Zierer (Deggendorf, Germany)
TYPE OF RIDE: Multi-launch coaster
SPECIAL FEATURES: Two launches, environmental theme elements, sound and light effects, high speed turns and an 88-foot final drop to the water
TRACK LENGTH: 2,835 feet
MAXIMUM SPEED: 53 mph
RIDE DURATION: 3 minutes, 25 seconds
SEATS/TRAIN: 5 trains, 16 seats per train
RIDE HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: 48 inches
LOCATION: Busch Gardens Oktoberfest Village
Verbolten Continues SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Move to Family-Ish Launch Coasters
Verbolten looks to be yet another launch roller coaster with a wider family coaster kind of appeal. When Verbolten opens, comparisons to Busch Gardens Tampa’s Cheetah Hunt will be inevitable. That Intamin-designed launch coaster also has a varied and adventurous (albeit not too intense) ride. SeaWorld San Diego’s Manta will be another launch coaster with some unique theming elements, but G-rated stats when it opens in 2012. When you consider these parks’ target audiences, these family-ish launch coasters are probably perfect. Especially since they have such a high quality level in terms of theming and length.
Many have pointed to the dearly departed Big Bad Wolf as one of their first bigger coasters or that they took their kids on it when they ready for larger rides. Verbolten could fill the same role at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. With three B&M coasters that don’t pull any punches in the thrills department, maybe the park could use another ride that appeals to a wider audience. I have to remind myself sometimes that some people not only look in shock at Griffon, but they also skip the ride because it looks too challenging.
Here’s a teaser video of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Verbolten. Unfortunately, aside from construction videos, this may be all we’ll have to look at until the ride opens next year:
I would have liked to have seen a wooden coaster. An incredible terrain woodie from Gravity Group or an Intamin pre-fab would have been phenomenal for the park. If rumors about woodies being too noisy for the park’s neighbors are true, then a launch coaster is probably the best kind of steel coaster that Busch could add. The B&M wing coasters (X-Flight & Wild Eagle) look cool but they probably wouldn’t offer a distinctive enough experience for the average park guest when the park already has Alpengeist a monster of an inverted coaster.
What’s Your Take?
Now that we have some official details, what’s your first impression of Verbolten? Leave a comment below and vote in the poll.
Go to Dollywood’s 2012 roller coaster
2012 Roller Coasters Page
Go to Apocalypse at Six Flags America