Busch Gardens Williamsburg
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
General Park News - Nothing to report at this time...
2020 - Pantheon - (10/23/19) Busch Gardens Williamsburg tweeted out a series of pictures to their Facebook page showing off several sections of Pantheon track that has already been put into place. Lookin’ fit for the gods!
(10/8/19) A reader sent in some great new photo from Busch Gardens Williamsburg showing off the Pantheon construction site. Still no track going up on site yet, but it looks like it shouldn’t be much longer now, especially with a giant crane already sitting on site.
(9/18/19) Special thanks to Carl Stieren for sending in current pictures of Pantheon under construction. Currently there is no vertical construction, but a lot of ground moving, footers along with prep work for the pedestrian bridge.
(9/16/19) A new concept art image of the Pantheon coaster was released by Busch Gardens Williamsburg this week, giving us an artistic look at some of the coaster’s primary elements, inspired by the legends of the Roman Gods.
(7/31/19) Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced the new 2020 coaster will be called Pantheon, and themed around the legends of five different Roman gods: Pluto, Neptune, Mercury, Minerva and Jupiter. While an exact layout or animation was not made available, the park does mention details about a number of the ride’s impressive features, and that at 72.5 mph, it will be the fastest multi-launch coaster in North America.
All together, they say that Pantheon will feature four launches, forwards and backwards, two inversions and a beyond vertical 95º drop. The overall track length will be 3,328 feet and take riders up to 180 feet in the air at the highest point. The coaster is from Intamin and will be able to run two trains at once, with each train able to hold 20 riders. You can see one layout on the official website.
(7/26/19) Busch Gardens has released several more of the Roman flag animated teasers, representing different Gods, on their social media channels. There are now flags for Jupiter, Minerva and Neptune.
(7/3/19) Following the teaser about Pluto for the BGW 2020 coaster project comes another teaser, this one themed to the Roman god, Mercury, which takes us back to Rome… and the existing theme of the area just outside the proposed entrance to the new coaster next to the Roman Rapids. So I guess the hope for the new Greece theme land was short lived, as it looks like they will be keeping this all Rome.
Since they have already mentioned two gods so far… I’ve got a feeling more are to come between now and July 30th.
(6/27/19) Busch Gardens Williamsburg has posted a quick teaser for their 2020 coaster project that ends with a bunch of Roman Numerals that I believe are giving us the announcement date for the ride: 7/30/2019.
There are a few other hints you might notice in the post, such as the description text that says “Escape Pluto’s twisted Underworld and be immortalized in the garden of the Gods”. Pluto is an interesting clue, as Pluto is the Greek God of the underworld who is more widely known under his previous name, Hades. There are some differences between the use of the two names, but for intents here, both names apply to the God of the Underworld. Meanwhile in the short animation from the park the banner flag has an interesting symbol on it, where the top half seems partially inspired by an ancient symbol for Pluto, and also features a Grecian Fret pattern across the top.
So in addition to the announcement date, we also seem to have a clear theme for the ride, which is Greek in origin, which suggests that the ride may be the start of the new ‘Greece’ themed area for the park going forward.
2021 - Project 2021 / A Tall Attraction - Planning - (10/11/19) According to a local news report Busch Gardens Williamsburg has begin filing stormwater plans for a “Project 2021”. While we don’t know what it is yet, they say that the location of these initial plans show mark a site “near the Rhine River”, likely taking over some of the empty site leftover from the former Drachen Fire coaster.
I missed it last week, but usually our goto source for all things BGW related woudl be BGWFans, who is already on the ball with this story, reporting that this seems as if it could be another large roller coaster planned for the park, which is impressive as Pantheon will open in 2020, so to add another large coaster a year later epic news indeed.
Before this, the only thing we knew about Project 2021 is that the park applied for a height wavier for something that would have a structure up to 355 feet above grade, with the tallest portion said to be in the Oktoberfest section of the park.
(4/4/19) BGWFans has posted the first update about a possible 2021 attraction project in the works for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. According to the update the park has applied for a new height waiver to build a structure up to 355 feet above grade for a project labeled as “Busch Gardens Project 2021”. The location of the tallest point of the structure is said to be in the Oktoberfest section of the park.
With a coaster in the works for 2020, I’ve got to think that the park could be looking to add something entirely different in 2021, which would likely involve a large tower. With a drop tower already in place at the park, and since no one seems to build observation towers anymore, I’ve got to wonder if they are planning on adding something like a Star Flyer or Giant Wheel to the park.
???? - Sesame Place Williamsburg - Rumor - (4/3/18) Ever since SeaWorld parks mentioned in May 2017 that their extended partnership with Sesame Workshop included a plan to build a new Sesame Place theme park somewhere in the United States by 2021, the big question everyone has been wondering about is, "Where?"
We know it wont be in Florida, because at the same time they also announced a plan to open a Sesame Street themed land within SeaWorld Orlando by Fall 2022, and California's crowded theme park landscape also seemed a bit unfriendly to the concept.
So would you believe... Williamsburg, Virginia? According to an excellent posting at BGWFans, SeaWorld Parks has been sending out online surveys to guests of Busch Gardens Williamsburg asking for their feedback on the possibility of adding a Sesame Place park to their Williamsburg park property, creating a third gate.
Please do jump over to BGWFans to read the details and see some of the graphics included in the survey, which show off a basic layout of the park where the existing Forest of Fun area of Busch Gardens would be walled off from the rest of the park and linked up to three new lands to create this new mini park property. The new lands would include a separate main entry land, full of shops and restaurants, a couple of lands with dry rides, shows and other attractions and finally a wet themed land with water fun and a couple of waterslide attractions. As a whole, it looked like this new park would take up the current "France" parking lot.
The idea is interesting, as there has been past interest in building a new park focused on small children in the Williamsburg area in the past, as the region was considered as a possible location for the first Legoland park in the US before the California site won out. Disney too was almost lured to the nearby region with dreams of building the "Disney's America" theme park concept once upon a time. The Williamsburg region has proven to be popular with tourist almost year-round, so perhaps there is a need here. BGWFans also continued with a second article sharing their own thoughts about the Why and Why-Not aspects of building a Sesame Place park here... though perhaps the biggest reason not to build it may simply be because the existing Sesame Place park may be a bit too close for comfort, located just a 5 hour drive away, just north of Philadelphia.
Again, this is just a survey to get feedback on the location, and in reality they may opt to build in an entirely different location. Time will tell...