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BGW's Proposals for Summer Events (SURVEY)

11/02/17 at 07:20pm in BGW's Proposals for Summer Events (SURVEY) (Latest Edit: 11/03/17 at 12:16am by BBW.)
Post: #1
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Wow, so who went through the really lengthy survey of possible summer events/themes?  I received this survey via email today, and the intro said "as a passmember" my feedback was being solicited.

Just wanted to share some thoughts on the proposed ideas -- this isn't meant to be a comprehensive overview, so my comments may not make much sense if you didn't see the survey.

Suggested summer event themes:  Celebrate Virginia Waters (fish/seafood theme), Carnaval (European/Italian Carnival), International Festival, Oktoberfest, Celebrate America (with barbecue, ice cream, baseball players, fireworks), and Electric Park (that may not be quite the right proposed name -- anyway, basically a giant glow festival).  If I left one out, please add -- it was a VERY long survey.

I'm most interested in Carnaval -- the theme just appeals to me, from the Flight of the Angel, to Cirque-style decor and entertainment, to related expanded food/wine offerings.  Of course, an International Festival would fit the park very well, too -- but that seems like just a jazzing up of the Food & Wine Festival.  Oktoberfest sounded fun to me as well, and also a nice fit for the park -- a lot lower-key theme than some of the others, but should fit right in to the park's theme but be something a little extra for the summer.  Something like Oktoberfest I could see lasting more days and for a longer period, since it should be more enhancing what's already there rather than being a lot of huge marquee events.  Also, I'd be down for Celebrate Virginia Waters -- I don't really associate the park with seafood or the culture of the seaside or living on the waterways, but this could be a fun and different addition to the park.

I suggested finding a different name for Celebrate Virginia Waters -- didn't seem immediately clear to me that it was a fish/seafood and waterways culture festival (things like shrimp peel and eat contests, pro oyster shucking contests, shellfish offerings and cooking demos, etc.)  I suggested Celebrate Virginia Waterways or Virginia Watermen's Festival or Nautilus Festival, none of which are particularly good, but I was honestly puzzled for a moment by Celebrate Virginia Waters -- sounded like an environmentalist event or something.
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Post: #2
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They seem to be doing a lot of these types of surveys right now. Thanks for posting!

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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Post: #3
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The only interesting/good themes would be the Carnival and Electric Park themes, moreso if the park was open later.

Celebrate America was tried and failed (Star Spangled Nights). It ruined the Italy theme meaning Italy was only Italy during the Spring, HOS, and CT.

Oktoberfest is already being done (Beir Fest) basically. It is wildly successful and I wouldn't mind them pushing it into late summer (August).

That leaves the remaining two themes that both seem like another twist/version of the Food & Wine Festival, with one being international and the other being Virginian themed, and once again I have to say that that kind of theme (Virginia/America) does not belong in a Europe-themed park.

On a side note, I think the park is getting too event focused. If they made the normal attractions/shows/offerings better during the summer and emphasized them, maybe add extra entertainment like street performers or improv characters, that by itself would be loads better.

And then on a tangent, the park needs to stop with the random theming. American themeing is totally ridiculous and kills the main theme for the park. It is already bad enough that when people walk into Italy they think their in Chinatown, you ruin the original experience the park was supposed to provide and confuse guests. BGW might as well be a themed amusement park now.
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11/02/17 at 08:13pm in BGW's Proposals for Summer Events (SURVEY) (Latest Edit: 11/02/17 at 08:14pm by Merboy.)
Post: #4
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Man, I'd love to have weighed in on this. All of those options do not entice me save Carnival which I think sounds amazing! I'd go into more detail as to why the others don't amuse me but right now I'm binging on Stranger Things. Anyone who wants to come over for drinks, pizza, and Netflix just let me know.

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Post: #5
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Carnaval (their spelling) was the clear winner for me, too -- though I was at least somewhat interested in some of the others.

On my way for the Stranger Things binge ! Winking
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11/02/17 at 10:46pm in BGW's Proposals for Summer Events (SURVEY) (Latest Edit: 11/02/17 at 10:47pm by Zachary.)
Post: #6
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Carnaval sounds like an update to a concept that was pitched a couple years ago internally. I don't think I ever posted about it publically (wasn't at liberty to at the time) but with so much turnover in the Entertainment department since, I can probably spill the beans now.

There was a very well fleshed-out concept (I've seen art) for a Threadneedle Faire/Hastings revival. It started out as a plan to retheme Heatherdowns to Threadneedle Faire/Hastings but that was cast out as too costly with little ROI (unsurprisingly the main attraction was going to be a show). That veto lead the Entertainment department to re-pitch it as a festival. In its new special event form, it was planned to bring the legendary Threadneedle Faire "old world carnival" vibe to the entire park. Big focus on knights, princesses, horses, tents, games, and that sort of thing—very Ren Faire-esque.

Carnaval sounds like a similar idea with a slightly more charming, upscale, Italian focus. I dig it.

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Post: #7
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Count me in on the Carnival idea. It sounds wonderful and it would be a perfect fit with the park's European theme.

"There is no living without honor." -Mademoiselle D'Artagnan
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Post: #8
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It was a VERY long survey. I agree the Carnival theme was a winner for me. The glow thing was an interesting idea as well. Probably not something I personally would do, but I bet it would bring in people. The rest of the ideas I agree either just don't work, or feel like tweaks to existing events. Also, my whole family is allergic to shellfish, so we would want to stay WELL clear of the park during that event.

It's nice to know they are bouncing around a bunch of ideas though. Hopefully something positive will come of it.
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Post: #9
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Just took the survey myself. My husband is allergic to shellfish so that Virginia waterways one does not interest me lol! The only one I liked was the carnival idea because it is such a logical fit, provides me an experience I can’t have ANY where else (other then traveling to Europe) And seems like one of the only events that would have a day time and night time fun for the whole family. The virgina waterways I can experience at Virginia Beach. The electric one seems fun but it would only be fun from 9 pm to close.

Almost every one of them had a water/light show idea though which sounds like fun!! Hopefully they implement that regardless.
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Post: #10
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Electric Ocean at SeaWorld seems to be everything that Illuminights should have been. Therefor, I probably would have chosen that one. However, with Illuminights having failed so miserably, it might be too early for that.

Most of the countries represented at BGW have different carnival-type celebrations. Germany, for instance, has Karneval. I love the idea of cultural celebrations in each country, but remember what happened the last time they tried that during Illuminights. We had "The Killarney Historical Society" going all-out on Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. We even had the "Black Forest Farms" with their gassy cows and acid-tripping chickens.

All of the better concepts proposed sound like great concepts, but can they be anything beyond great concepts? With Illuminights and Star Spangled Nights, people might have their doubts. However, The Food & Wine Festival, heck, even Bier Fest might think that this is doable. Keep in mind: every current event serves as a template to transition into the next one (F&W to Summer Nights). They would really have to expand their installation crews.

"Be careful what you wish for, be sure your wish is wise."
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11/04/17 at 05:30am in BGW's Proposals for Summer Events (SURVEY) (Latest Edit: 11/04/17 at 05:31am by Nicole.)
Post: #11
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Why does there need to be a Summer event? When did BGW theme park become BGW special events venue?

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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Post: #12
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All theme parks seem to be gravitating towards special events for the spring, summer, fall, and winter or at least the ones that aren't Disney or Universal.
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Post: #13
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I think that F&WF, Bier Fest HOS, and CT are plenty of special events. In my opinion, a theme park should be entertaining enough to draw crowds without massive overlays.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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Post: #14
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I kind of agree with wondering if they've gone too far with special events. I don't see why the summer season can't largely be just -- the "normal," regular park -- maybe fireworks on the weekend nights to close out the day, but not much beyond that.

However, several of the survey questions were about whether the proposed events would "add value to your pass." I wonder if there is a particular current push on the park's behalf to hold special events on the assumption that they keep passmembers interested in visiting, or give them extra incentive to visit more frequently?
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11/04/17 at 09:36pm in BGW's Proposals for Summer Events (SURVEY) (Latest Edit: 11/04/17 at 09:38pm by CastleOSullivan.)
Post: #15
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The pressure to do these events might also be coming from CEO himself. Joel Manby has repeatedly commended Busch Gardens Williamsburg for being their best "event park" with huge emphasis on atmosphere, specifically during Christmas Town.

He has basically said that they are going to continue to focus on seasonal overlays in Williamsburg, while Tampa is going to start upping their game on Howl-O-Scream in order to compete with neighboring competition. I think that's a pretty definitive reason for Williamsburg's recent strides.

"Be careful what you wish for, be sure your wish is wise."
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