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Sep 23, 2009
Holy hell. Look what the Goddard Group just shared on their Facebook page...

Goddard Group said:
Check out this never-before-sceen DROP TOWER concept developed in the late '90's for BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG (now Busch Gardens Europe).

Because of the park's height and noise restrictions (pre-Mach Tower), the ride would actually have shot riders DOWN, below ground, into a cavern of FIRE BREATHING DRAGONS!


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I've never hated Mach Tower more.
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:shocked: I 100% agree with Zach's response on this! This is part of a long-lost Busch Gardens where crazy, powerful experiences were everywhere.

So, I take it this ride would have gone in Hastings, with the dragons and castle-like underground dungeon? This is some of the strangest information of history of Busch Gardens I've ever heard!

Something to chew on: If this thing were actually built, what might have become of the construction of Ireland about a decade later (assuming it was to be located in Hastings, anyway)? Craziness!
J0E1 said:
So, I take it this ride would have gone in Hastings, with the dragons and castle-like underground dungeon? This is some of the strangest information of history of Busch Gardens I've ever heard!

Judging by the time-frame, I actually think this may have been a planned Drachen Fire replacement...
That's a good point, Zachary. I just thought it looked very medieval. After all, King Arthur's Challenge, which I've heard was a horribly unpopular simulator attraction, also operated/opened around that time (1996, if I'm correct). Could have been an attraction to occupy the old Questor (now EitA) building, for a real anchor attraction in the area. Then again, I'm sure planning phases for Ireland might have already started in the late 90's, so you could be right about the Drachen Fire replacement.

I wonder why it fell through? Looks like a fantastic attraction! Might have been to difficult, costly, unreliable, or some combination of issues.
5 words...

Europe in the Air Replacement

It actually would work really well also, enter the current que line, going through the castle. As you enter the pre show have the safety spiel then load into 1 of 2 drop zones.

As the ride starts you raise up and as you ascend you get some story elements, then from the top (either it goes outside the building or top of building is extended to accommodate) then it drops, goes below the loading area and into the fire. Sits at the bottom briefly then rises back up to the loading station. All told 1.5 to 2 minutes of ride.

Dragons could work in Ireland, they were found all over the world, but it would not be that difficult to take the concept and tweak it to something very Irish.
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But wouldn't that involve removing Mach Tower so they wouldn't have two drop towers? I'm all up for it! :p
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I have heard that at one time they planned on having a drop tower of some sort in Ireland. They also mentioned that part of it would go underground due to height restrictions. I think this was one of the ideas for what they wanted to do with Castle O'Sullivan. While they were building Ireland, the question of what to do with Castle O'Sullivan was probably the hardest question for them. All the time while they were doing this they were also designing a show for the building for backup. The show was in the works for four years. I wonder how long this drop tower was in the works.
I don't see any reason they can't have 2 drop towers with drastically different theming. Heck I would bet that done like I stated above where everything is indoors (except a small portion at the top over the ravine) no one would even be able to tell that it was a drop ride. Until it dropped at least!
I think the Ireland/Hasting area would have made sense for the height restriction since the one side of the country already has a pretty deep ravine.

It would have been easy, given the topography, to build a cave like structure near the bottom of the ravine and thus allowing the height of the tower to coincide with the height restrictions the park had at the time.

What a beautiful and well-themed ride that never came to be. :(
To me, it sounds like a Drachen Fire replacement. They state noise as being a show stopper, and since FHP is right next to Kings Mill, I can see that being what held it back.
It is an awesome concept but there are so many problems to solve here it would probably had down time that makes Mach Tower look good. How would you load the thing? It would need some crazy floor that disappears like Griffon. The height of the cavern is huge. Judging from the scale of the people it looks like 50 feet or more. Heat building up would be a problem. Do the dragons move, add even more problems.
Kenwa, a ride never really comes out looking like concept art. That's why it's concept.

However, to solve those issues, the cave could be 30 feet deep and doesn't need to be super wide, just wide enough. I imagine a loading floor that moves is easy, Pompeii has fire effects so they know how to deal with that, the dragons can be like the ride decor in DarKastle.
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