BGWFans & Busch Gardens Williamsburg

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Zachary

BGW Eggspert
Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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Newport News, VA
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So if it hasn't been clear by now, something has changed between BGWFans and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Throughout BGWFans history, we have never really had a cordial relationship with the park. There have been a few small windows of time in which we have successfully worked together, but relations have never been particularly pleasant. In more recent times, things had become even more strained. Until roughly a month ago, the only communication we had with the park for approximately two years was in the form of legal, content take-down requests. That changed dramatically just recently.

On February the 22nd, BGWFans reached out to Dan Dipiazzo, Vice President of Marketing at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We offered to work together with the park to figure out how to move forward with the incredibly unfortunate Colonial Pipeline clearing story. We knew we planned to write about it, but, considering the clear-cutting was no fault of BGW's, we wanted to make sure we didn't conflict with whatever the park had already planned to address the issue. To our surprise Dan wrote back.

This story, run the following day, was the result of that collaboration. The source cited inside the post as stating that the landscaping team already has a plan of attack in place, is, in fact, Dan Dipiazzo, VP of Marketing.

Following the opening of this new line of communication, we proposed a behind-the-scenes pre-opening tour of the park to Dan. He instructed us to email Emily Phillips, Associate Manager of Communications. We worked with Emily to iron out availability and a list of what we were interested in seeing. On Thursday, March 10th, BGWFans was welcomed into the park on a private tour by Emily who had set up exclusive, private meetings with both Tim Smith, Busch Gardens Williamsburg's new Manager of Zoological Operations, and Larry Giles, Vice President of the park's Engineering department.

Following that behind-the-scenes look, we have published two articles centered around information we gleamed from that tour. The first, The Resurgence of the Zoology Department, was a story about the new head of the Zoology Department and where he plans to take the department moving forward.

The second, How We Learned About "Carl Lum Blue", was published today and contains a selection of pictures and a wide variety of information regarding what's coming to BGW in 2016. There's a lot of good, new information there that everyone should check out.

Our last article is going to be a real blockbuster as well. Larry Giles gave us the inside scoop on Le Scoot's multi-year renovation project. There is some information in there regarding the history of the ride and the rational behind its renovation that I think all of you will be very interested to read. Stay tuned for that article this week.

Overall, the tour went brilliantly and all of the communication we have had with the park since our first email regarding the Colonial Pipeline has been happy, pleasant, and most importantly, forward-facing. A lot of things have been changing inside the park lately and it seems as though marketing is one of them. In a post published on Febuary 11th to the park's blog, Dan Dipiazzo told the world that the marketing strategy behind Project 2017 was all about taking a risk. All of the action I have seen since that point appears to support that claim entirely.

Moving forward, this thread will house discussion and updates regarding BGWFans's relationship with Busch Gardens Williamsburg. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share 'em below!


tl;dr: Hell has frozen over, BGWFans and Busch Gardens Williamsburg are working together, you should read these posts: The Resurgence of the Zoology Department and How We Learned About "Carl Lum Blue", and stay tuned for another story this week.
 
Nov 5, 2009
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It's about time all that nonsense is behind us. PR seems to have improved since the "John Reilly Thumbnail" incident, and of course the "Festa Landscaping Project". Going forward I really hope that the park figures out how to address the general public without appearing to have no idea what they're talking about to enthusiasts.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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I am extremely excited and happy for BGWFans to hear this news!

Also, wonderful "Carl Lum Blue," article, Nicole! I'm honestly astounded to hear about all the changes and renovations coming to the park this year. The amount of new technology is also shocking, between the new lockers and the Dyson Air Taps, it looks like the park is investing an extreme amount into that aspect of the park this year. For a little perspective, those Dyson Air Taps, which I have taken a big interest in, cost about $1900 each at retail price. Of course the park is probably getting a buying in bulk discount, but that is still a huge investment. Not to mention, the Dyson Air Taps are so innovative, the park is probably one of the first, if not the first to introduce this technology in the region. I think the main problem the park will face with these is guests just not knowing what they are or how to use them. :p

Between that and everything else, it's been hard for me to keep up and remember all the renovations happening over this off-season. It should provide for a fun scavenger hunt inside the park later this week.
 

Merboy

Resident Sea Monster
Oct 25, 2009
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Raleigh, NC
www.thelanternlight.com
Honestly I think it's about time. I've never understood why the park wouldn't very much want to ally themselves with the premier collection of park enthusiasts before now. Always seemed counter-intuitive to me... Anyways, I'm so glad relations have improved and I hope things continue to get better as time goes on. Now somebody hold my hand so we can sing kumbaya.

*sways*
 
Sep 29, 2009
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With every restroom update I keep thinking "Busch Gardens Williamsburg: World's Most Beautiful-- Restrooms". Seriously, even Disney is still way behind. Also, KD reminds me of those cinder block pavilions where most people think to themselves "I'll hold it in." Could the park be working for a new title when they inevitably lose their other awards?
 

Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
Silver Donor
Sep 28, 2013
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Virginia Beach
I agree with James, but I am not sure about the cost of the Dyson stuff. But then again I have a personal dislike of Dyson products. I do not think their design justifies their costs.
 
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