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Fur Dozy

Mayor of Busch Gardens Tampillsburg
Nov 5, 2009
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I along with many other people feel that alot of the changes made to the park are more hurt than help. This, however doesn't mean that the park isn't getting better. Just that it isn't as good as it used to be.

I think we will all see our own "golden ages" of the park. So I just figured I would see how mine stacked up.(you have to remember that I have no memory before about 1995, yes, I am very young)

For me I'd say it was on or immediately after 1999. Apollo's Chariot was brand spanking new. Drachenfire was still up (not that it was a good coaster, but that it was better than Griffon. Sorry Griffon fans, I prefer a lengthy rough coaster to an extremely short smooth coaster.). The petting zoo was still open. And the Wild mouse I believe was where DarKastle is. Don't get me wrong, DarKastle is a much "better" ride, but with what they've done to it, I'd rather have a wild mouse. Those kind of coasters are fun anyway.

All in all, it was a very good year.
 
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BBW

Jun 10, 2010
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Dinwiddie County, VA
I agree with your pick, Fur Dozy, although I would give them a little longer on the Golden Age. From 1999 (for Apollo) to 2007 (Griffon). Even though those years saw the changes in Hastings/addition of Ireland, the change from Wild Maus to Darkastle (miss WM but could accept Darkastle as a substitute, though not necessarily an improvement, just something different), and the loss of Le Mans but addition of Griffon, those were all changes that, while I truly think the park should have figured out a way to add Darkastle and Griffon without taking away some excellent classic rides, were changes that still kept the spirit of the place intact and introduced some good things (love all the Irish dance shows, for example, and Ireland as a country, LOVE Griffon, etc.). Of course this is all subjective, but for me the spirit of the park just isn't quite the same since the change in ownership. And of course the loss of the BBW.
 
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Fur Dozy

Mayor of Busch Gardens Tampillsburg
Nov 5, 2009
1,494
1,627
250
the buyout was late 2008/early 2009 and the park didn't sell till end of 2009. This year was the first that has been effected by the sale.
 

BBW

Jun 10, 2010
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491
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Dinwiddie County, VA
I disagree. InBev announced its acquisition bid in summer of 2008, and uncertainty began. What would happen to the parks division? Which employees would be kept and which would go? Would they clean out upper management or leave well enough alone? Fans were concerned, and fans of the parks and of the brewing company started "save AB petitions" and the like, all the while knowing there was little we could do.

And then the following year, there was the sale to Blackstone, and Blackstone as a parent company owns other park systems (Merlin Entertainment). Again, there was question: Would they meddle with the former BEC (Busch Entertainment Corporation) parks or leave well enough alone? Blackstone already had Entertainment companies, so they might, rightly or wrongly, feel like they had the knowledge to demand sweeping changes even though they are "just" a parent investment company. And sites like Theme Park Insider even had threads about whether there would changes in the former BEC's parks way of using animals because Merlin has a policy against certain uses of animals in their parks. More questions and uncertainties.

The employees and the park were in an ambiguous state for a couple of seasons and they (referring here to frontline employees) certainly talked to me about it -- especially during the 2008 season. Physical changes to the park happened well before this season, didn't they? Removal of AB logos, no more beer school or the wonderful beer tasting experiences in what is now the Kaffee in the Festhaus? Those have been missing since the beginning of 2009. This is the first season affected by the sale? Not at all, not to me.

If you don't feel it was a factor, fine, I already said it was subjective, as did you when you said everyone's Golden Age would be different. But I stand by my opinion. But anyway, I marked the end of my personal Golden Age as 2007 with the building of Griffon, and the sale is just one of my reasons for feeling the Golden Age has passed. Griffon was the last change I felt gave us something as good as what was there before (and plenty of people would rather have Le Mans and/or are disappointed with Griffon). Christmastown has to grow a lot before I'll be a fan of that event, and I was disappointed with Illuminights.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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Virginia
In my opinion, the true "Golden Year" of the park was 1999 like Fur Dozy said. I'm still under the impression that the removal of Le Mans marked the end of the "Old" Busch Gardens. When they took out all of those trees and then put their version of a parking lot coaster in, it just changed everything- truly the end of an era. :(
 
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Dec 27, 2009
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My first trip was the year BBW opened. I remember the line going out the building and across the bridge to Italy. I'm not sure I would consider it the golden age for me because BGW only had Lochness and BBW and I'm a roller coaster nut, but Katapult was indoors (I really miss that) and the La Mans cars were still there. They were good for a relaxing break. The brewery tour was a nice break too. I don't drink, but the free Pepsi was good and the self paced air conditioned tour was a good way to rest and cool down. I don't remember the crowds being as bad back then either. My golden age ended shortly after the opening of Alpengeist. As BGW got more coasters, the crowds picked up more and I wasn't able to spend as much time on the rides. What hurts me now is the memories of the coasters gone. I know I'm in the minority, but I loved Drachen Fire. The BBW was a great starter coaster. I never rode the Wild Mouse, but there are times I wish I had just to see how it was. BGW is still a great park though. It will probably never have the number of coasters KD has, but I think they will always be a better quality.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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Swiftman said:
. I'm still under the impression that the removal of Le Mans marked the end of the "Old" Busch Gardens.

This cannot be more truthful!

I always enjoyed Wild Izzy as it was built as far back as my memory goes and was a huge step for me finally riding it. Lemans, BBW, and WM have essentially sealed the final nail in the coffin so far as I am concerned. Childhood memories stay as memories and no longer realities.
 
Aug 18, 2010
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Swiftman said:
In my opinion, the true "Golden Year" of the park was 1999 like Fur Dozy said. I'm still under the impression that the removal of Le Mans marked the end of the "Old" Busch Gardens. When they took out all of those trees and then put their version of a parking lot coaster in, it just changed everything- truly the end of an era. :(

Exactly, even though i only went a couple times then it marks the end, but i must add that the removal of BBW was the real end to that era.
 
Dec 11, 2009
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Rochester, NY
I think 1999-2008 has some of the greatest milestones in BGW history. My favorite year would probably have to 2008 because it was after the Griffon was built but before the Sesame Street invasion of 2009 and the closure/removal of the Big Bad Wolf.

I know everyone is excited about BGW's future; but I think the park is going downhill (in my opinion) with the loss of AB, the Wolf's removal, and the addition of a drop tower. :(
 

BBW

Jun 10, 2010
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Dinwiddie County, VA
robbie1104 said:
I don't remember the crowds being as bad back then either. My golden age ended shortly after the opening of Alpengeist. As BGW got more coasters, the crowds picked up more and I wasn't able to spend as much time on the rides. What hurts me now is the memories of the coasters gone.

Obviously and understandably increasing attendance has to be a goal for the park, but I don't enjoy the crowds at all, either.


ArrowWolf1984 said:
I think 1999-2008 has some of the greatest milestones in BGW history. My favorite year would probably have to 2008 because it was after the Griffon was built but before the Sesame Street invasion of 2009 and the closure/removal of the Big Bad Wolf.

I know everyone is excited about BGW's future; but I think the park is going downhill (in my opinion) with the loss of AB, the Wolf's removal, and the addition of a drop tower. :(

I couldn't agree more. I guess that's why I picked 2007, because Griffon opened early in the season but it was when AB's sale was just a rumor. Hadn't thought about the Sesame invasion, though! And sadly I agree that the park is going downhill, just as another opinion.
 
Apr 21, 2010
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i dont think the park is going downhill as much as its going through a transition. for most of us on this board, our strongest and best memories of the park come from the 1999- 2007 area mostly. the park has changed a lot since then. but im sure someone who went in 1979 and then went in 1999 would feel like the park just isnt the same. its not that the park is deteriorating but its just changing from the state in which your strongest memories occurred. i personally think the park has a bright future and i cant wait for 2012 to get here
 
Sep 28, 2009
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Virginia
Well, it is hard for me to pick a Golden Era because I believe in what Vaughantv said above. My love for the park is strongest for the memories of when I was young and the park was larger than life. Busch Gardens in my childhood was like playing the original Resident Evil for the first time. As a youngster I thought, "nothing could ever get better than this- nothing! The graphics are awesome and the music is so cool". And as we all know, that game looks antiquated now. I've learned over time that "sometimes" things do get better even if parts of the original concept are lost.

I adore Alpengeist and am so thankful the park worked so hard not to disturb the Flume and to keep the landscape preserved. Although I detest the color scheme, music, and themeing of Festa Italia, I cannot argue how much I love to ride the back seat of Apollo's Chariot. I miss Threadneedle with the actors speaking with Olde English accents and the peaceful quiet of the stroll between Hastings and France; yet I love the wolves and the Wildlife/ Garden area too. Not to mention, I spend most of my free time in Ireland in the Pub - my favorite spot to relax. And yes, the Catipult inside was awesome.. yet, I really enjoyed the Enchanted Laboratory show that replaced it soon after. Elmo??? No comment. :dodgy: Let us not forget that the Wildcat was replaced by the Big Bad Wolf. That was definitely OK in my book.

Yet, on that note ~the LaMans and the Big Bad Wolf are for me, sad reminders that nothing on this Earth lasts forever; no matter how hard you wish for them to stay. The park replaces not only parts of their past, but parts of my past as well. I look at the Big Bad Wolf as losing family. I think of it gone and the pain remains; but I keep reminding myself that as long as I keep it in my heart, it will still stand tall and be remembered. Whether I agree with how the Griffon looks compared to all the other coasters in the park, there is no denying that it is still a World Class coaster and we are all lucky to have such an amazing piece of technology right where we live. And for the Wolf's Successor, I can only hope for the best. The Griffon did not erase my love of the LeMans, nor will whatever is being built ever take precedence over my love for the Wolf.

Although~for the sake of this topic... If I had to choose, it would be right after the Wolf was built. (mid-late 80's)

Still, I shall go on to say that that era; the era of being able to run around in the park as a child in a time where parents did not worry about them getting snatched; costumed mascots waved merrily at you and it was OK to go up and give them hugs, sitting in a car on a track was an amazing ride because you could drive and spend time with dad and no other bells and whistles were needed to have fun and finally, the freedom of riding rides over and over with very little wait times in the fall made you almost believe the park opened just for you. And that was, in a word ~magical.
 
Dec 27, 2009
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Nora said:
Still, I shall go on to say that that era; the era of being able to run around in the park as a child in a time where parents did not worry about them getting snatched; costumed mascots waved merrily at you and it was OK to go up and give them hugs

I think you hit it dead on here. This is something that is long gone in all theme parks now and it is a shame.
 
Nov 28, 2009
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I do not think the park is going downhill at all! With the addition of Italy for CT this year, a pretty cool sounding Drop Tower next year and a multi lauching coaster like Cheetah Hunt on the way, I think the park is on a good track:)
 
Aug 17, 2010
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I'm not sure if the park is going downhill, but I know that it is going through a change, and, so far, I am not loving this change. However, I feel that I can't comment on whether it is going downhill or not. Hindsight is 20/20, so I'll have a good feeling about a few years down the road. Right now, the drop tower and multi-launch coaster could still be unbelievable additions, or disappointments. I'm still excited to follow the goings-on of the park, so I know that the changes in the park are not that bad, all things considered. To put a date on a golden years, it is indubitably 1999. Apollo's Chariot is the greatest roller coaster in the world and Alpengeist was still brand new. I loved Wilde Maus, and Land of the Dragons was a little less run down. I was a kid, so I enjoyed all things playground-like (but I would have still hated Sesame Street.) BBW and LNM were running great and I loved Le Mans. It was a golden year.
 
Aug 18, 2010
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I would agree that busch is not going down hill. If anything it is going up. Though there are things busch could have gone without, but it is still a great park and this season has been the best i cant wait for christmas town and next season.
 
Dec 11, 2009
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Wings said:
Compared to some other parks, like Six Flags, Busch Gardens is ALWAYS a Golden Age to me xD

I agree. Even though I'm disappointed by BGW's recent actions, they will always be better than any Six Flags or Cedar park in my book.
 
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