Busch Gardens Williamsburg Revitalization Project

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Jul 7, 2017
This is a long post. I also want to apologize for writing up with all these ideas and making them into threads. I don’t want to seem like I’m spamming. What I’ve come up with is essentially a seemingly realistic vision of Busch Gardens Williamsburg in a way that theme park fans all do with our home parks at some point. It restrains from rethemes, fan fantasies and fixing the impossible. However, it is something that I would be very happy to see. Turns out, the Old Country is simply hidden beneath the surface and would not be difficult to return and preserve all that the park currently offers. It focuses on each area of the park during the main season, nitpicking the small things which, in turn, create a much better atmosphere for the public and enthusiast community alike. This also includes a few major additions I, personally, would love to see. If it is not included in the list, it is something I saw that wasn’t necessary to be changed.

Entry Plaza

The “Fun Begins Here” sign should not be necessary. It’s strange and cringy to me. The large, light up Busch Gardens sign over the self-service ticketing booth is very inviting and is more than enough to attract people in the right direction. The music in this area should be a mixture of what is played currently and Banbury Cross’ Handel soundtrack with perhaps some new introductions to the playlist to set the mood for entering the park.

-New Ticketing/Pass System
Silver Pass, Gold Pass, Platinum Pass. The Cedar Fair pass system works well and eliminates a lot of confusion. Also, they are cards rather than paper, which I prefer much more. I am not familiar with the various flex tickets and Colonial Williamsburg partnership. Those deals would be included. This solely focuses on essentials for Busch Gardens and Water Country.

-Single Day Ticket
Provides admission to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA for one day

-Silver Pass (optional Water Country USA raises price)
10% discount on food and merchandise
Admission to Busch Gardens from Preview Day to Labor Day on all operating days
2 free tickets throughout lifetime of the pass

-Gold Pass (optional Water Country USA raises price)
10% discount on food and merchandise
Admission to Busch Gardens from Preview Day through Christmas Town on all operating days
3 free tickets throughout lifetime of the pass

-Platinum Pass
Preferred Parking COMPLIMENTARY      
10% discount on food and merchandise
Admission to Busch Gardens and all other SeaWorld Parks on all operating days
3 free tickets throughout lifetime of the pass
Access to exclusive tours

Banbury Cross

Take down the excessive flags, sell the bus merchandise in the Emporium, return the classic Handel music and you have a free fix. Banbury Cross would be returned to its former glory of a theme park entrance. I love how Banbury Cross and Squire’s Grille are open for breakfast. It’s a nice touch I’d like to be a part of more. Also, the path next to Sesame Street and the Skyride should be opened back up. I’m unsure on the reason for its closure as it doesn’t divert guests away from any shops or rides. It only spreads the crowd into two directions around Big Ben and would reduce crowds on that narrow path in Heatherdowns.

-Globe Theatre
A new show could be preformed in here but the change from classic England to British Rock is an interesting concept and could be great if executed correctly. The return of live action in the theaters versus movies is very nice.


Heatherdowns should never change. I love the atmosphere it has. I would only give the hamlet minor touch-ups if I had to.

Killarney – Wild Reserve

The Wild Reserve needs to return the animal life soon. That corner of the park is much more dull and bare since their absence.

-Various Eateries and Shopping
The gift shops on the left by the talking tree can be improved. Grogan’s Grille never seems to be open when I am there, but it seems like a very nice restaurant to stop at. Grogan’s Pub and Annie’s Café are great. I love the atmosphere in there.


The feel of this French village has always appealed to me. The shops, music, the maze of buildings, awesome B&M Dive Machine all add up to an amazing hamlet. Even with Griffon, the place still seems peaceful but with more life. I wouldn’t change much.

A fresh coat of paint would look fantastic.

-Royale Palais Theatre
Alterations to All for One can be made to make this performance show throughout the day. I was never a fan of this show, but I love that the Three Musketeers are back in Aquitaine.

-Aquitaine Picnic Village
With the renovations taking place in Oktoberfest for the Black Forest Project, a new special events picnic area is needed to host groups. Located behind the Royal Palace and where the old petting zoo used to be, a new permanent special events venue would be built hosted by Trapper’s Smokehouse serving the same purpose it did behind the Festhaus.

Trapper’s Village

This Canadian themed area is strangely awesome and unfitting to the old Europe theme, but it fits so well. I wouldn’t change much of the atmosphere here other than maybe minor things to shops. However, I would like to see the addition of this new ride:

-Le Trebuchet
Relocating the Catapult to Festa Italia opens the site up to install a red and gold S&S Screamin’ Swing 36 seat model. I have not come up with a developed theme for this ride. Being located right next to InvadR, perhaps it could be a weapon the Trappers used to fight off the Vikings; not necessarily a trebuchet, but the name sounded good to me.


Rhinefeld, Germany is another hamlet that has virtually been unchanged since its inception except for Alpengeist. This is another one of my favorite hamlets and wouldn’t change much other than the clock and statue revitalization.

This ride has been running a lot smoother lately. A fresh coat of paint would look great. Also, a touch up on the theming would look good too. The concrete snow is getting older.

-Das Wilkommenhaus
Transform the building into a new eatery serving traditional German dishes, snacks and dessert much like the Festhaus. The soft serve ice cream is well received here too.


-Das Festhaus
Live entertainment in the Festhaus has been poor since the new stage was constructed and the brass band was retired. The Festhaus should be returned to its former glory, maybe not rising stage, but a band and quality show would be well received by all ages rather than only small children. A back door would be cut in south wall for access to the beer garden as part of the Black Forest Project.

-Curse of DarKastle
*the fate of DarKastle is currently unknown*

-Pretzels and Beer
Find the rotten egg smell behind Der Marketplatz and fix it

-Mach Tower
If it won’t be melted down and started over, it should be at least altered some. It is a beautiful drop tower: the color scheme, the rotating seats, the theme to a maypole is great. The ride vehicle is almost unbearably painful with the vertical seatbacks and the awkward restraints. I think that a new ride vehicle would make all the difference. Strip the carriage off the tower and get Intamin to install a new, smoother braking system and build a custom carriage to the tower and lift that rotates and does everything the Moser carriage does but make it more comfortable. I believe making this ride more comfortable would make all the difference.

-Die Autobahn (Jr.)
A wall to hide the Verbolten effect building is the only thing I would add to this.

Black Forest

The Black Forest Project is a new hamlet added to Busch Gardens in Festhaus Park taking up the site of Lumberhack, the old Drachen Fire, and Black Forest Picnic Village and new land over the railroad.

-Drachen Fire (refer to Festhaus Park Utilization thread)
The dragon has awakened. The new biggest and fastest flying coaster in the world. Built by B&M and very unique to its style, the ride takes you up to the world’s tallest inversion on a flyer and through a Bavarian village paying tribute to its predecessors, the original Drachen Fire and the Big Bad Wolf. The ride features a dual station, five inversions and a terrain section.

-Black Forest Concert Amphitheater
Built as a joint project with the new Drachen Fire roller coaster, this new outdoor concert theater will host Busch Gardens’ live entertainment concert series throughout the summer. The backstage, backstage parking, and building will be built where the existing Lumberhack HoS maze currently resides.

-Festhaus Beer Garden
Along with the renovations in the Festhaus, the Black Forest Picnic Village transforms into a Bavarian beer garden. The relocations of the picnic buildings to Aquitaine allows for a large plaza for Festhaus outdoor seating and better access to Drachen Fire’s entry plaza. Lights strung in the trees, shaded picnic tables, and various other improvements would be made to make this area more a part of the main park and make “Festhaus Park” less secluded.

San Marco

The only thing I would do to San Marco is return the instrumental soundtrack.

Festa Italia

Realistically, all Festa Italia needs, rather than a complete retheme is a few major touch-ups

-Apollo’s Chariot
A fresh coat of purple paint. Also, the ride could perhaps use new B&M Hyper trains, preserving the beautiful zero-car display, of course. It’s been a little rough toward the middle of the train.

A new color scheme on the supports part. The orange supports never grew on me, however, I think the teal track is gorgeous. I think a white would match the track as well as blend with the sky and better collaborate with Apollo’s Chariot’s purple and gold. While I wouldn’t complain if the whole thing disappeared, a repaint, especially being next to Apollo’s Chariot, would look great. To add, the comfort collars should probably go soon. I believe it was a mistake to add them in the first place, but every single time the train loads and unloads is a bunch of fumbling. It would do virtually no harm to remove them.

-Roman Rapids
I believe this ride has some true potential and it is so popular in the summer. Most theme parks seem incomplete without one of these rapids rides. Roman Rapids has a few moments where you’re just floating along: no rapids, no waterfalls or sprayers, and it gets boring, not to mention it is short. If this ride received more theming and water effects, it would be much more fun for how short the ride is.

-Il Gladiatore (Catapult)
With the relocation of the Catapult ride once again, it finds itself back in its old home in Festa Italia housed in the existing Coke Market “tent” where it was back in Festa’s heyday. New Coke Market location TBD.

-Festa Train Station
With the removal of the trees over the Colonial Pipeline, the sun beams into the station. A new drapes-like shade structure like what exists would be appreciated.

Project Madrid

*Details for “Project Madrid” are currently unknown*

Busch Gardens Seasonal Events:

Food and Wine Festival (Spring)
I would leave this unchanged. Maybe improve the wine and dine on the Rhine River Cruise.

Busch Gardens “Nightscape” (Summer)
Much like Nightscape at Longwood Gardens, Busch Gardens hosts a similar summer night event featuring projection images on various structures and landscaping throughout the park. Areas that come to mind off the top of my head would be along the Rhine River viewing from above (on San Marco bridge) and at water level (Grimm’s Landung), front of the Festhaus, Wild Reserve, Highland Stables grass (viewed from Skyride), Pompeii, Italy trees, and DaVinci’s Gardens. I’m sure there are tons more places. Fireworks are also still displayed at night and the park would be open later than in the past to encourage exploration at night to view the lights. Concerts would also take place at this time.

Howl-O-Scream (Fall)
With the new additions in Festhaus Park, Lumberhack would be relocated to the woods adjacent to the new Drachen Fire and the railroad. The new entrance would be in the new Festhaus Beer Garden and down the service road next to the railroad and Drachen Fire station. A new indoor maze would be in the backstage area of the Black Forest Amphitheater. Other mazes and themes change annually as they already do.

Christmas Town (Winter)
I would keep this event unchanged except for the various theming and entertainment changes that take place every year, perhaps open more or different coasters every year to change things up some.

So, to sum up, this is essentially two major projects that could occur strategically over the course of a decade or so after Project Madrid. The other things mentioned could be added over the course of a few years. Of course, in this time Water Country is bound to add a new slide and new shows are going to pop up in the many theaters around BGW. I think that this is enough to keep the public busy at Busch Gardens for the next couple of decades. What do you guys think?
Oct 7, 2011
I'm not really sure who else (1) could supply that specific type of attraction and (2) can claim large-scale experience deploying in high-end settings.  

Conjecture: the necessarily tight integration of design, hardware, content, and deployment to pull off something like Nightscapes probably requires a single system integrator for success, greatly reducing the number of supplier options/combos for a successful project. KK may not have a ton of competitors who can claim equivalent results to theirs on a decidedly non-Disney budget.

I don't work in that space, but it's all probably 10x as much work as it appears to be.  The best (artificial) sensory experiences so often are...
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Feb 12, 2011
Near Richmond
This may be one of my favorite concepts on the forum. It is logical, realistic, and well thought-out. I agree with almost everything you suggested.

Returning the park to its classical, old-world charm is my ultimate desire, and returning the classic soundtrack to areas like Banbury Cross and San Marco are huge "musts," in my opinion.

I also really enjoy the idea of transforming the Wilkommenhaus into something more useful and authentic. German snacks and even bar foods like roasted nuts, meatballs, pickles, sausages, etc. would be a wonderful fit to bring much-needed liveliness to such a beautiful and iconic building. And considering the park's two German sections are arguably its "signature" areas, it is a shame that currently the only places to get German food are inside the Festhaus (out-of-the-way and a bit of a hassle for anything other than a meal), and Pretzel World (little more than pretzels). I would love a quick place to grab some real German bites.

I think my favorite concept is the German beer garden in Festhaus Park. I have never seen anyone suggest it before, but your idea of a classy, well-landscaped, and secluded garden sounds like heaven. Lights strung across the trees, and maybe a small fountain plus live music, would make the most relaxing evening setting. I love it.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I realized on my last visit to the park that maybe the pathway from Banbury to the skyride was closed so that Forest of Fun only has one exit. Both Land of the Dragons and FOF only have one way wandering tots can escape.

Great concept. I can really see (and would love to see) many of these things happening.


Jul 7, 2017
I didn't predict it, per say. The "revitalization project" I created was a concept of additions I, personally, would like to see in the park. I enjoy Screamin' Swings and, as a fan of them, and seeing a gap in the flat ride lineup at Busch Gardens, would have liked to see one be added. Not to mention Finnegan's Flyer is nowhere near where I said I would have liked it over in New France, but that doesn't matter much. Yay swing!
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Level 65 Rumor Bear
Aug 23, 2017
I didn't predict it, per say. The "revitalization project" I created was a concept of additions I, personally, would like to see in the park. I enjoy Screamin' Swings and, as a fan of them, and seeing a gap in the flat ride lineup at Busch Gardens, would have liked to see one be added. Not to mention Finnegan's Flyer is nowhere near where I said I would have liked it over in New France, but that doesn't matter much. Yay swing!
Shut up air, you’re now Nostradamus, now tell us when we get Spain
Aug 21, 2016
Especially if we get Spain in that Festhaus Park area, I really wanna see an intense wooden coaster there. I know we have Invadr but that’s a strictly family coaster. I’m talking about something like Ravine Flyer II or Mystic Timbers, something with lats and/or crazy airtime. I feel like it would be a great, not-too-costly addition for that area, maybe make it even more marketable by adding an inversion.


Hard, Hard Times
Silver Donor
Jan 5, 2018
Frederick, MD
Personally, I'd like an intricate dark ride, after the loss of DK and the addition of the intense coaster we are getting in Madrid. I see a physical set screen hybrid (Oceaneering Trackless pleaaaaaaase) as something more necessary. Something to fill the void that needs filling. Intense woodie is kinda a niche hole that can be filled later.
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