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horsesboy

professional Pantheon observer
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I judge this to be highly suspect info but I was told that Entertainment has been given a hard exit date I'm January to be out of the building and that items not needed for Hall-o-scream and Santa's Workshop are already being moved out with the goal of turning the building over to operations for redevelopment by February 1st. Again I have little faith in the time table.
 

ControlsEE

I probably should be working...
Oct 2, 2018
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Question out of curiosity. Note that I have NO logical reason to believe any ride or other changes may be installed in the former DK building.

What signs of anything would we see if the park were to start constructing a new ride inside the building? Assuming that there aren't external changes needed (such as electric supply resizing), would we see much of anything in the permit office? We would certainly not see any 811 requests if they didn't need to dig. Could they in theory keep a ride quite literally under wraps with minimal public record paper trails and avoiding all external cosmetic changes until the last minute? Obviously at some point we would start noticing large equipment or parts in parking lots and around the building, but could they, in theory, pull it off?
 

Zachary

BGW Eggspert
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Inside baseball time.

Leaking a new darkride in an existing building is hard as fuck. We obtained and leaked some theming documents for Battle for Eire, but we only managed to do that a handful of months before the ride actually opened (published around Christmas 2017—Eire opened in Spring of 2018).


I can say with a pretty high degree of confidence that we'd know if construction starts inside the building as building permits would still be required. That said, getting substantial advanced notice regarding that work, figuring out what that work is, working out the status of said work, and obtaining any details about the actual attraction in development would/will be incredibly difficult.
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
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So... Maybe the bierfest modifications requiring permits may have also snuck in some in-building prep work?

Not that I think that actually happened, just throwing it out there
 
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Jonesta6

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With the new storage/entertainment building on the way, it only makes sense to take a ridiculously themed giant warehouse building right on the main midway and stick some kind of regular season attraction into it.

But then the question is that would the CapEx spent on such projects be coming from the DS rumored project and that one is either shelved or coming much later than planned? Given Pantheon not even opening yet and there being staffing issues, I don't see the park in too much of a hurry to open yet another new attraction.
 
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RocketChk

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It still pisses me off that they couldn't get their shit together and keep DarKastle going. All that money and development going into it. The level of themeing and execution was on Universal/Disney level and they just let it rot. There is a fantastic article below about the ride.

 
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I miss DarKastle that just added such a fun ride to hit every time I went to the park. 😭 It certainly feels like there should be a legitimate dark ride at Busch but Escape from Pompeii sort of fills that void with the dark ride segment even if that's particularly short. It is strange to think KD has an actual dark ride and BGW does not. Though KD has been slacking on that maintenance of some cooler elements of Boo Blasters.....
 
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^Agreed another well themed attraction would do wonders for the lineup. But I recognize I may be dreaming at this point with SEAS going all in on brand new but not operating roller coasters with the least theming possible.
 

ControlsEE

I probably should be working...
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It still pisses me off that they couldn't get their shit together and keep DarKastle going. All that money and development going into it. The level of themeing and execution was on Universal/Disney level and they just let it rot. There is a fantastic article below about the ride.

I think it was honestly all the changes at the corporate level that did DK in. I worked at the park at a very pivotal time, shortly after the sale to Blackstone and though the IPO becoming SEAS. Most of the people I worked with, who had been there longer, worked during the BEC Era, through the Inbev transition, then the Blackstone sale. From what I was told, the park was very Disney-esk in their expectations of Cast Members during the BEC. The guest experience was to be "world class" and nothing short. Most of us who grew up at the park at this time probably remember it as being such. It all hit the fan when Inbev took over, who knew nothing about parks, but tried for a short while. Apparently, budgets and staffing were abysmal during this time and one story I heard was about rounding every pencil in the park up, then evenly dividing them among all departments and locations. Blackstone obviously poured a bunch of desperately needed money in, resulting in a lot of upgrades, but I think at this point, they were more concerned with competing with CF and other chains than holding the park to the higher standard of the Florida parks. There was no need to compete with KD and CF before since BGW was clearly a Themed park, with a high and accurate level of themeing and guest experience, while KD was more focused on rides. To the GP, rides may be more important to some, but the park definitely started to decline around 2010/2011 when they shifted to a ride centric focus. When push came to shove, DK would require a substantial overhaul to keep up with what the GP was expecting in 2017 and with VR being where theme parks were going at the time, motion simulators were on their way out. In reality, they probably should have redone the video for the ride around 2012/2013 when 4K was really picking up steam. Redone the ride vehicles by the start of 2015. I would guess that there were numerous conversations about these things at the time, but corporate wanted their park who had 4 coasters at the time to compete with a park who had 12, including one that had just been built (I305). To the new owners, it was a numbers game. They needed to get the coaster count up ASAP as possible. They were already planning Verbolten when the transitions took place, but they needed more. Hence they've doubled the coaster count at BGW within the last decade where as BEC only added one coaster, a dark ride, and closed an iconic coaster the decade before. Looking back, they cared only to increase the ride count and not upkeep the existing theming, let alone keep a very exquisitely themed ride that had waning technology and a very large labor requirement (6-12 operators) operational. It should be no surprise that they did take it out, but it really is a shame that they really didn't keep it up to the standards it was built to. I'd say at this point I don't think they would put in anything more than a Laff Trak or maybe a Mystery Mine, but hide the fact they don't have themeing with darkness or lighting effects that go out 2 years in.

I actually like the ride vehicle premise so much that I do hope to build my own dark ride for Halloween one year and make it a ride much like DK, though with a different theme (I'm thinking Jurassic Bark and having my dog dress up in a costume and half way though kids can throw treats at her to "feed the dinosaur"). Right now I have most of the mechanical and electrical design done, as well as I have the land. Just waiting on an excuse to build a large enough "garage".
 
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I think it was honestly all the changes at the corporate level that did DK in. I worked at the park at a very pivotal time, shortly after the sale to Blackstone and though the IPO becoming SEAS. Most of the people I worked with, who had been there longer, worked during the BEC Era, through the Inbev transition, then the Blackstone sale. From what I was told, the park was very Disney-esk in their expectations of Cast Members during the BEC. The guest experience was to be "world class" and nothing short. Most of us who grew up at the park at this time probably remember it as being such. It all hit the fan when Inbev took over, who knew nothing about parks, but tried for a short while. Apparently, budgets and staffing were abysmal during this time and one story I heard was about rounding every pencil in the park up, then evenly dividing them among all departments and locations. Blackstone obviously poured a bunch of desperately needed money in, resulting in a lot of upgrades, but I think at this point, they were more concerned with competing with CF and other chains than holding the park to the higher standard of the Florida parks. There was no need to compete with KD and CF before since BGW was clearly a Themed park, with a high and accurate level of themeing and guest experience, while KD was more focused on rides. To the GP, rides may be more important to some, but the park definitely started to decline around 2010/2011 when they shifted to a ride centric focus. When push came to shove, DK would require a substantial overhaul to keep up with what the GP was expecting in 2017 and with VR being where theme parks were going at the time, motion simulators were on their way out. In reality, they probably should have redone the video for the ride around 2012/2013 when 4K was really picking up steam. Redone the ride vehicles by the start of 2015. I would guess that there were numerous conversations about these things at the time, but corporate wanted their park who had 4 coasters at the time to compete with a park who had 12, including one that had just been built (I305). To the new owners, it was a numbers game. They needed to get the coaster count up ASAP as possible. They were already planning Verbolten when the transitions took place, but they needed more. Hence they've doubled the coaster count at BGW within the last decade where as BEC only added one coaster, a dark ride, and closed an iconic coaster the decade before. Looking back, they cared only to increase the ride count and not upkeep the existing theming, let alone keep a very exquisitely themed ride that had waning technology and a very large labor requirement (6-12 operators) operational. It should be no surprise that they did take it out, but it really is a shame that they really didn't keep it up to the standards it was built to. I'd say at this point I don't think they would put in anything more than a Laff Trak or maybe a Mystery Mine, but hide the fact they don't have themeing with darkness or lighting effects that go out 2 years in.

I actually like the ride vehicle premise so much that I do hope to build my own dark ride for Halloween one year and make it a ride much like DK, though with a different theme (I'm thinking Jurassic Bark and having my dog dress up in a costume and half way though kids can throw treats at her to "feed the dinosaur"). Right now I have most of the mechanical and electrical design done, as well as I have the land. Just waiting on an excuse to build a large enough "garage".
One big part you're missing is that in 2011/2012 the company spent an absurd amount on a large family coaster and the jankiest drop tower known to man including a very significant themed overhaul of Octoberfest. Illuminights came along as what is still the biggest summer event in the history of the park with an insane number of shows, parades, and fireworks displays that hasn't been seen again yet. I think that they were really just throwing it all at the wall to see what stuck.

At the time darkastle was one of the newest major attractions(unless you count You're Up in the Air). It was probably just not even on anyone's radar.
 

horsesboy

professional Pantheon observer
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Jun 16, 2013
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With the new storage/entertainment building on the way, it only makes sense to take a ridiculously themed giant warehouse building right on the main midway and stick some kind of regular season attraction into it.

But then the question is that would the CapEx spent on such projects be coming from the DS rumored project and that one is either shelved or coming much later than planned? Given Pantheon not even opening yet and there being staffing issues, I don't see the park in too much of a hurry to open yet another new attraction.

My skepticism on it isn't if they will put something there but the timetable With Pantheon not opening till 2022 and DS presumably moved to 2023 why the rush to evict entertainment now especially with no time line for the new building to be completed. A couple possibilities come to mind

1) DS has been canceled or pushed back past 2023. The issue I see with that theory is that there seems to have been quite a bit of supporting evidence that it's already been largely paid for so how long would Intamin allow for an already partially paid for and committed project to be put on hold for? One possibilities is that what ever goes into DK building might be an Intamin product of some kind which was incentive to strike a deal.

2) The park plans a double new ride addition for 2023 with a giant high thrill coaster and some sort of tamer dark ride for their 50th anniversary.

3) The park plans an off season addition to debut during the cold weather events to draw crowds in.


I miss DarKastle that just added such a fun ride to hit every time I went to the park. 😭 It certainly feels like there should be a legitimate dark ride at Busch but Escape from Pompeii sort of fills that void with the dark ride segment even if that's particularly short. It is strange to think KD has an actual dark ride and BGW does not. Though KD has been slacking on that maintenance of some cooler elements of Boo Blasters.....

I personally think that given the commitment to year round ops that indoor rides are almost a must at this point.
 

horsesboy

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A weird time though to start planning for in-door attractions with COVID still in the equation.
I think that given that any replacement would likely late 2022 at the earliest and far more likely 2023 that Covid shouldn't figure to much into their planning
 
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RocketChk

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When push came to shove, DK would require a substantial overhaul to keep up with what the GP was expecting in 2017 and with VR being where theme parks were going at the time, motion simulators were on their way out. In reality, they probably should have redone the video for the ride around 2012/2013 when 4K was really picking up steam. Redone the ride vehicles by the start of 2015.
Here's where I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you, as would Spiderman and Transformers down at Universal. I think they bit off way more than they could chew and and instead of putting in the work, they threw their hands up and walked away.

They stopped caring about the ride when they took out the whole element of the pre-show. That was the heart. That room is not meant to be just walked through. They ushered you in and the doors closed to tell you the story and immerse you into the ride. Rides with heart are where you walk the line between theme park and amusement park. Busch used to tell you stories and now their just plopping down steel.
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
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I actually agree with that - I got the pre-show experience my one visit opening year, and couldn't hear everything because some jerk was shout talking and I was in the back of the room so I couldn't see. I was looking forward to seeing it again the following season, but by then the doors were wide open and you just queued right through it.
 
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Ice

FFF
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The pre show was very Florida-esque, and the reason I think it never worked very well was a combination of two things. 1. the screen is two low and 2. the average guest at the park isn't necessarily there for the Florida experience at least knowingly, they are there for a regional park. That is what SEAS sees, and is acting reactively in most of their decisions such as ride choices and their focuses.

What SEAS doesn't recognize is why this park got its success in the first place. Even though the average guest isn't knowingly going to a regional park desiring the immersivity of the Florida giants, it is something that when even a glimpse is caught, it really strikes a chord emotionally and hits home. That is why the biggest fans of the park just describe it as special, from the days when it was an attempt at an escape from reality. Now that the dedicated fans expect that sort of returned dedication, and every other parkgoer just gets an experience relatively similar to every other regional park, the park is going through a slow identity change. I don't think a ride like DK would perform well if it was opened tomorrow at modern BGW because of how they have built their market now, the people going to BGW aren't craving that sort of entertainment value other than the dedicated local fans from the "old times".

If DK's replacement (if it ever exists) is anything different than something else textbook and bland I will be shocked. A lot of people want an indoor coaster of sorts, some people want a shooter, I see both of those as another nail in the coffin of the old BGW mentality. Not saying I would only tolerate a dark ride of similar style, but I won't ever stop wanting some dedication to being original again.
 

warfelg

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Mar 16, 2016
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CoDK was actually quite revered for being a DisUni quality product without being in Disney/Universal and up in SCPA we would talk a lot about wanting one. I think saying it never worked well because of that is a very misleading statement.

The more correct answer is more that it lost it's luster, like much of BGW, because is seems SEAS refuses to give funds to ride maintenance for set pieces. CoDK fell apart, EfP's effects barely work, Nessie's effects are come and go it seems, VB's show room is in shambles. Heck they don't even care to get Ride Ops to run lift hill music because "it annoys them".
 
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