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Jan 2, 2012
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I have a few questions concerning the Monorail. My first visit to BGW was in 2000, during which I looked for the Monorail and couldn't find it, only to hear later that it had been removed. When was it removed, and why? On subsequent visits to the park, I've tried to locate the entrance to the former station, which I estimate is in the Wild Kingdom (or whatever the animal habitat is called) between Killarney and Aquitaine. I've seen a wide access gate just off the midway, which I suspect leads to the former attraction. Does anyone know if the station and/or the track/support beams are still there? This is something I'd had loved to experience! Maybe if the infrastructure still stands, they can bring it back some day.
 
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Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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I'm more interested in the film that is mentioned in the article I posted.

Visitors to the Hospitality Center were shown what was termed a "tremendous multi-media film." The film showed shots of Williamsburg, other Busch Gardens and future plans for the Gardens in Williamsburg. One visitor expressed her feelings by stating, "It's worth going back just to see the film again."

I sorta really want to see that video...




ljk77 said:
I have a few questions concerning the Monorail. My first visit to BGW was in 2000, during which I looked for the Monorail and couldn't find it, only to hear later that it had been removed. When was it removed, and why? On subsequent visits to the park, I've tried to locate the entrance to the former station, which I estimate is in the Wild Kingdom (or whatever the animal habitat is called) between Killarney and Aquitaine. I've seen a wide access gate just off the midway, which I suspect leads to the former attraction. Does anyone know if the station and/or the track/support beams are still there? This is something I'd had loved to experience! Maybe if the infrastructure still stands, they can bring it back some day.

Though I could answer a few of these, there are people out there much better informed to do so than myself. If they don't show up, I'll toss out what I've heard in a bit.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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ljk77 said:
I have a few questions concerning the Monorail. My first visit to BGW was in 2000, during which I looked for the Monorail and couldn't find it, only to hear later that it had been removed. When was it removed, and why? On subsequent visits to the park, I've tried to locate the entrance to the former station, which I estimate is in the Wild Kingdom (or whatever the animal habitat is called) between Killarney and Aquitaine. I've seen a wide access gate just off the midway, which I suspect leads to the former attraction. Does anyone know if the station and/or the track/support beams are still there? This is something I'd had loved to experience! Maybe if the infrastructure still stands, they can bring it back some day.

The monorail station, from my understanding of the park's history was located in Jack Hanna's Wild Reserve just behind the Aviary in the garden section. That I can tell I haven't seen anything related to the monorail as far as old supports or infrastructure for the monorail.

I will say the maintenance building for the monorail is actually located across from the park's administration offices by the (previously call office, current Marketing Building). The maintenance building was actually converted into a theater technician workshop for entertainment. Most of the building has retained much of the original infrastructure. This is where things like the mushroom chairs for Entwined were built, parts of the shows sets, etc.

Personally, I would like to think one day they will add a monorail for the park; however, they would have to start from scratch. I definitely don't expect to to ever connect back to the brewery at all though. Considering their two separate companies and unless they strike a deal I just can't see it.
 
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Jan 2, 2012
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That's true, I had forgotten that AB-InBev no longer owns the park, so there is really no connection anymore between the park and the brewery. Thanks for the info!
 
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Nov 21, 2013
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The monorail track and supports were removed in 1998 and 1999. The boarding station was in what was called the Eagle Garden where the bird cage area is now parallel to the old entry road. The monorail maintenance building is still in place and re-purposed.
 
Sep 8, 2010
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Charlottesville
Party Rocker said:
Personally, I would like to think one day they will add a monorail for the park; however, they would have to start from scratch. I definitely don't expect to to ever connect back to the brewery at all though. Considering their two separate companies and unless they strike a deal I just can't see it.
Costing $80-$100mil per mile, they really don't hold any sort of reasonable cost to benefit unfortunately.
 
Apr 1, 2010
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An article about ending the tour. AB to Close Hospitality Tour, Monorail

Daily Press pid=91626 dateline=1391624839 said:
James City Beer Center All Tapped Out

A-b To Close Hospitality Tour, Monorail

October 22, 1998|By DEBORAH STRASZHEIM Daily Press

WILLIAMSBURG — No more beer school.

No more monorail from Busch Gardens.

No more free beer.

Anheuser-Busch is closing its Hospitality Center and brewery tour for good Nov. 2.

Gregg Klich, vice president of park operations for Busch Gardens, said the company decided to close the center because it was no longer cost-effective.

"The Williamsburg tour hosts a relatively small number of guests," he said.

The company is also closing the monorail that brought people from Busch Gardens to the Hospitality Center. The ride was about 10 minutes long, and most of the visitors to the center used the monorail.

Once in the Hospitality Center, guests could watch videos about the history of the company, get two complementary samples of beer and tour the brewery. The center also offered "beer school" to teach guests about how beer is made.

Anheuser-Busch opened the Hospitality Center in 1974 as a way of marketing and showcasing its products and allowing people to sample the beer.

The company would not release attendance figures but Klich said, "A relatively small number of guests made it not very cost-efficient to keep open."

The company has three locations in the park where it sells beer - Das Festhaus, Le Coq d'Or in France and Ristorante della Piazza in Italy, said Klich. Visitors can also buy merchandise in a shop dedicated exclusively to Anheuser-Busch products.

Klich said the company has not decided yet what to do with the monorail or Hospitality Center. But he said it is considering opening a similar center inside park grounds.

Eight full-time employees will lose their jobs but will be offered severance packages with health insurance and help finding work, Klich said.

Anheuser-Busch is also closing its brewery tour in Columbus, Ohio.
 
May 6, 2014
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Hampton, VA USA
During the 1997 or 1998 season the monorail broke down after I arrived at the hospitality center. About 1 1/2 to 2 hours later, AB hired a large rental bus to transport guests back to the park. For visitors 21 years or older I am certain there are worse places to be stranded but without much to do there the approximate two hour wait seemed a long time. This was my last visit to the hospitality center. :( BTW, we were never told any details about the break-down or malfunction.

Before that experience the monorail trip to the hospitality center was a frequent stop for me during a visit to BGW. It was really fun when the packaging lines were running and open to tour. Towards the end of my visits the packaging line was not open on Sundays which is my preferred day to visit the park with smaller crowds.
 
Jul 23, 2014
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Even before I was 21 (1999), I always went to the Brewery and did the tour because, for me, that was the second best food place in the "park." I was so excited for my 21st, because all I wanted to do was go there to get the free samples all my older relatives had. I had not gone since like 1996, and was very disappointed when the monorail was no longer there. I don't even think they had the hospitality buildings at that point.

On a side note, I think AB-InBev is missing an opportunity at this time by the Brewery not having a visitors center, given you can't buy any AB Swag at the park any more.
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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I remember many a day of riding Eagle 1 over to the brewery and walking the halls, looking at the packaging line and smelling the beer. Then going back to the welcome center and going to the small snack location under the monorail track for a pizza and slice of cake. Then going outside to the triangular seating area and enjoying a quiet corner and my pizza before heading back upstairs for the ride back to the park.
 
Apr 30, 2015
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WDWRLD said:
I remember many a day of riding Eagle 1 over to the brewery and walking the halls, looking at the packaging line and smelling the beer. Then going back to the welcome center and going to the small snack location under the monorail track for a pizza and slice of cake. Then going outside to the triangular seating area and enjoying a quiet corner and my pizza before heading back upstairs for the ride back to the park.
Thats awesome, i have never known about the monorail. or the fact that it connected to the park lol.
 
Apr 5, 2017
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I vaguely remember it as I was young. The Tampa park was even better as the brewery was inside the park if I remember correctly it is where Guanzi sits now. You could just take an escalator into the building with a tasting room.
 

Lord Robert

"Not pet. Wingman."
Apr 18, 2014
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It's funny, I do vaguely remember the station and going inside a monorail. Maybe I took the beer tour with my family but it's a cloudy memory to me.
 
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