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Busch has recently posted details surrounding their new nightly event this summer, Illuminights. Each country is going to celebrate Illuminights in their own ways.

In Ireland, performers will tell tales of leprechauns, lost fortune, and fairy princesses. In the rooftops, larger-than-life puppets, some over 20 ft. tall will appear.

In France, inspired by the world fair, the first parade in Busch's 35 year history, will be displayed.

In Germany, the world's largest cuckoo clock will be unveiled. Wooden figures will be replaced with live performers.

In Italy, Da Vinci's Garden will come alive with acrobats performing impossible feats, while balencing fire and water.

The individual countries' shows will happen throughout the evening.

At 9:30, a fireworks display will light up the park. And prior to the display, a special Rhine River Cruise will depart giving guests the best view of the fireworks.

http://www.buschgardens.com/bgw/CP/?page=IllumiNights_Event

I'll admit, I'm kinda excited for this. Nightly fireworks! A parade! Street performances all across the park!
 
Sep 23, 2009
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Yeah, this looks like it's going to be really good. The parade in France will clearly have some type of light show to go along with it with the lights going on Griffon. I'm excited to see how it turns out.
 
Mar 30, 2010
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This is a big deal! I hope it turns out very well. I'd like to get on one of those river cruises at some point.
 

Fur Dozy

Mayor of Busch Gardens Tampillsburg
Nov 5, 2009
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I was on griffon when they did the fireworks on the 3rd of July last year. it was a blast. I would of done apollo but it was too close to the fireworks so they closed it for the show. =(
 
Sep 28, 2009
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Be on the lookout for LeMans cars in the parade!! :D By the way, FlyerMiles Your Avatar is AWESOME!!!!! I LOVE owls. :heart:
 
Sep 28, 2009
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Ugh... I just saw the new paint job on the Festhaus for preparation of Illuminights. My retinas have been burned - the pain the pain! Photo is attached...
 

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Nov 14, 2009
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I've got to be the least observant member of this forum. My wife and I had lunch at the Festhaus, today, and I didn't notice this at all:-/

I did notice the four new towers of lights throughout France though...
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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I'm sorry, but I don't know what Busch is doing with all of the colored paint. Someone seriously needs to lay off of the coffee in the morning... :-/
 

BBW

Jun 10, 2010
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This is the first thing I've been excited about since the AB takeover rumors started in, what, 2007?, then the Inbev buyout in 2008, the Blackstone purchase in 2009, the loss of Corkscrew Hill, the loss of the bay Clydesdales (and hearing a staff member telling a guest this spring that the black ones are there "for life" -- yeah, right, just like the bay ones were) the loss of the Big Bad Wolf, etc. etc. I was even sorry to hear that the landscaping company was let go after doing such a beautiful job with the park for so long. For me, most of the BGW magic is GONE. Truly GONE. I LOVED this park but too much has changed too fast without anywhere close to adequate replacement of things lost. I know that makes me more than a bit of a stodgy geek but I haven't been impressed with any of the changes so far. I thought Christmas Town was only okay, actually.

But I feel just the smallest little spark of excitement over Illuminights. The park is beautiful after dark and the "goings on" in each of the countries should give guests plenty of reasons to get on the move and explore the park! DH and I typically plan to arrive at opening to get in the big thrill rides before the lines build, but we always have time constraints that keep us from staying much more than 5-6 hours at a time, so with Illuminights I foresee we'll be changing our typical park plan and going in the afternoons to be ready for the evening fun.
 

Zachary

Administrator
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None of the bad things that you listed were Blackstone's doing. Have a look:

Corkscrew Hill- I believe that EitA has been in production for quite a long time- as in before the Blackstone buyout. They didn't have much of a choice on that one.
Clydesdales- This would actually be InBev's fault. When they sold the parks, they demanded that they take the Clydesdales with them. This, in my opinion is actually an example of something that Blackstone did right. They went out and bought new Clydesdales, two Border Collies puppies, and a boatload of sheep. Not to mention the awesome rethemeing that the stables got.
Big Bad Wolf- Done under InBev.
Landscaping Company- InBev... I believe- don't know much on this one.
Christmas Town- Combo of AB, InBev, Blackstone, and Nora. A lot of planning was put into Christmas Town. [I didn't like it much either- my review is around here somewhere.]

What, in my opinion, was the best thing that InBev ever did? Sell our beloved parks to Blackstone. We might of been better off in AB's hands, but that ship as sailed. Blackstone was the next best choice.
 
Sep 23, 2009
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The release of the landscaping company was Blackstone. It was a cost cutting measure but it seems that it was a decent gamble by Blackstone as I haven't noticed a decrease in the landscaping quality this season. They could always hire an outside company for special projects if needed, but the multi-year contract for a landscaping company really didn't need to be done. I think that move made sense... it put some money back into the budget to put elsewhere.
 

BBW

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Swiftman said:
None of the bad things that you listed were Blackstone's doing. Have a look:

Corkscrew Hill- I believe that EitA has been in production for quite a long time- as in before the Blackstone buyout. They didn't have much of a choice on that one.
Clydesdales- This would actually be InBev's fault. When they sold the parks, they demanded that they take the Clydesdales with them. This, in my opinion is actually an example of something that Blackstone did right. They went out and bought new Clydesdales, two Border Collies puppies, and a boatload of sheep. Not to mention the awesome rethemeing that the stables got.
Big Bad Wolf- Done under InBev.
Landscaping Company- InBev... I believe- don't know much on this one.
Christmas Town- Combo of AB, InBev, Blackstone, and Nora. A lot of planning was put into Christmas Town. [I didn't like it much either- my review is around here somewhere.]

What, in my opinion, was the best thing that InBev ever did? Sell our beloved parks to Blackstone. We might of been better off in AB's hands, but that ship as sailed. Blackstone was the next best choice.

Hmm, wow, I don't think I actually pointed a finger at anyone in my post, just lamented all the changes. I'm glad, though, that it makes you hopeful that Blackstone is the current parent company. Could be the parks will regain the magic, and for many they never lost it anyway of course, I'm just talking about my subjective feelings about the park. And Blackstone may turn out to be great stewards for the parks, as you suggest.

Can't agree about the removal of the Clydesdales though, since I'm concerned about the fate of the individual animals in question. How did it do the bays any good to be sold, only to be replaced immediately by not just other horses but horses of the SAME breed? I'm sure this was to break ties with the AB symbolism of the bays but again, my concern is for the fate of the individual animals, and I don't think it did the previous Clydesdales much good despite being assured rather facilely that AB was careful about how they ended up ("sold/auctioned to good homes").

Not sure that the BBW's fate wasn't sealed before Inbev, though, if the uniqueness of the maintenance issues truly was at the core of the problem. I surely don't know for certain though so of course you may be right. But it was rumored to be on the chopping block for a couple of seasons before it actually happened (sites like screamscape, bgescape, theme park insider), so I have to wonder if it would have gone even under AB hands.

Regardless, though, ultimately I think it is AB that sold us all down the river. Yes, I know all about shareholders and obligations to same but the issues are more complex than that to me. But this is really OT for this thread, and you're absolutely right that that ship has sailed [ugh], but really I just wrote what I did to stress how big a deal it is to me to be a bit excited about Illuminights! It's the first big announcement I've actually LIKED since Griffon! And that makes me happy since we had just about decided to cancel our platinum passes after the spring months were over and the summer heat and attendance started affecting the park experience. But now I'm a little excited about the park again for the first time in several years. :D
 
I figured I'd stick my head out on this one here...

Corkscrew Hill- I believe that EitA has been in production for quite a long time- as in before the Blackstone buyout. They didn't have much of a choice on that one.
EitA was conceived over three years ago .. while still under AB's umbrella.

Clydesdales- This would actually be InBev's fault. When they sold the parks, they demanded that they take the Clydesdales with them. This, in my opinion is actually an example of something that Blackstone did right. They went out and bought new Clydesdales, two Border Collies puppies, and a boatload of sheep. Not to mention the awesome rethemeing that the stables got.
The Clydedales were actually owned by the St. Louis branch of AB. As such, the clydesdales were moved back to St. Louis where they still remain. That being said, they were very popular and symbolic of the park(s) itself, so they brought in European Clydesdales (the horses that weren't bread specifically for a beer company) and the other animals for 'Scottish flavor'. The Border Collies are being trained to herd the sheep around during the Summer months - unassisted - and only respond to Scottish calls (as opposed to a guest walking up and distracting them).

Big Bad Wolf- Done under InBev.
This is a parts/maintenance issue. Whoever was controlling BG parks at the time would have the same issue or lack of replacement parts at a reasonable price, so this is completely moot.

Landscaping Company- InBev... I believe- don't know much on this one.
This WAS done under InBev. The Florida-based landscaping company's contract was up and wasn't renewed for financial reasons.

Christmas Town- Combo of AB, InBev, Blackstone, and Nora. A lot of planning was put into Christmas Town. [I didn't like it much either- my review is around here somewhere.]
Christmas Town was in development for a few years before it came to fruition in 2009. It was started under AB and carried out through the new owners. As we all know it's being expanded this year, there's still a few new surprises that actually haven't been leaked out yet. There will be hints to those being dropped come September.

Wow .. is this REALLY my first post here? Hmm .. I guess I'll be bombarded with the inevitable, "You're new and don't know what you're talking about" regimen. That's fine - just wanted to help clear a few bits of information up while I was here reading it. I'm ready for the onslaught. ;)
 
Sep 23, 2009
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LoveDoc143 said:
Landscaping Company- InBev... I believe- don't know much on this one.
This WAS done under InBev. The Florida-based landscaping company's contract was up and wasn't renewed for financial reasons.

Actually the decision came after Blackstone purchased the parks. The sale was announced on October 7 and the announcement that a decision regarding the landscaping company was made on November 20. The idea of non-renewing the contract was most likely on the table prior to the sale, but the final decision came while Blackstone was in charge.

The reality is that there is no real change since most of those that lost their job were immediately hired by Busch in the same positions they held. The only difference is that it saved some money for the park.

And don't worry, we try to be flame/troll free here. Glad you joined in on the conversation!
 
Well, not completely true. There was an outstanding issue involving the landscaping company that eventually lead to the contract not being renewed later on (even though, of course, financial burden was another main issue). While the announcement was made in mid-November, it was certainly already "on the table" somewhat long prior to then. You're absolutely correct about the job loss/rehiring of personnel, though. While a few were retained by the original company, a good chunk of the crew found other jobs in the Busch company.

The important part being that even with those specific changes, the park's park's foliage looks as great as it ever did ... so much so that they may be doing something special with it (besides a tour) next year... but that derails the topic of Illuminights - to which I say, will bring a much needed and welcomed change to BGW's Summer this year.
 
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