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Nov 5, 2009
I recently realized the sheer size of the "Big Bad Wolf Replacement" thread so I figured I would put a short article together that outlines all that has happened to the area since the closure of the Big Bad Wolf on labor day of 2009.

Operation Wolf Ersatz: August 2010 Recap

On September 7, 2009, the Big Bad Wolf made its final circuit. To this day Busch Gardens Williamsburg Management has not disclosed the detailed reasons behind the closing of the world's oldest operating, and arguably best suspended roller coaster. The park did, however, state that the ride had come to "the end of it's service life." As to the specifics of this statement, there is no concise agreement.

Some say that the coaster was becoming to rough to operate, or that the ride suffered from low ridership, however these theories have been widely dismissed seeing that the ride, although admittedly having a slightly lower capacity than other rides in the park, often generated a large crowd. This is most likely due to it's rare nature(there is a small and dwindling number of Arrow's suspended coasters). Another claim is that the parts were becoming too expensive to purchase; however this is also unlikely due to the park's willingness to spend money on the small details that set it apart. Of all the theories there are a few that seem more plausible. The first is the quality of replacement parts. The manufacturer of the Big Bad Wolf, Arrow Dynamics, Went bankrupt a few years back and was subsequently bought out by S&S Power. The new company stop making parts for the old suspended coasters, which forced parks to hire third party manufacturers for replacement parts. According to this theory, these third party parts were below Busch Gardens' standard of quality, explaining how smaller parks would still have their coasters operating. The other theory that seems plausible is that the manufacturer's operating license expired and S&S refused to renew it, thus forcing the removal of the landmark coaster.

During the 2009-2010 off season the Wolf and all themed areas were completely removed and scrapped, With the exception of a small section of track, some concrete footers, the station building and the trains. The track and one train was sent to the National Roller Coaster Museum in Arlington Texas, along with a ride operator's uniform and sign-age. The remaining trains were then sent for use as parts on other coasters.

In spring of 2010 the park filed for a Height Waiver citing a Thrill ride with a "single tower" structure. This waiver limited the ride to 260 ft but did not specify any specifics as to the nature of the ride system. Most people believe that this attraction will be a drop tower, however that has not been confirmed. As a matter of fact, the ride could have absolutely no resemblance of a drop tower at all, but at this point it seems more than likely that it will be a drop tower of some sort.

In a James City County pubic meeting the rides location was confirmed to be located in the Oktoberfest area of the park. The exact location has not been pinned down, but we do know that it will be either where the Big Bad Wolf's Station is or in the general area of the "Katapult" scrambler ride.

In addition to the Height Waiver, the park also filed a construction permit request that seemed to encompass the entire lower area of Oktoberfest. This permit also mentioned a restaurant/dining area that would be constructed in the same vicinity.

Although the park has not made a official announcement, there is good reason to believe that there will also be a new coaster being installed in the near future. As to the nature of such a thing, there is great speculation. Many believe it to be a B&M flying coaster, however recent rumors say that the coaster will be made by a German manufacturer. At this point we cant be sure about anything regarding a future coaster.

Until more info is released, you can catch up on all the news and rumors surrounding this project in "Replacement Project for Big Bad Wolf" Thread.
Great posting on BBW and the future of the area.

Here is where the train and track ended up.

National Roller Coaster Museum & Archives
PO Box 5424
Arlington, Texas 76005-5424
This may not be correct: But I read that Arrow Dynamics told BGW not to run the Wolf after 25 seasons, after it was built. That may be what they meant when they said "service life".
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