Which selection of Threadneedle Faire/Jack Hanna Trail attractions belong in our park?


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Zachary

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Completed Votes


A few days ago @Ice729 had a pretty incredible idea—use Planet Coaster to create an alternate history version of Busch Gardens Williamsburg featuring all the best elements from the park's history. After some private conversation, the two of us agreed that he would handle the Planet Coaster side of this project and I'd take over the community involvement/"theorycrafting" side of things.

The goal is to have a new conversation and poll in this thread every week about a location inside the park that has housed multiple attractions/shows/etc. Through debate and a forum vote, the community will decide which attraction is most deserving of that location. For example, was Gladiator's Gauntlet a better use of Festa Italia's entry area than Apollo's Chariot? Which major coaster does the community want east of Oktoberfest: Die Wildkatze, Big Bad Wolf, or Verbolten? What attraction most deserves DarKastle's land: Glissade, Wild Maus, or DarKastle?

Before we get to those (possibly fairly explosive) debates though, we need to develop a more complete overview of the park we want to design. Luckily, much of the park's major, area-sized changes have come in the form of expansions and not rethemes, so there won't be too many of these "macro-sized" issues to deal with. That said, we do need to start with them since they will have a fairly notable impact on the decisions we make moving forward.



First up we have a battle of park hamlet giants: Hastings vs. Killarney.

Right off the bat, this decision could cause many cascading effects that people should keep in mind. If, for some reason, someone's end-goal is to have King Arthur's challenge inside of the hamlet's simulator building, that person would probably want to vote for Hastings since King Arthur's challenge is far more appropriate in Hastings than in Killarney. Something similar could be said for Tournament Table. If you have to have it back, Hastings is probably the right vote here since it would clash pretty severely with Killarney.

And, of course, it goes the other way too. I'm sure a lot of people will be pulling to have Corkscrew Hill as the simulator building attraction and Celtic Fyre as the main stage show in our perfect, timeless BGW. If that's the case, Killarney is almost certainly the right vote here since Corkscrew Hill and Celtic Fyre would both be laughably out of place in Hastings. [Edit: Further clarification here.]

Hopefully other people will point out similar results to the Hastings vs. Killarney vote throughout the discussion below. To make all of this work, discussion and debate is crucial. Many people reading this discussion won't know many of the intricacies involved in each selection. Basically, if you think of something, say it.

I'll be back to share my take later. ?
 
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Ice

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As far as this battle goes, I can't give much input, since I wasn't around for Hastings. The way i see it is another country to introduce new culture to the park is always better than a second land of one country, ex if they were to transform Festa into like Greece (just an example) or something I would not be opposed since the cultural variation in the park TO ME is more important and gives BGW its unique feel
 
Sep 29, 2009
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Killarney would get my vote. Both Hastings and Killarney have a festival atmosphere with a touch of magic. There is a touch of medieval flair in most villages, but Busch Gardens isn’t complete without Ireland, in my opinion. Hastings works fine with The Old Country but seems random in contrast to the rest of the park.

While Hastings had some fun activities, the color scheme grew tiring. We also can’t forget that Hastings was re-themed to Killarney because in spite of several revamps, the attractions became outdated and people would rather go to other areas of the park. Ireland has a similar disposition, but there are enough cornerstone elements that keep guests occupied whether or not there is a new attraction. I would say that aside from the scenery, the biggest thing that tips the scale is Grogan‘s Pub. Ireland has become a wonderful retreat in the heat of summer because of that and more gift shops with air conditioning.

The one complaint that I often hear about Ireland is the lack of authenticity. I would argue that neither Killarney nor Hastings were designed with realism in mind. For example: what is an outdoor shooting gallery doing in the middle of a medieval castle town? Still, both villages propagate the idea that magic exists in their realm. Ireland is more consistent with this message, though.

In order to keep it timeless, Ireland circa 2001 would be my choice. However, I would accept Irish Thunder or Celtic Fyre in the Abbey Stone Theater.
 
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Zachary

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Someone pointed out to me that the way I've described things is a bit confusing.

This poll is picking the theme of the hamlet. The theme selection doesn't necessitate inclusion of only the attractions that were in that area while that theme was present. For example, if Hastings were to win, the community could still vote to have Battle for Eire as the attraction in the simulator building. I'd argue that they shouldn't do that... but the option will remain open.

Perhaps a less thematically egregious example would be if Killarney won and then the community selected Catapult as as the attraction to put inside of Castle O'Sullivan. Similarly, Grogan's Pub could be inserted into Hastings.

Basically, Hastings vs. Killarney is only about selecting the theme of the hamlet. Individual pieces of the hamlet can be voted on down the line.
 

Nicole

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I have always thought Killarney looks like a Lucky Charms box exploded everywhere. If we are only talking about the the theme, I have always preferred the much more tasteful and charming (in my opinion) look of Hastings. The Medieval look always felt very Camelot to me.
 
Aug 1, 2010
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I always felt that Hastings was a dead zone. It had the feelings of a rundown rural village. It was always a pass-through for me and I never stayed very long. Killarney on the other hand feels vibrant and inviting. I enjoy lingering for hours listening to the music and enjoying a beverage.
 

Zachary

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Someone asked me privately if Hastings brings Threadneedle Faire as well. It doesn't. That will be a separate vote.
 
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Ice

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Would it clarify anything to just assume nothing comes along, simply the design of Hastings vs. the design of Killarney, and that is it?

Like the "bare minimum", and then from there we add the more and more specific things, even down to each shop and food location.
 
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Zachary

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I'm voting for Killarney for a few different reasons.
  1. I think Busch Gardens Williamsburg needs the country diversity. Truthfully, I've never been a fan of any country being represented by multiple areas but, at least in the case of San Marco/Festa Italia/Pompeii and Rhinefeld/Grimm's Hollow/Oktoberfest they are next to one another. The fact that Banbury and Hastings were separated by Heatherdowns always seemed deeply bizarre to me.

  2. I don't think Killarney is a bad hamlet. Yes, it can be a bit of a stereotypical representation of Irish culture at times, but, honestly, that is quite literally all of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Plus, I'd contend that, since its opening, the "colorful playland" look has eroded a lot into an area that is actually pretty charming.

  3. Thematically, the best parts of Hastings can stay. In my honest assessment, the core advantage that Hastings had over Killarney was that it had a flat ride and a fun house. That corner of Busch Gardens Williamsburg has always desperately needed a flat ride and classic fun houses are attractions you simply don't find around here anymore. I don't think it would be too atmospherically egregious to leave both Turvey Manor Fun House and Catapult in place if we decide to go down the Killarney route. (I'm not saying this is the right choice, but those two key advantages that Hastings had over Killarney are sorta void if we can keep them in our new Killarney.)

  4. The technological improvements that Corkscrew Hill brought to the simulator building needed to be made. I think most people will agree that Corkscrew Hill is the only post-simulator-renovation attraction worth placing in our perfect, timeless BGW. Why rule out the pre-conversion attractions? I simply don't think the original configuration of the simulator could have possibly survived this long without being, frankly, hated. Look at Wild Arctic—it's a laughing stock.

  5. Killarney's shows are just better fits for BGW. The shows that played in the Magic Lantern, by all accounts, were great, but, frankly, they often made absolutely no sense at all inside Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Totally Television? Rockin' the Boat? Yeah, sure, they may be good shows, but not in a hamlet themed to medieval England or magical Ireland. Give me Irish Thunder, Emerald Beat, or Celtic Fyre anyday... But those can only really exist in Killarney.

  6. From what I understand, Tournament Table was a bad eatery. If someone can find a menu or description, please do, but from what I've been told by people who ate there, it was boring, completely unthemed theme park burgers and salads. No thank you. Give me Grogan's Grill or O'Taters any day. Sure, if we do pick Hastings, we would have the option to use Grogan's Grill or O'Taters instead of Tournament Table but, frankly, I can't fathom that ever working thematically (unlike Catapult and Turvey Manor which I think are viable options to drop into Killarney).

  7. Hastings was ugly. I know this is, potentially, a very controversial opinion, but I honestly think Hastings was, far and away, the ugliest of the original BGW hamlets. It felt largely uninspired, plain, and, frankly, lazy. I think the buildings, in particular, looked flat and lacked character. I honestly believe that the additional decorations and flourishes that Killarney brought to the hamlet's interior buildings made a world of difference. Potentially even more impactful though was the artificial aging applied to the castle towers and walls—this brought a character to the structures that simply never existed when Hastings was around.
 
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Lord Robert

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Killarney was a magical place when I first saw it in 2002 and it still has magic in the air despite the changes; sure I'm in the minority on Battle for Eire, but that ride to me did add some of that Irish mythology and magic back.
 
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Okay, question for the group based on Ice729's question above, juuuuuust to be sure. Because when it comes to the simulator space, I'm voting Questor early and as often as possible. There is no other incarnation of that ride system that I would take over the original, truly adventure-spirited, analog-and-miniature-footage-filled, earnestly engaging, un-self-consciously goofy, complete, warm experience that was Questor. Best of the bunch. Also adaptable to "Ireland" as-is, since the ride's MacGuffin -- the Crystal of Zed, the name of which I had to look up just now -- was a brilliantly radiant green gem. If need be, give the elf an Irish accent. Otherwise, done.

And I just want to make sure, when I vote for Killarney over Hastings, that I'm not blocking Questor from its rightful place atop the BGW simulator pantheon. Nor the Enchanted Laboratory of Nostramos, nor the scrambler -- both Hastings attractions which IMO enjoy something of an edge over Dining with Elmo.

Second question: do we judge attractions in the context of their time, like proper students of history? Or do we drag them screaming and squinting into the blue-white LED light of present-day society? 'Cuz the Hastings "Battlements" shooting gallery was genuinely fun by Reagan-era standards. Super popular. There was a piano player in the back who had a red bullseye target pasted right on his ass, as I recall, or at least curiously low on his back, and he would play a little ragtime ditty each time you heartlessly and deliberately shot him. That wouldn't pass today, but at the time it was considered Good Wholesome Fun. Moreover, I'm not sure what even took the place of that attraction when it left. Was it the two "interactive" rooms next to the old magic shop, which by the way is another Hastings feature that absolutely should be part of Timeless BGW?

I'll take my question off the air, thanks.
 
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Ice

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Okay, question for the group based on Ice729's question above, juuuuuust to be sure. Because when it comes to the simulator space, I'm voting Questor early and as often as possible. There is no other incarnation of that ride system that I would take over the original, truly adventure-spirited, analog-and-miniature-footage-filled, earnestly engaging, un-self-consciously goofy, complete, warm experience that was Questor. Best of the bunch. Also adaptable to "Ireland" as-is, since the ride's MacGuffin -- the Crystal of Zed, the name of which I had to look up just now -- was a brilliantly radiant green gem. If need be, give the elf an Irish accent. Otherwise, done.

And I just want to make sure, when I vote for Killarney over Hastings, that I'm not blocking Questor from its rightful place atop the BGW simulator pantheon. Nor the Enchanted Laboratory of Nostramos, nor the scrambler -- both Hastings attractions which IMO enjoy something of an edge over Dining with Elmo.

Second question: do we judge attractions in the context of their time, like proper students of history? Or do we drag them screaming and squinting into the blue-white LED light of present-day society? 'Cuz the Hastings "Battlements" shooting gallery was genuinely fun by Reagan-era standards. Super popular. There was a piano player in the back who had a red bullseye target pasted right on his ass, as I recall, or at least curiously low on his back, and he would play a little ragtime ditty each time you heartlessly and deliberately shot him. That wouldn't pass today, but at the time it was considered Good Wholesome Fun. Moreover, I'm not sure what even took the place of that attraction when it left. Was it the two "interactive" rooms next to the old magic shop, which by the way is another Hastings feature that absolutely should be part of Timeless BGW?

I'll take my question off the air, thanks.

All this vote is for is whether or not you want Killarney or Hastings as the hamlet. Literally anything that existed ever can be plugged into the environment. Only let the theme of the land decide.

As far as "judging", it is just whatever people prefer. There is not going to be like a formal judging "based on these criteria, ___ is better". Just simply what each person WANTS in the timeless BGW. Just what the majority prefers, what they desire.

Think about the whole thing a lot more simplistically, just take the question for exactly what it is, Hastings or Killarney? Nothing that comes with either except for the theme. Any attraction, eatery, store, or whatever is decided later.
 

Nicole

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I would point out, however, that some people would argue that certain attractions can only logically fit with one of the themes. For example, would Celtic Fyre make any sense in an English Medieval village?
 
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Ice

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I would point out, however, that some people would argue that certain attractions can only logically fit with one of the themes. For example, would Celtic Fyre make any sense in an English Medieval village?

Well not in my opinion, but that is a discussion to have at that point. It isn't meant to be super complicated, like when I was originally thinking this out I couldn't imagine Hastings would win over Killarney and the votes are showing that, since the best features of Hastings can be worked into Killarney rather easily, yet the best features of Killarney worked into Hastings would be iffy theme wise. It is just simply what you want to see most, and if something like Questor is a deciding vote towards Hastings it shouldn;t be, since Questor can go Killarney. But things like Grogan's and Celtic Fyre in Hastings would be tacky, so if you want to consider that in your decision go for it.

I personally just see it as what do you think gives the park its best balance, having Hastings or Killarney, and that is where I stopped thinking about it, since there is a way to work things out from there regardless on if you want an Irish step show in Hastings or not.
 

Nicole

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My point is that people are including that in their decisions. As such, it is probably appropriate to point out the issue, when people ask about the scope. I think we could debate the validity, bit not the fact that it is happening.

For example, read Zachary's post. He is explicitly considering which attractions could fit with each theme, and which are more modular.
 
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Ice

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My point is that people are including that in their decisions. As such, it is probably appropriate to point out the issue, when people ask about the scope. I think we could debate the validity, bit not the fact that it is happening.

For example, read Zachary's post. He is explicitly considering which attractions could fit with each theme, and which are more modular.

And if someone wishes to let that factor into their decision, then that is their choice. It's simply whatever people want, and if they want to think about it like that then I say go for it, since it's just supposed to be whatever the people want in there.

I didn't expect it to be so complicated, so I apologise for not being clearer when me and Zachary worked this out.

In short, reason however you choose, whatever reasoning you want to make your decision, go nuts. And if you want to hear other people's stances before you make your own, do it to it. Hastings Killarney is a slightly more confusing vote since it could potentially decide so much depending on how people vote, but I am not going to make up rules on how people should make their mind up, that defeats the purpose.

I hope future votes will be much more straightforward
 
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