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General Information:​

"Project Drachen Spire," is a community-generated identifier for the Intamin-made, multi-launch, shuttle giga coaster that was originally slated to open at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2021. The attraction is planned to utilize the currently-vacant land behind Verbolten, Festhaus Park—the former home of Drachen Fire.

The coaster's main layout—as leaked before the addition was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic—featured two launches, two spikes (one spiral, one vertical-ish), and a couple of banked turns. Drachen Spire was designed to run two trains by means of a pair of switch tracks connecting the primary, shuttle portion of the layout to the station platform.

Important Articles:​

  • Most Up-To-Date Understanding of the Layout:
  • Most Recent Status Update:

NoLimits Model of the Layout:​


Additional Coverage (Newest to Oldest):​

Previous Thread:​

 
Mar 8, 2022
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Are you asking for downtime?
Cable Lifts are incredibly reliable..... MF, i305, SkyRush, El Toro, etc, etc,........ While it's true that some have had to have a motor replaced it's no different than chain lifts having motors and chains. Even if you want to talk about the cable lift rides going down it's almost never related to the lift (it's usually just sensor trips, etc).
 

Brambo

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Oct 31, 2019
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Cable Lifts are incredibly reliable..... MF, i305, SkyRush, El Toro, etc, etc,........ While it's true that some have had to have a motor replaced it's no different than chain lifts having motors and chains. Even if you want to talk about the cable lift rides going down it's almost never related to the lift (it's usually just sensor trips, etc).
I feel like the unreliability of them is attributed to the fact that most of them (all I can think of off the top of my head) are Intamins, which are inherently unreliable in comparison to B&M.
 
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Mar 8, 2022
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I feel like the unreliability of them is attributed to the fact that most of them (all I can think of off the top of my head) are Intamins, which are inherently unreliable in comparison to B&M.
There's an argument to be made there but it's not nearly as drastic as people make it out to be..... and present day Cedar Point seems to indicate a very different story with their B&Ms going down a lot as well (it seems MF is *far* more stable than Gatekeeper from my own experience this year and last year as well as many reports I've read).
 
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AIR

Busch Gardens Flying Coaster
Jul 7, 2017
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There's an argument to be made there but it's not nearly as drastic as people make it out to be..... and present day Cedar Point seems to indicate a very different story with their B&Ms going down a lot as well (it seems MF is *far* more stable than Gatekeeper from my own experience this year and last year as well as many reports I've read).
This is true. Due to modern technology and park demands, for example, harness monitoring for every seat, causes tons of potential for downtime. Complicated downtime at that. B&M is INCREDIBLE engineering when it comes to mechanics and consideration for techs working. This, in turn, has less downtime in the long run. Everything is serviceable and accessible to provide a quick turnover from downtime. Intamin on the other hand, when it goes down, it goes down hard, same for old Arrow rides, which can cause trains or even the entire ride to sometimes go down for days.

I know the other techs at Busch Gardens worship the B&Ms we have. Pantheon is already quite the burden, we're not really thrilled about DarKoaster, and definitely not this spiral.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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As mild as B&M's on-ride reputation has become over time, even after nearly 30 years I just can't get over the engineering. Gigantic, simple, accessible, deceptively brilliant.

I love their rides perhaps more than I should because I'm kinda in love with their design mindset.

And a lot of it was set at a time when fully computer-driven design and fabrication were FAR from standard across the industry. Their design ideas largely came directly from truly great engineers' heads, not from computer models running 100,000 iterations on a design detail to optimize some specified combination of function, simplicity, and cost.

In my own mentally-compiled history of amusement ride design, B&M occupy the perfect boundary between old school and new. Where high precision was paramount in design and fab, they were all in on the full power of the then-new digital universe immediately. Where incremental improvement upon peers' state of the art made the most sense instead, they sagely took what it offered. Where lateral thinking held particularly huge promise, they didn't hesitate to reach for it. And in cases where achieving design simplicity (probably) required more brain cycles and manual-level engineering effort than would have been required if they had just deemed some complicated first-draft design suitable, they didn't settle for the draft. Akin to taking longer to write a shorter book. They put in that extra time at the design stage to emphasize simplicity/usability for all on AND under the ride system, or otherwise maybe they just nailed it right out of the gate. Either way, terrific engineering instincts.

That the basic approach they baked in so long ago has aged so well -- even as they have accumulated criticism from some about their ride dynamics being conservative -- really says it all about how forward-looking B&M and their very small initial engineering team were from the start. It's true that they didn't just appear out of thin air: they got a head start and tons of experience from their work for Giovanola/Intamin, including working through some of their worst early designs before setting off on their own. But who else in the industry has rolled prior experience into a new venture and new industry-driving paradigms as precisely and massively as they did? Anton Schwarzkopf, Werner Stengel, John Allen, and maybe that's it? Alan Schilke did a lot, changed a lot, but not for as long or with as large a footprint, and time alone will tell whether his impact on the industry is as broad or lasting. Maybe it will be, maybe not.

Anyway, Drachen Spire. Built on the original site of a ride supplied by Company A, suspiciously aping the design elements of Company B, ultimately to be scrapped by Company C, with the new ride on site to be supplied by Company D, whose recent efforts have suspiciously aped the on-ride elements of Company E, though not really in this case, which may be a good thing because there is some speculation that another major new attraction next door could possibly be supplied by that same Company E, if not from the pool of Companies F, G, H, I, or J.
 
Dec 5, 2017
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While I agree B&m is more reliable, I don’t think a single B&m is in my top 10. Meanwhile velocicoaster, hagrids, millenium force, Maverick, el toro, cheetah hunt, pantheon, and kingda ka all have a spot in that top 10 (not in that order) . Intamin just hits differently. So yes they have a habit of more breakdowns but they also seem to experiment more and try to offer new and more thrilling elements and B&m seems to just keep it safe most times.

Tbh I’m bored with B&m but maybe that’s just because I’m closest to BGW and ride those rides all the time and I want more variety.
 
Jun 7, 2013
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While I agree B&m is more reliable, I don’t think a single B&m is in my top 10. Meanwhile velocicoaster, hagrids, millenium force, Maverick, el toro, cheetah hunt, pantheon, and kingda ka all have a spot in that top 10 (not in that order) . Intamin just hits differently. So yes they have a habit of more breakdowns but they also seem to experiment more and try to offer new and more thrilling elements and B&m seems to just keep it safe most times.

Tbh I’m bored with B&m but maybe that’s just because I’m closest to BGW and ride those rides all the time and I want more variety.
If you've never ridden it, Tatsu is probably the best gravity roller coaster in North America.
 
Dec 5, 2017
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If you've never ridden it, Tatsu is probably the best gravity roller coaster in North America.
It’s on my list! I haven’t been to the west coast yet but I have a friend out in LA. To be fair I’m not excited to go with six flags current business model. I like it even less than SEAS and Disney at the moment 😅
 

Gavin

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Sep 27, 2009
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Cable Lifts are incredibly reliable..... MF, i305, SkyRush, El Toro, etc, etc,........ While it's true that some have had to have a motor replaced it's no different than chain lifts having motors and chains. Even if you want to talk about the cable lift rides going down it's almost never related to the lift (it's usually just sensor trips, etc).
Literally every Vekoma Boomerang and Wiegand Alpine Coaster has a cable lift.
 
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