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Sep 30, 2015
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So this will be our first trip to BGW for my wife and myself.  I grew up hitting Kings Dominion back in the 80's.  Never did make it to BGW with the family.  We are planning on two days there, Friday and Saturday.  I'm new to coasters and want to hit all of them at least once.  Is this a doable task?  We are planning on being there open to close at least on Friday.  I see that day being the easiest to accomplish this assuming smaller crowds.  Saturday I see looks like the busiest time due to Howl-O-Scream.  Is this an all day packed house or would the crowds be bigger in the afternoon / evening than in the morning on Saturday?  We're all day park hitters so we get our money's worth out of the trips.  Any tips / tricks?  I've been reading over the forums today and thought I'd ask.  Looking forward to the trip.  We did Mickey's Halloween Party last year in Orlando, so I'm guessing this is tiny in comparison to that crowd.. you couldn't move in the park.  Look forward to the replies and suggestions.

EDIT: Also, are ride lockers all pay lockers? Universal had ones that gave a time limit for the ride only as long as you retrieved your items within a certain time limit that was adjusted due to ride times. From what I see, they seem to be $1 per 2hrs and up. Kind of makes it hard to have a camera to carry between rides if it's in a locker, and I like my picture taking.
 
May 29, 2013
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If you know what you are doing, you can hit all the coasters, see all the shows, and do all the mazes in one day.  The trick is to be in England when the park opens, do the coasters first thing in the morning, shows in the afternoon, and mazes in the evening.  This should be especially doable on Friday, when the kids are in school.  
- Go straight to Tempesto and do that one first.  Then Apollo's Chariot.  You will probably be able to ride each one twice before moving on.
- Cross the bridge from Italy to Germany and do Verboltin, then Alpengeist, Griffon, and finally Loch Ness.
- After Nessie, I'd get lunch at Grogan's Grill and eat outside, if it's nice, or inside Grogan's Pub if not.
- This will set you up for seeing Fiends at 1pm, Night Beats at 2pm and Monster Stomp at 3pm.  Take the valley bridge over the Loch going to and from the Festhaus.
- After that, do flat rides, shop, or sight-see until 6pm.
- At 6pm, first hit the indoor houses.  Then, after dark, do the outdoor mazes.

This agenda assumes you are in reasonably good shape and willing to get some exercise.  The only consideration given is getting everything done, not minimizing walking distance.  Everyplace in the park is within a 10-15 minute walk from everywhere else.  That means that if you encounter a super long line at any coaster or house you should skip it, move on to the next one and come back later.  The lines for all the coasters and houses can vary drastically over time.  I've skipped long lines, come back an hour later and walked right onto rides or into houses.

As far as lockers go, I've never used them.  It's just not necessary.  The most worthwhile money you can spend is to pay for premium parking, allowing you to park in the England lot.  This lot is right outside the gate. Leave everything in your car.  That way, if you really need something, it's a short walk to get it, not a tram ride.

Crowds will be light from open until lunchtime. Influxes will happen after lunch, after school gets out, and around supper time. From 6 to about 8-9 will be busiest. It thins out, sometimes considerably, in the hour before closing. That hour is the best time to go through some of the more popular mazes and houses, if you have had to skip them earlier.
 

Nicole

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I want to disagree on the issue of lockers.

Unfortunately, BGW has very frustrating locker systems.  There are all-day lockers up front, but I generally advise against them, unless you want to store a few things that you don't need for most of the day.

You are not allowed to bring anything on the roller coasters, so you do need to put your loose articles in the single-use lockers near each ride.  They only take tokens, which can be bought at machines in each locker area.

Another alternative, which I personally prefer is to rent a cabana.  They are fairly centrally located; include a free all-day locker; and come with both free drinks and 4 one-time use QuickQueues.  The QQs give you front of the line access to most of the roller coasters and more importantly right now, all of the mazes at HOS.

As for how to get through everything, what are you actually interested in doing?  I, for example, never go to any of the shows, so I have a lot more time during the day than many other people on this Forum.  Are you mostly interested in:
- Thrill rides,
- Flats,
- Haunted mazes,
- Shows.

Also, it is important to consider what kind of food you want to eat and when.  I personally would avoid everything except Trappers and Grogans, but a lot of people love the Festhaus.

Rope drop is half an hour before the official open, and the hamlets have staggered opening after that.

Tempesto has terrible capacity, so it tends to have long lines.  Nessie can get popular, so lines vary.  The others have much better capacity, but I really hate lines, so I use the QQs, except for Apollo (you can't ride in the back with QQ on it).

The crowds during the day on Friday should be really light.  Friday evening will probably be less heavy than Saturday, as well.  I can't imagine your encountering crowds on the paths as heavy as at Orlando parks, but the houses can get really long lines on some nights during HOS.

Honestly, you should be able do the park in one day, regardless on a Friday.  If you really are going to be here for two days, you might consider also going to Kings Dominion, too.
 
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Sep 30, 2015
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One other question for you about rides. While it's cool Howl-O-Scream is going on, that isn't a major attraction for us coming. Do all the rides continue to operate during the evening hours, except for those turned into houses? Will coasters and the like still be going? I would see us taking advantage of them during the time most people are playing the haunted houses and mazes. Having never been, I wasn't sure of how they run those items at night time.

Also, with regard to 'loose items' . If I have zip pockets, does that work for a small camera and wallet? I'm not thinking I'd need more than my phone and wallet and a small camera for the day. If zipped closed is there any objections to this on the rides?
 
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From when i went the normal rides were operating. Minus EITA due to 13. Now i would also remember that crowds may be a bit heavy on the train and sky ride(shoot sorry just CANNOT for the life of me think of the name :'() because ppl may be trying to get through the park using that as an alternative route to steer clear of HOS events and/or taking another view of it all.
 

Zimmy

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All rides continue to operate during the event, with the exception of Europe In the Air (or whatever it is called) and usually the water rides.

I never bother with shows so I am always able to do the rides and houses, at least once. Also I strongly agree with Nic, a cabana is a huge benefit. Also I prefer to start with Nessie, then go to Griffon, the Alpie (usually I skip this one, but that is a personal preference) then on to Apollo. I don't bother with the Pasta Flat. (Tempesto)
 
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Sep 28, 2015
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ToddF said:
If you know what you are doing, you can hit all the coasters, see all the shows, and do all the mazes in one day.  The trick is to be in England when the park opens, do the coasters first thing in the morning, shows in the afternoon, and mazes in the evening.  This should be especially doable on Friday, when the kids are in school.  
- Go straight to Tempesto and do that one first.  Then Apollo's Chariot.  You will probably be able to ride each one twice before moving on.
- Cross the bridge from Italy to Germany and do Verboltin, then Alpengeist, Griffon, and finally Loch Ness.
- After Nessie, I'd get lunch at Grogan's Grill and eat outside, if it's nice, or inside Grogan's Pub if not.
- This will set you up for seeing Fiends at 1pm, Night Beats at 2pm and Monster Stomp at 3pm.  Take the valley bridge over the Loch going to and from the Festhaus.
- After that, do flat rides, shop, or sight-see until 6pm.
- At 6pm, first hit the indoor houses.  Then, after dark, do the outdoor mazes.

This agenda assumes you are in reasonably good shape and willing to get some exercise.  The only consideration given is getting everything done, not minimizing walking distance.  Everyplace in the park is within a 10-15 minute walk from everywhere else.  That means that if you encounter a super long line at any coaster or house you should skip it, move on to the next one and come back later.  The lines for all the coasters and houses can vary drastically over time.  I've skipped long lines, come back an hour later and walked right onto rides or into houses.

As far as lockers go, I've never used them.  It's just not necessary.  The most worthwhile money you can spend is to pay for premium parking, allowing you to park in the England lot.  This lot is right outside the gate. Leave everything in your car.  That way, if you really need something, it's a short walk to get it, not a tram ride.

Crowds will be light from open until lunchtime.  Influxes will happen after lunch, after school gets out, and around supper time.  From 6 to about 8-9 will be busiest.  It thins out, sometimes considerably, in the hour before closing.  That hour is the best time to go through some of the more popular mazes and houses, if you have had to skip them earlier.

I agree with this. Just add eat the buffet at Blood Banquet at 4:15 and catch that show too.
 

Nicole

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strycker said:
One other question for you about rides.  While it's cool Howl-O-Scream is going on, that isn't a major attraction for us coming.  Do all the rides continue to operate during the evening hours, except for those turned into houses?  Will coasters and the like still be going?  I would see us taking advantage of them during the time most people are playing the haunted houses and mazes.  Having never been, I wasn't sure of how they run those items at night time.

Also, with regard to 'loose items' . If I have zip pockets, does that work for a small camera and wallet?  I'm not thinking I'd need more than my phone and wallet and a small camera for the day.  If zipped closed is there any objections to this on the rides?

Actually, after 6pm (once HOS starts) is the perfect time for the rides. Naturally they are better at night, anyway, but the parks looks cooler from the top of a coaster or the Skyride with all of the Halloween lights.

Zipper pockets are fine; BGW hasn't adopted the crazy Universal Studios rules.

Especially if you are aren't interested in the HOS shows, I would stay away from eating at the Festhaus, as Night Beats will be playing there throughout the day.

Without the mazes, you are going to have no problem getting everything done in one day. I agree that the Skyride and train will develop long lines after 7pm. Other than those rides, however, you should be able to do everything that is open easily.
 
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Zachary

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The fact that you're planning ahead at all puts you 10 sets ahead of most people and most people can easily finish the coasters, flats, and Howl-O-Scream houses in a single day on a Friday.

Like Nicole said, maybe hit Kings Dominion on Saturday? Colonial Williamsburg? Especially if you're not really interested in the shows, the likelihood that you'll need both days (or even be able to fill them) is slim to none to be honest with you.
 
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Sep 30, 2015
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Nicole said:
Actually, after 6pm (once HOS starts) is the perfect time for the rides.  Naturally they are better at night, anyway, but the parks looks cooler from the top of a coaster or the Skyride with all of the Halloween lights.

Zipper pockets are fine; BGW hasn't adopted the crazy Universal Studios rules.

Especially if you are aren't interested in the HOS shows, I would stay away from eating at the Festhaus, as Night Beats will be playing there throughout the day.

Without the mazes, you are going to have no problem getting everything done in one day.  I agree that the Skyride and train will develop long lines after 7pm.  Other than those rides, however, you should be able to do everything  that is open easily.

That's what I like to hear. I figured most people coming will probably be pass holders who went all summer and are now there for the HOS event, leaving the rest of the rides more open. That's what I was hoping anyways. I'm sure there is a fair share there for the first time of the season as well. We will have 2 days there anyway, so I'm sure I'll have my fill be the end of day 2. Looking forward to going for the first time. I've lived in VA all my life and never made it there once. Sure wish I didn't have a huge fear of coasters growing up. Wouldn't have missed the BBW.
 
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Nicole

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HOS actually will draw a lot of people who rarely visit the park, but once the haunt starts, they will be in the mazes, watching the shows, or drinking at the bars.

Since you will have so much time at BGW, I do recommend spending some (especially in the later afternoon/early evening) checking out the shops and animal exhibits. They sell some very cool, authentic merchandise from European craftsmen. And if you like animals...well..you know...cute animals. The lorikeets (if they are still open?) are best in the morning, when they are still hungry, but you need to buy the nectar, or they ignore you.
 
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The thought about hitting KD on Saturday sounds like a good suggestion. It just means more money out of pocket for tickets. I like that the BG tix are good for both days. Already putting a hotel on the cost. The only other option is head home after KD and not get a room that night. It's a lot closer than BG to home at 11 PM. Decisions, decisions....
 
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Nicole said:
MAZ said:
Have you checked out the BGW/KD combined ticket?

That promotion was only through September.

I figured that would show up on the BG website if they offered it. That would have been nice. I think we will just do 2 days at BG. That way we don't have to run through the park and can see most everything there is to do and see. We may hit the shows since this seems doable in a day. Rides Friday, shows Saturday maybe with rides early on till I'm sick of coasters (is that possible?) Have a friend with season passes looking into specials for me. Anyone know of anything? Is Craigslist a good place to find tickets? Noticed lots on there.
 

netdvn

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Shameless plug. Check this.. It should answer all your crowd worries.

BGW can be easily cleared in a day if you go at the right time. Fridays are perfect for that as everyone's still in school/work in the mornings so the park is dead. Crowds will bump come 4PM but by then you should have already done all the rides and seen all the shows giving you plenty of time for night rides and mazes after 6.

KD's crowds should be pretty similar to BGW's come October so if you insist on visiting on Saturday, it will be packed. Volcano and Flight of Fear first then work your way around the rest of the park. Maze wise I don't think there's a specific order you could hit them in much like BGW's. Just start at one and work your way around the park. Try to vouch for front of line passes once the waits become unbearable (and they probably will).

KD isn't as hardcore with bags as BGW is so if you wanna take a backpack into the park, feel free. Just keep in mind you'll have to walk through metal detectors before going in.
 
Sep 30, 2015
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netdvn said:
Shameless plug. Check this.. It should answer all your crowd worries.

BGW can be easily cleared in a day if you go at the right time. Fridays are perfect for that as everyone's still in school/work in the mornings so the park is dead. Crowds will bump come 4PM but by then you should have already done all the rides and seen all the shows giving you plenty of time for night rides and mazes after 6.

KD's crowds should be pretty similar to BGW's come October so if you insist on visiting on Saturday, it will be packed. Volcano and Flight of Fear first then work your way around the rest of the park. Maze wise I don't think there's a specific order you could hit them in much like BGW's. Just start at one and work your way around the park. Try to vouch for front of line passes once the waits become unbearable (and they probably will).

KD isn't as hardcore with bags as BGW is so if you wanna take a backpack into the park, feel free. Just keep in mind you'll have to walk through metal detectors before going in.

Thanks for that. We should be good to get all in on Friday and just meander through the park on Saturday and see what we missed. Once it gets busy, maybe hit some rides or shows. I don't think we will do the KD trip the same weekend since we aren't that far from just going at a different time. Since the passes are good for 2 days at BGW, we figure on just going there. Why toss a whole other planning into the mix?
 
Sep 30, 2015
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On a side note, is the photopass for BGW worth the $50? We did the Disney one last year and Universal and liked most of the results. I think it's fun to at least get ride photos. Does BGW have any people throughout the park to take pictures or is it only for the rides? Is there a list of rides that take pictures as well somewhere? Going to look into it today. Just thought I'd ask.
 
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