Daily Press (Sunday)

Busch Gardens could have new coaster

- By Sian Wilkerson

Busch Gardens fans may have a new roller coaster to look forward to in 2025.

Last month the amusement park filed a permit applicatio­n with James City County with the title “2025 attraction.” According to the applicatio­n, the 4-acre site of the proposed attraction is in the Festhaus Park area, in which a ride called “Drachen Fire” was previously located.

The electric-blue Drachen Fire, at the time billed as one of the largest steel roller coasters in the world, closed in 1998 after being opened for just six years and has since been demolished.

A fan site, BGWFans.com, first discovered the applicatio­n Busch Gardens filed with the county last month.

Though there are few details available yet, the fan site theorizes that the new attraction may be an inverted family coaster consisting “primarily of the station area, two lift hills and a long series of banked hills and turns.”

The applicatio­n is under review with the county and a site plan review is currently scheduled for Feb. 14.

According to Paul Holt, James City County’s community developmen­t director, the county’s Board of Supervisor­s already approved an applicatio­n at the same site a handful of years ago, so as long as the current plan stays consistent with the previous one, there won’t be a need for any additional board approval.

Constructi­on can begin once the site plan and building permit are approved, which could take about a month or so, Holt said.

In response to a query about the new attraction, Busch Gardens spokeswoma­n Cassady Watson said that while they “don’t have any informatio­n to share about 2025, we look forward to opening Loch Ness Monster: The Legend Lives On” in the spring.

Busch Gardens has been busy over the past year with the opening of DarKoaster — its 10th coaster — in May and the popular Loch Ness Monster coaster closing to the public in October for a “monster-sized” restoratio­n.

The restored Loch Ness will include new steel tracks, new themes and innovative effects, with the monster “Nessie” taking a more prominent role throughout the ride. Photos of the work have been showing up on social media groups for the past few months.

Sian Wilkerson, 757-3426616, sian.wilkerson@ pilotonlin­e.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States