Busch Gardens- Pass Members Appreciation Presentation

>> Saturday, September 17, 2011

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Hey y'all! I just wanted to fill everyone in on some on some of the cool things just announced at the Pass Members Appreciation Presentation.

After starting us off with a free breakfast of muffin and strudel, coffee and orange juice, the presentation began. The two main subjects of the presentation were Howl O Scream and the new coaster that is opening in 2012.

The Howl o Scream presentation was great. This years theme is "The Dark Side of the Gardens" which will be getting away from the more family friendly HOS of recent years, and going back to the very dark, very scary roots of HOS. There is a new character this year called the "Lady of the Gardens", and if you have walked down the San Marco bridge in the last month, chances are you have heard her theme playing. If you are looking at coming to HOS with younger kids, come during the day. The kids will still be able to see all of the decorations, and will be able to enjoy Count von Count in Sesame Street Forest of Fun, as well as be able to see Jack preform during the day in Ireland.

If you are looking for something that promises to be very dark and scary, then stick around after HOS starts in the night. This year the mazes will be back, but some will be revamped as well as having 3 new mazes. This year the catacombs maze has doubled in size, and Bitten (the vampire themed maze) will only be 1 large maze due to the construction of the new coaster. This year we will see 3 new mazes as well. Deadline is an "old world Pompeii" theme with a new spin. The theming of the new maze under Escape from Pompeii will be zombie themed with the spin being that a new subway system is being excavated in Pompeii. Fear Fair will make a reappearance in Festa Italia this year. Some may remember the clown themed maze from years ago. Also this year will be the new maze that goes through the Europe in the air building called "13". From what I have seen, this looks to be the most anticipated of the new mazes. 13 will play on 13 of the biggest fears people face, and evidently is based on one of the original HOS attractions called "Dark Tower".

The scare zones are coming back this year as well! They will be fully immersive using lights, fog, and sound effects. The scare zones this year will be Unleashed (werewolf themed), Stichin' Time (monster themed), a chainsaw & spider themed zone which I missed the name of, the clowns in Festa Italia, and a new scare zone on the upper path through Scotland which will have a scarecrow harvest theme to it.

The shows this year will be Jack is Back which has a new look, Fiends in the Festhaus is back, and my personal favorite Monster Stomp which has a few new twists.

There will also be a "Dark side of the Garden" shop in Germany with themed merchandise.

The next half of the presentation centered around the new roller coaster opening next year called Verbolten. I should also mention here that the VP of engineering, Larry Giles, said that Verbolten WILL be opening next year and on time! If you frequent Busch Gardens, or follow the news about it, you will know that this is a HUGE statement for him to make after the whole Mach Tower drama. The theming of the ride will center around a tour through Germany. As soon as you enter the queue line, you will be emerged in the theming of taking a nice ride through the German country side, but will be thouroughly warned NOT to enter the Black Forest. When boarding, you will step onto a train that is 2x8 and themed around a vintage German sportscar. You will start out on a nice ride through Germany, but soon your gas pedal sticks, and you careen off on a path through the Black Forest. After getting out of the highly themed Black Forest, you will shoot uphill and find yourself looking down on the Rhine River, and going down a 90' hill; bigger than the Big Bad Wolf's. The minimum height for Verbolten will be 48". The coaster will reach speeds in excess of 50mph, and the restraint will be a lap bar. As much as I miss the BBW, and always will, I am getting more excited about Verbolten. One thing I am VERY happy to see is the low height limit and the promise that this will replace BBW as many children's first coaster.

That's pretty much the highlights...If I have misspellings, please forgive them as I am blogging this from my iphone. I will say you get odd looks from security when they check your bag and find a wireless keyboard... I am sure I have been getting very odd looks from people walking past me in the Festhaus as I type this too. LOL Hope you enjoyed hearing about it all...I may have a bit of video to share after I get home, and will have lots more to share after attending the VIP Fright Night event for the HOS kickoff next Friday!!

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