• Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg ready for the public


    In order to truly appreciate the new roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, you need some background information. Have a seat, and Iíll tell you all about it.

    Iíd like to introduce you to Gerta and Gunter Schwartzwald. They are eccentric siblings who run a Bavarian visitor center in the Germany area of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. They also run the post office, gift shop, garage, and Black Forest Inn.

    Within walking distance of their places of business is the Black Forest. Every morning Gunter hikes there to collect samplings that he grows in his office. Gerta has also planted seedlings from the Black Forest in her gardens that have grown at an alarming rate.

    Both of them have been strangely attracted to the Black Forest and it has turned into an obsession. It is rumored that a mysterious spirit resides there and shifts trees and branches to trap unsuspecting victims. Gunter has gone as far as installing cameras in several forest locations to gather proof that a mysterious spirit dwells in the darkness. He personally showed me the monitors setup in his office that broadcast footage from the cameras.

    From the Tourist Center you can book a tour of the Bavarian countryside. Passengers from their rental cars keep disappearing in the forest and are never seen again. To cover up this secret, Gunter collects the personal effects of the missing people from their crumpled cars and sneaks back to the center where he hides the items away in the messy clutter of his office and garage.

    Now you get to experience one of their tours first-hand on Busch Gardenís newest roller coaster, Verbolten. You enter the ride through the visitorís center, enjoying the sights of Gunterís office and garage along the way.

    As you board your sleek German car (one of five sixteen-seat custom-designed coaster trains), everything appears normal. You accelerate slowly out of the station taking a scenic, leisurely tour of the Bavarian country-side. After you round the last turn your car launches straight into the Black Forest.

    The first drop inside the Black Forest gives a nice pop of air-time, especially at the back of the train. Part of the Black Forest is completely dark. The rest of the Black Forest is themed to one of three themes: Lightening, Spirit of the Forest, or Wolf. I was fortunate to be able to experience all three today during different rides, and they all provide a unique experience inside the forest. Hereís an inside secret: The three themes rotate in a cyclical pattern, so every third train will get the same scene.

    You come to a sudden stop in the Black Forest. After a long pause, you plummet in a free-fall drop, the first of its kind in the United States on a roller coaster. After you come to your senses, you roll out of the Black Forest and are then launched at 53 mph up towards a decrepit bridge. The bridge doesnít hold up and you plummet 88 feet towards the Rhine River. Once again, the back of the train gives a nice pop of air-time over the top of the hill. After a few twists and turns, some of you return safely to the station.

    The theming of the entire area including the Black Forest makes this a great addition to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. When I toured this during the construction phase, I was sure this was going to end up being a mild family coaster. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of intensity that is maintained through the entire ride while continuing to appeal to everybody in the family who is 48Ē or taller.

    You can find more pictures on our Facebook page. Here is an approved on-ride video for your enjoyment.

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Leo C -
      Wes, you got to check out that orange Beetle in the queue.

      The indoor lighting looks way better than what Skull Mountain at SFGADV had its first few years but we're talking about 1996 vs. 2012.

      I have to expect the standards for lighting have to high with Darkastle being in the same section of the park.

      Wow, that drop looked intense!

      It's appropriate you got the wolf indoor setting. Let's tip our glass again to the memory of the Big Bad Wolf. Good luck to Verbolten with its run.
    1. coasterlove -
      I'm not sure if I understand what "You come to a sudden stop in the Black Forest. After a long pause, you plummet in a free-fall drop, the first of its kind in the United States on a roller coaster." means. It was hard to tell in the video too since it's dark but is train and the track underneath is actually dropping? Does the track disengage from the rest of it?
    1. DisGardeVersal -
      Yes, similar to 13 at AT, the track is disengaged and free falls down into place with the track leading to the rest of the layout in front of it.

      I was lucky enough to ride during soft opening days. It's awesome.
    1. Rick B -
      DisGardeVersal described it well. When I'm able, I'll go back and edit the story to make that part more clear. Essentially it's an elevator-style free fall with the train and track.

      Leo, actually the video footage shows pieces of all three themes. The audio was of the wolf since that was my theme during this shoot.
    1. Leo C -
      I wonder how many years Verbolten was in development as I thought about this car theme competing with Disney's Rock n Roller Coaster in FL and BGW's nearest competitor: Kings Dominion. There's way more going on indoors on Verbolten than the general dual S turn skirts in basically the dark on the Backlot Stunt Coaster.

      I didn't feel a crushing need to go get the Backlot Stunt Coaster when it came out. It's a small ride. I think I have the same opinion caring over on Verbolten.