Saturday, December 2, 2023

Busch Gardens Receives Go-Ahead to Build Park’s Tallest Ride

The 355-foot height waiver was approved Tuesday night. (WYDaily file/Courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — The James City County Board of Supervisors approved a height waiver extension for Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW) to build the tallest ride in the park’s history.

The board initially approved the 355-foot height waiver for the attraction back in 2019, with construction required to commence by June 11, 2022. However, the project was delayed due to the pandemic.

Anthony Loubier of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. applied on behalf of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, LLC for a 36-month extension of the height waiver, which would now require construction on the ride to start by June 11, 2025.

The board unanimously approved the 36-month extension for the height waiver during Tuesday’s meeting.

BGW is keeping a tight lip on what the ride will be.

Suzy Cheely, director of design and engineering at BGW, would not provide any details on the ride itself, but noted that several projects at the park have been delayed in the last two years.

“We just recently opened Pantheon, which was originally intended to be our 2020 attraction,” Cheely said. “So we’ve definitely been put on a track of postponing attractions and a lot of the construction over there at the park.”

The new ride will reach a height of 355 feet above finished grade or 435 feet above sea level. Currently, BGW’s tallest ride is the 240-foot Mach Tower.

According to BGW, the ride will be located near Verbolten at the former site of the long-defunct roller coaster, Drachen Fire.

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