WILLIAMSBURG — Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW) announced via email that it has permanently closed its nearly 40-year-old attraction, Da Vinci’s Cradle.
The flying carpet-style flat ride, manufactured by the German company, ZIERER Karussell- und Spezialmaschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG (Zierer), made its debut at BGW in 1983. Da Vinci’s Cradle rocked passengers back and forth until it gathered enough momentum to make a complete 360-degree rotation with what the park described as defying the laws of gravity.
Situated in the Italy section of the park (formerly known as San Marco), Da Vinci’s Cradle was placed adjacent to the Flying Machine and The Battering Ram. While the ride remained popular among core park fans, reviews of Da Vinci’s Cradle appear to have become more mixed as time went on.
Several fans noted that the ride seemed to run less and less throughout the last few operating seasons. On April 26, 2022, park members received an email from BGW stating that Da Vinci’s Cradle was permanently closing.
No specific reason was given for the closure and the email states that there are no current plans to replace it.
While an official announcement was released regarding Da Vinci’s Cradle, BGW has not yet released word regarding the virtual reality motion simulation ride, Battle for Eire. Opened in 2018 and located within the Ireland section of the park in the building that previously housed Europe in the Air, Corkscrew Hill, King Arthur’s Challenge, and Questor, fans have reported that all signage has been removed for the ride.
Popular site, BGWFans, reported this past March that not only was the signage removed, but also that the ride’s merchandise was sold at clearance and its presence on the park’s website was purged.
As of the publication of this article, both Da Vinci’s Cradle and Battle for Eire have been removed from the park’s map on BGW’s official website.
Despite these official and unofficial closures, rumors continue to persist regarding refitting the building that formerly housed the Curse of DarKastle and to build the park’s tallest ride on the land that once held defunct Arrow Dynamics roller coaster, Drachen Fire; both located in the Oktoberfest section of the park.
For more information on BGW, please visit its official website.*Image available under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.