Thursday, June 13, 2024

Busch Gardens DarKastle to DarKoaster Transformation Remains on Track

DarKoaster: Escape the Storm is slated to open in Spring 2023. (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

WILLIAMSBURG — Busch Gardens Williamsburg continues work on its newest indoor roller coaster, “DarKoaster: Escape the Storm,” in preparation for its opening later this year.

When DarKoaster opens, it will be North America’s first all-indoor straddle coaster. Guests will ride across 2,454 feet of track in darkness, encountering four accelerating launches on the family-friendly dark ride experience.

The DarKoaster Cars will be themed after Snowmobiles (WYDaily/Stephanie Sabin)
(WYDaily/Stephanie Sabin)

The ride will feature two trains themed as snowmobiles as part of the ride’s snowy and spooky atmosphere. As one train is almost finished with its run, the second will dispatch.

The new ride will build on the existing lore of DarKastle as guests venture into King Ludwig’s abandoned fortress. Plans call for much of the DarKastle theming to be repurposed and utilized to emphasize the connection between the new and old attractions.

“You’ll definitely notice [the easter eggs,]” Busch Gardens Director of Design and Engineering, Suzy Cheely, said to the media during an updated hard-hat tour of the attraction. “And we are kind of nodding back to King Ludwig and seeing what the next chapter of DarKastle is going to be for him.”

King Ludwig (WYDaily/ Stephanie Sabin)

“I think it’s just been fun to bring DarKastle back to life,” Cheely continued. “We’ve been using the building for some other things the last few years, but to bring it back to life as a ride has been a dream, if you will. You know I was involved with the first project [Curse of DarKastle] back in 2005, so the fact that we’re going to build and have another ride here is pretty special.”

The coaster will have a height requirement of 48 inches and will top out at 36 miles per hour. The ride will also have a wheelchair lift to bring guests to car level and allow those capable of transferring to enjoy the ride. Currently, there is still no set open date for DarKoaster, but the team at Busch Gardens said it is still aiming for spring.

For more information about DarKoaster, visit the Busch Gardens official webpage.

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