Thursday, June 30, 2022

Busch Gardens gets OK for 115-foot-tall mystery attraction

A 115-foot tall attraction is coming to Busch Gardens.

An expansion is being made to the Ireland portion of the park, where a new attraction is planned.

However, details remain scarce, as is custom for Busch Gardens attractions.

“Busch Gardens Williamsburg is seeking a height waiver with James City County for potential future development,” park spokesman Ron Vample said. “Beyond the information contained in the filing, we have no further details to share at this point.”

James City County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a height limitation waiver for the construction of the attraction at their meeting Tuesday. According to county zoning ordinance, structures taller than 60 feet can only be built after a height-limit waiver is granted.

Anthony Loubier of the engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., applied for the waiver on behalf of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, LLC.

Supervisor John McGlennon jokingly asked what the ride will be, to laughter from fellow board members. He also asked whether the ride would be open or enclosed, but a VHB representative declined to answer.

Permits for construction must be issued within three years or the waiver will be voided.

The project will be built more than 900 feet away from the property line and will be 115 feet above grade — and 155 feet above sea level.

Busch Gardens has six other attractions for which height waivers have been issued, including the roller coasters Verbolten, Tempesto, Apollo’s Chariot and Griffon.

The Mach Tower and the Madrid attraction, which has not yet been built, have also been received height-limit waivers.

The application for the Ireland expansion follows in SeaWorld’s efforts to build new attractions to draw guests to its parks.

Previous height limit waivers issued to Busch Gardens. (Courtesy James City County)
Previous height limit waivers issued to Busch Gardens. (Courtesy James City County)

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