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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Busch Gardens files more plans for Project 2021 with James City County stormwater office

(WYDaily/Courtesy Busch Gardens)
(WYDaily/Courtesy Busch Gardens)

As Pantheon gradually takes shape in the Festa Italia section of Busch Gardens, the park is also working on a project which, so far, has remained mostly behind the scenes.

Busch Gardens has filed a partial site plan with the James City County Stormwater and Resource Protection Division showing a section of the park near the Rhine River where Project 2021 — the identity of which remains a mystery — will be placed.

The site plan, which was filed Oct. 2 and shows aspects of the attraction that will impact the resource protection area around the Rhine River, indicates a long rectangular “impervious” area in the RPA zone.

The news of the site plans first broke in early October in a post by Busch Gardens Williamsburg Fans, a group of park and coaster enthusiasts that monitors happenings at the park.

Given the shape of the foundations shown in the document and other details in the plans, BGWFans believes Project 2021 could be a roller coaster.

Busch Gardens has not yet officially released any detailed information on the nature of the 355-foot-tall attraction, but called BGWFans’ post on Twitter about the site plans “#FakeNews.”

WYDaily reviewed the partial site plans at the Stormwater and Resource Protection Division to confirm their authenticity. 

So far, the group has used leaked documents and other publicly-filed information to make educated guesses about what types of rides are coming into the park.

Busch Gardens officials declined to comment on whether they’re trying to find the source of leaked documents when WYDaily asked in August. 

RELATED STORY: Supposed leaked documents give insight into Busch Gardens’ possible plans for 355-foot attraction

The previously-leaked documents also showed the attraction may use a coaster station that formerly belonged to Drachen Fire, a roller coaster that shut down in 1998.

If the ride is a coaster, it could be an “absolutely monstrous giga coaster” because of its 355-foot height waiver. Some leaked documents show trains will have four cars each in a two-by-two formation, according to the group.

When working to obtain a height waiver from the county, Busch Gardens officials said the coaster will be spirelike at the top and be about 10 feet wide at the highest point.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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