Sunday, December 10, 2023

New Busch Gardens Indoor Coaster is Officially Open

DarKoaster. (Jillian Appel/WYDaily)

WILLIAMSBURG — Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s new roller coaster, DarKoaster: Escape the Storm, is officially open to the public as of May 19.

Located near the Germany area, Busch Gardens Williamsburg touts DarKoaster as North America’s first all-indoor straddle coaster. Guests ride across 2,454 feet of track in darkness, encountering four accelerating launches on the family-friendly dark ride experience.

The ride features two snowmobile-themed trains named Frostbite and Wild Wolf. As one train almost finishes its run, the second will dispatch.

One of the Snowmobile themed cars for the new DarKoaster ride (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

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

“We’ve been working on this ride for a couple of years,” Busch Gardens Director of Design and Engineering, Suzy Cheely, said during a ride with WYDaily on the new DarKoaster. “Now that it’s open, it’s exciting it’s finally here.”

When designing the theming of the coaster, the team at Busch Gardens wanted to make sure there were things for both new and local fans alike. As a result, there are plenty of easter eggs nodding to DarKastle throughout the ride.

The coaster has a height requirement of 48 inches and tops out at 36 miles per hour. The ride also has a wheelchair lift to bring guests to car level and allow those capable of transferring to enjoy the ride.

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

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