5 Reasons Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Tempesto Coaster Has Fans Scratching Their Heads

Editorials and Rants

5 Reasons I’m Scratching My Head at the Tempesto Coaster

Tempesto - Busch Gardens Williamsburg - 2015 Roller Coaster - BGWFansI’ve been the biggest fan of both Busch Gardens park, but I’ve probably written the most about Busch Gardens Williamsburg than I have of any park. And, 90% or more has been positive. I love nearly everything about my European-themed park with its lush green terrain that its custom, world-class roller coasters take advantage of.

Here are the five reasons me and many other theme park geeks are bewildered by this project:

Not a Terrain Roller Coaster

Tempesto doesn’t look like it’ll do what all of my favorite roller coasters do, take advantage of the park’s terrain. That only, isn’t a requisite of a great roller coaster, but it is something Busch Gardens Williamsburg is known for. Part of the reason I love Apollo’s Chariot, Loch Ness, Griffon, and Alpengeist is because of how they use the unique terrain they’re located on.

Not a Custom Roller Coaster

This appears to be an “off-the-shelf” clone of a Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. It’s a Premier Rides Sky Rocket II. Again, not a death sentence by any means, this is just not what we come to expect from this park. You can find rides similar to Apollo’s Chariot and especially Griffon, but they aren’t exactly the same.

Built in a Tight Area

This one especially stings from an aesthetics standpoint. I’ve dinged other parks, like one right up the road that crammed rides into odd areas rather than using the land around the park (Hypersonic XLC anyone?), but I never thought I’d see BGW do this. I’m sure that the park has it’s reasons, but I would have preferred it if it wasn’t sitting right up against Apollo’s Chariot.

Low Capacity Could Mean Long, Slow Lines

You’re likely to see license plates from all over the country and even Canada in Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s parking lot. I’m not familiar with the park’s annual attendance, but needless to say this isn’t a small regional park. So, adding a new ride that’s known to have a low capacity is probably the biggest head-scratcher I’m reading on other sites.

Late Announcement

As I went through RCDB looking through the new for 2015 list, I almost stopped at the named rides. If a ride wasn’t officially named by March, it probably wasn’t worth covering, right? I was shocked when I found an unnamed BGW ride.

I can’t remember Busch Gardens announcing a new ride this late in the off-season. It’s caused some interesting interactions where the theme park press, have asked the park directly about that 150 foot tall steel structure popping up in the park, and the park apparently hasn’t acknowledged it. Given this, they’ve dubbed it: Landscape Project 2015. According to Screamscape, we may finally have an announcement at an event at the end of March.

Most Won’t Care About These Nitpicks & A Similar Ride Was Well-Received

Now that I’ve ranted, let’s take a step back and put this in perspective. To be fair, most these things probably won’t matter to the average park-goer. Aside, from the potential for very long lines, most park visitors won’t mind the other things I mentioned. I’m just perplexed and kind of sad that my ability to brag about the park may be somewhat diminished.


UPDATE – Tempesto was officially announced and is set to open on April 25th. The details were as expected. Tempesto Roller Coaster - Busch Gardens WilliamsburgLike Superman: Ultimate Flight, the ride will feature three launches, a top speed of 63 mph, and a 154 foot tall inversion.

Here’s a video of the announcement:

Here’s a short video of Tempesto testing:

And if you’re interested, here’s a longer video of the station and the launch from the inside courtesy of Behind the Thrills.

For more on Busch Gardens Williamsburg, see my reviews of their ridiculously strong line-up of world-class roller coasters (two of which are in my Top 10): Apollo’s Chariot, Loch Ness, Griffon, and Alpengeist, Verbolten.

What’s Your Take?
Now that it’s official. Do you think it’ll be a good addition? Leave a comment below. Image courtesy of BGWFans.

14 Comments

  1. Stunningly bad choice for a new BGW coaster. Between this and Verbolten I am speechless!

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    • I enjoyed Verbolten. It’s a good change-up from their sky-high thrill machines.

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      • I agree with you Joel. I was really impressed with the themeing on Verbolten and its such a fun coaster. In regards to Tempesto, prior to riding it, I was perplexed myself and still am to some degree. Having riden it now, I have to say I really liked it. Again, very heavily themed and just an all around fun coaster. I would suggest riding it first thing in the morning when there is little to no wait.

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    • I agree wit Joel. I was very happy with BGW’s decision to put Verbolten in the woods Big Bad Wolf once roamed. I love Themed coasters, and I love coasters that are quirky themed more (and by quirky I mean not to the extent of Universal or Disney themed but seems like they did a great job considering the budgets type theming.) It gave BGW a launcher and indoor/outdoor coaster experience. It’s really my BGW favorite now and one of my east coast favs.

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    • I thought the exact thing, then I rode it yesterday. It’s worth it and then some. I’ve ridden everything in the South East and this and Fury are the best new rides in quite a while. That launch over the top on Tempesto is terrifying, and I never, ever blink on rides. Then, you get that sloooow roll which makes you feel like you’re coming out of your seat. Then when you go down the drop, it’s so severe that you can’t see where you’re going. It played on my fears so well in all kinds of different aspects. I just wanted to shake an engineer’s hand just out of appreciation that they could put something so awesome in such a small space.

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  2. I hear ya, it is cool to have a family type coaster, it just bothers me that they took out a great terrain coaster, graded the landscape and plopped a big building on it for a glorified dark ride. They should have utilized that terrain in a much better way. I also hear due to budget cuts they are greatly reducing the animals displays. SAD!

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  3. The owners / management of this park seem bound and determined to turn BGW into just another generic, wall to wall thrill ride destination. Those making decisions clearly have little idea about make this place so unique and special.

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    • I agree with you there Terry. I would be sad to see BGW go from adventure park to thrill park, but it seems its going that way. But there were many animal habitats you never notice because they are only along the train ride. I hope they will atleast decide to keep the pathway reachable habitats. I know the wolves and eagles won’t go anywhere, but I like the horses, owls, bird sanctuaries too etc too.

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  4. I do like that it has 3 cars x 6 passengers . the most I’ve seen on coasters of this type is 2. and I am a park bought one of these to the east coast. I wanted to try one. But I agree with you Joel, If they were going to put it in the Italy section I was hoping for something on the opposite side of Italy, possibly behind the outdoor theater , with the drop and non inverting loop facing the river, so as you crest downward into the non inverting loop you see water before it twist around into the non inverting loop and back out again.

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  5. Totally useless coaster!

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  6. Please everyone. Ride this before you judge it. It’s awesome. I thought it was garbage until I rode it. I promise you’ll like it.

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  7. So what it is a clone? So is Griffon. Tempesto is a unique ride. It is not a destination coaster. It is quick so I regret not riding it twice to better take it all in.

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  8. I found Verbolten to be a total waste of time. And money. Apparently, I’m not the only one since BGW did not receive the uptick in attendance (and revenue) from adding that ride. Perhaps that’s why an “off-the-shelf” far less expensive crowd-pleaser was added. I find it interesting that Kings Dominion has been investing in atmosphere and park experience and BGW is investing in thrills. It’s like they are both trying to be more like each other!

    Reply
  9. I don’t really like verbolten but it seems to be a decent little short roller coaster. I would have designed it better for the type of roller coaster it is. But like most people who love to ride roller coasters I don’t like that they got rid of the big bad wolf, or dracken fire. They could have fixed the rough ride problem people complained about by just redesign the train cars to make our ride more comfortible. Dracken fire was one of bursh gardens best roller coasters. The person earlier who said how he likes how the other coasters take advantage of the parks over all landscaping I agree with him. We stand in long lines waiting to ride these roller coasters in hot weather architects should design them longer for a longer ride. They should replace tempesto with a larger, longer coaster like apollo’s chariot. Six flags in largo maryland needs to add two more mega coasters to their park to attract more people. Some times I think they have the wrong people making all these decisions on what new coasters and water rides and slides to add to certain parks.

    Reply

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