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Busch Gardens Williamsburg Hints at New Roller Coaster
By Nancy E. Sheppard

BGWH imageOn Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Member Preview Day, the park hinted at an all but confirmed new addition to the park for the 2020 Season: a brand-new roller coaster. While the project has been dubbed by park fans as "Project Madrid,” the park has termed it "Project 2020,” with little information release otherwise.

BGWFans, a popular social media site devoted to providing inside information regarding the park, has reported on documents filed with James City County for permits for a project that is to reach over 300 feet. In other plans released, the new roller coater is set to debut in the Festa Italia section of the park and will be a giga-coaster (or a coaster exceeding 300 feet in height) with three linear induction launches, purposeful "roll backs,” and other elements that have not been combined anywhere else in the world.

This new coaster is a much-needed addition to the park’s line up, with recent missteps including their newest ride, Battle for Eire, a VR ride which received a lackluster reception, the closure of fan-favorite ride, DarKastle, and the recent removal of several "kiddie” rides, including the junior swing ride and the egg ferris wheel in the Land of the Dragons hamlet. The new coaster would make Busch Gardens Williamsburg competitive with neighbor, Kings Dominion, which already boasts a giga-coaster (Intimidator 305) and with news of the closure of their own fanfavorite, Volcano: The Blast Coaster.

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is sinking a great deal of money in their parks, opening roller coasters at their SeaWorld brand parks and transforming the defunct wooden roller coaster at their Tampa property into a Rocky Mountain Construction "hybrid” coaster (something Kings Dominion did last year; transforming the former Hurler roller coaster into the wildly popular, hybrid coaster, Twisted Timbers). That being said, while there was a great deal of hope that the Williamsburg property would boast a new, Spain-themed hamlet for the new coaster, it does not appear that this will be happening. The coaster will be the third in the Festa Italia section of the park, occupying the grounds that currently house the pastures just beyond Roman Rapids, that are meant for the park’s animals. What will happen to relocate those pastures is currently unknown.

Busch Gardens is set to open this spring, Finnegan’s Flyer, an S&S Screamin’ Swing ride, in the Ireland hamlet of the park. This thrill, flat ride is sure to be a very welcomed addition to the park’s lineup for thrill seekers to the park.


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