Tempesto At Busch Gardens Soft Opened! Video Plus Rider Testimonials!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is celebrating “40 Years of Fun” in 2015! The Williamsburg Virginia park has been consistently rated as “the most beautiful park” by both the Golden Ticket Awards, and National Theme Park Historical Society.
For the 2015 season, Busch Gardens added yet another amazing roller coaster, a new show, and a whole lot more!
Over the weekend we had the honor to test the parks new roller coaster before media day and before it opened to the public! The park has been offering a very small amount of guests an opportunity to test the ride out. We’ll just say we happened to be among the lucky! At first sight, the vintage daredevil themeing was awesome! Since the coaster was small, and was the same track layout as a coaster in another park, we didn’t have very high expectations. but WOW!, this was an amazing ride! Everyone who tested the new coaster got off with smiles and said they would definitely ride it again. Watch our video with rider testimonials below!
The new coaster is modeled after an Italian daredevil called Tempesto. At first glance, the track looks short, but those who dared to ride Tempesto were launched multiple times (forward & backward). The coaster launches forward, then backwards through the station then launches forward again through the station at speeds over 60mph going up and over the huge 153 foot tall loop, where the rides signature loop-the-loop inversion takes place.
The midway area outside of the queue line was very heavily themed with vintage signage and lighting. This was some of the best themeing we have seen on a coaster outside of Disney and Universal.
The coaster does a very slow barrel roll at the top, so sunglasses, phones, wallets, all do fall out of your pockets. Upon entering the ride line, riders were handed a fanny pack. They were being used for personal items Instead of lockers and were returned before exiting. We should note to be very careful on what you put inside the fanny pack! The lap bar sits right at the riders belt line which smashes the fanny packs. Our first ride the lap bar crushed and broke a pair of sunglasses. Get a locker or use zipper pockets to be safe.
Some seem to think the through-put would be slow, but the crew did an amazing job of moving the lines through very fast. The seats have been upgraded to fit 18 riders at a time and was loaded much faster than similar coasters.
The over the shoulder harness seems unnecessary and is a bit awkward to maneuver around when entering the seat. Once pulled down over your shoulders, the harness then connects to the lap bar and is virtually unnoticeable. We see this being removed in the future to speed up the load times.
The park isn’t selling quick queue for this ride. The only way to get a single quick queue for Tempesto is by winning the new plinko game just outside the ride queue. Quick queue really won’t have an effect on the ride’s capacity since guests have to win it instead of buying it.
Here’s more photos from the soft open testing.
The gift shop was heavily themed with the same vintage signage and even a daredevil stunt in the middle complete with a bicycle!
A new coaster wouldn’t be complete without themed shot glasses in the gift shop!
the gift shop also featured some of the new retro shirts and steins for the parks 40th anniversary celebration.
If you plan to purchase any of the retro merchandise, we suggest you do it soon! The employees are telling us that once their stock is depleted, the items won’t be replenished.
Tempesto officially opens to the public Saturday, April 25th, 2015.
Park President Carl Lum said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the expressions on our guests faces as they watch Tempesto in action. The speed of this coaster, along with the small footprint will make for an exhilarating ride.”
Ride Manufacturer: Premier Rides (headquarters in Baltimore, MD)
Type of Ride: Launch Coaster
- Three launch elements
- High-speed station experience
- 154-foot, high speed inversion
Track Length: 883 feet of track
Max Speed: 63 mph
Ride Duration: 55 seconds
Seats/Train: 1 train, 18 seats
Ride Height Requirement: 54 inches
Location: Festa Italia
Ride Open Date: April 25, 2015
Tempesto isn’t the only thing new in 2015. The park opened a new show called “Roll Out The Barrels“. The new show is very entertaining featuring many different stunts and acrobatic acts. It’s a must see for anyone visiting the park this year.
The stand below Griffin was converted into a new Ice Cream Shop. “Josephines Creamery De Chocolat“ features tasty sundaes, floats, milkshakes, smoothies, frappes, espresso’s, a huge menu of ice cream flavors and lots of syrup choices.
Video highlights at Josephine’s Ice Cream
The park is also renovating everyone’s favorite log flume ride, Le Scoot. The water ride will be getting a unique overhaul with an all new track system, as well as all new ride vehicles. The new ride vehicles will be ACTUAL LOGS! The park is using real logs to make riding down a log flume feel more authentic.
Part of the 40th anniversary celebration includes new merchandise and new limited edition steins! The steins can be found in many of the shops around the park including the new Tempesto gift shop.
The classic throwback merchandise seemed to be a big hit also. Every gift shop we visited guests were snagging up their favorite classic shirts and hats. Employees told us that the throwback swag wouldn’t be replenished once the stock was depleted, so plan accordingly if you would like to purchase some throwback shirts. The Big Bad Wolf shirt seemed to be the hottest seller so far, so that’s probably the one that will sell out first.
Bier Fest is an an ALL NEW EVENT taking place September 12-13 and also September 19 – 20!
Raise your glass with a variety of draft beer, traditional German food, live music, and more at a unique Bavarian celebration!
For the 40th anniversary, Busch Gardens has placed various signs around the park explaining their history.
Here’s a recap of whats new or updated for the 2015 season.
- Roll Out the Barrels – A new show at Das Festhaus
- New Ice Cream Shop – All new shop located underneath Griffon
- Food & Wine Festival – The annual culinary fun debuts two new food experiences, Asia and New Orleans.
- Limited Edition Steins – New steins to celebrate the parks 40th anniversary
- Limited edition classic merchandise – New merchandise from retired classic rides such as Big Bad Wolf and Le Mans.
- The Old Country – Before it was “Europe” or Williamsburg, it was called “The Old Country”. A small amount of limited edition merchandise is available that represents “The Old Country”.
- Park History Signs – part of the 40th anniversary, historic signs are placed through-out the park telling various park history.
- Bier Fest – New event taking place September 12-13 and also September 19 – 20
The park doesn’t officially turn 40 until May 15th, so we are going to go out on a limb here and guess that there will be something special happening on that day as well!
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