Pass Member Appreciation 2013: What to Expect

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As you may or may not know, this Saturday and Sunday is Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s annual Pass Member Appreciation Weekend. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Pass Member Appreciation Weekend is an event that takes place every year the weekend before Howl-O-Scream. Historically the event has offered pass members exclusive discounts, giveaways, dining experiences, etc. but, year after year, the highlight of the weekend is always the presentation that’s given in Das Festhaus on Saturday morning. Seeing that this year’s Pass Member Appreciation Weekend presentation is less than 48 hours away, I figure now is a pretty good time to round up what we’re expecting to see announced this Saturday.

Before you continue, if you’d like to attend the event, you’ll want to take a look at the Facebook event page that the park has put together for the event, here. Everything you could want to know about the event can be found there. Anyway, onto the predictions! Enjoy!

Howl-O-Scream 2013

Year after year, Howl-O-Scream is always one of the main highlights of the presentation and I certainly wouldn’t expect that to change this year. Though we’ve already pulled the sheet off of this year’s Howl-O-Scream event, you can expect that everything we know will be rehashed again on Das Festhaus’ stage this Saturday. Personally, I’m very interested to see how the park pitches their rather risky Terror-tories concept and this year’s only new house to a crowd who was less than impressed with last year’s Howl-O-Scream- especially since this year the park actually has less to announce than they did last year. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

Christmas Town 2013

Similar to Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town has historically been another highlight of this event year after year. Though we don’t have anything other than a few rumors to back it up, I’d expect the park to announce the opening of Sesame Street Forest of Fun for this year’s Christmas Town event and, possibly, a new small outdoor Sesame Street-themed show to replace A Sesame Street Christmas which will not be performing this year due to the renovations going on inside The Globe Theatre. Additionally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an extension of the hamlet retheming concept we saw implemented with last year’s Holiday Hills area and this year’s Howl-O-Scream Terror-tories. If I had to guess which hamlets could be getting some love, I’d probably lay my money on a rework of Rhinefeld’s North Pole theme and maybe something new in Aquitaine or San Marco as well.

London Rocks!

After being rumored for nearly two years now, we’re finally starting to see the new Globe Theatre stage show, London Rocks!, peaking over the horizon. Not a ton is known about the show just yet, but all the little birdies inside the park seem to agree that it will be a heavily music-based show themed around British Invasion-era tunes. In other words, expect to hear a lot of Beatles music in Banbury Cross come 2014. Anyway, back to how it relates to Saturday’s announcement.

Looking at past years, new shows for the following season have never actually been announced at the park’s fall event- instead, they’re often announced on Pass Member Preview Day in mid-March before they officially debut a month or so later. With that in mind, why is London Rocks! even on my list of possibilities? Well, unlike many of the park’s recent show announcements (Mix it Up, Entwined, and This is Oktoberfest in particular), London Rocks! has been in planning for literally years now and, by this point, it sounds like the show is basically 100% complete. Considering how long it has been on the Entertainment department’s backburner, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it unveiled at Saturday’s event.

Europe in the Air Replacement

Over the last few months, we’ve heard time and time again that “there is something new for 2014″ however, with no whispers or evidence of a physical addition to be found anywhere across the internet or around the park, I highly doubt we’re looking at new ride hardware for 2014. With that said, there is something that the park could easily update without raising any red flags: Killarney’s motion simulator. Ever since Europe in the Air shutdown unexpectedly on July 1st, the park’s Irish-themed hamlet has been somewhat of a deadzone for the park. Could Corkscrew Hill return? Will we see something entirely new show up in Europe in the Air’s place come 2014? I honestly have no idea but I can’t imagine that the park would allow Killarney to sit attraction-less for another season.

New Ride for Italy

Every good list of this type needs a longshot prediction and, well, this is just that. Ever since a line-of-sight test took place somewhere over one of the park’s two Italian-themed hamlets about a month ago, rumors have been swirling that maybe, just maybe, we could see a new attraction added to either San Marco or Festa Italia in 2014 or 2015. I’m not completely sold on the rumor just yet (especially relating to 2014), but typically parks don’t conduct line of sight tests for their own enjoyment. Regardless, considering the the lack of buzz around this event (when compared to the year Mach Tower or Verbolten were announced), I can’t really see the park unveiling or even hinting at whatever this line-of-sight test was conducted for this Saturday. That said, I think we may be revisiting this rumor this time next year and, by then, I think it may be a bit higher on the list of possibilities…

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed our little pre-announcement guesswork and we hope you’re just as curious as we are about what the park plans to present Saturday morning. As always, you can expect BGWFans to provide as much content as we possibly can following the event so stay tuned for that. Also, as always, if you’d like live updates from the event, we’ll be doing our best to provide them on Saturday via our Twitter account, @BGWFans. If you’d like to follow along with the event, that’s the place to do so (assuming we can manage to get a connection in Das Festhaus of course). Rest assured that if we can’t access the outside world on Saturday, we’ll be sure to give you all a full rundown of everything that happened as soon as we possibly can.