Today at 11 am, the park released details of the 2011/2012 expansion of Oktoberfest to a packed Festhaus. After doing some quick housekeeping, including talking about Europe in the Air and mentioning that Celtic Fyre would be returning in 2011, they moved on to make five major announcements.
The first announcement covered the opening of Italy for Christmas Town, no surprises here as we have been expecting this since last year.
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The second announcement was surrounding the renovation of Oktoberfest. An artist rendering was shown on the screen showing an Oktoberfest that looked quite different than it currently does, at least on the side that the drop tower will be located on. It was also confirmed that the street performances that were so common in the past will be returning to Oktoberfest.
The area that is currently empty in between Katapult and Whirbelwind will be filled with a new Pretzel Market and Beer Garden. In the rendering it appears that Das Festhaus will not be changing much, but there was no confirmation of that.
The third announcement was about the new drop tower, Mach Tower. The tower will be a roto-tower by Moser Rides, meaning the seats are configured in a circle around the tower. The seats will also rotate, giving the riders views of the entire park on the way up. When riders get to the top, they are apparently in for some surprises according to the park. What exactly those surprises are, we’re currently not sure of, but there has been mention in our forums that the seats will vibrate. Whether or not this is true is obviously unclear. Regardless of what the surprise is at the top, riders will then be dropped at up to 60 mph from 246 ft. up.
The fourth announcement was the addition of Vanish Point to Water Country USA. It will consist of four body slides, two of which you push yourself down and the other two have the floor dropped from under you. The height of all four slides is 75 ft.
The final announcement was about the new coaster that will be going onto the land left vacant by the removal of the Big Bad Wolf. According to the park it will be “multi-launching, high speed, electromagnetic & like no ride you’ve seen before”. We weren’t able to get a ton of information about this coaster, but we did hear from the park it would have elements that would remind riders of the Big Bad Wolf, and heard that it could possibly incorporate dark ride elements.
We can also confirm that Katapult will be moved to New France and replace the Canadian Palladium as we reported a few days ago. The kiddie swings will also be removed, it is not clear if they will be put somewhere else in the park, or if they are just getting packed up, but I’m leaning towards the latter.
Video:
Part I

Part II

Interview with John Reilly, GM of Busch Gardens Williamsburg by Swiftman and Fur Dozy

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