The Final Post of the Off-Season
Previous New Show Coming to Das Festhaus in 2013 and More!
We have less than two weeks till Busch Gardens Williamsburg opens and I have some great news: There’s an absolute ton of news to report. Over the past few weeks things have been slowly building up but nothing has really happened that justified a post; that is, until now. Today we have tons of construction pictures, some new permits, a bit of leaked concert information, and more. All the news is divided by topic so you can quickly navigate to whatever you’re interested in. Anyway, without further adieu, enjoy!
Ticket Booth Changes
As we leaked and later reported a while back, the park is currently making some major changes to the ticket sales area. I won’t go over all the details again (read this post if you’re interested) but I do have quite the exclusive for you today: Construction pictures. Enjoy!
The ticket buildings look freshly painted.
A line that should not be crossed. Disclaimer: I didn’t cross it.
Pile of dirt? Check.
Random metal bars? Check.
Random stuff wrapped in tarps? Check.
New entry structure.
An overview of the back side of the new entry structure.
New metal structure in front of the automatic ticket machines.
Globe Theater Roof Replacement
A while back we reported that the park was planning on replacing the Globe Theater’s roof over the off-season as part of the Banbury Cross refurbishment project they have going. Though it’s not much, a picture of the progress as of a week or two ago can be found below.
Not much to see here really but it does show work is being done.
Pompeii Bridge Replacement
A while back we reported that Busch Gardens Williamsburg had filed for a building permit to replace a large deck structure somewhere in the park. At the time we hypothesized that it could be be for the large seating area located behind Banbury Cross seeing that the park was putting a lot of work into that area. Well, according to what we’ve been told since, the permit was actually pertaining to the bridge which connects the Escape from Pompeii area to the larger San Marco hamlet. The bridge in question can be seen below.
Apparently both the steel structure as well as the decking has been completely replaced. Hopefully they’ve done something to make the bridge a little more forgiving when wet. It’s notorious for being extremely slick in unfavorable weather.
Pet Kennels Refurbishment
If you hadn’t heard, the park is also redoing their pet kennels over the off-season. Below is a picture from a few weeks ago followed by a few that I took yesterday.
Current side-view of the building through the trees
View from the front right side.
Finished Pet Care Center entrance.
Employee Training Center
Though we haven’t mentioned it on the site yet, another major off-season project this year has been a complete refurbishment of the Employee Training Center. A few shots of the new interior can be found below.
A few days back we posted on our forums that the park had filed for a permit for a “Bald Eagle enclosure” however, at the time, we didn’t have any details regarding it. Well now we have a little more information and, even better, a picture. By the sounds of it, the park has reworked the path around the Ireland side of Wolf Valley and, instead of having the Bald Eagles in an open-air habitat as they have been for years, they’ll be moved into covered enclosures. This change, no doubt, results from the multiple Bald Eagle escapes the park experienced last year.
Bald Eagle enclosures
While protecting the animals is clearly a positive improvement, I’m quite worried about how the area will end up looking. I think I would have much preferred a netted wooden structure be built over the current enclosure than see the Eagles moved into the much smaller enclosures pictured above.
A couple days ago the park filed for a platform replacement permit which was later confirmed to be for Ristorante della Piazza’s stage. The stage has been notorious for collecting puddles of water after storms and was never quite known for its quality construction to begin with. Though I wouldn’t expect any major change in shape, size, etc. it’s still something to keep in mind.
Styx Concert Sometime in 2013
Here’s something we don’t normally get to do: A concert leak. Anyway, as posted to our forums, a highly trusted source has informed us that Styx (of Mr. Roboto fame) will be playing as part of the Busch Gardens Live concert series.
Banbury Market Refresh
As described in this post, Banbury Market is getting overhauled for the 2013 season as well. We don’t really have any major information to add to what we’ve already posted but we do have a new picture. Note: The first one was taken during Christmas Town and the second was taken within the last week or so.
Before (During Christmas Town 2012)
After (Within the Last Week)
Other Construction Projects Around the Park
[list style=”2″][li]Le Scoot’s Lift Replacement: Work is still ongoing and the area around Le Scoot is still listed as a hard hat zone. With less than two weeks to go, I wouldn’t be surprised if Le Scoot isn’t operating come Pass Member Preview day.[/li]
[li]Das Festhaus Roof Replacement: The Globe Theater isn’t the only building getting its roof replaced this year. Apparently Das Festhaus’s roof is nearing completion so everything should look fine and dandy on opening day.[/li][/list]