While Tempesto is certainly the park’s major ongoing construction endeavor right now, there are a few other projects in the works around the park as well. These include, Christmas Town 2014 setup, continuing last year’s Le Scoot renovations, and more. We’ll get to covering some of those other, smaller projects soon, but today we have something a bit more exciting to report. What’s that you ask? Well, a line of sight survey balloon appeared over the back half of the park on Thursday which, as you can imagine, is sorta a big deal.
Those of you who follow the park closely likely know that a line of sight balloon is often the first evidence we see that something noteworthy is happening inside the park. Just over a year ago we saw a similar balloon flown over Festa Italia— a balloon that we now know was a precursor to the park’s 2015 coaster, Tempesto.
So, with that bit of context, lets get back to Thursday’s balloon. First off, location.
Below I’ve embedded a map showing the general area in which the height survey took place. Though we don’t have an exact location to share, we know it took place somewhere south of Rhinefeld/Oktoberfest and north of the Busch Service Road.
Though it would be impossible for us to give you an incredibly accurate estimate of the height at which the balloon was flown based off the eye witness reports, we can do our best to give you a ballpark range. According to what we’ve been told, somewhere between 40 and 60 feet is probably a fair estimation.
So what is this height test for you ask? Well, that’s the one question we, sadly, can’t answer– not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t have the faintest idea ourselves. The timing is odd. The location is downright bizarre. We’ve heard zero rumors. No paperwork has been filed as of yet. We’re honestly completely in the dark.
All that said, if I had to make a prediction based solely on the location and height, I’m inclined to believe it’s likely just park operations related. I could very well see this being office space, a new maintenance or storage warehouse, or something in a similar vein. I’m not ready to rule out the possibility that this could be a guest-facing addition, but it’s far from my first guess.
Assuming for a second that this addition is something that guests will directly interact with, what could it be you ask? Well, I suppose there are a few options…
An Oktoberfest train station has been rumored (and strongly considered by the park) for a while now. Though it seems a bit tall for a train station, I’ll still list this as an option as I know it’ll come up in discussion.
Long term members of the community may remember that during the original Oktoberfest renovations in 2011 and 2012 there were rumors of a Das Festhaus expansion. According to numerous sources inside the park, concepts for an expansion to Das Festhaus have existed for a while now. Though we haven’t heard anything about them since they were canned back around 2011, there’s certainly a chance they could have been resurrected.
Then, of course, there’s always a chance that this could be an entirely new attraction. I believe it’s fairly unlikely given the site’s proximity to Kingsmill and the relatively low height, but there’s always a chance that the park could pull something crazy out of its hat (as Tempesto has shown us).
No matter what this project turns out to be, BGWFans will certainly be here to cover it. If you’d like to stay up to date with the ongoing Le Scoot renovations, Christmas Town 2014 preparations, Tempesto construction, and anything else the park may throw at us, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. We typically break news via social media long before it hits the BGWFans front page so if you’d like to stay on the bleeding edge of Busch Gardens Williamsburg news, that’s the way to do it!