A Little Context
Around that same time, we started talking about a possible Water Country USA project for 2019. In mid-May we elaborated on those rumors—specifically stating that, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter, we were likely looking at a ProSlide HydroMagnetic Rocket water coaster.
While all of that news was ongoing, a member of the ParkFans forum, kingadam, came across a previously unknown project that was, frankly, downright bizarre. All we knew at the time was that a large, new structure was planned for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Irish-themed Killarney hamlet.
BGW Project 2019
This evening, kingadam delivered again. This time, he dug up a collection of new, freshly-filed planning documents that depict what we should expect from Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2019. He graciously passed them over to us to allow BGWFans to break the news, but he deserves a lot of credit for spotting them first (and digging through them with me).
Let’s start by showing exactly where the project area for this attraction is. Below you’ll find an interactive map of the region of the park we’re talking about.
Additionally, in this new document filing, the park included a collection of current images of the site that provide some nice context to understanding exactly where this thing is going. Below I’ve included a few of the more useful ones.
With our bearings established, let’s take a look at the actual site plan, shall we? Thankfully the park labeled all of the notable elements in this document—making this a fairly easy site plan to interpret.
For anyone who’s lost, the site plan above shows a large new addition to the south of Killarney.
The orange and purple regions depict areas of new permanent construction. The blue shaded regions surrounding the orange and purple sections should only see temporary impacts (likely clearing), but the attraction will not interfere with those areas once construction is complete.
So, what is this final project you ask?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not spelled out for us in this new collection of documents. That said, after you see the rough, side-view diagram below, I suspect you may start to draw the same conclusion as I have…
Considering the movement suggested by the shape of the ride’s pad combined with the diagram above (a forward and back swinging motion) this looks a lot like a S&S Screamin’ Swing. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the ride type, I’ve included S&S’s promotional video for the model below.
The plot thickens even further though when you take a closer look at the full site plan.
On either side of what appears to be the ride’s platform (orange area on the right), there are two protrusions in the ride’s pad located directly across from one another. This suggests the ride will be supported by two large column structures towards the middle of the attraction.
If these plans were for something like a Zamperla Discovery, I would expect to see four of these indents—one at each corner for each of the ride’s support columns.
This two vs. four support theory is backed up again by the side profile view. It seems to show one very large support structure in the center of the ride instead of smaller ones at the corners.
Plus, just take a look at the Screamin’ Swing schematics provided in S&S’s official ride documentation (below). The side profile shot in particular looks hauntingly similar to the crude drawing included with the park’s latest filing.
Also, before anyone asks, yes, kingadam and I both did the (rough estimate) math as well. We both found that a standard 32 seat S&S Screamin’ Swing should fit nicely into the site plan filed by the park.
Below I’ve put together a overhead image that shows the Killarney Expansion project’s site plan and the official overhead diagram of a S&S Screamin’ Swing, both overlayed onto a satellite image of the project area.
As you can likely deduce from image above, a S&S Screamin’ Swing perched on the hillside next to Killarney’s entrance tower would be quite the attraction—especially when you consider how high above the water the attraction would be perched and how far beyond the ride’s platform guests would swing.
Now, this is all tremendously exciting news of course, but I must highlight something: We have not seen any direct evidence stating that this will, in fact, be a Screamin’ Swing. Honestly, even if I’m right, and the documents above do actually depict a Screamin’ Swing, there is still time for BGW to change the course of this project entirely.
Considering those two facts, it would be reckless to say a Screamin’ Swing is coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2019.
That said, I believe there is enough circumstantial evidence in this latest round of filings to reasonably forecast with a high degree of confidence that the documents shared above are plans for a S&S Screamin’ Swing for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Killarney hamlet.
July 26, 2018 Update
The majority of the new document is pretty uninteresting, but there is a small bit of new information contained in the text that seems to offer substantial reinforcement to our S&S Screamin’ Swing theory presented above.
This new filing references large air compressors (the location of which I’ve highlighted in the image below) and a 6″ tube to carry the compressed air over to the site of Killarney’s new attraction.
Why is this a big deal? S&S Screamin’ Swings are one of the few major air-powered flat rides currently on the market. Furthermore, it is the only one we can find that even comes close to matching the other qualifications addressed in the original article above.
With this new information, we are very confident that Busch Gardens Williamsburg is is planning to add a S&S Screamin’ Swing to Killarney for 2019.
Also, ParkFans.net just launched the third version of its forum! If you’re not already participating, now is a great time to start! You can check out the official Killarney Expansion project thread, here.