I spent the morning promising “2020 news” on Twitter and ParkFans. Well, I must admit that was slightly (intentionally) misleading. While there was Pantheon news today (track is on site!), the “2020 news” I’m writing about today is probably more accurately described as “news from 2020“—specifically news that we expect will be announced in 2020 regarding Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s follow-up to Pantheon, Project 2021. Better yet? This is yet another blockbuster BGW Project 2021 story—we’re revealing some serious new information and confirming some details we’ve been suspecting for a while now. Anyway, without further ado, lets jump in!
As you may remember from our Pantheon coverage, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is required to submit a partial site plan to the James City County Stormwater & Resource Protection office when future construction projects may impact the Rhine River. That’s exactly what we have today—part of the site plan for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s new-for-2021 attraction.
So what is BGW’s 2021 project? Well, at this point, we can say pretty conclusively that it is, in fact, a roller coaster—a big one too by the looks of it. While this news shouldn’t catch anyone off-guard who has been following the project over the last handful of months, we still shouldn’t undersell the importance of this news—this is an official filing from the park depicting roller coaster footers in Festhaus Park for a project we expect to open in 2021, just a single year after Pantheon opens. That is insane.
Anyway, if we expand out from the cropped down version of the site plan above, we start to see some helpful context.
First off, lets provide some location information. The RPA impacts area depicted above parallels the Rhine between Verbolten’s Rhine River drop and the Busch Gardens Railroad’s Rhine River Trestle. As you may be able to see from the faint terrain contours in the map above, there is a sizable ravine that cuts into the Project 2021 site from the Rhine River. The footers in the site plan above seem to bisect that exact area. Below I’ve included a Google Map that shows the general area we’re talking about here.
Next, lets dive into the actual foundations depicted in the document itself. The green areas, as you likely guessed, are planned impervious areas in the site plan (read: solid foundations) that will encroach into the resource protection area.
Given the terrain in that area and the width of the coaster footers depicted, the long contiguous green area is almost certainly a valley of some sort in the coaster’s layout. As the footers get wider at either end of that strip, we would expect the track to gain altitude. We know from the height waiver documents that the highest point of this coaster will be located off to the left of the RPA impacts area. With that in mind, it seems to us that the footers in this plan are for the element immediately before or after the 355-ish foot highest point of Project 2021.
In addition to the impervious areas highlighted in green, astute viewers may notice that there are three other squares depicted in the lower right side of the document. For now we’re going to assume that these were accidentally left behind in the submitted version of this document despite not being in the resource protection area. It’s not impossible that they could represent some existing feature on the site (leftover Drachen Fire footers possibly?), but we have yet to see any evidence to support that idea. If we assume those are 2021 footers, it would suggest that there’s a turn next to the railroad tracks to the right of the depicted RPA impacts.
Putting this all together with the 2021 station floor plan we obtained back in August, I created our current “best guess” approximation of the two track segments we can currently take a stab at.
Which direction the train will travel through the newly-revealed Rhine River-adjacent track section or how that area of the coaster will connect back to the station is currently anyone’s guess. That said, if this is a roughly 355 foot tall giga coaster with a drop down into a ravine next to the Rhine River, I’m sure many people don’t need to know the whole layout just yet to be incredibly excited.
To stay up to date with this potentially mind-boggling new roller coaster, make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—each of those accounts tend to get slightly different content so it’s worth checking them all out from time to time!
Does this mean that Lumberhack will no longer be present after this season? If this will be project 2021s plan then we are going to lose another maze with already too many that won’t ever come back, Catacombs, Hunted, Scarlets Revenge, and Cornered. As a previous Entertainment employee it’s hard to see the plan for BGW when they don’t focus on their most reliable and very profitable event each year.
That was our assumption before today but, looking at the RPA impacts map above, you can actually see the “Woods Maze” (read: Lumberhack) sitting there untouched. That doesn’t mean that it will survive once we see the full site plan for the project, but at the moment, it’s (shockingly!) safe!
If this is the first drop the track would of course have to turn at the top of the lift, which is strange. My other thought is that this is yet another launch coaster with a top hat into the ravine area. The alternative is that this is not the first drop.
Hey my home park is kings island and you guys know we are obviously getting a giga but just a heads up, i live in batavia ohio about 2 minutes away from clermont steel fabricators where they make all the b&m track, so i drive by csf everyday and sometimes they have the doors open when they are painting track, tonight we drove by and the doors where open and i saw giga track, and no it wasnt orions, it was a sort of dark aqua green color. if you would like anymore info just reply and ask!
Possibly, Draken Fire reborn…..