Busch Gardens Williamsburg has filed for a new height waiver requesting permission to construct a structure of up to 355 feet above finished grade. This planned structure is to be located in the Oktoberfest area and is currently labeled as “Busch Gardens Project 2021” in James City County’s permitting system.

This new height waiver appears to be directly related to the Oktoberfest/Festhaus Park height survey we exclusively reported on back in January.

A look at the height waiver information is included below.

Included with the height waiver submission is a map showing a rough estimate of the highest point of the structure. Additionally, various mockups of the structure’s highest point on the skyline were also featured in the filing. The previously mentioned map as well as two of the more helpful skyline impact images are included below.

Now, before anyone gets too excited, we have to advise a little bit of caution.

First off, we have no idea what this structure is. This may very well be a large new thrill ride or roller coaster, but it is way, way too early to tell. For all we know, this height waiver could be a cell tower or something similarly mundane like that. We simply don’t know yet.

Secondly, as anyone who has been following Project 2020 can tell you, skepticism of height waivers at Busch Gardens Williamsburg has proven justified recently. The structure suggested by this new filing could reach a height of up to 355 feet above finished grade, but it certainly isn’t required to. Again, we don’t have anywhere near enough information to report anything other than Busch Gardens Williamsburg wants the ability to build a structure that tall.

Lastly, just because a project is listed under an identifier in James City County’s database (in this case “Busch Gardens Project 2021″) does not mean that we should take the project’s title at face value. Again, Project 2020 is a great case study for this. Other outlets who insisted that the name of that filing had any relation to the actual project itself found themselves reporting on a supposed new Spanish hamlet that most certainly did not and does not exist as part of Project 2020. For all we know “Busch Gardens Project 2021” could just mean the project will start construction in 2021 or it could even be more intentional misdirection by Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Again, we just don’t know yet.


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