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Germany Expansion Site Plans

Newly-Filed Documents Reveal More Details About Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2021 Roller Coaster

Newly-Filed Documents Reveal More Details About Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2021 Roller Coaster

After the resource protection area impacts map was filed earlier this month, we weren’t expecting to see any additional BGW Project 2021 information hit the James City County Planning Department till after the new year. Much to our surprise, that expectation seems to have been misguided. Today Busch Gardens Williamsburg filed an incredible new packet of plans with the county entitled “Busch Gardens – Germany Expansion.” Unfortunately, these new documents do not include coaster footers so deciphering the exact layout of BGW’s 2021 roller coaster is impossible. That said, this new treasure trove of information, when paired with everything else we know about the project already, does start to paint a more detailed photo of what we should expect from Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s long-rumored 2021 coaster.

The Filing

I am going to start things off by just simply sharing some of the most important pages from today’s filing. Normally we wouldn’t present so much raw data on the BGWFans frontpage because, frankly, due to the complexity of the plans, they are damn near meaningless to a large fraction of our audience. That said, this time around, I’m feeling like they’re even a bit too vague for me to fully grasp and, hence, I worry that the analysis that I’ll attempt later on in this piece will be lacking. My hope is that the community can come together in the thread dedicated to this attraction and work out some alternate layouts that fit within the guardrails provided by this new filing.

Station Area

Far and away the most detailed portion of this new site plan are the parts detailing the queue and station. As you can see below, it’s also one of the easiest to decode plans we have to share today. The station, paths winding between queue buildings, the entrance plaza—it’s all here and relatively easy to spot.

Ride Area

This is where things get really complicated. Unlike many site plans we’ve published previously, the documents filed with James City County today do not contain ride foundations (read: coaster footers). This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the park file plans for terraforming, pathways, queue areas, etc. separately from a ride foundations plan, but it does make gleaning useful information from these documents far more complicated.

The last time I remember the park taking this approach was with InvadR⁠—in that case, a more complete plan packet that included all of InvadR’s footers was filed not long afterwards. Hopefully history will repeat itself in this case.

Anyway, for better or for worse, here’s the full project area “Layout and Materials Plan” split across two different pages from the filing.

I have a really hard time comprehending the site split into two parts like that, so I took the two layout pages and combined them into one contiguous site plan which I’ve included below.

From there, we can add even more context by overlaying the project area onto a satellite map of the area in question.

Update (10/31/2019):

We’ve had some requests to publish additional documents from yesterday’s filing. I’ve now posted every photo I took of the packet in full resolution with minimal watermarks to ParkFans, here. Yes, you’ll need to sign up to view them, but due to their very large size and high level of detail, we think that’s a reasonable request.

Our Analysis

If you’re anything like me when I first saw this packet of plans, you’re probably still not seeing much information of use in the maps above. Sure, having a confirmed project area is a big deal, but you were probably hoping we’d uncover some additional segments of the coaster’s layout tonight. Well, I’m happy say that, after pouring over the plans for hours now, I think I can provide some new insight.

If we look closely above 2021’s station, we can see a long, fenced-in area. I’ve highlighted that portion in the layout plan in the image below.

Given the fact that this fence connects to either side of Project 2021’s station, we can make a fairly reasonable guess that it’s there to keep guests out of an area in which the coaster is close to the ground. Given the long, straight shape of this theoretical, close-to-the-ground segment of track, one can reasonably guess that it’s either a launch or a very long brake run.

Another item to make note of in the image above is “Building 30.” This structure looks very similar in size and shape to the covered maintenance/storage track we saw in Pantheon’s plans and, given its location next to 2021’s station, we’re confident in our assessment that this is, in fact, the coaster’s maintenance bay.

Given our understanding of “Building 30‘s” use paired with its location and orientation, we can surmise that the “Proposed Concrete Pad” between it and 2021’s station will house switch track to enable trains to be sent to or retrieved from the maintenance area.

Why am I going through all of this song and dance just to point out the maintenance switch track? Because that “Proposed Concrete Pad” is just the first of three located in this fenced off area we believe to be for coaster track. We’ll get back to what this could mean in a bit. For now, it’s move on to the rest of the materials plan.

Out towards the Rhine River, we get a second fenced-in area. This one seems to match up perfectly with the impervious area (read: a bunch of coaster footers) that was depicted in the resource protection area map from a few weeks ago. You may recall that, due to the dense footer spacing suggested by that plan, we theorized that 2021’s track would stay very close to the ground in the ravine that’s located between the Rhine River and Festhaus Park. The existence of a proposed fence in that same area seems to further confirm our previous hypothesis. The second fenced-in area in question is depicted below in red.

You likely noticed that the map above also includes some parts highlighted in green. Those are sections inside the bounds of the project area that do not appear to be slated for clearing. As such, we should probably rule those areas out when we’re theorizing layouts.

My Best Guess

So, finally, let’s take a stab at theorizing a layout. Getting back to that “Proposed Concrete Pad” thing from earlier, my current interpretation of this site plan is that there are three different switch tracks⁠—one for the maintenance bay (as discussed earlier) and two in the actual layout of the coaster⁠. We know from the leaked station floor plan that the train faces towards the east (right in all of these maps). In my current “best guess” layout, the train would depart the station backwards, pass over the switch track, and then wait while the second train reenters the station. Once the second train has cleared the main track area, the first train would launch out into the ride’s course.

This is where my already very low certainty level falls off a cliff. Thanks to a partial RPA impacts map and some ride fencing, we can take a solid stab at a few areas of the layout (solid lines in the “best guess” map below), but how those areas connect is far more difficult to deduce. For the purposes of this concept, I’ve essentially assumed the simplest solutions to the unknown areas (the dotted lines in the map below). The red star represents the approximate location of the coaster’s highest point. In this concept, that highest point is reached via a spike.

I know that a shuttle coaster is a bold (and likely very disappointing) prediction, but between the bizarre layout of the station area which strongly suggests switch tracks, the lack of another clear path from the highest point back towards the station, and my inability to work out a way to connect both ends of the station to a full circuit layout that uses the launch area theorized previously, it’s the best assessment I have at the moment. It even fits with the park’s promise that the highest point of the attraction will look like a “knife’s edge” on the skyline.

Again, this is just my current layout guesstimation. I hope other, more creative individuals, will take a look at everything we’ve shared today and work out other possibilities. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with in the BGW Project 2021 thread on over the coming weeks!

To stay up to date with Pantheon, Christmas Town, Project 2021, and more, make sure to follow BGWFans on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Thanks for reading!

BGW Project 2021

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  1. Very interesting! As much as I love Busch Gardens, I’m really hoping they don’t do another forward/backward spike coaster like Pantheon (and Tempesto to a degree). Still hoping for some good news, though. Good article.

  2. Very interesting! As much as I love Busch Gardens, I think it would be a bad decision to put in another forwards/backwards launched coaster with a spike. It seems way too similar to Pantheon, if Pantheon didn’t have a second half to it! Really hoping there are some more documents we haven’t seen depicting a longer/more unique layout. Great article as always.

  3. Very interesting! As much as I love Busch Gardens, I think it would be a bad decision to put in another forwards/backwards launched coaster with a spike. It seems way too similar to Pantheon, if Pantheon didn’t have a second half to it! Really hoping there are some more documents we haven’t seen depicting a longer/more unique layout. Great article as always.

  4. I know that the rumors have been around a while but what if this is presumed coaster is going to take a launch up and around into that spear tip segment but rather it’ll go into a immelmann loop such as the one featured on thunderbird. I doubt it would be a wing coaster due to the lack of space between the “launch” and building 30 but I think that if Busch were to do another launch coaster it’ll have to be something such as a wing, flying, or even a shuttle. Either way back to back launch coasters are nothing new at this park but I feel like even if it was a launch coaster it wouldn’t add anything to the parks line up and would likely only serve as another adrenaline junkie appealing ride.

  5. I would love to see an RMC Rapter come into BGW using this land. 1st ever RMC Raptor multilaunch coaster that will meet the Giga coaster standards would set this park above most parks on the east coast. All we can do is wait an see.