This is not a normal BGWFans leak. Typically, our coverage of unannounced attractions proceeds fairly formulaically—we identify internal park activities and patterns that suggest an upcoming attraction is on the way, we track public filings, and then, if the stars align, we leak as many actual, legitimate, confirmable documents as we possibly can from sources whose credibility we can personally vouch for. We have done this for years—from Verbolten to Tempesto to InvadR to Battle for Eire to Pantheon. Today, however, we’re upending that grand tradition because we’ve seen something that strikes us as legitimately extraordinary.
Today, unfortunately, we are unable to share the document we received. If the document itself were to leak, thanks to a number of identifying characteristics, I firmly believe that tracking down the source would be all too easy for Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Making this situation even more complicated, the sourcing of this document is abnormal. That said, considering that we’re talking about supposedly-leaked plans for an attraction that wouldn’t open for at least another year and a half, the sourcing of this document would have to be abnormal in order for BGWFans to have eyes on something this detailed this early on.
So, I know what you’re thinking—this is a lot of hedging and previcating. Why would BGWFans risk running a story based on such shaky-sounding information?
If it’s Fake…
It’s the best damn fake the industry has ever seen. I don’t say that hyperbolically either. We have poured over this site plan—going so far as to call upon a person I’d consider to be a subject matter expert on the existing building in question to confirm minute details of said building’s structure. Everything we can think to check, checks out.
The technical ability required to create this document is rare, but the actual data required to fake the details presented are nearly unattainable—even with deep insider access.
We have a responsibility to highlight the possibility that this could be fake since we can’t vouch for every step of the sourcing of this document. That being said, at the same time, we also believe it’s fair to state that we have done everything we can think of to disprove this site plan and, despite our best efforts, it keeps checking every box we throw at it.
If this document is fake, I will take the fall for having been duped. For now though, my personal assessment is that this floorplan is real.
So, with all of that minutia out of the way, what does this supposedly-leaked document tell us?
If it’s Real…
Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Project 2021 will be a roller coaster which will reuse Drachen Fire’s old station building. The coaster will run trains consisting of four cars each. Every car will hold four riders in a 2-by-2 configuration.
The document depicts a reversed direction of travel through the station when compared to the building’s use during the Drachen Fire days—with trains entering the south-west side and exiting the north-east side of the building. Drachen Fire’s station entry ramp is slated to be reused as the entry ramp for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 project as well.
The building’s existing exit ramp, however, will not be used according to this document. Instead, a new exit ramp will be built to run parallel to the existing entry ramp. Upon exiting the Project 2021 coaster train, riders would walk towards the back of the train (towards the south-west side of the building), ascend up a flight of stairs, cross over the station track (much like Verbolten’s exit path), descend a staircase on the load side, and continue down the new exit ramp.
A rough reinterpretation of the floorplan in the document I’ve seen is included below.
I’ve also drawn up an image depicting the guest flow through the renovated Drachen Fire building.
The red arrow represents the standard queue, the light green arrow is for QuickQueue, the dark green one is handicap, and the yellow line is for the exit path. Note: Handicap would exit on the load side of the platform just like they do for Verbolten.
Assuming this document is the real deal, the blockbuster news here is that Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Project 2021 is a coaster. Pairing this information with the recently approved 355 foot height waiver and the soil tests throughout Festhaus Park, it’s hard to picture this attraction as being anything other than an absolutely monstrous giga coaster—possibly much like the monstrous giga coaster that was rumored and then cancelled a few years back under the codename Project Madrid.
The rough train outline depicted in the floor plan provides us with some interesting data as well.
Seeing that the coaster cars are in a 2 by 2 configuration, it’s easy to strike Bolliger & Mabillard from the list of possible manufacturers—a pretty important step seeing that B&M is one of only three coaster manufacturers who have ever built a 300+ foot tall roller coaster.
The short length of the trains suggests that this could be yet another launch coaster as well. The leaked plan depicts eight rows of seats. That’s a lot closer to Red Force’s six row trains or Kingda Ka’s nine row trains than Intimidator 305’s 16 row trains. If this is another launch coaster, it would be the fourth the park has added since 2012.
Putting all of this information together, assuming this document is to be believed, it seems that we could be looking at a speed-focused, launched giga coaster of some sort debuting in Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Festhaus Park area sometime in or around 2021.
Now, without being able to confirm with 100% certainty that this document is real, it is, of course, too early to assume that is what will happen… But that’s where all of the current signs seem to be pointing!
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that even if we assume that the plans relayed above are accurate and current, there is still plenty of time for things to change during development. Do not take anything you have read in this article as gospel. It’s far too early for that.
Lastly, but certainly not least, a huge shoutout to all of the people who made this post possible. From the people who got this document to us (the only one of which I can identify is ParkFans member, b.mac) to the people who helped us vet the document (including but not limited to ParkFans members Adam, Halfabee, and James)—we all owe them all a huge thanks!
To stay up to date with Pantheon, Project 2021, and everything else happening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA, like us on Facebook and give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram! Your continued support is much appreciated!
BGW Project 2021