Leaked Electrical Plan Depicts Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2021 Roller Coaster in Detail
A Newly-Obtained Electrical Schematic Puts Project Drachen Spire's Track & Structure on Full Display
A Newly-Obtained Electrical Schematic Puts Project Drachen Spire's Track & Structure on Full Display
Posted in News
on January 21, 2020 11 Comments
11 min read
If there’s a god, he’s up there laughing this afternoon. Why? Because BGWFans just had one of those classic sitcom moments.
Yesterday, we published our painstakingly detailed analysis of the footer plan for what we believe is Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 roller coaster—seemingly a huge, multi-launched, giga shuttle coaster slated for construction behind Verbolten in the area previously occupied by Drachen Fire.
Today, thanks to the tireless diligence of BGWFans friend and ParkFans forum member, Adam, we have a full leaked schematic of the actual coaster’s structure—essentially voiding all of the ambiguities we so diligently explored in last night’s article.
If you really want to do a deep dive into this project, please do consider reading yesterday’s post—we’re very proud of it. That said, if you would rather just cut to the chase and spoil the surprise, this article is for you—this new plan shows just about everything you could possibly hope to know.
BGW Project 2021 Layout Schematics
If you’ve already read yesterday’s article, nothing in this plan should shock you—every bit of new information we’ve spotted in this schematic has been previously pitched as a possibility in our existing coverage. That said, now that we can actually see the track and structure, there’s very little ambiguity left; and hence, I think it’s reasonable to take a closer look at this plan section-by-section, left-to-right. Let’s start with the smaller of the two spikes.
This section calls into question my claim regarding how thoroughly this new document reveals Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 coaster. Why? Because of the entire layout, this is the hardest section to interpret. While we can tell that the spike depicted in the photo above clearly approaches vertical, we don’t exactly know whether it gets there (or event slightly surpasses it). At least we do know that it isn’t a spiral though—that’s one option ruled out!
That being said, there is new information evidenced here. First, despite the footer layout looking very reminiscent of Pantheon’s, the actual structure appears to be completely different—with the actual track extending further back than any of the actual footers that support it.
Second, there appear to be mounts for launch and/or brake fins on the base of this spike. Could the launch start all the way back here? Or maybe they’re used used for braking the train on the return pass?
Station & Maintenance Areas
In my opinion, the biggest news out of this new station and maintenance area plan is confirmation that the station floor plan we leaked back in August was not only real, but it’s still fairly current and accurate. Minor adjustments have been made around the platform, but other than that, it’s essentially exactly what we reported months ago. We can do one better though. Also included in this set of electrical schematics is a full station floor plan that includes a depiction of the parked coaster train for BGW Project 2021!
The existence of a coaster train in this floorplan is huge. It confirms that this coaster will run four car trains with riders arranged in a 2 by 2 configuration. It also confirms that this is an Intamin product as that train seems to be nearly identical to the one in the Pantheon documents.
Technically the first half of the main launch was in the station and maintenance area plan in the previous section, but I’ll address the whole main launch here.
Basically, it’s a long, straight launch. There’s still a chance that there could be a small hill or two hidden somewhere in this long stretch of launch track, but we have no way of knowing from this overhead view. Theoretically you should be able to tell whether or not track is changing elevation by looking at minute changes in the cross tie spacing, but as Calvin pointed out to me, the crossties on the schematics for Pantheon’s mid-launch hill weren’t represented in this same sort of top-down view.
Curvy Intamin Goodness
Leading right out of the main launch, we have a (very!) heavily banked right curve during which we expect the track to gain some altitude. There’s not a ton to say about this segment of track other than it should be a very intense moment in the ride—especially if you’re coming off of the launch immediately before it at 75+ miles per hour (as we currently guestimate).
That banked rise flows directly into a large U-turn to the left which, in turn, resolves with a dive into the valley where the second launch area is located. As we theorized yesterday, this plan seems to confirm that this turn will be overbanked (read: it will bank a little beyond 90 degrees inward).
Ah, the hidden valley launch—the way launches are supposed to be positioned! Seriously though, the new document confirms our previously theorized speculation regarding the existence of another launch hidden down in the valley before the giant spike.
One thing to note though—in our proof of concept design last night, we were anticipating that this launch would continue far further towards the spike than it actually does. This likely means that this launch has a higher top speed and a faster acceleration than we were previously anticipating!
One Spike to Rule Them All
Finally, that leads us to the pièce de résistance—the entire reason this coaster exists—a monstrous monument to Intamin’s insanity—a spiral spike that looks immensely evil. If Sauron were into abstract contemporary sculpture, his eye would have been housed on top of a tower like this.
Given the support structure depicted here, this tower could easily reach the anticipated possible approved highest point of 355 feet above finished grade—making Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 roller coaster one of the tallest in the world. This is even more likely, if Intamin managed to utilize the 20 additional feet that we believe could be realistically gained thanks to the terrain difference between the location of the valley launch and the base of this spiral spike.
Putting It All Together (Again)
Given everything we now know, BGWFans can say with confidence that…
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is planning to construct an Intamin-made, multi-launching, giga shuttle coaster that features a swing launch start, a pair of very forceful-looking curves, a booster launch out in the woods, and a pair of spikes—one relatively short vertical or beyond vertical spike and one absolutely enormous spiral spike that should approach 355′ above finished grade.
There are still a few exceedingly minor questions that still lack answers, but they are few and far between at this point. We’d love to work out whether there are shallow hills in any of the launches; if the back spike is slightly beyond-vertical; and how exactly trains will move around the station area. That said, overall, with this document leak, I think we’ve essentially solved the puzzle that is Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 roller coaster.
So what do you do when you solve an unannounced roller coaster with the help of a few great NoLimits creators? You turn the solution you discovered into a working model!
Now, again, since there are a few things we still don’t know for sure, some estimations had to be made to turn our current understanding of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 coaster into a what you all will see in a moment. Here are some notable ones:
The back spike is less than vertical in this model. It could still be vertical or beyond vertical, but we went with the most conservative possibility here.
We still don’t know exactly how the trains will move around the station area and the main launch. We believe they pull forward out of the station, but whether they stop or not and whether they start the swing launch with a forward or a backward launch, we still don’t know for sure. Additionally, we don’t know whether or not the back spike will be used for the swing launch at the start of the ride exclusively or if it will also be utilized to at the end of the ride to slow the train down.
We included one hill in the main launch. We don’t know if that exists or not or even if there could be additional ones hiding somewhere else in the coaster’s launches. Including one in our model was an optimistic decision. Don’t take it as gospel though.
The spiral spike’s support structure could be off considerably. Jake did an incredible job recreating a solution from the top-down view that makes a lot of sense to us, but without a side-profile view of the structure, we can’t be sure if this is is 100% accurate.
Lastly, the colors could be off. The colors selected for this model are from the official palette we’ve obtained for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 roller coaster (keep reading past this section to see the others!), but it’s impossible for us to know right now how each of those four proposed colors would ultimately be used on the coaster itself.
And now, without further ado, here is Jake Anderson‘s and Calvin’s (Intim305’s)fantastically accurate and well-executed NoLimits model of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 multi-launched, giga shuttle coaster!
Seriously, these guys are doing incredible work and not getting anywhere near as much credit for it as they should. Go subscribe to both of them and consider leaving a like and/or comment on Jake’s video above. The turn-around time paired with the quality of work has been second-to-none!
And for good measure, here are a few glorious off-ride shots Jake provided us of the spiral spike as well!
One More Thing
By the way, there are still a lot of stones we left unturned in the footer plan filing we covered in yesterday’s article—we haven’t even touched things like the queue layout, the “entry portal,” the locker structure, the potential photos sales building, etc. Those things are important to us to address, but the time required to dig down into them would have massively delayed yesterday’s article. Unfortunately, the same is true for today’s post so they will have to wait until another time. That said, between these last two articles we have already provided all of the raw data we would ultimately like to break down for everyone. So, if you’re curious about those areas of the ride right now, take a look through them and see what you find!
There is, however, one very important bit of information that isn’t available in any of the raw documentary evidence we’ve posted thus far, and that’s the color pallette that James City County has approved for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2021 roller coaster. Thanks to Adam for putting this pallette together for us!
There really should have been a “special thanks” section in last night’s article too but you’ll have to forgive me for overlooking it—that one was a nailbiter to get out in time! Anyway, both of these posts wouldn’t have been possible without a number of friends of the site and ParkFans forum members. That said, there are three people in particular who have been integral to the production of the posts you’ve seen in the last two days:
ParkFans forum member, Adam (previously Kingadam) for his consistent and reliable support, analysis, and professional experience behind the scenes.
Friend of the site, Jake Anderson for the hours upon hours he has poured into painstakingly interpreting and recreating BGW’s 2021 plans in NoLimits.
And friend of the site, Calvin (Intim305) for the huge swaths of time he has spent theorizing solutions and then implementing our ideas in NoLimits.
To stay up to date on all things Busch Gardens Williamsburg (and especially BGW Project 2021!) like us on Facebook and give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram! We actually tweeted out a few pieces of news earlier today related to Pantheon and Water Country USA so it’s a particularly good time to go take a look!
Lastly, come back tomorrow—same place, same-ish time. There’s something totally different appearing over the horizon…