Back in November, we wrote about Project Drachen Spire’s COVID-induced slumber. In that article, we discussed the history of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s thoroughly-leaked, Intamin-made, multi-launch, shuttle, giga coaster that was originally slated to debut just one year after Pantheon in 2021.
As described in our November piece, COVID derailed those original Drachen Spire plans by delaying Pantheon by two full years and pushing the park to pursue year-round operations. In the wake of the pandemic and due in large part to the park’s recent operating calendar expansion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg opted to pursue a smaller, indoor project to immediate follow Pantheon instead—an Intamin-made, quad-launch, multi-lap, indoor, family coaster we’ve since leaked as Project DarKoaster.
Throughout all of this, we’ve continuously stuck to our guns on one thing: Despite all the delays, Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s intention—to construct an absolutely enormous coaster on the former site of Drachen Fire before the park’s 50th anniversary in 2025—has remained unchanged.
Yesterday, after nearly a full year since the last public record sign of life from Drachen Spire, Busch Gardens Williamsburg filed for an extension of the project’s height waiver with James City County. Just like they did back in 2019, with this new application, the park is requesting permission to construct a permanent structure towering 355 feet above grade. An image of the application can be found below.
Now, before we project too much optimism here, we have to note a few things.
So, what should you take away from this article? This new filing from the park is a very promising sign for anyone who wants to see the long-planned Busch Gardens Williamsburg giga come to fruition. It’s not sure-fire evidence that Drachen Spire, as leaked pre-pandemic, is happening, but this is a required step on the path to making such a coaster a reality. It’s highly unlikely that this height waiver would have been renewed if Busch Gardens Williamsburg wasn’t still deep into development on a major attraction for Festhaus Park within the next couple years. Optimism is warranted in my assessment, but make sure you don’t get your hopes up too high just yet.
It’s hard to believe that we’re juggling three coaster projects right now! About a month ago, we exclusively published a collection of some of the first-ever Pantheon rider reviews, just yesterday we updated you all on Project DarKoaster, and today we’re reporting on Project Drachen Spire! Truly wild times!
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Oh, and stay tuned for part two of our late February photo update—it should be live within the next couple days! This Drachen Spire story sorta came out of nowhere after I published yesterday. I’m sure you’ll forgive the interruption to the previously promised programming though. 😉
I feel like an RMC hybrid coaster would fit better in the originally planned drachen spire area
I was never impressed by Drachen Spire’s design. It felt rushed and lacked originality. I think they should create a new design, something with a complete circuit.
I think a giga would seal the deal on BGW being the dominant park in Virginia over Kings Dominion….if it already isn’t now with the opening of Pantheon over there 2021 release of Tumbili 😎😎😎
I think a coaster should be built in the old DF area, but not this concept. It’s a bit boring and doesn’t really do much. We need a full circuit, river crossing, tall monster coaster!
I’ve been waiting for far too long for someone to tell me that this layout was a joke. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting.