Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s newest coaster, open since May 18, 2012.
88 foot drop
53 miles per hour
The first freefall track in the U.S.
September 2009 – Big Bad Wolf closes
March 2011 – Survey markers in the park
September 17, 2011 – Busch Gardens Williamsburg announces Verbolten
October 16, 2011 – Went vertical
January 27, 2012 – Track complete
April 23, 2012 – Testing began
May 11, 2012 – Soft opening
May 18, 2012 – Opened to public
This ride has been open for
Strange things have been known to happen in the Black Forest of Bavarian Germany. Where not everything is always what it seems, and thrills hide in the shadows around every turn. It is Verbolten, a multi-launching steel Zierer that made its Busch Gardens debut on May 18, 2012.
Located on the former Big Bad Wolf site in the Oktoberfest area of the park, this Autobahn themed delight is half shrouded in darkness and half enveloped by natural terrain. Brother and sister team Gunter and Gerta Schwartzwald are your hosts through their owned and operated motor tours agency designed queue. Proceeding through Gunter’s office, you will see curious items such as plant samples, camera monitors, and luggage left behind by misfortunate tourists. Your last stop before boarding one of Verbolten’s tricked out stretched roadsters is the garage-like station.
“Remember, don’t look back as you brave the Black Forest…”, Be sure to heed Gerta’s warning as you set off down a leisurely winding S curve to the left. The coaster takes a sudden detour into the first launch and…oh no! You are heading right into the Black Forest! Cresting an airtime hill and diving through a series of high speed turns in darkness, Verbolten takes its riders screaming deep into the forest through one of three scenarios. One is the Spirit of the forest, who sounds peaceful, but she is not to be taken lightly. She loves to lure daring travellers into her forest and turn on them. In another scene, guests brave a violent lightning storm that threatens to destroy them, vehicle and all. Finally, just when you thought Big Bad Wolf had retired, there he is right in front of you, howling and stalking riders with glowing red eyes. Verbolten then slows down to prepare riders for its singlemost unique element. Suddenly, the entire section of track beneath you vertically free falls 18 feet! The train has stopped, but you are not out of the woods yet! Verbolten quickly returns to life, dipping down out of the forest and into the second launch, accelerating 55 miles per hour over the terrain. Riders then approach a creaking bridge, only to plunge 88 feet below over the Rhine River banking a hard left. Following an identical path to that of Big Bad Wolf, Verbolten enters a high speed curve over a bunny hop before proceeding to a turnaround into the final brake run after 2,835 feet of track. “We’re glad to see you’ve escaped the Forest!” Gerta’s voice welcomes as you arrive back to the station.
Not only does Verbolten pay multiple tributes to its legendary predecessor, the Big Bad Wolf through ride layout and theme, there is a final touch that is a bit more subtle. The orange train’s license plate reads “WOLF-X-ING.” Through Verbolten, a ride that thrilled millions for 25 years now lives on in new form.
So, are YOU ready to brave the Black Forest? Auf weidersehn!
Fun Fact: Verbolten is derived from the German word, “verboten”, meaning “forbidden”.
BGWFansite’s scoop on Verbolten
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