Thursday, January 26, 2012

Track Complete for Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2012 Coaster - Verbolten

Williamsburg, VA, USA (January 26, 2012) – Busch Gardens reached a major milestone Jan. 17 when a team of engineers and contractors bolted the final piece of Verbolten’s 2,835 feet of steel track into place. When it’s complete, Verbolten will take riders on an adrenaline-filled adventure through two high-speed electromagnetic launches, stunning sensory effects and a dizzying array of twists and turns for an out-of-this-world coaster experience.

“Work on Verbolten is progressing on schedule,” said Larry Giles, Busch Gardens’ vice president of engineering. “Completing the track is a major achievement. We still have a lot of work to do on the ride’s theme elements and special effects, but we anticipate the ride will be ready for a late spring opening.”

Construction on Verbolten began last summer. Crews worked day and night to prepare the grounds for Busch Gardens’ newest thrill attraction. Like the park’s other coasters, Verbolten uses the park’s natural hills and valleys to create a one-of-a-kind guest experience. The team poured concrete support structures and began installing the track last fall. They also constructed a special effects enclosure that conceals much of the coaster’s theme elements.

“The designers are creating an immersive environment that transports riders to the Black Forest,” Giles said. “The creative team behind Verbolten is now packing the building with special effects and surprise elements that will complete the illusion for riders.”

Artists have nearly completed the many theme elements that drive Verbolten’s ride narrative. The ride’s back story features a German couple who run a scenic driving tour business. As riders leave the station house, they quickly realize their scenic drive through the countryside has veered out of control. As they speed into the pitch-black enclosure, zoned areas take them on a journey through the forbidden Black Forest. Sound and lighting effects, graphic elements and the track itself disorient riders as they zoom through the inky darkness.

“Verbolten is not a typical roller coaster. It will be a completely immersive experience. Riders will be part of the story from the time they walk through the queue until they see their expressions on the photo and video monitors at the end of the ride.” Giles said.

The station house is nearly complete and the theme elements are being installed. Designers are scooping up authentic steamer trunks, old televisions, cabinets and other props to add a realistic feel to the ride.

Verbolten will feature five themed coaster trains that can each carry up to 16 passengers. The vehicles are modeled after a classic European roadster, and each train has its own personality. The first car has arrived at the park, and the remaining vehicles are being delivered over the next several weeks. The cars have built-in video cameras that will record passengers as they enjoy Verbolten. On-ride photos and videos of their experience will be made available at the end of the ride.

“We are really excited about the unique design elements incorporated in the coaster cars, and we look forward to unveiling them soon,” Giles said.

Verbolten is expected to open in late spring. It anchors the park’s newly rejuvenated Oktoberfest village, and joins Mäch Tower℠ as the park’s newest thrill attractions. Busch Gardens opens March 24 for the 2012 season.