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  1. #1

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    Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    I’m afraid it is official now, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has come clean with their plans to rip apart the Big Bad Wolf. Even worse, according to their press release you only have until Labor Day (Sept. 7th) to ride it, so it wont be open through Howl-O-Scream which is a shame as a night time ride through the woods in the dark is as big a part of Howl-O-Scream to me as the haunts themselves. It’s almost funny as they say they are making the announcement now so fans can get a last ride in, but they’re only giving you a little over a month’s notice and without Howl-O-Scream rides, I know there sure is no way I’m going to be able to make it back one last time to pay my respects.
    In the press release and new FAQ on the park’s website they keep saying that Big Bad Wolf has “reached the end of its service life” which is a bunch of crap. All rides need care, repair and maintenance as they get older. The truth is that the Wolf is simply run out of “budget money”. It’s all bad timing as they want to build something nearby, want to create a better access pathway to former Drachen Fire site and with the economy the way it is, it’s just easier for them to deny the budget to make any needed preventative maintenance work.
    Knowing Busch Entertainment as I do, I’ve always said that Busch has been more than willing to pay top dollar to buy the best rides and coasters they can get their hands on. As the capital for these projects comes from the corporate office, they get approval nice and easy... but for some reason Busch never has a good budget to maintain things after the fact... and the older something gets, the harder it is to push a maintenance budget for anything through the red tape, department meetings, and so on. After all the budget needed to maintain and keep Big Bad Wolf running has to go up against other things... like kitchen upgrades, new gift shops, restaurants... you know... things that make money and give a quicker Return on Investment. So when the VPs all sit around and haggle over which projects will make the budget on any given year, you can pretty much count on the ‘operations’ and ‘entertainment’ side of things getting the shaft every time since they don’t directly bring in income like Food and Merchandise departments and don’t have the ears of the corporate masters like the HR and Marketing departments do.
    What almost makes this more insulting is that while they claim they have other ideas they are looking at for the Big Bad Wolf site in the future, they claim that those projects are far enough away that they haven’t been finalized yet. And yet... Big Bad Wolf has an “established timeline to dismantle this major attraction.” Sounds like they’ve had this in the works for some time to me! So why are they removing the Big Bad Wolf so early then? From what I’ve been told (off the record) it is because that when they do get around to announcing the unimpressive lackluster plan that is in place, they would rather have the Wolf be only a memory and a non-issue, rather than face the negative feedback from park guests.
    So I’ve got to ask everyone... are you willing to fight for the Big Bad Wolf? Then you’ve got to write in, call in, or visit guest relations and let them know just how upset you are about this. I’ve seen coasters come and go... but something about the Big Bad Wolf has always been special to me, and I don’t think that I’m alone. Frankly, I’d rather see the Loch Ness Monster sent to the scrap-pile long before Big Bad Wolf was ever touched. While Nessie is a bit unique itself... it is not nearly as unique or as amazing as the Big Bad Wolf is. There are only 3 suspended coasters left in the USA right now and the Wolf has always been considered to be the best of them.
    Finally I had hoped to have time to come up with some T-Shirt designs of my own, as a design is in the works, I’m honestly worried that there wont be time for anyone to buy them and wear them to the park in time to Save the Wolf due to narrow window we have left. Another reader however did some up with some shirts of their own to put onto Cafe Press so you too can express your feelings directly to the park about this.
    It’s just ironic that a park that is supposed to care about “preservation” and protecting “endangered species” has been so quick to sentence one of the most rare coaster designs in the world to an early death after only 25 years. The marketing folks just can’t see the value is reinventing this classic ride for another 25 years and the bean-counters are all too quick to deny the budget for it so they can pay off InBev’s debt from the purcahse of Anheuser-Busch. To be honest... had InBev never come knocking at Busch’s door with their take-over, I don’t think that this would be happening right now.
    Here is the official press release from the park... read it and weep. I did...
    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (July 24, 2009) – After 25 years traveling at the speed of fright, The Big Bad Wolf will take its last trip through Busch Gardens’ Bavarian village Sept. 7. “We hate to see The Big Bad Wolf go,” said John Reilly, Busch Gardens’ general manager. “We realize The Big Bad Wolf is a guest favorite. We’re making the announcement now so coaster fans can ride one last time before it closes after Labor Day.”
    The world’s first suspended roller coaster took coaster design to a new level when it opened in 1984. And while it cannot claim to be the fastest or the tallest, more than 29 million guests have ridden what has become one of the park’s most beloved thrill attractions. Legions of fans—young and old alike—often cite it as their introduction to the coaster experience.
    “The Big Bad Wolf offers a thrilling ride experience coupled with aggressive ride dynamics. While it remains a safe attraction, it has simply reached the end of its service life,” said Larry Giles, Busch Gardens’ vice president of engineering and design. Park officials are reviewing several design concepts for a new park attraction to replace The Big Bad Wolf, but no announcement is planned at this time.

  2. #2

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    Another historical coaster I'll never get to ride.

  3. #3

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    I loved that ride back in the day. It's been over 10 yrs since I've been to Busch Gardens. It's very sad to see it go.

  4. #4

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    I went on a class trip to DC freshman year of high school, and we went to Busch Gardens. The ride had no line, so my friend and I rode it about three times in a row. Glad I got to experience it.



  5. #5

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    Oh no! I was just watching a Thrill special on the Travel Channel and this ride was mentioned. It looked like a really fun attraction!

    So sorry that it's leaving.

  6. #6

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    This saddens me to no end. Two wonderful Arrow Suspended coasters gone in one year. I hope Ninja at SFMM sticks around.
    See more of my horrible photos (and a few good ones) at my Flickr photostream

  7. #7

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    Sad Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    This is one of the most devastating announcments my family could have recieved. Living 30 min from Williamsburg, Busch Gardens has been our home park for the last 4 years. While that may not seem like a long time, my son is 4 years old..........and riding the big bad wolf for the first time was one of the crowning achievments of my little coaster-nuts life. While he developed his love for coasters on goofy's Barnstormer at 2 years of age, Big Bad Wolf was his first "Big People" roller coaster. It is also the only "big People" coaster within a 3 hour drive of us that he is tall enough to ride. He loves that ride. I baught him a BBW mini-snow-globe about 2 months ago and he keeps it in a little treasure box and says it his best treasure. Needless to say, I have not yet had the heart to tell him.

    As for myself, I am extreamly sad to see it go. When I look at the Big Bad Wolf and Loch Ness Monster It seems like much more of an attempt was made to put some themeing into them then has bee made for the parks newest Coasters (Griffin, while adding very pleasent kenetics, has NO theaming whatsoever). Don't get me wrong, we are not approaching anything that would pass themeing muster for a disney park (at least not on this board), but the small village you pass through as you follow the path of the BBW was very nicely done and added a lot to the ride. BGW is a beautiful park, and I only hope we are not seeing the transformation of this park into a six-flags style park.



    In closing, for the members of In-bev and the Busch Entertainment guys,
    ....one of you had better come here and explain to my son what (and why) you are doing to his beloved ride.


  8. #8

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    I guess this should get us even more thankful for each scheduled Disneyland refurbishment.
    Last edited by Goover; 07-25-2009 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Spelling error.

  9. #9

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    I'm very sad to hear about this. I remember when I was younger, my family went to Busch Gardens and my absolute favorite ride was Big Bad Wolf. It was such a fun coaster, I didn't even realize until reading the original post above that it was the first of its kind. It's really too bad that it's not being kept around.

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    * double post

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  11. #11

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    Quote Originally Posted by CoasterMatt View Post
    This saddens me to no end. Two wonderful Arrow Suspended coasters gone in one year. I hope Ninja at SFMM sticks around.
    What other one closed? Arrow Suspended Coasters are a ton of fun and it is so sad to see that they are becoming extinct.

    IMO, Big Bad Wolf is one of my favorite coasters and my favorite BGE ride other than Curse of Darkastle. I love the trip through the village and the drop over the river. It was a unique coaster unlike any other.

    I am very saddened and this would have an impact on any future plans to visit BGE.

  12. #12

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us23XD_1Yoo"]Eagles Fortress at Everland in Korea[/ame] is SBNO, and it doesn't sound like it'll ever reopen.
    See more of my horrible photos (and a few good ones) at my Flickr photostream

  13. #13

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    This really sucks. We had a chance to go to BGW a few years back but opted to go to Hersheypark instead. While I don't regret the choice, I'm sad that I'll never get to ride this as it was always a ride I'd love to ride. I love the Arrow Suspended coasters, well, of the two I have ridden.


  14. #14

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    Wow, this is a shame. It is sad when unique coasters go, especially good family coasters. Kids can ride them, but adults still want to as well. Everyone wins.

    The other lost coaster, Eagle's Fortress isn't a confirmed loss yet. We'll see if Everland wants to pony up the money to fix it.

    I just like (in a sick...wtf are you kidding me kind of way) that Busch's reason for it was "it reached the end of it's operating life". I know Disney is also walking the the "thrill rides or kiddie shows and meet & greets with nothing in between" road...but imagine if they just closed up Pirates because it "reached the end of it's operating life".

    Now I am curious as to what will be happening with the land. Whatever the do has big shoes to fill. This is just such a well known and well loved coaster.

  15. #15

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    Re: Busch Gardens Confirms Plans To Remove Big Bad Wolf from Williamsburg

    Send it to the Busch Gardens in Tampa! We'll be happy to have another coaster added to the roster here.

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