Saturday, November 2, 2019

Busch Gardens Williamsburg- Pantheon News 11/2

Busch Gardens Williamsburg- Pantheon News 

 For those who haven't been following along, Pantheon is the newest coaster coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2020.  Themed to the Roman Gods, with various elements of the coaster being named after them, the ride is an Intamin steel, sit-down coaster. Slated to be the fastest, multi-launch coaster in North America.


Ride Style: Sit down roller coaster
Manufacturer: Intamin
Length: 3,328 Feet
Height: 178.0 Feet
Speed:  72.5 MPH
Vertical Angle: 95 Degrees
Drop Length: 180 Feet
Launches: 4
Inversions: 2
Ride Time: 2 Minutes
Trains: 2 trains of 5 cars each. 20 total guests per train.

The Pantheon

 What makes this newest addition to Busch Gardens unique is that each element of the coaster is pointedly dedicated to a set Roman God.

  •  Minerva, The Goddess of Wisdom and War to guide you.
 Minerva as the various launches of the ride and the 'extreme' journey.

  • Mercury, The God of Transport and Messages to speed you way.
 Mercury as the speed element of the ride, running 'messages to the gods'. 

  • Neptune, God of Water
 Neptune as the lift hill element, to rise with power and then 'plunge' into the raging sea. Although this seems to include the vertical spike of the ride along with the backwards portion. 

  • Jupiter, God of Sky and Thunder
 Jupiter at the drop element, marked as 'ascending the epic crescendo'. Which includes the mail hill of the ride.
  • Pluto, God of the Underworld
 Pluto as the two inversions. Escaping the 'underworld' to be immortalized in the garden of the gods. This appears to include the Rhine River (River Styx?) portion of the ride.

 Now, provided we don't get into nit-picking over Rome's re-labeled mythology and the liberally used hyperbole, it's a fairly sound assessment. They could have done a bit better on selection but they've covered most of the big names in Roman mythology.  Although, to my knowledge, I've never seen a coaster theme which included naming multiple figures to various elements of the ride. It's a rather nice touch. Overall, it fits into Festa Italia better than Tempesto (but that's another rant for another time).

 The devil is always in the details and this ride has a lot of details involved!

 Taking a look into Festa Italia, we know the general area the coaster is going into and several details around it. 

 There will be a bridge which crosses over the railroad tracks, allowing guests to get back and forth from the queue line, lockers and station. This also leaves the Busch Gardens Railroad intact. Currently, information shows the entrance will be between Tradewinds and the Festa Italia Train Station.

 Both are marked on the map- The darker red being the suspected enterance to the ride. Tradewinds and the Festa Italia Train Station are marked in orange. This gives you a general idea of where exactly everything will be (roughly) located. Overall, looking at the various blueprints found online, it's a rather complex coaster.  As much as I enjoy showing off my ultimate paint skills, let's get down to business (to defeat the Huns!) here and break out the real goods.

Image from
 As always, the lovely folks over at BGWFans have it all sorted out. Although even with this, more clear version, it's still a bit hard to visualize as the track is somewhat confusing. 

 The ride begins with #1 and progresses though the various elements from that point. However, it becomes confusing when you realize this coaster has a high-speed track switch (see #8) involved that will allow riders to ascend the spike (see #10) then continue to progress down the track.  

 Meaning, you'll be shot from a launch, backwards, up the spike. During this time the track's high-speed switch happens and allows your continued forward progress. An addition launch will propel you over the major hill and then down into the Rhine River (Styx River) Valley to the conclusion of the ride. 

 Now, I need to digress for a minute to point out something important which needs to be addressed.

 I've decided I'm now forever calling it the Styx River Valley. You can't stop me. They need to put that on a t-shirt 'Styx River Valley, Festa Italia, Busch Gardens'. I'd buy it! Admit it, it fits AND it's catchy!

End digression.

Opening Day

 While no opening date is currently known, if you follow Busch Gardens Williamsburg's history the likely date will fall between April and June of 2020. Let me break it down..
 Testing is probably going to take place in early March if they follow the normal pattern of the past. Although with something this complex, we could be looking at a longer testing period than normal. Along with all this, you need to factor in the winter weather, which can cause delays. So that may run the opening day timeline as late as June 2020.


Image from Slippy_T_Frog on Reddit
 Already several months into construction, the park seems to be getting into slow vertical progress. Images from around the internet show the land has been cleared and things are beginning to take shape.

 The official Busch Gardens images are a bit slower to post progress photos but many of those can also be found online at this point.

Image from Busch Gardens c/o Willamsburg/Yorktown Daily

 This one gives you a good idea of the location if your familiar with the parks layout. Tradewinds is located directly in front of you with Tempesto in the background.

 I'd expect once the park closes between Howl-O-Scream and Christmastown, we'll be getting many more updated photos of construction coming directly from the park. During Christmastown, we'll see another surge of guest and fan photos than it'll be back to press images and media tours until either the park opens or media day happens.

 Either way, we'll update you as we find out more information and as new construction photographs become available!

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