By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Did you know there is a National Roller Coaster Day? There sure is, and in 2016 it takes place on Tuesday, August 16. Roller coasters are one of the top choices for thrill seekers, and our own Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, less than three hours from Northern Virginia, boasts plenty of big, exciting rides. In honor of National Roller Coaster Day, here’s a look at some of the “epic” coasters you can enjoy at Busch Gardens Williamsburg:
Tempesto™ – The newest roller coaster at Busch Gardens features three launch experiences and a signature loop-the-loop. Riders race into unbelievably tight turns at 63 miles per hour (mph) and defy gravity as they roll through a complete inversion 154 feet in the air.
Loch Ness Monster® – A favorite of many guests (it’s always the first one my family rides, often multiple times!), this classic interlocking, double-looping roller coaster gives guests a peek at Scotland’s most infamous serpent, “Nessie.” The steel coaster hurls passengers as fast as 60 miles per hour along 3,240 feet of track into the air, over water, and through a dark cave. It’s definitely one of the most fun coasters there are.
Apollo’s Chariot® – Ranked as one of the top 10 steel coasters in the world, this high-speed hyper coaster positions guests in elevated seats to create a “free-flight” sensation while reaching speeds of 73 mph. The ride’s initial drop is thrilling, plunging guests more than 210 feet.
Alpengeist® –A snow monster notorious for once stalking the French and German Alps, Alpengeist is rumored to be lurking in the shadows of Busch Gardens’ Germany. This is the theme of this roller coaster, where riders experience six inversion elements, including the Immelmann, 106-foot vertical loop, cobra roll, flat spin, and high-speed spiral at speeds up to 67 mph.
Verbolten® – This multi-launch, indoor/outdoor roller coaster sends guests on an Autobahn-inspired family adventure through the Black Forest. Themed elements, sound and light effects, high-speed turns, some special surprises, and an 88-foot final drop to the water at speeds up to 53 mph make this a great family thrill ride. This is our son’s number-one ride and the one he always asks for when we go!
Griffon® – Busch Gardens defined a whole new generation of roller coasters with the addition of Griffon, one of the world’s tallest floorless dive coasters. The park’s steel marvel plunges thrill-seekers 205 feet, 90 degrees straight down at 75 mph. A second drop of 130 feet and a water feature keep the thrills coming. This is one of my favorite rides to watch — and yes, I said watch: I still haven’t worked up the courage to actually ride it! Our son, meanwhile, is looking forward to the day he is big enough to go.
What’s your favorite ride at Busch Gardens? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo (c) and provided by Busch Gardens
Disclosure: I am a Busch Gardens Williamsburg Thrill Chaser and receive free park admission for my family and special offers and other perks. This article is my own writing and shared with readers just for fun..