A new wooden roller coaster is coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia. As announced on March 19, 2016, the new coaster will debut in spring 2017 as part of Busch Gardens' collection of world-class thrill rides. The family thriller will be the Virginia theme park's first wooden coaster and eighth roller coaster in total – and will be designed as the world's first "crowdsourced" ride.
The park announced the new attraction much earlier than usual so that fans will be able to help "decide the ride," including having opportunities to vote on attraction details, contribute to theme elements and shape the marketing campaign. The first such opportunity has begun, inviting fans to select the ride's name.
The roller coaster will be located in the New France village of Busch Gardens. It will take guests on a trek of more than 2,100 feet through wooded terrain, underground through a tunnel and close to the Le Scoot log flume and Busch Gardens Railway. The coaster's theme will be based on a fanciful legend related to the exploration of North America by Vikings. Neither of the neighboring attractions will need to close for extended periods during the construction of the new ride.
The coaster manufacturer will be Great Coasters International, Inc. Some features of the coaster will include 2,118 feet of track, a 74-foot drop, nine airtime hills, and a tunnel. Two trains, each with 16 seats will traverse the course in one-minute, 30 seconds and will reach speeds of up to 48 mph. Busch Gardens made a point to note that all ride features are approximations and will be updated as ride plans evolve.
The first chance for fans to participate has started, with a survey to select the ride's name from among three contenders: Viking Raider, Battle Klash or InvadR. Consumers may vote once a day through April 1 here. The park has committed to brand the new attraction with whichever name gets the most qualified votes.
Busch Gardens will share construction updates and other milestones in a special section of its website at BuschGardens.com/Project2017 and with the hashtag #BGProject2017 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.