National Roller Coaster Day 2016: Busch Gardens Williamsburg

National Roller Coaster Day is Tuesday, August 16, 2016. That seems like as good a reason as any to talk about some of the cool coasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The park currently has six world-class coasters, and each one provides a unique and thrilling experience.

Busch Garden's newest roller coaster, Tempesto, opened in 2015.

Busch Garden’s newest roller coaster, Tempesto, opened in 2015.


Busch Gardens’ newest roller coaster features three launch experiences and a signature loop-the-loop. Riders race into tight turns at 63 mph and defy gravity as they roll through a complete inversion 154 feet in the air. Tempesto is all about the excitement of flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

The Loch Ness Monster. Photo: Busch Gardens

The Loch Ness Monster.
Photo: Busch Gardens

Loch Ness Monster

A guest favorite, Scotland’s Nessie is a classic interlocking, double-looping roller coaster. The bright yellow steel coaster hurls passengers as fast as 60 mph along along 3,240 feet of track into the air, over water and through a cave.

Apollo's Chariot Photo: Busch Gardens

Apollo’s Chariot
Photo: Busch Gardens

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 as it reaches speeds of 73 mph. The coaster’s initial drop plunges more than 210 feet.

Alpengeist Photo: Busch Gardens

Photo: Busch Gardens


A snow monster, Alpengeist, that once stalked the French and German Alps is rumored to be lurking in the shadows of Busch Gardens’ Germany village. Riders will experience an Immelmann turn, a 106-foot vertical loop, a cobra roll, a flat spin and a high-speed spiral at speeds up to 67 mph.

Verbolten Photo: Busch Gardens

Photo: Busch Gardens


Busch Gardens’ multi-launch, indoor/outdoor roller coaster sends guests on an autobahn-inspired family adventure through the Black Forest. Features of Verbolten include sound and lighting effects, high-speed turns and an 88-foot final drop to the water at speeds up to 53 mph. It might look tame, but it’s what you don’t see coming that gets you with Verbolten.

Griffon Photo: Busch Gardens

Photo: Busch Gardens


Busch Gardens defined a whole new generation of roller coasters with the addition of Griffon, which is 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 through a water feature keeps the thrills coming. The hang time is the kicker on that 90 degree drop.

New for 2017

In 2017, Busch Gardens will add its seventh, and first wooden, roller coaster. The new coaster, named InvadR through a fan-based survey, will be located in the New France (a.k.a. “Canada” to many of us) village of the park. More than 2,100 feet of track will take riders on a Viking adventure through wooded terrain and an underground tunnel.

The coaster is located in close proximity to the Le Scoot log flume and the Busch Gardens Railway. Neither of those two attractions will be closed for extended periods during the construction phase.

InvadR will have a minimum height requirement of 46 inches. This lower height range was developed in response to park guest’s requests for a roller coaster that adults and kids can ride together. The maximum speed of the coaster is 48 mph.

“This will be a great ride for families, but make no mistake: this will not be a kiddie ride,” Larry Giles, vice-president of engineering said. “This coaster will feature an exciting drop of 74 feet and will have nine airtime hills, the same number as Apollo’s Chariot. It’s going to be a wild ride.”

The coaster’s track will be wooden, but it will be supported by a steel structure.

“Riders will get the best of both worlds: the stability of steel supports with the classic feel of a great wooden coaster,” Giles said.”

Manufactured by Great Coasters International, Inc., the ride’s Viking theme is based on a legend related to the exploration of North America by Vikings. The coaster invites riders to join the battle between a band of invading Vikings – who have survived for generations – and the residents of the New France trappers’ village, who are fighting to protect their outpost.

InvadR Stats and Specs

  • Ride height requirement:  46 inches
  • Seats/Train:  2 trains, 16 seats per train
  • Track length:  2,118 feet of track
  • Maximum speed:  48 mph
  • Ride duration:  1:30
  • Special features:  Wooden track with steel supports, 74-foot drop, 9 airtime hills and a tunnel – interwoven into the landscape of Busch Gardens’ wooded setting
  • Location:  Busch Gardens’ New France village
  • Ride open date:  Spring 2017

All ride features are, of course, approximations and will be updated as the ride plans evolve. Keep up with InvadR’s progress by following Busch Gardens on Facebook and Instagram. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

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