Riding Verbolten is not forbidden. This, one of the most technologically advanced rollercoasters ever built at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia, is now thrilling guests.
Built by Zierer, the ride sends passengers twisting and turning through the verboten Black Forest. The attraction’s low 48-inch (1.2-metre) height restriction and exhilarating but not overpowering coaster experience result in a ride with broad appeal.
A German-themed tourist information centre run by the brother and sister team of Gerta and Gunter, serves as the ride entrance and the launching point for an autobahn experience that will leave riders on the edge of their seat. As they climb into their car for a scenic drive through the countryside, they’re quickly detoured into a exhilarating adventure through the Black Forest. They twist and turn their way through the journey, plunging along the river’s edge. Luckily, the ride leads guests right back to the fun and the festivities of the park’s Oktoberfest area.
The 2,835ft-long (865m) ride reaches a top speed of 53mph (85kmh) and lasts 90 seconds. There are five trains, each with 16 seats. The layout includes two launches, a freefall drop, high speed turns and steep drops, plus sound and light effects. The freefall element is similar to that engineered by Zierer on Polar X-plorer at Legoland Billund.
Guests interested in learning more about the technology behind Verbolten’s unique ride elements can sign up for daily behind-the-scenes coaster tours. Tour guides will provide little-known facts about the ride and let guests peek inside the special effects building.
Each of the coaster’s five trains is painted a different colour and features rubber tyres, chrome side mirrors and the classic long hood lines of a two-door roadster. Lap bars are used instead of shoulder harnesses so riders can feel the rush of lateral and horizontal g-forces designed into the ride. Meanwhile tiny video cameras are positioned in front of riders to record their experience so they can relive their trip to the Black Forest anytime.
“Verbolten is a next generation rollercoaster that incorporates the latest in coaster technology with a storyline inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales,” explains park president Carl Lum. “From its unique freefall drop to its multiple launch elements, Busch Gardens’ newest thrill attraction is destined to be a favourite among coaster enthusiasts of all ages.”
More pictures and a full ride profile to follow in a future issue of Park World.