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Finnegan's Flyer Lands and Other New Attractions at Busch Gardens
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
Finnegan's Flyer has landed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg – a traditional ride that may not be the flashiest attraction in the theme park universe, but is a reliable draw that should be a success for the park. The popular flat ride is located near the entrance to the park's Ireland area, adjoining Killarney Bridge. Due to a large platform of more than 800-yards of concrete, it is positioned so that it's level with pathways, swinging riders over the water beneath the bridge and a ravine's edge.

While not quite as spectacular a setting as that of the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns, the ride's positioning is a close second, with some riders facing down into the ravine to highlight the sensation of swinging into a dramatic setting.

The ride utilizes two arms that are mounted to a tower, accelerating riders through pneumatic power. This is a feature with many S7S-made Screaming' Swings. Riders get plenty of airtime within three swings: guests will find themselves flying past a horizontal position and into the air. Each arm allows 15 riders, and features molded seats along with lab bars that ratchet to accommodate just about any riders meeting a 48” ride height requirement. A magnetic braking system in the loading platform assists with ride deceleration and serves to stabilize the arms themselves as guests load and unload. 

The ride is not elaborately themed, but does feature towers that are painted to look similar to the bricks on Killarney Bridge. Despite this minimalism, the ride's excitement and convenience in terms of location add to its popularity: it is another ride on the west side of the park, which has historically featured less attractions than the east side. It also makes a good accompaniment to the Battle of Eyre, added last year, enhancing guests' interest in this side of the park.

Other summer attractions added this season include the Cutback Water Coaster which opens May 24th  in Busch Gardens' adjoining Water Country USA. Billed as “Virginia's first water coaster,” the ride brings guests in literal blast uphill, before rushing them down steep hills and turns coming back down. The attraction allows riders to experience the sensation of catching a big wave. It's the only RocketBLAST coaster on the east coast, and as such uses two tech systems to shape the steep but smooth ride. Both a water jet propulsion system and saucer feature are in play to give guests the ultimate wet and wild thrill over 850-feet of sliding action.

The riders' rafts seat four as they traverses the steeply inclined hills and jets through tunnels. Steeply angled saucers giver riders a true drop to drive sensation as they race the ride's edges. 

There's a different kind of thrill afoot with Busch Gardens Summer Nights Live, an entertainment line-up performed in the park's Globe Theatre. The live-show will feature performers from America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent. The park's laser light show, Spark, will continue its run, offering exciting visual entertainment as well. 

Also new this year is an interactive, electronic playground game for little kids replacing the Eggery Deggery ride previously located in the Land of Dragons play area. A soft play area for toddlers has also been added, according to Busch Gardens spokesperson Cindy Sarko. 

She adds that the Werbelwindchen childrens swing, previously located in the Oktoberfest attractions area, has been replaced with needed additional seating areas for guests waiting for riders on other Oktoberfest attractions.

Looking beyond the summer, the Williamsburg park location has other attractions in the works. 

A new coaster is coming, with a high-thrill factor; currently identified simply as Project 2020, based on leaked-ride documents, the ride appears to be positioned as a multi-launch coaster that features a mid-course switch track. This type of switch allows the coaster to move in one direction, stall on an incline, and then roll back over the same track segment. A segment of the track is replaced between trains passes by a segment that is shaped differently. Curved track may be replaced by a straight section of track for the coaster's second pass. The new coaster appears to follow a concept similar to the Verbolten roller coaster at the park, where track elements drop down while a train is stopped on it. However, if leaked plans hold steady, the Project 2020 coaster won't stop or be in contact with a track section when it changes mid-ride. The ride will be positioned between the park's Festa Italia railroad station and the Tradewinds ride location. While the ride received a height waiver of 315-feet in 2017, actual ride height has yet to be determined, and the theme is also unknown. At a park preview held for pass members in March of this year, the ride was tentatively called MMXX, and featured Roman columns in its theming. 

Busch Gardens' latest and coming attractions aside, reasonable membership plans allow admission that serves as its own draw for repeat park guests. The plans start with a basic option with select blackout dates at $9.99 a month; other than those dates, the pass allows unlimited admission, free general parking, and 10% off in-park discounts; the park's premier plan offers the same package but with preferred parking and a 15% in-park discount. Traveling theme park fans gravitate toward the Platinum Plan that offers unlimited admission to eleven different parks. All offer a full year of admission, monthly member rewards, discounts, sneak peaks, and access to annual events like the Halloween attraction Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town. Water Country USA admission can be added for an additional $2 monthly.
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