Verbolten - Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Reviews

UPDATE – July, 12th – Verbolten is open at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Read my full review: Review of Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Survivors have returned from the Black Forest with reviews of Verbolten, Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s new launch roller coaster. Here’s a few early reviews of the ride:

If what they did for Verbolten is the new starting line for themeing to come, then we really have some exciting things to look forward to. The detail the have put in here…there is almost too much to look at. With how quick they were loading yesterday, there was so much I missed out on. Not only should you be excited about riding multiple times to be able to get all the stories in the event building, you should also be excited about getting in that queue house to see all the little details put into it. I am still so impressed just by the stuff in the flipping line. – RocketChk on BGWFans

The whole ride overall was better than I expected, but it did still seem like a “Family Ride.” It did seem a little rough though – I think Griffon and AC are still by far the smoothest, but the Black Forest was absolutely astonishing and the drop track was great! It’s hard to believe that not too long ago we saw the drop track bare and alone with nothing but concrete around it. – Kingadam on BGWFans

I think “Verbolten” has enough surprises and unique details of its own to eventually make people stop comparing it to “The Big Bad Wolf.” Because the bottom line on Verbolten is… it’s fun. – Mike from Coaster Radio

Verbolten was fun and is a good addition to Busch Gardens’ already excellent collection of coasters. I am giving it a 7 out of 10. – Trent from Coasterblog

The reviews I’ve read have seemed to be overwhelmingly positive. I should get to ride Verbolten for myself in a few months. Until then I’m going to do my best ostrich impression and try not to read too much about what goes on inside the event building. For that reason, I’m providing a link to an authorized POV video, but I’m not embedding it like I usually do.

We all know that it’s dark in there, there’s a section of track that drops and there are special effects. That’s all I want to know for now, but if you want to see it all, here’s a POV video of Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg that was shot with the permission of the park.

Also, here’s a video of some of the Oktoberfest area surrounding Verbolten as well as the ride’s station and queue courtesy of Behind the Thrills.

What do you think of Verbolten? Leave a comment below and rate the ride. Please try to avoid complete spoilers of what happens in the event building in your comments. Thank you![poll id=”68″]

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

11 Responses

  1. Kristofer Robinson

    Well, this weekend I rode verbolten because of their 'technical rehearsal." It's great. the effects are outstanding, and the drop is pretty good. Everyone will like it.

  2. Trent

    I got three rides on it this past weekend, it is a great family ride that will still appeal to thrill seekers. The launches are great, especially the second one! While not as good as Apollo's Chariot or Alpengeist, it is a solid addition to the park.

    • The Coaster Critic

      I tried to sort of glance at your review with my eyes squinted so that I didn't see too much. 🙂 I appreciate the spoiler alert. I'm trying to 'stay in the dark' about the event building as much as possible. I've added a link to your review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. dc

    Sorry… Still wishing this had been intertwined with BBW. That one was and still is my favorite of the suspended genre. Imagine the incorporated themeng and potential Fine' Del Capo (head choppers or literally "end of the head.")

  4. delahoussaye

    Seaworld parks (thats including busch gardens) is easily the best theme park chain in the world because of there awsome themeing and amazing roller coasters

  5. Zac

    I got down to BGW two weeks ago and was able to get on Verbolten then. Unfortunately, it was down for a couple of days on my trip (the days the park would have been most empty), so I only got one front-seat ride on it. By the time it was back up towards the end of the week, even in the very early AM, the park was packed. I'll try to avoid any major spoilers in this!

    There's no doubt I will always miss TBBW. It was a classic and by far my favorite of the suspended genre that I've ridden. I've got to hand it to BGW, though, I think they really hit the nail on the head with this one in terms of putting in another family-friendly but still-thrilling ride, and one that really ups the ante with the theming both on- and off-ride.

    When I first read about it, I wasn't crazy about the story. Let's face it… classic German fairy tale about a ferocious wolf trumps The Autobahn and a detour through the Black Forest (IMO). I also absolutely adored the German village TBBW powered through. I gotta say, though, even the queue for Verbolten is great. The attention to detail is phenomenal, from the busted Volkswagen out front, to the partially enclosed parts of the queue (Gunter's office) with Gerta on a continuous loop on multiple retro TVs, and of course the beautiful station building. It was a little strange to be in that building without a track overhead, but the colors are bright and bold and there's certainly no shortage of detail.

    Since I knew this would be the only ride I'd be able to snag, I decided to head towards the front. As it was, I figured I'd get a little more time to soak in everything strewn around the station and I still can't remember all the little specifics; I'm sure there's a lot that I missed. I guess Verbolten can run all five trains at once, but when I was there, they were on a four train operation. I think the ride-ops are still getting used to the load/unload process, especially with the double station, but things seemed to be going pretty smoothly.

    There's a lot about this ride that harkens back to TBBW. Of course, the final drop and last bit of the layout is the most obvious, but even the small stretch of track before the first launch is straight out of the Wolf's book. Inch out of the station, wave to (or ignore) everyone gawking from the nearby pathway, leisurely turn left, bank right. The Wolf reached its first life after this; of course Verbolten hits the first launch into the event building. For me, launch #1 was a little lacking. I'm not going to pretend to know a whole lot about the technology behind it other than the most rudimentary facts, and I forget the speed of the first launch, but I wish the rate of acceleration had been a little faster (not necessarily the speed of the launch itself). Something to give the launch a little more "punch" would have been nice, but it's a minor complaint.

    The event building… oh, the event building. I'll try to be as vague as possible here, but let me just say how impressed I was. I have been on quite a few dark rides/indoor coasters and rarely, if ever, have I been on one that managed to be so completely pitch-black. A lot of times, you can see ever so slightly, even in arguably "dark" coasters (I'm thinking Space Mountain, Flight of Fear, and some others) and it waters down the experience a bit. Not the case on Verbolten. The total darkness made the visual effects and scenery in the event building really pop, and since I actually couldn't see the track, there were still one or two surprises despite having watched this thing being built from the ground up before being enclosed. The colors of the set were beautiful and the sound effects were top-notch, although I feel like I once again missed a lot of the finer details since they really flew by. Still excellent, and a very interesting juxtaposition between a dark coaster and a traditional dark ride– but that's all I'll say about that.

    The second launch definitely had more power and whatever the first launch was missing (for me), the second one had it. Obviously, it's also the faster of the two, but again… it's just had that punch. The covered bridge and brake run before the final drop was a really nice touch, especially being in the front. The train really crept over the crest of that last hill from, and it was a nice view from where I was sitting. I'm sad to say, though, the last drop was not as good as I was expecting; even though it's roughly the same height as its predecessor, it always felt so much bigger on TBBW thanks to the orientation of the cars and the near misses with the Rhine. I realize Busch was aiming for a family attraction here, but I think they might have been able to get away with even another 10-15 feet on that final drop, since there's not a lot of room to fall before the train begins turning out over the water. Again, though, that's just me, and it's not a big gripe.

    The last part of the ride is almost every bit as fun as TBBW, though (with the added plus of a nice burst of airtime near the end). It's hard to compare of course, since TBBW was just so perfect swinging out so close over the water, but Verbolten still does it well. I for one am super happy they decided to return with such an iconic piece of the layout. The park wouldn't have looked the same without it. I remember first going to BGW when I was four years old, back in the spring of 1995. I stood on the bridge over the Rhine and from there could see that final drop of TBBW and the interlocking loops of The Loch Ness Monster and it was then I fell in love with roller coasters, even if it took another couple of years until I could ride anything substantial. Verbolten looks as beautiful and attention-catching as what came before it from that vantage point.

    All in all, it's a really fun ride. More "fun" than "intense." It definitely did feel more like a family ride overall, but there were absolutely some thrilling moments. I did not find it as rough as some other reviewers seemed to, but that might have been because I was only able to give it one ride and was all the way in the front. The event building is a sight to be seen and is something totally unique; I don't think there's anything else like it on the planet… certainly not on a coaster. Busch put in a tremendous amount of time, thought, and effort into planning this ride and it shows. It really shows.


  6. Patricia Rothbell

    My family and I were recently at Busch Gardens Va. a few weeks ago and my husband, older son and I rode Verbolten. It was closed on Tuesday of that week due to technical difficulties. I was very surprised at how rough it was. It really whipped rattled and jerked my head around. They tell you to keep your head back on the rest, but that's tough because of how much it whips you around. I felt dizzy, had a headache and felt a little sick for the rest of the day. My older son also had a little bit of a headache. He and I will not ride it again. However, I do not usually get sick from rides and have been on the Griffin more than once and do not have a problem. It rides much smoother.

  7. Patricia Rothbell

    On a more positive note, I thought that the theme and special effects were great.

  8. Diamondback

    Patricia, I'm with you on the roughness. I absolutely love the Griffin, and Alpengeist has a few rough spots, but my first ride of Verbolten will also be my last – it's been almost a week, and my neck is still sore. The headrest is inadequate because the launches are not straight, but angled, which kicks your head sideways. Poorly designed, and way too rough of a ride for me.

  9. Luna

    Our family rode both the Verbolten and the Griffin this past July. The Griffen is fantastic–a super-smooth exhilarating ride! But all four of us found the Verbolten terribly rough, jerky, and rattley. All of us had a headache when debarking, and my back felt like it was breaking from trying to keep my head still. I still have chronic pain in my back that I did not have before that ride. There is no way to brace your head on the rest(unlike the Griffen, where you can brace it between the back of the seat and the shoulder brace. I thought the storyline was good, the effects were fun, but the ride itself was a killer for me. Sadly, I think that roller coaster was the last one for me, it really killed my back for coasters.


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