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Darkoaster at Busch Gardens – it’s a new indoor rollercoaster, in the former Curse of Darkastle location opens to Members on May 11 and to the public on May 19
Update 5/11/23 – Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced that DarKoaster, North America’s first all-indoor straddle coaster, will be available exclusively to Members ONLY for early ride access on select dates starting May 11. To participate, members must visit an in-park kiosk to obtain their voucher and present it to a team member at the ride. Not a Member – you can get a membership here.
The park’s tenth roller coaster will open to all park visitors on May 19. Continue reading to see our review of DarKastle…
Wondering what is going into the DarKastle location at Busch Gardens Williamsburg? Did you love crazy mad King Ludwig and his castle? This ride maybe just for you! In this new ride, you will tear through King Ludwig’s abandoned fortress with other expedition explorers to see why strange weather patterns have been recorded near the cursed castle of King Ludwig. You and other brave souls will go on this dark expedition to discover the mysterious phenomenon. What will you find? How about a supernatural force nearing you, as you and your fellow explorers realize this is more than just a raging storm.
At media day this week, we had a sneak peek at the progress on the ride. When we entered the former DarKastle ride, much of the building looks the same but they did have some “snow” falling outside which goes along with the snowmobile theming. Once you make it up to the cue you will see the snowmobile cars waiting for you.
What does the straddle snowmobile seating look like for Darkoaster?
We did get a sneak peek at the cars. What does the snowmobile car on a straddle coaster look like? They look pretty cool actually. We took pictures, but we were told that the theming on them is not complete, so they will look even better! The coaster seating is two side by side ski “mobilesk” cars, making it the world’s first all-indoor straddle coaster. This coaster will have two trains running, each seating 10 people.
What is the minimum height DarKoaster riders?
It is a family friendly ride with a minimum height 48 inches.
Will there be Curse of Darkastle Easter Eggs?
And yes, there will be Easter eggs for fans of the former ride Curse of DarKastle. When we visited on February 17, 2023 we were allowed to take lots of pictures of everything except the fully assembled tracks – we have pictures of what the indoor tracks looked like a few months back (see video below and photos below). But this time there were some VERY large ghost like creatures in the track room and we were not allow to take any photos – but we suspect that they might be King Ludwig from Curse of DarKastle.
What is the max speed of DarKoaster? How long does DarKoaster last?
The ride will consist of you and your fellow explorers from Dark Tours, traveling on snowmobiles, you will race through darkness while changing course to avoid the elements. So get ready to encounter four accelerating launches at speeds up to 35 mph, with a total ride time 1 min 30 seconds as you hurl through the “perfect” storm across 2,454 feet of track in total darkness. Sound fun? You betcha it does!
What sensory experiences with Darkoaster have?
Well we do know it will have some sensory additions maybe wind, snow, lights, and definitely darkness. They are holding the details pretty close to their chest, but it does look like fun, fast and ghostly! If you love detail, check out all the images in the FB post below. These are all the photos and videos we took that day – including of the DarKoaster Preview Center which is open to the public and has lots of info and story boards, costume and color descriptions, etc., so “zoom” in on these photos! If you need tickets make sure to check our Busch Gardens Discount Ticket page!
When will DarKoaster open?
The staff was being very cagey in their responses, in other words they are not saying anything beyond spring of 2023. So summer officially starts on June 21, 2023, which means it could open anytime between today and June 21, 2023. That’s all we got, folks! So…stay tuned.
Here is a video for the full September 2023 media event so you can hear everything Kevin Lembke said this morning at the Media Day!
“DarKoaster will be an exciting and unique addition to our world class lineup of coasters,” said Kevin Lembke, Busch Gardens Williamsburg Park President. “As an indoor attraction, DarKoaster complements our collection of thrill rides and offers a new experience to enjoy throughout the year. Plus, with only a 48-inch height requirement, DarKoaster is a ride for the whole family to conquer together.”Kevin Lembke at Media Day in September 2022