Tempesto, Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s newest roller coaster, opened April 25 to add big thrills to a small space and become the park’s sixth roller coaster.
After very little fanfare in the off-season, Busch Gardens Williamsburg premiered its newest attraction – Tempesto – in the Festa Italia section of the park.
“It adds some classic elements but also adds unique features,” said park president Carl Lum. “We wanted some unique features that we didn’t have in some other rides here.”
The roller coaster, which is named for a famous Italian daredevil, occupies a small footprint next to sister coaster Apollo’s Chariot, but the ride packs a lot of punch.
Tempesto features three launch experiences that shoot riders forward and backward. At one point, guests speed through the ride’s station house at 60 miles per hour.
Then, riders climb 154 feet in the air to experience Tempesto’s loop-the-loop inversion, featuring both a corkscrew and traditional loop. The corkscrew is especially unique as it twists and turns guests at a slower pace than most coasters.
Last year, when the area next to Apollo’s Chariot was cleared for construction, there were rumors of a thrill ride going in, but it was hard to imagine what ride could fit in the area.
However, Lum said he was so committed to placing it in the space that was previously occupied by Splashus Maximus – a water balloon game arena – that he worked with the park’s engineers to figure out how they could use the space.
“It fits the village, and it’s next to Apollo’s, so there’s a lot of energy here,” he said.
While the ride is exciting and eye-catching as it sits close to the walkways, there is a little bit of concern about its ride capacity. The train only holds 18 riders, the seats are a little tough to get in and out of, and there can only be one ride vehicle going at one time. All of these things could mean lengthy wait times, especially on busy summer weekends.
Overall, though, Tempesto brings new flare to the park that compliments its other thrilling attractions while making a name for itself. It is sure to impress thrill junkies with its intense acceleration and exhilarating loops.
“We’re really happy with it,” Lum said. “You work hard and when you open it and people have a good time – that’s what it’s all about.”