Matt and I drove up to Williamsburg on a chilly day to see what goes on at Busch Gardens in between seasons. We met our contact who took us to their office, and then made the mistake of telling us to make ourselves at home. They then left us there alone…unfortunately for us, we couldn’t find a folder or binder labeled “Project 2017”. We did look.
We had a meeting set up at Tempesto, and after many detours on the golf cart due to construction and maintenance projects going on throughout the park, we made it by taking the long way around. It was quite an adventure, and the conversation kept us going. Many jokes were made, and we asked about the top secret happenings in every sneaky way we could think of, but they were ready.
Upon arriving at Tempesto we met Greg Thacker, the Director of Maintenance. Greg has the all important job of making sure annual, monthly, weekly and daily inspections and maintenance are being handled, and to ensure the maintenance is top notch. We immediately noticed the front and rear cars of Tempesto were on the tracks, but the middle car sat on blocks, awaiting to join the train. The cars were stripped down to the steel, missing seat, leg restraint and comfort collar padding, plus all of the decorative pieces like side walls and the nose cone. Greg and his crew began the task, and you can watch that in the video below.
We were told, after filming, that the comfort collar has been improved with new material inside the padding that is more durable. This was a really cool experience that few outside of maintenance get to witness.
Upon leaving Tempesto, we grabbed our hard hats and began making our way on foot to catch some more footage. A lot of work was going on from pouring concrete to painting and new construction. Our edited walk through can be seen below.
New paint around the park could be seen in the Pompeii pool, Apollo’s Chariot, and the area in San Marco where the eatery renovation is taking place. Le Scoot also got some visible love, with an new sign painted above the drop, seen here.
All in all, we had such a good time conversing and joking with park staff. It is odd walking through the park with no guests and no sounds of wheels on steel. The testing of Mach Tower was a welcoming sound as we passed Pompeii. Not too much longer before we can strap in and speed through the world’s most beautiful theme park.
Keep it positive, keep it fun, be excellent to each other!