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Busch Gardens Donates 4,000lbs of Food to Local Neighborhood

WILLIAMSBURG (January 14, 2016) – More than 4,000 pounds of fresh produce, dairy products and packaged foods are making their way to residential food pantries in James City County’s Grove neighborhood thanks to a partnership between Busch Gardens® and the Grove Christian Outreach Center.

Busch Gardens and the outreach center are testing a pilot program in which the theme park donates its surplus fresh, frozen and packaged food items to the Center. The Center, which helps people living in this small community along Route 60 just south of the theme park, will distribute the food to residents who need assistance putting food on their tables.

BT0113OK01_008H_2048pxThe Grove community is designated by the US Department of Agriculture as a food desert due to low income levels and the lack of access to healthy, affordable foods at a nearby grocery store. Food deserts contribute to food insecurity and are a principle cause of hunger in the United States.

Lindsey Mair, a buyer for Busch Gardens’ culinary department and Grove Outreach Center volunteer, is spearheading this new Busch Gardens initiative.

“Our intent is to put our surplus food to good use and not let it go to waste,” she said of the donated food that will reach its expiration date before the park opens for the 2016 season on March 20.

Mair said food donation opportunities arise throughout the year following large-scale park events or after the park’s menu transition from summer operations to Howl-O-Scream® and then Christmas Town™.

“Our largest donation of the year will likely come after Christmas Town ends and the park closes until spring, as we typically have a surplus of food that would expire within that timeframe,” Mair said.

Pat McCormick, Executive Director of the Grove Outreach Center, said approximately 14,500 food-insecure individuals live in the City of Williamsburg, James City and York counties. Specifically, the overall food insecurity rate in James City County in 2013 was 9.3 percent with an estimated 6,310 food-insecure individuals living in the community.

BT0113OK01_021H_2048px“It is important that residents in Grove have access to good, nutritious foods in their own community,” McCormick said.

Many Grove residents are on a fixed income or disability, or simply do not have sufficient employment income to meet all of their household needs each month. Providing food to them through structured outreach programs helps eliminate their dilemma of having to choose between paying their rent, utilities, medical bills or food, McCormick said, adding that it is critical to nonprofit organizations like the Outreach Center to have the support of individuals and businesses in the community to help meet the growing requests for food assistance.

“The food Busch Gardens is donating will enhance our ability to meet our goal of reducing hunger and food insecurity in the Grove community and to meet the food needs of the families we serve each month. We are pleased that Busch Gardens will be a community partner in helping in the fight against hunger in our community,” McCormick said.


Anheuser-Busch Halts Production to Produce Water for Flood Victims


Beer giant Anheuser-Busch stopped production at its Georgia brewery this week to instead produce drinking water for those affected by a deadly bout of historic flooding and storms in Texas and Oklahoma.

Anheuser-Busch said it had stopped beer production at its Cartersville brewery in Georgia late Wednesday night to produce 50,000 cans of water for the American Red Cross.

“Right now our production line is running emergency drinking water instead of beer,” Cartersville brewery manager Rob Haas told NBC News.

Related: ‘Heartbreaking’: More Rain on the Way as Search for Texas Flood Victims Goes On

The Cartersville brewery produces cans of emergency relief water a few times a year, Haas said, partnering with the American Red Cross to provide to places in need within the United States.

“It’s something we’re uniquely positioned to do in a very timely period,” he said.

About 2,000 cases, each carrying 24 cans, are en route to communities in Texas and Oklahoma, he added. The water is expected to reach those areas within the next few days.

Red Cross spokesman Jordan Scott said the organization had been working with Anheuser-Busch, one of their disaster relief partners, to iron out the logistics of the water shipments and what areas they were needed the most.

“Oklahoma and Texas are in an unprecedented situation,” Scott said. “There are a lot of folks in need and everyone’s coming forward to help out.”

Scott said the additional drinking water would be “critical” to relief efforts in the area.

Heavy storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma this week have left at least 25 people dead, more than a dozen missing, and thousands of homes damaged. The rainfall was enough to fully reverse a drought afflicting the area for the last five years, according to meteorologists.

Anheuser-Busch has 12 breweries in the United States and is the maker of several major brands including Budweiser, Michelob ULTRA, Beck’s, Kirin and O’Doul’s.



Guests Can Save Big on Food & Wine Festival Experience

WILLIAMSBURG (May 7, 2015) – In just a few short weeks, exotic tastes will flavor the menu at Busch Gardens as the third annual Food & Wine Festival begins. Each year, this event grows bigger and tastier to give guests unique sampling opportunities from across the globe. This year, the park’s festival flavors are expanding to include kiosks celebrating the cuisine of Asia and the French Quarter. To give guests even more opportunities to savor this event, Busch Gardens is introducing the Food & Wine Festival Value Ticket.

With this special ticket, guests can get admission to the park on select days for $30, 60 percent off a regular single-day ticket price. This online-only offer is available via www.buschgardens.com/foodandwine May 7- 11. Tickets must be used after 2 p.m. on any one of these select days:

May 22, 25, 29, 31

June 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28.

There is a limit of six discounted tickets per transaction. Quantities are limited and sales times are subject to change.

The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival begins May 22 and runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 28. Food and beverage samples are available for purchase at an additional fee. For complete details and operating schedule, visit www.buschgardens.com/foodandwine.

Past Tempesto Construction Updates

Throughout the construction, we gave several updates as Tempesto was being built. I didn’t want to delete them from the site, so here are those updates to be forever remembered:


The new ride for 2015 will be called Tempesto and will reside right next to Apollo’s Chariot.


Construction of the actual track begins on Monday 11/17/2014. As far as we know, construction will happen Monday – Friday and will continue through Christmas Town. We do not know the projected completion date. We’re pretty sure that because of such a small coaster, that it will be ready for opening day in 2015.

With that, we’ll leave you with a few pictures and video. We’ll bring you more updates as we get them!


Construction Update 11/21/2014

Much has been done in the first week of construction. Some of the supports and a little of the track have already be put in! While watching them work, we figured out that the track is being moved into place by lifting pieces overtop of Apollo’s Chariot. They must be using that service road near the parking entrance to bring the track down. Here’s a small video of the site:

Construction update 2/11/15

The track is finished and the crews will be working through the winter in order to finish the queue and repair buildings.  We speculate that warmer weather will be needed to test the ride, but everything else seems to be on track!


This new coaster is rumored to be a clone of Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom….Here’s a POV video of that ride :

Update 3/21/15

We here at BG Cabana had the honor to be involved in the hard had tour of Tempesto, and we now have a lot to tell you! Here are the specs and important information on Tempesto.

RIDE MANUFACTURER:                                 Premier Rides, headquartered in Baltimore, MD

TYPE OF RIDE:                                                      Launch Coaster

SPECIAL FEATURES:                                         Three launch elements

High-speed station experience

154-foot, high-speed inversion

TRACK LENGTH:                                                 883 feet of track

Train travels approximately 1,945 total feet

MAXIMUM SPEED:                                            64 mph

RIDE DURATION:                                              55 seconds

SEATS/TRAIN:                                                     1 train, 18 seats

RIDE HEIGHT REQUIREMENT:                54 inches

LOCATION:                                                           Busch Gardens Festa Italia

RIDE OPEN DATE:                                            April 25, 2015

There you go!  Here are some pictures we took and there will be more to come!

Here are videos of the Hard Hat Tour:


Colonial Williamsburg Website Hacked by ISIS?!

Colonial Williamsburg confirmed that it’s website, history.org, was hacked last weekend by a group claiming to be ISIS.

ISIS-hack-message-to-colonial-williamsburgOn Sunday, hackers exploited a security flaw in third party software that allowed them access to the site and post content. The image to the right was posted on several pages. It’s not known whether the group is truly linked to ISIS, but the FBI is looking into the matter.

This maybe a coincidence, but the attack comes just a week after Colonial Williamsburg hosted a team of Iraqi Archaeologists and museum experts and offered to provide safe-keeping for at-risk artifacts. ISIS has been terrorizing the Middle East and destroying ancient sites and artifacts across the region.

Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss, a former senior U.S. diplomat, released this statement on Tuesday:

As we have so many times in our past, we must resist and overcome these threats to our common humanity. The Iraqi people once suffered at the hands of despots. They continue to suffer at the hands of terrorists. If we can join with them in an effort to protect these antiquities, we can protect Iraq and the world’s collective DNA until these clouds of divisiveness and chaos pass.

Iraqi archaeological and historical organizations and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and other are currently reviewing Colonial Williamsburg’s offer, but no agreements have been made as of yet.

Star Spangled Nights Returns This Summer Along with Food and Wine Fest


According to Busch’s website, Star Spangled Nights is returning this summer along with some other great special events. Here’s a quick rundown of the events we are aware of:

Saturday March 21st – (10am – 6pm) – Pass Member Preview Day
If you are a annual pass member, then you get access to this one day event. The big question on everyone’s mind is, what’s going on with the new coaster being built!

Friday March 27th
Official opening day of the park. This is also the debut day for the new show “Roll Out the Barrel”

JackHannaSnowLeopard_460x345Friday Mar 27th, 28th & 29th
Elmo Rocks returns this year for opening weekend. They did this last year and it was a hit…my kids loved it!

Saturday April 11th & 12th
Jack Hanna returns with his entourage of animals for multiple shows during this two day event. You can also sign up to have breakfast or lunch with Jack here

Food and Wine Festival – Fri, Sat and Sun – May 22nd – June 28th
Our favorite event of the year. Last year was phenomenal and we expect another fantastic event this year. We have a few new booths this season, including Eastern Asia and The French Quarter (New Orleans). More info on the booths and menus here

Star Spangled Nights – Every night – July 3rd – Sept 6th
Celebrate America during this fun summer event. Special food booths are setup in Da Vinci’s Garden everyday during the event. Fireworks are also returning every night at 9pm.

That’s all we got for now, we’ll keep you updated as we find out more.


Oktoberfest - 2014

Busch Gardens New German Musical “Roll out the Barrel” debuts this spring

For larger guests

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Feb. 9, 2015) – Busch Gardens® Williamsburg is “rolling” out a new show this spring in honor of the park’s 40th anniversary. Roll Out The Barrel follows a fictional German town as its residents celebrate their 40th annual town beer brewing festival.

“In the same way that Celtic Fyre® celebrates beloved Irish traditions, Roll Out The Barrel celebrates German traditions that have been part of the Busch Gardens experience for four decades,” said Scott Gasparich, Busch Gardens vice president of entertainment.

Roll Out The Barrel incorporates the best elements of the park’s repertoire of shows. Live musicians, singers and dancers join high-flying acrobats in this interactive musical about the intrepid brewers of this delightful German village. The same musical team behind Scrooge No More!™, the park’s popular new Christmas show, is orchestrating the score for this one-of-a-kind show.

Roll Out The Barrel will debut March 27 and joins London Rocks™, Celtic Fyre and Mix It Up! in Busch Gardens’ premier theatrical lineup.

For a limited time, the Williamsburg parks are offering a great deal on a 2015 2-Park Fun Card. For just $75, a savings of 25 percent off the regular price of a 2-Park Fun Card, guests receive unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA through Sept. 7. For more information, visit www.buschgardens.com/va.

colonial williamsburg fireworks illumination

Live Streaming of Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination

SaluteToTheNationWe just found out that the Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination will be live streamed on their website. The Grand Illumination is tomorrow night (Dec 7th) starting at 7PM EST. To view the feed you must register/login with the website. Here’s the link:


The Grand Illumination three separate Fireworks displays within the Historic Area…the Capitol, Magazine, and Palace. In the 18th century, illuminations, the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks, were held to celebrate major events such as the commemoration of the birth of the reigning sovereign, great military victories, or the arrival of a new colonial governor.

If you plan to attend the event, get there early as it’s pretty packed with people. Also, there are three stages setup with different music of the times.