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Walt Disney World (WDW) Rumors Discuss Purchasing Busch Gardens in the News & Rumors forums; Originally Posted by harra Busch Gardens in Virginia is an Amusement Park. It's mainly thrill rides which really limits the audience who'll come and attend. Have you ever been to ...
  1. #16
    clion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harra View Post

    Busch Gardens in Virginia is an Amusement Park. It's mainly thrill rides which really limits the audience who'll come and attend.
    Have you ever been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg? It has more thrill rides than WDW, but it is hardly a thrill park (like Kings Dominion). BGW is much more of a theme park. The crowds rival those of the Magic Kingdom, especially during the summer months.

    I agree BGW needs more slow dark rides like Peter Pan's Flight and more shows, but it does a nice job with theming.

    I would love to see Disney take over the two BG parks and bring in some Disney magic. I don't know that the fab 5 should come to BGW or BGT. With the Europe theme for BGW, some treatment like World Showcase would be very appropriate - for BGT some Animal Kingdom treatment would likewise be very appropriate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by parkraider View Post
    I'd like to see Dolly Parton buy Busch Gardens.
    I ask the same question: Have you ever been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg? Most who attend are NOT your country-music types. Yes, BGW's Summer Concert Series is focusing on country music this year, but in years past, it's been a rock-n-roll series.

    Nestled in between Richmond and Hampton Roads (that's Norfolk for all you non-Virginians), it draws a pretty sophisticated crowd that's looking for more of a theme park experience rather than a thrill park (that's Kings Dominion located just north of Richmond).

    If Dolly bought BG, it would totally KILL the park.
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    I really don't think Dolly would buy BGW anyway. I don't think her company is strong enough to expand that much. And besides, what makes Dollywood unique is the fact that it's situated in the Mountains in a predominately southerner vacation spot. I don't think the "Dollywood" concept would work just anywhere. Now would she "kill" BGW? Probably not. If she did buy the park, I think she would have the sense to know that Williamsburg, VA is not Pigeon Forge, TN and would plan accordingly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by clion View Post
    Have you ever been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg?
    When I lived in North Carolina in the 90's we went about every year. I would not classify Busch Gardens as a Theme Park. I would concede that it may fall somewhere in between a theme park and an amusement park but more toward the amusement park side of the scale
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    Quote Originally Posted by harra View Post
    When I lived in North Carolina in the 90's we went about every year. I would not classify Busch Gardens as a Theme Park. I would concede that it may fall somewhere in between a theme park and an amusement park but more toward the amusement park side of the scale
    The technical term Busch likes to use is "Adventure Park"

    I'd say calling Six Flags a theme park would be a stretch since they do have somewhat of a theme, although it's not as strong as Universal or Disney. There are a ton of other parks out there that are Amusement parks which pretty much look like a perminant roadside carnival with hardly any theming whatsoever, just a ton of spin and puke rides. When you have that compared to Six Flags or Busch Gardens, I'd definately say Busch Gardens would be considered a theme park and not an amusement park.

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    DolphinDiva84 is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Busch Gardens Williamsburg is Europe themed. I like that it has so much to offer with the theme in the shows, rides and restaurants the park has to offer!

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    It's an interesting discussion about how to categorize Theme parks and Amusement Parks etc. It seems though that the trend is greatly leaning towards amusement park trying to be theme parks.

    Mark Shapiro, the Chief Executive of Six Flags has come out and said that he wants to change the direction of the Six Flags parks and make them more like Disney.(He has a Disney background as he previously worked for ESPN).

    It seems that they want to focus more on stories, characters and theming and intertwine them with the rides rather than just saying come ride the tallest wooden rollercoaster etc. I would say that the days of strict amusement parks are slowly fading and are being replaced with theme parks that more resemble a Disney style.

    Here is an article to check out.
    Six Flags aims to become content company like Disney | ajc.com

  8. #23
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    Disney will NEVER EVER in a MILLION YEARS buy Bush Gardens. Y would they buy land in Virginia when they already have billions of people already going to Florida and California!!!
    Plus Disney has plenty of more room in the WDW Resort area for at least 4 more parks.
    Why would they waste billions buying bush gardens, when they would have to tear down and remodel 80% of it for another billion. Its common sense that it wont happen
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    I think everyone is missing a big point here -- Disney has already expressed interest in Virginia.

    I've started a campaign to revive Disney's America in Virginia by them purchasing Busch Gardens.

    Here you have a location that is already zoned for a theme park, has proven to be very successful in that capacity and the necessary infrastructure is largely already in place. Furthermore, local businesses and residents support a theme park in this location.
    An added bonus that this location has that neither Haymarket, VA nor Southern California (the other two proposed sites for Disney's America) offered – the proximity of Colonial Williamsburg. The synergy between these two sites would help both of them and would surely attract additional visitors to Colonial Williamsburg, something that they have been trying to do for quite some time via their various marketing campaigns. Colonial Williamsburg offers Disney’s America historical cachet (which is what they were looking for in Haymarket, VA with its proximity to Washington, DC) while Disney’s America, far from pulling visitors away from the current historical attraction, would bring in additional tourism that would be likely to visit it as well as nearby Jamestown and Yorktown. (One need only look at what a bust the 400th anniversary celebration of Jamestown was compared to what had been hoped for to see that such a boost as Disney would provide is necessary.)

    I agree that the one stumbling block with Disney buying the whole package of A-B theme parks would seem to be Busch Gardens in Tampa. It is within 90 min. of Orlando’s Disney World (provided you don’t get stuck in a traffic jam on I-4.) They’ve already got Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so the Tampa Busch Gardens and its African theme / wildlife preserve would seem to be duplicative. On the up-side, I could imagine Disney wouldn’t mind picking up the SeaWorld brand and its iconic Shamu, so perhaps the parks get split up in any sale.

    The solution that comes to mind for me from all this would be for Cedar Fair to buy Busch Gardens (and its Adventure Island water park) in Tampa as they do not yet have any parks located in Florida and for Disney to buy Sea World, Sesame Place, the remaining water parks and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. The Williamsburg site could then be converted to Disney's America.

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    You have an excellent point. I completely forgot about Disney's America. Granted, Disney would have to do some major re-themeing, but they could easily turn it into a patriotic park.

    Where can I find the petition. I'll sign it!
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    Thought this was quite the story - Blackstone, who owns a nice stake in Universal Orlando, as well as Merlin Entertainments who owns Legoland and UK parks such as Thorpe and Alton Towers, is planning to make a bid to aquire the Busch Entertainment Corporation parks. On top of this, they are also planning to bid on Cirque entertainment.

    If this goes through, we could be talking about some of the biggest news to hit the theme park world in ages.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtm...cnthorpe103.xml
    http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hj...35gac3JlyK2TSHw

    Merger plans for theme parks

    Private equity firm Blackstone is weighing up a merger which could bring together some of the biggest visitor attractions in the UK and the US, it has been reported.

    Blackstone is the majority owner of Merlin Entertainments, which boasts favourites such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and the London Dungeons in its portfolio.

    But it is considering a tie-up with US firm Busch Entertainments, owner of nine US attractions including Florida's SeaWorld, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

    Blackstone has spied the opportunity because Busch's owner, Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch, is being taken over by Stella Artois firm InBev in a 52 billion US dollar (26.3 billion) deal.

    Belgian-based InBev is said to be planning to sell the theme parks - worth up to 4.5 billion US dollars (2.3 billion) - on completion of the deal.

    The private equity firm could merge the business with Merlin or Universal Orlando - a rival US operator in which it has also invested - if it is successful, the newspaper said. Blackstone was unavailable for comment. The combined company would be big enough to join the FTSE 100 Index.

    Blackstone bought Merlin for 102 million in 2005. Its other attractions include Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds.

    It became the second biggest visitor attraction operator in the world behind Disney after paying 1.03 billion to Tussauds Group's owner Dubai International Capital, as well as providing DIC with a 20% stake in the combined company.

    The firm has 13,000 staff worldwide. Its portfolio of more than 50 attractions and four hotels welcome more than 30 million visitors a year.

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    JTR555 is offline A-Ticket holder
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    We don't have a petition going, but if someone would like to start one, be my guest. I've been working on getting some of our elected officials to try and carry the water on this. Also, just noticed that the Chicago Tribune picked up an article from the Virginia Gazette on this.


    Who's in play to buy Busch parks?
    By Rusty Carter | Gazette Staff Writer
    July 19, 2008

    JAMES CITY - The likelihood is growing that Anheuser-Busch InBev will sell off Busch Entertainment as a non-core asset needed to help pay back a $7 billion bridge loan due in a year. But who will buy it?

    The answer, as with Anheuser-Busch itself, may lie across the Atlantic Ocean.

    Suitors based in the U.S. seem unlikely. Six Flags, known to have looked at land in the Historic Triangle years ago, has considerable debt, along with a recent deal to develop theme parks in Dubai.

    Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment paid $1.24 billion nearly two years ago to buy five parks from Paramount, including Richmond's King's Dominion. It, too, has much debt to pay off.

    That leaves Walt Disney, which Williamsburg Planning Commission member Doug Pons and fellow hotelier Chris Canavos promoted in a television interview earlier this week. But Disney typically develops its own parks and resorts rather than buying up existing facilities.

    With one near exception.

    After the 1994 failure to build Disney's America in Northern Virginia, Disney execs attempted to buy Knott's Berry Farm in California, not far from Disneyland. The park's replica of Independence Hall provided a good backdrop for the Disney concept, which was to tell American history.

    The deal fell through, partly because of the logistics of transporting Disneyland guests to Disney's America. Then the Knott family refused to sell, fearing changes Disney might make to the original park. Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment bought the park two years later.

    Rekindling the idea of bringing Disney back to Virginia is the conservative political blog Virginia Virtucon. Here's what a blogger identified only as Riley had to say in a post Thursday.

    "Obviously, the prospects for this project happening are not completely dead, and reportedly many at Disney still believe this project's 'time will come,'" Riley wrote. At Busch Gardens, "you have a location that is already zoned for a theme park, has proven to be very successful in that capacity, and the necessary infrastructure is largely already in place. Furthermore, local businesses and residents support a theme park in this location."

    Pons agrees.

    "I am convinced Disney is a viable option," he said. "If packed properly, they could create an amazing resort here."

    Industry experts, however, think an overseas buyer is more likely.

    "There are some deep-pocketed players overseas," said Paul Ruben, North American editor for the England-based Park World Trade Magazine, in a Tuesday interview with the Associated Press. He echoed analyst predictions that Busch Entertainment could reap between $4 billion and $5 billion.

    Ruben named England-based Merlin Entertainment Group and Spain's Parques Reunidos as possible suitors.

    Merlin -- Owns more than 50 attractions worldwide, including four in the United States: A Legoland park in California, and Madame Tussauds wax museums in Las Vegas, New York and Washington. The bulk of Merlin's holdings are in its 26 Sea Life parks, which it bills as the "No. 1 aquarium brand in the world, and No. 2 visitor attraction brand in Europe."

    It also operates theme parks, including Thorpe Park in England, Heide Park in Germany and Gardaland in Italy. It also owns the famous London Eye ferris wheel.

    Most compelling about Merlin, however, is its Alton Towers resort in the United Kingdom, which offers a theme park, two hotels, water park, spa, conference center and golf.

    Parques Reunidos -- Owns 67 attractions, and boasts itself as the second largest owner of "leisure parks" in Europe. It has a much bigger presence (30 properties) in the United States, and touts its recent expansion in the west. Parques' Boomer's and Mountasia brands are small "family entertainment centers" with miniature golf, cart racing and bumper boats, with more than a dozen in California and a handful in southeast states.

    It also owns multiple theme parks, though its U.S. parks -- Kennywood, Idlewild, Lake Compounce and Story Land -- are all older parks in the northeast. Parques owns much larger modern parks in Europe, including one in Belgium, the home of InBev.


  13. #28
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    The Orlando Business Journal cited the Telegraph story regarding Merlin Entertainments which is owed by Blackstone and Dubai International Capital.

    InBev is estimating the worth of their entertainment division at 2.5 to 4.5 billion dollars. They are going to want to sell it whole or in as big of chunks as possible. If Disney wants B-G Williamsburg, they are going to have to take a whole set of properties that probably do not make much sense for the company.

    Unfortunately I think there will be a lot of unverified reports about Disney's involvement. I have yet to see a verified Disney source mention anything about BG. Typically its other people who have an interest in the matter bringing up Disney's name. Whether it is a local councilman who is running for re-election and wants people to believe he is wooing Disney to the area or a newspaper trying to sell papers, or InBev trying to drive up the price.

  14. #29
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    Even if Disney didn't buy Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I hope whoever does buy it will keep the park up as nice as AB does... The worst thing they could do is tear it down along with all the trees and pave over everything... it would be just another King Dominion. Kings Dominion has gone down over the years and it has no shade or atmosphere.

    I think Disney would be able to make a GREAT park in Williamsburg and like other's have said it would bring a lot of tourist to the region. BGW has it's own exit right into the park off of I-64. I think with a few improvements with the I-64 area it could handle the park traffic. The surrounding area would benefit as well.
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    Precisely. Busch Gardens / SeaWorld are some of the most beautiful and well-kept parks in the world. I'd ONLY trust Disney with maintaining those standards, which is why I've been pushing this for the Williamsburg park.

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