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    The Griffon roller coaster is one I have to try!  I have been to Busch gardens multiple times but unfortunately the last time I went, this ride was not built. The Griffon coaster was built and constructed by Bollinger & Mabillard. Of course it was! They do seem to make some of the coolest and classiest roller coasters in the world today.

    When the ride opened it was the tallest in the world at 205 feet! There were 2 original names they were going to use for the ride, one of them being the “Iron Eagle and the other one being “Voltare” but Busch Gardens decided that the name should be called the “Griffon”. Griffon replaced a ride called “LeMans Raceway” which was one of the parks original rides when it opened.  That’s what I like to see, small rides being replaced by big drop roller coasters! It was announced on August 23, 2006 that the Griffon became the fourth diving machine coaster in the world but also the second one to be built in the United States.

    The unique roller coaster cost a jaw dropping $15.600.000 dollars to build! What’s so great about this ride is that you get to experience a rollercoaster that drops through a stream of water splashing viewers from the bridge next to it.. Now I have never seen this before. So this is definitely new for me!

    The train consists of 3 rows of ten seats, in the style of stadium style seating. When you finally get strapped in after long and annoying queues, the loading platform drops and a voice screams “Now prepare to enjoy the power and speed of the mythical Griffon!” After you have just had your panic and dilemma, the train moves forward and makes a right turn to climb up it’s 205 feet chain lift hill. Then it makes another turn to the right and this is when your heart feels like it’s about to pop out from your chest. The trains pause on the holding brake for six seconds, making you look down on the drop that holds ahead of you. Once those terrifying six seconds are over, you drop 205 feet at a ninety degree angle, at a top speed of 71mph. The ride then climbs up into the massive 146 foot Immelmann loop, which is one of the tallest roller coaster inversions in the world, before making a sweeping turn upward to the left and into the block brake. The riders then drop another 130 feet towards The Rhine River! (How Awesome?) Finally riders exit a bunny hop into the splashdown. Each of the three trains produces a different water spray pattern up to 45 feet high. The trains then travel over a small dip just before the final brake run and station. I could feel the experience, even just writing about it!

    Griffon legitimately opened on the unfortunate date of May 25, 2007, when I was not there. The ribbon was cut by a child who shares his name with the coaster. The lines for Griffon on opening day hit a wait time of a lame five hours, but the single rider’s line took around 1 hour. The wait was mostly due to mechanical problems stopping the ride, as similar sized lines in the subsequent weeks only took an hour to an hour and a half.

    To be honest I wouldn’t mind waiting that long…….Actually yes I would. I don’t think anyone should waste all their day waiting in a queue for that amount of time. Nether the less, This coaster looks awesome and maybe I will get to experience this in the near future.


    Quick Info:

    Current Coaster Name: Griffon
    Current Park Name: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
    Previous Ride Name(s): Iron Eagle and Voltare
    Location: Busch Garden Williamsburg
    Status: Operating
    Cost: $15,600,000

    Technical Info:

    Type: Steel Dive Machine
    Opened: May 18th, 2007
    Designer: Bolliger & Mabilliard
    Features: Vertical Drop, Floorless Trains
    Height: 205 feet
    Max Drop:  205 feet
    Max Speed: 71 mph
    Length:  3108 feet
    Acceleration: N/A
    Inversions: 2
    Duration:  3.00
    Trains: N/A
    Capacity: 1400 per hour









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  1. i’ve read a lot of debate or peolpe commenting on were the best ride on Apollo’s Chariot is and I wanted to throw my 2 cents in to anyone who is going to ride it. Definitely ride it in the front! This past weekend my wife and I rode in the back first then went and got front row seats and without a doubt (IMO) the front had the best airtime and exciting ride! No matter where you sit it is great but the front gets my vote for the best seat!

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