There’s a new coaster coming to town, and it’s got the force of five Roman gods behind it.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg will welcome a new roller coaster this spring, and it's a doozy. Pantheon, named after the temple dedicated to the gods, features four launches (including a backwards launch) and reaches top speeds of 73 mph as it races around a golden track in the Festa Italia section of the park.
Manufactured by Intamin Worldwide (whose credits include Intimidator at Kings Dominion, Incredicoaster at Disney’s California Adventure, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida, and Millennium Force at Cedar Point), Pantheon features two trains with 20 riders each. Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Minerva, and Pluto’s gifts of strength, speed, and power are reflected in different aspects of the track as riders swoop and soar around it.
“Pantheon is going to be non-stop action for riders," said Larry Giles, Busch Gardens' senior director of design and engineering. "We’ve designed it so that the experience is changing all the time and will keep riders wondering what’s next. Multiple launches, speed changes, a sharp drop, and backwards acceleration are just a few of Pantheon’s one-of-a-kind traits.”
Watch the new coaster's promo video here:
Pantheon is well on its way to completion. Busch Gardens hosted a Hard Hat Tour of the coaster construction site earlier in the year. Several park and coaster industry experts spoke about the ground-breaking coaster, including Giles, the park president Kevin Lembke, the director of design and engineering Suzy Cheely, and American Coaster Enthusiasts spokesperson Elizabeth Ringas.
Check out photos of Pantheon’s progress. The first photo shows the spike (reminiscent of Neptune's trident). You'll be traveling up this, backwards, to about 10 feet from the top of it.
As you can see, the golden tracks of Pantheon really work well with the hilly landscape of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Parts of the track are actually quite close to the ground. Then there's that 95-degree "top hat" drop!
Pantheon Facts and Features
- 2 inversions
- 4 launches: one at 36 mph, one at 50 mph, one at 61 mph (backwards), and one at 67 mph
- 5 air-time hills
- 95-degree drop
- Maximum Height: 180 feet
- Top Speed: 73 mph
- Track Length: 3,328 feet of track
- Ride Time: Two minutes
- Claim to Fame: Fastest multi-launch roller coaster in North America
The addition of Pantheon brings Busch Gardens’ roller coaster roster to eight.
Busch Gardens opens for the 2020 season on March 15. Pantheon will open sometime later in the spring.
Are you planning to ride Pantheon this year? What’s your favorite roller coaster at Busch Gardens? Let us know in the comments.