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The Claw

Busch Gardens Europe - Griffon

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Busch Gardens Europe, Williamsburg is building a B&M Dive Machine to outbeat Sheikra in its sister park in Tampa Bay. The new ride is called "Griffon" which is named after the mythological creature which is half-bird, half-lion. While the layout is generally the same as Sheikra, it will instead feature TWO Immelmans and have a 205ft drop which will make it the largest of its kind. Another unique feature of this ride is that Griffon will be introducing all new FLOORLESS DIVE MACHINE CARS which will make it the only Floorless Dive Machine in the world. A link for a CGI preview of the ride can be viewed here.

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I'm really digging this new ride from a "What a great ride systems" standpoint. Unlike the older vertical drop rides this is 10 across. I mean wow, 30 people per train, and with such short block sections its ganna be one hell of a people eater. 1,400 isn't the highest capacity out there, but I bet they have very little trouble meeting that. Plus it looks like a hoot as well, so very solid addition.

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It certainly is going to be a pretty amazing ride to watch just in terms of the way it'll operate. 1,400 people per hour will be a train departing every 80 seconds or so. A few things come to mind. I think restraint checking should be a quicker process than a conventional two or four across train, because they'll be able to do it in a more fluid process, whereas on smaller rows it's broken up by the few steps between each row. This is also aided by the fact that it's a floorless coaster, so the spacing between each row is wider and has no obstables, because it is built into the station. A separate unload station is inevitable, which will certainly take a lot of stress off the system. Busch Gardens use a similar loose items policy to WBMW in that you're typically checked before entering the queue, so items storage shouldn't be an issue. As far as park chains go, Busch are fairly clued in when it comes to efficient operation. We all know that the estimated loading times are based on optimal circumstances (to put it nicely), but I don't think Busch will have too much trouble with running pretty close to 1,400 pph.

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