The invitation read May 17th 5:30-9:30 pm, so we headed down to Williamsburg for the weekend, before continuing on to NC for our Outer banks beach vacation!
About half an hour before the event we were dressed and ready, just waiting to leave. I felt very nervous having no idea what to expect. While driving in through the employee entrance it was exciting to see all of the “VIP check-in” signs; I’d never been to this type of event before.
We we trammed through the “behind the scenes” areas outside of the park, to the VIP entrance. Everyone began to snap pictures. It is awesome being invited based on the use of social media, because it isn’t weird to take excessive amounts of pictures, it is actually expected!
While checking into the park, we were given free game play cards, and told “there would be less than 1,000 people in the park tonight,” so to enjoy ourselves in this intimate atmosphere.
I rushed into the park focused on one objective. Whenever I came to the park previously the goal was always to rush to our favorite “big rides” to see if the lines were worth waiting in, therefore this was still my M/O. I had this mindset for the first hour and a half before I realized that the purpose of this party was simply to relax.
We quickly jumped on the ride, and the attendant was kind enough to snap a picture of us. We unwisely left our glasses on, and realized the error of this as we were launched into the Black Forest. I was surprised to find out that most of the ride occurs in the “event building” with the Forest lit in green neon lights that you catch a glimpse of as you whip around it. Each time you enter into the building you can get 1/3 different themes. On our first ride we appropriately we awarded with howling and the haunting of red eyes following us. Throughout the ride I kept waiting for the vertical drop that I’d been reading about. I kept expecting it to occur sooner. You hear the clicking of the tracks letting go and readjusting before it happens, but the sensation still caused me to let out a quick shriek. Then, we were launched out of the Black Forest, to finish the ride in the flashback of my first ever roller coaster drop over the Rhine river.
Afterwards husband was feeling slightly dizzy (warning for those of you who are more sensitive to some of the motions you will likely experience similar effects) so we decided to wait a few more minutes. In the meantime we listed to a speech from Carl the park president, and the visiting Senator Normant. Once the ride reopened we found ourselves in the front seat again, with the Senator a couple of rows back. By this point I had regressed to the roller coaster riding ways of high school, where my friends and I would shout obnoxiously on the Loch Ness Monster while entering the tunnel, “oh my gosh we are going to die!”
Unfortunately, our pictures glitched from that ride and were unavailable. I was disappointed because we were allowed one free picture each, and our previous ones were goofy holding onto our glasses. However, there was no way that husband was going to be able to ride again, and would even need time to recuperate to enjoy any other aspects of the evening.
While he was resting his head, I chose this time to take advantage of the live music, animated costumed cast members, and great food! There were so many awesome delectable choices: ribs, bacon wrapped scallops, various meat cuts, chicken Parmesan, pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables, pretzel snacks, and rich desserts. I tried a little bit of everything!
Once husband started feeling better we started to use our game cards, which were good for 3 games each. We tried the water shooting game, and soccer game several times. I played the soccer game and actually managed to keep my flats on my feet. Upon winning a plush safety cone hat, I realized this is the way that I always wanted to enjoy the park. I’d always envied those people who had tons of things they’d won, but I’d never wanted to invest the money to do it. He won me a few more prizes from the water shooting game. The second time he won, he simply picked out tiger pillow pal without asking (and this is the one I’d decided on in my head just in that moment). I asked him, “How’d you know I’d pick that one?” He replied, “Because I know you.” To me this felt as epic as Katniss’ and Peeta’s “Real or not real?” and Snape’s “Always” :0)
While night was falling we began to mingle a little more. These are the times that I appreciate my husband sooo much because he’s not afraid of people. Meanwhile, I’m always afraid to bug people, too shy to think of small talk topics. However, because of his outgoing personality we strolled up to the president and shared about how much I loved the park, and had basically lived there in high school. Later, during my third ride into the Black Forest he made friends with a contracted marketing photographer who explained some behind the scenes aspects of the ride and how the wifi network was set up for nights like tonight. Including the fact that they’d set up a webcam of the Verbolten ride!
Around 9pm we decided that we’d done everything that we wanted to do, and headed out of the park. At the time we’d already thought that we’d made out like bandits with all of our loot from the games we’d won. We were shocked to be awarded with a Verbolten themed gift bag and a t-shirt as well!
All in all, such a great night! I rode the new coaster front row three times without a single wait. I was lucky enough to be able to sample each theme. My favorite is easily the storm. There is just more than can accompany it: the lighting flashes, thunder, rain and wind sounds, this makes it less noticeable when the ride is preparing to drop you. I would highly recommend the new ride!