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 Review of Griffon @ Busch Gardens Williamsburg
7 Rating Posted by: coasterf42 on 6/15/2007 6:19:00 AM
Griffon was a somewhat unexpected masterpiece. To start with, I promised myself well before Griffon opened that I wouldn’t read one review, opinion, ranking, or video of the coaster until I got the chance to ride it. I usually do not get to ride brand new rides, and because there was a SLIM chance I was going to get the opportunity to conquer the beast in 2007, I decided to refrain from reading or seeing anything about it until the fateful day of my first ride. I kept my promise until this day, and this is even the first day I opened up the “Griffon” page on this Themeparkcritic. I am even writing this review cold, as I have still not read one other person’s opinion on the ride. Alright, now for even MORE of a back-story. This is one ride I never respected. Until yesterday I thought all dive machines were semi-gimmicks, and Griffon was nothing more than an “altered clone” of its Floridian sister. I thought it was basically built to please BGE fanboys and to get a bit of a buzz from the local population in need of a new thrill. My opinion seemed tarnished from the start with this thing, considering its extreme over-hyping, and in my opinion, Busch’s extreme over-butchering of trees in a once highly wooded section. None the less, I traveled to Busch Gardens Europe for the first time in five years yesterday, partly to get a ride on the not-even-a-month-old coaster.

So there I was, staring face to face with the new B&M creation at 11 in the morning. I never imagined the vertical section of the drop being that big. I have seen and been vertical before (HXLC and storm runner), but with that massively thick B&M track simply headed strait to hell right in front of your eyes, I was amazed by the look of the drop from the beginning. We were told that Griffon was down for two hours for maintenance. I wasn’t expecting that, but arrived back three hours later with all the other coasters behind me ready to get in my first dive machine.

The capacity was great. Three trains, loading every seat. The line flew by. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with Griffon’s queue themeing! Considering Busch’s reputation, I was expecting a little more than a small themed building, a few TVs, chandeliers (with lights burnt out already), and cardboard wings hanging from the ceiling! Still, better than nothing, but I would really like Busch to give this ride a more noticable back-story some day.

Now to the ride itself: The lift was steep, and I basically closed my eyes and relaxed on the way up to avoid the sun’s rays. By the time we got to the top, you could tell that Griffon really is the tallest ride in the park. Around the slow bend was fun, and the anticipation started to build. Being locked onto a holding break was extremely terrifying! From the back seat, you couldn’t see the track, and from the front, you could easily see how strait the drop was! Then, the first drop was just incredible. Outstanding airtime, and as expected, the vertical section seemed so long. The best part about Griffon is its speed. I’ve done 80 mph coasters before, but Griffon simply uses speed better than any coaster I’ve ridden. It doesn’t seem to slow down for anything other than the holding breaks, and the amount of wind that gets pushed around, especially in the front is just amazing. Okay, we’re on the first immelmann now, right? Well, it wasn’t too forceful, but it was simply fast and big. The train was then gracefully whisked through a curved upward slope, and held face down for a second time. Like many of Busch’s rides, Grffon was literally split in two parts. I usually complain about things like that, but since Grffon is so face-paced, the hold was all-the-better. The second drop was insane, kind of like a want-to-be of the first. Great airtime and good speed, despite its size. The second immelmann was the most intense part of the ride. I definitely enjoyed the second inversion more than the first. Again, the s

Review Comments

fergusonat on 6/20/2007 1:27:07 AM said:
Really good review, although I somewhat disagree on the statement "Griffon simply uses speed better than any coaster I’ve ridden"

It does use speed well, but I believe Dive Machines by their very definition sort of waste speed...nonetheless, a good review! Very good descriptions!
coasterf42 on 6/20/2007 4:35:50 AM said:
^Although it is split in two parts, what I ment by using speed well is it never seems to slow down. It even seemed to fly through the first immelmann. I also forgot to mention something about just simply how fast the ride feels. Ive done a couple rides at speeds faster than 71 mph, but Griffon seems to feel a lot faster than any ride Ive been on.
vbarbieri on 6/26/2007 3:56:21 PM said:
And still the magical "10" eludes you. I am sure it is out there.
coasterf42 on 6/26/2007 9:54:28 PM said:
^Of course, I only have 51 credits!! Theres over 2000 more to go.
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