What's new

Busch Gardens Williamsburg | Pantheon | Intamin LSM Coaster | 2022

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
It’s looks like it needs a bit more oomph over the top hat for pacing purposes, but otherwise what a rocking layout. Can’t wait for this.
 

Dan Nguyen

Roller Poster
The top hat feels really similar to Velocicoaster's top hat. I didn't really notice that much extra air going down the drop. Pantheon is a blast. The air is super strong in the double launch. Both Velocicoaster and Pantheon are neck and neck in my rankings.

I'll be riding Ice Breaker and Iron Gwazi next week. Can't wait!
 

Matt N

CF Legend
The ride looks great!

But I won’t lie, there’s something that feels a little… off about Pantheon that I can’t quite place my finger on. Admittedly, it could be harder for me to judge this style of layout having not ridden a ride like it, but I’ll digress that watching the POV didn’t have me uber excited in the same way that watching a POV of something like VelociCoaster does. I can’t quite place my finger on what, but something about this ride and its layout doesn’t quite click with me like some others… of the 2021/22 Intamin arsenal that everyone was salivating over (VC, Kondaa and Pantheon), I’ll admit that Pantheon does look the least appealing to me based purely on the POV.

I’m probably talking utter rubbish, as it has many great-looking elements, and I’m sure that I’d absolutely love it if I were to ride it, but that’s my honest take based purely from a non-rider’s perspective.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
but I’ll digress that watching the POV didn’t have me uber excited in the same way that watching a POV of something like VelociCoaster does. I can’t quite place my finger on what, but something about this ride and its layout doesn’t quite click with me like some others… of the 2021/22 Intamin arsenal that everyone was salivating over (VC, Kondaa and Pantheon), I’ll admit that Pantheon does look the least appealing to me based purely on the POV.
This is why as a general rule of thumb - always use POVs as a sampler, not a realistic representation. Simple things such as perspective, camera lens angle, and frames-per-second can warp and distort perceived speed and forces. VC’s POV too looks relatively tame, but rides far better. Also worth recognizing these videos are shot on colder, blustery March days; Coaster warm up is an absolute real thing.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
This is why as a general rule of thumb - always use POVs as a sampler, not a realistic representation. Simple things such as perspective, camera lens angle, and frames-per-second can warp and distort perceived speed and forces. VC’s POV too looks relatively tame, but rides far better. Also worth recognizing these videos are shot on colder, blustery March days; Coaster warm up is an absolute real thing.
Oh absolutely; I’m speaking here as someone who’s never been to America, and has never ridden anything like Pantheon, so to use it as anything more than a sampler would be judging too rashly.

But still, I must admit there is something about watching Pantheon’s POV that doesn’t quite get me going like watching the POVs of some other rides, and I’m not entirely sure what it is… I don’t think it has anything to do with elements, as many of the elements look great. And besides, I am probably talking rubbish, and would probably love it if I were to actually ride!
 

Stevie

Roller Poster
Oh absolutely; I’m speaking here as someone who’s never been to America, and has never ridden anything like Pantheon, so to use it as anything more than a sampler would be judging too rashly.

But still, I must admit there is something about watching Pantheon’s POV that doesn’t quite get me going like watching the POVs of some other rides, and I’m not entirely sure what it is… I don’t think it has anything to do with elements, as many of the elements look great. And besides, I am probably talking rubbish, and would probably love it if I were to actually ride!

It's probably because Pantheon's theming is "coaster in a dirt field with a pole barn for a station". I'm sure it rides great, but Busch could have done... anything.

Wait a second, how are all those Florida coasters in your top 10 if you've never been to America? haha
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
It’s certainly a ‘wildcard’. Very unconventional. The whole set of elements feels deliberately ‘obtuse/different’ and that outer bank seems particularly absurd. I’m as intrigued as I’m excited.

Different does not always mean good, but variety is always welcome.
 

Dan Nguyen

Roller Poster
The only thing really missing from Pantheon aside from theming is the length. It definitely feels like it ends to quickly. That being said, it it packs a solid punch so the intensity makes up for it
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I know I've moaned about this before, but does anyone else think the max height restrictions on these newer Intamin's are getting ridiculous? I am a tall guy at 6ft 4, but not extraordinarily so, it's worrying to think that I could be turned away. I understand that for most newer coasters, the freedom of upper body movement often makes for tighter restraints (in the case of RMC and Intamin), but I feel that more and more people are being excluded because of this.

It looks amazing, but I am still salty with Intamin because of this. (I'm so petty😅)
 

RcTmix

Mega Poster
I briefly forgot Florida was part of America
The USA feels like it’s about 9 different countries all crammed together, and one of those countries is called Florida. It’s an understandable mistake.

I think the pacing is what’s throwing me off with the POVs. Having the swing launch right in the middle of the ride seems to fragment the ride into 3 oddly placed segments. I have no idea if it will feel so fragmented in person, but it looks that way on film.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
I know I've moaned about this before, but does anyone else think the max height restrictions on these newer Intamin's are getting ridiculous? I am a tall guy at 6ft 4, but not extraordinarily so, it's worrying to think that I could be turned away. I understand that for most newer coasters, the freedom of upper body movement often makes for tighter restraints (in the case of RMC and Intamin), but I feel that more and more people are being excluded because of this.

It looks amazing, but I am still salty with Intamin because of this. (I'm so petty😅)
I’m not sure it’s necessarily new Intamins, though; Stealth and Colossus are 1.95m or 1.96m (around 6’5” according to Google), as is Thirteen. Maybe it’s just Intamins in general?

I wouldn’t worry, though; at 6’4”, you’d surely be at/below the height restriction or just over at very worst even in shoes (shoes tend to add about an inch usually, I think… although I wouldn’t know). If you want any advice, as someone who’s been going to theme parks with a dad who’s 6’6” or 1.98m (so easily 2 inches above these restrictions with shoes on) for years; wear slim-soled shoes and slouch. All the S’s! It certainly works for him in many cases… he’s ridden Thirteen with its 6’5” height restriction every time in spite of being 2” above the height restriction in shoes!

Although as someone who’s only 5’9.5” or 1.77m, I guess it’s quite easy for me to be nonchalant about that…
 
Last edited:

Leon_K

Roller Poster
I know I've moaned about this before, but does anyone else think the max height restrictions on these newer Intamin's are getting ridiculous? I am a tall guy at 6ft 4, but not extraordinarily so, it's worrying to think that I could be turned away. I understand that for most newer coasters, the freedom of upper body movement often makes for tighter restraints (in the case of RMC and Intamin), but I feel that more and more people are being excluded because of this.

It looks amazing, but I am still salty with Intamin because of this. (I'm so petty😅)
It's a recognizable thought. I already discussed this before on this forum but I am 2m tall (6.6) and I have not ridden a b&m yet because I have been refused on a few of them. I wasn't too disappointed because I was already prepared for it. But I do find it frustrating that we live in a part of the world where a lot of people are tall but still restrictions are often just until a certain height. Even if it's just so because some of the coasters I can't ride are just high on my list. Sure, it's a luxury problem and it does not keep me awake at night haha, but I understand what you are complaining about.
 

English Coaster Guy

Roller Poster
The ride looks great!

But I won’t lie, there’s something that feels a little… off about Pantheon that I can’t quite place my finger on. Admittedly, it could be harder for me to judge this style of layout having not ridden a ride like it, but I’ll digress that watching the POV didn’t have me uber excited in the same way that watching a POV of something like VelociCoaster does. I can’t quite place my finger on what, but something about this ride and its layout doesn’t quite click with me like some others… of the 2021/22 Intamin arsenal that everyone was salivating over (VC, Kondaa and Pantheon), I’ll admit that Pantheon does look the least appealing to me based purely on the POV.

I’m probably talking utter rubbish, as it has many great-looking elements, and I’m sure that I’d absolutely love it if I were to ride it, but that’s my honest take based purely from a non-rider’s perspective.

I'm with you, Matt. Something feels, odd, to me as well.

It kind of has a 'prototype' vibe, and the lack of theming/landscaping makes it all feel a bit cold and unusual.

Still, you can almost guarantee it will ride better than any rollercoaster we have in the UK! That launch sequence is mind blowing.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
Looks like a very good ride but I agree it feels a little off. Although for me it's the slightly odd way the layout is constructed. The flow and way it's all quite spaced out is very strange and looks a little odd there on its own.

The best way to out it is I don't find it very aesthetically pleasing as most other big coasters 🤣

Not to say it won't be a fantastic ride it just looks odd to me.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
See, I'm not sure it's the lack of theming that was it for me. I don't necessarily have an issue with that; from my experience, the SeaWorld and Busch parks aren't really "themed" parks in that way anyway, so I wasn't expecting any huge-scale theming or landscaping. I don't have an issue with how it looks aesthetically, and the POV of Iron Gwazi still got me quite excited in spite of its similar lack of theming. Heck, even Ice Breaker and Emperor got me fairly excited watching the POVs, but something about Pantheon's layout doesn't quite rub me the right way, and I'm not sure what it is.

Don't get me wrong, though, I still think it looks like an excellent coaster! And I'm probably talking complete rubbish, anyway; judging off of a YouTube video can provide you with a very different opinion on a ride compared to actually riding it in person! And Pantheon's rave reviews would seem to suggest that the in-person ride experience certainly doesn't disappoint, which is the important thing, after all!
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Maybe it's just because I'm set to ride this this year, and I'm blinding myself a bit with naive excitement, but I think it looks great.

Is it the best coaster ever? No. Is it a shame they didn't theme it beyond a dirt field? Yes. Is it shocking that the sign telling people where the front row queue is is just an A4 sheet of paper from the office printer? Damn right it is.

Does the coaster still look like a ton of fun which will be a joy to ride? Abso-bloody-lutely
 

CanobieFan

Giga Poster
Lack of theme shouldn't really be a shock. What coaster at BGW has any, outside of the station but Verbolten? ...and that's basically just the 'bridge', the building is NOT themed, Even looking at BGT.... you've got Montu, Cobra, and kinda SheiKra but Busch seems to always have been more about the lands theme not the rides.
 

Ethan

Strata Poster
Yeah, echoing what has already been said, the general presentation is a let down, but it does look rather fun. The highlight looks to be the airtime hump on the launch which is nice. I know it's cold and it's been running slow but I think the outer bank turn after the top hat looks rather disappointing, but it's hard to judge.
 

Kw6sTheater

Hyper Poster
Finally got around to riding Pantheon on Saturday! Here is a detailed, element-by-element breakdown of the experience (and don't worry, there's a TL;DR included below):

The first launch is short but surprisingly punchy. The zero-g winder has a dose of fantastic hangtime, followed by some solid positive Gs at the bottom. The miniature outer banked hills before the swing launch don’t provide much (if any) airtime. Instead, they offer wonky doses of laterals to the right and the left.

As the swing launch isn’t sustained (it happens in quick bursts), it’s hard to feel the strong accelerational Gs. The first boost and airtime hill doesn’t provide much. Climbing the top hat for the first time, there’s a bit of weightlessness as the train stalls out and begins rolling backwards. But the second boost is noticeably more powerful than the first. This time, the airtime hill induces a sudden pop of ejector, followed by a burst of positives in the valley and another sudden pop of ejector on the step up into the spike.

Especially in the back, the spike is a blissful moment of sustained floater (perfect 0G, pretty much), and one of Pantheon’s highlights. The spike is comparable to a camelback hill of a quality B&M hyper - not overly intense, just pure, blissful fun - except riding 90° straight up is easily a more unique visual (Sidenote, to compare speeds from my rides, the back car was entirely on the 2-tube track, with the 4th car halfway on as well…). Looking right during the ascent provides a rare view over the rest of Pantheon. Following that, the final boost is insanity: another ejector burst on the step down, strong positives in the valley, followed by the airtime hill at full-speed delivering crazy, violent ejector.

Then Pantheon races up the top hat. In the front, there’s a solid moment of ejector up the top hat, while the back has some weightlessness. In any row, Pantheon’s 95° drop delivered, but it was exceptional in the back row - with sustained ejector air - and my favorite moment on Pantheon. The only drops I prefer are Fury 325’s and El Toro’s. The next valley isn’t too forceful, though it’s hard to appreciate the riverside setting due to Pantheon’s blistering speed.

As expected, the outer banked hill isn’t very extreme, but the dose of laterals, fantastic sideways views and flojector air on the descent made for a solid element regardless. It’s definitely better in the front, the airtime is stronger and more sustained up there. The banked hop into the stall provided a short, not too noticeable pop of airtime, while the zero-g stall itself is the final highlight of Pantheon.

The zero-g stall provides graceful, sustained hangtime high above the ground while somehow feeling fast. It’s one of my new favorite inversions for sure - flopping onto a lap bar while upside down is odd, but very fun. Then, the headchopper under the top hat goes by in a blur. The following S-bend is fairly whippy, like a faster version of Cheetah Hunt’s. And finally, Pantheon ends with a bang - the wall stall is surprisingly strong, delivering sideways flojector airtime that’s pretty sustained as well.

My first 2 laps on Pantheon were in the afternoon. Undeniably, it was very good, but less intense than expected and not the top-10 contender I hoped for. The last two evening and night rides changed that though - Pantheon seemed to be running faster, every element delivered more, amplified by the pitch black setting (the lighting package nor the lights on the catwalks ever turned on).

I found Pantheon itself to be eventful enough that the lack of theming wasn’t a major issue to me. On the whole, Pantheon is less centered around a single element, delivering a long, well-rounded experience with some of everything (all kinds of airtime, hangtime, some whip, backwards and fast sections) packed into one fulfilling layout. In that sense, Pantheon feels like a next-generation Maverick - and that’s really the only comparison I can make, considering it’s drastically unlike anything else I’ve ridden so far.

TL;DR - Pantheon lived up to my expectations as a world-class coaster. The night rides elevated Pantheon to my top 10 overall and my new favorite coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The 95° drop, airtime hill launch and spike were the highlights, but the zero-g stall and wall stall were fantastic too… actually, Pantheon doesn’t have any “bad” elements - they’re all interesting, powerful and/or sustained. While no single element is the best in its genre (besides the swing launch… that thing is insane), the variety of sensations, amount of airtime and consistent quality throughout the layout makes Pantheon truly top-notch. Well, it’s always left me satisfied and smiling, so…
 
Top