What is: Alpengeist – Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Alpengeist is a steel roller coaster, located
at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. Upon debut, the ride became the world’s
tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster, allowing guests to navigate the thrilling
layout all while hanging below the track. Furthermore, It still remains the tallest
ride of its kind constructed by Bolliger and Mabillard even to this day. Alpengeist opened to the public on the 22nd
of March 1997 at the cost of 20 Million USD. Its name directly translates to “Ghost of the Alps” from German, referencing its alpine mountain theme. Within the surrounding area can be found Ski-Resort
related theming, including trail maps, rental ski shacks and slope condition announcements. To top it off, the ride’s lift hill even
features unique custom ski-lift like supports. After navigating the attraction queueline,
guests enter the station building. It’s at this point that they board one of
three vehicles, each of which seat riders in 8 rows of four. This leads to a total of 32 visitors per train. Behind each seat can be found individual skis,
further adding to the ride’s theme. Interestingly, unlike any other Bolliger and
Mabillard inverted coaster, the trains of Alpengeist feature an unoccupied zero car
which lies at the front of the vehicle. According to the park themselves, the zero
car features 680kg, 1500 pounds of additional weight, helping to ensure the train maintains
it’s speed throughout the thrilling ride. Once guests have boarded, the floor drops
from beneath the vehicles, allowing for them to be dispatched from the station building. Riders immediately join the attraction’s
lift hill and begin their climb. The trains ascend 59m (195ft) high directly
above the river below. Visitors crest the top of the ride’s lift
hill, before entering the 52m (170ft) drop. Riders bank to the right and quickly spiral
towards the ground. It’s at this point that the trains reach
their maximum speed of 108kmh (67mph). After passing over the river, guests fly above
a ski-lodge building and enter their first inversion, an immelmann. This is instantly followed by a second inversion,
a 32m (106ft) tall vertical loop. The trains continue to navigate the track,
passing through a long tunnel, before entering a huge snappy cobra roll. Guests traverse the two inversions, bank to
the right, and complete a sharp left hand turn into the attractions mid-course brake
run. After losing some speed, visitors dive to
the right, back towards the ground. They then pass through a small tunnel and
complete another inversion, a zero-g roll, over the park’s log flume. The trains continue their journey by traversing
through a snow themed pit before entering the 6th and final inversion, a corkscrew. The ride comes to an end with an upward 360
degree helix, followed by a long slow left hand turn leading guests into the final brake
run. Throughout their ride, visitors navigate a
total of 1167m (3828ft) of track, all within approximately 58 seconds of ride time. That’s measured from the first drop, to
when the trains enter the final brake run. Due to the large vehicle capacity and spread
out circuit, Alpengeist has a maximum theoretical throughput of roughly 1820 riders per hour. Overall, many enthusiasts praise the roller
coaster for its excellent terrain usage, large scale and intense ride. However, others dislike the attraction’s
fast-paced transitions quoting them to induce head banging at specific points throughout
the layout. Do you prefer the snappier nature of Alpengiest
compared to other similar roller coasters? What’s your opinion?


  1. Piraten is becoming a more well known attraction. I would love an episode on it 😉 Otherwise great episode as always!

  2. It's not the snappy nature, it's how much speed is lost in the second half. I feel like it almost defeats the purpose of having such an enormous ride.

  3. Hey Harry! I was wondering if you could do a video on near-miss elements and such. Like, it doesn't always look safe to put my hands up inside a coaster 'cause I'm too scared that they will get chopped off. I would like to know more about near-miss elements and how they come up with the distances between tracks and such.

  4. It's a good ride, yes, but I was a little disappointed when I finally got to ride it after being in awe of it for years. It definitely feels like it's a bit too big for itself. With it's height and speed it feels like it pushed the boundaries as the train rattles and some of the transitions are a bit violent. It's still not bad, but very intense. It's one of the few coasters I'm not sure I could marathon, I would need a break after every ride or two. Montu is much better.

  5. What is Alpengeist??

    Probably the best B&M coaster but that’s just me

    Also what’s really sad is this ride is typically dead whenever I go to BGW

  6. I don't remember headbanging when I rode it, but just looking at that cobra roll and snap into the MCBR makes my neck hurt.

  7. Busch Gardens is my home park so I would not call it the best but not the worst. The only head banging part is the cobra and the mid course break run

  8. I like the snappier type B&M inverts! I visited SFGAm just 2 weeks ago and Batman the ride was my favorite surprisingly. It's just a fun ride! Goliath was my 2nd favorite before I get burned at the stake for liking a ride that's been cloned so much ahaha

  9. Honestly one of my favorite roller coasters of all time. I don''t care what other people say about it, it's great to me.

  10. What not to love about this video? Is this Tyrolian/Bavarian folk music actually the soundtrack fo this tallest and fastest full circuit coaster? Sweet! (BTW Wicked Twister at Cedar Point is taller and faster invert coaster but is also merely a shuttle coaster) Also: All B&M hypers (gigs too) have car 0s as do all RMC's, not to mention Coaster at Playland in Vancouver. Thanks for finally bringing this to riders attention, although I must admit I've never seen a B&M invert with a car 0! 

    As for my opinion: The only two inverted coasters I've ridden are the two at Cedar Point (Raptor is better that Wicked Twister by a large margin!) However: I believe that Katun is the best B&M invert in the world, followed by Montu, then Banshee. (There are possibly some Intamin shuttle invert coasters better than Wicked Twister albeit smaller, slower, and shorter, but less bumpy). So: I think Katun is the world's best invert; but I could be wrong. Thanks for posing, COASTER BOT!

  11. One of my top 3 rides of all time. Man it’s so good. Head banging isn’t really that bad to me, just gotta keep your head back during those inversions, especially the cobra roll

  12. Still waiting for Australia's first B&M. Was hoping that Movie World would have it but alas the wait will continue.

  13. Busch Gardens is my favorite theme park. Big Bad Wolf was my first suspended ride that I rode. When I rode this one I wasn't prepared for it and the head banging was a real turn off. That being said, I'll give it another try and keep my head back next time

  14. I much prefer to pronounce it Alp-&-guy'st like in the video, rather than Alp-&-geest the way many people do

  15. Just went to Busch Gardens yesterday. I was going to ride it but last time I rode I got sick. ☹️

  16. Dude. These videos are truly the greatest. I am just in love with your editing! It really keeps me engaged! If only schools were like this😂

  17. OMG truly a B&M beauty …….. This shows how much better Nemesis could have been without those lousy height restrictions ! 😩. Never seen or even heard of this one Harry but I love it !!! Thanks for the awsome video 👌🏼🧱👍🏼

  18. Great vid, The quality is through the roof on this one!

    Btw, Do you have any thoughts on the b&m invert coming to Gröna lund 2020? 😀

  19. I think something needs to be done about the jerky transitions, last time I rode when goin through the cobra roll i saw my legs bend at probably a 35 or 40 degree angle. The head banging on this ride can be pretty bad sometimes and it’s 22 years old. So in my opinion I would like them to receive new trains like banshees with vests. If they don’t do that I’d don’t see this ride being around in the next decade

  20. I've heard they're trimming the midcourse brake run extremely hard this season. We'll be up there next month to find out.

  21. Definitely rough on the transitions (for a b&m anyway), but an excellent layout hands down. Definitely worth riding more than once.

  22. This is one of those rides where I like it very much in the front row, but not much anywhere else. You can't see anything except the back of the seat in front of you and miss the thrilling visuals.

  23. Alpengiest may be one of the best themed rides and is definitely the best invert. The only negative is the head bang from the cobra roll into the brake run which seems like a large oversight from Claude and Walt from an otherwise flawless ride. You can tell they wanted this to be their masterpiece as it’s concept is so close to home.

  24. Definitely one of my favorite. I thought the zero cars were just hollow show pieces… who knew they were just a 1 ton hunk of track completion insurance?

  25. Of all the B&M inverts I’ve ridden Alpengeist is by far my favorite I’ve had the chance to ride. also love the theming and the park

  26. Actually we have 3 trains for people to ride at first but we only use 2 of them know, as the other one is used for maintenance purposes.

  27. Ridden it 20+ times. Great ride if you're in the front row; bad in the middle or back. You can't see ahead from the back rows and you tend to get thrown around when you can't anticipate the next turn coming.

  28. Been to BG Williamsburg a dozen or so times and never liked this ride. It was too snappy between elements and the design of the cars made sure that you couldn't see what was in front of you. Rode it front car and it immediately moved to the top of my BG list. Being able to see the elements makes the snappy transitions much more bearable

  29. Hey COASTER BOT, I’m going to Six Flags Great America on Friday, I’ll be sure to check on construction for Maxx Force!!

  30. Used to work on this ride in 2003. Rode this everyday on my lunch break. Never got tired of it. The intensity is crazy.

  31. This made me sick the last time I rode it. Makes me depressed how prone I am to motion sickness because I love coasters.

  32. Best thing i found out to do about the headbanging is keep your head against the the head rest problem solved

  33. I could walk there to Busch Gardens from my house.. which is great because traffic is awful. My son is on deployment, but he'd LOVE this ride! Hope he gets leave before his deployment ends and while they're still open!!

  34. My opinion is…After reriding this and Raptor in 2018, and experiencing Afterburn for the first time, out of the 3 I've ridden, Afterburn is the superior invert imo

  35. B&M inverts have a certain charm to their snappy nature, for instance, Batman the Ride at six flags great America has a very different ride experience than bazarro at six flags Great Adventure. They both have the snappy B&M inversions, but the way that inverts have a higher heart-line than a sit down coaster, the rolls especially have more vertical g force than on a sit down. I do like B&M inverts quite a lot because they have a unique snap to their elements, though I'm not a huge fan of their over the shoulder restraints, but you can reduce head banging by keeping your head forward more. I can't speak for alpengeist, because it's still on my to do list, but I've been on a few B&M inverts and I quite like them.

  36. Alpengeist is my favorite B&M at the park. I love its speed and intensity, the mildest issue for me is the really snapoy cobra roll, but that gives it its character. I love this ride.

  37. Friend wanted to get on Alpengeist……..few minutes later came off with a headache for the rest of the day. Its a shame the coaster is beautiful and has a nice theme.

  38. Love this ride! Even though it gives me a bit of a headache afterwards lol. Wish it was a little smoother, but other than, it's a lot of fun.

  39. Yesss alpengeist is my favorite invert because it’s so snappy and intense that cobra roll is something else but I can see why people say it’s rough

  40. The only part of Alpengeist that I would consider "rough" would probably be the Cobra Roll, but other than that it easily is in my top 5 favorite inverts. I always found the speed and fast pacing of the transitions to be enjoyable.

  41. if you come to the park in august at 4:00 pm you can get every ride done in 45 minutes, there are no lines for anything!

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