Busch Gardens Williamsburg Announces DarKoaster

After the shuttering of Curse of DarKastle in 2017, King Ludwig’s castle has remained mostly dormant (save for an occasional Howl-O-Scream maze!) for the past five years. However, the spirits inside the castle are back, as Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced the replacement for the former dark ride – a new family thrill roller coaster known as DarKoaster.


Featuring nearly 2,500 feet of track, DarKoaster will feature four launches, and reach top speeds of 36 miles per hour. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is marketing the coaster as the world’s first all-indoor straddle coaster. DarKoaster will feature seats designed to resemble snowmobiles (similar to the jet skis on Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio), and like Wave Breaker, will also be manufactured by Intamin.

According to Busch Gardens lore, “King Ludwig’s abandoned fortress resurfaces as strange weather patterns have been recorded near the cursed castle grounds. Only the bravest souls will embark on snowmobiles in this dark expedition to discover the mysterious phenomenon. A supernatural force is imminent as explorers discover that they are evading more than just a raging storm.”

“Daring explorers race through total darkness while changing course to avoid the elements,” the park continues. “As the weather strikes, riders encounter four accelerating launches on this family-friendly dark ride experience.”

Riders must be a minimum of 48″ tall to ride, and no taller than 76″. DarKoaster will be Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 10th roller coaster, and fourth multi-launch coaster at the park, joining Pantheon, Tempesto, and Verbolten.

DarKoaster is able to have four launches despite being defined to a relatively small space by negotiating the same track circuit two times. Switches will allow one train to be loading/unloading while the other goes around the course twice before returning to the station. In fact, it appears all the track work has already been completed!

DarKoaster is scheduled to open in 2023. This post will continued to be updated with more information as it becomes available.