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DarKoaster, Busch Gardens Williamsburg's newest rollercoaster is now open

The wait is over! The park's 10th roller coaster is set to launch this month. A special brew from the Virginia Beer Company will also be made available.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Busch Gardens Williamsburg's newest rollercoaster is ready to thrill park-goers!

"DarKoaster: Escape the Storm" is North America's first all-indoor straddle roller coaster. The theme park said DarKoaster is open to the general public following a grand opening ceremony on May 19. Park members got exclusive early-ride access the previous weekend.

To ride, people will have to meet the 48-inch height requirement, making it a family-friendly rollercoaster. 

DarKoaster was built by Intamin Worldwide and has taken up residence inside the old Curse of DarKastle building in the Oktoberfest section of the park.

"Thrill seekers experiencing DarKoaster will embark on snowmobiles to discover a mysterious phenomenon inside the walls of the iconic Oktoberfest castle," Busch Gardens said in a press release. "Building upon the legacy of Curse of DarKastle, a supernatural force is imminent as explorers discover that they are evading more than just a raging storm."

When "Curse of DarKastle" opened in 2005, it was a state-of-the-art virtual reality dark ride that featured physical sets, special effects, and 3D projected animation.

The ride proved popular with its theming and storytelling of a mad, Bavarian king's haunted castle, but it was shut down for good following the 2017 season.

The imposing, gothic castle's facade has remained a presence in the Oktoberfest section of the park, but the building itself has seen more limited use in recent years -- mostly for Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town events. 

For years, park fans have hoped DarKastle would be resurrected in some form, and now they are about to get their wish with the opening of DarKoaster.

From 2005: A sneak peek at the opening of "Curse of DarKastle"

To further celebrate the 10th roller coaster attraction at Busch Gardens, the park has teamed up The Virginia Beer Company by offering DarKoaster Black Lager, a limited-release beer.

"At 5.2% ABV, this all-new brew is a traditional German-style Schwarzbier with hints of chocolate and coffee notes. Featured at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, this limited-edition pour will be available on draft and in commemorative cans to visitors 21 and up beginning on DarKoaster’s Opening Day," Busch Gardens said.

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