Happy Friday: The Enchanted Laboratory At Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens

One of the many nice things about being a big fan of Disney parks is that they give you a greater appreciation for and interest in theme parks in general. Liking more things means there are more things we like, if you know what I mean.

With that in mind, follow me now on a brief journey into my childhood, a fixture of which was Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Sure, Six Flags America and Kings Dominion were closer to where I lived, but Busch Gardens was worth that extra hour’s drive.

Just like Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has grown and changed a lot over the ensuing decades, and while we’ve gained some nifty new rides and attractions, we’ve also lost some of my nostalgic favorites. One such ride was my very first roller coaster ever, Big Bad Wolf, which while sorely missed thankfully found a worthy successor in Verbolten.

Alas, another lost attraction now has no successor at all: The Enchanted Laboratory of Nostramos the Magnificent, which ran from 1986 to 2000. Located in what is now the Ireland section of the park and ostensibly a magic show for children, The Enchanted Laboratory rose above its humble concept with a truly entertaining performance for all ages.

Oh, sure, you think. When you were seven you thought that. But how about revisiting it as an adult?

Guys, this show is AWESOME.

I mean, sure, nostalgia may be coloring some of my opinion, but I stand by it – the magic tricks, while not mind-blowing for the most part, were performed with aplomb, the script was good, the songs were catchy, the animatronics were fun, and the actors were talented. You needn’t trust me; somebody even built a fansite for the show.

Need a break from your Friday workday? Take 24 minutes and check it out below. And if you like it, definitely take a look at that fansite I linked above – it’s super comprehensive! (One of its fun facts: several former Imagineers were part of the project.)

P.S. SPOILER: One time, even though I’d already seen the show several times, the monster It that tries to escape at the end scared me. I asked my dad if we could leave and he said no. The show finished up and I was fine. šŸ˜† Having read on the fansite that Northrup had to actively wrestle with It, perhaps this was one of the times It rose a little higher than intended?

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