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Busch Gardens Williamsburg closes Europe in the Air for 2013 season

Europe in the Air logo

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has revealed that its Europe in the Air flight simulator will be closed for the remainder of the 2013 season.

The park's official website confirmed the closure, stating simply: "Europe in the Air will be closed for the remainder of 2013. We apologize for any inconvenience." No reason has been given for the ride's sudden shutdown, but it is widely rumored that it is a cost-cutting measure.

Europe in the Air is similar in concept to Disney's hugely popular Soarin' Over California attraction, and takes guests on a simulated flight over a number of famous European landmarks. This include Stonehenge in England, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and the Coliseum in Italy.

The attraction debuted as recently as 2010, reusing the existing ride system that had previously shown the Corkscrew Hill movie. To improve the ride's video quality, Busch Gardens Williamsburg invested in a new projection system that features a resolution nearly seven times greater than broadcast high definition television.

SeaWorld Entertainment, which owns and operates Busch Gardens Williamsburg, launched a successful IPO in April 2013. The firm is therefore now answerable to a range of shareholders, although the Blackstone Group retains a majority stake. Since the IPO, a range of budget cuts appear to have been implemented at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks, although capital expenditure on new attractions has continued.

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