Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby thePolemarch » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:34 pm

So it has been announced that Donnie Mills, the park President of the Orlando SEA parks is retiring, and Jim Dean, the President of the Tampa SEA parks will replace him and Stewart Clark, who was the Vice President of Discovery cove will replace Jim Dean in Tampa.

This is an interesting move, as Jim Dean has been fairly successful as Busch Gardens never really felt the effects of Blackfish and Adventure Island recently had its best summer in history. However, he is known to be less animal focused. Stewart Clark, is very likable and is said to value the animal side of the parks highly, as can be expected from his time at Discovery Cove.

It will be interesting to see what direction the parks move in under this new leadership.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby bert425 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:05 pm

iujen94 wrote:Hello all! I'm so glad to have found this page, as I'm planning our first trip to BGT, and I'm a compulsive Type-A planner when it comes to park visits. Here's the background on our visit - it will be me and my two sons, ages 10 and 13. We are huge roller coaster fans, but not solely roller coaster fans. We HATE waiting in lines! We will be at BGT Monday, February 20 (President's Day) and Tuesday, February 21.

Questions . . .

1. What can you tell me about "rope drop" at BGT? We are early park goers and like to be there right at opening. If the park is scheduled to open at 10am, will it open right at 10am, or does it sometimes open earlier than the posted opening time? What time would you recommend getting to the park for a 10am opening (to allow time to get through security, etc.)?

2. Do all rides/areas of the park open right at 10am, or is there a staggered opening like at BGW?

3. We are definitely planning to do Quick Queue Unlimited - would you recommend that we splurge to get the QQU plus Cobra's Curse? I think it's usually $20 more, although the prices aren't out yet for our dates. I assume that if we go right at park opening, we can get on CC fairly quickly. Will we want to ride CC more than once a day?

4. Where are your favorite places to eat in the park?

5. What are your favorite rides other than the big coasters?

6. How wet do you get on the water rides at BGT? Do they usually adjust the water flow based on the weather? Since we are going in February, I'm guessing the weather may be iffy, but we generally love a water ride as long as we don't get soaked when it's cold.

7. What are your favorite shows or other non-ride attractions?

8. Finally, any guesses as to how busy the park will be on President's Day and that Tuesday?

9. Wait, one last one - and this is just out of curiosity more than anything - I read through a lot of the older posts on this board and saw a couple of mentions of a "medicated rabbit." What the heck is that??

Thanks so much for any input!


I'll try to come back and answer some of what I can later (other than Cobra's Curse, while a fun family coaster, was 1 and done for us.. but took some trying to get on it) :)

instead, I'll just link to my Trip Report from last Summer, that included BGT for 3 days, SeaWorld Orlando, and some other stops in the area:

lots of pics, and some suggestions on where to eat.

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=72163
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby RAWKIN_coaster38 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:55 pm

iujen94 wrote:Hello all! I'm so glad to have found this page, as I'm planning our first trip to BGT, and I'm a compulsive Type-A planner when it comes to park visits. Here's the background on our visit - it will be me and my two sons, ages 10 and 13. We are huge roller coaster fans, but not solely roller coaster fans. We HATE waiting in lines! We will be at BGT Monday, February 20 (President's Day) and Tuesday, February 21.

Questions . . .

2. Do all rides/areas of the park open right at 10am, or is there a staggered opening like at BGW?

4. Where are your favorite places to eat in the park?

5. What are your favorite rides other than the big coasters?

6. How wet do you get on the water rides at BGT? Do they usually adjust the water flow based on the weather? Since we are going in February, I'm guessing the weather may be iffy, but we generally love a water ride as long as we don't get soaked when it's cold.

7. What are your favorite shows or other non-ride attractions?

9. Wait, one last one - and this is just out of curiosity more than anything - I read through a lot of the older posts on this board and saw a couple of mentions of a "medicated rabbit." What the heck is that??

Thanks so much for any input!

I can answer a few.

2. Unless things have changed, there is a staggered opening, with rides further back in the park opening later than those areas in the front. Someone else should answer this more thoroughly, I just know the answer is yes.

4. Pantopia has a lot of variety and the food isn't too bad. The BBQ by Skeikra is pretty good. Of course, gotta try Twisted Tails pretzels for a snack! I haven't been to the park since the restaurant opened, so someone who has been could speak to that.

5. I love the water rides (see below) and of course.... Falcon's Fury!!! The summer campers (kids about your age) LOVED Phoenix (swinging ship) but I wasn't a fan. However, it was conveniently placed so that adults could sit out and still be there to pick up kids at the exit.

6. I have no idea about adjusted flow, but I can speak from summer experience. Log flume... not too wet. Congo rapids... can get VERY VERY wet!! It is kind of a crap-shoot because you might ride and not get wet (not my experience, but observed). However, I got utterly SOAKED whenever I rode it, so if you don't want that, I'd highly recommend purchasing a poncho and taking every precaution you can!

7. I liked all the shows! Some people hated it but I loved Iceploration (very cheesy but cool) and Opening Night Critters!

9. It is a word filter to represent the thing you put your items in while you are on rides ("1ockers") so if you ever type that word, it will post as "fluffy fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo."

Don't forget to do all of the animal stuff you can, especially watch the cheetah run presentation! Feeding the birds and kangaroos is awesome, but if you go later in the day, they may not be as hungry.

Have fun, and welcome to the board!
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby coasterbill » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:45 pm

^ I'd agree with pretty much all of this.

Aside from the coasters, Falcon's Fury is amazing, I love Stanley Falls but of course I do and I also love the Sky Ride but of course I do. Stanley Falls has a very acceptable and consistent level of wetness as it has no spray guns. Congo Rapids will try to drown you. The Sky Ride and the train are both must-rides because they give you great views of the animals. Take the train from Nairobi to the Congo for the best view of the animals.

As far as food, I just want to stress exactly what RAWKIN_coaster said. Zambia Smokehouse and Twisted Tails are the best things to eat on the park. Absolutely, 100%, without question eat at these 2 places.

Also, I know you didn't ask but I have 2 important tips.

1) Ride Kumba in the back row in the far seat (closest to the unload platform). The zero g roll is perfection. Seriously...

2) Ride Montu in the back. It will try to rip your face off but in a very smooth and awesome way.

As far as shows, I love Opening Night Critters. I think Iceploration sucks balls but a lot of people like it so don't take my word for it. The best show / presentation in the park is the Cheetah presentation. God I love Cheetahs.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby CPmillenia94 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:16 pm

^Yes montu back seat in general, BUT far left seat if you want some true rip your face off action.. :airtime: Hopefully someone else can attest to this.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby djcoastermark » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:55 pm

^ To quote Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, I second that emotion.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby gerstlaueringvar » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:35 am

CPmillenia94 wrote:^Yes montu back seat in general, BUT far left seat if you want some true rip your face off action.. :airtime: Hopefully someone else can attest to this.

Listen to him.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby CaptainUnknown » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:20 pm

For budgeting purposes, how necessary is a quick queue (unlimited) on late March Saturdays?
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby B&MIntaminGCI » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:00 pm

CPmillenia94 wrote:^Yes montu back seat in general, BUT far left seat if you want some true rip your face off action.. :airtime: Hopefully someone else can attest to this.


Yep, that Batwing is insane

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby B&MBoy1982 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:41 pm

CPmillenia94 wrote:^Yes montu back seat in general, BUT far left seat if you want some true rip your face off action.. :airtime: Hopefully someone else can attest to this.


Yes! The drop in the seat is awesome.

Montu has the most powerful batwing if you ride in the back.

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