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BGA First Trip Advice


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Heading there for the first time monday.

Any advice would be dandy. (Like)....

1. Coasters to hit first

2. Best Seats

3. Are both sides of Gwazi running? Are certain seats less painfilled?

4. Good place to eat? -Is the Crown Colony Resturant the place to go?

5. Any shows I can't miss?

 

Give me your two-cents...please

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The ride to hit first, in my opinion, is SheiKra, then Kumba, then Gwazi, then Scorpion and Cheetah Chase (if they are open, they open a little later after park opening), then Montu. Since your going on a Monday, crowds should be a little bit lighter in the morning.

 

Best seats on rides. SheiKra, back row, edge seat gives nice forces and airtime. The back row of Kumba is also fun.

 

Both sides of Gwazi!? On a Monday!? Hah... hah...

 

A good place to eat, several, the main three being Crown Colony (which is pricey, but if you like animals, eat there), Desert Grill (if you like shows), or Zambia Smokehouse (if you like a view of SheiKra with BBQ).

 

The shows are rather forgettable, but if you have time to waste, Katonga is alright.

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1. Sheikra: Lines will be long as it is a star attraction and you don't want to miss out on this credit as it will be closed after memorial day weekend for a short spell to change to floorless

 

2. Eh, I don't know

 

3. Probably not, they only ran tiger when I was there. I didn't think it was that bad.

 

4. Food, I had a turkey leg in the area closest to montu, can't speak for the rest of the park. Buy one of the refillable cups though.

 

5. I didn't go to any shows, this is something for someone else to answer.

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What he said, we got to the park early (we usually don't) only to find that alot of the park didn't open until later, so keep that in mind. We went and rode Gwazi while we waited.

 

I liked the front row of Sheikra best, but that's just me. I like being able to see more (the seats are stadium-like, though)

 

Kumba was great in the back so I recommend sitting there.

 

We ate at the Zambia Smokehouse, the view of Sheikra is great, so I see it as: Sheikra + BBQ = Good.

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Cheetah Chase - This is a low capacity ride, so you should try and hit that early if you can. Just a simple wild mouse, relocated from Busch Gardens Euroburg. Ride it if you need the credit

Scorpion - Capacity is not that great due to running only one train, but the lines shouldn't be long

Gwazi - I don't know if they will be running both sides or not. They used to duel, but they rarely do it now (and if they do, it's usually coincidental).

Kumba - Depending on operations, it can be either a walk-on or a 30 minute wait. Typical old-school B&M - intense, but smooth for its age

Montu - Waits are generally short for this ride too.

 

Food - I don't tend to eat much at parks, but there's a some fast foot places around the park

Shows - I haven't seen any shows at BGT since they still had the Dolphin show (which was similar to what they had at SeaWorld).

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This is a popular order to follow:

 

1.Sheikra- most popular, longest line all day.

2.Kumba- longer lines if any at all later in the day as the GP migrate to the back of the park.

3.Cheetah Chase or Scorpion- as stated above low capacity.

4.Cheetah Chase or Scorpion- low capacity

5.Montu-waits are usually shorter, as stated above

6.Gwazi last- front of the park coasters sometimes have their longest lines first thing in the morning because the GP doesn't know any better.

 

If you get there just before opening, you should stay ahead of the crowds. ...even though you're heading in the same direction the GP usually goes.

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I don't want to detract from the point of the post, but, why does everyone always say Mean Streak is so painful? I've been on a lot of wooden coasters and Mean Streak was very smooth for an older style woodie when I rode it. Grizzly at Paramount's Great America, is much worse, as is the newly removed Psyclone at Magic Mountain. If you think any of those are rough, try riding Timber Wolf at Worlds of Fun, worst experience ever.

 

Did I just have a bit of luck on Mean Streak? I hear all the time about how rough it is...

 

I haven't been to BGA yet sadly, only BGE, so I can't comment on the rest of the post other than I am really looking forward to getting to all the Florida parks soon and I hope you have fun there!

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The shows are rather forgettable, but if you have time to waste, Katonga is alright.

 

Not going to get into a big argument here, but if shows are not your thing, that's cool. Just don't say they are forgettable and assume that everyone else will think so.

 

IF you are into shows, and since I work on most of them, here is what they are and you can decide for yourself:

 

Katonga: a 35 minute African inspired production. Lots of costumes, dancing, effects, etc.

 

Mirage Canteen: a 25 minute USO type 40's show. I personally think it is one of the best theme park shows I have ever worked on, and I have been doing shows since 1986. Very fun, fast paced, great dancing and singing.

 

Emerald Beat: the same Irish show that will be playing/is playing at Busch Gardens Europe. Direct from Ireland and it features Irish music and dancing.

 

Pirates: A 3-D movie in the old Dolphin Stadium. Same movie that played at BGE. MUCH better than Haunted Lighthouse.

 

There is also the Sheiks, a marching band that has been a fixture at the park for over 20 years and the Men of Note, an acapella group. Forever Friends is a children's show at the Land of the Dragons.

 

They are also working on a new animal show that will replace the bird show, Wild Wings of Africa which is still running.

 

As far as coasters, you should defiantely hit Sheikra first and get as many rides in as you can. They have been using 4 trains lately, so the lines moves pretty quickly.

 

I recommend the Smokehouse for lunch since they have great BBQ and you can watch Sheikra splash down from the comfort and dryness of the air conditioned dining room.

 

Both sides of Gwazi were running when I was there Monday, but they have not been dualing for quite some time.

 

Have fun!

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This has been my home park for almost 25 years. The reason why I love Busch Gardens Africa, is because it offers something for everyone. A good balance of world-class coasters, water rides, thrill rides, children's area, elaborate shows and is one of the largest and top rated zoos in the U.S. This is my advice if you want to see the best of Busch Gardens. Because it is going to be Easter/Spring break, expect the park to be more crowded than usual.

 

Be sure to arrvie before park opening (which on Monday is 9am, so arrive by 8:30am). Enter the park in Morocco and grab a park map. If you want a really up-close animal interaction, I highly recomend taking the Serengeti Safari. It is a extra charge: I think it is anywhere from $30-$40. It is a 45 minute tour on the back of a flatbed truck. The tour drives out onto the park's open-air, free-roaming animal habitat, the Serengti. You get to hand-feed different animals including many giraffes. It may sound expensive, but it will be something you will always remember. After entering the park, if you want to take this tour, the adventure tours reservation building will be towards your left. Capacity for these tours are around 10 guests and sell out fast. The tours leave every hour. I would suggest making the reservation for around 1pm or 2 pm.

 

After making the reservation, or entering the park, head towards Rhino Rally in Narobi. The park may have the area before Rhino Rally roped off until 9:30am. Wait at the rope. While waiting you can checkout the animal habitats in that area. Once the rope drops, head for Rhino Rally. Not the best ride by any means, but can be fun and unique. I suggest hitting it early, because it can be an extremley low capacity ride, even having a 60 minute wait after opening.

 

After Rhino Rally, hit the Timbuktu area. Ride The Scorpion (single loop coaster) and Cheetah Chase (wild mouse coaster). As mentioned before, these are low capacity coasters and may have a wait later in the day. If you want ride the 2 flats in the area: The Sandstorm, a flying scrambler type ride and The Phoenix, a upsidedown swinging boat ride, enjoy them at this time. If you like 3D movies, than checkout Pirates 4D at the Timbuktu Theater. I am spoiled with the 3D movies at Disney and Universal, so this is not one of my favorite 3D movies.

 

After Timbuktu, head into the Congo area. First hit the Kumba coaster (a 7 loop steel coaster), The Congo River Rapids (you will get wet). Ride the Ubanga-Banga Bumper Cars if you want. Most of Congo is under renovation and will be walled off. Head over to Stanleyville.

 

It's time for Sheikra! Most will say to hit Sheikra first, which is fine. But Sheikra has a very high capacity. Even if the line looks long, it keeps moving. I like all the seats on Shiekra, but the front does rock! And the last 2 ends seats on each side, on all three rows are awesome. If you like flumes, hit The Stanleyville Falls, this can become an awful wait most of the day, so take advantage if there is a short line. If you like getting wet, hit The Tanganyika Tidal Wave. You will get drowned! There usually is never a wait. It's probally lunch time, I suggest the Zambia Smokehouse. They have ribs, chicken, chicken fingers, salads, warps and homemade bread pudding. As mentioned before, the view of Shiekra is worth it.

 

After lunch, take the Skyride from the Stanleyville area to The Crown Colony area. You will get fantastic views of the animals in the Serengeti and the rest of the park. When you exit the Skyride Station in The Crown Colony area, this is next to the meeting spot for the Serengeti Safari Tour. If you do the Safari, be sure to be in this area 15 minutes before your tour. Explore The Edge of Africa. This area features up-close animal exhibits including Hippos, Lions, Meerkats and many more.

 

Next up, Egypt featuring Montu, a fantastic large inverted coaster. The line may seem long, but should continue to move. The front is great (usually has a long wait), but I think any seat is just as good.

You can hit Tut's Tomb, a 5 minute walk-through replica of King Tut's Tomb. After exiting the Egypt area, you can view the Clydesdale Hamlet.

 

Find out when the next showing of Katonga is, an elaborate African inspired broadway type show. Either see the show then, or check out the Alligator exhibit and the Myombe Reserve: The Great Ape Domain exhibit. Then it should be time for the show. After the show or the above animal exibits, check out Curosity Caverns, featuring reptiles and nocturnal anmials. The Nursey is also nice. Take the Train from the Narobi station towards the Stanleyville station. On the way, you will be able to see more animals on The Serengeti. The train will stop at the Congo station, stay on and continue to the Stanleyville station.

 

After exiting the Stanleyville Station, if you want to hit Sheikra again and the wait is not to long, this is your chance. Otherwise head over to the Bird Gardens. If it's not to late and it is still open, visit Lory Landing. For a couple of bucks you can feed lorikeets in this free-flying aviary. Continue on through the Land of The Dragons and the Bird Gardens. If anyone in your group is of age, stop by the Anheuser-Busch Hospitality House for free beer samples. Check out the American Bald Eagle Exhibit.

 

And finally hit Gwazi, a pair of dueling wooden coasters. Most likely only one side will be open. I perfer sitting anywhere in the middle, towards the front for a some-what smoother ride. After Gwazi, you will be back in Morocco. I usually will grab an awesome dessert next to the Marrakesh Theather. Grab a seat with your dessert at the open-air Marrakesh Theather, and enjoy the song and dance show. As mentiond above it is now called Mirage Canteen. It is a new show that I haven't had a chance to see yet, but I'm sure it is great.

 

It is probally now around park closing time (8pm). So that should end your day. Hopefully this guide helps. Have fun!

 

-Eric

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