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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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They put a cheetah head on the train and it still looks bad A$$. I didn't think I would like it but I really do. I hope the decals on the front are pretty minimal like maybe just the eyes, but I'm confident they will look great.

When Seaworld built Manta I feel they did a perfect job. They took the available land and built a coaster that is perfect for their park. Busch Gardens Tampa seems to be doing the same thing with Cheetah Hunt, well almost. I will give them a break about the name, which by the way I don't see a single good reason not to change (sorry), because every other aspect of the ride is really good. I think when it's done the design team will be able to sit back and smile widely.

I hope it's not a real cheetah head! lol

I don't say this to many things, but Cheetah Hunt trains are SEXY.

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From Screamscape Twitter:

 

Good news Cheetah Hunt fans... official word from BGT is that shortening select skyride towers has been the plan all along.

 

No way. Are they trying to convince us that shortening sky ride towers was an easier solution from the onset than to have the coaster designed to jump a little bit higher?

 

I'm not buying it, sounds like someone is trying to save face. However, in the end it really doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

Edited by larrygator
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^^

I was thinking the SAME thing... I have a tough time believing that lowing the skyride was always in the plan... either way... I'm glad the skyride is IN the plan at all... most parks have dismantled the skyride... cannot wait until it all opens (skyride/cheetah hunt)...

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Same here, Larry. I just can't imagine that shortening sky ride towers is as simple as showing up and "taking a little off the top" one day. I may be wrong too, but that just seems counterproductive in the grand scheme of things.

 

Also, like you, I don't care one way or the other; however, it is a somewhat intriguing decision regardless of when the official decision came down.

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I agree that this was some sort of miscalculation, especially considering that the sky ride has been down for a long period of time now and nothing has been done to modify it. In fact I'm pretty sure that the cable is still on the ride itself! You would think that if this were the plan all along that it would have been one of the FIRST things they would have done, even before assembling track.

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^ Right. And I'm generally pleading ignorance on the matter, but intuition tells me that by modifying the sky ride, it would *possibly* void any manufacturer's warranty on the lines themselves? I mean, sky rides would seem to be fairly precise installations, with all the counterbalance this and that involved, no? Maybe I'm thinking too deep, and it's not that complicated, but it just seems really odd.

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From Screamscape Twitter:

 

Good news Cheetah Hunt fans... official word from BGT is that shortening select skyride towers has been the plan all along.

 

No way. Are they trying to convince us that shortening sky ride towers was an easier solution from the onset than to have the coaster designed to jump a little bit higher?

 

It seems weird to me, too - it's coming off the biggest drop of the ride at that point, so why it couldn't make it a few feet higher is beyond me. But I'm not an engineer (yet), so if that's what they say, then I'll take it! As long as I get to ride this thing when I'm in Florida next January!

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Those photos that showed it would go over the Skyride always looked like it wasn't quite working out...but I did hear, some time ago, that the plan was to lower the Skyride towers. People have made all the obvious points and it does look fishy but it could just as easily be something completely understandable. Perhaps just going higher wasn't an option, the next element is the heartline which is probably somewhat speed specific. Does anyone have knowledge of how hard it will be to lower the 2 towers? Maybe it isn't as big a deal as it seems. I hope it wasn't a mistake but if it gets fixed and is awesome I don't really care.

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I'm sure they can remove the cable cars, then the cables, then replace the towers while recalibrating the cables, then put everything back. It does look difficult, but I'm sure they can do it; it's not impossible.

 

I'm pretty sure we are staring to drive off course with this discussion about the Skyride and Cheetah Hunt's hump.

 

The trains look more than cool and I can't wait until I try an intamin accelerator for the first time.

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Lol, when I looked at those first pictures of CHUNT jumping over the skyride I thought it was just the angle throwing me off from the coaster not looking tall enough to make it.

 

Also, Texas Giant looks unstable because there aren't (weren't?) any railings along the course of the ride. Our mind says," Hey, something's missing from that photo!" and we perceive the ride to look unstable...At least that's my feeble analysis of the situation.

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I'm pretty sure we are staring to drive off course with this discussion about the Skyride and Cheetah Hunt's hump.

You're right. All these valid points regarding changing the profile of one huge ride in order to accommodate another is completely irrelevant.

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I talked to a worker at Busch Gardens who was at the Edge of Africa pathway. He started explaining to us the coaster (in non coaster nerd fashion ) and I asked him about the section over the skyride. He said that they didn't believe it was going to be so close, so they are going to drop the skyride.

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^ If this is true, and it does seem plausible, I wonder if the opening will be beyond May. There is at least plenty to do and this wont stop construction. There probably fine on time. The remaining track can go up pretty quickly if the only problem is the Skyride. I think coaster wise it's nearly complete. Something strikes me as very odd though: during the hard hat tour it was said that track would be done in that next week, they had to have known about the clearance problem by then, right? This will all work out fine but it is surprising to me that this particular mistake could have been made, It seems like an easy catch. The first photo I saw screamed problem to me so when did BGT know, just curious.

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I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means, but I work with a chairlift on a regular basis and it is actually surprising how quickly you can add/remove things from the wire. I've seen a full set of chairs removed in under a day's work (~40 chairs) and one removed in a matter of minutes for some refurbishment work; add to the fact that Busch Garden's sky ride buckets already unhook from their main cable(s). Unlike most chairlifts where the seat is always clamped onto the same section of wire, the buckets are loaded in a separate area and then reattached to the main line. Anyone who has ridden it will note that in the course of the ride you also switch directions around the midpoint. The chairs enter that station and then progress down a rail (new credit?!) to be attached to the next section of the course. I've always been intrigued in how they run theirs so effortlessly with what I see as a potential for stacking if one is not careful... especially with there being many different factors in speed of "dispatch" if you will... but, that is beside the point. Sorry for the industrial engineering efficiency/ride capacity tangent...

 

As for the cable, I cannot speak on their housings at BG, but there usually is the ability to have the cable loosen or tighten a few feet if weight distribution requires it. The giant wheel of the drive motor can be on a pneumatic system that can, on the fly, add or remove tension if the weight changes suddenly by moving in the direction of travel, or away from it.

 

I do not know their full plans, but shortening a tower while seeming like a drastic change doesn't strike me as much as some are making it out to be. Ultimately when you think about it, the ride follows the wire. If it goes 100 feet straight, 50 feet in a climb, etc. as long as they have the proper spacing of towers and tension calculated you're looking at really only needing a new footer(?), fabricated support tower, and new passive wheels at the tower that dictate the ride's direction (meaning straight wheels, climb wheels, or descent wheels). Chairlifts are complicated and yet simple at the same time.

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I am totally counting down the days for this puppy to open. I'll be back at the park on the 12th. Looking forward to see the progress that's gone on over the last couple weeks.

Post more of your awesome photos!

You got it! I'm going through withdrawals having not been there for the last couple weeks.

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Headed over to BGT Saturday for some crazy reason. Lets just say a Saturday in March when Spring Breaks are starting and the weather is amazing makes for a very crowded park. Anyway, the real reason for going was to get more pictures so here ya go. I did talk to a construction worker briefly who did say they still should have everything ready to go Memorial Weekend. They will in fact be lowering sky ride supports...he said a total of 5. Not sure how accurate that is but it's pretty obvious they need to be lowered. Anyway, on to the pictures. (no time for captions since it would make me late for work....but by now everyone should know what things are).

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I headed to the park today for my first time in three years, and not much has changed, but Jungala is neat for the kids, and Sheikra is a lot more fun floorless. Gwazi is not much better than I remembered it being, even with the new trains.

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