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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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I remember dealing with similar behavior working on Maverick at CP a few years ago...its unpleasant at best.

 

Kudos to Busch Gardens and the Ride Crew for doing everything they did, and somehow I really need to figure out how to get to Florida soon...

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I got to Busch Gardens yesterday around 6am. There were already 3 other cars there and everyone was kinda just standing around. About 30 minutes later a few more cars pulled up and we all stood there and talked about theme parks and Haunt events for about 2 hours. Not sure if anybody there is on TPR though.

 

When we got up to Cheetah Hunt and they announce their technical difficulties my group decided to go ride some other rides and com back later. We rode Gwazi with the new trains and it was much much better. It was very smooth and I was able to get of without the feeling that i was going to have to have a spinal readjustment. So the new trains on Gwazi was definitely a good move for Busch Gardens.

 

Around 11:30 we walked back by Cheetah Hunt and saw there was a line started by the entrance that led up the stairs to the Crown Colony building. We decided to get in the line. We sat down on the steps of the building and waited. I am happy to say that neither a chant or boo of any sort came out of my mouth. I waited patiently and enjoyed the music of the drummers. They actually started handing out free water. I was pleasantly surprised and even thanked them for it on their facebook page. At about 2 they opened the ride.

 

I really enjoyed the ride a lot. It might not have been as intense as some other coasters I've been on, but it sure was a hell of a lot of fun. The launches took me by surprise (especially the second and third one). It is very twisty and it's cool when you hop over the skride when there is a gondola right under you. Going through Rhino Rally's old water portion was really fun and felt fast due to being in such an enclosed area. The ride itself felt a lot faster than it looks so i don't think there will be any complaints about the speed once people get to ride it.

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Ok I want to clarify something for people going off about the "booing" thing. That was actually something I personally did not do. People around me did, so I just said "we", but in hindsight I should have just said "people around me". Ok? Does that clear that up now? Yeah I was frustrated and disappointed the coaster wasn't going yet, but the sun/heat was zapping my energy. I probably couldn't "boo" if I wanted to. I was near the very front of the line and everyone was VERY civil where I was. Maybe it was different further back. We even cheered when they brought out the yellow barricades as we took it as a good sign the ride would be ready soon.

 

When all was said and done, the long wait was TOTALLY worth it and like I said in my other post, if I had to do it all over again, I probably would.

 

I can't wait to go back next weekend for the morning ERT for passholders they're doing every weekend in June before the park opens. I HATE getting up early, but I'll do it for Cheetah Hunt. I think this might be my new fave coaster in the park.

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I got to go ride it this morning and I found it to be really fun. Extreme family coaster is the proper classification for it as it is not super intense, but it totally delivers a really good ride. If you plan on going to ride it this summer make sure you get to the park before opening as it take very little time to fill up that 2 hour wait queue building.

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Good morning!

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Lots of people already here before the park opens.

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Ohhhh! New entrance!

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Like I said, make sure you get there early!

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This area fills up with people very fast.

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The old monorail building has been updated.

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Cheetah Hunt is really a fun coaster!

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Rules of the ride.

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A kitty made of wood.

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There is now a big cat inside the old monorail station.

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In case if you wanted to know.

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Must be opening weekend.

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Heading out to launch.

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They load two trains at once, this would be for the back train.

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Another kitty.

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Made of buttons.

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You can get up pretty close to the 2nd launch.

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Up the tower it goes!

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This really is the Cheetah Chase part of the ride.

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The drop off the tower is pretty fun.

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You can get some pretty cool shots from the Skyway. Mine do not have many trains though.

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Airtime hill!

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The famed, "Under the Skyway" shot.

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A few more random shots.

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To 60mph!

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And I leave you with some kitty cats!

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We all passed the time just chatting, joking around and stuff. yeah we'd boo when they'd make announcements about the coaster not being open, but it wasn't a borderline riot or anything. Quite the opposite. Those of us who stuck around the whole time were very patient and orderly, which really surprised me.

 

i can sign that, i was standing in the second or third row in front of the entrance, waiting for the cheetah to open...

(fyi: yes, they gave us free water but first as someone collapses while waiting in the sun...)

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As Erik posted above, we went down to BGT for Memorial Day. As I usually do, I brought the DSLR along and got some nice shots. Please excuse my poor attempts at captions - it's been a while.

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This was the reason for coming here! It's re-opened!

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The ride is just so much better now, though the Nairobi queue was out the door, while the Congo side was a walk-on.

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Plus now it goes under a coaster

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On top of that, we have more big kitties. This was the only one we saw - I'm guessing that there were others, perhaps in the old Clydesdale building

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And there's a new coaster

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For Barry, it's #500

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Close-up of one of the trains

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I don't think the old Monorail station's ever seen this much of a crowd

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The train's that way!

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The supports penetrate the gift shop. Truly hard core coaster porn

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And now for some closeups

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The top of the "tree"

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There are many places to get pictures of this ride

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A missed attempt to catch the train from the skyride.

 

[insert Through the Trees joke here]

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And through the water

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On the return leg

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The second launch

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And for the truly sad and pathetic: New name = new credit

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Hey, Big Mike, I think they want their shirt back.

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Awesome reports, guys. Thanks for sharing!

 

So...do these "new foam" shoulder straps feel any different than the older versions?

 

 

Well... I don't know how the other ones feel, however, I will say that when we hit airtime, my shoulders slammed into the shoulder straps and they hurt quite a bit. I'll be honest, while it's noticeably foam after inspecting it, it's a very HARD and Stern foam.

 

I would have traded the heart line loop for lap bars. Still a great coaster, though.

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^ That's still insanely cheap compare to what Six Flags charges for a gold or platinum Flash Pass.

Oh absolutely. I've done the unlimited at BGT, and while it doesn't include as many rides as the SF ones typically do, it's still a very good deal. Both are worth the money in my opinion. I'm wondering at what point Cheetah Hunt will be added to the Quick Queue. It obviously won't be any time soon, my guess would be after Halloween when the crowds go down.

 

It would be nice if they were able to add Cheetah Hunt to the Unlimited Quick Que with a one ride only per guest limitation, heck make that one ride an additional up-charge to the Unlimited and it would probably still sell.

 

I guess living in Central Florida for a few years and only going to parks in the off season or for special events has spoiled me a little too much.

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^ I think eventually they will add Cheetah Hunt to Quick Queue and Quick Queue Unlimited. Just right now since the ride is brand new, they want to give everyone the same opportunity to ride and now have people bitching about people "cutting" ahead in line because of Quick Queue. I'll bet either later this summer or in the fall they'll add it.

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^ I think eventually they will add Cheetah Hunt to Quick Queue and Quick Queue Unlimited. Just right now since the ride is brand new, they want to give everyone the same opportunity to ride and now have people bitching about people "cutting" ahead in line because of Quick Queue. I'll bet either later this summer or in the fall they'll add it.

 

I sell Universal Express passes all day pretty much and they don't apply to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Hollywood: Rip, Ride, Rockit because they're both too new still.

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I just got back from Busch Gardens. It's my birthday and went to the park to ride Cheetah Hunt. We were first to the park, first in line and once the ropes dropped, my mom, my sister and I sprinted to Cheetah Hunt. We were the lead of the pack with many following us. We were the first riders of the day in the front row. It is so much better than it looks. The launches are great. The loop is insane. The Rhino Rally feature was amazing. The 3rd launch into the hill was so cool! It is a lot faster than it looks. It was running great all day! It had about an 80 minute wait all day. Sheikra was down from park opening and was still down when I left. Cheetah Hunt provided airtime, hangtime, and a lot of speed. I can only imagine if it was like the animated video! It's a great ride. I love launch coasters. Photos coming soon!

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So, with Cheetah Hunt up and open, what do you guys think is next for BGT? Personally, I'm hoping for some kind of major flat ride like an extreme swing, Huss giant frisbee, or drop tower. Considering how BGT and BGW always seem to mirror each other in development, I could realistically see them installing a drop tower given the new one at BGW. As for coasters, I wouldn't expect another one for 5-6 years since that's been the trend lately (unless the economy dramatically improves and tourism picks up again).

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I was hoping they would build a pathway from Scropion to Sheikra. Give Scorpion new trains and move the entrance. Also, move the market shop where Sheikra is to complete the pathway. More animal exhibits and I honestly don't see another coaster for a long time. Where will they put it? I see a Giant Swing from S&S going to BGT and a zip line through the Congo would be awesome! Maybe they could do away with Tidal Wave and make a new better water ride from Intamin! Their water rides are only ok. Not really worth it. The only thing I could think of with a new roller coaster is the midpoint Skyride station, reopen that and create a new land and put a B&M Hypercoaster and reopen that restaurant!

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If they were to remove any ride, I'd have to put my vote in for Phoenix.

 

While still a fun ride and a classic, every year the line seems to get shorter, and shorter. I went on a day where every coaster had an hour+ wait (even Scorpion had a 45min) and the wait for Phoenix was one ride cycle.

 

If they were to open that spot up, I could see them putting in an Intamin or Mack Gyro-Drop ride reaching the 200ft mark or taller (Remember, SeaWorld's tower is 300ft). Being in the center of the park it'd give a great view!

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They have done a lot of building out there lately and the Nutrition Center is on the way so we will probably have to wait for anything new. I think the dream of getting a hyper anywhere in Florida is not going to happen any time soon. I thought BGT would get one, it seemed like a natural fit but I dont see that in the near future now. Someone mentioned water rides and I agree that is the way to go next. Busch Gardens needs a good high capacity water ride, a highly themed flume would be a very good upgrade for the park. Although, recent projects have targeted kids and families so maybe an outright thrill ride will be next. They are even taking care of the zoo aspect by adding a couple animal attractions lately and the coming Nutrition Center.

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Went to the park this morning for the passholder ERT on Cheetah Hunt before the park opened. And guess what... once again Cheetah Hunt was delayed. They had Montu running for those who wanted to go ride that instead. But this time they lead everyone inside the queue of Cheetah Hunt to wait it out, which was much nicer than last week when we had to sit in the blazing sun. Just before 9:00 they had it up and running with 4 trains on the track. I only got one ride in (after that it was a 3 hour wait since the park was open to regular guests), but yeah, still lots of fun. The free gift everyone got for the passholder event was a nice reusable Cheetah Hunt tote bag.

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