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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 375: Phoenix Rising family inverted coaster announced for 2024!

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I guess I've been out of the loop for awhile, but is one side of Gwazi really closed for good? That's crazy considering they JUST upgraded to Millennium Flyers. Busch really has not been pleased with that ride has it?


I know when I went back in October, it was just one side.


It seems like Gwazi may be the next one on the chopping block for BGT. I mean if there cutting maintenance costs on it and only running one side. I really wish they at least ask RMC to take a look at it. Since RMC creations need very little maintenance and I still think it be cool to see what they can do with a duel coaster. But otherwise, I don't see a bright future for Gwazi.

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I last rode Gwazi, the night I visited Christmas Town in mid-December. I was dis-heartened to see the "bridge"/platform built across the Tiger load platform track (as well as seeing the Tiger sign removed overall). And very confused to see a lion and tiger train running on the lion track. Also seeing the remaining two trains in pieces (not uncommon for rehab purposes, I know) didn't bode well, in my mind. I hope and "pray" that this is just a major rehab (though it's wishful thinking on my part)/temporary downtime, rather than something more permanent! I fear the worst though (my pesimist side showing)... I've always been a fan of this coaster, defending it to my Gwazi hating friends... Lion/Tiger... PTC/MF trains... Morning/Night rides (though I've always preferred night rides admittedly)... Rain/shine... I enjoy this coaster... Hell, I named my CAT Gwazi!

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^ Drop tower's been pushed back indefinitely for now.


I rode Gwazi Lion in May (Tiger was down for rehab when I went) and it was running pretty badly, even with the new trains. I figured it was just a rehab thing and the Tiger side would be up and running while Lion side went down for retracking. I recall hearing news about Tiger being reopened during the summer too. I guess this is more long term than I thought.


- The Lion side was pretty jarring though. I couldn't imagine riding this with the original trains.

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Aside from Jaws (which closed last year for Potter 2.0) and DB Hurricane (which seems a bit out of the way anyway), I can't think of many other major Florida attractions that are closing for good. You still have Antarctica, New Fantasyland, Potter/Rockit/Transformers, Legoland FL, Test Track, and Cheetah Hunt to look forward to in terms of newer Florida attractions anyway.


Gwazi's fate is probably in limbo right now, but riding it isn't really that special.


On another note, after the huge IPO thing, the Busch Gardens logo has changed. I think it feels a bit more garden center/supermarket than theme park. Maybe it'll grow on me with time, but at this point, I think the current logo should stay for a few more years. The stylized tree thing looks odd.


We'll probably see Sea World's logo change eventually as well.



Get your coasters half off with our new Valued Customer card.


Looking at the current text, it looks like they stylized the "Gardens" text to match the "Busch" text and added the tree thingy.

Edited by netdvn
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This really does look like a logo for a Whole Foods competitor or something.


The logo is obviously supposed to convey coaster track as well as plant life, but the roller coaster/theme park aspect is way to subtle, its almost not really there. I don't get what is wrong with their type only logo.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Sundays at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay, sample nearly 100 craft beers, savor barbecue and enjoy live music by some of the biggest names in rock and classic rock.


Artists for 2013 include John Kay & Steppenwolf, Barenaked Ladies, The Doobie Brothers and The Goo Goo Dolls.


Bands, Brew & BBQ starts February 10 and runs each Sunday through March 3, 2013.


Grab a 2013 Busch Gardens Fun Card to experience each weekend of Bands, Brew & BBQ event and visit Busch Gardens throughout 2013.


  • John Kay & Steppenwolf February 10
  • Barenaked Ladies February 17
  • The Doobie Brothers February 24
  • The Goo Goo Dolls March 3

Concerts start at 5 p.m., with Gwazi® Park opening to guests at 3 p.m. Artist lineup subject to change.


Rock to it all with a 2013 Fun Card. See the entire 2013 artist lineup and enjoy Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay throughout 2013.


This year’s Beer Festival will showcase more than 100 imported, domestic and craft beers.


Select brews are available at each of the tents along the Bands, Brew and BBQ pathway, as well as in Gwazi® Park. But for those looking to sample several of the specialty brews, unlimited sampling is available from noon to 5:30 p.m. every Sunday with a Beer Festival Wristband.


Wristbands are $30 per person (ages 21+), or 2 for $50 for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay® Pass Members, and also include sampling privileges at the Desert Grill® restaurant, Crown Colony® pub and Zambia Smokehouse.

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  • 3 weeks later...

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has sent us a press release about the debut of Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.


SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today announced it will premiere “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” an original live musical show featuring the characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) beloved Madagascar franchise, at two of the company’s parks this summer.


Celebrating the box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which has grossed more than $740 million at the worldwide box office, Alex the Lion and friends will party while on vacation with guests at Busch Gardens Tampa® and SeaWorld® throughout 2013.


The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The show will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include both classic and original songs. The characters also will conduct meet and greets with park guests. Additionally, special co-branded merchandise exclusive to the parks, will be available.


These two locations will be the only theme parks in the U.S. where fans can see the characters of Madagascar live. The new show “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” premieres in the following locations:


Busch Gardens Tampa® May 18, 2013.

SeaWorld San Diego June 15, 2013.


The company also has the opportunity to expand the show to other parks in the SeaWorld family in the future.


“Audiences around the world have embraced the characters of Madagascar, and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks are the ideal places for families to enjoy this immersive live entertainment experience,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Worldwide Licensing & Consumer Products, Kerry Phelan. “The entire creative team behind this uniquely original version of “Madagascar Live!” has done an impressive job of translating the beloved world from screen to stage, bringing it to life for young park guests and family audiences alike.”


“Our parks both entertain and inspire guests to care about animals,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Likewise, the Madagascar movies also inspire animal lovers, but in a different way with their inimitable charm and humor. We welcome these characters to our family with open arms and look forward to working with DreamWorks Animation on this incredibly funny and engaging new show.”


Madagascar is one of the most successful CG animated movie franchises of all time, grossing more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office. In 2012 “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” grossed over $740 million at the global box office, becoming the highest grossing film of the series.


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I have a few questions:


1) My husband and I will be in Tampa in early June. What day of the week is typically best to visit: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday? We won't be there on Monday, and I'm automatically taking out Friday.


2) I see Play & Dine tickets for $85 online, is this a good deal? The cheapest one day ticket I saw on their website was $80, so of course I would take the $5 extra, but I wonder if I'm missing something...


3) Is the front of the line pass worth it? I know "worth" is different to each person, but we want to ride all of the big coasters while we are there, preferably more than once. So if we can't do that in a day, we would definitely need this pass.


Thanks for the help!

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To answer your questions...


1) That time of year I don't think you'd see a big difference between any of those days. To be honest I don't think Friday would be much worse either. I usually go a dozen or so times during the summer and its always "busy" but never been really bad. The park is actually designed for crowds quite well with the biggest coasters at the opposite ends of the park, add in the many shoes and family attractions and crowds spread out pretty good. I was just there a few weekends ago and the parking lot was full and Kumba was a 2 train wait.


2) Not super sure on ticket prices and deals so I'll leave that to someone else.


3) I'd go for it - compared to most other parks it is on the "cheaper" side. If you plan on spending most of the day there I would opt to get the single-ride (not the unlimited) one.... because if you get there first thing you can knock out all the coasters (except Cheetah Hunt) pretty quickly. I usually pop in after work in the summer and the lines seem to die down at night. So the Quick-Queue would be good to help get you through the middle part of the day and for Cheetah Hunt.


Let me know if you have any other questions - one thing I would recommend is the Yuengling beer tour. Its right next to the park (as it was one of the old A-B places). Free one hourish tour with free beer at the end. Something different, fun and free if you have some extra time in the area.

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I wonder if this Madagascar show will be any different from the ones at Everland and Gardaland.


I was just at the park last Friday, and the park was very slow. I was amazed at how many poeple bought Quick Queue, considering that the only ride where it made any difference was on Cheetah Hunt. On every other ride in the park, there was really no queue, except for the front row of ShieKra.


I was also surprised at how they only checked for quick queue at the very beginning of the queue. For ShieKra, a lot of people were ducking under the rail to go in the quick queue way, but that was mainly because the poor station design meant that if there was any queue at all for the front row, then it backed up back through the turnstyles. So the only way to get to the back two rows was to go through the quick queue turnstyle.


But it was really tempting to go under the rail to the quick queue side on Cheetah Hunt, since you could do it at any point on the long walk through the old monorail station. The quick queue line bypassed the entire queue, and there was no one checking for it in the station. I honestly didn't do it, but I was admittedly very tempted to.


Of course, I was just glad to be able to ride ShieKra at all, since it was supposed to be down for seasonal maintenance until the following day. I suspect that the main reason that they opened it early was because Kumba was down from some problem they'd found in routne maintenance. (One person told me that duirng maintenance they'd broken something!) Honestly, I'd still have rather have ridden Kumba some more than gotten the ShieKra credit. Luckily, I stopped in the park for a few hours the previous week and got some Kumba rides in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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